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Don't repeat this history [Cokie Roberts and Civil War]
Oakland Tribune ^ | Cokie and Steven Roberts

Posted on 04/12/2010 12:13:20 PM PDT by Plutarch

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Looking out from the harbor here, it's easy to imagine a mortar lighting up the night sky as it hurtled toward Fort Sumter and signaled the start of the Civil War. It's also easy, standing inside the walls of the island garrison, to view today's nullification battle over health care less as a frivolous political game and more as a serious threat to the Constitution.

"The last ray of hope for preserving the Union peaceably expired at the assault on Fort Sumter," mourned President Abraham Lincoln. Painted on the wall of the fort's small museum, those words remind us that the war was the final act in the unraveling of the union. The disintegration began here in South Carolina as well, with the state's declaration almost 30 years earlier that federal tariff laws were "unauthorized by the Constitution ... and are null, void and ... not binding on this state."

That states' rights sentiment is with us again. The attorneys general of 14 states have filed suit challenging the health care law because, they argue, the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to require the purchase of health insurance. Virginia, acting in direct defiance of federal law, passed a measure making mandated health insurance illegal.

To critics who say this is just political gamesmanship by Republican AGs (plus a Louisiana Democrat who claims he's doing the bidding of the Republican governor), the states' chief law-enforcement officers insist they're following in a tradition dating back to the Founding Fathers themselves. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, they remind us, wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions challenging the Alien and Sedition Acts as an assumption of "undelegated powers" by the federal government. The 1798 resolutions termed the laws "unauthoritative, void and of no force."

It's a familiar argument to anyone who lived through the civil-rights era in the American South when Jefferson and Madison were hauled out regularly as champions of states' rights. The memory of that struggle remains fresh in Arkansas, where the attorney general has resisted pressure to join the nullifiers, sharing Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe's view that "They tried it here in Arkansas in '57, and it didn't work." That year, President Dwight Eisenhower sent in federal troops to enforce school integration, deeming the Supreme Court's school-desegregation decision "the law of the land."

Recalling his state's history, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel bluntly concludes: "A state deciding that it wants to singularly defy federal law simply because the citizens may not like it — that's not the way the democratic process works. That's not the way the Constitution is set up."

In the 1950s, it was the Supreme Court, not the Congress, that then-Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus took on by his insistence that "neither the state of Arkansas nor its people delegated to the federal government ... the power to regulate or control the operation of the domestic institutions of Arkansas."

And it's the Supreme Court that is likely to have the final say on this current challenge to federal authority. Most legal experts agree that the justices will probably uphold the health care law under the clause of the Constitution that gives the federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce. But the currently constituted court could come to a different conclusion, and the defenders of states' rights could once again, as they did in the days before the Civil War, find a judicial branch sympathetic to their views.

It's hard to imagine what would happen politically if the Supreme Court sided with some states against Congress. The already severely frayed fabric of government would certainly be further torn apart. It's far better to leave the health care debate in the arena of electoral politics — and for the losers to accept defeat. That's the essence of democracy.

It's an election, after all, that defused that first challenge to federal authority. Jefferson won the presidency and simply allowed the Alien and Sedition Acts to expire. The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions became irrelevant until the South Carolina nullification declaration when John Calhoun invoked them as precedent for his actions. But Madison was still around to dispute Calhoun, calling the South Carolinian's attempt to defy the law "anarchical," adding that it would have "the effect of putting powder under the Constitution & Union, and a match in the hand of every party, to blow them up at pleasure."

Which, of course, is exactly what happened 30 years later here at Fort Sumter. It's not a history any American wants to repeat.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: South Dakota; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: cokie; cokieroberts; dixie; hysteria; obamacare; partisanwitchhunt; playtheracecard; pravdamedia; statesrights; stupidcokiehead
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To: Plutarch

Cokie Roberts once hosted a prime time special on the positive effect of Ted Turner being the next President and Jane Fonda the next first lady.

I’m surprised there was not a class action law suit against her and her network for the pain and suffering that followed via a mass barf attack.


61 posted on 04/12/2010 2:01:51 PM PDT by TET1968 (SI MINOR PLUS EST ERGO NIHIL SUNT OMNIA)
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To: Plutarch
"the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to require the purchase of health insurance."

Exactly.

If they can make me buy the government approved Health Insurance I don't want, they can make me buy government approved undies at K-Mart. And we all know that K-MART SUCKS!

0bamaCare is about who owns whom. Do we own the government, or does the government own us? If they can dictate how we spend all our money, they own us.

That's enough for a revolution.

62 posted on 04/12/2010 2:03:27 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (http://www.teapartyslogans.com/cgi-bin/web/index.cgi)
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To: potlatch

-

“Cokie” Robert*s father Hale Boggs, as House Democrat Leader, signed the Southern Manifesto and opposed civil rights for blacks.

He soon “disappeared” - never again to play corrupt Louisiana political games.....

Amusing how democrats that suddenly become multi-millionaires in Congress love to use US taxpayers money to fund their elitist Socialist dreams, agendas, scams, and extortion schemes.

- In the proud tradition of Obama campaign contributor Bernard Hussein Maddoff - who daily strolled Manhattan sidewalks while under “Penthouse Arrest”


63 posted on 04/12/2010 2:03:56 PM PDT by devolve
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To: SeeSharp
The US was one of the last civilized nations to abolish slavery. The British Empire used their navy to suppress the slave trade all over the world for three decades before the US abolished slavery.

Well, that was awfully nice of them, considering they brought slavery to the New World in the first place, along with the other European powers. Slavery was never legal in the UK mainland, but they had no qualms about using it in their colonies. When time came where the UK powers-that-be decided that slavery was distasteful, they had no problem making it illegal because they had never allowed themselves to become economically dependent on it in the homeland as they had in the colonies. Basically, they created the slavery mess in the colonies and we had to clean it up, at great price.
64 posted on 04/12/2010 2:04:12 PM PDT by fr_freak
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To: Uncle Miltie

The first thing you should ask to preface any question to any elected official should be:

“How do you see our relationship - do you answer to me, or me to you? We’ll proceed from there.”


65 posted on 04/12/2010 2:04:59 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: Plutarch
"the federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce"

By not allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines, 0bummerCare specifically excludes this aspect of the commerce clause from applying. Insurance is a purely Intra-State economic transaction.

66 posted on 04/12/2010 2:06:21 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (http://www.teapartyslogans.com/cgi-bin/web/index.cgi)
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To: Plutarch

Strong it is, the Kool-Aid in this one.

67 posted on 04/12/2010 2:13:09 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: Plutarch

Wow, Kookie is really proving her name is well earned.

What she has written is wrong on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin.

A democracy - err, no, we are not and I hope we never are.

If Texas was joining a suicide pack, I wish they would have told us upfront when the contract was signed instead to claiming it is 160 years later - what did they use, invisible ink for that clause?

Trying to follow (I can’t) Kookie’s lack of logic would mean if Mussolini comes to power in the US, disbands Congress and the Supreme court - we’re just suppose to shrug our shoulders and “ok, guess we lost, which way to the gas chamber?” What a moron she is.

Kookie really has no earthly idea why their is an America, how it is formed, why it was special, and why people sacrificed their lives to protect it.

It is because of these kinds of wack jobs that I have lost faith in some of the geography of the North America and want a divorce. Even if we leave this marriage broke, we’d be free back on our feet in no time at all.


68 posted on 04/12/2010 2:16:22 PM PDT by rigelkentaurus
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To: rockrr
Thank God we have we have a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy!

HAD a Constitutional Republic...I doubt we do anymore.

I cringe when I hear people wallowing about 'democracy'...like it's some sacred religion that all must abide with.

We've degenerated into a 'democracy' over time...with allowing voters to popularly elect Senators, and allowing anyone over the age of 18 to vote, regardless of their contribution to the cost of government.

69 posted on 04/12/2010 2:33:43 PM PDT by Ethrane ("obsta principiis")
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To: MrB
FWIW, here's a tidbit from the VA Resolutions of 1799:

"That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the Federal Government as resulting 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.”

70 posted on 04/12/2010 2:39:24 PM PDT by Jacquerie (It is happening here.)
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To: Jacquerie

That’s really clear -

“limited by the plain sense and intention”,
“no further valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated”...

Of course, the left, inherent in their worldview, looks at anything written in the past, be it law, agreement, or constitution, as being inferior to the “articulated knowledge” of their elected elites.


71 posted on 04/12/2010 2:47:52 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: seastay
...comparing Obamas presidency to the civil war times.

There was a time The Won was trying to compare himself to Lincoln.

Many here observed that was not a good sign.

72 posted on 04/12/2010 3:37:35 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: DuncanWaring
There are some here who apparently think it is an apt comparison...
73 posted on 04/12/2010 3:46:13 PM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: Plutarch

The states properly and legally petitioning the courts for redress is part of federalism. Cokie is a fascist idiot. She’d more likely fit into 1930’s Germany and stand around and scream “Seig heil!”


74 posted on 04/12/2010 5:13:28 PM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: All

Abandon the Constitution to save it?... http://texas.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2010/04/abandon-the-constitution-to-save-it/


75 posted on 04/12/2010 6:10:40 PM PDT by Pantera
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To: throwback

Heads they win, tails we lose?


76 posted on 04/12/2010 8:18:06 PM PDT by Pining_4_TX
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To: devolve

And no one would ever dare to bring what her father did up to her. Twouldn’t be ‘nice’.....


77 posted on 04/13/2010 3:09:48 PM PDT by potlatch (~~"Where secrecy or mystery begins, vice or roguery is not far off. "~~)
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To: Plutarch
Looking out from the harbor here, it's easy to imagine a mortar lighting up the night sky as it hurtled toward Fort Sumter and signaled the start of the Civil War.

We're throwing mortars at them now?

78 posted on 04/14/2010 12:42:22 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: mak5
Cokie would gladly give up her freedom if Barack asked her to do so.

Not to point out the obvious, but he has, and she is.

79 posted on 04/14/2010 12:45:17 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Terabitten
If the Federal government can ignore the 2nd and 10th amendments (as it has continuously for years), why shouldn’t it ignore the First and Fourth, as well?

Another question would be: "Cokie, assuming for the sack of argument that your ludicrous, moronic read of the Constitution is correct, then given the fact that the Feds have run roughshod over so much of it for so long, how can you object if the states retaliate by doing the same thing now?"

80 posted on 04/14/2010 12:49:19 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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