by Michael Boldin
Rachel Maddow doesn’t like me. I get that.
Without trying, though, I guess I’ve been getting under her skin. She obviously doesn’t like the fact that the Tenth Amendment Center’s efforts to promote nullification have been gaining some serious traction around the country. Just this week, Rach did a full 14 minute segment on the subject. And her presentation, as you might guess, wasn’t a cheer leading session either.
The segment, titled “Confederates in the Attic” was about how efforts today, primarily championed by the Tenth Amendment Center, to decentralize power and reject unconstitutional federal “laws,” are somehow directly-related to slave owners in the pre-civil war south.
No. That’s not a joke.
She says “a conservative group called the Tenth Amendment Center has been pushing a lot of the anti-health reform stuff…in the context of nullification. And they’re pushing for other kinds of nullification too.”
Ok, other than the absurdity of using the term “conservative” to define an anti-drug war, antiwar, anti-patriot act organization started in 2006 in opposition to GW Bush, she’s right on the money here.
The Center has been pushing anti-health reform stuff? Yup. We drafted the model bill, the Federal Health Care Nullification Act. Versions of our legislation – to either fully nullify or refuse compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), have been introduced in 11 states so far, and it’s making headway in a few too.
We’re pushing for other kinds of nullification too? Ab-so-freakin-lutely.
Two for two. Good job, Rachel!
But here’s where she goes off the reservation into heavy “War profiteer masters” spin mode. You see, Rachel’s job, like everyone at MSNBC, CNN, Fox and the rest of the mainstream media, is to keep convincing people that the only way to think is in a battle of democrat vs republican. Conservative vs liberal. One side is your friend, the other is your enemy. While left fears right and right fears left, her and her buddies keep getting more money and more power.
Sun Tzu would’ve been proud at this modern iteration of his strategy to divide and conquer.
Rachel continues – by telling her audience of the crazy stuff that the Tenth Amendment Center is pushing, and that states are actually working on. Here’s a few:
–Food Freedom Act – nullifying the “Food safety and modernization act,”
–Firearms Freedom Act – nullifying some federal gun laws and regulations
–Intrastate Commerce Act – all products made or grown in state and sold in state are not under federal purview.
–EPA Nullification – nullifying some or all EPA regulations
Without getting into the details of how she twisted each and every one of these efforts, it’s easiest to sum it up with this single statement of hers in rounding up the nullification movement:
“Your federal laws don’t apply here, Yankees!”
You don’t like a federal law and work to oppose it in your state? You must love the slave-ownin’ south. Wow, how insightful, Rachel!
So, is Rachel Maddow just a jerk, is she a liar, or is she ignorant? Hard to say, but let me share a little perspective.
I don’t fool myself into thinking that a majority of Rachel’s audience is going to be supportive of everything that we’re working to nullify – especially things like gun laws and the EPA. But, I do know in my own experience through interviews with places like Mother Jones, Raw Story, Huffington Post, and others, that there is some strong support on particular issues.
While Rachel was talking about what she wants you to believe is a racist, evil nullification movement being pushed by the TAC, she had this picture showing – a somewhat-modified version of our live Legislative Tracking page:
Did Rachel do her journalistic duty and report on the top-listed efforts of the Nullification movement, or did she pick and choose just a few in order to frame the discussion in a left vs right cat fight?
She talked about guns, food safety, the EPA and even Constitutional Tender Acts. But, why oh why did she skip over any and everything that would be of interest to her own audience?
The answer is pretty obvious to me.
So what did Rachel skip reporting on? Let’s see.
The number one thing listed on that page – unreadable on TV – is “state marijuana laws.”
You’d think if she were “reporting” on efforts that the TAC was pushing, she’d at least mention the first thing on our list. But, what could Rachel use to scare her mostly-liberal audience there? “These neo-confederates are trying to destroy the union by refusing to comply with the drug war! Beware!!”
Or, right below that red MSNBC graphic blob, you could see, click and learn about how 25 states, championed by the ACLU, passed laws to reject Bush’s 2005 Real ID act.
Would Rachel have then said, “The ACLU wants us to believe we can just pick and choose what laws to follow. That’s what Calhoun said in South Carolina – and it led directly to the civil war!”
“These conservatives want the terrorists to win, and they’re willing to let radical Islamo-fascists get on planes without being body-scanned. Do they really want another civil war?” Is that Maddow’s view on the TSA?
And, just one more – she also skipped over our Defend the Guard act, which is a first step effort towards ending unconstitutional wars from the bottom up. The bill was just introduced in Maine – with 2 republican and 4 democrat co-sponsors.
I wonder how Rachel would’ve dealt with that one. Maybe something like, “Barack Obama is trying to do his duty as commander in chief and keep this country safe. These confederate states don’t like our boys in uniform and are obviously part of the blame-America-first crowd. If the nullifers win, we just might be invaded by Libya!”
No. She’d never do any of that. I’d respect her more if she did, though.
Why? Because at least she’d be consistent in principle. Which, of course, she’s not. Partisan hack comes to mind, but I think that’s too soft a term.
To support nullification, you don’t have to be from the right or the left. You just have to decide that enough is enough, that you want to determine you own rules in your own area. Don’t expect that to be in the next segment, though. Zombies attack!
Next time, maybe she’ll call me before reporting on the TAC again. Maybe. But, I doubt it.
Michael Boldin [send him email] is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on twitter – @michaelboldin – and visit his personal blog – www.michaelboldin.com
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