Bruce Fein Writes Bizarre Anti-Flag Rant

This has got to be one of the most bizarre things I have seen regarding the flag flap yet. It is an op-ed in the Washington Times, by Bruce Fein, that suggests that Congress should ban the flying of the Confederate Battle Flag (and other Confederate Flags I presume) on state grounds. It is mostly an explanation of the legal grounds on which this could be done. I don’t dispute the legal analysis, because the legal analysis is the least of the issues. This is very disappointing and surprising coming from Bruce Fein, who is closely associated in my mind with Ron Paul and has been at the forefront of the fight against the Patriot Act and making the case that fast track and the TPP are unconstitutional.

This strikes me as rank PC grandstanding. What I have previously called PC Peacocking. “Hey everyone, look at me! I’m a rightthinker, not one of them dirty ol’ wrongthinkers!” The states have a right to secede. The Confederate states peacefully seceded as was their right. Lincoln was wrong to invade them to “save” the Union. End of story. So is Bruce Fein a “strong compact” guy? Does he deny the right to secede? Or does he concede the right to secede, but just wants to make sure everyone knows he is a rightthinker?

Fein also reinforces the Cultural Marxist narrative, because he reinforces the simplistic morality tale of evil South and virtuous North. What about the slaveholding border states, Bruce? What about Lincoln’s clear expression that he was not going to war to free the slaves but rather to “save” the Union? What about the constitutional amendment Lincoln supported to forever enshrine slavery? So yes, slavery was a cause of secession, but it was not the cause of the War. There was one and only one cause of the War. Lincoln invaded us. No invasion, no war. So why is the Confederate Battle Flag not a “badge and incident” of secession, which is a right to be cherished, instead?

I’m not telling Fein anything he doesn’t know, but these things generally come as a package. People who support the “strong compact” theory usually reject strict “enumerated powers” doctrine and believe in a broad interpretation of the commerce clause, the general welfare clause and the necessary and proper clause. People who support the “loose compact” theory generally reject a broad interpretation of these. So is Fein a strong compact guy but also a strict enumerate powers guy, or is he a loose compact guy as one would assume based on his other positions, but just wants to make sure he inoculates himself against charges of wrongthink because of the crowd he runs with or the other Constitutional positions he takes? You can concede that slavery was a motivating factor in secession without muddling the issue of secession itself or the legal doctrines that generally flow with that. You can also do so without PC Clowning yourself and empowering the Cultural Marxist mindset that scoffs at your whole constitutionally constrained limited government concept because it hinders their leveling schemes.

3 thoughts on “Bruce Fein Writes Bizarre Anti-Flag Rant

  1. brocktownsend

    A comment:

    Fein’s points are centered around those comments made by Alexander Stephens and others who had a pecuniary interest in the “peculiar institution.” He cites the Confederate Constitution which is not all that different from the United States Constitution— and actually has some improvements over the original— but he leaves out the critical point that both banned the importation of slaves. If slavery was something that Stephens and others were so intent upon preserving ad infinitum, then why leave the door shut to importation? In today’s world it is quite common to find people who believe that slavery was the sole reason for the Union invasion of the Southern states. What these folks fail to grasp is that those who owned slaves were concerned that if the institution was ended without some protections for themselves and their charges, that it would result in economic hardship and societal turbulence for decades to come. William Wilberforce campaigned for a peaceful solution to the issue of slavery within the British Empire with no harm done either physically or financially to its subjects. Sadly, no such campaign was waged here other than a military one— that devastated the whole of the South— the results of which we are suffering under to this day. Nevertheless— and this has been said many times— the Lincoln Administration was not interested in slavery as war aim at the onset as they were primarily concerned with maintaining the Union. The actual fighting centered around the matter of secession as a right of states and not really anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. weavercht

      Great post. I like to use R E Lee as the example: He didn’t want secession, but he fought for his home when the North invaded. And Lee didn’t like slavery, neither before nor after the war.

      And President Buchanan’s speech declares there’s no constitutionality to an attack on another state.

      And I’ve read pre-secession concerns for how free blacks might cause crime, lower wages, and struggle to live free. Lee even declared slavery was a greater burden for the whites than the blacks…

      Anyway, for me it’s a question of whether the North’s conquest was justified. The “Lost Cause” seems to be defending one’s home from an insane and beastly attack – as well states’ rights too especially since with the 14th the US is entirely different.

      I like the flag for the unique Southern culture and people. I very much like the South.



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