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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


The headlines this morning suggest it may be time to rethink the once unthinkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, the nation was at war with itself. The War Between the States reflected a house divided, half slave and half free. Hundreds and thousands of lives were lost in a battle to end the "peculiar institution" known as slavery.

Today, the death toll is far lower, if not less dramatic, and the campaign to define "otherness" has not lost much of its punch in places like Mississippi and Texas. Instead of bloody battlefields, the war is played in out in county courthouses, state capitals and the United States House of Representatives.

It's hardly a surprise that a senator from a Confederate state, having failed in his goal of making Barack Obama a one-term President, has rewritten the Constitution to declare that 60 votes is now the working majority in the Senate.

Nor is it a surprise to see Deep South states that banned black marriages and mixed race marriages now throwing their lot against same-sex marriages.

But what is troubling is that this is not a fair fight. Residents of Northern states -- liberal and conservative alike -- are subsidizing the Alabamas and Mississippis with our tax dollars  while they continue to practice the same closed-minded, holier-than-thou brand of public policy that led to what they call the "War of Northern Aggression."

As Mother Jones points out:
A look at 2010 Census and IRS data reveals that the 50 states and the District of Columbia, on average, received $1.29 in federal spending for every federal tax dollar they paid. That means that some states are getting a lot more than they put in, and vice versa. The states that contributed more in taxes than they got back in spending were more likely to have voted for Obama in 2008 and were more likely to be largely urban. (There are some clear exceptions: For instance, New Mexico, a rural, Democratic state, gets more federal money per tax dollar than any other state.)
That's how we get a farm bill rich with subsidies for agribusiness and devoid of food assistance for urban needy (of all races). It's how we have the continued hypocrisy of declarations that government should get off the backs of people even as lawmakers pass measure to regulate the bedroom and a woman's body.

And how we have a segment of a nation that believes life begins at conception -- and ends anytime a person with a gun or a governor with an on-off switch decides the time is right.

Perhaps it really is time to go our separate ways again. I know that a lot of the money funneled down south could be put to good use improving education and infrastructure up north. I also know the Red States of America would likely turn up its nose at foreign aid. After all, don't they do that already?

Except of course when it comes from the Blue States of America, those damn aggressive northern Yankees.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm all for it. When the rules have been bent so far out of whack normal states should be allowed to go their own way. Texas has one of the best claims to independence, it was it's own state. Hawaii and I'm sure Alaska would be better off, it would be much like Norway. The War between the States was a very moral war, good triumphed. I'll support gay marriage when we also allow polygamy, it's also just behavior between consenting adults. It's also the norm in many parts of the world.
So let's allow this experiment in a republic (not a national democracy) be allowed to die.

July 14, 2013 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may also have a problem with defending your country. Red states send more people to the military than blue states do, but go ahead we'll see who survives.

July 15, 2013 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but go ahead we'll see who survives"

Someone didn't stay in school. The same can be said during the civil war when most of the officer corps were god ol' boys. And how'd that turn out for you, you dope.

Anyways, the problem isn't the south but the rural south. Democrats need to get much better at mobilizing southern urban and young voters. And thats not even getting into the demographic shifts that are already turning Texas into a blue state.

All the kicking and screaming of the teahadist aside.

July 19, 2013 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't even point out the problem that liberals ignore or maybe don't understand. All the states are getting more money than they take in. If you work for a living you know you need to cut back spending, if you're on the dole you just want more than your share.

July 23, 2013 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone didn't stay in school.
"Common sense is in spite of not the result of education" Victor Hugo

August 04, 2013 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


October 12, 2013 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Think a more plausible idea would be adhering to the 10th amendment rather than succession. The feds should spend on the 18 things outlined under Art. 1 Sec. 8 of our constitution, leaving everything else to the states. This would create competition among the states. For example if you were liberal and you supported numerous government programs such as welfare, food stamps ect, you may want to live in a blue state like Massachusetts. If you are a conservative and enjoy your 2nd amendment rights you may want to choose a state like Utah. This will create competition among the states for tax payers. When everything is done from a federal level there is no escaping policy you don't like. Outside of secession or bloody revolution this is the only choice. The great part about this idea is it is already prescribed by the constitution so it requires no legislation or lobbing.

October 12, 2013 1:18 PM  

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