Now, as in the 1860s and 1960s, nullification and interposition are pseudo-constitutional notions taken up in the face of national defeat in democratic politics. Unable to prevail as a minority and frustrated to the point of despair, its militant advocates abandon the usual tools of democratic politics and redress, take refuge in a psychodrama of “liberty” versus “tyranny,” and declare that, on whatever issue they choose, they are not part of the United States or subject to its laws—that, whenever they say so, the Constitution in fact forms a league, and not a government. Although not currently concerned with racial supremacy, the consequence of their doctrine would uphold an interpretation of the constitutional division of powers that would permit the majority of any state to reinstate racial segregation and inequality up to the point of enslavement, if it so chose.
That these ideas resurfaced 50 years ago, amid the turmoil of civil rights, was as harebrained as it was hateful. But it was comprehensible if only because interposition and nullification lay at the roots of the Civil War. Today, by contrast, the dismal history of these discredited ideas resides within the memories of all Americans who came of age in the 1950s and 1960s—and ought, on that account, to be part of the living legacy of the rest of the country. Only an astonishing historical amnesia can lend credence to such mendacity.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
What Does Slavery, Civil Rights and Health Reform Have in Common?
Sean Wilentz of The New Republic writes a fantastic article dealing with the issue of nullification and interposition, and how they are always used after a political defeat, such as what happen with the recent passing of Health Reform.
Wilentz points out how the basic sore losers use these tactics in a blatant attempt to get their way after a Democratic defeat, spitting in the face of Article VI of the Constitution.
It strikes me as funny, that the party who constantly accuses the Democratic party of stepping all over the Constitution, now wants to ignore it to get their way.
Read the article it gives perspective to what many GOP State Attorney Generals are trying to do.