Friday, July 24, 2009

Don't Mess With Texas

The sagebrush rebellion of some years ago is flickering back to life, as the Tenth Amendment is being rediscovered in the face of the serious ramp-up of the Democratic party's decades old assault on the Constitution. Bob Dole's hapless candidacy against Bill Clinton in 1996 had as one its main slogans something like, "Return to the 10th Amendment!" It fell so flat no one even heard it. It has taken Obama's audacity of hope to reignite the brush fire that has been smoldering out West.

Rick Perry, governor of Texas and one of the leading lights of the resurgent conservative wing of the Republican party, came out swinging on Obama's socialized health care boondoggle. Perry is willing to go to court using the Tenth Amendment's guarantee of state sovereignty against the imposition of any such program. He also suggests in this Star Telegram piece, "Perry Raises Possibility of State's Rights Showdown with White House over Health care that several other governors are also prepared to stand up against the federal leviathan on this issue.

Good on 'em. It's late in the day to only just begin to bring our political order back into line with our fundamental law, but certainly better late than never. Governors and state legislatures have tremendous power to wield against the central government--it is one of the fundamental protections the Founders built into the constitution to prevent the dangerous side road we took throughout the 20th century in being talked into discarding the "antique" document our benighted forebears tried to saddle us with and taking up with the modern "progressive" ideas of scientific management and rule by experts.

Anyone who thinks he's smarter than James Madison along political science lines automatically signals with that very thought his inferiority. And somewhere there is a whole raft of anti-Federalists watching the encroachment on the States by the federal government saying, "We told you so." Maybe someone in the Republican party can suggest a new anti-Federalism as a way forward. We have a decent start with this 10th Amendment movement springing up.

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