The rhetoric in 1860, as now, was essentially about throwing off the burden of federal authority, getting rid of the tariffs and taxes Washington imposed, and protecting private property from the depredations of central government. There was one essential difference back then, of course: the private property in question in 1860 was human. But the fire-eaters of the Old South never put the emphasis on “human,” they always put it on “property,” and they pointed to their (white man’s) rights enshrined in Article I, Article IV, and the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which declared no person can be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”Get it? The important connection here is property, and wanting not to be deprived of property is much like wanting not to be deprived of slaves -- isn't it obvious?
So what should Obama and the anti-slavery/property Democrats do about it? Why, take a lesson from Abraham Lincoln when faced with secession, of course -- call out the troops and crush the
If, in the end, Lincoln did manage to hold the Union together, it was not because of the better angels of human nature, but because he finally found the killer angels among his generals who could, and did, and at enormous cost, crush the secessionists.
These basic facts about a moment of history that Obama obviously holds dear are worth going over again right now because, in fact, the secessionists of 1860 are the ideological forebears of the Tea Party movement today.Now, okay, this guy Christopher Dickey is no doubt just a goofy hack and no better than you can expect from a news magazine struggling to keep its head above water. But the problem is he's not alone -- try putting "eliminationist" into the search box at Instapundit (where I got the link to Dickey's little piece) and note the multiple links to left-lib death curses of one sort or another just on his blog alone. And the thuggish behavior isn't limited just to rhetoric, as a couple of recent incidents at Canadian universities illustrate. I'm not above a little link-baiting myself, but if we're going to get into historical comparisons, then comparing today's increasingly frustrated, resentful, and violence-spouting "progressive" left to the sort of liberal fascists Jonah Goldberg wrote a book about makes vastly greater sense than the laughable comparison of today's Tea Partiers to antebellum slave-owners.