Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

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February 25, 2008

Apparently, The Ron Paul Newsletters Weren’t An Anomaly

by Doug Mataconis

This, apparently, is the crap that the Ron Paul for President campaign is putting in mailboxes all over Texas:

Yeah, that’s how libertarians people who pretend to be libertarians act. Pandering to the worst instincts in the American psyche.

Sorry, Ron, for me at least, it’s officially over. Frankly, at this point, I don’t even care if you lose the primary in TX-14 next Tuesday.

Update: For those who asked in the comments, the supposition that this is directed at Texas voters is based on the fact that the campaign said two weeks ago that it was concentrating all it’s efforts on the Texas primary. They haven’t spent money anywhere else since Super Tuesday.

Update # 2: Since there seem to be some people clinging to the idea that the ad is fake, I sent the following email to the campaign:

Can you please confirm or deny that the mailer discussed in this link:

http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/02/25/is-this-libertarianism.aspx

Is in fact a piece of official campaign material.

Doug Mataconis
xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.com (email address redacted)

http://belowthebeltway.com

http://thelibertypapers.org

Any response I receive will be posted here.

TrackBack URI: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2008/02/25/apparently-the-ron-paul-newsletters-werent-an-anomaly/trackback/
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250 Comments

  1. It’s not how libertarians act, but it’s definitely how the Paul campaign acts…so much for his race-baiting being a thing of the distant past.

    Fuck Ron Paul and his neo-confederate campaign staff of incompetents.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 25, 2008 @ 6:38 pm
  2. 1) it’s your race baiting, always has been.
    2) Paul is not a libertarian. he’s much smarter than the libertarians who run this site.

    the end.

    Comment by oilnwater — February 25, 2008 @ 6:44 pm
  3. Of COURSE that’s how libertarians act you tool.

    Paul understands that in order to deal with the problem of illegal immigration, you have to deal with the INCENTIVES of the program.

    Right now illegals get BENEFITS from TAXPAYER money. In other words, they DRAIN funds out of the economy from where they would be productive to where they are wasted, because more welfare makes the situation worse.

    So fuck YOU and your welfare-check collecting, lazy, unamerican ass.

    Comment by Private_Freedom — February 25, 2008 @ 6:44 pm
  4. Oilnwater,

    1. I didn’t send out the mailer. Ron Paul’s campaign did.

    2. You’re right, he’s no libertarian.

    Case closed.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 25, 2008 @ 6:46 pm
  5. This site is RETARDED.

    Calling the best politician in America names is so fucking destructive and immature.

    It distracts away from his IDEAS, which are INVALUABLE to a prosperous and INTELLIGENT nation.

    His voting record is 10000000 times better than ANY of the remaining candidates.

    THE END (of the legitimacy of this site).

    Comment by Private_Freedom — February 25, 2008 @ 6:46 pm
  6. Private_Freedom,

    True libertarians support open borders.

    Pandering politicians who live on the border regions of Texas support pandering to people who hate Mexicans.

    Gee, which do you think Ron is ?

    And one more thing, the fight for freedom is about more than Ron Paul. It will survive the imminent death of his Presidential campaign. And, quite honestly, will probably prosper for not being associated with it.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 25, 2008 @ 6:47 pm
  7. you’re damn right he’s no libertarian. yet before and after he rejected your party’s whimpers for him to be their nominee, you worked tirelessly to be a racial instigator(actually, you are a racist, period.) thank GOD Paul had the sense to stay away from this party.

    Comment by oilnwater — February 25, 2008 @ 6:49 pm
  8. Doug,

    Your post is rather vague as to what you feel is racist about the mailer. Can you list out some reasons why you feel that it is racist?

    Thanks,
    Bigfeets

    Comment by Bigfeets — February 25, 2008 @ 6:53 pm
  9. oilnwater,

    I am a small-l libertarian. I am not a member of the LP and never have been.

    Ron Paul is the one who has claimed he holds libertarian principles. By his own record, it’s becoming clear that he’s not a libertarian but a so-called “constitutionalist”, which is usually nothing more than short hand for someone who believes in the asinine ideas of neo-Confederates.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 25, 2008 @ 6:53 pm
  10. Bigfeets,

    I think the tenor of the ad is rather obvious. It appeals to base instincts, prejudices against Hispanics, and the (false) idea that illegal immigrants are large consumers of the welfare state.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 25, 2008 @ 6:54 pm
  11. private_freedom,

    Right now illegals get BENEFITS from TAXPAYER money.

    Right now “Americans” get benefits from taxpayer money too…in fact, they make up most of the welfare rolls. Where’s Ron Paul’s flier with a white tattooed meth-head sitting on a stoop waiting for his welfare check that he’s stolen from the money I pay into the system?

    Oh, that’s right…they look a lot more like his voting base than the Mexicans. Wouldn’t do to offend them and threaten to take away their checks when you can play “blame the wetbacks” instead and never abolish welfare. Because with Ron Paul it’s always about getting elected first, being right on the issues second.

    In other words, they DRAIN funds out of the economy from where they would be productive to where they are wasted, because more welfare makes the situation worse.

    So does every Ron Paul vote for closing the borders and continuing the welfare state. His earmarks don’t help either…but then he’s never been above bribing his constituents for their vote. Suppose it shouldn’t have surprised me that a person that unethical would stoop to open race-baiting.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 25, 2008 @ 6:59 pm
  12. that’s why his congressional competitor wants his district to accept more federal funding, because Paul wasnt getting enough federal funds to his district.

    doug: spoken like a true race-obsessed CATO goblin. i cant wait for this fraudulent mailer to be seen for what it is. everyone already sees you for what you are.

    Comment by oilnwater — February 25, 2008 @ 7:03 pm
  13. oilnwater,

    you’re damn right he’s no libertarian.

    If that’s true, I wish he’d quit claiming otherwise whenever people call him out for race-baiting. I’m kind of sick of him smearing us whenever he refuses to accept responsibility for his own fuck-ups.

    thank GOD Paul had the sense to stay away from this party.

    I’m not an LP member so I give a damn what they do, but I’m glad that Paul didn’t accept their nomination too. Neo-confederates are dead-enders and I’d rather they only dragged themselves down.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 25, 2008 @ 7:04 pm
  14. This site is RETARDED.

    Calling the best politician in America names is so fucking destructive and immature

    I’ve got an incoming call here on Line 1. Mr Pot wold like to speak with Mr. Kettle.

    There’s an awful lot of things that I like about the Paul platform. I’ve been a fan for a few years now.

    I’m not a big fan of how he runs his campaigns though.

    Comment by Justin Buist — February 25, 2008 @ 7:09 pm
  15. oilnwater,

    that’s why his congressional competitor wants his district to accept more federal funding, because Paul wasnt getting enough federal funds to his district.

    He’s still too money-hungry for my tastes. If he had any principles he’d be signing onto the “no earmarks” pact with Flake and Shadegg.

    i cant wait for this fraudulent mailer to be seen for what it is.

    Unlike your attack on Doug, the mailer is labelled as authorized and paid for by Ron Paul’s Campaign Committee…perhaps you should ask them to post a written denunciation of it on the Ron Paul 08 site instead. Assuming, of course, that you’re right about the mailer being fraudulent.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 25, 2008 @ 7:11 pm
  16. Justin,

    There’s an awful lot of things that I like about the Paul platform. I’ve been a fan for a few years now. I’m not a big fan of how he runs his campaigns though.

    I used to be too, until I found out that for him the Bill of Rights apparently stops at state borders and individual freedom apparently doesn’t apply to people born outside this country.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 25, 2008 @ 7:16 pm
  17. what do either of you assholes know about principle? your outlooks and opinions are so inconsistent and rooted in institutional invective that you don’t even know what liberty is.

    Comment by oilnwater — February 25, 2008 @ 7:21 pm
  18. oilnwater,

    what do either of you assholes know about principle?

    I know that someone who runs with a political strategy of instilling his supporters with contempt and hatred for people of other ethnicities by accusing them of “stealing” from a program that shouldn’t exist in the first place isn’t worth the steam off my piss.

    your outlooks and opinions are so inconsistent and rooted in institutional invective that you don’t even know what liberty is.

    I know true liberty cannot exist in conjunction with racism and hatred. I also know that Ron Paul’s recent direct mailer shows he’s just as stupid about hiring the right people for his staff today as he was 20 years ago (assuming that he didn’t know about these mailers going out)…and that him getting his ass kicked in the primaries was the best thing that could have happened to libertarianism in the long run.

    And I take back what I said about Ron Paul being the libertarian version of Jimmy Carter…Paul’s no libertarian and Carter had ethics and could actually run a competent campaign staff.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 25, 2008 @ 7:33 pm
  19. that…was the most pathetic offering i’ve ever seen from you. “i know true liberty cannot exist in conjunction with racism and hatred.” even your empty platitudes blow serious dick.

    Comment by oilnwater — February 25, 2008 @ 7:37 pm
  20. On a side note, I would like to thank Ron Paul’s press coordinators for doing such a crappy job of selling their candidate to the mainstream press and not letting Ron Paul become the turd in the libertarian punch bowl for the next 20 years. I would also like to thank the MSM for not delving more into Paul’s non-Iraq positions so that in the future competent politicians may be able to champion some of his good ideas without having to deal with the baggage of being tied to a race-baiting crank.

    Four cheers for the Fourth Estate!!! :)

    Comment by UCrawford — February 25, 2008 @ 7:39 pm
  21. oilnwater,

    even your empty platitudes blow serious dick.

    So I take that to mean you’re for racism and hatred? :)

    Actually, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume you just need this argument fleshed out a bit…so I’ll refer you to an excellent blog by this guy that says pretty much everything I have to say about why Ron Paul’s ideological flaws are destructive in the long-term to freedom and liberty:

    http://fusionistlibertarian.blogspot.com/2008/01/rockwell-rothbard-race-war.html

    Comment by UCrawford — February 25, 2008 @ 7:42 pm
  22. wtfe, i’m not reading your sad shit. you’ve proven your ineffectual thinking too many times for me to think that rag has any reading value.

    but the main point here is that you are certainly not above pandering a hollow and technically incorrect statement.

    Comment by oilnwater — February 25, 2008 @ 7:45 pm
  23. oilnwater,

    wtfe, i’m not reading your sad shit.

    Actually it’s not mine…it was written by someone who’s pedigree on pro-freedom issues is as good or better than anyone’s on this blog. But if you can’t be bothered to read anything that we send you to discuss a topic, then I give a damn about your ill-informed opinions; and as far as I’m concerned you, your ad hominem attacks and your sad-ass rationalizations for your joke of a candidate can take a walk.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 25, 2008 @ 7:55 pm
  24. I don’t have a problem with any of the copy on that postcard, for reasons we’ve already discussed.

    That picture? No way. I can’t condone it. I probably could have accepted some night-vision aerial shot of someone hopping a fence (it would have fit the copy), but that picture is just a big, heaping pile of stereotypes. Not cool.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 25, 2008 @ 8:44 pm
  25. Oh please.. before you get all angry and Ron Paul you should have done a few minutes of research.

    It isn’t from the official campaign, it’s from the people at Wonkette. Look at all of you blindly believing in what you read on the internet.

    Shame on all of you.

    Comment by Mark — February 25, 2008 @ 8:52 pm
  26. The vast majority of those who “sneak into America” are Mexican. And quite a few hospitals near the border had to shut their doors because so many illegals received medical care for free. And personally, it does get my “nanny goat” knowing I have to pay a third of what I earn to keep up people who broke our laws in the first place. I can’t even afford my own health insurance as it is right now. So I don’t have a real problem with the flyer considering how America is right now.

    Comment by Connie — February 25, 2008 @ 8:53 pm
  27. It isn’t from the official campaign, it’s from the people at Wonkette.

    No, Wonkette is citing TNR. The source is still unknown.

    Speaking of which, Doug, what did you base this on?

    the Ron Paul for President campaign is putting in mailboxes all over Texas:

    TNR said nothing about mailboxes in Texas. Did you infer it somehow? Please explain.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 25, 2008 @ 9:02 pm
  28. So I don’t have a real problem with the flyer considering how America is right now.

    There are two issues here.

    1. The “Open Borders ASAP” crowd has always disagreed with Paul’s position on immigration and this is just another opportunity for them to voice their complaints.

    2. The image they used is bad. You’d have a hard time depicting an illegal immigrant in a less flattering way. I’ve met more than a few of them and none have looked like that. It’s one thing to try to attract people that agree with his policy, but it’s a whole different thing to appeal to people who think most illegal immigrants look like that.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 25, 2008 @ 9:08 pm
  29. “At the state and local level, the average low skill immigrant household RECEIVED $14,145 IN BENEFITS and services and PAID ONLY $5,309 in taxes. The average low skill immigrant households imposed a net fiscal burden on state and local government of $8,836 per year.”

    The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Immigrants to State and Local Taxpayers
    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Immigration/tst052107a.cfm

    Ron Paul is right.

    Comment by sumbunny — February 25, 2008 @ 9:38 pm
  30. Jeff,

    TNR said nothing about mailboxes in Texas. Did you infer it somehow? Please explain.

    Reason Magazine reported on Hit & Run that it was a Ron Paul direct mailer that got sent for the presidential campaign. Whether it went out to “mailboxes all over Texas” I didn’t see reported, unless Doug’s got another source.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 25, 2008 @ 10:02 pm
  31. Connie,

    And quite a few hospitals near the border had to shut their doors because so many illegals received medical care for free. And personally, it does get my “nanny goat” knowing I have to pay a third of what I earn to keep up people who broke our laws in the first place.

    It gets my goat that I have to pay a third of my income to take care of people who are already here who think they’re entitled to my paycheck. The immigrants don’t bother me nearly as much as the freeloading Americans who think they deserve my money because we happen to be citizens of the same country.

    Cut off everybody’s welfare checks and the issue of immigrants getting a welfare check won’t be a problem.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 25, 2008 @ 10:17 pm
  32. sumbunny,

    “At the state and local level, the average low skill immigrant household RECEIVED $14,145 IN BENEFITS and services and PAID ONLY $5,309 in taxes. The average low skill immigrant households imposed a net fiscal burden on state and local government of $8,836 per year.”

    Again, cut off the welfare checks for everyone and you won’t have to worry about the welfare checks for immigrants. Funny how Ron Paul’s choosing to focus on unflattering depictions of immigrants though, rather than the fact that all welfare (even that given to other Americans) is theft. Wonder why that is? Hmmmm…

    Ron Paul is right.

    No, Ron Paul is a race-baiting hypocrite.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 25, 2008 @ 10:20 pm
  33. Why does anyone think this is real, or assumes so? A GOP candidate is running against RP, it would not be out of the question for some type of fraudulent mailing to occur, let alone other under-handed tactics.

    However, to the RP supporters who blind sight stuff as a tactic to pretend it’ll go away if you ignore it: don’t ignore it, stop bitching, and find out what the hell happened, because maybe, just maybe, if some actual investigating went on, someone might find out what actually occurred.

    Once again, people get completely reactionary despite there not being a list of evidence that purports this is either real or fake.

    I’m not against criticism of RP (not by a long shot), but this post is Wonkette level reporting at best. Some of the reactions (both agreeing and disagreeing with this “story”) are equally disgusting.

    Overall, I’m mainly pissed off at some of the RP supporters: stop taking example by RP and go out and actually do something to figure out how this happened. If you don’t, you’re simply giving political ammunition that goes directly against your cause.

    It’s not going to go away, because drama is what sells. And yes, I suppose if this did turn out to be true, then truth in addition to drama, sells.

    Comment by Nitroadict — February 25, 2008 @ 11:42 pm
  34. At one time I might have been leaning to Ron Paul. Now, I’m going with Wayne Root, the Libertarian in the race. Root apparently won the California Libertarian Party straw poll over the weekend. He’s gaining support.

    And, although he’s a bit of a loudmouth salesman type, he doesn’t appear to have any skeletons in his closet like Paul.

    Maybe the Libertarians are finally getting smart. Ironic, cause it appears that the Paul people are at the same time, getting quite stupid.

    Comment by Xenman — February 26, 2008 @ 3:51 am
  35. Nitroadict,

    Why does anyone think this is real, or assumes so?

    The mailer states clearly that it is paid for by the Ron Paul presidential campaign…it’s extremely unlikely that any other campaign is going to send out fraudulent mailers claiming that Ron Paul’s campaign sent them when

    a) it’s incredibly easy to debunk if it’s fake, all Ron Paul has to do is issue a statement pointing out he didn’t write it,

    b) if this went out in any kind of bulk it’s not going to be impossible to track the mailings back to their source,

    c) if another campaign did this and got caught sending out material under another candidate’s actual name, their candidate would be in serious trouble (that’s why fraudulent attacks usually come from third parties like Swift Boat Veterans)

    Also what would be the point? This was a mailer for the presidential campaign, that race is basically over and Ron Paul’s not even a factor in the convention. What would be the point of John McCain or Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee exposing himself to that kind of liability before the general election (and likely costing themselves a position in McCain’s administration if he wins) to take a potshot at a candidate who’s basically out of the race? The fake mailer argument doesn’t make sense.

    I’m not against criticism of RP (not by a long shot), but this post is Wonkette level reporting at best.

    Actually, it was in The New Republic. And it’s an easy enough claim to start debunking if it is fake…just ask the Ron Paul campaign if they sent it. This mailer has been reproduced and the Paul campaign criticized in a national publication so if they aren’t saying anything about it that’s a pretty clear indication that either they did send the mailer or they at least approve of it.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 5:49 am
  36. Xenman,

    Maybe the Libertarians are finally getting smart.

    It’s probably got more to do with the fact that libertarians despise racism and won’t put up with a candidate who bases his policy arguments on it…even if he claims to be libertarian. They might have been behind Paul for a little while because there was quite a bit of common ground, but once he started showing everyone how he, at best, surrounded himself with people who engaged in that sort of thing (race-baiting) his libertarian support was forseeably going to evaporate.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 5:55 am
  37. And, as someone on the Ron Paul forums has pointed out, this mailer is completely consistent with Paul’s campaign position towards tackling immigration:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T-iJKwskH4

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 6:06 am
  38. has anyone figured out yet that this is a spoof postcard by wonkette to make Dr. Paul look bad ? shame on them for sending it to Dr. Paul’s district.

    Comment by ginger — February 26, 2008 @ 6:36 am
  39. Ginger,

    Actually the spoof on Wonkette was being made of the New Republic post…that’s why Wonkette linked to The New Republic underneath what they wrote. The post on The New Republic is the source.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 6:41 am
  40. According to the Ron Paul campaign (1-877-766-2008) if it’s got the “paid for and authorized” tag at the bottom it’s a mailer from Ron Paul’s campaign…and they weren’t particularly surprised when I described the mailer to them. So the “it’s fake” argument holds no water unless the Ron Paul campaign comes out and specifically repudiates that mailer.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 6:54 am
  41. Ginger,

    UCrawford is right.

    The Wonkette post was posted yesterday at 6:10pm:

    http://wonkette.com/360628/a-very-special-sneak-preview-of-paultard-nations-flag

    It linked to a TNR post that was posted three hours earlier:

    http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/02/25/is-this-libertarianism.aspx

    This isn’t a hoax.

    I’d also add that Wonkette is a satire site but not everything that’s reported there is false. A lot of it, is quite real.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 26, 2008 @ 6:56 am
  42. According to the Ron Paul campaign (1-877-766-2008)

    That’s just a very low-paid phone bank. They’re less informed than you and I.

    But yeah, if it’s a fake, someone went through a lot of trouble. There are a number of characteristics about that image that make it look very real.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 26, 2008 @ 6:58 am
  43. [...] Apparently, the newsletters weren’t an anomaly. [...]

    Pingback by Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Ron Paul’s Racist Mailings 2008 Edition — February 26, 2008 @ 7:48 am
  44. Jeff,

    Low-paid and uninformed they might be, and the person I talked to had not seen that particularly flier herself, but she was quite insistent that if the “paid for and authorized” tag is on it, it’s Ron Paul’s literature. And the Paul campaign has still not denied that it’s his, so it’s reasonable to assume that the Paul campaign did send it out until they state otherwise.

    Also, as the ad I linked to earlier illustrated, it’s not out of line with Paul’s previous comments on immigration.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 7:51 am
  45. And the Paul campaign has still not denied that it’s his, so it’s reasonable to assume that the Paul campaign did send it out until they state otherwise.

    I agree. My only point was that person you talked to wasn’t in a position to offer any new information. We already knew that the “Paid for” language has to appear on all campaign literature and we also already knew that it would be very easy to spoof that language.

    Also, as the ad I linked to earlier illustrated, it’s not out of line with Paul’s previous comments on immigration.

    Refer back to my 9:08 post. The earlier ads and literature didn’t take the extra step of including a denigrating caricature of an illegal immigrant. I still support his position, but that caricature was absolutely uncalled for and it certainly calls his character into question.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 26, 2008 @ 8:08 am
  46. Jeff,

    I still support his position, but that caricature was absolutely uncalled for and it certainly calls his character into question.

    I can understand why you agree with his basic immigration position (and a lot of libertarians certainly agree with you), but the deeper you dig into Paul’s backstory the more insidious his own rationales for supporting restricted immigration become. I’m more of the opinion now that Ron Paul is at best a neo-confederate apologist who’s been misled by his “friends” and at worst a neo-confederate himself. Neither has any place in the libertarian fold because ultimately their policy arguments are compromised by the racial hatred they stir up to justify those policy arguments.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 8:31 am
  47. Yeah.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 26, 2008 @ 8:38 am
  48. Jeff,

    The earlier ads and literature didn’t take the extra step of including a denigrating caricature of an illegal immigrant. I still support his position

    Again, look at the ad. If he were really a libertarian, he would be making the argument that we often make: that illegal immigration isn’t the problem, welfare/social security is the problem.

    In fact, the ad specifically references the “Social Security for Americans Only” Act, which simply says that wages paid to non-Americans cannot be credited towards calculating SS benefits.

    This itself is patently unfair, though, because it does little to reflect anything related to illegal immigrants (at least as I understand it), and yet at the same time doesn’t stop them from paying into the system either (no provisions are made to exempt them from their OASDI “insurance premiums” since they don’t receive the benefit).

    Even leaving out the disgusting use of the photograph, it’s still demagoguing a popular issue with a “solution” that’s merely playing at the margins anyway.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 26, 2008 @ 9:50 am
  49. UC and Doug

    I guess if we start kicking out enough people from the “libertarian fold” because they don’t agree with you all the time we (libertarians) will certainly be a force to be reckoned with. “NOT”

    He doesn’t agree with you on immigration. Get over it. You are backing yourself and libertarianism into irrelevancy. People are not always going to agree with you on everything. If you start and continue telling them that they are bad people and don’t belong because of this, pretty soon you will only be talking to yourself, which is what most pure libertarians are doing these days. This has been and looks like it will continue to be the biggest problem with libertarians. They continue to push away people that we will need if the movement will be successful because they don’t agree with everything that a specific other libertrian believes in. While there are some other reasons as well, this is a big reason why republicans and democrats continue to kick our ass at the voting booth. Libertarians try to find ways to kick people out for not agreeing with everything while republicans and democrats look for ways to get your vote even if you only agree with one thing.

    Comment by TerryP — February 26, 2008 @ 10:05 am
  50. Terry,

    I said the following in an email, but it’s worth sharing here:

    I don’t agree with the message [of the flyer] or with Paul’s position on immigration — but I understand that not everybody agrees with me on those issue either.

    The problem isn’t the position so much as the tone of the ad. If it was really about giving Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants then why not use a picture of a hispanic construction worker instead of what is quite obviously meant to be a member of MS-13 or some other gang.

    It’s the pandering to what I think are the worst parts of the immigration debate — the nativism, the racism, the false idea that immigrants commit more crime than citizens — that I object to.

    Interestingly, an ad like this is consistent with the paleo strategy that was behind some of worst aspects of the old newsletters.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 26, 2008 @ 10:08 am
  51. If he were really a libertarian, he would be making the argument that we often make: that illegal immigration isn’t the problem, welfare/social security is the problem.

    So say all of the libertarians that disagree with his pragmatic approach to welfare and immigration.

    Doug’s comment at 10:08 is correct.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 26, 2008 @ 10:32 am
  52. Terry,

    I’m in agreement with what Doug said. And while I can understand the concern about alienating people based on minor differences in ideology I disagree that this is a minor difference. Ron Paul has, on multiple occasions, engaged in tactics that can only be described as race-baiting (over a considerable period of time). As the Fusionist Libertarian post I linked to earlier pointed out, this is in line with the paleo strategy of stirring up hatred against the state through the use of racial prejudices in policy arguments, which is likely to make people more racist and statist, not less.

    Simply put, it’s not compatible with libertarian ideology because libertarian ideology is based on the premise that we trust the people around us more than we trust the government (consensual interaction). That all falls through when you’re insinuating that the people who don’t look like you are animals willing to stab you to death and steal your job for a welfare check. And if Ron Paul’s engaging in those kind of tactics while still calling himself a libertarian, he needs to be called out and chastised for it. It is not in the long-term benefit of libertarians to accept candidates who use racial hatred to sell their policy arguments…eventually that will undermine everything else we try to accomplish.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 10:36 am
  53. Terry is right concerning the in-fighting with Libertarians, and I also think this inscient elitism within Libertarianism is harming the philosophy’s cause, as well as preventing serious discussion from occurring more often.

    However, recently I’ve been reading more and more concerning the origin of the newsletter’s intent (not the inane drama itself), specifically the post at the fushionist libertarian’s blog concerning Rockwell & Rothbard (http://fusionistlibertarian.blogspot.com/2008/01/rockwell-rothbard-race-war.html ), which, despite his constant RP bashing, brings up very valid points & serious implications.

    It also brought up an observation of mine I had long since made: that Libertarian’s seem to put certain figures on a pedestal (Rothbard, specifically), and when implications concerning their character come up, people get all reactionary about it (just as with this post here).

    The worshiping of any writer and/or libertarian figure seems counter-productive, whether it be Rothbard or RP, and such idle worship can get in the way of fellow Libertarians being able to compromise, discuss, sort out messes like these, and move on. The infighting is why I think the mainstream cannot take Libertarianism seriously, other than the inherent roadblocks for third parties, etc.

    I’m still just managing to navigate amidst all this, so I’m sure other’s could add on to my incomplete observations.

    Comment by Nitroadict — February 26, 2008 @ 10:38 am
  54. Damn, took too long to write my previous post, lol. I also agree with what just Crawford said concerning libertarian ideology; I’m beginning to think maybe RP is having a vastly different effect on Libertarians than anyone originally thought…

    Comment by Nitroadict — February 26, 2008 @ 10:41 am
  55. Nitroadict,

    I think we’re pretty much on the same page. The link I posted earlier was from the same source you just cited…frankly anyone whose life’s goal is to put a politician in prison can’t be all bad. :)

    The worshiping of any writer and/or libertarian figure seems counter-productive, whether it be Rothbard or RP, and such idol worship can get in the way of fellow Libertarians being able to compromise, discuss, sort out messes like these, and move on.

    It’s a problem that’s not restricted just to libertarians. This doesn’t have anything to do with Ron Paul specifically, but I found this article from The Atlantic on how Yassir Arafat wrecked Palestine to have some excellent points about the folly of putting your faith in politicians with grand ideas about how the world should work and little expertise or competence in how to carry those ideas out. It’s a long article, but well worth a read:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200509/samuels

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 10:49 am
  56. My problem is that it seems everything that Ron Paul says or does you guys rip apart. You rip into the people who are backing him. You have pretty much said that the Libertarian party just isn’t good enough for you. I don’t remember if it was you guys or others on this site that have ripped into CATO. How many votes have you guys received in an election? Have you ever been elcted to a prominent office numberous times? How much money has been sent your way to promote your message? Have you been on numerous major media. It is obvious that Ron Paul, CATO, and the Libertarian Party has people backing them that believe in their message that they are trying to spread. Idelogically you may be right about these things but that also makes us irrelevant to pretty much everyone else and certainly makes it difficult to get elected.

    As far as the ad goes, sure the picture might be in poor taste but the message certainly isn’t wrong. Illegals should not be getting social security. I agree that we should dismantle the welfare system for the rest of us as well, but he can’t sell that all in one single ad and expect to get elected. You are darn right it is pandering to your consitituents but that is how you get elected. He has said that he wants to get rid of social security and has come up with a plan to allow young people to opt out. Why does he need to put that in this specific ad?

    Immigration is obviously a major issue for you, for others it may be a smaller issue or just as big an issue but fall 180 degree from your position. Abortion is a major issue for some, for others it hardly registers. The drug issue may be very important for some and not important at all for others. For each individual the important issues differ. The thing is that you are saying he is wrong about this one issue and because of it he and anyone else that beleives in it needs to be purged from the “UC & Doug” Freedom movement. That is fine if they won’t be part of you small movement, but as far as the freedom movement in general nobody made you kingmakers in deciding who is part and who is not part of the movement. Through elections, through fundraising, through risk-taking they have become leaders in the freedom movement, you have not. Who are you to say that they have no place at the table. Ron Paul has kept it as oopen as possible for the people backing him, which obviously just eats at you guys I can’t say the same thing about you guys as you want to restrict as many people from the movement as possible it seems.

    Do you really think that ripping everything that Ron Paul does is going to get your views on the issues heard. You first have to get the choir behind you and the choir is people behind the Ron Paul movement. By calling them names and ripping into everything that they do certainly isn’t going to get them beholden to your views on the issues. Or are you thinking that there is another huge group of people beyond the people backing Ron Paul that believe in freedom even more than Ron paul does but just hasn’t stood up yet. Dream on.

    Comment by TerryP — February 26, 2008 @ 12:30 pm
  57. Jeff,

    So say all of the libertarians that disagree with his pragmatic approach to welfare and immigration.

    I suspect we’re talking past each other here, and that it’s my fault. I mistakenly assumed you were more of a doctrinaire libertarian than you are (or than I am), and thus misinterpreted your position. If you support his position and I disagree with it, that’s one thing. I didn’t realize you had previously supported his position, so I was suggesting that there were reasons to disagree with his ad on its merits.

    But as you, and Doug, and (now) I point out, that is a different debate.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 26, 2008 @ 12:39 pm
  58. Nitroadict

    I agree we should not be putting someone so high up that we worship them and their every move. Some people are certainly doing that with Obama and to a lesser degree have done that with Paul. Ron Paul has numerous faults as we all do, but my god UC and Doug get over it. You have continually told us he can’t win and is irrelevant than why do you care about what he has to say?

    I very much agree that we need compromise, discuss, and sort things out. The thing is UC and Doug have already said that they are unwilling to compromise or talk about the issue and if you don’t agree with them, then you as UC put it “don’t have a place in the libertarian fold” since they are the ones that are obviously making those decisions (sarcasm off).

    Comment by TerryP — February 26, 2008 @ 12:43 pm
  59. No problem.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 26, 2008 @ 12:45 pm
  60. Terry,

    We do that for two reasons:

    1) Most of us on this blog, through various stages of the campaign, have determined that Ron Paul is not capable of managing the office of the Presidency. He seems to have loyalty and personal misjudgement-of-character issues on par with those our current President suffers from.

    2) Most of us on this blog, through various stages of the campaign, have noticed that Ron Paul is seen as a “libertarian” by the general public. As libertarians, we believe some of his past dealings and issues such as this ad could be mistakenly associated with the greater libertarian movement, and we don’t want to allow the actions of Ron Paul to damage a movement that has been built over the span of decades.

    Ron Paul, when all is said and done, has a lot of good ideas. Even where he’s wrong, he’s often wrong for the “right” reasons. But his campaign proved that he doesn’t have the right skill set to occupy the Oval Office. While he’s a good legislator, I don’t think he’d make a good President.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 26, 2008 @ 12:50 pm
  61. Is there anything stranger than “libertarians” on this site, some who supported mass murder, yelling “thought crime!” to real libertarians?

    Comment by C Bowen — February 26, 2008 @ 1:09 pm
  62. Brad,

    I agree he probably doesn’t have the best skill set in the world to be President, but does that mean that Hillary, Obama, or McCain would be a better President. IMO he is right on far more issues than they are. You may be correct that they may be more apt in the management areas than Paul is, but that may only be because they lust for power/control and will take down whoever gets in their way. Having power and control over someone is not in Ron Paul’s nature so it makes him look poor as a manager.

    I am not upset about their views on immigration, in fact mine line up somewhere between Paul’s and theirs. Where I am getting upset is that they feel like they are kingmakers in deciding who is part of the greater libertarian movement as you put it. Who the hell put them in charge. I guess where we have a disagreement is who should be part of the libertarian movement. The pure libertarians believe that even UC and Doug have no business being part of it. I believe in a bigger tent that encompasses more than who UC and Doug would allow. For one I believe that is the only way for us to be big enough to have our voices heard. I also believe that is the only way to get elected and in our system about the only way to make a difference is by getting elected to a position that makes decisions.

    Lastly, He is running as a Republican for Congress and for President, not Libertarian. While many of his views are libertarian, if they all were pure Libertarian he would get his butt wooped in even his congressional district. In fact, in his running for President he probably ran to much as a Libertarian and not enough as a Republican to have a chance at getting elected.

    Comment by TerryP — February 26, 2008 @ 1:17 pm
  63. Terry,

    I don’t remember if it was you guys or others on this site that have ripped into CATO

    I don’t think it was us but some commenters have. I’m a big fan of the Cato Institute myself and I believe Doug is the same way (although he’ll have to speak for himself).

    My problem is that it seems everything that Ron Paul says or does you guys rip apart

    I was actually a fan of Ron Paul (except on immigration, but I was willing to overlook that at first) until I found out about Rockwell’s involvement in the newsletter scandal and heard Ron Paul’s rather disingenuous and unbelieveable defense…basically “I don’t remember who ran my newsletter for eight years”…which demonstrated (to me at least) that he was at best an incompetent manager and at worst a race-baiting liar. I was also rather revolted by how his defense against charges of racism boiled down to “I can’t be a racist…I’m a libertarian” which was irritating because a) plenty of racists have been able to cloak themselves in libertarianism to rationalize their beliefs and b) he’d spent much of his campaign distancing himself from libertarians to cozy up to conservatives. It just seemed to me that Ron Paul tries to cover his ass by jumping on whatever bandwagon he thinks will give him the most protection, just like any other hack. Taken with his failure to live up to his own standards on not requesting earmarks, his failure to build significant coalitions in Congress because of his relative isolation from most legislators, his association with fringe groups that are diametrically opposed to libertarianism, his questionable judgment of character in the people he hires, his unbelievably incompetent handling of his presidential campaign, and now his further use of race-baiting material…well, I just don’t see any reason to think Ron Paul is a good politician for us to get behind. He talks a good game at first, but when it comes down to it he can’t get anyone else in the government to buy in.

    Simply put, I can either accept the Paulestinian mantra that Paul’s lack of results are because everyone else who doesn’t accept Ron Paul is an evil neocon plant engaged in a giant conspiracy to keep Paul silent, or I can accept that Ron Paul gets ignored because the legislators who deal with him every day realize that he’s a crank who tends to hire and surround himself with questionable characters who give him bad advice. A year ago, I tended to be sympathetic to the former belief, but after a year of watching him consistently fumble the ball I’m pretty sure now that it’s the latter.

    As far as the ad goes, sure the picture might be in poor taste but the message certainly isn’t wrong. Illegals should not be getting social security.

    The ad’s wrong because it’s putting the focus on the idea that illegal immigrants are the problem here, not on the fact that the welfare system itself is illegitimate and that anyone in this country who draws benefits is just as much (or more of) a thief as someone who crossed the border without the government’s blessing. If Paul were a libertarian he’d be trying to educate the public about why immigration is good and why welfare is bad…but instead he’s just using stereotypes of violent Mexican gang members (who are not indicative of most illegal immigrants) to whip up hatred against minorities. It’s unacceptable.

    Immigration is obviously a major issue for you, for others it may be a smaller issue or just as big an issue but fall 180 degree from your position.

    Immigration is a major issue for me, but I recognize it’s not for everyone, that rational libertarians can disagree on it and that I can respect their opinions about why completely open borders aren’t desirable (even if I disagree with them) so long as their rationales are based on a pro-liberty/individual freedom foundation. Once the racial stereotypes and “preserve our culture” arguments come out (which they often do), however, the respect and civility are gone because then they’re not talking about serving the common good, they’re talking about trying to preserve or gain special legal status for their own ethnic, cultural or collective group. That’s not in any way compatible with libertarianism or individual freedom and I don’t feel any need to cater to that sort of b.s. or sugarcoat my criticisms of it. People have every right to be racists and affiliate with who they want in their private personal lives…once they start trying to turn their racism into government policy or start basing their policy arguments on inflaming racial prejudices, the accommodation of their beliefs in the public arena should come to an immediate end.

    The thing is that you are saying he is wrong about this one issue and because of it he and anyone else that beleives in it needs to be purged from the “UC & Doug” Freedom movement.

    It’s less about us purging libertarianism of all ideas that don’t gibe completely with our own or seeking the perfect candidate than it is about drawing a line in the sand about Paul’s race-baiting, the people he tends to surround himself with, and his manipulation of libertarian ideals for his own personal benefit. Like I said, I was willing to vote for Ron Paul until he basically chose loyalty to a personal crony over a straight answer to the voting public…and I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt about his own personal beliefs on racism until I saw this flyer. If my refusing to support someone who believes in inciting hatred of ethnic groups is an unreasonable standard of libertarianism, so be it…I’m unreasonable.

    Abortion is a major issue for some, for others it hardly registers. The drug issue may be very important for some and not important at all for others.

    I’m pro-choice and have no problem with Ron Paul’s suggestion for abortion (leave it to the states to decide). I agree with Ron Paul on the drug issue, and most of his foreign policy. I just don’t trust him to be able to implement any of it, or to competently carry any of it out.

    Ron Paul has kept it as open as possible for the people backing him

    As long as you’re born in this country. He’s apparently more than happy to re-draft the laws to make life tougher on anyone else who wants to come here, legally or not.

    Do you really think that ripping everything that Ron Paul does is going to get your views on the issues heard.

    Not particularly important to me whether Ron Paul’s involved or not…I give an honest opinion of what I believe and if someone cares enough to respond to it that means it’s been heard. If nobody cares, oh well, life goes on. I don’t expect this message board to propel me into elected office, if that’s what you’re asking :)

    By calling them names and ripping into everything that they do certainly isn’t going to get them beholden to your views on the issues.

    You say “ripping into everything they do”, I say “holding them accountable for what they do”…whether anyone likes me for it or is beholden to me for it isn’t something I particularly care about. I can’t speak for the others here, of course, but that’s always been the vibe I’ve gotten from the stuff they’ve written. As far as I know, none of them are angling for a shot at being the next libertarian messiah.

    Or are you thinking that there is another huge group of people beyond the people backing Ron Paul that believe in freedom even more than Ron paul does but just hasn’t stood up yet.

    Probably not…I think that people are generally people and their views change over time for a multitude of reasons we can’t even begin to list and right now most of them aren’t hard-core libertarians. I also believe that most people are rational to varying degrees and they can be persuaded by valid arguments on common ground issues and that libertarianism offers the most common ground of any ideology, so if anything we say gets through to other people, great. If not, oh well…life, as noted before, goes on.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 1:53 pm
  64. UC, did you say you work for a government contractor /Military mercantilist interest? (Insert laughing emotocon)

    Comment by C Bowen — February 26, 2008 @ 1:56 pm
  65. Terry,

    Where I am getting upset is that they feel like they are kingmakers in deciding who is part of the greater libertarian movement as you put it.

    Just to be clear, I don’t see myself as a kingmaker, nor do I think that my commentary is anything more than that…my personal opinion about how things ought to work posted on one blog amongst hundreds of thousands. I recognize that not everybody’s going to share my views, I’ve read most of what you’ve written before and I generally respect and often agree with your views (because you do actually take the time to make good arguments and I can usually see where you’re coming from), but I’m also quite outspoken in my beliefs and (as you can probably tell) am not shy about sharing them. I can understand why some would find that grating or frustrating…but that’s just part of debate in a free society sometimes. Not every comment or opinion must be phrased in the most tactful and polite way possible (nor does every comment have to be designed to give maximum offense). I just try to be honest about my opinion and however people see it is however people see it. I’d expect the same from you.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 2:08 pm
  66. C Bowen,

    did you say you work for a government contractor /Military mercantilist interest?

    Nope, used to work in the military and intel community. Now I work in the private sector in finance with no strong ties to the government beyond what the average person has.

    Maybe that’ll change once my application for membership in the Illuminati gets approved…they said I’ll start off as a 12th level Freemason.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 2:12 pm
  67. Ex-Military and Intel!

    LOL

    Pure comedy and a great match for Doug.

    Comment by C Bowen — February 26, 2008 @ 3:07 pm
  68. C. Bowen,

    So you discredit anyone because of the job they used to hold ?

    Yea, that’s logical.

    Also, UCrawford — I’ll talk to Karl Rove and David Rockefeller about the holdup on the membership application. Since I single-handedly destroyed the Ron Paul for President campaign, they owe me a favor ;)

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 26, 2008 @ 3:13 pm
  69. C. Bowen,

    Ex-Military and Intel!

    LOL

    Pure comedy and a great match for Doug.

    Your contempt for people who actually do things with their lives indicates to me someone who’s gone nowhere with his.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 3:18 pm
  70. Doug, UCrawford,

    Libertarians support the rule and enforcement of LAW. Try that on before you spew your beltway libertine bile.

    Heir of Patrick Henry? I think not. He was never an open borders guy… he believed, that a people have the right to form a community according to their desires in order to best preserve individual liberty and republican civic virtue. It is entirely consistent with libertarian thought and the intent of the framers so directly referenced on this site to prevent access suffrage, entitlements and civic participation to those whose incentives will likely be to seek a transfer of property from one party to another.

    Ucrawford, who precisely is neo-confederate among Paul’s staff? All is see is opposition to the centralized state and maintenance of that great classical liberal lineage flowing from Patrick Henry, John Taylor, John Randolph, John C. Calhoun, and even Andrew Jackson… They attack Lincoln for violating express provisions of the U.S. Constitution, but this does in no way indicate that they support chattel slavery or any such tyranny.

    Your slavish devotion to a left-libertarian, elitist projection of your worldview and values onto the American people is as injurious to liberty as the socialistic tenets of Obama’s platform.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 26, 2008 @ 3:32 pm
  71. Doug,

    You’ve never even come close to being intellectually honest or consistent here. You are truly an utter shame to libertarian principle and consistency.

    You write that this add promulgates “the false idea that immigrants commit more crime than citizens — that I object to.”

    Now Doug, let’s take a breath and consider what you’ve written… Paul takes issue with ILLEGAL immigrants who “sneak into America.” What does the term illegal mean to you? To me, a humble second year law student, it indicates that a person has, in direct contravention of a constitutional law, violated the territorial integrity of the U.S., and has accordingly, committed a crime. Now, we don’t know if they will continue to commit additional crimes after their entry, but we can be rest assured of one fact, when someone flouts a constitutional law, they have a lessened incentive to follow others.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 26, 2008 @ 3:40 pm
  72. you worked in the fucking motorpool you stupid shitsack.

    i was a 98G and i even worked for a couple years spending half the day in the motorpool wasting my time fixing hmmwv’s, tlq’s,trailblazers and shit. some years i was actually in the SCIF doing stuff. whoop-tee fucking doo.

    how much of a tool are you going to be in life ucrawford? you’re going to keep your tongue in doug’s asshole and keep yourself from critical thinking while touting your “intel” work as lowly enlisted bitch? then you go and make yourself feel good deride conspiracy theories, when you ever knew about anything was compartmentalized information while you were an overpaid low enlisted in a leg unit.

    Comment by oilnwater — February 26, 2008 @ 3:48 pm
  73. Benjamin,

    Libertarians support the rule and enforcement of LAW. Try that on before you spew your beltway libertine bile.

    Libertarians support the rule of just and productive laws that support individual rights…our current immigration laws don’t qualify. I believe that the type of slavish devotion to laws that you’re referring to could more accurately be found among fascists.

    Heir of Patrick Henry? I think not. He was never an open borders guy… he believed, that a people have the right to form a community according to their desires in order to best preserve individual liberty and republican civic virtue.

    I’m sorry, but you’ve apparently left out the part of the story where Patrick Henry said that setting up your community gave you the right to create laws to discriminate against and exclude others based on preferential collectivism. In fact, the Constitution seems to be a document that operates against your impression of Henry.

    Ucrawford, who precisely is neo-confederate among Paul’s staff?

    Anyone who believes that the Bill of Rights applies only to the federal government and that it’s the states’ prerogative to disregard the Bill of Rights (or any of the following amendments) when they don’t feel like complying with them. And anyone who believes that rubbish about how the Civil War could have been avoided with a slave buyback by the feds, which is not only historically inaccurate revisionism but also a betrayal of the ideals of anyone among them who likewise claims to be a Constitutionalist.

    Basically, Ron Paul.

    http://reasonandrevelation.blogspot.com/2007/12/ron-pauls-civil-war.html

    Your slavish devotion to a left-libertarian, elitist projection of your worldview and values onto the American people is as injurious to liberty as the socialistic tenets of Obama’s platform.

    I’m not a race-baiter, I don’t look down on people who come to this country to work, I don’t think that Americans who take welfare are in any way superior to non-Americans who do the same, I’m not an apologist for slave-owners, and I don’t believe that individual rights are something the states have the freedom to discard when they want or that those rights stop at our national borders. If that’s left-leaning I’m glad to be a leftist and if you see that as elitist I’m happy to consider myself superior to you.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 3:53 pm
  74. UC

    I really don’t have a problem with you not backing Ron Paul anymore. You have laid out well thought out reasons for not backing him. It just seems to be overkill now that you have changed your mind about him to continue to attack him for seemingly everything he does or doesn’t do. Let others decide on their own. I mean Doug says that “now” he is really done with Ron Paul. I thought he was really done with Ron Paul four months ago. He just can’t seem to get enough of him, however.

    I just took a little exception to what seemed to me your tone and Doug’s tone about who can be part of the libertarian movement. You and Doug have pointed out in the past that conspiracy theorists also shouldn’t have a place at the freedom table as well. I agree that some of the stuff they talk about is a little loony but that doesn’t mean that we still shouldn’t be courting them in the freedom movement if they believe in libertatian ideals in other parts of their beliefs.

    I to respect most of what you say as you normally do not attack people but come up with usually a well thought out rebuttal.

    Comment by TerryP — February 26, 2008 @ 3:59 pm
  75. oilnwater,

    you worked in the fucking motorpool you stupid shitsack.

    Actually, I was a 98C who spent an inordinate amount of his time dealing with 98Gs’ fucked up transcripts (although not so much in Korea as other places). I spent most of my time in the motor pool in Korea because I had to work out of the back of an ancient HUMVEE on equipment provided by the lowest bidder and it required service two or three times a week.

    some years i was actually in the SCIF doing stuff.

    Judging by your typing and grammar skills I probably had to sort out a few of your transcripts.

    then you go and make yourself feel good deride conspiracy theories,

    Actually, I prefer to think of it as ‘debunking bullshit made up by “truthers” who have no evidence of their accusations’. If you’d been an analyst or worked in a SCIF more than a year or two you’d probably understand that wild-ass speculation on what you think is logical does not equate to factual analysis. And that the people who had to type what you wrote into reports generally had less compartmentalization to deal with than the guys sitting rack.

    when you ever knew about anything was compartmentalized information while you were an overpaid low enlisted in a leg unit.

    Actually, I was only in my Korean leg unit for one year. I was at an SF unit, on jump status, for the two years before that, and after Korea spent the rest of my career working strategic. My motor pool days were a minor part of my time as an Army tourist and one of the few things about my 2ID tour that I didn’t choose to block out.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 4:08 pm
  76. “Libertarians support the rule of just and productive laws that support individual rights…our current immigration laws don’t qualify. I believe that the type of slavish devotion to laws that you’re referring to could more accurately be found among fascists.”

    Americans, as all peoples, have the right to form their community as they best see fit. They do not have the right to confiscate innocents’ life, liberty or property, but that it not what occurs when millions of egalitarian-minded, poverty-stricken, culturally degenerate migrants flood the Southeast.

    “I’m sorry, but you’ve apparently left out the part of the story where Patrick Henry said that setting up your community gave you the right to create laws to discriminate against and exclude others based on preferential collectivism. In fact, the Constitution seems to be a document that operates against your impression of Henry.”

    Then you haven’t read Patrick Henry. Henry, as John Randolph would after 1803, defended the right of the community to exclude from civil participation great segments of the population who were more predisposed to make attempts to violate the rights of others…

    “Anyone who believes that the Bill of Rights applies only to the federal government and that it’s the states’ prerogative to disregard the Bill of Rights (or any of the following amendments) when they don’t feel like complying with them. And anyone who believes that rubbish about how the Civil War could have been avoided with a slave buyback by the feds, which is not only historically inaccurate revisionism but also a betrayal of the ideals of anyone among them who likewise claims to be a Constitutionalist.”

    Ok, so it is not necessary to support the cause of the Confederate States of America in order to be smeared with that label. Enough written.

    However, you are tragically mistaken on several key points. Perhaps you vehemently disagree with Justices Rhenquist, Scalia, Thomas, White, Harlan, Vinson, Roberts… and all the leftist members of the U.S. Supreme Court that the 14th Amendment did not entirely incorporate the Bill of Rights against the States, that’s your business, but I think it an untenable intellectual and historical position. Have you read Elliot’s Debates? Perhaps that great libertarian treatise on constitutional law, New Views on the Constitution of the United States by John Taylor? From where do you derive your constitutional and historical analysis? Surely not in fact, nor in the Jeffersonian tradition.

    Perhaps you have never read James Madison’s Virginia Resolution from 1798, or Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolution of the same year… but to assert that merely because force rendered silent the political expression of the great Jeffersonian constitutional view, it has become without merit is to assert that expediency as a working principle is legitimate. This is poppycock of the very first order. In your devotion to the central state, you apparently miss the constitutional dilemmas presented in executive declarations of war, suspension of habeas corpus, implementation of a blockade, and the raising and arming of armies, in direct contravention of Article I, Section 8. So much for dedication to the U.S. Constitution.

    I don’t look down on individuals who come to this country to work, I don’t think that Americans who take welfare are in any way superior to non-Americans who do the same, I’m not an apologist for slave-owners, and I don’t believe that individual rights are something left to the protection of an omnipotent centralized state.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 26, 2008 @ 4:13 pm
  77. Terry,

    It just seems to be overkill now that you have changed your mind about him to continue to attack him for seemingly everything he does or doesn’t do.

    I hadn’t really thought about Paul since the race wound down until the flier set me off…particularly after he claimed he had no knowledge of the race-baiting from his newsletters and how “it was a long time ago”. That’s why I chose to sound off this time.

    I mean Doug says that “now” he is really done with Ron Paul.

    Actually, I thought that phrase was a little cliched too. No offense, Doug :)

    I just took a little exception to what seemed to me your tone and Doug’s tone about who can be part of the libertarian movement.

    Point taken about the semantics…sometimes my rhetoric gets a little exaggerated when I get steamed, and I recognize that I am not the sole definer of libertarianism. I’ve actually taken the position before that somebody who is personally racist can actually be politically libertarian, but I do draw the line at when they let racism seep into their policy arguments. And while I’m not the ultimate arbiter of who is and isn’t a libertarian I do believe that race-baiting (and let’s be clear, that’s what this flier is) goes directly against what libertarianism stands for and shouldn’t be tolerated.

    I agree that some of the stuff they talk about is a little loony but that doesn’t mean that we still shouldn’t be courting them in the freedom movement if they believe in libertatian ideals in other parts of their beliefs.

    I agree, and I was willing to put up with some of Paul’s more pronounced eccentricities until a) he demonstrated an appalling lack of judgment in who he chose to surround himself with, b) he offered a pretty unbelievable defense for some extremely offensive personal baggage, and c) his campaign apparently decided it was perfectly fine to go back to race-baiting when they thought no one was paying attention and it would give them an edge. Perhaps I’m being unreasonable, but I expect more from people who wave the libertarian flag.

    I to respect most of what you say as you normally do not attack people but come up with usually a well thought out rebuttal.

    Thanks, I appreciate that. When people are courteous and rational with me, I try to reciprocate. Sometimes, though, I can overreact or misread…same as anyone else. And I suppose that like anyone else who posts their thoughts publicly I can be just as susceptible to falling into self-righteousness :)

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 4:24 pm
  78. By the way, the Bill of Rights was specifically directed to apply to the federal government alone, and the 14th Amendment does nothing to alter this. All the 14th Amendment guarantees is that: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    This does not fundamentally alter the relationship between the federal and the State governments. The privileges and immunities protected by the 14th Amendment were those which were extended when the amendment was ratified, and limit only in a minuscule manner, the general police powers of the States. The 10th Amendment was not altered by the 14th. Remember, in 18th and 19th century American contract law, a party only surrenders those powers/rights/privileges which are expressly defined and transfered within that contract. The U.S. Constitution is a contract between States, a contract which allows the States to amend and even disassemble the union (Article V). The States preceded and created the union, and they can continue in existence without it.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 26, 2008 @ 4:26 pm
  79. Benjamin,

    culturally degenerate migrants

    Thanks for tossing that out so quickly. Usually I have to go a few posts with someone before they start with the xenophobic rants.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 4:27 pm
  80. Xenophobic? It is not xenophobic to maintain that Western civilization, as expressed in the Anglo-American common-law tradition, is superior to the Spanish (Roman-civil-law) construct these migrants are acclimated to, and prefer. They spring from a government rooted in centralized regimes which dispossess, through majority decree or force, the productive members of society through coercion. They are not acclimated to the American, Lockean view, that individuals maintain their rights as a grant from God alone, and that the state apparatus only is empowered insofar as is necessary to defend liberty.

    Thanks for the slander though.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 26, 2008 @ 4:34 pm
  81. Furthermore, it is not xenophobic, nor intolerant, to maintain that one’s system of government, of an economy, is superior to others. It may well be an exercise in discrimination, but this is proper, as it is necessary for any calculating and truth-seeking mind to attempt to determine the relative merits of any socio-political system.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 26, 2008 @ 4:36 pm
  82. Benjamin,

    Thanks for the slander though.

    Technically, it would be libel. And I don’t consider it libelous to label someone xenophobic when they refer to people as “a flood of culturally degenerate migrants” while holding up their own culture as inherently superior…especially when their own culture has, as Samuel Huntington so eloquently explained in Clash of Civilizations “…won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence.”

    Individual rights aren’t creations of Western civilization, Western civilization has merely been a little better about respecting them with its own citizens than other cultures have…and has often done quite an efficient job in suppressing other civilizations’ abilities to do the same. And we are a nation founded by immigrants (who murdered and cheated the original inhabitants), built by immigrants, and peopled primarily by new immigrants and the descendents of immigrants. You’d do well to remember that before you so casually start labeling the next generation of immigrants as “degenerate”.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 5:20 pm
  83. UCrawford,

    You are correct, I wrote in an off-the-cuff manner while answering a question in one of my classes. Your comment was indeed libelous. Your conception of the West is revisionist and rife with denial of objective reality. If you fail to grasp that the West has prospered because of the value assigned by Western civilization to the property rights of the individual, God help you. You espouse the proto-Marxian view that the West has in some manner exploited the rest of the world.

    It is not xenophobic to prefer the protection of individual rights to their violation, the defense of man’s castle from arbitrary search and seizure, the grand jury and the rest of the laws and culture we have received sixteen centuries ago define us as a people, and serve to accentuate the distinctions between us and the peoples inhabiting those realms established through the iron of conquistadors and the blood of innocent natives. The Jeffersonian philosophy embodied in the Declaration of Independence was born under the sign of Hengist and Horst, not under the Goddess Reason.

    Individual rights pre and post-date any and all civilizations. Our Anglo-American civilization, the West, based firmly upon the old common-law prohibitions of force and fraud, of tyranny and malignancy, was created here, upon this new continent, with the precise aim of preserving inviolate those fundamental precepts and principles enshrined by our forefathers in the 1689 Bill of Right. We are NOT a nation of immigrants, we are a nation of settlers. Settlers who transplanted an entire world-view, a code, a foundational law… and affixed it firmly on this continent.

    We, who cherish and defend the liberty of the individual from the grasp of arbitrary power, in any capacity, have a sacred duty and an obligation to see to it that those who may well join us here in our republic share our dedication to our fundamental law, our system of limited government, and, people who share our fundamental views on the purpose of governments, and the negative rights inherently possessed by all mankind. The Common-law of England was designed to produce the farmer and the small owner: free, responsible, autonomous, God-fearing. Its conception of a man is of a stalwart, independent, self-reliant man, not a statutory or socialist “man,” a creature whose vigour is retarded by a maze of regulations, who is ‘cushioned” against the buffetings of life. The struggle is between this “socialist” creature of impaired intelligence and dependent will and the reasonable and responsible man of flesh and blood, of sense and spirit, who has been from the beginning the ordinary man of the common law. Here, our tradition has been one of the common-law yeoman, individualistic and autonomous, whereas, in Mexico, such men are rarities. In that land, the greatest entrepreneurs are those who get to the government trough first, and are burly enough to dissuade “competition.”

    I never wrote that the illegal migrants were individually degenerate in any sense save that of political responsibility. Their culture does not value the individual, and individual rights, in a a manner compatible with our constitutional system of free government and private property. Not all people are capable of self-government, and governments will be quick to take up any slack allowed. As Patrick Henry in the Virginia House of Burgesses and later in the Virginia Ratification Convention, as Randolph and Taylor, Calhoun and Hayne, Benton and Stevens all illustrate in their writings, not all are fit to be republicans.

    Liberty and equality are not synonymous. Do you presume that liberty cannot be perfect without equality? I trust not. While it is indeed true that these concepts are united in a certain extent, the equality of all citizens in the eyes of the law, equality of condition necessarily destroys both liberty, and the potential for progress. The main driving force behind progress is the individual desire to better one’s position, and this creates a powerful reason to leave individuals free to pursue those peaceful ends they subjectively deem most valuable to their advancement. All individuals are not equally qualified to make law or hold political liberty. All individuals are not endowed with an ability to perceive and uphold justice. All individuals have not educated themselves to a level where they are capable of sustaining a democratic regime. Economic liberty, without question, for economic liberty emerges and is inseparable from that great and unalienable natural right to life, liberty and property all humanity shares. Political liberty though, must be earned, it cannot be granted. It is reserved for that people which is intelligent, industrious, virtuous, patriotic, and deserving, not one too base, too ignorant, too steeped in superstition, too degraded, too vicious to appreciate or enjoy it. It is evident from even a cursorily examination of global political history that some communities, some populations require different limits. Specifically, governments must be apportioned a greater, or a lesser amount of power…individuals apportioned an amount of liberty, according to varying circumstances.

    Who then should wield political power? It should be those who are best suited to prevent government from passing its proper bounds, those who will arrest the spread of its tentacles beyond its just parameters, the protection of the community and individual rights.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 26, 2008 @ 9:07 pm
  84. Benjamin,

    You espouse the proto-Marxian view that the West has in some manner exploited the rest of the world.

    I express the individual view that all people are deserving of rights and equality under the law. The only people I’ve known who consider that Marxist are the ones prone to wearing white hoods and hanging out with the local klavern so they can bitch about Jews and minorities.

    We are NOT a nation of immigrants, we are a nation of settlers.

    Right…because “settlers” (by which I’m assuming you mean white people) are justified in using violent means to take what they want from others, and are justified in using violent means to keep “immigrants” (by which I assume you mean non-white people) from coming in. Nice rationalization. Utter racist bullshit of course. Your ancestors were white immigrants who came to a country stolen from others, same as mine…deal with it, Adolph. And your master race theory of who deserves liberty is horseshit. All men who commit no crime against others deserve liberty, regardless of their background or culture.

    It is reserved for that people which is intelligent, industrious, virtuous, patriotic, and deserving, not one too base, too ignorant, too steeped in superstition, too degraded, too vicious to appreciate or enjoy it.

    The savages don’t deserve freedom until they Anglicize/”whiten up” more? Is that your general meaning? Because that’s what I’m deriving from it…and that would also be horseshit.

    It is evident from even a cursorily examination of global political history that some communities, some populations require different limits. Specifically, governments must be apportioned a greater, or a lesser amount of power…individuals apportioned an amount of liberty, according to varying circumstances.

    Those would be non-Anglo communities and populations you’re referring to, I’m guessing. And who would determine what liberties they’re entitled to under what circumstances? Oh right…white people, of course.

    Who then should wield political power? It should be those who are best suited to prevent government from passing its proper bounds, those who will arrest the spread of its tentacles beyond its just parameters, the protection of the community and individual rights.

    Ah, the inevitable argument that government just needs to be run by the “right kind of people”. The mantra of every true statist, especially the ones looking to keep darkie down. I’m wondering who you think would be the “right” kind of people to keep government in check? I’m betting that they tend to be pigmentally-challenged and speak English.

    never wrote that the illegal migrants were individually degenerate in any sense save that of political responsibility.

    Actually, you referred to the migrants as “culturally degenerate”. See?

    Americans, as all peoples, have the right to form their community as they best see fit. They do not have the right to confiscate innocents’ life, liberty or property, but that it not what occurs when millions of egalitarian-minded, poverty-stricken, culturally degenerate migrants flood the Southeast.

    Here’s a tip…if you’re going to try and fudge the truth about a comment that you made, it’s generally a bad idea to do it in the same thread where you made that comment since all one has to do is scroll up the page and cut and paste to call you out as a liar.

    You also referred negatively to them as “egalitarian-minded” (meaning they adhere to a political doctrine that holds that all people should be treated as equals from birth), which gives us a pretty good idea of where you stand on the foundation of our Constitution.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_men_are_created_equal

    Your comment was indeed libelous.

    Not libelous so much as understated…I should have dismissed you as a racist and not merely a xenophobe. You may take this comment as a correction of that previous classification.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 26, 2008 @ 10:37 pm
  85. the libertarian goal is to abolish the FDR ponzi scheme known as Social security, but it has to be step by step.

    this is just the first step.

    Comment by cindy — February 26, 2008 @ 10:46 pm
  86. Damn, late response again…

    (in response to Benjamin)

    (Excuse my not-in-sequence paragraphs…)

    Crawford has very valid points.

    The issue concerning settlers being different from immigrates, (to me) in this context, seems like someone saying ‘tomatoes’ are different from ‘tomahtoes’.

    I also noticed your view seems to borrow heavily from the CIS (Center for Immigration Studies), perhaps here: http://www.cis.org/articles/2000/back1100.html.

    The only difference I see here are that the settlers basically wiped out and enslaved the natives of The New World in order to bring about their ideas for society and culture, whereas Immigrates today are more or less joining us in the melting pot called the US of A, *assimilating* into whatever you could call as our culture (I still think we are a bit young compared to other nations, historically at least, for a well established culture).

    Now, of course, that’s a harsh view concerning the founding of the Colonies, and I suppose ultimately the eventual founding of the Untied States. However, there was no guarantee the Colonies would eventually unite against Britain. Admittedly, a lot of circumstances occurred and yes, the Colonies revolted, but still. The hypocrisy of people to say that settlers are in some way vastly different from immigrants, which somehow justifies the subsequent treatement immigrants get nowadays, especially considering many Americans were born after the settlers came here (those being born possibly being birth right immigrant themselves?), is ridiculous but not easy to see, I suppose.

    Besides, aren’t immigrants also settlers? They are bringing their own experiences from their country, they are bringing in their own cultures, and each culture amoung different citizens have different perspectives of an allotted culture. They are adding on to ours, just mostly without all the violence and disease and conflict (aside from response by the state via failed immigration / economic policies) (in)famous with the “settlers” coming over to The New World. I would be interested to hear any Native-American’s viewpoints on this particular detail.

    I also hardly see the view that the West has somehow harmed the world as proto-Marxian. I could easily say the tenuously xenophobic nature of your speech, which seems to hold the Anglo-American on some sort of inherent pedestal relating to the nature of a collective of people (rather than the *ideas* possible peoples from such a collective went on to make independent of the rest such a collective), as proto-cro-magnon.

    The West is not new at being some type of region (or, if you’re implying the United States, a nation) that has somehow harmed the rest of the world; this has been going on for centuries, and with plenty of other countries, regions ,reigns, empires, etc… This by no means justifies whatever harm The West, or any other region and/or state, has done to the world, but this hardly yields accusations of anything resembling Marxism. The accusation is ridiculous, in my view.

    “Liberty and equality are not synonymous.”

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created *equal*, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” ~ Thomas Jefferson (Anglo-American), Declaration Of Independence.

    I’m sorry, but I do believe equality has a bit to do with liberty.

    Comment by Nitroadict — February 26, 2008 @ 10:53 pm
  87. Nitroadict,

    I do believe equality has a bit to do with liberty.

    Equality of opportunity and equality of circumstance and equality of ability may be impossible, but that’s not what liberty’s supposed to insure…merely equality under the laws that govern.

    Good points all.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 5:11 am
  88. cindy,

    the libertarian goal is to abolish the FDR ponzi scheme known as Social security, but it has to be step by step.

    See this link for an explanation of why Ron Paul’s approach to doing that is a bad idea.

    http://fusionistlibertarian.blogspot.com/2008/01/rockwell-rothbard-race-war.html

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 5:14 am
  89. See this link for an explanation of why Ron Paul’s approach to doing that is a bad idea.

    Stop confusing the issue.

    Clearly, RP has shown his true colors with that last mailer. It is undeniable that he his still complicit with the race-baiting crap.

    That is entirely separate from whether or not the welfare state should be dismantled in phases and which compromises should be along the way.

    Blast away at RP, but you’re smart enough to know that his personal flaws don’t necessarily disprove the policy he advocated.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 5:28 am
  90. Jeff,

    I wasn’t actually trying to blast Ron Paul by posting that link in response to Cindy’s remark. Just trying to illustrate to her that using his particular approach is a bad idea, for him or anyone else, by using an article (which she may not have seen referenced earlier) that discusses how racial hatred generally leads to more statism, not less. But your point is taken, whether the phase by phase dismantling of welfare is viable or not is probably an argument for another thread.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 6:54 am
  91. Crawford responds to me when I write that his view that the West grew rich through exploiting the rest of the world by smearing me, the son of a native from the jungles of New Guinea, as a racist. What a response, marvelous, marvelous. So the people who believe that the West grew rich through the voluntary exchange of goods and services are not only racist bigots, but the real Marxists? Thanks for the insight…

    He next flings more manure (I appeal here for Doug’s intervention to rein in his lapdog): “Your ancestors were white immigrants who came to a country stolen from others, same as mine…deal with it, Adolph. And your master race theory of who deserves liberty is horseshit. All men who commit no crime against others deserve liberty, regardless of their background or culture.”

    A “master race theory”? “Adolph”? This man Crawford is a raving lunatic, who, when he fails to defuse an opposing argument, labels the opposition with a bigoted veneer.

    “All men who commit not crime against others deserve liberty.” Very well, but liberty, according to America’s founders, means only the freedom from physical coercion. It does not mean that we must admit a billion Chinese communists who wish to migrate here, or half a billion followers of the Prophet.

    You have come far closer, in your ravings against evil Western civilization, to expose yourself as a closet bigot, than anyone routinely commenting on this site. Race has nothing to do with one’s capacity for self-government. Millions of Americans are beginning, and have long begun, to receive precisely the government they deserve, a despotic one. I have repeatedly written, that if the people do not have mores of individual liberty, or responsibility, and of republican civic virtue, they are incapable of sustaining this republic, whatever their pigmentation or persuasion. The braying of asses grows wearisome to my eyes.

    “The savages don’t deserve freedom until they Anglicize/”whiten up” more? Is that your general meaning? Because that’s what I’m deriving from it…and that would also be horseshit.”

    You derive many things erroneously from much of what individuals have written, this is but another example. It is not a matter of (whoever it is who you believe and refer to here as savages) peoples not deserving freedom, it is a matter of whether they are fit to participate in our republic if they do not share the values upon which it was built and hitherto sustained.

    “Ah, the inevitable argument that government just needs to be run by the “right kind of people”. The mantra of every true statist, especially the ones looking to keep darkie down. I’m wondering who you think would be the “right” kind of people to keep government in check? I’m betting that they tend to be pigmentally-challenged and speak English.”

    Governments do reflect the mores of the people living within the geographical area of that polity. It is not statist to assert that a free republic will not long last if it is inhabited by Bolsheviks, or by socialist-leaning, trough-feeding, Birkenstock wearing left-elitists. Property owners have the least incentive to violate the rights of others, to transfer wealth from one to another, and to tyrannize. Perhaps you should begin your reading with Frededric Bastiat’s The Law, in which this is but one of his brief points.

    Oh, one more observation: The Constitution of the United States continued the compact which was created, not by the Declaration of Independence, but by the Articles of Confederation. Furthermore, merely because all individuals should be treated equally under the law in no manner mandates that they have equal access to civic participation. You would have a strict democracy, where the majority is empowered to act as they see fit. I am less trusting of majorities, and value greatly the checks placed on the will of the majority by the electoral college, the U.S. Senate, Article 5, and by limited suffrage. Equality of course has a “bit” to do with liberty, but the two are not synonymous. Individuals are equal in the eyes of their Creator, in that they have autonomous moral worth, and in that each individual has a natural, God-given right to their life, liberty and property. Here again, we see how the English language has been manipulated by those with an agenda of aggrandizing the state. Liberty, means freedom from constraint, it does not mean civil participatory privilege.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 8:48 am
  92. Benjamin,

    You have come far closer, in your ravings against evil Western civilization, to expose yourself as a closet bigot, than anyone routinely commenting on this site.

    Keep in mind, sport, that I don’t consider Western civilization to be any more or less “evil” than pretty much any other major civilization out there. It’s done some great things, it’s done some good things, it’s done some horrific things…same as pretty much every other civilization. I don’t, however, try to pretend that the flaws don’t exist by claiming a moral superiority for my own culture that it has no claim to. You do, and you based your critique of cultures/civilizations/ethnicities other than your own on inaccurate generalizations and stereotypes while ignoring the fact that one’s “civilization” does not automatically define the individual.

    That’s why I called you a racist…because the label fits.

    -The Enlightened Proto-Marxist

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 9:34 am
  93. It is not statist to assert that a free republic will not long last if it is inhabited by Bolsheviks, or by socialist-leaning, trough-feeding, Birkenstock wearing left-elitists.

    So they must all be weeded out or re-educated to see the light I suppose…more of that selective granting of liberty you were discussing earlier.

    Very well, but liberty, according to America’s founders, means only the freedom from physical coercion. It does not mean that we must admit a billion Chinese communists who wish to migrate here, or half a billion followers of the Prophet.

    An end you hope to achieve by using physically coercive means (the drafting laws targeting and discriminating against collective groups other than your own for non-criminal activity). More of that false distinction between “settlers” and “immigrants” I gather.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 9:43 am
  94. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/02/09/BAG7DO1K5D1.DTL

    And we all know how “culturally degenerate” the Irish are, right? :-)

    Comment by SC — February 27, 2008 @ 10:21 am
  95. SC,

    Great link :)

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 10:50 am
  96. Benjamin, you’re doublespeak is beginning to get rather disgusting to read, if not alarming.

    I honestly have no clue what you’re trying to accomplish other than trying to force a square peg in a round hole, with slanted arguments that at best seem to just serve to confuse people into thinking you are saying something enlightening, when in reality it all sounds like a historical revisionist, collectivist (even into xenophobic / racist) argument, laced with a skewed sense of Social Darwinism that would make even Henry Kissinger blush.

    I’ve tried but I honestly I can’t much sense of it.

    “Here again, we see how the English language has been manipulated by those with an agenda of aggrandizing the state.”

    The above, however, I couldn’t agree more in regards to your post(s).

    Comment by Nitroadict — February 27, 2008 @ 11:37 am
  97. Benjamin,

    Also, your comments rang a bell with me so I did a little digging in our archives and realized that you’ve posted here before…arguing back in November that the enslavement of blacks in the South for another generation would have been fine and dandy because the feds had no place intervening in any affairs of the states…even if those states were, by force of law, suppressing individual rights:

    http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/11/24/ron-paul-federalism-and-racism/

    Considering that your opinion is a) historically ignorant ( http://reasonandrevelation.blogspot.com/2007/12/ron-pauls-civil-war.html ), b) morally indefensible from a pro-liberty viewpoint, and c) unconstitutional per the Bill of Rights (which the 14th Amendment merely emphasized is the law of the land for all, to close the slavery “loophole”) I’d say that you can take all of your complaints about how you’ve been unfairly labelled as a racist, write them down on a sheet of sharp-edged paper, and shove them squarely up your narrow white ass.

    I’ve got zero respect for anyone who defends with double-talk and half-truths a perceived state prerogative to enslave human beings, and if you’re indicative of the kind of “intellectuals” who flock to the Paul campaign because you see your own neo-confederate views reflected in his platform it makes me ecstatic that your candidate got his clock cleaned in the primary because, frankly, it’s a sign that America’s actually on the right track.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 12:26 pm
  98. I used to believe in open borders no matter what, but when millions of people are coming in illegally then we have a significant problem that has to be dealt with. Someday when governments have been cut down to near zero, borders won’t matter. They matter now. But no, I’m not thrilled with the picture in the ad.

    “Neo-confederate” is a label used by people who are apparently unable or unwilling to address the fact that Lincoln pursued a war that killed 2% of the entire population of the country (at the time), in order to keep the Southern states chained to the North. The war did not start over slavery, Lincoln did not issue the Emancipation Proclamation until 1863, and it was a war measure that freed slaves in areas Lincoln did not control while leaving them enslaved in the areas like border states that he did. During the war he systematically violated the civil rights of NORTHERNERS. His imperial presidency laid the groundwork for future unconctitutional activity by, for example, Woodrow Wilson and FDR. If the freeing of the slaves was the best thing that ever happened to the US, the Civil War was nevertheless the worst.

    I don’t agree with Paul on non-incorporation of the Bill of Rights to apply to the states. That’s a somewhat legalistic question of constitutional history. But he is right to support the enforcement of the Constitution, even where it might be more convenient for our libertarian views to ignore it or “interpret” it for our purposes. Flouting the Constitution is the collectivists’ game. Smearing Paul’s Constitutionalism as “neo-confederate” is–well, a smear.

    Paul is libertarian, remarkably and uniquely so among politicians of any national note. The outpouring of hatred toward him from some segments of the pro-liberty movement is regrettable and short-sighted. Paul has brought a lot of people into politics from a relatively libertarian perspective. The future of the movement may well rest with them. I hope they can get along with each other more civilly than the CATO wing and the Mises wing have done.

    Comment by Doc W — February 27, 2008 @ 1:06 pm
  99. Doc,

    It’s the neo-confederates who ignore history:

    http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/11/24/ron-paul-federalism-and-racism/

    http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/01/14/did-the-south-have-the-right-to-secede/

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 1:15 pm
  100. More ad homs…

    No one on this site has come close to refuting the constitutional analysis I posed in the thread you mention.

    I’ll include it here, for the neutral observer to consider and ponder:

    “If you ever managed to actually consider and read the writings of John Taylor, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson you might be less apt condemn the southern States in 1861. Regardless of the reasons for their secession, there is and was absolutely no constitutional basis for using force to oppose it. What article? What clause? To what section do you appeal?

    So what if slavery had existed for another generation… we all agree slavery was an atrocious evil… but is it not difficult to claim the destroying the voluntary union of States in a deluge of blood was worth the cost? I was under the impression that the powers delegated to the United States are and were the only powers they could lawfully and justly exercise. I was under the impression that the federal government is not and was not to be the final arbiter of its own authorities… Did not James Madison, the “father of the constitution” write that “[T]he powers of the federal government [result] from the compact to which the states are parties, as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting that compact, as no further valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that, in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states, who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose, for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties, appertaining to them.”?

    Lincoln was a chameleon, a Machiavellian politician through and through. He actually, as you may recall, supported the original proposed 13th Amendment, one which would have PERMANENTLY protected slavery in all the states in which it existed. What a champion of freedom eh?

    You are wrong regarding the time at which the several States of the South withdrew their representatives from the federal government. VA, NC and the border-States seceded only AFTER Lincoln ordered the invasion and conquest of the departing States. Did the office holders and representatives of the seceding States swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States? How then are they traitors? What Article, what Clause, what Section did they betray? They withdrew from a union which had become injurious of their liberties, and formed a government more suitable to their needs.

    I do in fact suggest that slavery could and should have been done away with peaceably, without the shedding of 750,000 American lives in a war of conquest and subjugation. The union was formed on compromise, not on some Utopian ideal.

    As for Eisenhower… I certainly hope you are joking… the power he exercised in interfering in the domestic affairs, in education, of one of the several States doubtlessly trampled powers reserved to the States. We don’t know if Jim Crow laws would still be on the books… but we can say, that the racial animosity which was stirred up and continues to exist in some areas of the South would not emerged without the interference of popular majorities into the sovereign and exclusive domain of States.

    I cannot imagine that you are possibly arguing for Brown… the case was decided on bad facts, bolstered by bad and subsequently discarded “scientific” studies regarding the skin color of dolls chosen by African-American children, and of course, was wrongly decided. Neither the Supreme Court, nor the federal government in any capacity, is given the constitutional authority to intervene in the domestic affairs of the States.”

    “As James Madison said in answering Patrick Henry in the Virgina Ratification Convention, “the meaning of the constitution is to be sought, not in the proceedings of the body which proposed it, but in those of the State conventions which gave it all the validity and authority it possesses,” adding, “if the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a faithful exercise of its powers.” (See The Writings of James Madison, ed. C. Hunt, vol. 9 (New York: Putnam, 1910), p. 191.

    If then we ask the next rational question, what then did the several States intend when they ratified…. we must consult the text.

    “We the delegates of the people of Virginia, duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the General Assembly, and now met in Convention, having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention, and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us, to decide thereon, DO in the name and in behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will: that therefore no right of any denomination, can be cancelled, abridged, restrained or modified, by the Congress, by the Senate or House of Representatives acting in any capacity, by the President or any department or officer of the United States, except in those instances in which power is given by the Constitution for those purposes: and that among other essential rights, the liberty of conscience and of the press cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained or modified by any authority of the United States.”

    That’s interesting…the powers granted “may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.”

    What would call the tariff system of geographic-based confiscation and redistribution of wealth by a permanent sectional majority?”

    Who wrote of protecting a state-perogative to enslave human beings? Your historical analysis is completely contrary to reality, and your constitutional arguments are entirely without merit. In your construction, you assign meanings to words and phases explicitly rejected by the founders at the constitutional convention, and by the ratifying conventions. Merely because the culture of individual liberty, limited government, free trade, equality under the law, and a respect for the private property rights of individuals is represented most aptly in our Anglo-American experiment in self-government does not mean it is racist to proclaim or maintain that this system is superior to the world’s alternatives.

    Wherever your constitutional analysis of the 14th Amendment originates, it certainly is not with the text and/or the intent of the framers of that amendment.

    How is my view, that the war of 1861-1865 could have been avoided without loss of three quarters of a million deaths and the destruction of the economy of an entire region, racist? So Walter Williams is a racist as well I presume? James Buchanan? I see. How exactly is it unconstitutional to oppose granting the federal government more powers? How is it unconstitutional to oppose the invasion of 13 States? How is it unconstitutional to ask that Congress act to suspend the writ of Habeas Corpus, instead of an executive’s decree?

    By what constitutional right did the federal government intervene in the domestic affairs of the States prior to the passage of the 13th and 14th Amendments?

    “it makes me happy that your candidate got his clock cleaned in the primary because, frankly, it’s a sign that America’s actually on the right track”

    Sir, you have gone far afield. He did far better than any libertarian candidate has ever done in the past century, and has brought to the forefront issues long accepted. You represent the court party of old, the party which sought to increase the power of the central government to effectuate social engineering. I dare do no such thing, for I am not, as you proclaim you yourself are positioned, to sit aloft in an ivory tower excercising will and dominion over the ignorant masses. You postulate that America is on the right track by virtue of rejecting principled peace, an unfettered free-market, a reduction in the regulatory administrative state, and the restoration of individual liberty. Fellow heirs of Patrick Henry must liven themselves for action.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 1:18 pm
  101. Come out of your hole Doug and engage. I haven’t seen you ever give me a single constitutional argument for the prosecution of the war, nor for using coercive force to alter the construction of the union.

    What history is being ignored?

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 1:20 pm
  102. Benjamin,

    http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/01/14/did-the-south-have-the-right-to-secede/

    Even if you accept the argument that there was a Constitutional right to secede, there was no justification for the Southern secession, plain and simple.

    And the CSA is deserving of no moral respect for the simple reason that it existed solely to perpetuate the most immoral institution to exist in American history.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 1:22 pm
  103. Doc W.

    The outpouring of hatred toward him from some segments of the pro-liberty movement is regrettable and short-sighted.

    I choose to see our opposition to the way in which Ron Paul (and anyone else who uses similar tactics) has continuously tried to spread his message as “principled” and “anti-racist”…even if it means I don’t get someone into office that I particularly like.

    William F. Buckley had it right when he helped drum the racists, the anti-Semites and the John Birchers out of the conservative movement…a future in which libertarians allow their policy arguments to be infused with and dominated by racism and bigotry is no future at all for a pro-freedom movement.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 1:23 pm
  104. ‘“Neo-confederate” is a label used by people who are apparently unable or unwilling to address the fact that Lincoln pursued a war that killed 2% of the entire population of the country (at the time), in order to keep the Southern states chained to the North. ‘

    No, neo-confederate is a label used by people who understand that the people they label as neo-confederate use the term “states rights” as cover for their belief that states ought to have the power to violate civil rights at will.

    It’s ironic people criticize Lincoln for violating the constitution, then immediately turn around and criticize him for *not* violating the constitution. The EP was a war measure that only freed slaves in the rebelling areas precisely because Lincoln did *not* have the constitutional authority as president to end slavery in those areas *not* currently considered to be in rebellion. Viewed in that light, it was completely constitutional act on Lincoln’s part, yet people who shout about Lincoln’s other transgressions, real or perceived, still attack him for this. At least be consistent – either your mad at him for violating the constitution, or your mad at him for not violating the constitution *more*. Make up your minds…

    Comment by SC — February 27, 2008 @ 1:25 pm
  105. I’ve read my history, Doug, although I’m no historian. There was justification for Southern secession, namely, Northern economic hegemony in the form of tariffs to benefit the manufacturing North at the expense of the agrarian South. Lincoln was a big fan of increasing tariffs, which is what happened when he was elected.

    The question of whether the South had the “right” to secede is again, a rather legalistic historical one. But 600,000 dead–those were real people. There was no question of the South taking over and imposing its will on the North. Lincoln could have let them go. He could have refrained from trashing the Bill of Rights in the North. He could have stayed out of the presidential race in the first place, being a starkly divisive figure.

    Back to the present day: It should have been possible to explore disagreements among pro-liberty people in a reasonably civil manner. Paul’s backers as well as his critics have contributed to the poisoned state of our discourse. Rodney King’s words were never more apt–can’t we just get along? I invite everyone here to stop for a moment and consider exactly what difference you are making, what effect your words are having.

    Comment by Doc W — February 27, 2008 @ 1:39 pm
  106. “So they must all be weeded out or re-educated to see the light I suppose…more of that selective granting of liberty you were discussing earlier.”

    A despotic solution, but I’m not surprised it sprang fully grown from your head. The lack of republican virtue evident among our people must be dealt with through education. Check out FEE when you get a chance, Leonard E. Read is a good place to start, even for a supporter of the central state.

    “An end you hope to achieve by using physically coercive means (the drafting laws targeting and discriminating against collective groups other than your own for non-criminal activity). More of that false distinction between “settlers” and “immigrants” I gather.”

    Who said anything about physical coercion? I have merely maintained that it is proper that the U.S. government fulfill their obligation to defend the United States from invasion or insurrection. Discriminating against some artificially constructed “collective” will do no good, and will be a great disservice to our free system, but this does not mean it is improper to limit civic participation to those who have a vested interest in its perpetuation and preservation.

    The distinction between immigration and settlement lies in that the continent was in fact, contrary to your assertions, largely unpopulated when settlers arrived on these shores. The native population sold land to these settlers, resisted, or migrated. These settlers did no more, no worse, than members of these native tribes routinely did to one another, and to castigate and flay them for these actions by applying to them along the critical lens of the twenty-first century is irresponsible history.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 1:43 pm
  107. Benjamin

    Lincoln supported a proposed amendment that would have prevented the federal government from ending slavery, but would have done NOTHING to prevent individual states from doing so.

    “So what if slavery persisted for another generation?” I suspect you would not be asking that if you were a slave, with the prospect of your children facing a similar life for at least the next few decades if not longer.

    Many federal properties were seized without warning by threat of force prior to Lincoln’s inauguration, including but not restricted to forts, arsenals, post offices, customs houses, a hospital and a US schooner moored at New Orleans. Shots were fired at the Star of the West, an unarmed supply vessel sent by President Buchanan, and warning shots were also fired at an unarmed civilian merchant steamer that passed (the Confederates felt) too close to the harbor. Hulks were sunk in Charleston Harbor by the Confederates to restrict entry to the port. The ground Sumter was on was deeded to the federal government in the 1830′s IIRC, partly in response to a lawsuit filed by a private citizen claiming title to the property. No eminent domain proceedings were commenced by South Carolina to reclaim the property at any time and at the time of Sumter there were nearly as many armed men in Charleston as there were in the entire US army.

    For what its worth, IMHO Reconstruction did far more lasting damage than the war itself did.

    But this digresses from the intent of the thread…

    Comment by SC — February 27, 2008 @ 1:47 pm
  108. Sorry, SC–you’re not going to turn Lincoln into a principled constitutionalist. Let’s see, he violates freedom of speech and habeas corpus up North, but somehow his freeing of slaves where he had no power and not where he had the power demonstrates his fealty to the Constitution? Please. We could argue about that. I’m not calling you some sort of kook. But that’s the game you “neo-confederate” mongers are playing, and I wish you you would stop.

    Comment by Doc W — February 27, 2008 @ 1:47 pm
  109. Benjamin,

    More ad homs…

    When you argue to justify a state prerogative to subject its minority residents to slavery, an ad hominem attack is all you’re entitled to. Your position is abhorrent and morally indefensible and I don’t consider you personally to be worthy of respect for submitting it.

    Don’t like it? Then don’t post your bullshit on sites populated mainly by people who despise racism, or don’t waste your time crying foul when people call you out for what you are. If that’s too hostile for you, I’m sure you’ll find a friendlier reception over on Stormfront.

    I do in fact suggest that slavery could and should have been done away with peaceably, without the shedding of 750,000 American lives in a war of conquest and subjugation.

    That was tried by the North and rejected by the South.

    http://reasonandrevelation.blogspot.com/2007/12/ron-pauls-civil-war.html

    As for your arguments for your apologist messiah:

    He did far better than any libertarian candidate has ever done in the past century, and has brought to the forefront issues long accepted.

    Yes, and he clearly illustrated that those candidates who cater to and surround themselves with race-baiting scumbags, Confederate apologists, and lying conspiracy theorists are appealing to less than 10% of the population…indicating clearly just how unimportant to and despised by the mainstream those groups are. And for that I am eternally grateful.

    You represent the court party of old, the party which sought to increase the power of the central government to effectuate social engineering.

    You say “social engineering”, I say belief in the rights of individuals over the preservation of a illegitimate culture that practices slavery in a free society. Fuck the slave-owners and their hypocritical “culture”.

    I dare do no such thing, for I am not, as you proclaim you yourself are positioned, to sit aloft in an ivory tower excercising will and dominion over the ignorant masses.

    Funny, I don’t seem to recall claiming that people should be statutorily excluded based solely on cultural or ethnic grounds or taking the side of any group that put black people on chains. That was your fetish.

    You postulate that America is on the right track by virtue of rejecting principled peace,

    Only when the candidate proposing a principled peace also insinuates that people of other cultures are somehow less deserving of the same treatment as everyone else

    an unfettered free-market,

    Funny, I don’t seem to recall Ron Paul spending a lot of time focusing on how he’d abolish the welfare state.

    a reduction in the regulatory administrative state,

    See my response to your comment on “principled peace”.

    and the restoration of individual liberty.

    Except to those who don’t qualify, like immigrants or those who the individual states choose to discriminate against apparently. I prefer a candidate whose belief in equal treatment under our laws doesn’t apply only to those born here.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 1:48 pm
  110. Doug,

    “Even if you accept the argument that there was a Constitutional right to secede, there was no justification for the Southern secession, plain and simple.”

    No justification? If the constitution is an at-will contract, which it is due to the absence of any suicide arrangement, any violation of the original terms is adequate grounds for separation. The U.S. Constitution specifically guaranteed that persons escaping from one State shall be extradited back to the State of their origin. It strikes me that the “liberty laws” of many of the Northern States directly contravene this provision. Moreover, is there not ample grounds to submit that, through the permanence of sectional minority status, and as manifested by the discriminatory tariffs and economic measures thrust upon the country by the nationalist court party of the northeast, the southern States justifiably feared centralized tyranny through the enactment of the “American system”?

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 1:49 pm
  111. Even if you accept the argument that there was a Constitutional right to secede, there was no justification for the Southern secession, plain and simple.

    Says who? It may have been a piss-poor reason (one that I certainly wouldn’t support), but how can they have a right to secede if it’s contingent on the master’s permission?

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 1:51 pm
  112. SC, look up the principle of reversion in contract law.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 1:51 pm
  113. Benjamin,

    Lincoln increased tariffs but you are looking at that in context of the Civil War, which required funding on a scale never seen before in the country. It is impossible to predict what might have happened tariff-wise had the south not seceded. They almost certainly would not have been as extensive because the war need would not have been there, and there were blocks of northern population that did not favor tariffs so its possible a coalition could have blocked or at least minimized the tariff increases. Also, Alexander Stephens, Vice President of theh Confederacy, publicly denied the tariff had anything at all to do with secession and noted that many southern legislators had voted in favor of the tariffs that were currently in place. Also, many state Declarations of Causes either notably fail to mention tariffs at all, or mention them only in passing while waxing extensively on the various real or percieved offenses against slavery.

    As for the “manufacturing north” – the west was highly agrarian and manufacturing was no where near what would be seen after the turn of the twentieth century – most “factories” could count their employees on their fingers. If tariffs were the issue, where was the outrage from Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin farmers?

    Comment by SC — February 27, 2008 @ 1:54 pm
  114. UCrawfish,

    Most of your drivel is not worth responding to, and I won’t but one is worth a brief retort.

    “Funny, I don’t seem to recall claiming that people should be statutorily excluded based solely on cultural or ethnic grounds or taking the side of any group that put black people on chains. That was your fetish.”

    I have never claimed that individuals should be excluded from participation based on ethnic or racial grounds, nor have I ever defended the institution of slavery. It is an institution without moral worth, and one which I have long, on this site and for decades, condemned. Individuals who do not share our cultural values, who believe that that government governs best which transfers the most, should not have a place at our table, there should not be room for them, for they are thieves, who wish to aid themselves at another’s expense. Why is it beyond your capacity to grasp that not everyone shares the same values of individual liberty and representative government. Would you welcome three hundred million followers of Sharia law to our shores and insist on their civic participation? Doubtlessly.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 1:58 pm
  115. Jeff and Benjamin,

    Because the right to secede is the same as the right to revolution, which Thomas Jefferson spoke about thusly:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security

    In other words, taking up armed rebellion is not something that should be done for light or trivial reasons. Nor it is something that should be done when there are other, less violent methods for effecting political change.

    The South seceded in 1860 because they lost an election. That is not a legitimate reason to revolt against the government, especially since Southern Senators still controlled the Senate and could have blocked anything Lincoln tried to do that they didn’t like.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:00 pm
  116. SC, as I happen to have Alexander Stevens’ Constitutional History of the Late War Between the States sitting next to me, I’ll open volume 1 for consultation. If you consider his views, the views of John Taylor, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson on State-Compact Theory, they all maintain that the States possessed each and every power which they did not expressly designate or delegate the federal government to execute. How exactly would a coalition of westerners and southerners have blocked a hike in the tariff when the Radical Republicans held a majority in the House, in the Senate, and of course, held the White House? Whether or not the tariff was an issue, which it was, is irrelevant to the question of: by what right did the States secede, and by what constitutional right was the war prosecuted.
    As for the “manufacturing north” – the west was highly agrarian and manufacturing was no where near what would be seen after the turn of the twentieth century – most “factories” could count their employees on their fingers. If tariffs were the issue, where was the outrage from Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin farmers?
    Tragically, this argument fails, with the exception of Ohio. Wisconsin, the MN territory, and Iowa were almost exclusively settled by Northeasterners, individuals thoroughly enmeshed in the Whig-centralized government doctrines. Furthermore, the past 25 years had indeed seen a coalition of southern and western interests to forestall mercantilist control of the government, but with a shift in the population, that period came to an end.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:07 pm
  117. We discussed this before, Doug. TJ said “should”. He was not proposing any sort of litmus test and it damn sure wasn’t binding anyways.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 2:09 pm
  118. Doug,

    The States retained all authority not granted to the federal government through the constitution in themselves. The U.S. Constitution is and was not a suicide pact.

    This is why James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, which, as I will remind you, is the supreme law of the land, the Declaration of Independence notwithstanding, wrote:

    “The powers of the federal government [result] from the compact to which the states are parties, as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting that compact, as no further valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that, in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states, who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose, for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties, appertaining to them.”

    Secession is not forbidden to the States, nor would they have agreed to enter such a pact with the devil. The States created the federal union, and they may, through Article V or through secession, abolish or leave it. The federal government is merely a means to preserve the liberties of the peoples of the several States inviolate, protected from foreign or neighboring interventions.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:12 pm
  119. Jeff,

    I would dare say that there are fewer authorities more worthy of being considered on the issue than Jefferson.

    If you accept the argument that the south was right to secede because Lincoln won the Election of 1860, then the Union itself is meaningless.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:16 pm
  120. Benjamin,

    The federal government is merely a means to preserve the liberties of the peoples of the several States inviolate, protected from foreign or neighboring interventions.

    Considering that the states of the South were engaging in the greatest violation of human rights ever to take place in this country, this is hardly a point in their favor.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:16 pm
  121. Where in the constitution does to say what is a proper reason for departing the union? The American War for Independence, much like the War Between the States, was not a war of revolution. When the War for Independence commenced, the government of Virginia continued to function as it had before, and that House of Burgesses sent representatives to Philly, who, on behalf of Virginia, declared Virginia independent. In the 1783 Treaty of Paris, the international recognition of Virginia’s independence was assured. Nothing, in the Constitution or in the ratification debates, severed Virginia from her claim. As in all contract law, a power not parted with is retained.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:17 pm
  122. Benjamin,

    Your comparison of the Constitution to a contract is very simplistic and misplaced. Its not a contract, its a compact between the citizens of the states.

    Part of that compact includes accepting the results of contested elections. The traitors in the South refused to do that, and, quite honestly, paid the price for it.

    I have no sympathy for the CSA, and no grief for its modern day supporters.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:20 pm
  123. “Considering that the states of the South were engaging in the greatest violation of human rights ever to take place in this country, this is hardly a point in their favor.”

    Naturally Doug,

    But this point does nothing to demonstrate that the southern States violated the constitutional compact. How can one say that the destruction of American federalism, the deaths of 700,000 or so citizens, the destruction of the southern economy, and the empowerment and creation of a leviathan nation-state here, were worth the cost.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:20 pm
  124. I would dare say that there are fewer authorities more worthy of being considered on the issue than Jefferson.

    Yes, and did he establish a litmus test? Or did he simply explain their particular decisions?

    If you accept the argument that the south was right to secede because Lincoln won the Election of 1860, then the Union itself is meaningless.

    Good luck supporting that statement. Voluntary cooperation is not meaningless simply because one party unilaterally decides to cease cooperation for a silly reason.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 2:21 pm
  125. Benjamin,

    Every day that slavery continued to exist was a blot on the legacy of this nation. You would have preferred it continued to exist for a generation, or more. I am glad it ended when it did.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:23 pm
  126. “Its not a contract, its a compact between the citizens of the states.”

    Not so, Article VII specifically states in clear English that: “The ratification of the conventions of nine states, shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution BETWEEN the states so ratifying the same.”

    “Part of that compact includes accepting the results of contested elections. The traitors in the South refused to do that, and, quite honestly, paid the price for it.”

    Traitors? How so? What provision of the U.S. Constitution did they violate and betray?

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:23 pm
  127. Jeff,

    Voluntary cooperation is not meaningless simply because one party unilaterally decides to cease cooperation for a silly reason.

    Oh but I think it is. I’ve read the Federalist Papers several times and I think its clear that the Founders believed that the Union was not merely some treaty between the states. It was itself a new state.

    If the south was going to leave, it needed a sufficient moral justification for rebelling. Which it didn’t have.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:25 pm
  128. Benjamin,

    I have never claimed that individuals should be excluded from participation based on ethnic or racial grounds, nor have I ever defended the institution of slavery. It is an institution without moral worth, and one which I have long, on this site and for decades, condemned.

    No, you just defended a state’s right to practice it free from Constitutional restraint. Rationalize all you want…you’re the one standing in opposition to individual freedom here and you’ll get no sympathy from anyone but other racists and Confederate apologists (whose opinions on this topic are as unworthy of respect as your own).

    Individuals who do not share our cultural values, who believe that that government governs best which transfers the most, should not have a place at our table for they are thieves, who wish to aid themselves at another’s expense.

    I find it amusing how you discredit your claim to be a supporter of individual rights immediately after you make it. Hmmm, now where have I heard the sentiment expressed in your remark above before?

    Oh, right…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_rouge

    Why is it beyond your capacity to grasp that not everyone shares the same values of individual liberty and representative government.

    Oh, I grasp it. And I hold those who defend slavery and racism as institutional prerogatives in contempt for the bottom-feeders that they are.

    Would you welcome three hundred million followers of Sharia law to our shores and insist on their civic participation?

    If they came here to work and were willing to respect our Constitution and individual rights, I’d welcome them with open arms. Of course, I don’t automatically dismiss Muslims as evil as you apparently do. That’s one of the benefits of not being a hypocritical religious bigot like yourself.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 2:25 pm
  129. Traitors? How so? What provision of the U.S. Constitution did they violate and betray?

    They rebelling against the legitmately elected government of the United States. Therefore, in my mind, they (the political and military leaders of the Confederacy) are traitors.

    Go and worship Jeff Davis and Stonewall Jackson if you want. I prefer to deal with issues that actually matter here in the 21st Century.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:26 pm
  130. Doug,

    I fully concur that every day that slavery continued to exist was a blot on the legacy of this country. There was no “nation” in 1860. “Nation” infers national, which in terns implies central control. This is why, in Elliot’s Debates, you will see how each and every submission of the term “national” was explicitly rejected.

    “You would have preferred it continued to exist for a generation, or more. I am glad it ended when it did.”

    I of course am happy it ended when it did, though I would have greatly preferred it to never have been introduced on these shores originally. I have never written that I would have preferred it to last another generation, merely that, I do not believe that the cost of the war merited its execution.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:27 pm
  131. “Oh but I think it is. I’ve read the Federalist Papers several times and I think its clear that the Founders believed that the Union was not merely some treaty between the states. It was itself a new state.”

    Utterly fallacious. The federal government is a government of DELEGATED powers only… didn’t you read that when you opened your pocket constitution in law school… oh, wait…

    Where do the States surrender their sovereignty to a new centralized Hamiltonian State?

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:30 pm
  132. If the south was going to leave, it needed a sufficient moral justification for rebelling. Which it didn’t have.

    I think the desire for self-rule is, in and of itself, “sufficient moral justification.” I’m not sure how a libertarian could think otherwise.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 2:32 pm
  133. “They rebelling against the legitmately elected government of the United States. Therefore, in my mind, they (the political and military leaders of the Confederacy) are traitors.”

    Now Doug, you’ve read the U.S. Constitution, it defines what treason is… Let’s look back at Article III, Section 3, which reads: “Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.” Where did the southern secessionists do this? Surely not before they left the union, and after they seceded, how could they possibly commit treason against them?

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:33 pm
  134. Jeff,

    The Confederates forfeited any claim for the morality of their enterprise as long as they allowed slavery to continue to exist within their borders.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:35 pm
  135. Benjamin,

    Attempting to secede for what I contend are illegitmate reasons constitutes, in my mind, treason.

    We’re not talking legal definitions here.

    We’re talking about the word I prefer to use to describe Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and all the others.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:36 pm
  136. The Confederates forfeited any claim for the morality of their enterprise as long as they allowed slavery to continue to exist within their borders.

    I see. So we’re justified in waging war against any country that abuses human rights?

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 2:37 pm
  137. Benjamin,

    I have never written that I would have preferred it to last another generation

    Actually, you did…so long as abolishing it didn’t cost anything and didn’t infringe on what you saw as state prerogative (see below)

    So what if slavery had existed for another generation… we all agree slavery was an atrocious evil… but is it not difficult to claim the destroying the voluntary union of States in a deluge of blood was worth the cost?

    It’s only a very foolish person who tries to deny what he very clearly wrote…especially on the same site and same thread where he wrote it.

    I do not believe that the cost of the war merited its execution.

    That’s because you choose to sympathize with the wrong side. Freedom is never achieved without cost and the great majority of those involved in the Civil War chose their sides willingly. The South chose poorly and deservedly lost…sorry if you can’t get past that after 153 years.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 2:39 pm
  138. UCrawfish, “followers of Sharia law”… are those who wish to impose their particular view of the Koran on the rest of the world, through the application of force. If they came here to work and were willing to embrace our Constitution and individual rights, I’d welcome them with open arms.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:40 pm
  139. Jeff,

    Your question only makes sense if you accept the argument that the CSA was, in fact, a legitimate nation.

    I don’t.

    They were a bunch of rebels who had attempted to overthrow an elected government and, in some case, stolen property belonging to the United States Government and American citizens.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:40 pm
  140. Jeff,

    I see. So we’re justified in waging war against any country that abuses human rights?

    No, but we’re justified in waging a war against fraudulent pseudo-governments in our own country that abuse human rights.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 2:41 pm
  141. Doug,

    “The Confederates forfeited any claim for the morality of their enterprise as long as they allowed slavery to continue to exist within their borders.”

    The Union allowed slavery to continue to exist within their borders until well AFTER Appomattox… which makes them…. without morals?

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:41 pm
  142. “Attempting to secede for what I contend are illegitmate reasons constitutes, in my mind, treason. We’re not talking legal definitions here.”

    Yes we are talking legality here… if they didn’t break a particular law, they cannot be guilty of committing that particular crime. If one can only secede for reasons Doug Mataconis deems legitimate, how is secession any check on government whatsoever? It cannot be, and cannot be quantified as an effective measure of relief against centralized tyranny.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:45 pm
  143. Benjamin,

    Prior to secession, when did the Radical Republicans hold a majority in both the House and Senate? Before the southern walk-out, the 36th Congress had a Democratic majority in the Senate (38 out of 66 seats) and the Republicans had the largest voting bloc but did not by themselves have a majority (118 out of 238 – very close, but a majority of seats would require 120. There were 83 Democrats and the rest were other splinter parties or independents). So Lincoln was looking at facing a hostile Senate and a somewhat unpredictable House at best coming into his inauguration in 1860, plus a Supreme Court appointed largely by Democrats. Seems to me that the odds would be very favorable to blocking a tariff increase if one put together the right coalition of congressmen.

    For the record, I agree that secession is possible – just not via the methods employed in 1860, and the south picked possibly the very worst of reasons for doing so.

    And, the War for Independence WAS a war of revolution. Simply because some governmental structures remained does not mean that a revolution did not take place. The main overarching governmental body of the colonies – the British Government – was “overthrown” in those areas and no longer had authority. Unless you wish to claim an insanely narrow definition of revolution that requires that the entire British Government be overthrown for the entire empire.

    Comment by SC — February 27, 2008 @ 2:45 pm
  144. Benjamin,

    Because the North fought the war to preserve the Union, not end slavery.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:45 pm
  145. Benjamin,

    The Union allowed slavery to continue to exist within their borders until well AFTER Appomattox… which makes them…. without morals?

    Nope, they amended the Constitution by the end of the year to outlaw slavery and to insure that slavery advocates wouldn’t again attempt to use their laughable “state’s rights” loophole to continue suppression of individual rights. It was known as the 13th Amendment…you know, one of those amendments that neo-confederates like to pretend don’t exist.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 2:46 pm
  146. Yes we are talking legality here… if they didn’t break a particular law, they cannot be guilty of committing that particular crime. If one can only secede for reasons Doug Mataconis deems legitimate, how is secession any check on government whatsoever? It cannot be, and cannot be quantified as an effective measure of relief against centralized tyranny.

    Fine, then I’ll call them a bunch of slave-holding moral reprobates not worthy of being remembered by history as anything other than criminals and killers.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:46 pm
  147. UCrawfish, you wrote: “No, but we’re justified in waging a war against fraudulent pseudo-governments in our own country that abuse human rights.” So therefore, we would be justified in fighting and waging a war against the Lincoln Administration, an administration which defended chattel slavery in the North, violated civil liberties routinely, murdered untold numbers of innocents, waged total war against civilians, imprisoned newspaper editors, arrested a state legislature and members of Congress, and ordered the arrest of the Chief Justice of the SCOTUS…? No?

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:47 pm
  148. Benjamin,

    UCrawfish, “followers of Sharia law”… are those who wish to impose their particular view of the Koran on the rest of the world, through the application of force. If they came here to work and were willing to embrace our Constitution and individual rights, I’d welcome them with open arms.

    So long as they refrain from violating individual rights and using coercive means to push their religion on others they are free to do whatever they wish in their own communities. Most of the Muslims I’ve known in my life would consider that an acceptable compromise.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 2:50 pm
  149. “they are free to do whatever they wish in their own communities.”

    But not southerners…

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:51 pm
  150. “[T]hey amended the Constitution by the end of the year to outlaw slavery and to insure that slavery advocates wouldn’t again attempt to use their laughable “state’s rights” loophole to continue suppression of individual rights. It was known as the 13th Amendment…you know, one of those amendments that neo-confederates like to pretend don’t exist.”

    False, they amended the constitution in 1865, two years after the miraculous transformation of a fratricidal war of conquest into a crusade for equality.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:53 pm
  151. Doug,

    You’re right about this: “the North fought the war to preserve the Union, not end slavery.” However, you fail to grasp that the union, the lifeblood of it, was its voluntary nature. No one, not even Daniel Webster, maintained that the federal government would have legitimate constitutional grounds to invade and subjugate a seceding State.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:55 pm
  152. Your question only makes sense if you accept the argument that the CSA was, in fact, a legitimate nation.

    I don’t.

    Again, your entire argument rests wholly on an external judgment about their reasoning. You’re welcome to do so, of course, but I can’t.

    I have to defer to the masses that decided they wanted to rule themselves. They obviously felt strongly about it and I’m not about to run around imposing my own views on them; just as I wouldn’t tolerate them doing it to me.

    They were a bunch of rebels who had attempted to overthrow an elected government

    “Overthrow”? My (admittedly limited) understanding is that they simply disengaged from the elected government. Did they do something to undermine those that wished to continue living under it?

    in some case, stolen property belonging to the United States Government and American citizens.

    I think you’re flailing a bit now. If they had paid for whatever property you’re referring to, would that have changed your opinion at all?

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 2:55 pm
  153. Benjamin,

    Uh, Doug’s comment was true – you stated that the north maintained slavery until well after Appommattox. His response was that they ended it the same year – which you agreed with by saying they amended the constitution in 1865. I think you’ll agree that the historical record shows that Appomattox occurred in 1865…

    Comment by SC — February 27, 2008 @ 2:56 pm
  154. UC,

    No, but we’re justified in waging a war against fraudulent pseudo-governments in our own country that abuse human rights.

    Do you believe in the right of secession?

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 2:57 pm
  155. I have to defer to the masses that decided they wanted to rule themselves. They obviously felt strongly about it and I’m not about to run around imposing my own views on them; just as I wouldn’t tolerate them doing it to me.

    What “masses” ? The entire Southern political system was controlled by the slave holding aristocracy. They are the ones who decided to secede to protect the alleged threat to their peculiar institution. And they are the reasons why, left to it’s own devices, the CSA never would have abolished slavery without a fight — whether it was with the USA or due to a slave uprising.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:57 pm
  156. SC, “For the record, I agree that secession is possible – just not via the methods employed in 1860″

    What was impermissible about the methods employed in 1860 by the States in the deep south? Do you then have no objection to the departure of the border-States following Lincoln’s call for troops? If a State has the constitutional power and right to secede, how can any but the people of that community, that State, properly impose their will on that people to coerce them into obedience?

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:57 pm
  157. Benjamin,

    You’re right about this: “the North fought the war to preserve the Union, not end slavery.”

    And since the secession itself was not legitimate, it was a fight worth fighting.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 2:58 pm
  158. SC,

    “Uh, Doug’s comment was true – you stated that the north maintained slavery until well after Appommattox. His response was that they ended it the same year – which you agreed with by saying they amended the constitution in 1865. I think you’ll agree that the historical record shows that Appomattox occurred in 1865…”

    I was responding to UCrawford, not Doug, and I was stating that it was two years AFTER Lincoln transformed his war into a crusade for liberation that his administration acted to abolish slavery.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 2:59 pm
  159. wait, keeping slavery was mentioned as a reason to secede in the confederate’s declaration?

    Comment by oilnwater — February 27, 2008 @ 3:00 pm
  160. Doug,

    It does not follow that: “since the secession itself was not legitimate, it was a fight worth fighting.”

    How do you derive the conclusion that the secession of the southern States was not legitimate? What constitutional barrier stood in their way? How does it follow that bloodshed of the magnitude required was necessary or proper?

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 3:01 pm
  161. Benjamin,

    So therefore, we would be justified in fighting and waging a war against the Lincoln Administration

    If you’re looking to get me to say that the south had a right to secede, they didn’t. If you want me to say that Lincoln was an outstanding president, he wasn’t. If you want me to say much of what Lincoln did was wrong and unconstitutional, it was, and that’s why we have procedures for keeping his power in check and removing the chief executive from office if he fails to obey the law (which the South didn’t do, opting instead to try illegally separating to attempt to continue the institution of slavery).

    If you want me to agree that Lincoln advocated slavery in the North I’ll laugh at your rather pathetic attempt at historical revisionism, considering that he merely chose not to exceed his authority with the Emancipation Proclamation and the government rectified legalized slavery in the North at the soonest opportunity. And if you want me to agree with you that the South’s fight was just, I’ll simply point out that the only thing Confederate apologists are actually doing is trying to justify one oppressive government by pointing out the flaws in another oppressive government. Hell, why not quibble over who you’d vote for between Hitler and Stalin?

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 3:01 pm
  162. Benjamin,

    I was responding to UCrawford, not Doug, and I was stating that it was two years AFTER Lincoln transformed his war into a crusade for liberation that his administration acted to abolish slavery.

    Further reinforcing the argument that the Southern canard that Lincoln was a threat to their peculiar institution was just so much hogwash.

    The irony in all of this is that if the Southern Democrats had just united behind Stephen Douglas in 1860, Lincoln would have lost the election. Instead, as often happens in politics, their overblown egos got in the way.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 3:02 pm
  163. Jeff,

    Do you believe in the right of secession?

    Basically, no. There may be some situations in which secession could be considered justified, but the Civil War didn’t come close.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 3:03 pm
  164. Benjamin,

    How do you derive the conclusion that the secession of the southern States was not legitimate? What constitutional barrier stood in their way? How does it follow that bloodshed of the magnitude required was necessary or proper?

    You obviously haven’t been reading anything I’ve wrote today. Or the links to previous posts I gave you earlier. My reasoning is there, just read it.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 3:03 pm
  165. Doug,

    “The entire Southern political system was controlled by the slave holding aristocracy.”

    A complete untruth. Less than one seventh of the adult white male population in the southern States owned slaves, and even if all of that number joined and fought in the Confederate armies, a great majority of southern soldiers necessarily had to have been non-slave-holding men.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 3:03 pm
  166. What “masses” ? The entire Southern political system was controlled by the slave holding aristocracy.

    Ummm, various aristocracies control most every nation. How many revolts are truly launched by the common man? Regardless of who was the architect of the secession, it damn sure couldn’t have happened without at least the tacit support of the population.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 3:03 pm
  167. “You obviously haven’t been reading anything I’ve wrote today. Or the links to previous posts I gave you earlier. My reasoning is there, just read it.”

    Read it, found it completely without merit or substance, and specifically, without constitutional backing or foundation.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 3:04 pm
  168. Benjamin,

    A complete untruth. Less than one seventh of the adult white male population in the southern States owned slaves, and even if all of that number joined and fought in the Confederate armies, a great majority of southern soldiers necessarily had to have been non-slave-holding men.

    I am referring to who controlled the political system, and specifically the conventions that purported to ratify secession.

    Or are you denying that the plantation class in states like South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi controlled the political system there ?

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 3:05 pm
  169. Jeff,

    Ummm, various aristocracies control most every nation. How many revolts are truly launched by the common man? Regardless of who was the architect of the secession, it damn sure couldn’t have happened without at least the tacit support of the population.

    You are the one who said that the “masses” of the South called for secession. In reality, it was a small minority.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 3:06 pm
  170. Benjamin,

    Read it, found it completely without merit or substance, and specifically, without constitutional backing or foundation.

    With all due respect, I could say pretty much the same thing about the neo-Confederate garbage you’re spewing out.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 3:06 pm
  171. Doug,

    “[I]f the Southern Democrats had just united behind Stephen Douglas in 1860, Lincoln would have lost the election.”

    Of course, but Douglas was deeply in error in his constitutional construction, and could not be in good conscience supported.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 3:06 pm
  172. 1/7 of a population could be an elite class. i just never heard that the confederacy said “hey guys we want to keep our slaves, so we’re seceeding.” they never talked about this even in grade school, even though my history books summarized the Civil War as all about slavery. it de facto was. but i dont think it was actually brought to bear in any pre-war declaration.

    Comment by oilnwater — February 27, 2008 @ 3:06 pm
  173. Doug, let’s be honest here… oh great heir of Patrick Henry…

    I haven’t defended anything the Confederates ever did, I haven’t even come close. All I have done is state that there is no constitutional grounds to forbid their exit, or compell their return, and I haven’t seen a shred of evidence to the contrary.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 3:08 pm
  174. Aside from your declarations of what in your personal judgment constitutes “treason”… against a nation-state which came into being shrouded in mists stemming from a miraculous transformation from the federal result of a fall’s work in Philly to the national power contemplated in the wet dreams of Hamilton…

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 3:11 pm
  175. You are the one who said that the “masses” of the South called for secession. In reality, it was a small minority.

    No, I didn’t. For a lawyer, you’re very bad at nuance. For your viewing pleasure, I said:

    I have to defer to the masses that decided they wanted to rule themselves.

    Whether the masses decided before or after the ruling class is of little concern to me. Without their support, the entire attempt at secession would have been an insignificant blip on our historical radar.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 3:13 pm
  176. oilnwater,

    1/7 of a population could be an elite class. i just never heard that the confederacy said “hey guys we want to keep our slaves, so we’re seceeding.” they never talked about this even in grade school, even though my history books summarized the Civil War as all about slavery. it de facto was. but i dont think it was actually brought to bear in any pre-war declaration.

    The war was arguably about state’s rights, but every state’s rights issue that came up as a problem between North and South usually came back to slavery. But I believe you’re correct in that nobody was really stating at the time that slavery was the reason they went war and that it was more of a de facto cause than an “official” one.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 3:14 pm
  177. oilnwater,

    From Mississppi’s declaration of secession:

    Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

    http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html#Mississippi

    And Texas:

    In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color– a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.

    For years past this abolition organization has been actively sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and has rendered the federal congress the arena for spreading firebrands and hatred between the slave-holding and non-slave-holding States.

    http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html#Texas

    And Georgia:

    The anti-slavery sentiment of the North offered the best chance for success. An anti-slavery party must necessarily look to the North alone for support, but a united North was now strong enough to control the Government in all of its departments, and a sectional party was therefore determined upon. Time and issues upon slavery were necessary to its completion and final triumph. The feeling of anti-slavery, which it was well known was very general among the people of the North, had been long dormant or passive; it needed only a question to arouse it into aggressive activity. This question was before us. We had acquired a large territory by successful war with Mexico; Congress had to govern it; how, in relation to slavery, was the question then demanding solution. This state of facts gave form and shape to the anti-slavery sentiment throughout the North and the conflict began. Northern anti-slavery men of all parties asserted the right to exclude slavery from the territory by Congressional legislation and demanded the prompt and efficient exercise of this power to that end. This insulting and unconstitutional demand was met with great moderation and firmness by the South. We had shed our blood and paid our money for its acquisition; we demanded a division of it on the line of the Missouri restriction or an equal participation in the whole of it. These propositions were refused, the agitation became general, and the public danger was great. The case of the South was impregnable. The price of the acquisition was the blood and treasure of both sections– of all, and, therefore, it belonged to all upon the principles of equity and justice.

    By consolidating their strength, they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against
    their exactions and encroachments.

    http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html#Georgia

    Secession was about nothing more than the efforts of these states to maintain their so-called right to violate fundamental human rights

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 3:14 pm
  178. Doug,

    I stand corrected on my post to oilnwater. :)

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 3:15 pm
  179. Jeff,

    But that’s the point I was making, nobody ever asked the masses of the Southern States what they wanted.

    That was decided for them.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 27, 2008 @ 3:16 pm
  180. how would the ‘masses’ act otherwise in an 1860′s era regional economy? it was a remnant family dynasty based agrarian society and economy in which local plantation infrastructure provided almost entirely the living of anyone else in that area. if the ‘masses’ (in which there was no significant middle class like there was in the 20th century) were to go against the elite, they would have to actually rebel against their own elite in order to stave off the secession.

    Comment by oilnwater — February 27, 2008 @ 3:19 pm
  181. But that’s the point I was making, nobody ever asked the masses of the Southern States what they wanted.

    That was decided for them.

    As is sadly the case throughout most of history. The fact remains that if the masses were intent on staying in the union, they would have made it happen in a rather bloodless way. Instead, they sacrificed everything they had backing their leaders’ decision.

    I’m not gonna sit here and say that a group that large and that committed doesn’t have a right to choose its own destiny, regardless of their motives.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 3:21 pm
  182. Jeff,

    I’m not gonna sit here and say that a group that large and that committed doesn’t have a right to choose its own destiny, regardless of their motives.

    Their motives were appalling, their methods were wrong and their losing of the war was just.

    I agree with Doug, Lincoln was no angel of goodness, but I’m not going to shed any tears because a bunch of wealthy landowners lost the ability to practice slavery.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 3:37 pm
  183. oilnwater,

    how would the ‘masses’ act otherwise in an 1860’s era regional economy? it was a remnant family dynasty based agrarian society and economy in which local plantation infrastructure provided almost entirely the living of anyone else in that area. if the ‘masses’ (in which there was no significant middle class like there was in the 20th century) were to go against the elite, they would have to actually rebel against their own elite in order to stave off the secession.

    I realize that my agreeing with you is likely a sign of the apocalypse, but that’s an excellent point.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 3:38 pm
  184. I’m not going to shed any tears because a bunch of wealthy landowners lost the ability to practice slavery.

    Nor am I. I “shed tears” because we lost a huge check on federal power and it shows every day.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 3:41 pm
  185. Jeff,

    I “shed tears” because we lost a huge check on federal power and it shows every day.

    That’s where you and I likely disagree. I believe the federal government has an obligation to step in when a state government violates the Constitutional rights of individuals. Slavery was one such instance where it was justified, segregation was another. I believe that the powers of the federal government should be limited but when it comes to the rights listed in the Constitution (particularly on life and liberty) I believe that federal prerogative trumps states’ rights…and slavery clearly fell into that category.

    If you want to argue states’ rights about drug laws, abortion, education, etc., however, I’m probably going to be on your side more often than not.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 3:49 pm
  186. if the ‘masses’ (in which there was no significant middle class like there was in the 20th century) were to go against the elite, they would have to actually rebel against their own elite in order to stave off the secession.

    Which, in that particular scenario, wouldn’t have been very hard. If it was clear the Southern populace didn’t support secession, the North would have been justified in “quelling the rebellion.” The Southern populace wouldn’t have had to do anything more than lay down their arms.

    It should have been quite evident after the first couple battles that secession had strong popular support and was thus an honest attempt to achieve self-rule.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 3:53 pm
  187. I completely support states’ rights as it relates to Article 1 Section 8 and the 10th amendment and I also fully recognize the the federal government has sovereignty over other issues such as human rights.

    However, if a jurisdiction of significant size decides it wants out of the whole kit and caboodle, I don’t see how anyone is justified in denying them their right to govern themselves.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 3:59 pm
  188. UCrawford, you wrote that the southern States committed some infraction by “illegally separating”… could you please tell me what law they broke? A quick citation to the law will suffice.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 4:03 pm
  189. UCrawford, you wrote: “I believe the federal government has an obligation to step in when a state government violates the Constitutional rights of individuals.” Do you recognize or see the possibility of any problem flowing from a regime in which the hope of all liberty-loving individuals must lie with one central regime? The brilliance of a federal system is the division of powers, and the framers, as I do, believed that ultimately, the rights of individuals will best be protected by governments close to the people and their voluntary institutions. Since the ratification of the 14th Amendment, which cannot reasonably be construed as having been intended to eliminate the evil doctrine of segregation, which level of government has in fact infringed most on the rights of the individual? The general government.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 4:08 pm
  190. UCrawford,

    Tell me something, you wrote: “Slavery was one such instance where it(intervention by the federal government when a state government violates the Constitutional rights of individuals) was justified.” What constitutional provision or guarantee of individual rights was being violated?

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 4:11 pm
  191. Doug,

    You are tragically incorrect when you write: “But that’s the point I was making, nobody ever asked the masses of the Southern States what they wanted. That was decided for them.”

    You see Doug, each and every southern State which seceded held a secession convention, composed of… the representatives elected by the people of those particular States, in a relatively democratic manner. Opponents, including Jefferson Davis, were permitted to persuade and debate in open convention, and a public vote was taken. This does not seem like a dictated decision to me.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 4:14 pm
  192. Benjamin,

    What constitutional provision or guarantee of individual rights was being violated?

    Amendment II – The right to keep and bear arms

    http://www.old-yankee.com/rkba/racial_laws.html

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 4:24 pm
  193. And Amendment I – freedom of speech was often infringed by southern state laws that prohibited speaking publicly in favor of abolition or prohibited the distribution of abolitionist literature.

    And Benjamin, what are your thoughts on the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

    Comment by SC — February 27, 2008 @ 4:33 pm
  194. Benjamin,

    You see Doug, each and every southern State which seceded held a secession convention, composed of… the representatives elected by the people of those particular States, in a relatively democratic manner.

    It’s amusing how you cite democratic process when it suits your cultural argument then dismiss it when it works against it. The neo-confederate capacity for self-deception is quite remarkable for its depth of hypocrisy. :)

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 4:33 pm
  195. SC,

    what are your thoughts on the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

    I’m betting that’s one of those parts of the Constitution that the neo-confederates consider to be invalid :)

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 4:36 pm
  196. lol, “after the first couple of battles” ??

    you know, news and information didn’t flow as efficiently in the 1860′s as it does today. pre-information age et al. so when a couple of really bloody battles takes place, what do you really expect people to do then? as if anyone on the ground really cared about slaves either way, including lincoln himself. all they knew was that a war was afoot and everyone dressed for the party, so it was time to fight.

    Comment by oilnwater — February 27, 2008 @ 5:06 pm
  197. UCrawford,

    You postulate that “Amendment II” was bing violated… unfortunately, the Bill of Rights, of which the Second Amendment is a part, without question did not apply in any way to the States prior to the 14th Amendment. Sorry.

    SC

    You postulate that it was “Amendment I – freedom of speech [which] often [was] infringed by southern state laws that prohibited speaking publicly in favor of abolition or prohibited the distribution of abolitionist literature.”

    Tragically, your argument here fails for on the same grounds UCrawford’s does, the Bill of Rights explicitly only applied to the federal government, not the States.

    As for the Supremacy Clause: I support it fully. I support the U.S. Constitution and all laws made pursuant to it which also do not infringe on individual liberty. It is quite possible for there to be laws which do injustice while being perfectly constitutional, and for them, I can only urge repeal.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 5:51 pm
  198. Benjamin,

    unfortunately, the Bill of Rights, of which the Second Amendment is a part, without question did not apply in any way to the States prior to the 14th Amendment. Sorry.

    Nice…so much for you being someone who pretends to care about the right of all people to defend themselves against aggression. Apparently that’s a right you reserve only for your own culture. Fortunately Abraham Lincoln rendered that idiotic argument a moot point by laying waste to your pure white fantasyland.

    As for the Supremacy Clause: I support it fully. I support the U.S. Constitution and all laws made pursuant to it which also do not infringe on individual liberty.

    Unless, of course, those laws are made by states with the express purpose of stripping rights from people of other cultures. Then you’re happy to take the government’s side to defend those laws. Typical racist bullshit from an apologist for a deservedly dead and disgraced society.

    You, sir, are a waste of flesh.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 8:33 pm
  199. you know, news and information didn’t flow as efficiently in the 1860’s as it does today.

    Wars didn’t move as quickly either.

    If the North had gone into it naively thinking it was just going to put down an unpopular rebellion and go home, it would have realized its mistake very quickly. Having realized it quickly, they could have adjusted course and reached an agreement.

    Unless you’re suggesting that the South was trying to conquer the North, it was always within the North’s power to call an end to the war. They didn’t because they wanted to crush the entire idea of secession.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 27, 2008 @ 8:34 pm
  200. Jeff,

    You know I respect and generally agree with your opinions, but I feel a need to say this.

    You’re on the wrong side here. By taking sides with the South on the issue of “states’ rights” you’re not arguing for a level of freedom from oppressive government, you’re arguing that it was okay for state government to oppress the rights of minorities guaranteed by the Constitution…because that’s what the Civil War was really all about. Every major rift between North and South leading up to it was based in the southern states’ refusal to give up slavery and their desire to perpetuate slavery in new states simply so they wouldn’t have to give up that privilege. In my own state, Kansas, the Civil War started well before Ft. Sumter as bands of pro-slavery border ruffians from Missouri came through and murdered innocent civilians, first in an attempt to coerce Kansas to incorporate as a slave state and later to punish them for opting in as a free state. All so that the southern states wouldn’t have to worry about a constitutional amendment forcing them to recognize the basic human rights of their slave labor force…a rejection of the very principles that libertarianism is based on, free markets and free people.

    While I’m often in agreement that the federal government oversteps its Constitutional bounds in regards to states’ power, you’re not seeing the forest for the trees here. There was absolutely nothing to be supportive of about the CSA. It was an elitist society that engaged in the systematic statutory repression of human rights, and that illegally seceded from the Union primarily so they could continue to suppress human rights in direct contradiction to the ideas and beliefs expressed in our Constitution. Is this really the group you want to throw your lot in with?

    Comment by UCrawford — February 27, 2008 @ 9:18 pm
  201. UCrawford,

    Such outbursts and complete loss of reason define you, not me, as a person of infirm capacities. Nevertheless, I naturally take issue with your response to my observation that the Bill of Rights was not in any fashion binding on the States prior to the War Between the States.

    You write so eloquently:

    “Nice…so much for you being someone who pretends to care about the right of all people to defend themselves against aggression. Apparently that’s a right you reserve only for your own culture. Fortunately Abraham Lincoln rendered that idiotic argument a moot point by laying waste to your pure white fantasyland.”

    Let’s examine this carefully for substance. By me stating that the Second Amendment flatly did not apply to the States, you assert that I don’t care about individual’s ability to protect themselves from aggression? This is akin to responding to a comment that the U.S. Constitution does not allow the federal government to mail out welfare checks by asserting that the person opposing the expenditure hates the poverty-stricken. One need not support a program for it to be constitutional, or oppose the intended effects of an action to oppose it on constitutional grounds. Consider this from another angle, one may fiercely oppose, for instance, abortion, and yet, an individual might equally oppose, with equal vehemence, the banning of abortions at a federal level, on the constitutional grounds that the U.S. Constitution does not grant the general police power to prohibit abortion to the federal government. One does not support murder merely because one opposes federal proscription of that act. In like manner, one who understands and maintains that the Second Amendment without question did not apply to the States in any capacity prior to the “war” does not endorse to violation of individuals rights, but merely resists the unbidden assumption of withheld power.

    “Unless, of course, those laws are made by states with the express purpose of stripping rights from people of other cultures. Then you’re happy to take the government’s side to defend those laws.”

    Oh how the dogs yap…

    Merely because a State has the authority or power to enact a law does not mean that that particular act is consistent with individual liberty, nor with sound reason. Consider though, where do the individuals who compose our central government originate? Must they not necessarily come from the States? States you assert, whose people are incapable of just self-government… you see no paradox here? Why entrust a centralized bureaucracy, insulated from direct responsibility from the American public, with the preservation of such crucial rights? Better entrust them to someone or to something which must bear the consequences of violating the sacred trust placed in them. Why is it that in your construction the federal government is the great preservator, the great hope, of liberty? Liberty does not flow from the Washington, from some central authority, but from the mores of the common people, those you so deeply despise.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 27, 2008 @ 9:48 pm
  202. Liberty may not flow from Washington, but it most certainly does not flow from your arguments. Good day.

    Comment by Nitroadict — February 27, 2008 @ 11:11 pm
  203. There was absolutely nothing to be supportive of about the CSA. It was an elitist society that engaged in the systematic statutory repression of human rights, and that illegally seceded from the Union primarily so they could continue to suppress human rights in direct contradiction to the ideas and beliefs expressed in our Constitution. Is this really the group you want to throw your lot in with?

    You’re sounding an awful lot like a neocon. I don’t support the conquest of the South and suddenly that means I’m “throw[ing my] lot in with” them? I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of middle ground and I’m pretty sure you’re smart enough to know that.

    Let’s just be absolutely clear about this. Had I lived in the South at that time, I would have supported abolition and opposed secession. Had I lived in the Noth at that time, I would have supported abolition and opposed secession.

    But the second it became clear that the people of the South were committed to secession, I would have called off any attacks. I do not support bloody, expensive attempts to purify the world in any century.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 28, 2008 @ 5:55 am
  204. Jeff,

    But the second it became clear that the people of the South were committed to secession, I would have called off any attacks.

    The problem with your argument is that pretty much every reason for their secession came back to their continued desire to own slaves. Slavery was what poisoned everything in relations between North and South…the Founding Fathers always knew that it would, that’s why they (wrongly) ducked the question in drafting the Constitution because they understood that if they attempted to tackle it starting out it would have destroyed their attempts to create our nation.

    I know you’re not a racist or a supporter of slavery but you can’t just say “Well, they had a right to do it because that’s what ‘the people’ wanted.” because the ability to strip people of their human rights solely because of their ethnic group should not be subject to a majority vote. It was an illegitimate institution that was wrongly allowed to perpetuate and the CSA was created and existed primarily to allow it to perpetuate. Had the states not attempted secession but still clung to the idea that they had a right to practice slavery, I’d likely still have been in support of the feds going in forcibly to end it…because its continuation was an abomination and undermined the very fabric of our Constitution by perpetuating institutionalized racism. If that makes me a neocon on this issue, so be it…although I wouldn’t be extending this argument to grant our government a right to go into other sovereign countries who are not signatory to our Constitution or incorporated into our nation.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 28, 2008 @ 6:27 am
  205. Had the states not attempted secession but still clung to the idea that they had a right to practice slavery, I’d likely still have been in support of the feds going in forcibly to end it

    Had they not seceded and the appropriate laws had been passed, I would have supported the forceful enforcement of those laws.

    But they did secede…

    I wouldn’t be extending this argument to grant our government a right to go into other sovereign countries who are not signatory to our Constitution or incorporated into our nation.

    …so the only way you can make that argument is to not recognize the secession. The only way you can not recognize the secession is to create some arbitrary litmus test for when secession is allowed. I can’t do that. It sounds like you can.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 28, 2008 @ 8:46 am
  206. Jeff,

    Had they not seceded and the appropriate laws had been passed, I would have supported the forceful enforcement of those laws.

    The problem with that argument was that the only solution the southern states would have claimed as legitimate would have been a Constitutional amendment outlawing slavery, and the slave states consistently used violent means to coerce the residents of new states to come in in support of slavery, thereby restricting new free states from entering the Union (hence “Bloody Kansas”) and rendering a Constitutional amendment an impossibility. And even if such a Constitutional amendment had been miraculously passed, the southern states would likely have seceded anyway because of how intrinsically tied to their economy slavery was and the feds would still have had to intervene. The only way slavery was going to clearly end was by federal intervention forcing the southern states to recognize that their slaves were human beings had the same rights under the Constitution as anyone else…which should have been self-evident had the southern governments not been dominated by slave-owners intent on skewing policy to protect their own financial interests.

    The Civil War wasn’t fought because Lincoln was evil, it was fought because it had to be, because that was the only way in which the slavery issue was going to be decisively resolved…otherwise our government would probably still be arguing today over whether blacks are entitled to the same rights as everyone else.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 28, 2008 @ 9:15 am
  207. The only way you can not recognize the secession is to create some arbitrary litmus test for when secession is allowed.

    States don’t have a right to secede because they don’t feel like honoring the compact that they signed into or because they think their violent, coercive attempts to subvert that compact (by undermining the potential for an anti-slavery amendment) fail. Individuals have a right to secede whenever they feel the government they live under is unjust…it’s called emigration.

    Why do you think I support open borders?

    Comment by UCrawford — February 28, 2008 @ 9:20 am
  208. IMO, much of the secession movement invalidated its own actions in many states by resorting to violence and threats of violence before secession was declared in a given state. Cases in point – Ft. Pulaski was seized by Georgia militia about two weeks before Georgia convention voted on secession. In Alabama, Ft Morgan, Ft Gaines and a US arsenal were all seized by state militia before the state convention voted on secession. In Florida, Ft Marion was seized by state militia prior to the convention vote. In Louisiana, Ft Jackson and Ft Saint Philip and the US Arsenal at Baton Rouge were all seized by state militia before the convention voted. There are some other examples as well, some by militia, others by pro-secession citizen mobs. These are all states still in the Union by any stretch of the imagination, yet state troops were seizing federal properties by force. And one can only imagine whether any of that had an effect on the convention votes – were any anti-secession voices silenced by these acts by intimidation? And those states that weren’t complicit with such actions within their borders readily welcomed those that had in the Confederate fold. Again, IMO those actions cancelled out any (if there was any to begin with) validity to the secession of those states. Frankly, the federal government would have been well within its rights to have responded with force several months before Sumter if Buchanan had been so inclined and had not just decided to lame duck his way through the last couple of months of his term so he could foist the problem on onto Lincoln.

    Comment by SC — February 28, 2008 @ 9:20 am
  209. SC,

    Excellent points.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 28, 2008 @ 9:24 am
  210. SC, we know what happened in the secession conventions, we have the transcripts, and the facts speak for themselves, the vote was open, and it was close. Judah Benjamin, Jefferson Davis, and many others opposed leaving the union, not on the grounds that it was unconstitutional, but rather, that it was inexpedient.

    No “secession” movement acted, only the States were actors here, parties to the compact. While their withdrawal may well have been shortsighted and hasty, there is no doubt as to the constitutional right with which they departed.

    Where again was violence employed prior to the launching of a fleet to assist Fort Sumter?

    UCrawford, you write: “States don’t have a right to secede because they don’t feel like honoring the compact that they signed into or because they think their violent, coercive attempts to subvert that compact (by undermining the potential for an anti-slavery amendment) fail.”

    The fundamental problem with your statement is two-fold: 1) the States voluntarily joined the federal union with the explicit, contractual guarantee of the preservation of their domestic institutions. Elliot’s Debates is clear on this, power to prohibit or restrict slavery in the States was never within the scope of powers granted the federal government. In fact, the great majority of the States forming the U.S. Constitution were slave States, and would assuredly not have entered it if that interest was threatened. The U.S. Constitution was a negotiated contract, involving compromise. What Article, what clause, what section of the U.S. Constitution, did the southern States violate? 2) The States have the fundamental power to amend the U.S. Constitution, and they, as the organic representation of the people of those States, are fully empowered to block and promote any amendment. The federal government has no authority to invade and desolate the States which rejected the ERA, and yet, your argument could easily be turned against them… obviously those States’ people hate women… right?

    The southern States did not like the fact that slavery was on the course of ultimate extinction, and they wished to open the territories to that horrendous institution. This is why they seceded, and this is why, despite a promise from Lincoln to the Confederate Peace Commission to forever guarantee slavery in the States it existed, they rejected his offer and pursued their own independence.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 28, 2008 @ 9:42 am
  211. the slave states consistently used violent means to coerce the residents of new states to come in in support of slavery, thereby restricting new free states from entering the Union (hence “Bloody Kansas”)

    I’m not going to defend any such actions. However, you and SC are treating the symptom. The U.S. would have been well within its rights to address any and all violence prior to secession.

    States don’t have a right to secede because they don’t feel like honoring the compact that they signed into

    Presumably, you believe the American Revolution was just. If so, please explain why the colonies could break their pact with England while the states could not break their pact with the USA. I’ll be very impressed if you can do so without introducing a litmus test in regards to their reasons.

    Individuals have a right to secede whenever they feel the government they live under is unjust…it’s called emigration.

    Why do you think I support open borders?

    Of course. That’s why you won’t hear me defend the Whiskey Rebellion. But we’re not talking about a limited number of individuals. We’re talking about whole states that democratically decided they wanted to form a new government. They weren’t trying to have it both ways; they willingly gave up both the benefits and the obligations of their previous compact.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 28, 2008 @ 9:49 am
  212. Benjamin,

    You wonder where violence was employed prior to Sumter. Ok…the Star of the West, sent by President Buchanan was fired upon, as was an unarmed civilian merchant ship. The THREAT of violence was also repeatedly employed during the seizures of federal property – typically violence was avoided because those doing the seizing surprised those holding the property, or vastly outnumbered them, not through any particular reluctance on the part of the militia to be gentle about it. A mugger pointing a gun at your head while he takes your wallet may not actually shoot you but you certainly know its a possibility at the time.

    Comment by SC — February 28, 2008 @ 10:19 am
  213. Benjamin,

    There was a “secession movement” afoot – envoys were being sent to non-seceded states to try to persuade the states there to call secession conventions of their own. Oddly enough, none of these envoys were sent to non-slave states…

    Comment by SC — February 28, 2008 @ 10:36 am
  214. Jeff,

    If so, please explain why the colonies could break their pact with England while the states could not break their pact with the USA.

    Because the southern states were given representation within the governing body of the land while the colonists were not.

    As for the southern states’ “rights” it’s a red herring. The southern states chose to forego working legitimately within the system because they knew that the Constitution would eventually be interpreted to eliminate slavery so first they attempted coercive and illegal tactics to violently subvert the movement towards abolition (by intimidating states to join the Union as pro-slavery), then they tried secession when they realized that coercion wasn’t going to work. It was state-sponsored thuggery to protect special privilege for an elite and the feds were completely within their rights to quash it.

    We’re talking about whole states that democratically decided they wanted to form a new government.

    A “democratic” process which excluded one-third of the population of the South because the other two-thirds put them in chains. Screw their “democratic process”.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 28, 2008 @ 10:55 am
  215. Because the southern states were given representation within the governing body of the land while the colonists were not.

    Representation was not a part of their colonial charters. If you support cross-generational pacts, you have to recognize that the colonies were not owed representation. If you don’t support cross-generational pacts, how do you oppose the decision of a state to withdraw from an agreement made by prior generations?

    The southern states chose to forego working legitimately within the system

    Yes, they did. They wanted to withdraw and form a new system. I think that should have been their prerogative.

    A “democratic” process which excluded one-third of the population of the South because the other two-thirds put them in chains. Screw their “democratic process”.

    So does that invalidate everything else that happened prior to black suffrage? Sounds like we should toss out most of our legal history because our form of democracy was imperfect.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 28, 2008 @ 11:14 am
  216. first they attempted coercive and illegal tactics to violently subvert the movement towards abolition (by intimidating states to join the Union as pro-slavery)

    And again, I support the use of force in response to such things.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 28, 2008 @ 11:21 am
  217. Jeff,

    Representation was not a part of their colonial charters.

    The southern states weren’t colonies. They were incorporated into the Union with the clear understanding that our Constitution might at some point in the future be amended. They did everything they could to subvert that process via violent and coercive means, and when that no longer worked they tried to claim the rules didn’t to them because they were seceding. They brought the war on themselves.

    I think that should have been their prerogative.

    There is no state prerogative to enslave human beings who have committed no crime and strip them of their rights when that state is signatory to a Constitution clearly recognizing and listing those rights. Their entire argument hinges on the idea that their slaves were not human…which is clearly not the case. “All men…”, Jeff…”All men…”.

    So does that invalidate everything else that happened prior to black suffrage? Sounds like we should toss out most of our legal history because our form of democracy was imperfect.

    You wanted to cite democratic process…I’m pointing out to you that democratic process in the South was inherently flawed because it eliminated 1/3 of the population from the vote purely because of their race…1/3 who (assuming their vote wasn’t coerced by their “masters”) would have been extremely unlikely to vote in favor of continuing their slavery. The North excluded far fewer (since the slave population was significantly smaller) so if you want to make the comparative democratic legitimacy argument the North’s decision to crush the Southern rebellion was more legitimate than the South’s decision to secede.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 28, 2008 @ 11:38 am
  218. Jeff,

    And again, I support the use of force in response to such things.

    Federal troops intervening on a mass scale in Kansas very likely would have touched off the Civil War as well as the South would have seen it as a backdoor attempt by the North to crush slavery by openly offering armed support to abolitionists.

    Slavery poisoned everything it touched in this country and was the primary instigator of the Civil War and the pressure had been building towards conflict well before Lincoln. Like I said before, the Civil War was fought because it needed to be fought because it was likely the only way the slavery issue was ever going to be resolved. The neo-confederates are deluding themselves if they think otherwise.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 28, 2008 @ 11:43 am
  219. Actually, I suspect that many of them aren’t so much deluding themselves as wishing that the other side had won. Most of the people I’d consider to be neo-confederates have quite clearly shown themselves to also be bigots who’d be perfectly happy with slavery still in existence today.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 28, 2008 @ 11:45 am
  220. The southern states weren’t colonies. [etc]

    That wasn’t my point. My point was that the colonies were subject to a cross-generational pact and eventually a generation came along that said “Screw this.” Similarly, the South eventually decided to withdraw from a pact made by a previous generation.

    There is no state prerogative to enslave human beings who have committed no crime and strip them of their rights when that state is signatory to a Constitution clearly recognizing and listing those rights.

    Do you believe that cross-generational pacts are binding? They’re obviously a fact of life, but doesn’t any given generation have the right to opt out?

    Their entire argument hinges on the idea that their slaves were not human…which is clearly not the case. “All men…”, Jeff…”All men…”.

    Hey, I’m happy for the “seen” ends, but the means… the means were pretty bad and I’m sure there were “unseen” consequences. In hindsight, I can’t be certain that the price was worth it (because I don’t know what the alternative universe would have looked like) and I know full well that I couldn’t have supported such a questionable approach.

    You wanted to cite democratic process…I’m pointing out to you that democratic process in the South was inherently flawed because it eliminated 1/3 of the population from the vote purely because of their race

    The flaws run much deeper than that. Women, non-landowners, minors. Our democratic process has never been perfect and it still isn’t. Nonetheless, history must be judged in its own context and as far as such things go, it was a democratic decision.

    Federal troops intervening on a mass scale in Kansas very likely would have touched off the Civil War as well as the South would have seen it as a backdoor attempt by the North to crush slavery by openly offering armed support to abolitionists.

    And so be it. Like you said, it was an incredibly volatile situation. If it went down that way, I would accept the consequences of that alternative universe.

    What I can’t condone is the decision that the Southern states must maintain allegiance to Washington at all cost.

    The neo-confederates are deluding themselves if they think otherwise….
    Actually, I suspect that many of them aren’t so much deluding themselves as wishing that the other side had won.

    Ok, but hopefully you acknowledge that I’m not in that camp. I’m coming at this from a different angle for a different reason and I’m willing to concede different things. Please refrain from muddying our discussion with statements about what other (irrelevant) people think.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 28, 2008 @ 12:12 pm
  221. Jeff,

    Do you believe that cross-generational pacts are binding?

    I believe they’re binding on states more than individuals, and that states should suffer the consequences when they attempt to subvert or violate those pacts by unlawful means. The consequences of the southern states violating their pact with the Union was the war.

    The flaws run much deeper than that. Women, non-landowners, minors. Our democratic process has never been perfect and it still isn’t. Nonetheless, history must be judged in its own context and as far as such things go, it was a democratic decision.

    Nevertheless, slavery and the secession movement only continued because Southern governments, dominated by wealthy landowners looking to maintain their government-endowed financial privilege, disenfranchised the single biggest anti-slavery voting bloc. Their actions and methods were decidedly undemocratic.

    What I can’t condone is the decision that the Southern states must maintain allegiance to Washington at all cost.

    What I can’t condone is the idea that southern states were right to use coercion, violence and a sham of democratic process to keep a third of their people enslaved because and that the federal government had no authority to step in and stop it. The war was inevitable and the only reason slavery lasted as long as it did was because the Founding Fathers ducked the issue and the leaders who followed them bent over backwards to pass the buck on it reached the point where there was no other recourse but war.

    Coincidentally, this willingness to duck the tough issues in the hopes that someone else will solve it, even on a black and white issue of basic human rights, are why I don’t believe politicians will ever get rid of welfare until they have no other choice.

    Ok, but hopefully you acknowledge that I’m not in that camp.

    No worries, I get where you’re coming from. But you’re still quibbling about how an oppressive, unjust government should have been allowed to continue despite doing everything they could to illegally and violently subvert the system to which they were signatory (see SC’s post from 9:20 for more examples of how this went on). Lincoln may have been a bastard on many fronts, but I believe that the Civil War was ultimately a just conflict on the part of the Union.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 28, 2008 @ 1:28 pm
  222. I believe they’re binding on states more than individuals, and that states should suffer the consequences when they attempt to subvert or violate those pacts by unlawful means.

    Setting aside for the moment the actions of the militias that SC mentioned, were there other illegal actions that you can trace back to the state governments? Or are you just referring to your general belief that secession was unlawful in that circumstance?

    Back to the militias. Was Lincoln’s policy common knowledge by the time of those fort seizures? If so, they could easily be defended as a preemptive strike against an imminent threat. What nation wouldn’t oust what they saw as foreign garrisons in their territory. As long as they weren’t unnecessarily ruthless in the process, it’s understandable.

    Nevertheless, slavery and the secession movement only continued because Southern governments, dominated by wealthy landowners looking to maintain their government-endowed financial privilege, disenfranchised the single biggest anti-slavery voting bloc. Their actions and methods were decidedly undemocratic.

    Were people of African descent enfranchised anywhere outside of Africa? The South’s enfranchisement laws were at least on par with the rest of the world.

    The war was inevitable and the only reason slavery lasted as long as it did was because the Founding Fathers ducked the issue and the leaders who followed them bent over backwards to pass the buck on it reached the point where there was no other recourse but war.

    If they hadn’t ducked it, it’s very likely that we’d have had two nations from the outset. Would you have then supported an invasion of the southern country if it hadn’t abolished slavery by 1861?

    I think the entire discussion still comes to the legitimacy of secession. We know where we stand on this particular instance, but let’s discuss the big picture.

    What preconditions do you put on a secession attempt?

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 28, 2008 @ 2:18 pm
  223. Jeff,

    Lincoln had publicly and often announced his intention not to make any move against slavery where it currently existed and that his desire was to restrict its further expansion. He concurred that slavery could ONLY be ended in the states in which it currently existed via either constitutional amendment or by the individual states themselves (btw, such a constitutional amendment would have required, which requires ratification by 3/4 of the states – if we assume that the 11 Confederate states would have refused to have done so, there would have to be approval by 33 states to pass it. There were not 44 states in the Union in our timeline until the admission of Wyoming in 1890. If we assume the border states of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware would also have gone against the amendment suddenly the requirement becomes forty-five states ratifying, which would require a Union of sixty states which we obviously do not have even today).

    So…based on the fact that a presidential candidate promised to keep his hands off slavery where it currently existed, and in fact did not have constitutional authority to do so (the EP was a war measure and covered under his presidential war powers – no war, no EP)…and that it would be impossible to pass an abolition amendment…and that the south had a sympathetic Supreme Court on the bench (see Dred Scott decision)…we have the south’s decision to “preemptively strike against an imminent threat” (did Lincoln have WMD’s or something?!?).

    Oh, by the way – a Peace Conference chaired by former President Tyler and held in February 1861 that was intended to work out some compromises that would bring the seceding states back into the fold…and not a single seceding state sent so much as one delegate, not even to observe the proceedings or see what was being offered on the table.

    As I noted before, by the time of Sumter there about 16,000 Confederate troops in South Carolina ALONE (see the official records) – compare that to the 12,000 men in the standing US army, most of which were on the frontier west of the Mississippi somewhere or on the west coast, dribbled out in regiments and companies. Lincoln hadn’t accepted a single company of militia for federal service yet, nor had he made any attempt to move any large body of troops. The garrison at Sumter was less than eighty men, a couple of miles out in the harbor, in a fort whose guns did NOT face Charleston (in contrast to the many, many guns that the Confederates had trained on Sumter).

    So…what, exactly, was preemptive about the fort seizures?

    Comment by SC — February 28, 2008 @ 3:00 pm
  224. UCrawford,

    Where in the U.S. Constitution, the contract the States were party to, is secession forbidden?

    You write: “What I can’t condone is the idea that southern states were right to use coercion, violence and a sham of democratic process to keep a third of their people enslaved because and that the federal government had no authority to step in and stop it.”

    The first part of your analysis is correct, the southern States used coercion to tyrannize slaves. Where however, did the federal government gain the powers necessary to extinguish slavery? From where? What Article? What Section? What Clause? Point me to it.

    “states should suffer the consequences when they attempt to subvert or violate those pacts by unlawful means. The consequences of the southern states violating their pact with the Union was the war.”

    How did the southern States subvert or violate the compact? Point me to the clause… Point me to the unlawful means they employed, show me the law they broke. No State made a pact with “the union,” they made a compact with the other States.

    Your repeated citation of the Declaration of Independence notwithstanding, merely because “all men are created equal” does not in any way mean that the federal government, the later creature of the States ratifying the same, was empowered to subjectively enforce those rights against the very powers that created it. This “Orestian” federal government was never envisioned nor empowered by the framers: those whose ideas you claim to have inherited.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 28, 2008 @ 3:07 pm
  225. So…based on the fact that a presidential candidate promised to keep his hands off slavery where it currently existed, and in fact did not have constitutional authority to do so (the EP was a war measure and covered under his presidential war powers – no war, no EP)…and that it would be impossible to pass an abolition amendment…and that the south had a sympathetic Supreme Court on the bench (see Dred Scott decision)…we have the south’s decision to “preemptively strike against an imminent threat” (did Lincoln have WMD’s or something?!?).

    I respect and acknowledge everything you said, but you didn’t address the point of my question.

    As the states were preparing to secede (Lincoln’s promises notwithstanding), was it common knowledge that he intended to “preserve the Union” at all costs?

    Oh, by the way – a Peace Conference chaired by former President Tyler and held in February 1861 that was intended to work out some compromises that would bring the seceding states back into the fold…and not a single seceding state sent so much as one delegate, not even to observe the proceedings or see what was being offered on the table.

    Was a peaceful secession on the table?

    As I noted before, by the time of Sumter there about 16,000 Confederate troops in South Carolina ALONE (see the official records) – compare that to the 12,000 men in the standing US army, most of which were on the frontier west of the Mississippi somewhere or on the west coast, dribbled out in regiments and companies. Lincoln hadn’t accepted a single company of militia for federal service yet, nor had he made any attempt to move any large body of troops.

    The troops were trained and ready, no? The paperwork notwithstanding, if it was common knowledge that Lincoln wasn’t going to allow secession, it makes little difference whether or not he had mobilized his resources yet. If he was intent on preserving the union and they were intent on leaving the union, the conflict was imminent regardless of the details.

    The garrison at Sumter was less than eighty men, a couple of miles out in the harbor, in a fort whose guns did NOT face Charleston (in contrast to the many, many guns that the Confederates had trained on Sumter).

    Sumter occurred after secession, right? At that point the CSA considered itself a sovereign nation, so it’s a no-brainer that they would expel all foreign forces, by force if necessary.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 28, 2008 @ 3:39 pm
  226. Jeff,

    Were people of African descent enfranchised anywhere outside of Africa? The South’s enfranchisement laws were at least on par with the rest of the world.

    Lithuania and Japan abolished slavery in 1588; Russia in 1723; Portugal in 1761; Scotland in 1778; Germany and Prussia in 1807; Ecuador and Colombia in 1821; Greece in 1821; Chile in 1823; Mexico in 1829; Bolivia in 1831; the British empire in 1838; Uruguay in 1842; Argentina in 1843; Tunisia in 1846; Sweden in 1847; Denmark and France in 1848; Brazil in 1851; Peru and Venezuela in 1854; Moldavia in 1855; and Wallachia in 1856.

    All of these countries freed their slaves well before the South, so the South was decidedly behind the curve with no intention of pushing abolition until they were finally forced to by the U.S. government.

    If they hadn’t ducked it, it’s very likely that we’d have had two nations from the outset. Would you have then supported an invasion of the southern country if it hadn’t abolished slavery by 1861?

    But they didn’t. They signed up with full knowledge that the acceptance of slavery might change (as abolition was already underway in many of the aforementioned countries) because they wanted the benefits and protection that being part of the U.S. could provide them. If the South felt they could reap the benefits of being a part of a larger country without tradeoffs that’s their fault for being short-sighted greedy slavers. who entered into a contract fraudulently. Zero sympathy.

    And to answer your second question…no, I would not have supported an invasion of the South had they not signed on to be a part of the U.S. because they would always have been a separate sovereign nation (same as I don’t support invading Sudan because they practice slavery). But the South did agree to join the U.S., so it’s a pointless argument…the U.S. government was well within its authority to force the southern states to recognize the basic human rights of its enslaved population.

    are you just referring to your general belief that secession was unlawful in that circumstance?

    Yes. The South’s secession was illegitimate and illegal under those circumstances. I suppose that there may be circumstances where secession was legitimate…if the federal government attempted to reintroduce slavery I suppose I’d be for secession (although if it got that bad I’d probably look at emigrating instead). But those are going to be extremely few and they don’t change my belief that the South during the Civil War had no right or legitimate reason to secede.

    Was Lincoln’s policy common knowledge by the time of those fort seizures? If so, they could easily be defended as a preemptive strike against an imminent threat. What nation wouldn’t oust what they saw as foreign garrisons in their territory. As long as they weren’t unnecessarily ruthless in the process, it’s understandable.

    When the garrisons were seized the South had not opted to secede and therefore were in no way shape or form a nation (not that they were after they tried to secede either)…the people who seized those garrisons by force of arms were traitors committing acts of insurrection, regardless of the level of brutality.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 28, 2008 @ 4:28 pm
  227. Benjamin,

    Rationalize and bloviate in support your master race fantasy all you’d like, I’m done playing with you. You are a bigot and an apologist for institutionalized racism and your comments are unworthy of further reply.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 28, 2008 @ 4:37 pm
  228. Jeff,

    “I respect and acknowledge everything you said, but you didn’t address the point of my question.

    As the states were preparing to secede (Lincoln’s promises notwithstanding), was it common knowledge that he intended to “preserve the Union” at all costs? ”

    But how is that relevent to Governor Brown of Georgia, for example, ordering his state militia to seize forts in his state before the state secession convention had even voted? Same for the other states I mentioned that seized properties prior to secession votes. These were events that were not only pre-Sumter, most of them were even pre-inauguration. Georgia’s seizures, for example, happened in January, a couple of months before Lincoln took the oath. So what was the rush? Why not wait until AFTER the vote, when at least they might have been able to make a semblence of a claim to the properties?

    And besides, as I discussed Lincoln was no practical threat to slavery given his position on the Constitution and the amendment requirements, so secession was really based on a hysterical fear rather than practical reality.

    “Was a peaceful secession on the table?”

    No, but that was part of the point – it was an attempt at compromise to make an offer to the seceded states to come back. But what harm would there have been to the seceded states to at least entertain the thought and see what’s being offered? If the whole reason for their seceding could be addressed to their satisfaction, secession would be unnecessary, no?

    “The troops were trained and ready, no?”

    Half a continent away and widely scattered, so not really “ready”, no,not by any stretch of the imagination. And a lot of their officer corps had resigned their commissions to go south so there was a lot of bumping around of officer material going on.

    “The paperwork notwithstanding, if it was common knowledge that Lincoln wasn’t going to allow secession, it makes little difference whether or not he had mobilized his resources yet. If he was intent on preserving the union and they were intent on leaving the union, the conflict was imminent regardless of the details. ”

    Davis was being urged by high level Confederates to “strike a blow” in order to unite the slave states and galvanize the secession movement. Lincoln’s strategy was actually not (as is often claimed by the neo-Confederate crowd, which I don’t lump you in with, btw) to invade, but to let the secession movement die on its own accord. Lincoln firmly believed, right up until Sumter, that hard core secessionists were a minority of the population, and that with time and thought, cooler heads would prevail, people would come to their senses and see he wasn’t Evil Incarnate, and come back to the old associations of the Union (and in fact some of the secession convention votes were fairly close, so Lincoln had some good reason for this belief).

    Comment by SC — February 28, 2008 @ 4:49 pm
  229. “The South’s secession was illegitimate and illegal under those circumstances.”

    Oh UCrawford, you quit the field with such ignominy…

    You have failed to ever demonstrate a single racist claim I have ever made. All I have done is ask you, as would any lawyer worth his salt, what law, and by what authority, was slavery, or secession, illegal prior to the enactment of the 13th Amendment.

    Finally, the south never seceded. The States seceded, as States.

    A final time I ask you, what law did the southern States violate when they seceded? How was their individual acts, through popular convention and due process, contrary to any law? One brief citation will do… only one. Tell me by what constitutional right the federal government was empowered to invade seceding States, regardless of the degree of foolishness or depth of despotic reasons for their departure.

    “Rationalize and bloviate in support your master race fantasy all you’d like, I’m done playing with you. You are a bigot and an apologist for institutionalized racism and your comments are unworthy of further reply.”

    Wow, speaking of blowhards… I’m going to repost my reply to you from my eulogy of WFB.

    “he[Buckley] recognized the distinctions, the difficulties, and separated the individual moral worth of each human being from the value assigned to a particular culture. You see this as racist, but it is nothing of the sort, it is realist. It is logical to recognize that suffrage should be based on capacity, not on universal personhood, for the distinct reason that the voter does not exercise power alone over himself, but for everyone. Fundamentally, the people of America, of our communities, have a right to demand some safeguards concerning the acts upon which their welfare and existence depend.

    Of course I maintain that prior to the 13th Amendment, slavery was constitutionally protected. That is not bigoted, it is the truth. Lincoln and every historian in the country will agree…

    Only individuals can possess liberty, and some individuals are not capable of exercising it. Societies based on respect for the individual are indeed more entitled to have their people live in liberty, for they have, in the words of Franklin, “kept it.” Those who preserve the respect for the individual, those who never forget the price of individual liberty, and those societies which promote that remembrance, will deserve, and achieve, liberty.”

    I have never once mentioned race, for I have never written, nor will I ever write, that a subjective level of skin pigmentation should or can ever determine the claim to individual liberty possessed by the individual. I have written that certain cultures are more conducive to the development and preservation of liberty, and that, the West, as encapsulated in the Anglo-American experiment here in these United States, is the last, best hope for mankind on this earth.

    Whether this is bigoted I will leave up to the reader, but I take leave from you with only the observation that my position is neither radical, nor unreasonable. Followers of the Magna Carta are without doubt better suited to preserving a free republic than uneducated natives living in Baalem Valley in Irian Jaya, but this does not speak to superiority or inferiority, but merely to capacity for a sustained political system of liberty.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 28, 2008 @ 6:41 pm
  230. Benjamin,

    You can assert whatever interpretation of the Constitution you want.

    The fact that you stand up for the legitimacy of a “nation” that existed for the primary purpose of enslaving an entire race of human beings speaks for itself.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 28, 2008 @ 6:48 pm
  231. SC

    “No, but that was part of the point – it was an attempt at compromise to make an offer to the seceded states to come back. But what harm would there have been to the seceded states to at least entertain the thought and see what’s being offered? If the whole reason for their seceding could be addressed to their satisfaction, secession would be unnecessary, no?”

    The southern States sent a peace commission to President Lincoln and the federal government in Washington to seek a peaceful dissolution of the union. They sought to be allowed to freely depart, as they had entered.

    Whether or not secession was necessary has nothing to do with the primary question of constitutional right and authority. If the southern States were not barred by the U.S. Constitution from departing, by what clause can you point to declare their action unconstitutional? Where is the power to secede forbidden? As the federal government is one of delegated powers only, and the States hold general police powers in addition to the residuum of the complete sovereignty they held prior to ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and as in a compact, the only powers which pass to parties are those specifically delineated and granted… How was the constitution violated?

    We need never reach the issue of why the southern States seceded… (obviously to preserve their construction of the U.S. Constitution and the horrid institution of slavery), as the question is of legal right, not natural law theory.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 28, 2008 @ 6:48 pm
  232. Doug,

    “The fact that you stand up for the legitimacy of a “nation” that existed for the primary purpose of enslaving an entire race of human beings speaks for itself.”

    This is disingenuous. I have never defended the confederacy in any capacity, but instead, have pointed out the constitutionality of the seceding States actions, regardless of the motive which drove them to that point.

    Where have I defended slavery? You will never find it, for it is an egregious evil of epic proportions and it justifiably ate like an ulcer at the stomach of the south.

    My arguments do speak for themselves. I submit that the southern States did not violate the U.S. Constitution in departing the union, regardless of the foolishness or bigotry which drove their decision-making processes, and I have yet to see any constitutional provision which speaks to the contrary.

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 28, 2008 @ 6:52 pm
  233. Sorry guys, I have to tune out for awhile. I need to refocus on my priorities and as much as I enjoy these discussions, they don’t make the list.

    In fact, if you see me back here, scold me please. :-)

    P.S. Slavery could have been ended (by force, if necessary) without destroying forever the idea of secession. NOTHING (outside of BS PR) prevented Lincoln from recognizing the CSA.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — February 28, 2008 @ 7:31 pm
  234. Jeff,

    Slavery could have been ended (by force, if necessary) without destroying forever the idea of secession.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about it, Jeff…secession is a desperation move with almost no chance of success anyway (even if it were legal) and, frankly, there’s never been a compelling reason for states to secede since slavery, nor do I think will any reason sufficient enough to make states seriously consider secession arise in our lifetimes…if ever. Slavery was only so divisive and destructive because it was utterly incompatible with our nation…which is why the Founding Fathers passed the buck on dealing with it.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 28, 2008 @ 10:30 pm
  235. UCrawford:

    You write: “secession is a desperation move with almost no chance of success anyway (even if it were legal) and, frankly, there’s never been a compelling reason for states to secede since slavery, nor do I think will any reason sufficient enough to make states seriously consider secession arise in our lifetimes…if ever.”

    How precisely was secession illegal? What law did it violate, what constitutional provision did it run afoul of?

    No compelling reason? What about federal usurpation of reserved and undelegated powers? Is not a usurpation an act of tyranny, and if it is indeed tyranny, could it not be reasonably argued to be compelling?

    Comment by Benjamin Kuipers — February 29, 2008 @ 12:15 am
  236. This entire thread perfectly illustrates the inherent contradictions in trying to peg libertarianism within the monoploy enforcement model of the State.

    there is no doubt that the right of succession is a fundamental component of a classical liberal or “libertarian” state. To deny that, then you are denying the very essence of our “Declaration of Independence.” However, how is it really morally justifiable to give a “pass” to the South to have succeeded to perpetuate the contemptible institution of human slavery under the guise of libertarian doctrinal purity?

    In the end, the lesson to be learned is that there is a real underlying distinction between libertarianism and classical liberalism. Libertarianism is fundamentally an anarchist position(true to it’s 19th century historical roots) and classical liberalism is an 18th century enlightenment minarchist model that has not held up over time, indeed is likely flawed from the start.

    You may think anarchism is not viable. To the contrary, i would posit that anarchism is more viable and potentially much evolutionary stable than minarchy. Our 21st century global communications model is built fundamentally on an a de-centralized, anarchist model. The internet could survive just fine without the State. Say you put the internet under a minarchist, centalized monopoly control and I guarantee you within a specific time frame, it would devolve into an overbearing, centralized control framework.

    Ultimately, you are going to have to come to same conclusion that I did…Liberty is simply not compatible with monopoly enforcement. Anarchism is the only likely framework to sustain Liberty. David friedman, not Milton Friedman. Sure, it’s not going to happen within our short lifetime span, but I have to suppose that a 23rd century anarchist society is going to look down on the flaws of the 20th century with the same degree of smugness we look down on the flaws of pre-enlightenment European church/monarchy fusionism. How barbaric indeed…

    Comment by Kaligula — February 29, 2008 @ 2:06 am
  237. Kaligula,

    I agree that supporting government will ultimately entail at least some level of contradiction or even hypocrisy. For now I’m okay with that.

    But you make good points about this thread.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 6:31 am
  238. The prospect of a 23rd century anarchist society is hopeful & the idea of them looking back and down at us is fairly poignant. Indeed, good post Kaligula, specifically for the example of the Internet; I’ve often thought of similar things when it comes to the Internet and it’s effects on human beings in regards to society.

    Comment by Nitroadict — February 29, 2008 @ 7:34 am
  239. Doug,

    Returning to the original thrust of the thread – have had any response from the Paul campaign or have any further info on the mailer?

    Comment by SC — February 29, 2008 @ 7:35 am
  240. SC,

    Nope.

    And, as far as I know, neither has anyone else. There’s no mention of the ad on the campaign’s blog.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 29, 2008 @ 7:43 am
  241. Give it a year…that’s about the turnaround time for the Paul campaign to respond to anything apparently :)

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 7:47 am
  242. Kaliqula, that sword has an opposite edge too, i.e. the advancement of information and control technologies correlates with the opportunity for the advancement population behavior control.

    Comment by oilnwater — February 29, 2008 @ 7:50 am
  243. It’s rather frustrated the RP campaign won’t respond. Why they think ignoring such problems is a good idea, is beyond me.

    Going obviously off-topic, but I think an interesting metaphor for the type of critical mass I can see that could lead to what Kaliqula envisions can be found in the video game (I apologize for wasting my time with video games…. ;D) Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots:

    “Metal Gear Solid 4 portrays a world where the restriction of military intervention on foreign soil has been eased, fueling the need for private military companies (PMCs) to fight proxy wars for business purposes.”

    In addition, the line between soldier and civilian becomes increasingly blurred, as the world is catapulted into perpetual proxie wars.

    Taken in account with oilnwater’s counter that the sword has an opposite edge as well, I could somewhat foresee a time where the line between soldier and civilian is blurred to the point where the control of populations go both ways: goverment controlling people and people controlling people to fight the government.

    Obviously, not a very optimistic nor bright (let alone hopeful or morally right) possibility, but interesting & ominous all the same.

    Comment by Nitroadict — February 29, 2008 @ 12:56 pm
  244. Nitroadict,

    It’s rather frustrating the RP campaign won’t respond. Why they think ignoring such problems is a good idea, is beyond me.

    I suspect it’s because they don’t see the mailer or engaging in race-baiting as a problem.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 1:17 pm
  245. Indeed, I had almost forgotten what this entire page was about lol. I still find it odd though, whether or not they see the mailer or the race-baiting as problem, that they don’t respond either way.

    Comment by Nitroadict — February 29, 2008 @ 1:22 pm
  246. Nitroadict,

    I suspect it’s also because they realize that the presidential campaign is over so there’s really no point…plus I think Ron Paul’s campaign cut back on staffing so the response times to average folk writing in is even slower than before.

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 1:41 pm
  247. Even slower than a year? :) I suppose we can look forward to a response during the runup for the 2012 election…

    Comment by SC — February 29, 2008 @ 2:55 pm
  248. SC,

    I suppose we can look forward to a response during the runup for the 2012 election…

    My, my…someone’s quite the little optimist :)

    Comment by UCrawford — February 29, 2008 @ 2:58 pm
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