Chris Matthews bombarded Tea Party Express co-founder Sal Russo with rude invective about Rep. Michele Bachmann – something that excites his base as nothing else, other than Sarah Palin. Russo, the co-founder of Tea Party Express was deftly ambushed, and today the word is that Matthews “skewered Russo.”
Matthews played a clip of Bachmann stating the Founding Fathers fought slavery. Matthews was filled with righteous anger. He objects, saying the Founding Fathers did not “deal” with slavery, and asks Russo, “Why would you put someone for forward that doesn’t know history.” “Do you know how little this woman knows about our history?”
Matthews is incorrect, and if Russo could have explained, he would not have had the opportunity, because Matthews had no intention of relinquishing his camera angle, while in full obloquy-mode.
While our original Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, nor our U.S. Constitution, ended slavery when first ratified, our many of the Founders were involved in ending slavery, and it is ignorant to deny that fact.
In the clip in the video below, Bachmann says:
“We know there was slavery that was clearly tolerated when our Nation began. We know that was an evil, a scourge and a blot, and a stain upon our history, but we also know that the very Founders who wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States, and I think it is high time that we recognize the efforts of our fore-bearers, who worked tirelessly, like John Quincy Adams who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.”
Note that Matthews eventually quotes Bachmann saying “slavery ended with the Founders.” That is not what Bachmann said.
Bachmann is right about John Quincy Adams – he did work to end slavery, although he died a number of years before the actual legislation. Adams, who served as a congressman after leaving the office of president, fought the South’s “gag rule,” which allowed the exclusion of anti-slavery legislation coming before the House. It took him 8 years, but he finally achieved the repeal of the Gag Rule.
In the end, however, his opposition to the gag rule can be counted as successful, for his unwavering efforts against slavery had a powerful effect that outlived him.
Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, George Washington, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton, Samuel Adams, James Wilson, Roger Sherman, Thomas Paine, George Read, George Clymer, William Samuel Johnson, Gunning Bedford, Nicholas Gilman, William Livingston, Thomas Mifflin, Thomas FitzSimons, Gouverneur Morris and others diligently fought for the end of slavery. It is documented all over the internet, if not in our country’s schools.
When George Washington was 11 year old, he inherited ten slaves. As president, he signed the law that prohibited slavery in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. He emancipated his slaves in his will, paid the elderly a pension for life, and taught others to read. Any slaves choosing to stay and work on his plantation were paid.
It is believed that the first African slaves arrived in the U.S. in 1619, offloading the ship in Virginia. Slave trading ended in the U.S. in 1808, but slaves already here remained slaves. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became law in 1863, but it took the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, to make the proclamation Constitutional law.
If you have read The Federalist papers, you know how difficult it was to draft our U.S. Constitution. It is reasonable to assume that ending slavery was complicated (those problems are also well-documented). Who would hire those freed, and could there be a guarantee that an unschooled population would be given pay for work? How could both the freed and their previous owners be protected from each other. How would public safety work? All these things were at work when the Constitution was “in the works.” It is a fact that conveniently escapes balloonheads like Chris Matthews.
Concerning the Fourteenth Amendment, the very states advocating AGAINST slavery, and actually abolishing slavery, WANTED Blacks counted as 3/5ths of a person for the purposes of the population count, to ultimately decide numbers of representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ironically, those opposed to counting slaves were the northern states, or, the liberals. Slave states had larger populations, and thus a great political advantage. Therefore, the north insisted a different reckoning of numbering the population. On the other hand, the South would be taxed more according to its states with large slave populations, if slaves were counted. Both sides had reason to advocate an adjusted basis for the census…
Say your state had 100,000 people, and 25,000 of them were Negro slaves. Seventy-five thousand was one number, but, the other quarter of the population would still be counted, for the sake of Congressional representation. Three-fifths of that quarter would count as population, so that the Represenation and Taxes would be evenly apportioned to the state. In other words, that state would still have a legitimate expectation for more representation, but not fear an unfair taxation.
Matthews rode the Fourteenth Amendment to the end of the segment. The “three-fifths of a person is the Left’s latest weapon.” The sad thing is, if you went to public schools – or attended a private school in our Nation’s capitol, like maybe…Sidwell Friends where Malia and Sasha go, or if you finished-up at an Ivy League University, you learned that the Fourteenth Amendment said Blacks were less than human – a dishonest and egregious viewpoint.
So, as you view Chris Matthews’ tantrum in the video below, I can only say that Sal Russo, as a Tea Party member needs to “bone up” on “personhood” in the U.S. and understand who did what and why under the Fourteenth Amendment. This won’t be the last pummeling he is subjected to between now and 2012. As to Matthews insisting Russo tell him when the Thirteenth Amendment became law, I’d bet a steak dinner Matthews didn’t know, until his aides began their research for the Bachmann-bashing segment.
Russo thought he was coming on the show to discuss Bachmann’s response to the State of the Union address. He was ambushed.
Chris Matthews and Sal Russo: Michelle Bachmann on Slavery (video)