The Watering Hole, Monday, February 23, 2015: How The Right Gets The Rule Of Law Wrong

Steve Deace is (by his own admission) a man of limited talents and abilities. But he does manage to put out a podcast, which is something a smug, arrogant little snark like me hasn’t done. Yet. But if I did have a podcast, I wouldn’t advertise the fact (as Steve does) that I believed the Holy Bible was literally true, or that the Constitution was not a living document. (Steve says he doesn’t believe it’s a “living breathing document,” but none of us said it was “breathing.” Probably just another conservative straw man argument.) It’s hard to accept that people can believe the Bible is literally true, when even its authors did not want people to believe that. Besides, it’s impossible for it to be literally true, as there are parts of it that contradict other parts. In Logic, when you suppose something is true, then show how that leads to a contradiction, you have proven that the something you supposed was true can’t possibly be. And you can’t start with the supposition that something is “perfect” and then say that everything that contradicts that supposition can’t be correct because it would mean the something is not perfect. That directly opposes the point of Logic. And as for the U.S. Constitution not being a living document, that can also be proven wrong. There are many quotes from the Founding Fathers (the men who wrote the document) saying it was to be interpreted with the times, and was not meant to be a means for people to keep living in the 18th Century. If you’re going to use the argument that the Founders knew nothing about wireless broadcasting of invisible signals, so they could not have intended you to have rights to privacy when you use such devices, then you might as well decide right now that the Constitution is obsolete, because they couldn’t have conceived of most of how the world works today (though a few probably could.) Besides, they were quite clear in the Bill of Rights that if they didn’t name a particular right, it didn’t mean you didn’t have it. But Conservatives have never been about expanding individual rights despite all their talk about freedom. And they’re still not fans of the idea that the whole “States’ Rights” approach was tried and found wanting. Nor are they fans of the idea that the Civil War was fought, among other reasons, over whether or not states could nullify federal law. That side lost. All States are subordinate to the Federal Government and the Federal Constitution. It’s one of the requirements to being a State in our Union. But try telling that to Richard Mack and Matt Barber.

Richard Mack thinks that county sheriffs are not accountable to federal authority. He heads an organization called Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, and like many Conservatives they believe the Federal Government has gone too far, especially on guns. (Reality Check: No, they haven’t.) Mack told Deace, “And I will tell you this, if we do not, if the counties and cities and states do not exercise their proper constitutional authority, known as state sovereignty and the 10th Amendment, if they do not enforce their own state sovereignty and secure their state sovereignty, then America will die,” he said. “If we do not exercise the 10th Amendment and state sovereignty, we will lose liberty in America, and we will not get it back unless there’s bloodshed.” He also said the national parks employees who closed the parks during the government shutdown were like the Nazis, in that they were “just following orders.” He added, “It is so scary how many similarities there are between Nazi Germany and the Obama administration.” Mack then told the host he agreed that Obama is a communist, saying, “You’d have be stupid not to know that he’s a Marxist.” Actually, you’d have to be stupid to think he is a Marxist. Or at least ignorant about what a Marxist is. He then dropped this bombshell: “We fought two world wars to stop communism in this country.” Actually, Communism had nothing to do with either World War, and we fought on the side of the Russian in the second one, so I really don’t know what he’s talking about there. And neither does he. And neither does Matt Barber. Barber thinks that states are constitutionally permitted to ignore any federal law or court ruling they think violates their own state’s constitution. He even thinks Alabama Chief Justice is on “solid legal ground” to defy the Supreme Court. He also thinks Texas should just ignore Roe v. Wade and start jailing people who have and perform abortions.

This is the Right Wing in America. Ignore the part of the Constitution that declares that the Constitution, and all laws and rulings made in support of it, are the “supreme law of the land.” That means all county sheriffs, who must take an oath to support and defend the Constitution, must also obey it. That means if the Alabama State Constitution contradicts the federal constitution, the federal constitution wins. But they don’t believe that, because they believe “states’ rights” means they don’t have to be subordinate to any higher form of government. We fought a civil war over that belief, and that belief lost. It’s time Conservatives learned that, and just accept that the way they think things ought to be is not the way the Constitution says they should be.

This is our daily open thread. You know what to do.


59 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, February 23, 2015: How The Right Gets The Rule Of Law Wrong

  1. There art at least two well-defined logical fallacies that perfectly describe the right wing-nut movement in this country. They are, in brief:

    Argumentum ad Ignorantium —

    Arguments which assume that since something has not been proven false, it is therefore true.

    e.g. The bible says that humans are the image of God, therefore the fertilized human egg is sacred and birth control is clearly a violation of God’s will and should therefore be made illegal.

    Reductio ad Absurdum —

    “In common speech — anything pushed to absurd extremes.”

    e.g. The Bible says God created everything, therefore the Bible was written by God and speaks nothing but infallible truth.

    Richard Mack thinks that county sheriffs are not accountable to federal authority.

    Richard Mack was formerly the sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, a place which I know all too well. The County Seat there is Safford; the overwhelming majority of the population of Safford and of Graham County as a whole is Mormon, each and all subjects of the angel Moroni. Need I say more?

    The Right believes in constitutional “freedom” and that the Bible is the written word of their Creator. What that all adds up to in their context is that both the Constitution and the Bible grant them the FREEDOM to impose their peculiar beliefs on everyone else.

    It is written.

    They are obviously all nuts.

  2. re: The Oscars…

    Apparently Joan Rivers isn’t dead. The Academy didn’t include her in the memorial, so what other explanation could there be?

  3. Prominent Republican: Women Need To Be Paid Less So They Can Find Husbands

    Phyllis Schlafly:

    I’m not saying women won’t date or marry a lower-earning men, only that they probably prefer not to. If a higher-earning man is not available, many women are more likely not to marry at all. […]

    The best way to improve economic prospects for women is to improve job prospects for the men in their lives, even if that means increasing the so-called pay gap.

    Makes perfect sense. I mean, hey, it’s only wimmin after all.

  4. Uh oh. And we thought Citizens United was bad.

    Scott Lively Warns That SCOTUS Could Unleash The Antichrist By September 2015

    Radical anti-gay activist Scott Lively is warning that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality, it could literally bring about the end of the world and the rise of the Antichrist by September of this year. [. . .]

    [Lively] warns that gay marriage will unleash the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which will take the form “gay theology,” war, famine, and a “massive harvest of the grim reaper” of the souls of all who have died in the chaos. That, in turn, will give rise to the Antichrist by late September, which will result in full-scale persecution of Christians and the end of the world.

    • What does he care? He WANTS the End of the World to come. All them Rapture Ready people want that, because they think THEY are destined for Heaven. I’d say he has a big surprise coming for him when he’s dead, but since he won’t know it, it doesn’t matter.

      • Years ago when my (nontheist) dad was approaching his own end times, he passed out in a restaurant. The paramedics quickly got him to the hospital where he went into cardiac arrest. A couple of electric shocks later it started again, and a pacemaker kept it going. A few weeks after all of that, he and I were talking. He said, “I guess when my heart stopped I was technically dead.” He paused a few seconds, then added, “If that’s all there is to dying, there’s nothing to worry about.” No heaven, no hell, no worries, no nothing.

    • Hmmmm……Well Canada hasn’t had any locust or frog problems, nor has the earth opened up and swallowed up the entire country.

      • Yeah butt they’re destroying arboreal forest, lakes and rivers to get really crappy tar sand oil. Maybe god inspired them to do that so as to speed up human extinction?

      • The GOP could probably be succinct in its platform by simply admitting they believe in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and all the crud they represent. Short and sweet can sometimes tell the whole story, esp. amongst the mentally challenged (GOP, for short).

        • They don’t just believe in the Four Horsemen. They want to be at least one of the Four. Of course; there’s a lot of infighting over who gets to be Dopey and who gets to be Grumpy.

          • IIRC, the first horse — the white one — has got somebody “righteous” on it, like maybe J.C. — or the GOP? Maybe Reince Priebus? He’s righteous, ain’t he?

  5. Areva, French Nuclear Giant, Warns of $5.6 Billion Loss

    The state-controlled company expects a 2014 net loss of about 4.9 billion euros, or $5.6 billion, from a loss of €500 million a year earlier, it said in a preliminary statement. The loss is substantially larger than Areva’s market capitalization of about €3.7 billion, suggesting it may need new funds to continue operating.

    France gets a larger share of its electricity from atomic power than any other country, and it has long identified the nuclear industry as a national champion worthy of state support. French officials have been discussing a restructuring of the sector, including the possibility that Areva, which is 87 percent state-owned, could tie up in some form with the EDF Group, the utility also known as Électricité de France.

    This reeks of bankster looting via ‘creative’ financing. I wonder which corporation is the beneficiary?

  6. Please, make it stop!
    The importance of teaching history in the classroom so this doesn’t happen:

    Ohio Fox Anchor Calls Lady Gaga’s Music ‘Jigaboo’ In Front Of Black Colleague

    …Capel soon apologized on Twitter, saying she didn’t know the meaning of the word

    Capel soon apologized on Twitter, saying she didn’t know the meaning of the word

  7. Today’s post was excellent, and laid out the case for why fundies and teahadi patriots are wrong in concise and easy to understand language. Good job Wayne!

  8. This is a great step forward:

    Reusing syringes leads to more than two million people being infected with diseases including HIV and hepatitis each year.

    The new needles are more expensive, but the WHO says the switch would be cheaper than treating the diseases.

    Nightmare in Cambodia

    The people of the farming community of Roka in Cambodia are living through exactly the nightmare scenario that the World Health Organization wants to stamp out with a new policy on syringes.

    In wooden huts and farmhouses dotted among paddy fields, families are struggling to cope with the bombshell of a sudden and frightening mass infection of HIV.

  9. That distant roaring you hear is not another winter storm. It’s Bill0’s raging tantrum. I would have said “batscat” instead of “nutty” but that’s just a quibble. Dare we hope that this finally causes that brain aneurism to burst and shut Bill0 the Hell up? At the very least; dare we hope that the people in a position to call Bill0 a bald-faced liar spread out their replies so that he is prevented from lying about current events indefinitely?

    • He is too egotistical to ever, ever see reality when it comes to him being incorrect, on anything!

      • That can be said for all rightwhiners aka right-wing authoritarians. But? In this case it just might work to the advantage of us sane folk.

        I know that most of the loyal FAUX”News” worshipers are immune to mere facts that originate from the cause and effect universe inhabited by sane people but the continuing saga of having the number one personality on the “number one news network” spending every waking moment doubling down on a bald-faced lie that’s almost identical to the lie he has been excoriating NBC and Brain Williams about just might knock some sense into the casual viewers.

    • I came across a fortuitous misspelling today, some one called O’Reilly an “ignoranus”, which I guess is a combination of ignorant and asshole.

  10. It seems like I always learn something interesting at the pharmacy.

    Last week I “learned” that Obama hates America so much that he told the pipe fitters to go on strike and drive gas prices up. This week I learned something that actually happened.

    The lady in front of me was chatting with one of the check out ladies and reminiscing about the days when they would chat at the other big supermarket that is now closed. I was wondering why they had closed their stores but didn’t give it much thought. Well? It turns out that the new parent corporation made an unsuccessful attempt at breaking the union. The first thing they did when they took over was to eliminate most of the full time jobs and put everyone on swing shifts. When that failed to break the union they went ahead and closed profitable stores rather than treating their employees like human beings. Yay, capitalism!/spit

      • Didn’t take long for his idiocy to show up in Wiki:

        Barbieri came to widespread attention and ridicule on February 23, 2015, after asking a doctor giving testimony if a woman could swallow a camera in order to undergo a remote gynecological exam. [3]

  11. FYI: Today’s post is between Saturday and Sunday on the main page, without a title. It didn’t get the ‘Featured’ status, so it didn’t go to the top.

      • I was out of the house grocery shopping, and when I came back, and saw no new post at the top of the page, I got curious enough to scroll down. Have no idea how long it was there. I just naturally refresh with the top of the page visible, and it didn’t display, because of where it fell into the order.

    • What you refer to as “Featured” is a matter of checking a box that says “Make this post Sticky.” I will go into the posts and make today’s post Sticky and un-stick the rest.

      Thanks for noticing. It’s an easy thing to forget.

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