Patrick J. Buchanan
February 13, 2010
[efoods]No, it is not 1860 again.
But with all the talk of the 10th Amendment, nullification and interposition, states rights and secession — following Gov. Rick Perry’s misstatement that Texas, on entering the Union in 1845, reserved in its constitution a right to secede — one might think so.
Chalk up another one for those Tea Party activists who exploded in cheers when Sister Sarah brought up the dread word in endorsing Rick Perry in the primary.
Looking back in American history, however, these ideas, these sentiments, decried as insane inside the Beltway, were once as American as “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.”
“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical,” wrote Thomas Jefferson to James Madison from Paris in January 1787, about Revolutionary War Capt. Daniel Shay’s anti-tax rebellion in Massachusetts.
In the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions, both of these founding fathers sanctioned the idea that states could interpose their own sovereignty and nullify acts of Congress. Both were enraged by the Alien and Sedition Acts of John Adams and the Federalists, written into law to combat sedition during the undeclared naval war with France.
On taking office, President Jefferson declared the acts unconstitutional, refused to prosecute those charged and freed the imprisoned writers.