by Jack Hunter

While even sympathetic observers will admit that the current 10th amendment revival is a reaction to the new Democratic president, resolution sponsors are making special efforts to point out the constitutional, not partisan, intention of their efforts. Says Republican Michigan state Rep. Paul Opsommer, “Some Democrats feel it is an attack on Obama until I explain I also introduced it last year… This is about the rights of the states and the people, not anything to do with Republicans or Democrats.” Primary sponsor of the pending Kentucky state sovereignty resolution, Rep. John Will Stacy, is a Democrat.

And they are making no-bones about their dissatisfaction with aspects of the Bush legacy. Reports the Charleston City Paper of SC bill author, Rep. Michael Pitts, “Pitts notes he first designed his bill in response to mandates that the state provide education and emergency medical treatment to illegal aliens. And it goes beyond that to other concerns, like the threat of stricter gun control laws under the new Democratic administration, Pitts says, as well as Bush-era policies, like No Child Left Behind and the Patriot Act.” While a number of state resolutions mention the Patriot Act, virtually all of them include No Child Left Behind in their critique of overbearing federal power.

That the rise in state sovereignty challenges has been mostly ignored by the national news media isn’t surprising. That it has been ignored by the mainstream conservative movement isn’t surprising either, and speaks volumes about the “official” Right’s tolerance for populist uprisings not of their own making. Heritage and National Review equate red-meat conservatism with Sarah Palin, who has already shown her willingness to be whatever her Republican handlers wish. His own man, Sanford continues to make headlines in spite of—not because of—GOP officials, and when speculating about future Republican leadership, the SC governor’s name is always listed after that of Palin, Bobby Jindal or Mitt Romney for a reason.

And the states’ rights movement isn’t mentioned at all for the same reason. With the lone exception of Glenn Beck, conservative talk radio has ignored this new Obama-resistance—an opposition with a constitutional framework that could bear teeth if state legislators felt they had enough support—instead concentrating on opposing the president in the abstract. Talk radio bitches all day about Democrats Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, but offers no serious avenues of opposition outside of their hope that Palin, Jindal or Romney might save us by running for president in 2012. Nationally syndicated talk hosts, like their liberal, alleged enemies, concentrate on the Washington, DC, power structure, because they, too, view it as the place where all power resides. And states rights’ aren’t on the mainstream conservative movement’s map because individual state efforts are considered too weak, not worth the effort—and don’t include the mainstream conservative movement.


The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



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