Author Topic: Thaddeus Stevens  (Read 206 times)

Zea_mays

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Re: Thaddeus Stevens
« on: November 08, 2021, 02:57:32 pm »
This is basically National Socialism:
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But it is said that if we hold out this thing, they will never submit—that we cannot conquer them—that they will suffer themselves to be slaughtered, and their whole country to be laid waste. Sir, war is a grievous thing at best, and civil war more than any other; but if they hold this language, and the means which they have suggested must be resorted to, if their whole country must be laid waste, and made a desert, in order to save this Union from destruction, so let it be. I would rather, sir, reduce them to a condition where their whole country is to be repeopled by a band of freemen [freed slaves] than to see them perpetrate the destruction of this people through our agency. -Thaddeus Stevens
https://archive.org/details/sim_united-states-congress-congressional-globe_1861-08-05_26/page/414/mode/2up


Stevens had some other quotes which seem relevant to the treason going on today:
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Least of all would I reproach the South. I honor her courage and fidelity. Even in a bad, a wicked cause, she shows a united front. All her sons are faithful to the cause of human bondage, because it is their cause. But the North - the poor, timid, mercenary, driveling North - has no such united defenders of her cause, although it is the cause of human liberty. None of the bright lights of the nation shine upon her section. Even her own great men have turned her accusers. She is the victim of low ambition - an ambition which prefers self to country, personal aggrandizement to the high cause of human liberty. She is offered up a sacrifice to propitiate southern tyranny - to conciliate southern treason. -Thaddeus Stevens, 1850.

(Just like today, the traitors are high energy and those who claim to oppose them are hopelessly low energy. At least in the 1860s we had a real president to stand up to them.)


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We are told that because the Constitution does not allow us to confiscate a certain species of property, therefore we cannot liberate slaves. Mr. Speaker, I thought the time had come when the laws of war were to govern our action; when constitutions, if they stood in the way of the laws of war in dealing with the enemy, had no right to intervene. Who pleads the Constitution against our proposed action? Who says the Constitution must come in, in bar of our action? It is the advocates of rebels, of rebels who have sought to overthrow the Constitution and trample it in the dust; who repudiate the Constitution. Sir, these rebels, who have disregarded and set at defiance that instrument, are, by every rule of municipal and international law, estopped from pleading it against our action. Who, then, is it that comes to us and says, "you cannot do this thing, because your Constitution does not permit it?" The Constitution! Our Constitution, which you repudiate and trample under foot, forbids it! Sir, this is an absurdity. -Thaddeus Stevens, 1861

(This reminds me of all the idiotic debates on discussion forums that Republicans "didn't really commit treason as outlined in the Constitution, because that only applies to working with nations we have declared war on, and therefore we can't punish them". ...The oaths members of Congress have to take clearly include both "foreign enemies" and "domestic enemies", and hence make this interpretation idiotic.

I think people who repeat this are misinterpreting what Chief Justice john Marshall said in 1807. What Marshall was saying is that conspiracy [i.e. a plan] to commit treason is a separate crime from carrying out the actual treason. In the court case in 1807, it was determined actual treason was not committed, merely the conspiracy. But, with the Insurrection, we have both the conspiracy [i.e. the inside job] and the actual assembling and carrying out of the treason.

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“However flagitious may be the crime of conspiring to subvert by force the government of our country, such conspiracy is not treason. To conspire to levy war, and actually to levy war, are distinct offences. The first must be brought into open action by the assemblage of men for a purpose treasonable in itself, or the fact of levying war cannot have been committed. So far has this principle been carried, that . . . it has been determined that the actual enlistment of men to serve against the government does not amount to levying war.” Chief Justice Marshall was careful, however, to state that the Court did not mean that no person could be guilty of this crime who had not appeared in arms against the country. “On the contrary, if war be actually levied, that is, if a body of men be actually assembled for the purpose of effecting by force a treasonable purpose, all those who perform any part, however minute, or however remote from the scene of action, and who are actually leagued in the general conspiracy, are to be considered as traitors. But there must be an actual assembling of men, for the treasonable purpose, to constitute a levying of war.”
[...]
As a result of the Whiskey Rebellion, convictions of treason were obtained on the basis of the ruling that forcible resistance to the enforcement of the revenue laws was a constructive levying of war.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution-conan/article-3/section-3/clause-1/treason-clause-doctrine-and-practice

Anyway, the difference between Stevens's day and ours is, this time, the Constitution is very clear on what to do. The 14th Amendment says traitors who support insurrection must be removed from Congress. The Constitution also clearly says what the punishment for treason is.)