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May 09, 2017


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Deep State Special Legal Counsel

My best bud Trump is sorta kinda right in a sixth grade sense. The two Missouri Compromises and the Comprise of 1850 involving Stephen Douglas, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, et. al. did work things out at the negotiating table. It was the Supreme Court's decision in Dred Scot v. Sanford that upended the tenuous status quo. By the way, while I am on topic, every historian, scholar and civil rights tourist should visit Ft. Snelling in Minneapolis and see the actual cabin Dred Scot lived in. While visiting Minneapolis, I literally "stumbled" upon it. It was like seeing Constitution Hall.

Al Brophy

Steve, one other point, which I haven't seen mentioned is that if southerners could have foreseen the enormous cost of the war, which they disproportionately bore, they might have agreed to end slavery without war. But as you so aptly point out, they couldn't see that. They were so convinced they were right (the Supreme Court had told them they had a right to property in humans, for instance) and that history and contemporary economics both confirmed what they "knew" to be true about slavery as the foundation of Southern society. The arrogance led to violence; the violence they brought on fell on them the hardest. I don't think that's at all what Trump was thinking, but it's a lesson we all need to think about before resorting to violence.

The costs of violence are enormous. Sometimes those costs are necessary.


Again, muddled post.

Q. "Why could that one not have been worked out?"

A. "There was no antebellum compromise [possible] that would have freed the slaves."

Right or wrong, that is a question and an answer.

But, our tribune of tribalism, Lubet, can't let it rest at that. No, sneaking in the snide attack, Lubet states:

"It is historically wrong, of course, ..."; " is indeed ridiculous"; "second part of the statement, however, is more nuanced (though still ultimately wrong" ...

A question is not wrong. Lubet creating a straw person to continue his perpetual attack is wrong.

What I still wonder is: Why does Lubet choose such trivial matters? There are great issues facing this country, but he dwells on a word here, a misused title there, a random comment that was not intended as anything more than a call to think about a question. This is the style of MSNBC (aside from their McCarthyism) ...

The entire tenor of the new left seems to be a never ending attack. They seem to have run out of new ideas, and stand for nothing other than baiting and hating and opposing the very notion that others who do not agree with everything they say exist, and they are doing this is truly juvenile ways.

Deep State Special Legal Counsel


There you go again, personally attacking Professor Lubet.

Rush Limbaugh stated, "He hoped Obama fails."

Representative Michelle Bachman stated, "Were hoping he doesn't succeed." (Obama)

John Boehner stated, "So be it" to job losses. He would rather have Obama fail.

Yes, the Left is attacking policy. See we know that Trump was once a fairly reasonable, left leaning guy. He even wrote a letter to Obama requesting "bold action on climate change." We are just standing up for women, Muslims, Mexicans, Hatians, Immigrants, Indians, the environment, National Monuments, clean water and on and on....Guilty as charged to attacking.


Steve Lubet

Well, at least you have one learned, respected voice of reason here in the FL supporting your posts.

Carry on!

Steve L.

Al Brophy: That is an excellent point. The Southerners' judgment was overwhelmed by their commitment to slavery. The Confederacy consistently rejected proposals to free slaves who were willing to join their army, and they declined the Hampton Roads proposal for compensated emancipation when they were only eight weeks from total defeat.

Given that level of devotion to human bondage, there was no way to "work out" the problem short of Civil War. It would have been different, of course, if the Southerners had been willing to free their slaves. The North had made a series of compromises with slavery in 1820, 1850, and 1854, and secession could have been averted only by more concessions to slavery in 1860 and beyond.


Interesting to hear Joan Baez, after her speech about moral superiority, sing the classic "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Prof. Brophy, of all those who post on the FL, I would suspect that you understand that the reason that the "South" did not agree to end slavery had something to do with the notion that the Southerners believed themselves to be more sophisticated than the North, more correct about the Constitution, more learned about the law and generally, just better than the Northerners. In other words, Democrats.

Of course, today, their views of the themselves seems absurd. TOday, the North (and the nation) sees the deep south as a bastion of fat, ignorant, racist rednecks, addicted to opiates, chewing on straw voting for Republicans and oppressing their black neighbors.

But, at the time of the CIvil War, not so much.

What folks like Lubet forget is the mentality of a man like Lincoln, who wanted to compensate the Southerners to placate their Fifth Amendment claims, and his sincere hope that, after the war, the nation would bind up its wounds, and act with "malice toward none." Lincoln was in favor of repatriation to Liberia, and never really supported the equality that we take for granted today. In other words, he didn't demonize the South; in fact, he felt himself to be a part of a people, ALL of the people, who had sinned and failed in the institution of slavery, but with whom he shared kinship and loyalty.

That notion, reading stuff like Lubet posts, also seems absurd today.


An interesting aspect of could it have been worked out is that many prominent southerners and slaveowners (Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Washington, Lee), including many of the Founding Fathers, seemed to take the Augustinian view: "“Lord, make me chaste – but not yet” towards slavery. That is to say that they considered it probably morally wrong, and not ultimately healthy for the south, but did not want to abolish it because so much of their wealth and status was tied up min the institution. So instead, they "kicked the can down the road" to the next generation.

Only a few of the slaveowners actually took steps to bring slavery to an end - John Jay for example. Most seemed to be of the view that it ought to be abolished, but at some point in the future.

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