GOP Debate and State's Rights

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Mensch1351, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Mensch1351

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    Watched the GOP debates from Florida last night. Looks like Mitt and Rick are solidly preparing for the showdown at the OK Corral! When asked about which Federal Departments they would do away with BOTH the EPA and the Dept of Education were mentioned (and the crowd of course applauded loudly).

    Over and over again, almost to a person, they go on and on about how "I think that should be an issue for the States to handle......" And I couldn't help to think to myself: Do they realize that when States handle issues, there is just as much chance of cronyism, corruption, waste and incompetence? And as each State decides what is appropriate (like Arizona did on their immigration laws) -- many people may end up choosing not to LIVE in that State. "Get the Federal Gov't out of the business of..............." has become one of their mantras. However --- a national standard for dealing with Clean Air/Water regulations -- hazardous waste, etc. seems MUCH better than allowing each State to handle it. A national Standard for Education seems appropriate if someone educated by the Mississippi school system wants to go to Harvard (or get a good job in California) for example.

    Here in Kansas, the ongoing debate about whether Intelligent Design should be taught along with evolution probably makes some in Vermont (once again for example) wonder if they really want to apply to (or graduate from) KU! Left to individual States -- would it be a healthy thing if they decided to do away with their Child Labor Laws (or collective bargaining as some States are doing). I can envision us becoming even more of a disheveled mess of each State making decisions that might be better left to the Federal Realm for the sake of "standardizing" certain issues.

    All that said --- how about a bit of discussion concerning Specifically WHAT you think should be left to the States and what needs to be Federally regulated! What ARE the benefits and pitfalls of individual States taking over certain areas of responsibility? Thanks!
     
  2. dandelion

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    Fascinating debate for someone mostly concerned in the similar argument which continues for the EU. What powers should be national and what international? In the UK education is now somewhat devolved to Wales and Scotland. Scotland has remained something of a separate country administrativelywith its own legal system despite being part of the Uk for a long time. Its parallel organisation was just administered from Westminster by the scottish office, but now much has been transferred back to Scotland. Presumably it will now tend to diverge. The Scots are trying to maintain a system of at least much cheaper university education. I presume they also have control over the nationally defined curriculum.

    I would however suggest that when someone is presented with the power to do something, they also face the responsibility for consequences. It is easier to campaign for wild things if you have no chance of ever getting them. maybe kansas would suddenly get real faced with a real prospect of crazy ideas being adopted.
     
  3. hungteen19921992

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    I would be surprised - shocked even - to find there are any conservatives on this forum at all.

    Was it just me last night who heard people booing at the mere fact that that soldier admitted he was gay?

    They booed at his gayness. Then the politician went on to say how he thought excluding gays was a good idea because "the military is not about sexual matters".

    I try to stay as far away as I can from these sorts of people let alone politics in general.
     
  4. Klingsor

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    Rick Santorum. His name is Rick Santorum. He should not be granted the benefit of anonymity.

    His nationally televised political suicide, as he demonstrated his total inability to comprehend a simple issue of equality, was a sad thing to see.

    Even sadder, and scarier, were the cheers he received from the audience (after their boos for one of our men in the armed services who happened to be gay).

    There's no denying it: bigotry is alive and well in the conservative movement today.
     
  5. luv2watchdick

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    I hope one or all of Rick's kids turn out to be gay. :biggrin1:
     
  6. LilJock

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    When the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia to draw up a new constitution, there were a variety of conflicting concerns that they had to deal with. They had just split from Great Britain with its supposedly tyrannical monarchy and were fearful of vesting too much authority in the executive; at the same time their initial experience of self-government had proven disastrous because, lacking a clear central authority, they were unable to handle certain issues, like foreign trade and regional disputes. (The latter was one of the reasons why George Washington promoted the constitutional convention: he had "western" lands which couldn't be developed because there was no vehicle to establish valid legal claims.)

    Also, the colonies considered themselves for all intents and purposes independent sovereign nations. They differed culturally and religiously in many ways. Slave-holders from Virginia weren't about to have a bunch of abolitionist Puritans from Massachusetts tell them how to live.

    Also, remember the smaller states weren't going to join any government where they would be at the mercy of bigger and more populous states.

    The Founding Fathers, through careful deliberation and compromise, drew up a constitution which answered most of the concerns.

    To handle national issues like trade, foreign relations, war, and interstate commerce they created a national government with certain enumerated powers. What powers were not specifically given to the federal government were left to the states (states rights). To limit the power of the executive (President), they established a legislative branch whose laws could only annulled by veto of the president, which in turn could be over-ridden by a two-thirds vote of Congress.

    To satisfy the concerns of the big vs. smaller states, they created two houses of Congress: a Senate with two senators from each state and a House of Representatives based upon population. The electors who chose the president were also a compromise in this regard; their number was based upon the total of the senators and representatives for each state.

    It was further agreed that the Constitution would include a Bill of Rights. For the most part, these were the "hot button" issues of the times. In attempting to quell dissent and ultimately rebellion, the British had attempted to suppress free speech, the ability to assemble, the freedom of the press, the right to bear arms; these all got their protections. Since one of the primary motivations for immigration to the colonies had been the desire to worship freely, the amendment forbade Congress from establishing a state religion, as was the case in Great Britain with the Church of England, and they granted absolute individual religious freedom. Interestingly, the prohibition on the establishment of religion did not extend to the states. At that time, numerous states had "state religions", such as Puritanism (Congregationalism) in Massachusetts, and they weren't about to give this up. As states, they were simply restricted from coercing citizens to belong to these religions. (These "state religions" were later disestablished voluntarily by the states.) The people at that time would have considered it twaddle that people couldn't pray on government property. The first act of Congress was to appoint a minister to open sessions with a prayer; the Supreme Court still displays the Ten Commandments prominently (a right they have prohibited for state and local courts, which seems a bit topsy turvy when you consider the original idea.)

    Almost as an afterthought, the Constitution provided for a federal judiciary (the Supreme Court). Its powers were not specified, and its composition, other than it would have a Chief Justice, was left up to Congress to determine. It was debated in committee at the time whether this branch should have the power to review and invalidate laws as "illlegal." After much debate, it was agreed not to. Regardless of how this would be done (requiring a unanimous vote of the Court, or allowing congress and the President to over-ride it's rulings by a two-thirds vote, etc.), it was considered that granting this power to the judiciary would inevitably result in its ultimately becoming a de facto legislative branch comprised of unelected members. Whether laws were "unconstitutional" was left to the conscious of Congress, the President through his veto power (hence his oath to "defend the Constitution"), and ultimately the voters. It was only later that Chief Justice John Marshall in Marbury vs. Madison performed a piece of judicial legerdemain and acquired this power for the Supreme Court. (When Andrew Jackson vetoed the charter of the Bank of the United States, which had just been ratified by Congress, and included his reason that he felt no private institution should have such power -- a policy position -- he was universally vilified as a tyrant: vetoes were to be based on constitutional grounds, policy was the province of the legislature. Remember the famous cartoon of Jackson, sitting on a throne, crown on his head, sceptre in one hand, veto in the other, the charter under one foot and the Constitution under the other? That's what that was all about.)

    But to the question. . . It certainly seems the initial idea that the federal government should be restricted to waging war, negotiating treaties, and settling disputes between the states, and the rest left to the local states, has pretty much disappeared. And not the elected President wielding unlimited an unrestricted power, but the unelected Supreme Court. (There are only two ways to restrict its powers: to simply ignore its rulings -- to wit, Andrew Jackson's famous statement, "Mr. Marshall has ruled, now let him enforce his ruling!"; and removal of justices by impeachment -- this was attempted only once, during the first half of the nineteenth century, and Congress proved unwilling to remove a justice for something other than malfeasance).

    For the most part, this aggrandizement of federal authority is probably unnecessary and unwelcome. Whether persons from other states may disapprove and not emigrate thereto is probably of small consequence to people in the state who wish to live like they want to, not the way people in other states want them to. (Note Gov. Perry's line -- "If you come to Texas. . .")

    However, state's rights has a dark side: it was used before the Civil War as a prop for slavery, and later as a prop for segregation. It was only the Supreme Court through powers it had appropriated for itself, and the federal Congress with civil rights laws, that this unequal treatment was eliminated. (Whatever your view of Obama, it's instructive to remember that at the time of his birth, many states prohibited marriage between the races; these laws were ultimately stricken down.)

    So where do you stand? We all probably wish to be left alone and live as we please, each state establishing laws as it sees fit, as long as these don't violate the Constitution. But take gay rights. They aren't anywhere in the Constitution. At the time of its signing, and for a couple hundred years thereafter, homosexuality (sodomy) was illegal in all the states, and it has only been recently that these laws have been struck down.

    Should states in the West be bound by rules for land use more appropriate for more populous eastern states?

    Should communities be allowed to take your property for the "good" of the community, as recently ruled by the Supreme Court, rather than for the "use"[/] of the community as stipulated in the the Constitution? (The difference is that "use" means that property can be appropriated so that a highway can be built there; "good" means that developers can tear your house down and replace it with more tax-lucrative developments, like condos or shopping malls. (The Crown had appropriated people's property and given it to the King's favorites, and this was the reason for the amendment in the first place).

    It's not an easy answer. The right to live and be left alone can sometimes mean the right to piss on the less unfortunate. Where do we draw the line?
     
  7. Klingsor

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    It may well be a prejudice, but I've always considered myself to be more a citizen of the United States than a citizen of California, Virginia, Connecticut, New York, Texas, Ohio, or Illinois (the various places I've lived).

    Frankly, I'm much less concerned with states' rights than with individual rights. Human rights.

    Of course, I recognize that having fifty states to choose from, each with its own set of laws, can be a boon to individual freedom (assuming you're in a position to exercise such a choice).

    Still, when it comes to the most pressing social and economic issues facing this country, I would much rather see us "United" than "States."

    But maybe that's just me.
     
  8. dandelion

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    Yep you guys have been doing this for 200 years but this still sounds like the debate over what the EU should and shouldnt have powers to do.
     
  9. midlifebear

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    I heard that the GOP, in general, is planning of crafting legislation that will make illegal for 'Mericuhns to read.

    Seriously, if one has to choose between two evils, Mittens is the better choice. He didn't slide through college and law school of Cs and Ds. At least Mittens maintained a decent GPA throughout his undergraduate and graduate years. We've already suffered the "expertise" and "leadership" of one C- college student whose greatest achievement was to be a cheerleader in kolledge. Rick Perry shares a similar poor academic performance and he, too, was a cheerleader. I see a pattern.
     
  10. hsarge

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    States Rights has always been the code to cover wrong doing. First it was states rights to keep slavery, then states rights to segregate the races in schools and housing, then states rights on whether women should vote, then states rights for voter education before being allowed to register. It is a way for those who oppose equality, to take control of an area and then discriminate as they please. As a voters rights activist in the 60's I saw what ' states rights' tried to do to the poor and minorities. They still keep trying.
     
  11. meatpackingbubba

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    As a relatively conservative voter with libertarian leanings, and someone that looks forward to the current administration not being returned to office, I must say that RICK SANTORUM IS AN IDIOT. What a sanctimonious hypocritical shitface.

    He's right about one thing: sex has no place in the military. THAT INCLUDES DETERMINING WHO CAN SERVE IN THE ARMED FORCES BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION, you dumb shit. What a totally idiotic fuckhead.

    And, like other posters here, I too was quite disturbed by the response of the audience. For what it's worth, this outlook does not reflect the views of all of us that are fiscally conservative.
     
    #11 meatpackingbubba, Sep 23, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  12. Klingsor

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    I, for one, appreciate the thought. It's encouraging to know that, even in these polarized times, some liberals and conservatives can find places where we both draw the line. :smile:
     
  13. hsarge

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    The Republican Party is no longer the party of fiscal conservatism. Just look at the huge budget deficits of the Reagan and Bushs administrations. Some justify the Reagan deficits by saying that we spent the Soviet Union into bankruptcy. Paradoxically, the Clinton administration theoretically balanced the budget. But programs like the Bush prescription drug program and tax cuts were created without adequate cuts or funding. Also two wars were nnot considered 'on the budget' even though they had to be paid for. This country had the highest sustained tax bracket, over 89% to 92% on income over 250,000, during the conservative Eisenhower Administration. That tax rate is now 33%. Neither party is concerned about balancing the budget. One is for more programs, the other for lower taxes. The budget be damned. There are needed government programs and they need to be funded properly.
     
  14. Mensch1351

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    Thanks for the well informed response!! I'm always a little amused when some want to go waaaaay back to the Founding Fathers and how they might re-act to what we now face. The country HAS evolved in our 200+ years!! The 2nd Amendment was formed in a time when automatic assault weapons were totally unheard of. Too bad we can't resurrect some of these guys and let them see just HOW we've evolved!

    You're right that there is no easy answer. You mentioned the issues of gay marriage, racial boundaries, land rights and usage, etc. I'd be interested in other issues you (and others might see as Federal vs State's rights) issues we face.
     
  15. midlifebear

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    Klingsor:

    I tend to agree with you. I grew up in Ewetaw and always felt that no matter what shenanigans the mormons might try to foist on all citizens of that State, we'd be saved from their absolute rule because Ewetaw was part of The United States and, despite the political theocracy that was in power in Ewetaw, the fact we we part of The United States would trump theocratic state's rights. So far, it's been close, but Ewetaw isn't a loose cannon like Texas threatening to break off from the Union. Then again, we'd probably be better off without Texas. Maybe the Federal Government could see fit to break it up into more manageable chunks. For example, if you've ever been to Austin (the state's capital) die-hard natives draw the line at the bridge over Town Lake, the demarcation between South Austin (the more redneck the better) and North Austin (yuppies and college students). North and South Austin even have distinctly different speech patterns. I spent five difficult years living in Austin noting that Texas has a hard time getting along with itself, let alone neighboring States.
     
  16. Klingsor

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    I do find it ironic (and surreal) that a man who recently threatened to break up this country is now campaigning to be its president.
     
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