Tuesday, December 14, 2004

States Rights, The Constitution in Exile -- A "B After The Fact" Greatest Hit

Working on the novel this morning.

The New York Times finally ran an editorial note about The "Constitution In Exile" . The New Republic notes that given the Democratic losses in Washington Justice Rehnquist's views on State Rights do not appear to be half bad.

Gratefully acknowledging and thanking all the new readers I am getting, noting the perogatives of my other writing, my marriage, my full time job, and the holiday season, I offer you one of the entries you may not have read earlier. One of those that I think defines me best and defines what worries me most.

This is from October 15, 2004, slightly edited. I think it helps, every once and awhile, to reset the argument.


It is increasingly clear, as I have been saying, in one form or another, for 20 years and counting (although not on this blogsite recently), that the only important war in the United States is the Civil War, and it is constantly being refought. I will try to say a lot more about that in the months to come.

This is a real high water mark for the Confederacy. The opportunity for the intellectual heirs of the Confederacy and Jim Crow to control the White House for the first time since Woodrow Wilson is more important than any consequence of having a man-who-would-be-King in the White House.

It is more important than whether or not what Bush is doing helps Jim Crow or the Confederacy at all. One thing about Bush, he is not in any way, shape or form a racist. He carries less baggage about race than any major political figure in any of our lifetimes, including people like Carter and Clinton, who had baggage but found a way to leave some of it behind.

States rights, as I have been saying all along, is not a philosophy, its a tool. When your guy controls the White House, you don't need states rights. That's why there has been massive Federal involvement in areas like education and family arrangements and so-called faith-based initiatives, which have typically been the domain of the states. Whether the power brokers in individual states, mostly conservatives, will complain in a second term, when they see the cumulative effect of having their perogatives (and their control of the purse strings) diminished, remains to be seen.

There are no governmental checks and balances on the Bushies.

The right-wing says that there are checks and balances coming from Ted Kennedy and the left-wing media. There is only one Ted Kennedy, and he gets older and fatter every year. There is no left-wing media that matters. Professional journalists who regularly make six-figures may not be Republicans, but they are not liberals, and they couldn't see the left wing if they were floating in space. There are no checks and balances on these guys.

There are not, and will never be, enough liberals to stop these things, just as there were never enough liberals to force Nixon to resign. There is not, and never was, and never will be, enough liberal media or enough so-called Jews to stop McCarthyism or the Red Scare, or Gingrichism. These are house-cleanings that must be done by self-styled conservatives who believe that justice, freedom, restraints on power, and most importantly, the rule of law, matters most, even when it leads to some limitation on their own power. These guys have woken up before, maybe they can again. 216 years of the Constitution and counting is just a statistic. It means nothing if we don't work at it.

It is also possible that we may finally see some push-back from religion, but I am way out of my depth. I hope to see something, but I couldn't describe what I was looking for, and I won't be able to see it until it is sitting on me.