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Daily Affirmations 5/7

1. Following up on Ed Kilgore's post about "sovereignty resolutions," Rick Hertzberg spends some time reading through Georgia's resolution:

The resolution is written in a mock eighteenth-century style, ornate and pompous. Just two of its twenty sentences account for more than 1,200 of its 2,200 words. But the substance is even nuttier than the style.

It begins by saying that what it sneeringly calls “a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States” limits the “General Government” only to specifically named powers, such as punishing piracy and counterfeiting, and that “each party” to the “compact,” i.e., each state, is the final judge of whether the “General Government” has overstepped its very tight bounds. Among other rights, the states “retain to themselves the right of judging how far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged without lessening their useful freedom.” (There’s a lovely phrase: “the licentiousness of speech and of the press.”) If I’m reading the resolution’s convoluted language correctly, it also asserts that the states have a right to suppress “libels, falsehood, and defamation, equally with heresy and false religion” without interference from “federal tribunals.” There’s more. If a state doesn’t like some federal law, then “nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” And if a state decides that “any Act by the Congress of the United States, Executive Order of the President of the United States of America or Judicial Order by the Judicatories of the United States of America” exceeds what the state considers the proper bounds of federal authority, then said act or executive order or court order “shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution for the United States of America by the government of the United States of America.” What kind of act? “Further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms including prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition,” for example.

Good point, Rick Hertzberg!

2. Steve Benen ponders why it is that the media describes John edwards as "disgraced" but fails to use any remotely similar term for other political philanderers:

Republicans like Gingrich, Tom DeLay, and David Vitter, among many others, have seemingly disgraced themselves, but none are commonly awarded the term.

In contrast, Dems like Edwards and Rod Blagojevich are labeled a "disgrace" with minimal hesitation.

The rule, then, seems to be that politicians are a "disgrace" when their allies no longer want anything to do with them. If like-minded figures are willing to hang out with you, you're in good shape. If not, expect the "d" word.

Good point, Steve Benen!

3. The Republican Party is promoting its "Keep Terrorists Our of America Act," which is based on the premise that supermax prisons on American soil cannot hold terrorists, with a hilarious scare video:

Hilzoy has responded with her own video effort:

Good point, Hilzoy!

--Jonathan Chait