Calhoun Didn’t Invent the Filibuster

It seems politicos on the left and right agree that if you want Americans to believe in your cause, you need to demonize John C. Calhoun.

To the right, Calhoun is evil. To the left, Calhoun is evil.

Both are wrong. We’ve lost all concept of the meaning of that term, something I’ll cover later this week on The Brion McClanahan Show.

But until then, the left has been running around for months talking about the filibuster. Their standard talking point involves calling it “evil” because supposedly John C. Calhoun invented it.

Except he didn’t. I was pleasantly surprised when Robert Elder penned a piece making that point. I have been highly critical of Elder’s book. He’s a nice fellow, but he also realizes that getting ahead in the academy requires genuflecting to the right gods.

In this case, you can’t say much that’s good about Calhoun.

It doesn’t offer the right sacrifice to the woke goddesses at establishment universities.

That’s why Elder’s piece is surprising. He attempts to use the correct language, but he doesn’t realize that he has now crossed the Rubicon. You can’t get away with not demonizing Calhoun, even if what you are saying is correct.

Calhoun has become the American Hitler, the thing that should not be.

This analogy is stupid, of course. Calhoun wasn’t an ideologue, and he certainly never advanced genocide.

That doesn’t matter to the left. He was a racist (so was almost everyone in 1837) and he thought slavery as it existed in 1837–not as an abstraction–was a “positive good” for the South.

No one seems to get that. Calhoun also said great things about limitations of power, republican government, and the Constitution. He was a real thinker, the most important of his generation, and both the left and the right could find things to admire about his views on government if they took the 2X4 out of their eyes.

Of course, it really doesn’t matter. The left and the Straussian/neoconservative right can keep hammering Calhoun because no one knows enough about the man to defend him, and if you can blame everything on the South and Calhoun, you deflect the real location of political backwardness in America: Yankees (not Northerners, many of whom are good people).

I discuss Elder’s piece, Calhoun, and the filibuster on Episode 518 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Podcast Episode 386: NPR Admits Biden Isn’t President-Elect

Every news outlet is calling Joe Biden “president elect.” Except he isn’t. Not until the Electoral College meets and those results are verified by the Senate. NPR actually admits this, just after calling him “president elect.” They also whine about the period between the election and inauguration because bad things happen. This is what passes for serious government journalism, but it’s great fodder for a podcast.

Podcast Episode 375: The Last Round in the Debate Ring

Trump the Thumper vs Glass Joe went down last week in a relatively tame final round of debates. If Trump had presented his case this way just a month ago, the polls would be quite different right now. As it stands, the “debates” were still sound and fury signifying nothing and a manifestation of our elected monarchy. I explain in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Podcast Episode 301: The Only Thing We Have to Fear

Franklin Roosevelt delivered one of the most important speeches in American history on March 4, 1933. It is one of the top three addresses in presidential history and perhaps the transformational speech of the 20th century. Why? You probably know a line or two, but most people have never read this short but important speech. Since I can’t teach in class right now, you are my class. I discuss Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Podcast Episode 255: Has Donald Trump Screwed Up America?

I have probably been asked this question a thousand times. Has Donald Trump screwed up America? I have held off answering it for a while, simply because his term is incomplete, but I thought I could partially answer it today with the same criteria I used to rate the other presidents. Trump is a symptom of the disease.

Podcast Episode 252: The 538 Political Confessional

The leftist website Five-Thirty Eight has recently produced a column titled “Political Confessional” where people submit “forbidden” political thoughts. This is standard leftist fare, but one was intriguing: “The Man Who Thinks The U.S. Is Better Off As A Bunch Of Separate Countries.” Now for those that listen to my show, this is just an everyday conversation, but not to the subject of this article. I discuss the article and some of the idiotic statements in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.