When nullification opponents need some conservative cred to back up their arguments, they turn to the Heritage Foundation.
And when Heritage needs to smack down nullification, it turns to its big gun – Matthew Spalding, Ph.D., Vice President, American Studies and Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics.
It remains unclear how a guy working for an organization that brought you the individual mandate and defends indefinite detention under the NDAA has any credibility on constitutional issues. Nevertheless, Tal Kopan turned to Spalding for the conservative take on nullification in her Politico piece titled States Seek to Nullify Obama Efforts.
And once again, Spalding delivered an incoherent attack on nullification, essentially saying he was against it, while touting it as a legitimate response to federal overreach.
There are a rising number of people who are frustrated with what Washington is doing, which is a perfectly legitimate and, in my opinion, correct view of ‘how do we push back?’” he told POLITICO. “Unfortunately, there’s a minority in that group that thinks nullification is the answer, by which they mean good old-fashioned, South Carolina, John C. Calhoun nullification. That’s deeply mistaken and unfortunate.
If there was any serious national movement advancing a “good old-fashioned, South Carolina, John C. Calhoun” type of nullification, I would have to agree with Spalding. I would consider it deeply mistaken and unfortunate. But nobody I’ve ever met in today’s nullification movement advocates for Calhoun’s version of nullification.
That’s because Calhoun was dead wrong.