The Obama tenure, past and future, is the bellwether of tension between states’ rights and federal areas of responsibility. Obama has made it plain that he’s for having an impregnably strong central government to which the citizens and states will bow the knee, personally and institutionally, never mind any state law or state constitution.
This is being played out now in the two cases before the Supreme Court. The will of the people in California was expressed a short time ago in the referendum approving Proposition Eight, the constitutional defining of marriage as ONLY between a man and woman. Obama has already quite publicly expressed his opinion (that of a “constitutional law” lecturer) that the California amendment is un-Constitutional, federally; therefore, it should be struck down, as it was by the squirrelly Ninth Circuit. The state, in his view, has no right concerning marriage definition.
The SCOTUS is at the same time deciding the fate of the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by Congress in 1996 defining marriage federally as between ONLY a man and woman. This law was passed by the elected representatives, surrogates of the citizens to protect the nation’s interests. Clearly, the people have spoken on the federal level in this way. Additionally, in the vast majority of states, laws and/or constitutions define marriage as between ONLY a man and woman.
The president has declared publicly that his Judicial Department will not enforce this law merely upon his disagreement with it, notwithstanding his sworn oath to carry out all the laws of the land. This is an impeachable offense far more serious that that of Bill Clinton in 1999, when he was impeached for lying under oath and obstruction of justice. The Senate did not convict, notwithstanding that Clinton was guilty as sin.
With the addition of cabinet-level departments to the federal government has occurred concomitantly a diminishing of states’ rights. The federal government has some distinct responsibilities, to wit, national defense, international affairs, a universal system of financial instruments, interstate commerce and transportation, management of government assets such as lands, buildings, parks and highways, federal court system and appropriate law-enforcement (not a national police force, as Obama recommended in 2008), and little else.
Practically all other things should be left up to the states, none of which fits a one-pattern-for-all schema. Indeed, the feds can ruin a good thing, such as is the case with the Department of Education, which since its entry into that area has presided over a decline in educational achievement. The “no child left behind” effort has been a fiasco and a monumental headache for states, not to mention its outrageous cost, much of which due to excessive regulation and record-keeping.
The best eye on the money is that which is closest to its collecting and spending, making the states and their legislatures and courts better procurers and auditors of public funds than the federal government, having as a premier attribute the elements of wastefulness and far-off corruption on a grand scale. States should be responsible for healthcare concerns, for instance, not the Congress, president, or detached bureaucrats in Washington who have no idea of local/state situations in a nation of 314 million people spread over 3.8 million square miles.
There are 15 federal departments presided over by secretaries appointed on the basis of patronage mostly – often people who have no training or background for handling their departments. For instance, the current education-secretary came from Chicago—surprise, surprise—where he presided over one of the worst public-education systems in the country. The director of homeland security was a governor and legal-system bureaucrat, not an expert in terrorism, military affairs, or espionage. Remember the official replacement of the term “terrorism” with “man-caused-disaster,” like a car-wreck? Egad!
States can be at the mercy of the Department of Housing and Urban Development instead of sensibly handling their own preferences and establishing their own regulations. HUD should be rescinded, as should Health and Human services, with the exception of the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. There’s no Department of Enterprise so there should be no Department of Labor.
There’s no need for a Department of Energy, the states being able to take care of that area locally much better than the feds can do it. A state can, for instance, define the gasoline formula by season if it so desires. That partly explains why gas is so expensive in California. States can trade energy back-and-forth to guard against brownouts without the federal government messing up such arrangements with its endless and useless regulations. Left to their own devices, states would have approved the Keystone Pipeline years ago, with no harm to any entity.
The federal government is way too big, corrupt, wasteful and costly. It has steadily co-opted the rights that states should have. All the furor over gun-control has been for nothing…the states can handle this. The states can decide whether or not men should marry men, a ridiculous proposition, but in Iowa, a state that hopefully will be entirely ignored in the next election-cycle, they can do that already…so why should SCOTUS be tied up in something that ridiculous?
Voters should decide in the 2014 and 2016 elections whether or not they want to be part of a federal monarchy presided over by a king posing as president. States’ rights are too important to be frittered away in the interest of turning the country into a huge welfare state, which is what is happening now.