Monday, April 18, 2011


The scribes at West Virginia Blue, with their usual grasp of history and facts, have dubbed those supporting the Intrastate Coal and Use Act "Neo-Confederates." This must come from the fact that they are citing the Tenth Amendment and its defense of states' rights.

The Confederates did cite states' rights in defense of their cause, as did the legislators in the last session. That must mean that abolitionists in the North between 1850 and the Civil War were Confederates beofre the fact. In 1850, Congress passed a Fugitive Slave Act that expanded the law enforcement powers of United states Marshals and infringed upon property rights. Abolitionists cited states' rights in opposition. This makes them pre Confederates, according to the Democratic blog.

Other pre-Confederates, according to the logic of West Virginia Blue, include Democratic Party founders Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. They were the first to articulate states' rights doctrine. In 1798, they penned the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions that claimed state courts could find federal laws unconstitutional. The law that created such powerful objections was the Sedition Act. This law made it a crime to satirize or make any untrue statements about the government, its policies, or its officials. In other words, today it would allow the arrest of newspaper editors, the cast and crew of Saturday Night Live, and a lot of bloggers. Who defines what the truth is about the government? The government would! Jefferson and Madison knew no other recourse against such an abominable law rather than to resort to states' rights doctrine. And Madison, being the architect of the Constitution, would know what could and could not be done.

Since we are on the subject of associating ideas with regimes, I wonder if anyone at West Virginia Blue has ever done the following:

Driven on the interstate

Ridden in a jet plane

Used satellite television

Approved of Obama using cruise missiles in Libya

Owned, drove, or simply admired a Volkswagen

If so, this makes them neo-Nazis. The National Socialists came up with the idea of the authobahn, which Eisenhower adapted into the interstate highway system. The German Air Force invented the jet engine. Germans in World War II created the ballistic and cruise missiles; of course ballistic missiles were the basis for the rockets that brought the advance of space flight and satellite deployment. And we all know that Volkswagens were "Hitler's car."

The states' rights principles articulated by Republicans and Democrats in the past session are meant to put checks on an overreaching federal government. A bipartisan group of men and women want to make economic conditions better for everyone, regardless of race. They see the federal government standing in the way at every turn. and just like the co-founders of the Democratic Party, Messrs. Jefferson and Madison, they see states' rights as a shield of liberty when the federal government goes too far.

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