Twitter is full of morons. But today, the Moron of the Day is Politico senior writer Steve Freiss, who tweeted:
.@goproud issues statement: “as federalists, we do not believe in 1-size-fits-all” on gay marriage. But aren’t federalists pro-federal govt?
— Steve Friess (@SteveFriess) January 18, 2013
No, Steve, they’re not.
This is why we’re up crap creek without a paddle these days—because people just do not understand what terms used in politics actually mean. It is true that in the very beginning, back when we were still under the Articles of Confederation, that federalists wanted a stronger national, federal government. But they did not want “one size fits all” policies for the states, and were very adamant about having power distributed across the states, and between the states and the federal government.
Read up on Madison, Adams, and Jefferson, man. It’s not that hard. Or take a look at the Cato Institute. Or hell, Cornell University Law School. Or any number of other places. It’s pretty obvious what federalism means, and Steve Freiss is an ignorant fool to completely miss it.
Yet, as I’ve noted, he’s a senior writer at Politico. And these are the guys writing stories and feeding information to the masses—people who have absolutely no idea about American politics and what words actually mean. These are likely also the same reporters and writers crafting stories that are subtly pro-gun control.
Can we stop taking them seriously, now?
This past week in Arizona, the remaining contenders for the Republican presidential nomination gathered for the last debate before the Super Tuesday primaries. Not unexpectedly, considering the moderators of these debates tend to be members of the left-leaning national media, the questions directed at the Republican candidates were often premised on a liberal worldview. Maybe nowhere was that more obvious than in the media feeding frenzy surrounding the beliefs of former Sen. Rick Santorum regarding birth control.
As a member of the Catholic Church, Santorum adheres to the belief that abortion and even the use of birth control are immoral. The media has seized upon this as proof that, were Santorum to win the presidency, he would impose a theocracy upon America, the implication being that he would use government to block abortion and birth control to those that desire it. Mitt Romney, in a previous debate, was perplexed by the question of whether states have the right to ban birth control, correctly noting that no state was even considering such a move, so why bring it up?
While several of the candidates touched on it, this was a golden opportunity to discuss a subject of immense importance and one that too few Americans could define, much less elaborate upon…the doctrine of federalism.
I’m starting to think that Gov. Rick Perry has been body-snatched and replaced with the man speaking in this video. Normally, that would be a cause for concern; however, in this case the alien invader is a vast improvement.
Perry is up for re-election and has a serious contender in Senator Kay Baily Hutchinson, so maybe this is just political posturing- but I sincerely hope it’s the real deal. We need more governors taking the same stand on the issue of state sovereignty.
Michael Boldin is the executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center, established in 2006 in response to endless attacks on liberty from both major political parties.
Want to stop the sociopaths in Washington DC?
Ron Paul told you how. Judge Napolitano is on board. Tom Woods provides intellectual firepower to back it up. And today, I’ll share six steps to get you started.
Obviously, it will take some work. But what should a liberty lover actually do? March on DC? Lobby Congress? Support a campaign in the 2016 presidential election?
Answer: No. No. And, no.
RON PAUL’S ADVICE
Ron Paul said nullification would “reverse the trend and stop the usurpation of all the powers and privileges from the states to the federal government.”
The game-plan is right in front of you. It’s nullification.
That bears repeating: if you want to stop federal thugs, Ron Paul advises you to nullify.
I can’t think of a stronger endorsement for libertarians than this powerful statement from the man who brought the principles of liberty to the mainstream.
Think about it. Nullification isn’t just an interesting theory or some historical oddity for study. It’s a method Ron Paul himself endorsed as a path to “stop the usurpation of power.” That’s serious business, and a call for you to take action.
What is nullification? In order to share a plan of action, you must first understand what nullification is. When Thomas Jefferson called it the “rightful remedy,” he didn’t specifically define it.
In discussing recent comments made by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who pointedly said that President Barack Obama doesn’t believe in the Second Amendment, Judge Andrew Napolitano explained that the officials in this administration “do not believe in parts of the Constitution.”
Napolitano, who frequently writes about breakdown of the rule of law, explained, “They don’t believe in the Tenth Amendment that reserves powers to the states and they don’t believe in the Second Amendment that guarantees us the right to keep and bear arms, and they will do everything they can to wear away those parts of the Constitution with which they disagree.”
Check out the segment, which appeared on Fox News last week, below:
Shortly after the election ended, some very angry people have created petitions at the White House to garner support for their states to secede from the United States. At first, I wasn’t even going to write anything on this because the idea is just so absurd and crazy, but some of these petitions, which have gained some media coverage, have gotten enough signatures to illicit a response from the White House.
I can’t believe I’m actually writing this post. Look, I can understand that people are upset that President Barack Obama was re-elected. They don’t see how it could have happened and they’re looking for ways to fight back; but this is exactly the wrong way to do it. Let’s take away the fact that this idea is just dumb for a few moments, and dive into the various reasons why it’s just not practical.
I realize that some of the Founding Fathers took a different view of this topic. After Thomas Jefferson won the presidential election in 1800, some northern states threatened to secede. Jefferson was indifferent. In an 1803 letter to John Breckenridge, Jefferson asked, “[I]f it should become the great interest of those nations to separate from this, if their happiness should depend on it so strongly as to induce them to go through that convulsion, why should the Atlantic States dread it?” The language here is important because our Founding Fathers looked at the states as “nations,” independent countries that joined together to form the United States.
On Tuesday, Colorado and Washington passed ballot measures that would allow for recreational use of marijuana. Those victories for federalism may be short-lived as the federal government may file suit to prevent the measures from going into effect:
Votes making Colorado and Washington the first U.S. states to legalize marijuana for recreational use could be short-lived victories for pot backers because the federal government will fight them, two former U.S. drug control officials said on Wednesday.
They said the federal government could sue to block parts of the measures or send threatening letters to marijuana shops, followed up by street-level clampdowns similar to those targeting medical marijuana dispensaries the government suspects are fronts for drug traffickers.
“This is a symbolic victory for (legalization) advocates, but it will be short-lived,” Kevin Sabet, a former adviser to the Obama administration’s drug czar, told reporters.
“They are facing an uphill battle with implementing this, in the face of … presidential opposition and in the face of federal enforcement opposition,” Sabet said.
During the campaign, Obama tried to reach out to stoners by shooting a video with John Cho and Kal Penn, stars of the Harold and Kumar movies. Kal Penn, who briefly worked in the White House, claimed that Obama had been “consistent” on marijuana policy. Sure, only if you’re willing to ignore, you know, most everything he has done.
Late last week I saw a headline about Paul Ryan that said he didn’t think the federal government should interfere with states on the medical marijuana issue. That’s not exactly what I’d expect to hear coming from the Romney/Ryan ticket, but I certainly wasn’t upset by it.
I think Ryan was making a point that too many people miss. When talking about the War on Drugs as a Republican in favor of ending it yesterday, it’s a hot topic, and I’m not usually in the majority. The argument I run into so often is this:
Drugs are bad. People shouldn’t use drugs. We should ban drugs.
End of argument.
And that’s without getting into the cost of law enforcement, the overcrowding of prisons for nonviolent crimes, the cost of outsourcing prison space, the dangers of prohibition, or the fact that prohibition simply doesn’t work.
The ironic part of this is that these folks who cheer for calls to return to the Constitution couldn’t legitimize the War on Drugs with any portion of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.
And that, I think, was Ryan’s point. This isn’t a federal issue. It’s a states’ issue. If marijuana is to be legalized – for medicinal or for any other use – it’s an issue for the states to decide, not the federal government.
Recently, I’ve been having a running discussion on this blog about the US Constitution, the concept of “states’ rights,” and individual rights. It’s been very illuminating, as I’ve discovered that many so-called “libertarians” are in fact quite confused about what the US Constitution means, and have gotten mixed up in other ideas
Users such as “Jim” and “The Torch” (real name Johnny Storm, I’m assuming) have made the claim that the federal government should not, and is prohibited by the Constitution, from protecting people’s rights when they are being violated and trampled on by the state governments. Their reasoning is that the Tenth Amendment prohibits this, because the Founding Fathers were setting up a federalist system. This argument would actually hold water…if it was being presented on July 8th, 1868.
That’s because the next day, the nation formally adopted the 14th Amendment, which gives the federal government the power to enforce the Bill of Rights against the states, which now how to abide by it as well. (Little known fact: prior to the 14th Amendment, the Bill of Rights were not binding on the state governments; they only applied to Washington.)
These folks are both fans of Ron Paul, and have cited this column he wrote on Lew Rockwell’s site about state vs. federal:
I think we need to have a big sit-down as libertarians and go back to one of the great libertarian texts, the big one that is cited by many fans of liberty today. Yes, I’m talking about the United States Constitution, and I think this is important because there seems to be a great number of libertarians who don’t understand it, and they have no idea what they’re talking about.
Earlier this week, I wrote about a ThinkProgress piece that was incredibly idiotic and misleading about a Rand Paul quote they just could not comprehend. Amazingly, a user by the username of “Jim” commented that I was a “leftist” for somehow wanting the federal government to mandate a right to birth control pills, i.e., have them paid for by the taxpayers and given to people.
I actually wrote something similar to what I will write here last year, where I identified my own personal split with Ron Paul. I think that same problem, though, has cropped up not only with “Jim” but with a great many libertarians. Strangely (or not so strangely), a lot of them are the Ron Paul type of libertarians, which disturbs me.