Nikki Haley Talks Secession

Nikki Haley is back in the news, of course not because she is newsworthy.

Far from it.

She is back in the news because she can’t stop flip flopping.

A few weeks back, Haley failed to bow to the woke mob by omitting slavery as the “cause of the War.” To appease the masses, she went on Saturday Night Live and knelt before the altar of acceptable opinion.

She then said on a radio show that Texas could secede if it wanted.

She backtracked the next day, but not before the Lincolnians went nuts.

Take for example Bill O’Reilly.

Ol’ Bill took issue with Nikki and plastered his webpage with a huge graphic:

“Why Texas Cannot Suceed from Union”

You read that right. Bill, or one of his staffers, does not know the difference between secede and suceed.

Or succeed. The typo is atrocious.

But his reasoning is even worse. You might guess it. Texas v. White.

This is the conclusive proof that secession is illegal according to every midwit in America.

Some understand the nuance. The Supreme Court said that unilateral secession is illegal, but not secession per se. States can leave the Union if Congress kicks them out.

Why would the Court rule this way? Because it needed cover for the clearly illegal and nasty 1st Reconstruction Act of 1867, a bill that reduced the former Confederate States to military districts subject to marshal law.

Those States did not exist any longer because Congress said so, even if Lincoln said they were just in rebellion during the War.

The Republicans had a major constitutional mess on their hands by denying the legality of secession. The Court theoretically figured it out by ignoring the Constitution.

Which brings us back to O’Reilly. He also made the case that once the Supreme Court rules on an issue, the case is closed. We don’t have to like it, but you cannot resist.

That would have been news to Andrew Jackson, or better yet, Bill’s beloved Republican Party. Their entire platform of 1860 was dedicated to open resistance to a ruling of the Supreme Court.

This is why I laugh every time people say the North, and not the South, was being forced to compromise in the months leading to the War. The opposite is true. The South had the entire weight of the law on their side. The North, politics.

Now, we can certainly say that the Dred Scott decision was a faulty decision, but regardless, under Bill’s logic, the Republican Party had no authority to resist and should have folded up shop. Slavery, according to the Court, was legal everywhere in the United States, or so I am told my establishment historians. Northern States were still free States, of course, but they won’t say that.

But slavery was legal in every inch of federal territory, and Republican efforts to resist it would have driven Bill O’Reilly mad. For as he said, “But I understand, that when the Supreme Court rules, that’s it. No wiggle room.”

Of course, we know that if you asked him, he would say that the Republican Party should have resisted Dred Scott. His consistency only goes so far. So does his knowledge.

Either way, Nikki and Bill made for great Podcast fodder.

I discuss both on Episode 930 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Texas v. Biden

Texas told the Biden administration to take a hike.

But this isn’t “nullification”.

Texas insists that the Biden administration enforce the laws of the United States.

Biden has so far refused and instead retaliated by cutting off natural gas exports from Texas.

In other words, Biden has chosen economic warfare against a State, the very definition of treason in the Constitution, to appease the hard left faction in his political party.

This is the very thing the founding generation feared from the executive branch.

Some background is in order.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott directed the Texas National Guard to construct obstacles—barbed wire fencing and shipping containers–on land adjacent to the Rio Grande River. This is Texas property, not federal land.

The United States Border Patrol used it as a processing center for illegal aliens, and thus it became a focal point for massive numbers of “migrants” crossing into Texas across the Rio Grande River.

Invasion would be a better word.

Texas then told the Border Patrol that they were no longer allowed on State property while Texas law enforcement began arresting and deporting illegal aliens.

The Federal Government sued in federal court and demanded that the razor wire and makeshift border wall come down. Biden’s Justice Department also argued that Texas’ efforts to enforce federal immigration law violated the Constitution.

“Texas cannot run its own immigration system. It’s efforts, through SB 4, intrude on the federal government’s exclusive authority to regulate the entry and removal of noncitizens, frustrate the United States’ immigration operations and proceedings, and interfere with U.S. foreign relations.”

Here’s the catch. Texas isn’t running its own immigration system. It’s enforcing existing federal law.

Every officer in the United States, from the local governments to the President, takes an oath to uphold constitutional federal law. Biden did so in 2021. That is the primary language of his oath of office.

Biden has not claimed that immigration laws are unconstitutional. He has not claimed that these people are crossing the border legally.

He admits that they are entering Texas illegally, meaning his only job is enforcing the laws on the books, something his administration is clearly refusing to do.

Texas has done it for him.

But this raises several larger Constitutional questions.

The Founders unequivocally considered “invasion” to be one of the important reasons States maintained control of their own militia units.

That would be the modern misnamed “National Guard.”

Biden cannot “nationalize” the Guard in this instance because federal law would not allow it.

The Texas National Guard is already enforcing federal law, meaning that if Biden nationalized the Guard and told them to stand down, he would be in violation of the Constitution.

He would also violate federal law. The Insurrection Act of 1792 allows the President to nationalize the militia (National Guard) in three instances: to suppress insurrection, stop domestic violence, or enforce federal law.

Allowing invasion is not on the list. Nor is breaking the law.

That would be a dereliction of duty, an impeachable offense.

The parallels between Biden’s actions and other stand-offs between the States and the general government are impossible to find.

Texas wants to enforce federal law.

In 1798, Virginia and Kentucky nullified the Alien and Sedition Acts because they violated the Constitution. This wasn’t a case of neglect.

In 1815, several New England States refused to enforce laws in support of the War of 1812. Again, not a case of neglect.

In 1832, South Carolina nullified the federal tariff. Jackson threatened to send in the army to collect the tariff. He wasn’t refusing to enforce a federal law.

In the 1840s and 1850s, several Northern States refused to enforce the fugitive slave laws. The Supreme Court ruled that States did not have to use their own police powers to support federal law.

But in this case, Texas is supporting federal law. The Biden Administration has vacated its Constitutional responsibility.

The Justice Department’s claim that the general government has “exclusive authority to regulate the entry and removal of noncitizens” would also be news to the founding generation.

States could determine residency and who could and could not be within their borders. Jefferson made this contention in the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. After 1808, the general government could prohibit “persons” from entering the States, but this power was not denied to the States in Article I, Section 10, meaning the States could also allow or prohibit “persons” from entering their borders.
The “supremacy clause” only applies to laws made in “pursuance of the Constitution.”

Nor does the 14th Amendment cover illegal aliens. Only citizens of the States are entitled to due process and the privileges and immunities of citizens of the other States. Foreign nationals are not citizens of any State or the United States.

This is an open and shut case of dangerous abuse of power by the executive branch. If the Republicans in Congress had any spine, they would immediately impeach Biden for his action against Texas and inaction on immigration enforcement.

In the Philadelphia Convention, James Madison listed “negligence” and betraying “his trust to a foreign power” as the chief causes of impeachment, among others.

Attempting to coerce a State though economic boycotts would satisfy Gouverneur Morris’s definition of “treachery”, what he considered to be an impeachable offense.

In either case, Biden should be easily convicted and booted from power.

That is, if we had a real Constitutional government in the federal city.

That dream died in 1789 in the First Congress.

I discuss all of this on Episode 926 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Democrats Don’t Understand the Constitution, Again

I could say that neither Party understands the Constitution. If Lincoln is your man, you are clearly constitutionally ignorant.

But Democrats seem to foul it up the most.

Take for example a recent proposed bill that would ban private “paramilitary” organizations.

Two Democrats wrote the bill to clamp down on dangerous “right wing extremist” violence in America.

When you finish laughing, keep reading.

Ed Markey of Massachusetts (of course) and Jamie Raskin of Maryland think that the greatest threat to “democracy” is “MAGA extremism” in the form of “paramilitary” activity like that of January 6 or 2017 in Charlottesville.

Remember I’ve told you that these people are living in the 1850s. They are no different than the radicals running around the North calling Southerners devils and the vomit of civilization.

Only the names have changed.

The bill will never pass, but it exposes the hypocrisy of these morons. They didn’t write this after the “fiery but mostly peaceful protests” in 2020 or during the ANTIFA bombing of a courthouse in Oregon.

Nope. Those are just patriots fighting systemic racism and oppression.

The people that really need to be neutered by the government are their political opponents.

The Democrats openly use the federal government as a weapon and everyone just smiles and moves along.

Of course the bill is a constitutional disaster. Even this fairly sympathetic piece at VICE points out that States have control over this issue.

But they also explain why these Democrats want this bill. It’s just like any other unconstitutional “federal crime” bill. It allows for a “pathway” to federal intervention in State police powers. If laws are already on the books, why pass another?

Because it is a naked power grab.

And the establishment dopes don’t trust the States to do their job, particularly “red MAGA” States fomenting insurrection. Give a federal prosecutor an inch and he’ll throw everyone in jail.

This is the kind of legislation Jefferson and Madison warned about in 1798.

But of course it makes great Podcast fodder, so I discuss it on Episode 921 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Dem Dems were Slavers and Traitors!

It’s almost becoming tiresome.

“Republicans were the Party of freedom and Democrats were the Party of slavery, Jim Crow, and treason!”

Modern Republicans really think this tactic will earn more votes.

They’ve been called the stupid party for a reason.

I can just imagine a potential Democratic voter changing his mind while ruminating, “If I cast a vote for this Democrat, I’ll be voting for the Party of treason!” all while looking at the huge bowl of candy the Democrats promise.

But it doesn’t stop the historically ignorant virtue signalling dopes who write for major Republican outlets to keep peddling the lie.

Take Don Feder at the Washington Times. A recent opinion column argued that the “Civil War was caused by Democrats who wanted to keep their slaves.”

Of course this would mean that Republicans had nothing to do with the conflict and were just helpless victims fighting a morally righteous war to free black Americans in bondage.

Except we know all of that is false.

I don’t need to recount the details in an email, but Feder clearly suffers from mental illness.

How else can you explain such a stupid position?

But it seems like the entire establishment has this problem, too. If you are asked a question about the War, just yell SLAVERY! and you’ll be alright.

I learned that on the Simpsons, a cartoon. That is the intelligence level of your average establishment Republican or Democrat.

Or your average Ph.D history professor in the modern academy, someone like Kevin Kruse, Brooks Simpson, Ty Seidule, or Heather Cox Richardson.

But of course, I loved the opportunity to take down this stupid piece on Episode 919 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Did the South Keep Lincoln Off the Ballot?

If you missed it, the Maine Secretary of State has decided to remove Donald Trump from the ballot in 2024.

This followed the Colorado Supreme Court decision that did the same, though after Trump appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, the Colorado Secretary of State placed Trump back on the Republican primary ballot.

The Supreme Court decided to hear the case today, as I predicted on Episode 897 of The Brion McClanahan Show back in November.

SCOTUS will rule in favor of Trump 5-4. Book it.

Regardless, because the Maine Secretary of State is a Democrat, several prominent conservative historians took to the media to blast the move. Predictably, Victor Davis Hanson labeled it a tactic of the “Confederacy”, because don’t you know Democrats in the South kept Lincoln off the ballot in 1860.

Except they didn’t.

Republicans kept Lincoln off the ballot in the South in 1860.

States did not print ballots before the 1880s. The Parties did all of the work, and without secret ballots, everyone knew who you supported. This allowed for voter intimidation–ask Democrats in Union States during the War–and also led to the eventual regulation elections.

Republicans bargained that they would not get a single vote in the South and therefore did not send any ballots to the cotton States. They were right, and thus Lincoln was skunked throughout the Deep South. He polled about 1% of the vote in Virginia and Kentucky, about two percent in Maryland, ten percent in Missouri, and about twenty percent in Delaware, but overall, as Michael Holt has shown in this excellent book, the election in the South was between Bell and Breckenridge, not Lincoln and Breckenridge.

While historically inaccurate, this type of logic could be used against Republicans in the North. Breckenridge wasn’t on the ballot in New York and New Jersey. Republicans didn’t keep him off the ballot. Democrats did, because Douglas men ran the Democratic Party in those States and refused to allow Breckenridge ballots.

Why didn’t Hanson and the rest of the historically ignorant trumpet this information?

Because it doesn’t fit their R good, D bad narrative. More importantly, it doesn’t allow them to run the South as the bogeyman thesis of American history and to virtue signal about their moral self-righteousness.

Blame Republicans. They never change.

I discuss the ballot issue on Episode 916 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Will This Case Destroy the Tax Code?

I’m back. I hope everyone is ready for a great 2024 and that your year will be healthy, prosperous, happy, and fulfilling.

We know our opponents don’t want any of that for us.

Deplorables don’t deserve good things.

Without question, this will be an interesting year, and perhaps one of the most “historical” in recent memory.

The political theater surrounding the presidential election alone will deserve its own chapter in future historical texts/

If Trump wins, get ready for the real fun.

If he’s kept off the ballot in several States, that will also be quite significant and dangerous.

I’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

But today, let’s talk taxes. We’ve turned the calendar to 2024 and the tax man cometh looking for his treasure in a few short months.

A pending Supreme Court case could upend the tax code, at least that is what we are being told.

It wouldn’t change much for the average person, but any action on the government’s ability to tax is significant.

What is a direct tax? What is an indirect tax? What is income?

These questions have been asked since the 1780s and have always been politically driven.

During the Trump administration, the Congress passed a tax law that allowed for the government to retroactively charge people for money they earned from foreign corporations. One American couple has challenged the penalty, They contend that corporate earnings are not realized and therefore cannot be taxed.

The Supreme Court will get to determine the fate of this part of the tax code. It should have been challenged as an ex post facto law, but that is not how the case is being presented. Even some of the Supreme Court Justices raised this point, meaning they could rule the penalty to be illegal while leaving the rest of the code in place.

That will probably be the outcome if I had to guess, and it will be a 5-4 majority that does it.

The Court can’t rock the boat too much.

This might seem like an “in the weeds” discussion, but there are larger historical implications for this case, namely who do we define a direct or indirect tax. The case of Hylton v. United States in 1796 should be our starting point, a case I cover in my McClanahan Academy class, How the Supreme Court Screwed Up America.

I also address it in How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America.

But I also give you a bit of a rundown on Episode 914 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Thomas Jefferson, Conservative

Who is the real Thomas Jefferson?

Historians have attempted to answer this question since “Sage of Monticello” died in 1826.

Jefferson has been the symbol of nearly every political movement in America, even if he would have disagreed with their positions.

He has been described as a radical, a progressive, a liberal, an agrarian, a populist, a libertarian, a conservative, a republican, and a federalist.

Jefferson was first and foremost a Virginian. Modern attempts to attach ideological labels to the man often fail because the real Jefferson was rooted to a time and place, his State.

Jefferson loved Paris. He admired the New England “ward republics.” He studied Greece and Rome, and spoke highly of the Anglo-Saxon traditions. But none of these contemporary or ancient examples compared to his native country of Virginia.

He traveled as a Virginian and spoke from his “little mountain” plantation in the heart of the Virginia wilderness.

As Clyde Wilson explains in his fantastic new book on Jefferson, “Jefferson begins and ends with Virginia.”

Jefferson the statesman cannot be understood without knowing Jefferson the Virginian.

He drafted the Declaration of Independence only after his fellow Virginians pressed the issue, and he preferred to be back in his country debating a new Constitution rather than stuffed in Philadelphia with delegates from the other States. He borrowed some of the lofty rhetoric in the Declaration from George Mason and insisted that he wasn’t stating any new ideas or principles but simply expressing the American mind.

Wilson explains that much of our misunderstanding of Jefferson is due to historians missing context. Jefferson politely appeared to agree with everyone in person while playfully bantering ideas in his letters. The real Jefferson can only be understood from his actions.

For example, he certainly wished for religious freedom thought action must be taken by individuals in their own States.

Federalism, not “democracy”, and more importantly political decentralization, formed the core of his political world.

He distrusted banks, but in particular banks organized, financed, and administered by men who were not sufficiently republican.

He supported education but not from the “dark Federalist mills” of the North.

When Americans needed an intellectual symbol, they often turned to Jefferson.

Abraham Lincoln attempted to sound more like Jefferson than Hamilton throughout his political career. So did the progressives of the modern era.

Their policies never matched the man they rhetorically idolized, but it shows how Jefferson’s American has outlived Hamilton’s, at least in how we view American politics, even if most who invoke his name do not understand the man.

Real Jeffersonians, not just those who attempted to sound like Jefferson, dominated American politics for the first eighty years of the federal republic, and some could be found well into the twentieth century, particularly in the South.

They have virtually disappeared today.

Which is why Wilson has performed such an important service for the American public. His concise collection of essays provides the answer to “who was Thomas Jefferson”?

Jefferson never considered himself to be an ideological sage and thought such notions were foolish.

But as Wilson writes, “…he was the Virginian statesman who saved the Constitution from the centralizing and rent-seeking agenda of the Federalists and preserved it as had been intended in its ratification.”

If nothing else, Jefferson should be admired for his determined efforts to save America from scheming innovators and dangerous centralizers.

I discuss Jefferson and Wilson’s new book on Episode 911 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Texas Secession!

Secession may be on the ballot in Texas.

At least it may be on the Republican primary ballot.

Proponents of Texas Secession (TEXIT) have gathered close to 100,000 signatures on the issue, meaning the Republican Party may be forced to include it on the primary ballot, as per State law.

This is a big development.

For years, the Texas Republican Party has resisted a grassroots effort to have a vote on the issue. Some Lincolnian legislators have called those who support it traitors who don’t understand either the Texas or United States Constitutions.

They aren’t bright, as I pointed out here.

This is, of course, a minor step forward, and Texas secession faces monumental hurdles. And they need to do it correctly through a State convention.

That said, no one would have thought this was possible even twenty years ago. The Texas Nationalist Movement has worked tirelessly to pull it off, and more people are being educated about the original Constitution.

Why do you think all of the Fonerites on the left have conceded that originalists were right all along, but we have this new Constitution called the 14th Amendment.

They have been making this argument for half a century, but it has gained steam recently because of victories like the Texas secession initiative.

We still need to educate more people on the topic. Most Americans think that secession and violence are synonymous, when in fact there is nothing more peaceful than saying live and let live. “You govern California the way you want, we’ll have Texas for Texians.”

It’s really a win, win.

There are important Constitutional questions that need to be addressed, and I talk about some of those and Texas secession on Episode 909 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Will This Case Destroy the Federal Government?

A paranoid leftist law professor worries that the Supreme Court will destroy the federal government.

That is if a pending case is decided in the way he fears.

You see, this professor thinks that originalist “cherry picking” of the Constitution is going to undermine the regulatory state. What will we do without the SEC, FDA, OSHA, or a host of other unconstitutional federal agencies?

Who will keep us safe from harmful vaccines?

Or ensure that crooks don’t steal money from financial markets?

Or prevent workplace accidents?

Better yet, what will Congress do if it can’t punt every bit of its Constitutional responsibilities to the executive branch?

How would we go on?

His entire article contains the very tactics he accuses the other side of using:  “They sprinkle in a few historical quotations, refuse to engage seriously with historians’ findings, and then declare that their right wing [or left-wing in the author’s case] policy preferences are dictated by the authority of history.”

His hysterical language and emotive response are common among progressive activists, but this piece is borderline insane.

No federal court is going to destroy the federal regulatory apparatus, not even the SCOTUS at this point.

John Roberts would never let that happen.

But it is red meat for hand wringing progressives who read the silly Atlantic Magazine.

And of course it made for great Podcast fodder,

I discuss it on Episode 907 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

An Activist Historian’s Bad Take on “Insurrection”

If you’ve been listening to my show or reading my emails for even a few weeks, you know I am very hard on establishment activists…historians.

And for good reason.

They are destroying both the “profession” and more importantly traditional America.

Most of these “experts” make glaring mistakes on a regular basis. Their goal is never to understand. They want to wield history like a sword and require strict obedience to their interpretations of the past.

Heretics will be ostracized.

It’s better just to never be in their worthless company.

Take for example University of Virginia Professor Elizabeth Varon.

Varon has spent her entire career promoting the Righteous Cause Myth.

Fairy tale would be a better description.

Her first two books took the traditional path to a tenure track job: race, class, gender.

Coupled with an anti-Southern bias, they were certainly red meat for the dopes who run university presses in the United States.

She then wrote one decent book, Disunion!, where she argued that fear over the dissolution of the United States was an important factor in American politics for decades. This wasn’t a new revelation, and of course she wrote it to show that Southerners were on the “wrong side of history” in 1860 and 1861, but nevertheless it had some merit.

The next two are pure Righteous Cause drivel, and her latest on James Longstreet shows where the establishment activists are headed.

Why couldn’t all Southerners be like James Longstreet, the Confederate who became a Republican?

You see, Varon is one of these activists who argues that the only problem with Reconstruction is that it did not go far enough.

She also scribbles opinion pieces for various leftist publications that attempt to convince brain dead Americans that everything conservatives want to do in America is based on race.

Or hate.

Or a desire to force racism and hate on everyone else.

Better yet, all of these things can be tied to the South, except James Longstreet who rejected Southern sins of race and hate.

Even Donald Trump should have listened to James Longstreet and said he was sorry for being an insurrectionist.

Trump’s sin is that he did not genuflect to people like Elizabeth Varon. He showed no remorse for being a racist hate monger who told people to protest against the government.

Like the Rump Republicans during the American Reign of Terror in the 1860s, these people want your head.

Just look at what they did the statue of Robert E. Lee.

I bet Varon danced around her living room with a box of wine after reading the Washington Post story about the event.

Lee wasn’t executed in the 1860s, but the wokies executed his statue in 2023.

Good enough.

But of course, this all makes for great Podcast fodder, so I have a bit of fun at Varon’s expense on Episode 905 of The Brion McClanahan Show.