The great Seattle-based “Lawyers, Guns and Money” blog is a joy. We need to meet these guys. The following comment, from the post Refighting the Civil War: the correct rhetorical response is one of the best few sentences I’ve ever read in a blog.
“States’ rights” is, of course, a constitutionally meaningless term. In the context of American constitutionalism, to talk about governments having rights is a giant non-sequitur. States have powers; rights belong to individuals. What “states’ rights” means is “rhetorical cover for policies that are completely indefensible on their merits,” and when one understands this it makes perfect sense to say that southern secession was about “states’ rights.”
But more importantly, it’s baffling that it’s apologists for apartheid police sta…er, “federalism” that bring this up. The obvious response to this line of reasoning is “sure, the Civil War was fought for states’ rights. And states’ rights lost. Better luck at the track, assholes!” The Civil War seems to be the only conflict in which history was largely written by the losers…
Hats off, gentlemen. We’ll footnote you next time we get the chance to use this amazing slapdown. (And imagine our joy that it’s an Ann Coulter slapdown!)