I rarely disagree with Taranto but his sensitivity to "racism" (He is Jewish) sometimes loosens his contact with reality. And he is too slippery with the facts by far in his comments on Ron Paul. He faults Ron Paul for pointing out what I and many others have pointed out: That America was the only country that needed a civil war to free the slaves -- leading to the view that the real motive was not to free the slaves but rather as Lincoln himself often said: To "preserve the union" -- in other words to centralize power in the Federal government and allow no dissent from it. The slaves were merely a pretext.
Taranto puts forward a very stretched interpretation of Ron Paul's words by saying that Paul favours official desegregation only at "a federal lunch counter" and not in the armed forces etc. He realizes however that such an interpretation is not sustainable and endeavours to bolster his position by saying that "Paul blames Lincoln for the Civil War rather than blaming the South for starting a war to preserve slavery".
But the accusation that the South started the war, although technically correct, is disingenuous. The South attacked Fort Sumpter only because it was already under heavy threat and needed to consolidate its position against the more numerous Northerners if it was to have any chance of defending itself. On Taranto's argument, Israel's six-day war was also wrong because it was Israel that fired first when it was heavily threatened by Egypt.
Posted by John Ray