Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Neo-secessionism is alive in the MN GOP

When Tony Sutton pulls ‘em back from the brink, you know something serious is awry with the Republicans in Minnesota. At the recent Second District convention for the GOP, a resolution came within two votes of passing that said that states have the right to secede from the United States. At the link, Lori Sturdevant reminds us:

The nation's bloodiest war was fought begining in 1861 to keep the Union intact. Minnesota Gov. Alexander Ramsey was the first in the nation to promise troops to President Abraham Lincoln, the nation's first Republican president. The losses the First Minnesota regiment sustained at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 were larger, in proportion to population, than any other state's.

We did, as Sturdevant says, have a war about that.

By the sheerest of coincidence, I spent last night at the Aurora Staples House, now a lovely bed and breakfast, in Stillwater. Aurora’s husband was one of the few survivors of the Minnesota First’s heroic defense of the Union center on the second day of the battle of Gettysburg; it was astonishing and unparalleled bravery in the history of the state of Minnesota.

It is difficult to describe my distaste for the ahistorical slugs who offered this resolution, and for those who voted for it.

Chillingly, it’s not only the fringe that thinks this way. It’s also the two leading candidates for the GOP endorsement for governor, as MNO points out. Both Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert are authors of bills to amend the Minnesota Constitution to allow the nullification of federal legislation. And Emmer, who was apparently absent from law school on the day they discussed the Commerce Clause, has authored a bill to nullify the Congressional ban on incandescent light bulbs.

It would be easy to toss off Emmer and Seifert as buffoons, but they attract a following.

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