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Pierce writes: "The modern Republican party has become an authentic mechanism for political subversion, and it's not just unknown crazy people from Texas who are driving the train."

Republican senators John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. (photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Republican senators John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. (photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The Republican Party Is a Party of Subversives

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

12 March 15


Applying a like view of the subject to the case of the U. S. it results, that the compact being among individuals as imbodied into States, no State can at pleasure release itself therefrom, and set up for itself. -- James Madison to Nicholas Trist, February 15, 1830

verybody having a good chuckle these days over a Texas state legislator named Molly White, who has gone full Calhoun on the issue of marriage equality. What a funny lady she is, ho-ho.

Now, Rep. White has filed a bill that she believes would effectively nullify any U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would find a right for same-sex couples to marry. White's bill, HB 2555, would amend Texas law to state that its ban against same-sex marriage would "apply regardless of whether a federal court ruling or other federal law provides that a prohibition against the creation or recognition of a same-sex marriage or a civil union is not permitted under the United States Constitution."

I'm sorry. But I am not laughing any more. I think they mean it.

The modern Republican party has become an authentic mechanism for political subversion, and it's not just unknown crazy people from Texas who are driving the train. A rookie meathead submarines the president's foreign policy. Rick Perry is currently running for president on a platform more suited to a campaign conducted under the Articles of Confederation. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader of the United States Senate, has suggested that governors out in the several states ignore the Environmental Protection Agency. At every conservative gathering, from CPAC on down, there at least is one panel touting the benefits of nullification and old-school states rights politics. Yes, a lot of it is about how states rights got whipped over civil rights in the 1960's, but it's not all about race. It's about a deliberate, calculated attempt by one of the only two political parties we allow ourselves to dismantle the federal union. They want the country to come apart so they can sell off the pieces to the people who run their campaigns. They are free to prove to me that I'm wrong.

That is not only subversion, but history tells us that it always has been the most fundamental heresy against the constitutional order, from the Articles to the tariff crises under Andrew Jackson, all the way through the Civil War and Reconstruction, right up to the day that John Lewis got his head busted by the side of an Alabama road. (And, yes, even the morally laudable efforts of abolitionists to "nullify" the Fugitive Slave Act subverted the constitutional order of the time. It's hard to look at the Civil War and think otherwise.) This heresy, which should have died at Gettysburg, is part and parcel of the modern conservative movement, which was born out of the flotsam left behind by the (partial) fall of American apartheid. For years, Republican politicians have accepted the money, and the support, and the cheers of nullification subversives from the League of the South and the Council of Conservative Citizens to the Wise Use people and the militia people out west, to the claque of subversives who set up camp at the Bundy Ranch. Without the support of people engaged in polite -- and, occasionally, not very polite -- sedition, the Republican party would be a bunch of rich old white guys pissing themselves in the grill room of a restricted country club.

I believe they mean it. I believe they want to carry us back not just to the Gilded Age, but to the golden era in the 1780's when you needed a passport to go from Connecticut to New Jersey. I believe that is the basis for the efforts of people like Perry and Governor Bat Boy down in Florida to poach industries from other states and to hell with the national interest. I believe that is what animates ALEC in its campaign to create little hell-states individually across the map and its larger campaign to keep the federal government from doing anything about it. I don't think the modern Republican party believes in anything called "the national interest."

The Republican party is a mechanism for the subversion of the federal republic. It doesn't matter if the party's stars are doing it to please The Base, or because they don't know any better, or because they think it's the right thing to do. They are actively working to undermine the American union. This should be the first question asked of any Republican leader, of any Republican candidate, and certainly of obvious anagram Reince Preibus, the emptiest suit in American politics. They should be asked, every day, in every forum, if they believe in the Supremacy Clause, the Reconstruction amendments, and the federal union. These are yes-or-no questions. I hope we can get the answers before Molly White gets elected to the House of Representatives. But one thing I'm not doing any more is laughing. your social media marketing partner
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