Ron Paul

David Frum Accuses Ron Paul of Openly Preferring "the slaveholding cause," and says "there's much to dislike about Ron Paul's politics, and I dislike every bit of it"

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Never forget!

To the surprise of no one who knows the man's name, David "Unpatriotic Conservatives" Frum has, in the wake of Andrew Sullivan's endorsement, delivered a withering anti-endorsement of Ron Paul for president. Sample:

Some see him as a corrective to militaristic nationalism. Or as a principled champion of limited government. Or as a leader who can curb the excessive influence of social conservatives.

Those perceptions are not very realistic, but leave that pass for now. More to the point–even if true, which they are not, these are not the correctives present-day Republicanism most needs. The thing most wrong with present-day Republicanism is its passivity in the face of the economic crisis, its indifference to the economic troubles of the huge majority of the American population, and its blithe insistence that everything was fine for the typical American worker up until Inauguration Day 2009 or (at the outer bound of the thinkable) the financial crisis of the fall 2008.

It is the lack of concern to the travails of middle-class America that "reform Republicans" should most centrally be concerned with.

And no candidate in this race–ok, except maybe the defunct Herman Cain–has been more persistently, aggressively, and forcefully heedless of those travails than Ron Paul.

Everything else that's wrong with Paul–the paranoia, the crank theories–exists as an adjunct to this first prime fault. And the success of Paul in winning a boutique audience for his message has driven the rest of the field to mimic his crank monetary theories. In the midst of the worst crisis since the 1930s, the one thing that all the current and former first-tier candidates have agreed upon (even Mitt Romney!) is the need for tighter money and higher interest rates. That should seem obviously nuts, and not in a theoretical or marginal way that denying evolution is nuts. The press for tighter money and higher interest rates now is the kind of nutty thing that a government can actually do–and that would inflict severe, immediate real-world harm on the US and world economy.

There's much to dislike about Ron Paul's politics, and I dislike every bit of it. (It's maybe remote from current concerns, but at a minimum, I have no patience for a professed libertarian who openly prefers the slaveholding cause in the US Civil War.)

But the Ron Paul problem is bigger than Ron Paul. The real shame is the gravitational pull Paul exerts on exactly those people, like Andrew Sullivan, but many others too, who ought to be leading the fight for a GOP more attuned to the challenges and aspirations of middle-class America–but who have been attracted via Ron Paul to an ideological cure even worse than the right's present political disease.

There is no hyperlink on that "openly prefers the slaveholding cause in the US Civil War." A Google search leads me to this Paul interview with Bill Maher, in which the lifelong anti-war advocate asserts that "the Civil War wasn't fought over slavery," and avers that there were better options for ending the peculiar institution, formulations that he also gave in 2007 on Meet the Press. Here's the relevant part of the Maher interview:

I disagree with Paul's assertion that the Civil War wasn't fought over slavery (read Charles Oliver's classic 2001 Reason piece arguing the contrary), and I think his revisionist counter-proposal to have the North buy up the South's slaves sounds more than a bit naive, but none of that sounds to me like an open preference for "the slaveholding cause." Being against wars does not mean being in favor of the other side. It would be a queer thing indeed to favor the cause of slaveholding in one breath, while denouncing slavery-era Supreme Court justifications for slavery in the next.

Reason on the Civil War here, on Ron Paul here, and on David Frum here, including his supporting role in my recent essay on "The Simpletons: David Brooks, Thomas L. Friedman, and the banal authoritarianism of do-something punditry." Brian Doherty had a relevant piece about "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Libertarian" back in April 2007.

NEXT: John Stossel on Job Creators Who Are Tired of Being Pushed Around

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  1. A major crack-up of the GOP is seeming more and more likely. Awesome.

    And I’m starting to believe a Paul/Johnson LP run would really help the cause.

    Probably all a pipe dream, but not nearly as improbably as it once was.

    1. I don’t agree. They’re still likely to come away with control of both houses and the White House.

      Will they actually be willing to withdraw their support if Paul were nominated to the point of electing Obama? I don’t think they’re that crazy, but I’m not sure.

      1. Douchebags like Frum would. But the actual voters I am not sure. I look at my father. He won’t support Paul because he thinks Paul will surrender to the Muslims. While I think some of Paul’s supporters would probably do that, I don’t think he would. And I think events and the responsibility of being President will drive him to do things neither he nor his supporters ever dreamed he would do. That said, will people like my father suck it up and vote for Paul? Probably unless there is a serious third party alternative.

        If Paul were to win the nomination, would the establishment take their marbles and go home and launch a third party bid depriving Paul of the votes of people like my father and millions like him? If so, Paul has no chance. If not, Paul wins like any other Republican candidate will in 2012.

        1. I agree that the voters, by and large, would not oppose Paul to such an extent.

        2. he thinks Paul will surrender to the Muslims

          What does that even mean?

          1. Nothing actually. I was being a bit of a smart ass. But seriously, I think people look at Paul’s desire to disengage with the world as woefully naive and dangerous to American security.

            1. Ron Paul doesn’t want to “disengage with the world”, he just wants the US to stop trying to run it.

              1. …and also disengage with it. His FP is some good and a lot of bad.

            2. He doesn’t want to “disengage”. I lived overseas 27 yrs. Looking at us from the outside, we, the US look like a big, slightly slow minded, bumbling drunk bull in a china shop. I’m not sure why we need 12 active Aircraft Carries too. We are broke you know. I bet if instead of sending them to foreign ports for shore leave, we could stimulate our own coastal economies by having them vist some of our US ports.

        3. If Paul were to win the nomination, would the establishment take their marbles and go home and launch a third party bid…

          The neocons already have Rudy Giuliani warming up in the bullpen for that third-party run, just in case.

          1. Then they will ensure the re-election of Obama.

          2. Well thank god! I had so missed seeing him dress in drag.

      2. Obama fits much better with Frum than either Paul or Romney.

      3. My opinion is still that the Presidency is a tossup, Republicans have an edge in the House and Senate.

    2. Just sticking this in here arbitrarily:

      Secession was over slavery, the Civil War was over secession.

  2. The attack dogs are on. Here is Hot Air’s despicable attack:

    http://hotair.com/archives/201…..-paul-win/

    1. Note they rely heavily on Reason for back up. Maybe a response is in order? They openly suggests that he actually wrote them.

    2. What do you expect? Neocons being neocons is no surprise.

    3. They are playing fast and loose with the definition of “quote” in regard to the 1996 Chronicle article where Paul supposedly “admits” writing the newsletters. The emboldened “when he wrote the newsletters” is the author of the article’s wording, not Ron Paul’s.

      1. I’m not one of the types to think that this is whole deal is meaningless but that is just an atrocious piece of journalism. They rely on the Houston Chronicle, a notoriously terrible and liberal newspaper, mischaracterize Reason’s coverage of RP to give it libertarian cred and blatantly lie about him have written it. I know they know better because they covered it in 2008. Even for their own site this is old news and yet they are publishing it as though it is some new bombshell that needs to be investigated.

        Also the fact that all of these articles have come out on the same day makes me highly suspicious.

        1. I’m not the conspiratorial type, but I think the Republican journolists’ realize he’s a threat and are working hard to marginalize Paul.

          http://minx.cc/?post=324757

          1. Yeah, I’m not saying its a conspiracy like they all called each other up and said let’s do this shit but rather that they have all been holding on to this, ready to publish and once someone plunged in the rest followed.

  3. The war was more complex than just being to end slavery, but slavery certainly wasn’t a side issue.

    It would’ve been nice if some slavery-ending compromise to avoid a huge war could have been negotiated, but it probably wasn’t going to happen, given the various reasons the regions were drifting apart.

    1. If the North had seceded as a sizeable faction of abolitionists advocated, everybody would all have been better off, with the exception of the slave-holders.

      1. No doubt.

        Slavery, besides being evil and immoral, was also a bad bet economically. It’s sad that the South couldn’t see that more clearly.

        1. Well, the slave-owners were in a Catch-22 situation: the laws that were put in place to mitigate the costs also imposed costs on slave-owners who wished to get out of the system.

          Take the case of Thomas Jefferson, if he had freed his slaves, I have read that he would have harmed his wife’s estate and thus would have exposed himself to a lawsuit in probate court. If one purchassed a business with slaves where the bank had a lien (let’s say they had been used as collateral to a loan), one couldn’t manumit the slaves – not without the bank’s permission, etc.

          I’m sure moral people chose to pay the costs to do the right thing, but many more people were deterred and went along with a system they disliked but felt compelled to compromise with.

          In the long run, it was uneconomical. I think the southerners desperate attempts to retain control of the federal legislature and to extend their reach into new regions was an attempt to overcome their increasingly untenable position competing with farmers using paid labor and industrial equipment.

          1. Take the case of Thomas Jefferson, if he had freed his slaves, I have read that he would have harmed his wife’s estate and thus would have exposed himself to a lawsuit in probate court.

            He refused to free them even on his deathbed, so that reasoning is extremely implausible.

            Nice to see that Reason’s whitewashing of TJ’s bio is continuing apace, though.

            1. He was broke on his deathbed. His slaves were the only asset he had and selling them the only way he could hope to leave his children anything.

              1. Wow, what a fucking hero. Continuing other humans’ enslavement so his kids could have an inheritance.

                If he didn’t want to die penniless, maybe he shouldn’t have been so profligate in his spending. John Adams didn’t need to enslave anyone to give his kids an inheritance.

                1. He was morally weak and didn’t do the right thing. But that said, we are all morally weak and often don’t do the right thing. Those without sin. It is easy for us to sit in judgment 200 years later. I would like to think I would have had the moral courage to walk away from a rich life of ease and into poverty to avoid the taint of slave owning. But I know myself and human nature well enough to say I and most people probably would not have.

                2. Wow, tulpy, so now you are upset he didn’t break the law and fraudulently sell property he didn’t have clear title too?

                  I’m pleasantly surprised to see that there are limits to your slavish obsequy to the state’s laws.

                  1. I’m not suggesting he should have sold them, dumbass. There were no legal obstacles to manumission other than a lawsuit.

                    And property laws involving slavery were null and void anyway since they were unconstitutional.

                    1. And property laws involving slavery were null and void anyway since they were unconstitutional.

                      Wow! You’re agreeing with Lysander Spooner now (and disagreeing with the Supreme Court of the time)?

                      Come on over to the dark side, tulpa! Embrace the Constitution of No Authority and become an anarchist!

                    2. “And property laws involving slavery were null and void anyway since they were unconstitutional.”

                      I’ll give you immoral, but unconstitutional? Really? That’s a hard sell for me since the document explicitly dealt with the matter (the importation ban date and the apportionment clause come to mind).

            2. “[Jefferson]…refused to free them even on his deathbed, so that reasoning is extremely implausible.”

              He couldn’t free them. He was in hock to his eyeballs. His creditors already owned the slaves.

              1. IOW, he had not just mortgaged his house and his land, he’d morgaged his slaves, as well.

                Jefferson might have been a great philosopher and all round renaissance man (writer, architect, inventor) but he was a dreamer and a piss poor business man.

                1. What can I say? He’s the kind of guy who was so in love with mountain views that he built his plantation house on the top of a mountain instead of on the banks of a river, the way every practical landowners did. That way, he ensured that it would be difficult and expensive to move materials to the construction site. (I’m not sure where Monticello’s crops were grown, but if the fields were on the mountain as well, Jefferson ensured that it would also be difficult and expensive to move his produce to market.)

        2. Slavery isn’t just an economic decision, it’s a social one. Unfortunately, humans have a tendency to like being “better” than other humans. That’s why they would never have just made an intelligent economic decision.

          1. ^^This^^ The entire antebellum culture and sense of white supremacy was built on slavery. They were not going to give that up without a fight. Most people who fought the war for the South didn’t even own slaves. Yet, they willingly fought and died for the cause of slavery.

            1. The war was more over the divisive nature of the Union and the allocations of tarrifs. Most of the money was raised in the South and spent in the North in the years leading up to the war.

              1. That is like saying that someone who drinks gin and tonic every day is suffering fro liver disease from an overage of tonic water.

                Sure, the tariffs were an issue. But that is not why the South succeeded. And that is not why people started killing each other. The South never seriously considered succeeding and didn’t have any kind of serious militia system to do it with until after John Brown’s raid. It was at that point the South went crazy and started getting paranoid. They didn’t leave the union over tariffs. They left the Union because the were convinced that the western territories were going to come in as free states and the North would succeed in passing a constitutional amendment banning slavery. And the left also because they were paranoid that Northern abolitionists were going to start a slave revolt.

                That is why the left and that is what the war was about.

                1. Shorter: the North’s motivations may not have been pure and noble, but the South’s motivations were 100% despicable.

                  1. Shorter: the North’s motivations may not have been pure and noble, but the South’s motivations were 100% despicable.

                    That’s the best summary of the Civil War ever.

                  2. Because the South should have *welcomed* the possibility that Northern abolitionists were going to start a slave revolt. They should have *wanted* to end up like Nat Turner’s victims.

                  3. Because the South should have *welcomed* the possibility that Northern abolitionists were going to start a slave revolt. They should have *wanted* to end up like Nat Turner’s victims.

                2. A portion of the South seceded over slavery, and industrial policy favoring the North, and other matters.

                  The Civil War started because one man — President Lincoln — decided he wouldn’t let that portion of the South secede, even though the Constitution permits secession.

                  Then more of the South seceded, and Lincoln waged war on them.

                  And other slaveholding states did not secede, and Lincoln did not declare war on them, and permitted them to keep on allowing slaves. And none of those slaves in those states were freed until after the Civil War ended.

                  So, to say that the Civil War was fought over slavery is to be ignorant of the facts. It was fought because one man decided he wouldn’t allow secession from the Union. Period.

                  1. But to ignore the despicable and paranoid reason for that succession is being intellectually dishonest. It is just a shell game.

                    1. You’re killing me with the misspellings, John. Secession, with an e. The south most emphatically did not succeed.

                      And I agree with OM on this: you cannot equate secession with the war. They are two separate acts. Secession was over slavery. However, Lincoln could have simply let them go, and kept several more states at that (remember, Virginia only left in response to the feds raising an army; they were willing to stay before that).

                      One can only say the war was about slavery if one assumes that war is the inevitable result of secession, which it is not. Secession was about slavery; the war was about federal control.

                    2. There is nothing in the Constitution that allowed secession. And it wasn’t about federal control. You people act like we had some giant federal government post civil war. In fact we had perhaps the best federal government and arrangement we ever had in this country.

                      You people confuse Lincoln with Wilson, Roosevelt, and Johnson.

                    3. What do you mean, you people? I happen to be a member of a sensitive minority.

                      Anyway, there’s nothing in the constitution that outlaws secession, either, and my understanding was, anything that isn’t explicitly stated as a power of the feds, is given to the states. Which would mean the power to leave. You honestly think those originals would have signed onto a contract if they thought it would be binding forever and ever amen?

                    4. Yes. That is why there was such a huge debate over it and why all of the states had to approve it. They were forming a nation.

                      And regardless of the issue of secession, the federal government that resulted from the civil war was still a small and very limited one. It was the New Deal and 20th Century Progressiveism that gave us the giant federal government, not the civil war.

                    5. You can’t have a contract unless you have two willing and able parties. They must come together in a meeting of the minds ? a real agreement about what they are going to do together.

                      But what is the ‘social contract’ with government? There was never a meeting of the minds. The deal was forced on the public who came after the original people who voted for it. And now, imagine that you want out. Can you simply “break the contract?” You refuse to pay your taxes and refuse to be bossed around by TSA agents and other government employees. How long would it be before you got put in jail?

                      What kind of contract is it that you don’t agree to and can’t get out of? They can dress it up?print out a piece of paper?have a solemn ceremony in which everyone pretends it is a real contract. But it’s not worth the paper it’s not written on.

                      Also, what kind of a contract allows for one party to unilaterally change the terms of the deal? Congress passes new laws almost every day. The bureaucracy issues new edicts. The tax system is changed. The pound of flesh they got already wasn’t enough; now they want a pound and a half!

                      *disclaimer*
                      I got this off the DailyReckoning, which is a fun economics blog updated daily, if you would like to check it out.

                    6. You are just making critiques of governments in general. All of those things are true at the state level just as much as they are at the federal level.

                    7. True, but none of them invalidate the argument that groups of people should be free to leave the contract if they so desire, esp. if it isn’t written in the contract that such action is forbidden, which it nowhere is in the constitution.

                    8. There is nothing in the Constitution that allowed secession.

                      Despite that, I have an enormous sympathy to the idea of secession in general, for all political groupings. The Confederacy itself quickly discarded its ideas of states’ rights and so forth, as the treatment of Gov. Zebulon Vance of NC demonstrated.

                      But yes, the Civil War would not have happened without slavery, even if plenty of Southerners supported it only because the Yankees were down here, and many of the Northerners, even those who opposed slavery, didn’t have the purest of motives. It’s of course easier to oppose slavery somewhere else when it won’t be destroying your economy and way of life to do so.

                      Slavery was immoral, even if some of the opposition to it wasn’t entirely moral– and really, is not that different from the neocon impulse.

                    9. There is nothing in the Constitution that allowed secession.

                      “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.”

                      Show me the part in Article I, Section 8, or anywhere else in the Constitution, granting the federal government the power to prevent states from secession. Can’t find it? Then they can do it.

                    10. There’s nothing in the Constitution that forbade it, either. People like Tocqueville, who had no particular brief for slavery, observed that they didn’t see how a state that wanted to leave the Union could be forbidden to do so.

                    11. “There is nothing in the Constitution that allowed secession.”

                      Neither was there anything in whatever governed the United Colonies that allowed secession. It happened anyway.

                3. but the South’s motivations were 100% despicable.

                  bullshit. If even one person wanted to secede for even non-slavery related reasons, then it was less than 100%.

                4. They left the Union because the were convinced that the western territories were going to come in as free states and the North would succeed in passing a constitutional amendment banning slavery.

                  If so, they were convinced in the face of Congress’s submission of the Corwin Amendment, which would have made it impossible to pass a constitutional amendment banning slavery (and which Lincoln said he had no objection to seeing ratified), to the states for ratification.

                  1. If so, they were convinced in the face of Congress’s submission of the Corwin Amendment, which would have made it impossible to pass a constitutional amendment banning slavery

                    Nope. Such an amendment could be undone by a later amendment repealing it, much as prohibition was repealed.

                    No such thing as a permanent, unchangeable Constitution, unless the part of the Constitution allowing amendments is repealed by an amendment.

              2. A large percentage of tarriffs were collected in the South because there was more commerce coming into Southern ports. Many of those goods, especially in New Orleans, the busiest ports in the country for much of the 19th century, were then shipped to the West where the cost of the tarriff was passed on to the customer.

                Just because the tarriffs were collected in sothern ports does not necessarally mean that southerners were paying the tarriffs.

        3. If it were a bad bet economically, the price for slaves would have been falling. It wasn’t; while the upper south was getting rid of slaves because their agriculture didn’t make sense with slavery anymore, the deep south was buying them up like crazy because post-Whitney cotton production was a perfect match with slave labor.

          Or is this one of those cases where we ignore how market works in favor of our ideology?

          1. They were a very good bet economically. The price of slaves was higher in 1860 than it had ever been. Slaves were already trained in all kinds of skilled labor. The antebellum plantation was like a commune. It is not like you could drive down to home depot if you needed nails or a part for your plow. A plantation had to produce and repair equipment in house. And slaves were trained in skilled trades like weaving and blacksmithing to do that. If you could train a slave to make nails in a plantation blacksmith shop, you could train him to work in a factory. And people were figuring out how to do just that. On a purely economic level, slavery would have always been viable.

            1. “On a purely economic level, slavery would have always been viable.”

              Yeah, until they formed unions, started demanding health insurance, dental, matching 401(k), etc.

          2. Ive seen it suggested that there was a bubble in slave prices. It burst by the civil war, but would have any way. And Im sure it was caused by government chicanery (other than the obvious one of allowing slavery).

            That said, I think you have an essence of the truth. But it isnt entirely clear that slavery was actually cheaper than hiring free men. But, there was a serious shortage of free men due to:

            1. The obvious candidates were slaves
            2. The other obvious candidates wouldnt do “nigger work”.

            1. The slaves took only jobs Americans won’t do?

              1. Pretty much. But you got it backwards. Free whites wouldnt do jobs slaves did.

                1. I don’t have a cite for this handy, but I have heard from a few places that in at least some times and places, it was cheaper to hire (White) immigrants than to buy slaves. If you were only going to need them for a short time, or you expected the work to destroy their health and capacity for labor in very short order, slaves might have been more expensive than, say, Irishmen, who were pouring off the boat all the time anyway.

          3. Higher prices would work to discourage slavery and seek out cheaper alternatives. And the Fugitive Slave Act (as well at other codes and statutes) spread the cost onto the public) artificially inflated their prices.

    2. Proctor: All right, here’s your last question. What was the cause of the Civil War?

      Apu: Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists, there were economic factors, both domestic and inter–

      Proctor: Wait, wait… just say slavery.

      Apu: Slavery it is, sir.

      1. Supposedly that was based on the wife of one the writers, who was a history professor. That happened during her citizenship exam.

      2. If slavery didn’t exist, there would have almost certainly never been a civil war. Slavery was the root cause of the civil war. The seceding states even said that the reason they were seceding was because of slavery. Ron Paul is wrong about this.

        1. Wrong. Secession was the cause of the civil war.

          Slavery may have been the cause of secession, but that does not invariably mean war. Lincoln could have simply let them go.

          Secession was about slavery, not tariffs or whatever else Confederate apologists are peddling these days. But the war was fought for federal supremecy over the states.

          1. Wrong. Read what I wrote again. Slavery was the ROOT CAUSE. Lincoln could have let them go. Also, the South could have let Ft. Sumter go.

            1. That’s meaningless, because you could keep going back and back and say, “Well if it wasn’t for the cotton gin, slavery wouldn’t have been profitable, so etc. etc.” all the way back to the founding of the colonies. You have to be able to draw the line at what you call, “root”. Since any line is arbitrary, it’s meaningless.

        2. If Hamilton/Lincoln/Clay’s “American System” of mercantilism and economic sectionalism didn’t exist, there wouldn’t have been a civil war. Therefore that was THE ROOT CAUSE. Ron Paul has never taken a position on this, that I’m aware of, but he does think we could have ended slavery with a lot less dead people, and he does believe in the principles put forth in the Declaration of independence, that secession is a god given moral right.

        3. Doubtful, unless you assume that no other states would ever want to secede absent the question of slavery. The Civil War was a war to settle the question of secession from the Union. If slavery had been abolished peacefully somehow in an alternate universe, and some other issue led a number of states to secede instead, it would have probably turned out the same.

          I’m not disagreeing that the prime driver of secession was slavery, though.

          1. IIRC, a large/vocal minority of Vermonters wanted to secede decades before the Civil War. Of course, their complaint was that the country allowed slavery at all, so perhaps that doesn’t count as a counterexample.

    3. The North wasn’t fighting primarily to end slavery. But the South sure as hell was fighting for slavery.

      1. The South seceded over slavery, and other issues, but they were fighting because the North invaded them. Lincoln could have let the South secede, and negotiated a peaceful coexistence, but instead he launched a war.

        1. Um, if I remember right, the South launched the first attack on Fort Sumter. There was no invasion until after that attack.

      2. If your name is Zeb, you should be familiar with the fact that North Carolina sure as hell wasn’t fighting for slavery, but because the North invaded.

        Those hotheads over in South Carolina, OTOH…

    4. Maybe if D Frum would would give his wife some of that Hebrew National Cocktail Wiener more often*, she wouldn’t have to go around sticking soaking wet tampoons into her rapidly wrinkling (and strikingly sagging) va-jay-J….

      In a city full of stinking turds, David Frum is a poop-swallower par excellence

      [* – I can say it. I, too, am a son of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, Sarah, Rachel, Leah, etc. etc.]

  4. Yes, when I think of someone who thought everything was all hunky dory for Americans until 2008, I think of Ron Paul.

    Yes. Right.

    David Frum is projecting again.

    1. The simple things escape our supposed ‘intellectuals.’

  5. The Federalists imploded in 20 years.

    The Whigs made it about 30.

    The survival of the Republicans for 140+ years is kind of amazing. The unnaturally long life they’ve had, no doubt the product of the Democrats going full retard in the wake of the War Between the States, is hopefully at an end.

    1. The DP is older than the RP.

      The unnaturally long life is helped greatly by the growing power of the federal govt (where it’s very hard for 3rd parties to get their feet in the door) and by ballot access laws at the state and local levels.

    2. And the DP hasn’t gone full retard again under Obama?

      1. I think Polk was the last decent DP president.

        Am I missing anyone?

        1. Polk was a decent president?

          Turn in your libertarian card. Immediately.

          1. Which of his policies do you so violently disagree with?

            1. Lowering of Tariffs (would have been nice to eliminate them, but no one is perfect)?

            2. Rivers and Harbors veto?

              He took a very Madisonian position that funding them was a state/local issue and unconstitutional for the federal government.

              Sounds libertarian to me.

            3. Starting a war with Mexico, for starters.

              1. Unlike certain presidents I can name, he got a Declaration of War from congress first.

                If Mexico had honored the treaty they signed with the Republic of Texas, he wouldnt have had the grounds to fight it. Like with 1812, it might not have been the bestest war ever, but based on foreigners not honoring our borders, I dont have much problem with it.

                1. So did FDR and Wilson. I guess I can’t criticize them, either.

                  1. You can, but not on that specific issue, but I dont have much problem with WW2.

                    As far as WW1, which part of the US was Germany occupying/bombing?

                2. “Our” borders. The traditional southern boundary of Texas had always been the Nueces, and the supposed “treaty” that extended Texas to the Rio Grande was signed both under threat of violent coercion and in violation of Mexican law. It had no legal standing whatsoever. It was immoral expansionism then, and remained so when Polk annexed the territory. Besides that, the Texan Revolution was largely about legalizing slavery.

                  Polk then provoked a war that Grant would later call “one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation,” expanding slave territory and creating long-term resentment of the United States and exacerbating instability in Mexico. The first is, I think, understandable. After all, we kind of stole half their country. Declaration of war or no, what Polk did was reprehensible.

                  That alone is enough to classify Polk as pure, unadulterated suck. Additionally, you forgot not only our best Democratic president, but our best overall president and my usernamesake: Grover Cleveland. The one so nice, he’s counted twice.

        2. Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter actually weren’t bad presidents. Clinton basically got out of the way and let the economy boom, while Carter did some very positive things with deregulation and fiscal policy. Carter easily inherited the biggest national mess since FDR and unlike him, actually did the right thing most of the time.

          1. I have to agree about Carter. He may have been naive and weak in some ways, but the things he did get passed were largely pretty good. Not saying that I would choose him, but as far as presidents go, he wasn’t so bad.

            1. I have always said that the problem of the Carter Adminiustration wasn’t the President, it was the Congress.

              With “supporters” like Ted Kennedy and Tip O’Neil Carter didn’t need a Republican opposition to hamstring him.

        3. I think Polk was the last decent DP president.

          Am I missing anyone?

          Grover Cleveland was better than ANY Republican president since. He’s on my short list of the best presidents ever.

          1. I had the same thought about Grover Cleveland, didn’t see your post.

            Though I would take Coolidge over him still.

            1. Hmmm, Coolidge was good, arguably as good as Grover Cleveland.

              But to say that there hasn’t been a decent Democratic president is just patently false.

              1. Coolidge is my favorite.

                “Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business.”

                Seriously guys, can you imagine any politician saying that today?

        4. Grover Cleveland

        5. Yes. Grover Cleveland. (And Polk was a warmongering asshole.)

        6. coughGrover Clevelandcough

          coughMost libertarian president ever.cough

      2. only on wingnut radio

  6. I disagree with Paul’s assertion that the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery

    Secession was over slavery.

    The war was fought to destroy any notion of state sovereignty, and change the United States from plural to singular.

    1. The secession was sold as being about slavery. The ‘tariff of abominations’, on the other hand, which moved the leadership of the Southern states to start agitating for secession was not.

      Otherwise Lincoln’s voluble support for the Corwin Amendment would have stopped things in their tracks.

      1. Google “declaration of secession” and then tell me they weren’t motivated by slavery.

        1. So, you think the declaration of secession had nothing to do with the seccesionists’ marketing efforts?

          Fascinating.

          1. They marketed opposition to taxation by selling slavery?

            People cared more about slavery than about economically crippling tariffs while the Whiskey Rebellion still existed in living memory?

            Fascinating.

            1. Stop making tarran get himself dizzy. He’s liable to vomit all over the thread.

            2. The interesting thing about the Whiskey Rebellion was that the tax wasn’t collected in the South. At all.

              After the Pennsylvanians surrendered to the U.S. Army, everybody just kind of walked away. Washington had made his point that the plebs better pay their fucking taxes and stop trying to recreate Shay’s rebellion. And the plebs had made their point that the government needed to temper its appetite a little.

      2. I don’t get the point of arguing whether it was about slavery or not.

        It doesn’t make the South any more sympathetic if they were fighting over tariffs, does it? They still held slaves.

        1. “It doesn’t make the South 13 colonies any more sympathetic if they were fighting over tariffs taxation, does it? They still held slaves.”

          See how that works?

        2. Well, tulpy, the people who promote the War between the Sates as a just, moral war, have to make it about slavery, or eelse the moral case falls apart.

          Otherwise, it contradicts the origin myth of the United States where the original War of Independence was super awesome in that it allowed people to evade ruinous taxes that would bankrupt them.

          I’m not sure why you are pointing out that the South had slaves as being soemthing meaningful; the North had slaves too, at the time, hell in the midst of the war, slaves were constructing the Capitol Building.

          One slave owning nation trashed a set of slave-owning provinces that refused to pay their taxes. The rest is noise.

          1. Slavery was illegal in most of the north, and rare even in the states where it was legal. Also of course, the “slave holding nation” banned slavery immediately after the war was over.

            1. Yes, because Abraham Lincoln eventually, and reluctantly, made it an abolitionist one after his popularity and the popularity of the war plunged dangerously low.

              We won’t mention the peace talks c) 1864 where he agreed to allow the southerners to keep their slaves if they would only pay the huge tariff he needed to fund Lincoln’s infrastructure spending.

              It’s important to bear in mind that the North invaded the south to collect tariff payments.

              1. …where he agreed to allow the southerners to keep their slaves…

                And they were supposed to believe it?
                Lincoln was insulting their intelligence with that one.

            2. Slavery was illegal in most of the north, and rare even in the states where it was legal. Also of course, the “slave holding nation” banned slavery immediately after the war was over.

              So, your argument was that the North, plus the portion of the South that did not secede, was marginally less evil than the portion of the South that did secede?

              That’s your idea of painting the North’s invasion of a sovereign nation as a just war?

          2. the people who promote the War between the Sates as a just, moral war, have to make it about slavery, or eelse the moral case falls apart

            I can definitely agree with that.

            Especially because it portrays anyone who criticizes the war as a supporter of slavery.

            1. Since the South left to preserve slavery. It is pretty hard to defend the South’s leaving without also defending slavery.

              1. Agreed, but it’s also difficult to defend the North invading the South after the states in the South announced their secession, without also defending Great Britain’s attack on the 13 colonies after they announced their secession.

                1. Most will tell you it depends on the reasons for their insurrection. One did so to preserve the enslavement of people, the other to stop the economic oppression of an imperialist state. Suppose King George and parliament agreed to end slavery in the empire, and the colonies seceded to preserve it, would GB on better moral footing to fight the war independence?

                  1. That is a great point JB.

        3. It doesn’t make the South any more sympathetic if they were fighting over tariffs, does it? They still held slaves.

          So did several of the states that didn’t secede, and that Lincoln did not force to end slavery.

          So your point is?

        4. Yeah, the war ended slavery and that was good. It is pretty dumb to argue about the rest of it. The country we have today is the one that resulted from the civil war, and that is it.

      3. The tariff of abominations was long gone by the time of the civil war.

  7. We need a Santorumesque definition for ‘Frum’. As in

    Frum: The mixture of semen and vomit violently ejected due to activation of the gag reflex during fellatio.

    1. I thought it was already defined as the pubes that stick around the edges of whitey tighties, or some such nonsense.

  8. I refuse to believe that David Frum anally penetrates sheep, regardless of what evidence is produced to support that contention.

    1. I smell disturbingly like Woolite.

      True story.

      1. Aren’t you a little too short to be speaking in public?

        1. You wouldn’t say that if my right hand were here.

  9. I think his revisionist counter-proposal to have the North buy up the South’s slaves sounds more than a bit naive,

    Sounds like a hell of a lot better idea than having war, to me. Might have even been cheaper, in pure cash-flow terms.

    And no candidate in this race?ok, except maybe the defunct Herman Cain?has been more persistently, aggressively, and forcefully heedless of those travails than Ron Paul.

    The Statist mind at work. To Statists like Brooks, only the Almighty State can ameliorate the travails of the middle class. The idea that many of those travails are due to the meddling of the Almight State, and that lifting those chains, as Paul advocates, would help the middle class, simply Does. Not. Compute.

    1. There are several problems with buying up all the slaves in the South. The first being the holdout problem — since this is supposed to be a voluntary proposition — the second being where the freed slaves go. The North certainly didn’t want a mass influx of African-Americans in the 1860s, and no way the South would go along voluntarily with having free blacks there.

      1. Re: Tulpa,

        There are several problems with buying up all the slaves in the South.

        The VERY SAME PROBLEMS that you cite came as a result of the far more expensive war. The net result was a higher cost in lives and money than if the North had simply tried to buy the slaves. It was clear then that the war was NOT about the slaves at all.

        Give it up, T. You can’t justify the war.

        1. The only way the South would have sold their slaves would have been by force via eminent domain. And that would have required a war.

          Give it up Old Mexican. The only alternative to war was to let the South go and turn into a festering hell hole.

          1. Re: John,

            The only way the South would have sold their slaves would have been by force via eminent domain.

            You can’t know that, J, Besides, it’s ridiculous – if the case was that only through force you could obtain something, then the Louisiana Purchase would have been preceded by a war. Don’t try too much to appear the fool, J.

            The only alternative to war was to let the South go and turn into a festering hell hole.

            So what if that was the alternative (which you can’t know either)? Really, is letting some states turn into a 3rd world country worse than murdering 600,000 Americans? Are you insane?

            1. I would say letting 1/3rd of the population live in bondage is more insane than fighting a war to end it.

              Anyone who objects to the civil war must not think slavery is that bad. Slavery is one step below the holocaust. If California decided to succeed and enslave 1/3rd of its population, you don’t think it would be right for the US to stop them?

              The South would not have sold their slaves. I do know that because I know a bit about antebellum culture. It was entirely built on slavery. It wasn’t about money. It was about white supremacy. If the South would have sold all of their slaves into freedom, they would had to have given up on their sense of supremacy. And they were never going to do that for any amount of money.

              You throw around all these taunts about no knowing history. And you seem to have no understanding of Southern culture.

              1. I would say letting 1/3rd of the population live in bondage is more insane than fighting a war to end it.

                The war wasn’t fought to end slavery. The war was fought to deny the right of states to secede, which means that the federal government could then turn the entirety of the populace into fractional slaves, with that fraction increasing over time.

                The war was fought to INCREASE the net amount that the federal government could enslave all of us.

                1. But the end result of that war was the end of slavery. And it was obvious from the start the North winning meant the end of slavery.

                  In the end, you people are more offended by the rise of federal power than you are by enslaving 1/3 of the population. And that is fucking insane.

                  And further, I would give my left nut to have a federal government as small as it was in 1865. And so would you. Lincoln didn’t create the huge federal government. Roosevelt and Johnson did.

                  1. No, we are offended by the enormous power of the current federal government to fractionally enslave 100% of the populace, a power only made possible by taking away the right of states to secede, and we are offended by the 600,000 lives lost and millions more maimed by the war that ended the practice of slavery somewhat sooner than it would have ended otherwise, like it did in Britain without a war being fought.

                    Sorry you don’t feel it is necessary to do a cost-benefit analysis, and consider the price of that policy, and are OK with being a fractional slave now so some people long dead could have been freed sooner and others long dead could die violent premature deaths.

                    1. Again, you wouldn’t take the federal government we had in 1866 over now? I don’t think people in late 19th century America were enslaved. The stuff you object to happened long after Lincoln.

                      It was quite possible to have no slavery and a small federal government. We had just that from 1865 until 1932. Stop confusing Lincoln with Roosevelt and Johnson.

                    2. I wouldn’t take the federal government we had in 1864 over the one we have now.

                      But, my point is that by taking away the right of states to secede in response to growing federal tyranny, what happened later on became possible, even though the government in 1866 — and in 1876, and 1886, and 1896, and 1906 — were all better than later governments.

                      You know something about business, John — what happens if you sit down at a table trying to negotiate a contract, except someone has a gun pointed at your head and will kill you if you don’t come to an agreement with your adversary on the other side of the table, and your adversary knows it — hell, it’s your adversary doing the gun pointing. How do you think that negotiation will go, compared to if you can freely walk away from the table to do business with someone else if they aren’t reasonable?

        2. How so? With the war, you don’t have a holdout problem because the slaveholders have no choice, and you don’t have the issue of where to put the freed slaves because the South has no say in the matter.

          1. Of course, you have to actually make sure the South doesn’t treat Northerners and blacks like shit for the next century out of spite.

      2. To buy the slaves, the owners have to be willing to sell.

        I was thinking you could eminent domain the slaves and then free them but I suppose it wouldn’t have fit into the then-current understanding of the Takings Clause, since the slaves weren’t being “taken” for public use.

        1. Did they even recognize the power to eminent domain chattel property (as opposed than real estate) at that time?

    2. To buy the slaves, the owners have to be willing to sell. And no way would the Southern slave holders have sold at any price. Further, the north wasn’t going to pay huge taxes to solve the South’s slave problem.

      The idea would never have worked.

      1. If the U.S. got rid of the fugitive slave laws, (and dropped its racist opposition to free black settlement), the value of a slave would have plummeted – the higher likelihood of escape would come to be factored in the costs of maintaining a slave.

        The system was uneconomical as hell, and depended on significant subsidization by the state and federal governments to survive, hence the regular crises as the U.S. expanded.

        Like the Soviet Union, I doubt the CSA would not survive long if the North had abolished slavery and allowed the CSA to go its own way.

        1. As an aside, the Fugitive Slave Act was the biggest infringement on states rights in US history. So much for the South giving a shit about states rights.

          That said, had the South gone its own way, it would have turned into a police state. To keep slaves from escaping would have lead to more and more desperate and authoritarian efforts. Eventually, there would have been a real slave revolt and the place would have turned into Haiti. The civil war was the best thing that ever happened to the South.

        2. Re: tarran,

          Like the Soviet Union, I doubt the CSA would not survive long if the North had abolished slavery and allowed the CSA to go its own way.

          It is possible that, at the end, the plantation owners would have to free their slaves and offer them a wage just so they stay, but I don’t buy this argument that the CSA would simply collapse like the Soviet Union, as the SU suffered from a centrally-planned economy, whereas the CSA was much freer when it came to economic activity.

          What cleary delayed the natural process of changing the slaves into wage-earners was the war, at the high cost it meant.

        3. If the U.S. got rid of the fugitive slave laws

          Which wasn’t going to happen because the South could block any attempt to repeal in the Senate. Also, there is a fugitive slave provision in the Constitution that would have been problematic.

          1. Which wasn’t going to happen because the South could block any attempt to repeal in the Senate.

            The South wouldn’t have HAD any votes in the Senate if they had been allowed to secede. The remaining states in the Union would have been able to end the Fugitive Slave Law, slaves would have started escaping to the North, the price of slaves would have plummeted, and more and more plantation owners would have rationally decided that hiring motivated, productive free workers was cheaper than owning unmotivated, less productive slaves.

        4. How about we all just agree that the past was fucked and everyone was an asshole? There are no good guys anywhere and we are not going to undo the civil war.

      2. And no way would the Southern slave holders have sold at any price.

        Well, since Southerners were continuously buying and selling slaves at the prevailing market price, to assert that those same Southerners would have ignored an offer to buy slaves at a higher than market price is just economically ignorant.

        Yeah, some would not have sold their slaves voluntarily. And 600,000 people would not have died, and millions more have been permanently maimed, missing limbs and whatnot.

        1. No they would not have sold. It was not just about economics. It was about white supremacy and culture. Selling their slaves meant selling their supremacy and their culture. And no price would have bought that.

          1. I’m curious how the British (not exactly known for not being supremacist in all of their empire making) were able to end slavery throughout the empire with out war, but we weren’t.

    3. To Statists like Brooks

      Um, wrong statist this go around. lol

      1. They all look alike to me, anyway.

  10. The thing most wrong with present-day Republicanism is its passivity in the face of the economic crisis, its indifference to the economic troubles of the huge majority of the American population

    “The thing most wrong with present-day Republicanism is that it isn’t redistributionist enough!”

    1. “Woot! WOOT!”

      1. No, no, its [up-twinkles fingers].

        Wooting is patriarchal oppression of the vocally challenged, you fascist.

  11. And no candidate in this race?ok, except maybe the defunct Herman Cain?has been more persistently, aggressively, and forcefully heedless of those travails than Ron Paul.

    I can see why a person would think this, if they based their opinion solely on 117 seconds of air time in a debate, and didn’t bother to do any further research.

  12. David Frum, who thinks that the U.S. capital is Jerusalem. America’s favorite kosher chicken-hawk! Hope you don’t mind if I yawn and dismiss anything he has to say about Ron Paul’s politics…or pretty much anything else.

  13. And the success of Paul in winning a boutique audience for his message has driven the rest of the field to mimic his crank monetary theories. In the midst of the worst crisis since the 1930s, the one thing that all the current and former first-tier candidates have agreed upon (even Mitt Romney!) is the need for tighter money and higher interest rates. That should seem obviously nuts, and not in a theoretical or marginal way that denying evolution is nuts.

    It amazes me how ignorant Frum is. In Frum world it is as if all of the alternative history and analysis of the Great Depression has never happened.

  14. Of course it was about slavery. By 1860, slavery was at the root of almost every political dispute. Tariffs, state-rights, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, etc…

  15. disagree with Paul’s assertion that the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery (read Charles Oliver’s classic 2001 Reason piece arguing the contrary),

    Not even the Senate resolution passed to authorize the war agrees with you, Matt.

    And I am not going to take your or Oliver’s word for it when the very people that lived it and voted on it did not say it was to end slavery or anything like that.

    So Paul is right, again. You’re wrong. Again.

    1. Because what is in a politically crafted Senate bill always perfectly reflects the reality of why something is happening. That is pure sophistry Old Mexican. The war was fought over slavery. Slavery and the fear of it eventually being outlawed is why the South left the union. And thus the ultimate cause of the war.

      1. Slavery and the fear of it eventually being outlawed is why the South left the union.

        Correct. And the war was initiated to stop the South from leaving the union.

        The South could have succeeded because they thought Northerners smelled funny, and there still would have been a war.

        The war was to “preserve the Union”, not to end slavery.

        1. Yes. But the South left the Union because of slavery. So the war ultimately was about slavery.

          1. So if the South left the Union because they thought Northerners smelled funny, the war would have ultimately been about personal hygiene?

            1. Yes. It would have ultimately been about the South going crazy and starting shooting over personal hygiene.

              1. the South going crazy

                Collective psychosis was the cause of the war?

              2. Re: John,

                It would have ultimately been about the South going crazy and starting shooting over personal hygiene.

                Now who is being revisionist? The Southern states did NOT start shooting – it was the North that occupied a fort surrepticiously that did not belong to them – it was the 1860 version of the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

                This is YOUR history, John. I am amazed you still believe your 3rd grade teacher.

                1. The South started shooting. They fired the first shot. They didn’t have to fire on Sumter. They could have let the issue lie. They were the ones who wanted war, not the North.

                  I can’t believe that you believe the horseshit Gone With the Wind fairy tales you have been told.

                  1. They didn’t have to fire on Sumter. They could have let the issue lie.

                    Would the North have permitted the South to occupy a fort on their territory?
                    Doesn’t a sovereign state have the right to push off occupiers?

                    1. They didn’t have to leave the union and had no Constitutional right to do so. Lincoln had no power to end slavery. They were just paranoid expansionistic nuts.

                    2. They didn’t have to leave the union and had no Constitutional right to do so.

                      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.

                      Perhaps the power to secede was reserved to the States, seeing as the Constitution is otherwise silent?

                      Do you really think that the Founders, who had just had to fight a war to secede from England, thought that secession was somehow prima facie impermissible, and should be deemed denied by their Constitution without any explicit mention of it?

                    3. Art I Sec 8:

                      To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

                      Art I Sec 10:

                      No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

                      No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

                      The states in the CSA did most of those things.

                    4. But it’s not silent. By Art I Sec 10, states are not permitted to enter into compacts with other states without the consent of Congress, and are expressly forbidden from joining alliances and confederations.

                      Also, one of the powers given to Congress in Art I Sec 8 is to put down rebellions.

                  2. The South started shooting. They fired the first shot. They didn’t have to fire on Sumter. They could have let the issue lie. They were the ones who wanted war, not the North.

                    The North could have peacefully withdrawn from their Southern forts. They could have chose not to resupply Ft. Sumter. They could have chose not to take offense to an attack that killed no one, and negotiated a peaceful settlement and the withdrawal of Northern forces from the South.

                    Instead they launched a war that killed over half a million people.

                    1. Those forts were US government property. Secession didn’t change that fact.

                      By your logic, we should have abandoned Guantanamo once Castro took power, since he didn’t like us anymore than the CSA did.

                    2. Actually, yes, we should have abandoned guantanamo seeing as how that is fucking cuban soil and thus belongs to cuba. Not the United “because our dick is bigger” States.

            2. No way would the North have fought to preserve the union if the South abolished slavery. Support for the war in the North was far from universal – the Abolitionists were the strongest supporters. Without them, the North doesn’t fight.

      2. Re: John,

        Because what is in a politically crafted Senate bill[…]

        That’s the reason why it is carefull not to say that the intention of the war was for conquest, John. Now you’re obfuscating – do you really think the 1861 Senate was populated by Civil Liberties zealots or something? Don’t be a fool.

        The war was fought over slavery.

        You’re wrong, J. That is the post-bellum excuse youn find in textbooks for little children.

        The secession had as one important justification the keeping of the institution of slavery, but the WAR was to bring teh states back to the Union in order to keep the tariff. It was a war for MONEY, John, just like most other wars.

        Don’t you know your own history beyond what Ms. Smith told you in 3th Class???

        1. I know a lot of history Mexican. And I don’t believe crackpot Southern revision. The South didn’t succeed over tariffs. They succeeded over slavery. They didn’t have any serious intention of succeeding or any way to do it until John Brown’s raid. That is when they go serious and paranoid over the North starting slave revolts or using newly admitted free states to amend the constitution banning slavery. That is why they succeeded. To save slavery.

          Now the North went to war not to end slavery but to preserve the union. That is true. But that just makes the South look that much more crazy and paranoid since the North had no intention of banning slavery. The South was an aggressive, imperialistic, society bent on imposing slavery on the entire Western Hemisphere. The war was the result of this not tariffs.

          1. Re: John,

            The South didn’t [secede] over tariffs. They succeeded over slavery.

            They did secede over the tariff as many times they had threatened before, J. They ALSO seceded over slavery, which I mentioned.

            So what? The WAR ITSELF was not over slavery. It was because the North would not be able to collect the tariff from the very busy Southern ports. The North wanted the tariff – they couldn’t care less about the slaves.

            They didn’t have any serious intention of succeeding or any way to do it until John Brown’s raid.

            Only a COUPLE of states, J. The REST OF THE STATES seceded after Lincoln’s election because they saw him as the perpetrator of the imposition of DC over the States – which was a correct appreciation, in the end.

            1. No state succeeded until after Lincoln’s election. And every state in its articles of succession listed slavery as the reason. They didn’t succeed over tariffs. They succeeded over slavery.

              1. Re: John,

                No state succeeded until after Lincoln’s election.

                I didn’t say anything to the contrary. I said that a few states decided to leave because of the JB raid, but the rest seceded simply because Lincoln was elected. Read my post again.

                They didn’t succeed over tariffs. They succeeded over slavery.

                You’re repeating what I argue: That they SECEDED over A or B. Who cares? THE WAR, John – focus – THE WAR was NOT to end slavery. It was to bring back the States to the Union for the tariff. The North couldn’t care less about the slaves at that time.

                1. It was to bring back the States to the Union for the tariff. The North couldn’t care less about the slaves at that time.

                  Exactly. But that doesn’t look very noble in the history books, now does it?
                  Better to say the North invaded to free the slaves.
                  What do they say about the Big Lie?

                2. No state decided to leave over John Brown’s raid. They only seriously started considering it until after JB’s raid.

                  And the reason for the South’s leaving does matter. It makes them a loathsome horrible cause. As Zeb said above. The North’s motives were murky. But the South’s motives were despicable.

              2. And every state in its articles of succession listed slavery as the reason.

                Not Virgnia.

            2. The tariffs were actually pretty low. That was not what it was about.

          2. But that just makes the South look that much more crazy and paranoid since the North had no intention of banning slavery.

            Except that they did. But don’t let history get in the way of a good yarn.

            The South was an aggressive, imperialistic, society bent on imposing slavery on the entire Western Hemisphere.

            Secession was an act of aggression?
            Next you’ll be talking like Tony saying that not giving equals taking, that not taking equals giving, and that inaction equals violence.

            1. The Dred Scott decision which said that the southerners could bring their slaves to the north and they were still slaves was very imperialistic. The Southern terrorist campaign in Kansas designed to tip the election to pro slavery forces was very imperialistic. The Southern government had plans to attack Mexico and the Caribbean after the war ended and create and entire slave holding empire.

              The South used the supreme court to enforce universal slavery on the north via Dred Scott decision. It used terrorism to try to enforce slavery on the Western territories. It intended had it ever been a sovereign nation to conquer large sections of the Western Hemisphere in the name of slavery. Yes, it was imperialistic and expansionistic.

              The antebellum South was the most loathsome thing in the history of the United States. How Libertarians can defend a entity that held people in slavery is beyond me.

              1. How Libertarians can defend a entity that held people in slavery is beyond me.

                How am I defending slavers?
                All I’m saying is that the North did not invade to end slavery.
                That is not a defense of slavery.

                1. But saying the North was the wrong side in the war is a defense of slavery. And saying that having the war was too big of a price to end slavery is in a sense defending slavery. We are so much better off as a country and the world is so much better off for that war being fought and slavery ending.

                  1. Now you make the assumption that slavery would not have ended without the war.
                    I don’t buy that assumption.
                    Can I prove that slavery would have ended without the war? Of course not. Can you prove me wrong? Of course not.
                    But the rest of the civilized world ended slavery without a war of conquest, so I do have that on my side.

                2. Re: John,

                  The antebellum South was the most loathsome thing in the history of the United States. How Libertarians can defend a entity that held people in slavery is beyond me.

                  Now you’re being sneaky. What many Libertarians oppose (including myself) is WAR. If the purpose was to end slavery, there were a great many other ways to do so without resorting to murdering 600,000 Americans, burning whole cities to the ground and leaving a whole territory and economy in shambles.

                  I would send the question back to you: How can YOU excuse such a crime?

                  1. In the end Libertarians are more upset about the rise of the federal government than they are about millions of people being held in slavery. And that is insane. And yes, the war was worth it. There were no other ways to end slavery. It is downright fucking offensive for a bunch of rich free people to sit here and say that millions of people should have spent decades or more in slavery because we wouldn’t want a powerful federal government to get rid of it.

                    If you don’t like the government that was produced by the civil war, blame the fucking south for the crime that was slavery.

                    Here is the thing. If you had a choice of having a tiny federal government but one in which allowed some states to hold millions of people in slavery or a large federal government with no slavery, which would you take? If you would take the former you are an immoral fuck. Sorry but if the price of a small government is people living in bondage, I will pass on the small government.

                    1. There were no other ways to end slavery.

                      Yet every place else in the world that used that practice managed to end it without war.

                      The fact is that in an industrial age slavery is economic suicide.

                      It would have ended on its own.

                    2. If you had a choice of having a tiny federal government but one in which allowed some states to hold millions of people in slavery or a large federal government with no slavery, which would you take?

                      Woohoo, false dilemma time! My turn, ok John, would you rather live in a nation that rapes its children until they reach the age of 12, or one that murders its citizens when they reach the age of 60?

                    3. There is nothing false about that dilemma at all. That is exactly the choice that people faced in 1850s. They could have states rights and let slavery go on, or they could have a united country with no slavery.

                    4. You’re moving the goal posts there Johnny.

                      That’s what people do when the lose.

                    5. I am not moving the goal posts at all. And I think you are getting your ass kicked here. You are the one who stopped making arguments and started making charges of moving the goal posts.

                    6. The question was whether or not slavery would have ended, but without a specific timeline.

                      You moved the goal posts to the 1850s.

                      Had the South been allowed to secede would slavery have continued? Yes.

                      But for how long? As the rest of the world moved from slave labor to mechanized labor, the South would have been unable to compete. It’s called economics.
                      They could have kept slavery and been reduced to a Third World hell hole, losing the way of life that they only enjoyed due to profitable cotton exports, or joined the rest of the world in the Industrial Revolution.

                    7. As I said above, slaves were often trained in skilled labor on plantation. There is no reason to think they could not have been put to use in factories. Hell, prisoner labor, which is really slave labor, is still used and is very profitable in places like China to this day. There is no reason to think industrialization would have ended slavery. Only a successful slave revolt would have ended it.

                    8. There is no reason to think industrialization would have ended slavery.

                      Except that it ended slavery in the rest of the civilized world. (I’m not counting China because I’m referring to the end of the 19th century, not China in the wake of Communism).

                    9. It wasn’t industrialism that ended slavery. It was moral revulsion. And the South was incapable of that.

                    10. It was moral revulsion. And the South was incapable of that.

                      John, this is one of the most imbecilic comments you have ever made, and that is saying something.

                      The entire south supported slavery, secession, civil war ect? Not a single abolitionist in the South? Strange that moral revulsion didn’t cause the North to outlaw slavery in their own states.

                      Can you really be so stupid? Can you really be such an obtuse jackwagon? No, need to answer, your comments in this thread alone indicate that, yes, you really are this stupid.

                    11. If you had a choice of having a tiny federal government but one in which allowed some states to hold millions of people in slavery or a large federal government with no slavery, which would you take?

                      False choice, John. Make it this one:

                      “If you had a choice of having a tiny federal government but one which allowed other sovereign nations to hold millions of people in slavery, or a large federal government with fractional slavery of 100% of its citizens which allows other sovereign nations like North Korea to hold its entire populace in slavery, which would you take?”

                      I will take the small federal government option, thanks.

                  2. How can YOU excuse such a crime?

                    Being the egregious violation of rights that slavery was, it’s not something that can be negotiated out of existence or merely waited out. Otherwise we could’ve just negotiated the end of the concentration camps in Germany without the need for an invasion.

                    The case of America is unique, the passions were inflamed FOR slavery in the US as they were nowhere else.

                    1. Btw, this,

                      yet every place else in the world that used that practice managed to end it without war,

                      leaves out the glaring counterexample of HAITI.

          3. The South was an aggressive, imperialistic, society bent on imposing slavery on the entire Western Hemisphere.

            Who’s paranoid again?

            1. It is not paranoid when it is true. Look no further than the dead bodies in Kansas to see how true it was.

              1. Yeah, cause it was only the South that was aggressive and bent imposing their will on the rest of the country. How’s the view from that Northern Ivory Tower John?

          4. At the end of the day, I don’t think anyone except some white supremacist asshole, is going to defend slavery. But it doesn’t matter what the southern states seceded for, they had every right to leave the union and try to make it on their own. And they had every right to fail miserably because of their refusal to give up an antiquated and immoral practice.

            Oh and before you start throwing stones from your perfect Northern, never aggressive, just wanted to abolish an evil practice, ivory tower: the north was just as dependent on the cheap labor of the slaves as the south. If they had embargoed the cotton they used for their textile factories like the British did, they could have starved the beast. But no, they wanted the cheap cotton no matter how (or who) they got it from.

            But please, continue to pretend the North went into the war reluctantly.

  16. At one point, Judah Benjamin, secretary of state for the Confederacy, suggested that the South free slaves in return for military service to the outnumbered South. And of course, he was nearly laughed out of office. The South was willing to fight to the death over slavery, the idea that they could own another man. Of course the Civil War was about slavery.

    1. Even if Southerners were slave holders and supported the notion, the Civil War was not fought over it.

      Lincoln didn’t want the Union to separate and the Southern States wanted to over many things that included slavery and tarrifs on the export of cotton. The confederate states had a sovereign right to secede from the Union if they so pleased, but Lincoln decided to use force.

      Keep in mind that slavery went on in the North until about 1865 as well.

      1. IIRC, Kentucky was the only state in which slavery was still legal when the 13th amendment passed.

        The other northern states had outlawed it somewhere along the way and with Yankee control, it was banned by all the southern legislatures too.

        Not 100% on this, but I think its correct.

        There is a “joke” that Kentucky didnt secede until after the war. KY was a very pro-union and pro-slavery state.

      2. From the South’s POV, it was definitely about slavery, from the beginning.

        From the North’s POV it was murkier.

        The confederate states had a sovereign right to secede from the Union if they so pleased

        That’s very questionable. There are no provisions for secession in the constitution.

        1. Tulpa has it about right.

        2. That’s very questionable. There are no provisions for secession in the constitution.

          There’s a pretty clear provision for it in the Declaration of Independence though, the document Lincoln dredged up 87 years later in his brief speech at Gettysburg:

          That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…

          1. It hadn’t become destructive. The only thing that was destructive was the South’s immoral use of slavery. If you are going to appeal to natural rights, you can’t then defend slavery. The South gave up their natural rights when they took the natural rights of the slaves.

            1. When Lincoln invaded states that had formed a sovereign nation to take away their right to secede, then it very much became destructive.

            2. Statism and the very existence of the Federal Government is a violation of natural rights in the first place. Its all tainted.

          2. The Declaration of Independence has as much legal standing as “Where’s My Cheese?”.

            I think it mentioned something about all men being created equal too.

        3. That’s very questionable. There are no provisions for secession in the constitution.

          Tenth Amendment. Unless the federal government is specifically granted the power to prevent secession, which it isn’t, then states can secede.

          1. The federal govt has the authority to put down insurrections.

            1. Secession != Insurrection

  17. Crank economic policy? This guy doesn’t have a clue and that statement proves it. Paul has shown an amazing amount of intelligence when it comes to free market economics and we all know that he was on the roof tops screaming about the housing bubble long before it popped.

    I also disagree with the author of this blog post about Ron’s ideas as being revisionist. On the contrary, most of what we know about Lincoln and the Civil War right now is revisionist. Those who win the wars, get to the write the history. The civil war was not fought over slavery.

  18. I disagree with Paul’s assertion that the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery

    Try reading Lysander Spooner, for a true abolitionist’s view on the Civil War.

    On the part of the North, the war was carried on, not to liberate slaves, but by a government that had always perverted and violated the Constitution, to keep the slaves in bondage; and was still willing to do so, if the slaveholders could be thereby induced to stay in the Union.

    http://lysanderspooner.org/node/44

    1. Thanks for posting. It’s also worth noting that slavery existed in the north until about 1865.

      1. It existed in a few of the border states, not the North. It was also fairly rare in those states in 1861.

        1. Border states? You mean UNION border states, no? So the North isn’t meant to indicate Maine, but the UNION, and you know it.

          Just because you are terribly wrong is no reason to attempt to go semantic asshole.

    2. Garrison called for the free states to secede from the US and form a free country.

    3. Because if there’s one thing we need, it’s more Spooner worship on H&R.

      He didn’t shit marble, just so you know.

      1. Re: Tulpa,

        He didn’t shit marble, just so you know.

        Don’t act like an ass, T.

        Spooner was there, you were not.

        1. Herman Georing was there for World War II. Does that mean we should believe his theories on the causes of it?

      2. Herpity derpity do.

  19. Forgive me for quoting myself from a thread below:

    The bottom line is, if you’re going to play the “politics” game, play the fucking game.
    Neither these attacks, nor the more virulent ones to come if Paul’s strength holds, should be a surprise to anyone.
    Prepare, anticipate, counteract.
    This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to promote the cause of freedom. Don’t fuck it up, Team Paul.
    Otherwise, just admit upfront you’re just offering an educational service.

  20. David Frum is a cum-guzzling cretin.

  21. Hey! Old Mex is here!
    Hey Old Mex. How’s that theory of yours, –that the “Ron Paul = racist” meme is all played out and won’t be used against him — holding up?

    1. Re: Citizen Nothing,

      Hey Old Mex. How’s that theory of yours, –that the “Ron Paul = racist” meme is all played out and won’t be used against him — holding up?

      So far pretty well, as the argument was NOT that people would not try, but that they would succeed. And so far the only unintelligent fools that think the non-issue would carry some weight are… YOU… and Sean Hannity.

      Congratz, CN. You’re in good company.

  22. The press for tighter money and higher interest rates now is the kind of nutty thing that a government can actually do–and that would inflict severe, immediate real-world harm on the US and world economy.

    Uh, is “David Frum” the other nom de plume of Paul Krugnutz?

    This guy is a crackpot. He is telling us with a straight face (I would assume since I can’t see him) that tightening the money supply is a crank idea but keeping the printing press operating to inflate our way out of the Depression is not.

  23. Based on this latest sample of Frum’s excreta, I can only surmise his real complaint about the state of the world is that the Ascended One passed him up for Jay Carney.

  24. When you put these comments together with the extremely racist comments from his newsletters in the 1990s, I would say Mr. Paul doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt on this issue.

    1. And I would say you don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt of being an idiot.

    2. Or you could to his Congressional website and read the full text of all his speeches and public statements and his weekly “Texas Straight Talk” column for the past few decades and come away realizing that he has absolutely no racist inclinations or policy proposals, and accept his previous explanations about the newsletters.

  25. If the war was about slavery why did Lincoln support the Corwin Amendment??

    “No Amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any state, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.” –Joint Resolution of Congress, Adopted March 2, 1861

    Lincoln supported an amendment to the constitution that would have guaranteed slavery in the United States Constitution.

    1. Because Lincoln never intended to end slavery. But the South convinced itself that he did. And further, what Lincoln did intend to do was prevent slavery from spreading to the West. The South knew that if that happened it would eventually be so outnumbered in Congress it couldn’t keep the North from Amending the Constitution ending slavery. So they left the union rather than face that prospect.

      1. Lincoln and the North had no intention of ending slavery, yet they were all for setting the stage to end it.
        Is that like being for it before being against it?

        1. Who knows what they would have done. All we do know is that Lincoln wanted to stop it from spreading to the West. The rest is conjecture on the South’s part. It is probably good conjecture. Slavery was dying all over the world. Hard to imagine the US still having slavery in the 20th Century. But maybe it would have.

          1. Hard to imagine the US still having slavery in the 20th Century.

            I agree. It just isn’t competitive to use slave labor when the rest of the world is mechanized.

            But maybe it would have.

            I don’t think so.

          2. John|12.15.11 @ 1:49PM
            Slavery was dying all over the world.

            John|12.15.11 @ 1:36PM
            There were no other ways to end slavery.

            How do you reconcile these two statements, John? I’m not trying to be an ass, I’m just trying to understand how the conditions in the US differed from the rest of the world that made it impossible for the US to not attempt other means that apparently worked elsewhere.

            1. Slavery was dying all over the world because people were turning against it. But the one place that was not true is the American South. It would have held out until the end. Proof of that was the tenacity which which it fought the civil war. And since prisoner labor, which is effectively slave labor, is still profitable and used to this day, there is no reason to believe the south couldn’t have adapted slaves to industrial roles.

              Slavery would have gone on for decades had the war not happened. Would it have ended peacefully? Who knows. My guess is that eventually the South would have been turned into a South Africa like pariah state and ended up being forced to end slavery. But that would have meant at least another generation in bondage. Easy for us to say that would have been such a great idea.

              1. Slavery was dying all over the world because people were turning against it.

                And because it is bad economics.
                Free people working voluntarily have an incentive that slaves do not have, and consequently are more productive.
                Slavery was dying because those who did not use slave labor were out-competing those who did.
                The plantations would have gone broke, unable to compete with the rest of the world using voluntary labor with the associated incentives.

                I think you just can’t accept that Lincoln was a tyrant, our first dictator, intent upon destroying state sovereignty and centralizing power in Washington.
                You do this by reacting to such statements as being in defense of slavery.
                Whatever dude. I’d pity you but pity requires that I care. Which I don’t.
                later

                1. “I think you just can’t accept that Lincoln was a tyrant, our first dictator, intent upon destroying state sovereignty and centralizing power in Washington.”

                  I don’t accept it because it is not true. Lincoln was anything but a dictator. He was constantly constrained by congress and political reality. And further, his government even at its largest was 1/100th as large and intrusive as today’s government. What you are saying is just crap.

                  And slavery was booming in the South. It was part of the culture and wasn’t going anywhere. There was nothing unprofitable about it. Slavery lasted for decades in places like Brazil where they were it wasn’t nearly as much a part of the culture as the South.

                  You just can’t accept that the South was loathsome and wrong in nearly everything.

                  1. You just can’t accept that the South was loathsome and wrong in nearly everything.

                    Why not everything? Hell, shit-head, if you are going to broad brush millions of people who you have never met, why not call them child rapists, too?

                    After this thread, I am deciding that “loathsome and wrong in nearly everything” probably definitely describes you much better than the American South.

      2. Maybe the South couldn’t “keep the North from Amending the Constitution ending slavery,” but if the Corwin Amendment had been ratified, then the *Constitution* would have kept the North from amending the Constitution to end slavery.

  26. still utterly thrilled to have never encountered the work of this Frum person outside of HnR.

  27. Some see him as a corrective to militaristic nationalism.

    That’s because he is.

    Or as a principled champion of limited government.

    The best we’ve seen, in our lifetimes at least.

    Or as a leader who can curb the excessive influence of social conservatives.

    Not so much.

    1. Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate to not sign the NOM pledge about reversing gay marriage, because he believes that it’s a state-level matter at most.

      The Andrew Sullivan endorsement all becomes clear.

  28. It is the lack of concern to the travails of middle-class America that “reform Republicans” should most centrally be concerned with.

    And no candidate in this race?ok, except maybe the defunct Herman Cain?has been more persistently, aggressively, and forcefully heedless of those travails than Ron Paul.

    Really? The only candidate who opposed the TARP bailouts from the beginning, and correctly predicted the housing bubble, and has long fought for sane fiscal policies is the one who is “heedless” of the concerns of the taxpaying middle class?

  29. Read your Spooner Matt Welch!

      1. Gasp!

        You are so dead to me. 🙁

        [Runs of sobbing]

      2. I won’t stop you from digging up his corpse and having your way with it.

        1. Not even with your dick. That old bastard isn’t worth a good necrofuck.

  30. I’m sorry but any high school history teacher will tell you that the reason for the civil war was to preserve the Union not abolish slavery. It was in the mix of course but it wasn’t the quote un quote reason for the war. You really should get your facts straight.

  31. So, what about that Civil War, huh? Why don’t people want to talk about it?

  32. So a former Canadian Trotskyist writes a column denouncing American conservatives of being unpatriotic and wants to be the gatekeeper of ‘respectable’ Republican opinion. Is there anymore more despicable than David Frum on the nominal ‘right’ today?

    1. Not really. Brooks is just stupid and silly. Frum is downright vile.

  33. Why don’t people want to talk about it?

    The (social) science is settled.

  34. On the topic of slavery: It seems to me that some form of slavery or serfdom is pretty much guaranteed in pre-industrial societies. One could debate why the American South took so long to join the Industrial Revolution, but I’m sure it didn’t help matters that the Northern states supported tariffs that took money away from the Southern states. And it helped even less to have what development existed in the South be destroyed by the Civil War.

    Considering it took another century for African-Americans to finally get equal protection under the law, one has to question whether the Civil War was truly worth it.

    1. I think black people would answer in the affirmative. And the South while less industrial than the North had industry. And further, the North managed to have agriculture without slaves, the South could have as well. Slavery and serfdom died in Northern Europe long before the industrial revolution. So you contention that slavery or serfdom is necessary in any pre industrial society is just wrong.

  35. Fuck David Frum and all the other GOP hacks who are desperately trying to remain relevant, pretending they speak for an apparent majority. They’re dinosaurs in tar pits pretending its a hot tub and everything is just cozy.

    That said-> Logan|12.15.11 @ 2:22PM|#

    I’m sorry but any high school history teacher will tell you that the reason for the civil war was to preserve the Union not abolish slavery. It was in the mix of course but it wasn’t the quote un quote reason for the war. You really should get your facts straight.

    Bleeding Kansas. Slavery. Now shut the fuck up. The whole fucking “was it about slavery”-debate is like saying clam chowder is really not about the clams, but rather the chowder. Rhetorical meaninglessness. Take the slavery out, you don’t have a fucking war. Whether its entirely a sufficient cause on its own or merely necessary is academic evasion of admitting its central role in the issue.

    1. Thank you Gilmore. That was very succinct, properly indignant and absolutely accurate. Bravo!!

    2. Take the slavery out, you don’t have a fucking war. Whether its entirely a sufficient cause on its own or merely necessary is academic evasion of admitting its central role in the issue.

      So, if a mafia don tells a women to suck his cock or he will shoot her, and she refuses, and he shoots her, you will say that the cause of the shooting wasn’t really the mafia don pulling the trigger, but the woman refusing to be raped?

      The Civil War was caused by Lincoln deciding to invade a newly created sovereign country. Period.

      1. So the north possibly some day telling the south to free its slaves is the equivalent of it raping the South?

        You guys just can’t get it through your heads that slavery was horrible and evil. And that fact takes all the legitimacy of the South’s actions. What is wrong with secession? Maybe nothing if it is done for the right reasons. But everything if it is done for the purpose of preserving an evil institution like slavery.

        1. You guys just can’t get it through your heads that slavery was horrible and evil. And that fact takes all the legitimacy of the South’s actions.

          That’s not what we’re saying at all. We’re not fucking defending slavery at all. I’ll let Lysander Spooner explain it for you:

          “these crimes have culminated in a war that has cost a million of lives; a war carried on, upon one side, for chattel slavery, and on the other for political slavery; upon neither for liberty, justice, or truth.”

          You can read the full argument here:

          No Treason, No. 2

      2. The only thing dumber than your mafia blowjob analogy is the fact you misspelled your own name.

        The Civil War was caused by Lincoln deciding to invade a newly created sovereign country. Period.

        Thats a fucking brilliant piece of reverse reasoning. I note that the Confederacy *didn’t even exist* until well after the whole fight between North/South really began over Kansas, and whether or not ‘Slave States’ could maintain a majority in congress…

        The United States had long struggled to balance the interests of slaveholders and abolitionists. The events later known as Bleeding Kansas were set into motion by the Kansas?Nebraska Act of 1854, which nullified the Missouri Compromise and instead implemented the concept of popular sovereignty. An ostensibly democratic idea, popular sovereignty stated that the inhabitants of each territory or state should decide whether it would be a free or slave state; however, this resulted in immigration en masse to Kansas by activists from both sides. At one point, Kansas had two separate governments, each with its own constitution, although only one was federally recognized. On January 29, 1861, Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state, less than three months before the Battle of Fort Sumter which began the Civil War.

        re: history of confederacy,

        The Confederate States of America was created by secessionists in Southern slave states who refused to accept the results of the presidential election of 1860, in which the newly-formed, anti-slavery Republican Party won its first election.

        So please do shut the fuck up. Yes, The Civil War was about “States Rights”… *TO HAVE SLAVES*…. the ideas do in fact go together. Pretending it was pure fucking theoretical Federalist Papers niggling that became a war is pure denialism.

      3. A newly created sovereign nation that just so happened to be founded on the “principle” of slavery.

        From the Charles Oliver piece:

        “Southern thinkers savaged the Declaration of Independence. All men are not created equal, they said. And natural rights were just a myth. “Nothing can be more unfounded and false,” said John C. Calhoun [The same John C. Calhoun who articulated the “nullification” doctrine favored by Paul – ed]. Southern nationalists didn’t just believe that blacks were unequal to whites. Many Southern ideologues argued for a hierarchical polity — with the big plantation owners at the top, slaves at the bottom and other whites in between. Society is superior to the individual, they said.”

        Collectivist slave states hostile to individual rights (ie: dictatorships) have no fucking rights.

        Frum may be a douche and all, but Ron Paul’s views on the Civil War are idiotic and repugnant (not just “a bit naive”). John wins the thread for standing up to the Rothtards.

  36. The South, of course, lacked the moral right to leave the Union (the legal right is murkier). In no southern state would a majority of adults or adult men have voted for secession. The South disenfranchised a large percentage, in some cases a majority, of the states’ voters.

    1. The point of saying this being, of course, to draw attention to the fact that when you say “The South” did this or that, you are talking about a minority of people in every southern state.

      1. You may be right but what exactly are you relying on to make that statement? Polling is still largely bullshit today how bad would one be 150 years ago?

        1. Well, obviously, the vast majority of slaves would have voted against secession. Several states rejected secession prior to Lincoln’s call for volunteers following Ft. Sumter, and even after that it was a very close call. Many of the state delegates to the secession conventions voted against their orders. And during the actual war, Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina saw minor rebellions against secession. Much of these states could be considered anti-confederate territory during the war. Virginia saw even greater and more obvious divisions, which accounts for the existence of West Virginia today.

  37. The only thing dumber than your mafia blowjob analogy is the fact you misspelled your own name.

    Well, no. I changed my handle from “prolefeed” to “protefeed” because of a thread a while back where I found out the some fuckwit lawyer, trying to baselessly sue Reason and many of its commenters, named a “protefeed” as a defendant. And as an ongoing mockery of said fuckwit lawyer, I proposed changing my handle to match this misspelling, and when that proposal was encouraged by Episiarch and others, I went through with it.

    1. So the least important element of your totally baseless case is actually less stupid than it appears at face value. The rest however… remains as stupid as it appears.

      You don’t try to back up the case that the Civil War would have happened sans Slavery. Or that you can make clam chowder without clams. The argument about the *relative importance* of the issue is simply a diversion for admitting it was in fact the *central* issue. Without which all else does not follow.

  38. If slavery was the main issue for the civil war, why where there slave states in the North? Missouri most notably, but slavery was still permitted in the southern part of Illinois as well.

    That it was all about slavery is a modern revision of history, not a new one. Paul has those beliefs because they were common beliefs when he grew up.

    1. That it was all about slavery is a modern revision of history, not a new one.

      That it was *all about* slavery is a rhetorical gimmick used in order to knock a straw man down. No one says, ‘all’. Nothing is so simply dichotomous = either/or. Particularly civil wars. If you’re telling me that the Bleeding Kansas/Missouri Compromise was primarily about something *other* than slavery, then that should be news for historians. It followed that, yes, the addition of new states threatened the existing coalition of slave states with minority status, and thus became an issue of federalism/relative power in the union… but without the prime mover of slavery as the key point of contention, the issue fails to matter.

      Are re: “why where there slave states in the North? Missouri most notably

      Dude, you are making some high school history teacher somewhere shake their heads at their complete and total failure to get anything across…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_Compromise

      And by “north”, if you mean Maryland… well, at the time, they were politically affiliated with Virginia, etc But by the eve of the actual war, the lines were pretty clear = a la…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F…..ee1858.gif

      The secondary rhetorical angle of the “it was about state’s rights!”-method is to point out that the North was equally racist and not particularly concerned as a whole with the freedoms of blacks… which is again a diversion from the fact that the issue was about the actual institution of slavery itself, not the relative moral superiority of parties involved.

      One can make any variety of mixes of arguments about the causes of the civil war; if any of them don’t include slavery as the *originating* issue…. they’re bogus, and constructed entirely to diminish that particular issue, despite its necessary role, which can be tracked back all the way to the revolution itself as a point of contention between the states.

  39. I have an answer ready for my fellow Southerners, the ones who still aren’t over our defeat (pathetic, right?), when they contend that the war was fought, not over slavery, but states rights. “Yeah! The states right to own slaves.”
    The next minute or so is generally a very confusing time for them.

  40. On the matter of the war of northern agression,one only needs to look to Lincoln own statements and personal actions to conclude that slavery was not the issue for the military action. The slavery issue was meerly used as a premise to attract more votes and more rabid voices to the war effort. The positions advocated by Mr. Frum will allow the Republican party to join their predocessors the Whigs in the dustbin of history. Leaving the American People to throw off the cancer of the Democrats and the socialist left.

  41. hahah. watch this video frum…NYPD POLICE TRANSMISSION MURAL VAN MOSSAD you will finally know the truth and why the media won’t let anyone talk about it.

  42. most of you have been taught to be stupid. you can’t decide…hmmm. an honest genius….or a deceiving rat. hmmm i’ll take the genius…first time we’ve had one get this far….paul for president…….if you can’t see that…you’re an idiot. don’t vote..you’re dangerous and don’t realize it….look what listening to msm lies has gotten us..

  43. Mr. Frum, You are exactly WRONG. I have read extensively on lincoln’s voting record, his speeches, and his writtings. What Ron paul stated in the video and other places on this subject is historically and factually accurate. Com’on, get right or go back under the slimy rock frum which you’ve crawled!

  44. Matt simply doesn’t understand the Civil War if he thinks it was fought over slavery. It was fought to “preserve the union” which is a Statist, Fascist agenda to lord it over people who were no longer interested in that political association. Lincoln was the worst President that ever lived – and of course he was served his just desserts for it, but it is absolutely incredible to me that even people who have been college-educated still are unclear on the genesis and motivations of a major military conflict.

    1. I meant David, sorry. Forgot his first name.

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