...but in view of the fact that hundreds of thousands of young American men died because the issue was decided militarily, I don't know how you can possibly deem irrelevant or unimportant the political decisions that led to the issue being resolved militarily. As I have said before, I believe that competent politicians would not have abandoned all of the existing political and judicial mechanisms that existed for the peaceful resolution of the southern politicians' claim that there existed a constitutional right of secession. I don't think that competent politicians would have attempted to take it upon themselves to unilaterally resolve such an issue except for the most compelling of reasons...
A few points. You are aware, are you not, that Mr. Lincoln refused to negotiate in good faith with the Confederate peace commissioners? And of course you are aware that Mr. Lincolns decision to relieve Fort Sumter a course of action that had resulted in gunfire when attempted three months earlier, and that was contrary to the advice of his military leaders, his cabinet, and his personal advisors clearly constituted an attempt to unilaterally resolve the issue? And no doubt you are aware that Mr. Lincoln chose military action rather than existing political and judicial mechanisms to settle the question of secession even though his own Attorney-General advised him that no [power to make war against a State] is expressly given [to the federal government by the Constitution]; nor are there any words in the Constitution that imply it...it seems to follow that an attempt to do so would ipso facto be an expulsion of such State from the union.
In short, you appear to be calling Mr. Lincoln incompetent...
...and I don't think that competent politicians in 1860 would have viewed the eternal preservation of slavery as a compelling reason.
And yet again, finding yourself unable to prove secession unconstitutional, you play the slavery card. How nice.
As you know, when we look into the history of these events, we find that many of the most prominent southern politicians (including Stephens) were opposed to "secession." If you can't think of any prominent southern politicians (other than Toombs) who favored the idea, then you've probably helped me all that you can.
LOL! So, you really are suggesting that our constitutional rights are somehow dependent upon the 'prominence' of "politicians who worked for and advocated" those rights. Simply amazing. Tell us, sport: which prominent and competent politicians have worked for and advocated the Third Amendment in the last few weeks and months? Hmm? How about the Ninth Amendment? Do those amendments, in your opinion, still exist? Or have they somehow evaporated due to a lack of recent advocacy by prominent politicians?
Since Im in a generous mood, Ill make it easy for you: list for us the prominent [and] competent politicians who worked for and advocated the Article I, Section 8 congressional power to declare war in the weeks and months prior to our war in Afghanistan. When you come up with a few noteworthy examples, by all means tell us how the opinions of the politicians in question affect the constitutionality of the congressional power to make war.
If you have ever owned a gun, sir, I suppose you already know that the Constitution provides you with very little guidance for how to competently care for and use it. You'll find nothing in the Constitution that forbids competence or common sense.
How nice. I find your position comparable to that of gun control advocates promoting common sense weapons bans, as they willfully ignore the constitutional guarantee that the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. And no doubt you would have supported the unconstitutional federal Sedition Act, because the arrest and imprisonment of those who simply criticize the president is a common sense interpretation of the phrase Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...
Unfortunately, the "slavery card" was made relevant to the question of the political competency of the southern politicians who favored "secession" by their declarations that the preservation of slavery was their primary objective in "seceding" from the Union. I grant you that it was politically inept of them to select such an utterly distasteful justification for the case that they were making to their contemporaries and to history, but that is exactly what they did and the quality of that choice in and of itself tells me that there was something seriously deficient about the leadership in the pro-"secession" movement. At all times and in all places, an important component of good political leadership is an understanding of the need to persuasively explain and justify to others the use of power. Lincoln understood that principle and used it effectively. And that is why many of you feel the need to mock his eloquence.
But setting aside the morality of slavery and setting aside the truly monumental stupidity of choosing the preservation of slavery as the primary justification for their actions, what in the end did the leaders of the pro-"secession" movement accomplish?
I just don't want to think that the end result would have been viewed by them as an acceptable outcome. I prefer to think that they miscalculated in some way. And I have trouble viewing the outcome as being the result of an excusable miscalculation given that the disastrous outcome that in fact occurred had been foretold by so many of the politicians that southerners themselves believed to be their most capable political leaders.
In the entire history of the western hemisphere, can you think of a more egregious case of political malpractice than the way in which the leaders of the southern pro-"secession" movement handled their political responsibilites?