Thursday, February 27, 2014
Jon Stewart Attempts to Humiliate Judge Napolitano On Basic Civil War Facts, Like Compensated Emancipation and What Caused the War Itself
Turns out, it is Stewart that humiliates himself by admitting on live TV that Lincoln tried to end the war by emancipating slaves in border states. Note to Jon Stewart: Border states were not part of the seceding South, hence not in rebellion with the Union
by Larry Simons
February 27, 2012
On Tuesday night's telecast of The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart began a segment in which he examined things that Americans accept as gospel truth. One of them is the deification of Abraham Lincoln. He then played a segment from Fox Business Channel's program The Independents [from Feb. 15] where Judge Andrew Napolitano was a guest.
The clip shows Napolitano telling hosts Kennedy and Kmele Foster that he bemoans the fact that Lincoln has been mythologized over the past 150+ years. Stewart then wonders why Napolitano would bemoan a president that everyone likes. Stewart goes back to the clip where Napolitano says this:
"At the time that he [Lincoln] was the President, slavery was dying a natural death all over the western world. Instead of allowing it to die, or helping it to die, or even purchasing the slaves and then freeing them, which would have cost a lot less money than the Civil War cost, Lincoln set about on the most murderous war in American history."
Stewart then attempts to humiliate Napolitano by sarcastically trying to refute his facts. Stewart says:
"Ohh right. Compensated emancipation. Why didn't Lincoln think of that?"
Then Stewart, as he frequently does, pretends to be receiving information via an ear piece, says:
"What's that? Oh he did think of that. He spent most of 1862 trying to convince the border states of Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and West Virginia to free their slaves in exchange for money and everybody said 'fuck off', OK."
In that one sentence Stewart humiliates himself by admitting the states Lincoln attempted to emancipate by buying slaves off were border states [states that permitted slavery but did not declare secession from the Union]. This begs the question: If Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and West Virginia were not in rebellion against the Union, how would freeing slaves in these states end the war? Answer: It wouldn't.
As if this was not embarrassing enough for Stewart, he includes West Virginia in the five states that Lincoln offered compensated emancipation to. Nevermind that West Virginia wasn't a state until the following year . Stewart should fire every single one of his "fact-checkers" and then publicly apologize on the air for taking them at their word.
One might argue that Stewart is not attempting to argue the point of what Lincoln could have done to end the war itself, but what he was doing to end the institution of slavery. This would be erroneous, since this is the point Judge Napolitano was arguing in the segment.
Another interesting point to consider is why then, if these four border states were still loyal to the Union and Lincoln offered to emancipate their slaves by paying off slave owners, why didn't Lincoln invade these states as he did the eleven seceded states?
After all, we have been told repeatedly by Lincoln apologists that slavery was the cause of the war and that the North was fighting the South to end slavery. If this is the case, what stopped Lincoln from sending his Union armies to these border states to free these slaves [even after these four states did the worst thing imaginable: telling their own president "no" after he offered to purchase them]?
The act of these four slave states refusing Lincoln's offer of compensated emancipation begs several questions [assuming, of course, that Lincoln cheerleaders are correct about slavery being the cause of the war]:
1. After being turned down, why did Lincoln simply allow it and not invade them [as he was doing to the South]?
2. Why did Lincoln do nothing about slavery in these four border states even after offering to buy the slaves [and being told "no"], but invaded the eleven seceding Southern states when he made no such similar offer to purchase their slaves as he did with the border states?
3. Why did Lincoln never make an offer to the eleven seceding states to purchase their slaves?
4. If the war was fought over slavery, why then did Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation not apply to these four border states [and additionally did not apply to Tennessee or the counties in Virginia that would soon become the state of West Virginia]?
Stewart then plays another clip from the same telecast of The Independents. It shows Napolitano telling the hosts that it has never been clear that slavery was the cause of the war, but the impetus for secession was tariffs. Stewart then says, "Unless he's talking about a slave named "tariff", he's talking out his ass because in their own declarations of secession, South Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi all clearly put slavery as the number one issue for wanting to secede."
Stewart then proceeds to read an excerpt from Mississippi's declaration stating, "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world." The word "slavery" is mentioned 38 times in all three of these secession declarations combined, but Stewart fails to understand what most people misunderstand about the Civil War: slavery being the cause of secession is not synonymous with slavery being the cause of the war.
The South only wanted to separate from the Union, not go to war with it. Many will argue that the South fired the first shot. True, but many people have been lied to about the Battle of Fort Sumter. No history book tells how Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard allowed Union Major Robert Anderson and his troops to purchase food in Charleston up until April 5. The Union troops at Fort Sumter were by no means starving. Lincoln wanted to "reprovision" the fort, despite objections from his entire cabinet, the attorney general, the secretaries of war, navy, state and the interior. Even Yankee General Winfield Scott advised Lincoln to abandon the fort. Lincoln refused and sent a provisions supply ship to Fort Sumter accompanied by armed warships. Seeing the heavily armed warships coming into Charleston Harbor, the Confederates bombed the island for 36 hours, killing no one. Lincoln got what he wanted, his aggressors and an excuse to invade.
The three declarations of secessions might mention the word "slavery" 38 times, but nowhere is any mention of slavery linked to having a war over it. In fact, the word "war" is found in these three declarations 11 times, and interestingly, the only time the word is used in the context of any of the two factions [North and South] fighting each other, it is mentioned in reference to the Republican party [reference to the North only, since Lincoln's name was not on the ballot in ten Southern states] wanting to wage war against slavery [it is unknown whether that means literal war].
Napolitano was only partially correct about slavery dying out. The number of slaves were decreasing in a few border states, and would have decreased more if Lincoln had not been a supporter of the Fugitive Slave Law [an act of Congress in 1850 that declared all runaway slaves be returned to their masters upon capture] and had done something to get it repealed. The South did not want the federal government interfering with the institution of slavery. They wanted to emancipate slavery on their own free will and on their timing since a large part of the Southern economy depended on slave labor [unlike in the North].
If anything, the declarations of secession were trying to secure for the South the timing in which they would end slavery, rather than for protecting the institution itself. Less than 5% of all Southerners owned slaves. No Southerner cared that much about slavery to die for it.
Lincoln even stated in his first inaugural address he had no intention of interfering with slavery in the South. Lincoln stated:
"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."
Lincoln also supported the Corwin Amendment, which stated:
"No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State".
"Domestic institutions" and "persons held to labor or service" were terms that referred to slavery. Lincoln supported this amendment. In his first inaugural address, Lincoln said:
"I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution—which amendment, however, I have not seen—has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service....holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable".
In fact, Lincoln stated many times during the course of the war the reason for going to war: saving the Union. Of course, this was the reason he would state publicly in order to justify his invasion of the South. Covertly, his real agenda was eliminating states rights and turning a decentralized federal government with sovereign states into a centralized government where states would now be mere subsidiaries of the federal government.
Also in Lincoln's first inaugural, he admitted that an invasion of the South could take place if the collection of duties and imposts [tariffs, as Napolitano correctly stated] from Southerners were not implemented. Lincoln said this in his first inaugural:
"In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere."
Later in the excerpt, one of Stewart's correspondents, Larry Wilmore says it would not have been practical if Lincoln bought the slaves because human beings should never be bought [as if they are property], when just a minute earlier Stewart was defending Lincoln for attempting to buy slaves from the border states.
So, in other words, is Wilmore suggesting that since slaves should not be purchased because they are not property, they should have been left alone, to remain slaves?
Another clip is played of Napolitano from his show Freedom Watch where he explains that federal taxation is theft because our money is our property. Wilmore makes a good point that libertarians like Judge Napolitano cry foul when our money/property is taken away from us by the federal government, but say nothing about slaves being treated as property.
But Wilmore's criticism of Napolitano is misplaced. Napolitano, nor any other libertarian [like myself], have ever suggested that slavery was not inhumane. We have only made the point that it was legal. That has always been the government's fault. Had slavery never been a part of our way of life from day one, slavery would not have been an issue in 1860 either.
Wilmore, being a black man should know better. He should know the real facts about Lincoln: that he was always a racist and never did one thing for the equality of the white and black races his entire life. Lincoln also believed in colonizing blacks and sending them to Liberia. He was a member of the American Colonization Society in which his hero, Henry Clay, became president of before he died. Instead, Wilmore would rather point the finger at civil libertarians who actually tell the truth about a man [Lincoln] who said these words in 1857, when he commented on the Dred Scott decision:
"There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people, to the idea of an indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races".