Did the “Civil War” Settle “Supremacy”?

A Letter to the Editor titled “Civil War settled governor’s nullification notion” and declares federal supremacy – or did it? In The Cap Time – Your Progressive Voice, James Kroneman writes:

“In response to the Tariff Act of 1828, South Carolina threatened to ‘nullify’ the law, saying that it did not apply to South Carolina. In 1832,South Carolina codified the Nullification Act by formally stating that ‘if the federal government moved to enforce the Tariff Act, it would be met with the secession of South Carolina from the Union.’ This war of words would continue until the Southern states, under the guise of ‘states’ rights,’ seceded from the Union and brought about the Civil War, which established the concept of the United   States we know and love today.

“After the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, our governor, along with other officials, declared that he would not enforce the act in Wisconsin.

“Now I ask you, just who in hell does he think he is? Has he not learned one thing from history, or have he and others simply decided that they are more knowledgeable than anyone else? This concept of the governor was debunked in the 1860s. A federal law applies to ALL the states. And if the governor needs more proof of what he thought he could do, I suggest that he sit down and read the U.S. Constitution.”

Well, I will agree with James Kroneman on one point – he needs to “sit down and read the U.S. Constitution”. Yes, he was referring to the Governor of Wisconsin, but in this case, I think the governor has a better understanding of the Constitution than Mr. Kroneman, who seems to believe that “might makes right” and the “Supremacy Clause” in the Constitution settles everything.

In “A Question of Supremacy” I refuted the assertions of another writer who also claimed that the states have no right to nullify federal “laws” because that would violate the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. But as I stated in that article, the people who wish to cite the Supremacy Clause always skip right over a couple of words proceeding the words “shall be the supreme law of the land”. So, what are those “inconvenient” words they don’t want you to read, “shall be made in pursuance thereof.


America is not a “Democracy.” Thoughts on the Electoral College

A recent ABC News-Washington Post poll disclosed that President Barack Obama leads challenger Mitt Romney by three percentage points in the race for president of the United States—well within the margin of error. If this race remains this close in November chances are the Electoral College, will once again, make the choice as it has in the past.

For those who do not know, the Founding Fathers opposed a democracy and hoped that descendants would never turn what they created into such. The word democracy is not in any of our original governing documents. Benjamin Franklin referred to democracy as two wolves and a lamb voting on what they would have for lunch; the well armed lamb contesting the vote. Realizing that the majority is not always right and, as such, could trample the rights of the minority becoming very tyrannical, they created a republic instead, thus we pledge allegiance to “the republic for which it stands.” A lynch mob is a democracy; everyone voting to hang the accused except the one proposed to be hung.

The vote system they created, referred to as the Electoral College, spread the vote geographically, and favored the informed over the less informed. Spreading the vote geographically was not easy, as everyone knew that the popular vote could be won by a few populated states, (today a few as ten, some say four), and that rural states or sections would never see the candidate nor would he make an appeal to their interests. To equalize the population advantage and encourage candidates to make a larger geographical appeal, the College gave population-deprived states disproportionately at least three votes. Although candidates could probably still ignore the rural states, the College made it decidedly less tempting to do so.


Food Stamps Growth Has Bipartisan Roots

Republicans are jumping on the news that participation in the food stamps program hit a new record of 46.7 million individuals in June (about one in seven Americans). In a sluggish economy, an increase in food stamps participation is to be expected. Thus, it’s fair to hold up the increase in food stamps usage as being emblematic of the Obama administration’s failed economic policies. In addition, the president’s 2009 “stimulus” bill increased benefits and eligibility.

What Republicans don’t want to acknowledge is the role they played in expanding the food stamps program before President Obama ever took office. The 2002 farm bill—passed by a Republican-controlled House and signed by Republican President George W. Bush—expanded the food stamps program. As the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page correctly noted yesterday, “The food-stamp boom began with the George W. Bush Republicans, who expanded benefits in the appalling 2002 farm bill.”

The 2008 farm bill further expanded the program. However, on this the Journal lets the GOP off the hook when it says “But the supercharger was a 2008 bill out of the Pelosi Congress that goosed eligibility and rebranded the program as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to reduce the stigma of being on the dole.” Although Bush vetoed that farm bill (he didn’t cite the increase for food stamps in his veto message), congressional Republicans were instrumental in enabling the “Pelosi Congress” to override it. In the House, 99 (out of 195) Republicans joined most Democrats in voting to override the veto. In the Senate, only 12 Republicans voted to sustain Bush’s veto.