Tuesday, July 28, 2009

State Sovereignty Resolution Update - 7/28

Summer is usually a slow season for State legislatures, once the budget has been adopted. Many States limit the length of the legislative session, so that their legislatures will be adjourned until the following year (Ohio is not so fortunate). For this reason, updates are likely to be infrequent for the rest of the year.

However, the resolution has been prefiled for the next session of the Nebraska Senate. Nebraska is unique in having a unicameral (one house) and nonpartisan legislature. The Omaha World-Herald quotes State Sen. Tony Fulton (NP-Lincoln) in his introduction statement: “My goal here is to shine light on the fact that the federal government is overstepping its bounds. We would be making a statement on behalf of Nebraska.”

As we have experienced with our SCR13, critics have wasted no time branding the resolution as racist, in an attempt to link it with the Southern States' Rights movement prior to 1964. Nebraska State Sen. Bill Avery (NP-Lincoln) echoed the concern of Ohio State Sen. Ray Miller when he said, “The history of this movement is rife with racism in the name of states' rights. I'm not saying that the people making the case now are racist, but I don't think Nebraska needs to be getting in bed with these kinds of resolutions.”

The comments to the World-Herald article are revealing. Opponents to the resolution advanced very few points in support of their position (though scarborough's comment was well written), but were quick to attack the introducers as a Republican lackeys, neo-Confederates, racists (because of President Obama), subservient to radio talk-show hosts, hypocrites (because the legislature has accepted Federal money), and beholden to contributors who support the resolution. Attacking the proponents rather than the resolution's substance seems to be a standard leftist procedure for defending Federal power.

I shall address only one of those attacks here. The movement has been around since 1995, during both Democratic and Republican administrations. The present round of resolutions began last year, when Oklahoma State Rep. Charles Key, a Republican, introduced the resolution that has been a model for most of the States this year. Last year, George Bush, another Republican, was President (Oklahoma's resolution was defeated by a tie vote in the Senate last year, but was adopted this year). Arizona, another heavily Republican State, introduced such a resolution in 2002, also during the Bush Administration -- and at a time when President Bush's popularity was quite high.

Therefore, it is incorrect to state that the principal purpose of the resolutions is to attack the Obama Administration.

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