Sunday, July 03, 2011

John Jay was a Founding Father against Slavery

Michele Bachmann should look up John Jay. But she won't. He was one of our founding fathers who, along with Hamilton, advocated for a strong, centralized federal government. He co-wrote the federalist papers. So, apparently, the Republican rule of Never Praise a Big Government Liberal is in effect here, although Bachmann's example of an anti-slavery founder (even though he wasn't a founder), John Quincy Adams, isn't exactly someone modern conservatives would like:

He supported internal improvements (roads, ports and canals), a national university, and federal support for the arts and sciences. He favored a high tariff to encourage the building of factories, and restricted land sales to slow the movement west. Opposition from the states' rights faction quickly killed the proposals.

Bachmann's statement that the founding fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery is, of course, wrong. The majority of the FF's voted to continue slavery, as we see enshrined in the Constitution's three-fifths clause. John Jay didn't sign the Declaration of Independence and didn't attend the constitutional convention. But he was a founding father. And he was against slavery.

Jay was a leader against slavery after 1777, when he drafted a state law to abolish slavery; it failed as did a second attempt in 1785.[63] Jay was the founder and president of the New York Manumission Society, in 1785, which organized boycotts against newspapers and merchants in the slave trade and provided legal counsel for free blacks claimed as slaves.[64] The Society helped enact the gradual emancipation of slaves in New York in 1799, which Jay signed into law as governor.

The interesting point here is that Bachmann could easily put this to rest with a little research, but instead just makes shit up. That makes her a typical Republican.

This is, of course, the obligatory slavery bashing from a member of the Confederate Party who is desperate to sound like she's not a racist. Now that she's assured us that she's against actually owning people, I suspect this means there's going to be a tirade of tall tales to come regarding Kenyan anti-colonialism, welfare queens, affirmative action, hate crime legislation, and assorted Willie Hortonisms. This bumbling bullshit from Bachmann is the equivalent of her saying, "I'm not a racist, but..."

Then she will proceed to blow the dog whistles as loudly as she can, while cleaning up in the heavily Evangelical southern primaries (where she will not mention slavery, of course). If she can keep raising money as well as she has been, she will be the GOP nominee. And, having gotten that whole opposition to slavery thing out of the way already (lest anyone doubt that she detests that which the Bible says is OK), she will be free to advocate more prisons, harsher federal sentencing laws, cuts in social programs for the poor, union-busting, pro-corporate deregulation and privatization schemes, and a whole host of other GOP greatest hits that got us where we are today: a country of prisoners and wage slaves.

“It's really an extension of what they've always been trying to do since slavery—to find a way to get the cheapest labor legal or illegal so they can make the most profit possible,” argued Mr. Muhammad.

“Literally, if we took away the minimum wage — if conceivably it was gone — we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.”

Of course, if she did get elected, followed the dictates of the corporate overlords, and got rid of the minimum wage, she may have to rethink that whole opposition to slavery thing.

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