Thursday, March 08, 2018

So, Jeff the Elf, you want a culture war? Let's get it rolling!

The Kebler Elf's evil twin, Attorney General Jefferson Beuregard Sessions III, came to Sacramento on Wdnesday to insult and threaten them thar California cultural elite librul types.

He didn't bother making a courtesy call on the Governor of California. Who is not an enemy that either Jeff or Trump should really be inviting to challenge them on national news platforms.

Jeff the Evil Elf took his shot with a xenophobic show in Sacramento, Suing California, Sessions vows to ‘use every power’ to stop state laws on immigration enforcement PBS Newshour 03/07/2018.

Jerry Brown responded, CA governor and atty. gen. discuss sanctuary cities PBS Newshour 03/07/2018:

Among other things, he says in that press conference:
Look, this is completely unprecedented for the chief law enforcement of the United States to come out here and engage in a political stunt, make wild accustations, many of which are based on outright lies, that's unusual.

And particularly for a fellow from Alabama talking to us about secession and protecting human and civil rights.
He and state Attorney General Xavier Becerra also did an interview with Margaret Warner, Gov. Jerry Brown: Sessions 'sowing discord' instead of proposing immigration reform PBS Newshour 03/07/2018:

In his last year as Governor of California, Jerry Brown is still out there fighting for civil rights and the rights of immigrants, a major theme of his entire political career. In this interview we see Jerry the formidable debater and former Jesuit seminarian who has never had any problem about applying his religious values to politics. Trump and Jeff Sessions didn't really understand, I'm sure, what they were getting into with this latest stunt. Some of Jerry's comments in this interview (Gov. Jerry Brown: Sessions ‘sowing discord’ instead of proposing immigration reform transcript PBS Newshour 03/08/2018):
[Jeff Sessions is] going after men, women, and children, some who have worked 10 or 20 years picking our food, washing our dishes, building houses. And, yes, we need an immigration reform for the whole nation. We don’t need a Gestapo-kind of tactic with vitriol spewing out of Jeff Sessions’ mouth.
What we need, Jeff Sessions, propose an intelligent immigration reform, and we will work with you. But don’t come out with these kind of gutter tactics, bring some of your really discredited politics from your background here. It’s just not right. It’s not generous, and it’s not Christian."Sessions is in a cesspool of deception and mendacity. So, don’t believe him.
Sessions is in a cesspool of deception and mendacity. So, don’t believe him.
I call upon Mr. Sessions and Mr. Trump to act like Americans, act like the good Christians they claim to be, and work with us to get a good immigration law, and not to try to just hyperbolically scare the hell out of people ...
This face-off between California and Washington has some interesting historical echoes. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is a smirking prick who could have stepped right out of a White Citizens Council convention in 1961. Jerry Brown has been an active supporter of immigrant rights and farmworkers for pretty much his entire life.

Harold Meyerson writes about an even older historical echo in There Are Echoes of the Fugitive Slave Act in Today’s Immigration Debate The American Prospect 03/06/2018:
An 1842 court ruling absolved states of any duty to cooperate in the recapture of former slaves who'd freed themselves by fleeing to the North. In response, as part of the Compromise of 1850, the Congress passed and President Millard Fillmore signed the Fugitive Slave Act, which not only required state and local governmental officials to aid owners and their agents who'd come North to capture and re-enslave the runaways, but also required the same level of cooperation from all citizens. If a slaver was in the act of recapture, bystanders were required to help out.

Not surprisingly, the North greeted the new law with fury and resistance. Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Michigan, and Wisconsin all enacted “personal liberty laws”—the 1850s equivalent of California's sanctuary state law—forbidding public officials from cooperating with the slave owners or the federal forces sent to back them up, denying the use of their jails to house the captives, and requiring jury trials to decide if the owners could make off with their abductees. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the Fugitive Slave Act violated the Constitution's 10th Amendment, which gave states the power to enact laws not specifically preempted by federal authority. (The Southern-dominated U.S. Supreme Court overturned that ruling on the eve of the Civil War).

Opponents of the Fugitive Slave Act also took to the streets (and jury rooms, where verdicts were rendered that freed some of the captives). Crowds would form to oppose and resist, sometimes forcibly, the apprehensions of African Americans. [my emphasis]
After the Confederacy's defeat in the Civil War, unreconstructed white Southerners created a neo-Confederate narrative that, unfortunately, is very much a part of the white nationalist narrative currently dominant in the Republican Party. And a key element of it was the false claim that the Confederate states had seceded from the Union in 1860-61 over the abstract issue of States' Rights, and not, oh Lordy certainly not over slavery!

That's because slavery by 1865 had become so completely discredited in the whole country that the former Confederates wanted to try to distance themselves from it. The Fugitive Slave Act is one of the major reasons we know that postwar claim was nonsense. I mean, apart from the fact that the seceding states made it as clear and explicit as they could that they were seceding over slavery. Or, as Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens described it in his Cornerstone Speech in March of 1861:
Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea [from human equality]; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery -- subordination to the superior race -- is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.
For the decade prior to the election of Abraham Lincoln, the major conflicts between the slave and free states associated with events like the Compromise of 1950, the mini-civil war in Kansas, and the Dred Scott decision involved the Slave Power using its domination of the federal government to impose pro-slavery measures on unwilling free states.

The reliable if stodgy Encyclopaedia Britannica describes the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and its repercussions this way (Fugitive Slave Acts 01/17/2018):
The demand from the South for more effective legislation resulted in enactment of a second Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. Under this law fugitives could not testify on their own behalf, nor were they permitted a trial by jury. Heavy penalties were imposed upon federal marshals who refused to enforce the law or from whom a fugitive escaped; penalties were also imposed on individuals who helped slaves to escape. Finally, under the 1850 act, special commissioners were to have concurrent jurisdiction with the U.S. courts in enforcing the law. The severity of the 1850 measure led to abuses and defeated its purpose. The number of abolitionists increased, the operations of the Underground Railroad became more efficient, and new personal-liberty laws were enacted in many Northern states. These state laws were among the grievances officially referred to by South Carolina in December 1860 as justification for its secession from the Union. Attempts to carry into effect the law of 1850 aroused much bitterness and probably had as much to do with inciting sectional hostility as did the controversy over slavery in the territories. [my emphasis; internal hotlink omitted]
For the secessionists of South Carolina, the unwillingness of state governments to knuckle under to an atrocious proslavery federal law which really did encroach of the Tenth Amendment right of states was a grievance to be used as a justification for treason and secession.

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