If I had my druthers, the coming melt down of the relationship between the American government and its people would arrive for a more noble cause. But as always, when the people speak, you make your plans accordingly.
I wish, for reference, you could all read the approximate 90 pages in Larry Schweikert’s The Patriots History of the United States (2004) in which he details the last 6-8 years leading up to secession and civil war in 1860. For thirty years both sides of the slavery issue had dug themselves into uncompromisable holes, especially the South, who had turned slavery from a “repugnant but necessary” economic institution to a near-religion. By the 1850s, philosophies had risen to exclaim its goodness, new economic theories were divined to show how really profitable it was, far out-pacing the industrial north, in both return on investment and manpower productivity. Just as today, numbers were fudged. And the churches were drawn in, many arriving at new regional theologies that allowed for God’s general disapproval of blacks (Hamites) and approval of benevolent masters taking those poor soulless people under their wings and giving them food and shelter in exchange for a day’s labor, with even some talk of a building a church, at least so long as they were not taught to read the Good Book, only hear it. (A son of the old South from the days of Jim Crow, these truths served as bitter pills to swallow when I first learned them fifty years ago, but they are truths nonetheless.)
The modern Democrat Party arose from this struggle over slavery, but by introducing cynicism into the political process, for the Party stood only for political power and patronage, and to do that slavery could not exist as a political issue, therefore was never spoken about. (The second leg of the Democrat Party was in 1896 when they publicly became the party of labor, and not-so publicly, the party of Marx. The third leg, we are seeing being carved out today.)
In these conditions, for twenty years leading into the Civil War, America’s politics was about everything under the sun except for that giant open, bleeding wound in its side. As the Democrat Party consolidated under this notion that slavery wasn’t an issue, the anti-slavery Whigs began splitting apart, because mainly, they had different ideas and factions as how to kill slavery off; one, by attrition (mistakenly believing it was only an economic institution) or by limiting its expansion as new western states came into the union, so that anti-slave states could out-vote the South.
By the mid-1850s, with the Fugitive Slave Act (a southern legislative victory but big loser otherwise) which required federal officers to return runaway slaves in the north to their owners, and the Dred Scott decision, where Chief Justice Roger Taney ruled that blacks, slave or free, aren’t people for any legal purpose, anti-slavery sentiment among voters in the north reached fever pitch, only the Whigs fell to quarreling among themselves, and split apart, handing the White House to slavery-friendly presidents in 1852 and 1856, because of new third parties. Enter the Republicans, who flew Anti-slavery as their main banner rather than hidden away in the party platform on page 3. The people flocked to them, and but for a third party, John C Fremont would have been elected president in 1856. Instead Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860, and as they say, the fight was on.
A lot of history to digest and interpret here, I’m sure, but without drawing the parallels too close, it is instructive how other-worldly things had become in Washington by 1852, vis a vis the citizenry, making it impossible for them to even understand, much less deal with the tide that was carrying the people inexorably toward a major confrontation. For by the time Kansas (Bleeding Kansas) entered the picture, with both anti-slave and pro-slavery out-of-state big donors sending in money and squatters who would become voters, then paid, then go back to Massachusetts, even Sharps rifle in crates marked “Bibles” (which Rev Henry Ward Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s dad, procured), people were shooting at one another.
Now today in America we don’t have the same chemistry for a confrontation between citizens and states, although sectionalism still holds many of those same emotions. But we do have a citizen vs government crisis looming, in which, depending on the state, one wonders on whose side the state governments will stand. It can get surreal…and complicated.
The current immigration “issue,” actually crisis, is based on a piece of legislation that the Senate has passed and Barack Obama says he wants to sign, but the GOP House of Representatives won’t send it to him. This bill amounts to amnesty. Simple enough. And, as everyone knows, as long as Obama is president, he will try to use extra-constitutional powers he’s used before, to implement only those portions of this “comprehensive” bill be deems profitable for himself and his Party; to wit: there will be no fence or airtight border security, as required by the law, nor will any new rules regarding collection and deportation of future illegals ever be executed, i.e., enforcement will continue to suck. (Federal ICE agents and administrators are already facing criminal charges for carrying out illegal orders as it stands, and once we can get a new AG to file the complaint, or we can hire off-duty Mossad agents to snatch them up, ship them off to Tel Aviv, where the Eichmann defense “I was only following orders” doesn’t serve as a legal defense, they may want to rethink their blind obedience to illegal orders. (I asked this same question of Arizona officials who could have rounded up ATF and DOJ officers in Phoenix during Fast and Furious.)
So by threatening to go it alone, using his executive powers again, Obama may be rolling the dice once too often, for the people no longer believe him, and have begun taking to the streets because of his extra-constitutional actions. Even California people, fergodsakes. And they don’t seem to be letting up. They aren’t leaving and going home to ruminate as they do after Glenn Beck makes a speech.
And now they are being confronted by counter-protests, so it is only for someone to bring a match.
I’ve never liked these sorts of confrontations, for “the mob” is a scary thing. But once the people get it into their heads to make an in-your-face statement to the government, it’s like trying to suppress an itch. This Murietta outburst can spread easily, and whether you make any connection at all, the Bundy mob in Nevada has something to do with it, in that ordinary people, just in listening to Obama’s almost daily huff and puff, and getting daily feeds of government high-handedness in virtually every state, are beginning to believe that staying at home and watching all this on television, or running to their closet to pray, simply isn’t enough. People feel more and more the need to make sure the people in Washington actually budge when they yell “Budge!”
Latter day historians can say that it was sectionalism, industrialism vs agriculture, two entirely different cultures that caused the Civil War. But it was slavery, and the proof is not just in the millions of young men who had never seen a black person but who enlisted to free him anyway, but also in the lengths American politicians went for nearly thirty years to act as if it weren’t an issue at all, even as that was the only topic of private conversation. When a house divides and collapses in on itself, it’s always because of the elephant in the room. So in the end, Abraham Lincoln’s being elected, and nothing more, caused the Civil War. And he was elected because he struck a single banner that had not been articulated by any candidate or a party for nearly a generation in America. The American people seem to be striking that banner now, whether Obama, the GOP or the media want it or not.
Barack Obama is liar. He almost never speaks the truth, but for the life of us, while we have our own opinions as to why, we cannot be sure whether he lies from stupidity, conspiracy, or just plain self-delusion. But the people seem to have made up their minds that they don’t need to know why. Some weeks ago, John Boehner, back when Eric Cantor was still on the payroll, said that the House could not push the immigration bill forward because “they could not trust Obama to actually execute the law they passed.” That was a winning argument, and by far the best in terms of connecting with the electorate, but then they buried it and went onto a different narrative. And in the process, as Eric Cantor largely proved, they seemed to be playing defense vis a vis their base when clearly should have been attacking. They’ve been leading from behind ever since.
Cantor may well still have his job had he and Boehner made the 2014 GOP banner, “The People Can’t Trust Obama” instead of all that green eye-shade talk about the numbers Paul Ryan had crunched or trying to make sympathetic appeals to illegals and their puppeteers in Congress and La Raza instead of talking trash with working Americans. And it would have helped had they used a bullhorn instead of a whisper. There were no whispers in Murietta. Today, and the Murietta protests prove, everyone, except for the 28% who are on Obama’s payroll and stand to gain by open-borders, believe without question that no one can trust a word Barack Obama utters. And Obama would be a fool to believe that his minions in the agencies will continue to follow his orders, fearful of someday having to actually use that Eichmann defense in court. His ground gets shakier with each passing day.
So carpe diem, GOP.
John Boehner may be the only person in America who can get out in front and diffuse the mobs and the gathering storm they represent and turn them into a positive force of change before it gets out of hand. All he has to do is step before the camera and microphone, every day for the next three months if need be, and say “The People Can’t Trust Obama and Congress can do nothing until he is gone.”
The sooner the better.