31. January 2005 · Comments Off on I Am So Disappointed! · Categories: General

One of my most-favored blog-peers, Glenn Reynolds, seems to disfavor the Right of Secession. So, I put this to you Glenn, man of Law and Letters, tell us how it is? And please place your argument in pre-1860 terms. Well, perhaps that means you must tell it to us how it was?

The fact is, secession was progressing apace under James Buchanan. It took the Unionist administration, under The Great Traitor, Lincoln, to go intransigent over the inconsequential forts at Charleston and Pensacola.

And then, when his unpopular war was getting politically out-of-hand, he did a very Bush43-esce move, and changed the whole paradigm from preservation of the Union, to emancipation of the slaves.

Of course, I could go deeper, into Lincoln’s unconstitutional suspension of Habeas Corpus (which also ties neatly into today), or his unconstitutional leveling of an income tax. But I think we are in agreement there.

And I might romanticize The Confederacy. But I can’t. We also agree it was a disaster. But, can I deny its right to exist? No!

Update: I was just rereading Lincoln’s July 4, 1861 Address Before the Joint Special Session of Congress. I suggest that anyone not familiar with it give it a read. It very much confirms the notion that Lincoln was indeed a “smooth talking lawyer.”

In it, Lincoln constructs the sophistry that all States, including the original 13, did not exist as sovereign entities prior to the creation of the Union. And that the several States are entities of the Union, in the manner that counties are entities of the States. He even goes so far as to claim that The Republic of Texas was not a “state” – thereby totally contorting the English language. Every sovereign nation is also a state. To give a modern-day example: we use the terms “State of Israel” and “Nation of Israel” interchangeably.

Lincoln relies on the notion which we here in America often condemn our European friends for: that rights emanate from the governing body, and are granted to the governed. This is contrary to the very principle that we Americans hold most dear: that each individual is sovereign unto themselves, and surrender certain limited powers to the States, with the intention of maintaining an orderly society.

Admittedly, the Right of Secession is not specified in the Constitution; it requires a certain amount of penumbral reasoning. But I seem to recall critiquing (favorably) an article by Glenn where he favors the concept of penumbral reasoning. I agree with Antifederalist Patrick Henry; the Preamble should have started with “We the People, of the States of…” Then perhaps Lincoln would not have been able to sow his misconceptions. But the Tenth Amendment, without which the Constitution, and thus the Union, would have never have existed, clearly states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. ”

Further, Lincoln takes on faith the notion that partition of a nation will set of a domino effect leading to total chaos. We know from several latter-day examples that this simply is not the case. I ask, did Ethiopia cease to exist after the creation of Eritrea?

I must further ask, how is it that the dissolution of Yugoslavia was a good thing, and not the dissolution of the United States. Further, I must ask how anyone who supports a war which featured Grant’s Siege of Vicksburg, and Sherman’s March to the Sea, possibly have moral standing to condemn Saddam’s Repression of the Kurds?

Comments closed.