Although the Founding Fathers declared America’s independence from England in 1776, they spent nearly eleven years carefully crafting the U.S. Constitution that was finally ratified in 1787 as the blueprint defining rights of the people and how the nation is governed. Since Americans elected an African American man as President in 2008, Republicans and their teabagger cohort persistently claimed they, and only they, adhere to the constitution regardless they routinely disregard or misrepresent the document to fit their extremist vision of America under Republican rule. It is likely that after the “Separation Clause” prohibiting religious fanatics from imposing bible edicts as the law of the land, conservatives of all stripes abhor the “Supremacy Clause” that prevents the nation from becoming a collection of sovereign nation states.
The idea that an individual state, or collection of states, had the right to nullify federal laws a state’s leaders opposed has been settled in the courts and by the American Civil War, and in fact it was the end of the war between the states that finally put an end to the nullification frenzy that began rearing its ugly head again with President Obama’s election. States under GOP control have threatened nullification over the Affordable Care Act, but they have also used (non-existent) gun safety laws and environmental regulations as grounds for nullification. They have even threatened armed insurrection to send a message to the government that they will use “Second Amendment remedies” to defend their right to disregard the Constitution. On Monday night at a campaign rally for failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, a former 12-term U.S. congressman and three-time presidential candidate stood in the former Confederate capital and called for reinstating the principles that resulted in the Civil War.
Libertarian hero Ron Paul was the featured speaker at a Cuccinelli campaign rally on Virginia’s election eve where he laid out an argument for states to govern by sedition and strongly alluded to armed rebellion if the federal government did not acquiesce to states’ nullification efforts. Paul said, “I’ve been working on the assumption that nullification is going to come. It’s going to be a de facto nullification. It’s ugly, but pretty soon things are going to get so bad that we’re just going to ignore the feds and live our own lives in the states.” Paul’s statement was likely lifted right out of Confederacy rhetoric leading up to the Civil War and he went so far as to warn that the people would likely have to take up arms against the federal government, President Obama, and governor-elect Terry McCauliffe to preserve their freedom.
Paul joined an ever-growing chorus of treasonous conservatives and gun fanatics who claim the 2nd Amendment exists for the sole purpose of allowing disgruntled anti-constitutionalists to wage war against the United States government. He said, “the second amendment wasn’t set up there to make sure you could shoot rabbits…Right now we have a greater threat on our liberties internally” and warned that “the McAuliffes and the Obamas of the world will come and undermine our liberties.” Paul came dangerously close to sedition by intimating that Americans will have to turn their guns on the federal government as well as Cuccinelli’s opponent and particularly the President of the United States. Ironically, Paul touted Cuccinelli’s devotion to the Constitution in the same breath he warned the federal government that states were intent on violating the Supremacy Clause through nullification efforts and armed rebellion because they oppose a legally passed law the Supreme Court ruled was constitutional.
Interestingly, while Paul explained to the crowd that Cuccinelli was a devout Constitutionalist who established a reputation for being unyielding to the point that “you know he’s not gonna back down,” he railed against two of the Constitution’s Amendments he claims are attacks on liberty. As an aside, Cuccinelli has spent no small amount of time as Virginia’s attorney general attempting to violate the Constitution’s separation of church and state by imposing Old Testament edicts on Virginians. However, despite claiming that, like himself, Cuccinelli is a strict devotee of the Constitution, Paul belied his own constitutional devotion by condemning an amendment in support of states nullifying federal laws.
To justify his contention that conservative states will resort to nullification to protect their liberty, Paul assailed the Constitution’s 17th Amendment ratified a century ago (1913) because it allows for the direct election of U.S. senators by popular vote that according to Paul “undermines the principle importance of the states.” He also railed against the 16th Amendment that enacted the federal income tax in 1913 that teabagger freak Ted Cruz, and likely all conservatives, teabaggers, and libertarians are Hell bent on eliminating to financially break the federal government and transform America into independent nation-states.
The idea of revisiting pre-Civil War nullification efforts and armed insurrection against the United States government has been a recurring theme among disaffected conservatives since 2009 when Barack Obama began his first term as President. Several southern state conservatives threatened to forcibly oppose federal officials if they attempted to implement the Affordable Care Act they intend to nullify because they claim the law is unconstitutional, and gun fanatics have threatened armed opposition against the government if they dared enact gun safety measures that still have not been passed. In 2009, certifiable nut-job Michele Bachmann said “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us, having a revolution every now and then is a good thing, and the people — we the people — are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country.” In 2010, teabagger racist Sharon Angle twice said the public would have to bring down an “out of control Congress using Second Amendment remedies,” and to “deal not just with the ever-growing tyrannical U.S. government,” but to replace her then-election opponent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
It is insignificant what reason Republicans, teabaggers, and libertarians are using to nullify federal laws or threaten armed insurrection against the United States government. It is seditious treason and they are traitors. Particularly when the federal laws they intend to nullify follows the U.S. Constitution they, on one hand, claim to adhere to strictly and the other deride as faulty according to their dysfunction. It was not coincidence that Ron Paul stood in the now-defunct Confederacy’s capital and called for nullification of federal laws, condemned constitutional amendments, or that he suggested the 2nd Amendment existed to allow American citizens the right to wage war against the federal government or legally elected President of the United States.
Conservatives do not care what means they use to subvert the Constitution or the federal government, and Republicans are at the forefront of the march toward a Civil War since they lost two presidential elections. They have whipped their supporters into frenzy against the federal government as blatantly evil since the Reagan administration, and with the election of an African American President have convinced their rabid sycophants that their rights are being trampled asunder from an increasingly tyrannical government. Of course in conservative parlance, tyrannical government means Republicans are not in control.
The last time states embarked on a nullification campaign and threatened armed resistance to federal laws America suffered a Civil War that tore the nation apart and claimed the lives of three-quarters-of-a-million Americans. It is 152 years later and by all appearances Republicans, teabaggers, and libertarians are poised to embark on a nullification campaign and convince their supporters they may exercise their 2nd Amendment rights against the federal government, a governor-elect, and the President of the United States.