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.