Dean Clancy of FreedomWorks tweets this morning, “Our modern-day nullifiers & secessionists base their hopeless agenda on the mistaken ‘compact’ theory of the Union. States aren’t sovereign.” (UPDATE: Clancy notes that he is not speaking for the organization.)
We must stand in breathless awe at the extraordinary courage it must have taken to attack “nullificationists and secessionists,” who are of course some of the most popular people in America.
One small error creeps into Clancy’s sentence. The compact theory of the Union does not in fact claim that the “states are sovereign.” No governing body is sovereign in the American system. The peoples of the states are sovereign.
Now some people may be so impertinent as to demand something other than Dean Clancy’s ex cathedra pronouncement before they reject Thomas Jefferson’s theory of the Union in favor of the view held by a D.C. pressure group.
After all, the compact theory rests on the crazy idea that the creators of something precede the thing created, logically and temporally. Thus compact theorists actually think the bride and groom come before the marriage; we are evidently instead supposed to believe that first there is a marriage, and the marriage in turn creates the bride and groom.