Harry Reid muddles history
“You think you’ve heard these same excuses before? You’re right. In this country there were those who dug in their heels and said, ‘Slow down, it’s too early. Let’s wait. Things aren’t bad enough’ — about slavery. When women wanted to vote, ‘Slow down, there will be a better day to do that — the day isn’t quite right. . . .’”
Harry’s right. There were people who supported these efforts, and those who didn’t.
Slavery’s a given. It was a Republican who freed the slaves in 1862. But, it goes deeper than that. The Whigs supported slavery ( sorry peeps, it wasn’t the Republicans ). The Democrats of the time opposed slavery. However, in 1850, a “compromise” was reached that was hammered down the Whigs throats that split Kansas into two separate states. The premise one being a “Northern” state and the other a “Southern” state. However, laws dictating their annexation pretty well made being a “Southern” state moot. As such, riots, raids, murders, and general lawlessness overwhelmed the new territories. The ensuing debate pretty well signaled the death of the Whig party. People who were anti-slavery BUT anti-federal imposition formed a new party. They called themselves Republicans. So it’s not just enough to say Republicans freed the slaves, they were formed for that very reason. Ending slavery, sorta, in 1862, didn’t make things any easier for Republicans:
Despite the efforts of groups like the Ku Klux Klan to intimidate black voters and white Republicans, assurance of federal support for democratically elected southern governments meant that most Republican voters could both vote and rule in confidence. For example, when an all-white mob attempted to take over the interracial government of New Orleans, President Ulysses S. Grant sent in federal troops to restore the elected mayor.
However, after the close election of Rutherford B. Hayes, in order to mollify the South, he agreed to withdraw federal troops. He also overlooked rampant fraud and electoral violence in the Deep South, despite several attempts by the Republicans to pass laws protecting the rights of black voters and to punish intimidation. An example of the unwillingness of the Congress to take any action at this time, is a bill which would only have required incidents of violence at polling places to be publicized failed to be passed. Without the restrictions, voting place violence against blacks and Republicans increased, including instances of murder. Most of this was done without any interference by law enforcement and often even with their cooperation.
The example here? Those who did not support ending slavery resorted to violence, intimidation, harassment, and using the weight of the federal government to compel others. The difference today is Harry Reid is using the weight of the federal government to harass, intimidate, and coerce people to get what they want. And yeah, you can toss in a little violence as well. There definitely are parallels, but I don’t think that’s what Harry had in mind.
Basically, what Harry’s saying here is they didn’t debate, discuss, or even read the Amendments. They did what he wants done now and just passed them because they sounded like good ideas. Let’s look a little closer at the reality:
|Failed ( so far )|
|Titles of Nobility||5/1/1810||12/9/2009||109,338||299.56|
|DC Voting Rights||8/22/1972||8/22/1987||5,478||15.01|
Fact of the matter is, Harry’s dicking around with history. Only one amendment ever was agreed upon in 100 days or less. One of the quickest to pass (18th) was even more quickly repealed (21st). Women’s suffrage (19th) would never have been an issue if the 14th hadn’t been so sloppy. Maybe if they had slowed down on those two, things would have been a lot better a lot sooner.
Now, there are two differences between then and now:
- The issues Harry compared the health bill to were Constitutional amendments. He’s trying to pass a law. If he truly thinks this issue is on the same par as ending slavery or women suffrage, make it an amendment. Let the people all across the United States decide whether health care is a right. And, if it is, how much it has to cost.
- And to me this is the biggie, there is no health care bill to even debate. As of last night they’re still changing it. If you thought the public option was the cure, well, think again, it’s toast. So, what exactly is it Harry thinks we should rush through the Senate without discussing?