How far will Chris Matthews go to undermine opposition to the prez he has a not-so-subtle crush on? Yesterday, he implied Deb Medina was racist because she cited the all-American principles of interposition and nullification as a way of pushing back against big government.
Matthews quoted Martin Luther King, in the context of King’s opposition to politicians’ efforts to uphold forced segregation in the 1960’s. To the libertarian, King’s argument in this instance was correct. Forced segregation is aggression, and any attempt — by nullification or not — to uphold it is unlibertarian.
Yet context doesn’t matter for Matthews. He uses King’s statement to imply that Medina would’ve been among those fighting for state-mandated segregation. This is because like some 60’s segregationists — though for completely unrelated reasons — she supports nullification.
But Matthews should think twice before advancing such a ridiculous standard. Nullification is a tool, that can be used for good or bad things. Saying the pro-nullification Medina is a racist because this tool has been used for racist purposes is like saying people who advocate driving cars are murderers because people have used cars to commit murder in the past.
Consistently applying Matthews’ standard, he’s comparable to people who advocated the kidnapping of escaped slaves in the 1850’s. After all, Matthews opposes nullification but nullification saved many ex-slaves from being kidnapped under the Fugitive Slave Acts of the 1850’s.Published in