Republicans And The Civil War

Adam Shah flagged another example of conservatives wanting to have it both ways on the Civil War last week:

If the decision whether to keep the government functioning at full strength boils down to resolution of a controversy over abortion, then we seem to be approaching a situation of the kind that obtained shortly before the Civil War, in which a flawed Supreme Court decision was followed by an unbridgeable congressional divide and governmental paralysis. As Hadley Arkes suggested around the time of the Bork hearings, Dred Scott and Roe are cut from the same cloth. While I would hardly venture so far as to predict another civil war, the circumstances and the history cannot help but give one pause.

Anti-Choice Republicans, viewing themselves as the heirs to abolitionists, often verge into this kind of apocalyptic rhetoric. Republicans also lionize the Confederacy's nullificationism as well, so they end up trying to embrace both abolitionists and secessionists at the same time, which is impossible and requires a really bizarre distortion of history, wherein Dred Scott is the catalyst for the Civil War, rather than the South seceding in the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln's election. The North did not secede from the South because the former wanted to abolish slavery, the South seceded from the North because it did not want slavery to be abolished. The weird thing is that even as they compare anti-abortion activism to abolitionism most Republicans still refuse to accept that slavery was the main cause of the war. 

Of course, the Union is in little danger of dissolving over abortion, much less over Title X money that is prohibited from being used to fund abortion, which nearly two-thirds of Americans support continuing. But when you admire those who preserved the Union as much as those who committed treason in defense of slavery, I suppose wistful fantasies about future civil wars are inevitable.

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