In a recent editorial at The Economist, the Lexington blog correctly points out some level of Republican hypocrisy regarding the issue of state sovereignty.
The Economist writes:
FOR a party that likes to preach about the evils of an overweening federal government and the virtues of deferring authority to states, localities and individuals, it was a peculiar stance. Yet the vast majority of Republican members of the House of Representatives voted this week to ban abortions in Washington, DC beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy. The constitution gives Congress the power to administer the city in which it sits (and denies the city’s residents the right to send any representatives to Congress), and although a more magnanimous bunch of legislators granted the city home rule in the 1970s, their successors regularly meddle in everything from its transport budget to its needle exchanges.
and goes on to say..
Some state legislators have taken this approach to even greater extremes, introducing “nullification” laws, whereby state governments could refuse to enforce federal laws they consider unconstitutional, as if the civil war had not put paid to such thinking. Yet when it comes to abortion, gay rights and gun control, many of the same people want the federal government to bar states from meddling with the proper order of things. And most Republicans did little to resist George W. Bush when he boosted the federal government’s role in education, expanded Medicare and created the Department of Homeland Security. It is only now that a Democrat is inflating federal authority that they have rediscovered their distaste for it.
But all this only begs one question, why stop there? Why not go on and mention that Democratic heroines like Rachel Maddow are content to point out Republican hypocrisy on this issue while leaving Democratic hypocrisy on the same issue completely alone…and what hypocrisy it is!
The fact of the matter is Democrats are currently spearheading (and winning!) the largest state nullification battle taking place in the country today. Medical marijuana nullification laws and sales now exist in 17 states, all in direct defiance of a Supreme Court decision to uphold laws claiming the Federal government’s right to administer the drug war in heavy doses, regardless of the will of the fifty individual states.
Hypocrisy is a bad thing, but hypocrisy doesn’t get much worse than when the pot calls the kettle black. Perhaps it’s time we look at the actions of both sides of the aisle to uncover the true intention of state sovereignty; allowing for different people to live their lives in different ways, and having faith that the competition of ideas that will spring up among the states will produce far better results than those of any central planner.