If you don’t play by our rules, Missouri will secede from the Union, so help us Jeff Davis, we will.
Sometimes I wonder about our political system. We tend to argue to the extreme over faux control. Just look at the rift between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams concerning federal versus states' rights during the election of 1800. That argument continues today, only it is more public and moving at the speed of the Internet.
I get it. The conservative side of government and those who support it are angry that they lost the 2008 elections and that the liberals are in control, that the power the conservatives had from 2001 until 2009 was ripped away by popular vote.
I get it. The new health care laws, passed by a Democratic Congress, used the same tactics and ideas of the former Republican-led Congress and conservative leadership and is not to their liking, using the rules approved by both sides of the aisle. But please, stop whining like a 5-year-old who just lost control of the ball.
State attorneys general, mostly conservative ones, are lining up to battle these new rules because of a possible constitutional violation. I understand the arguments and believe that the issues of contention must be resolved through the proper means: federal courts.
It is not just the state attorneys general who contend that the new rules are unfair. Our own lieutenant governor, Peter Kinder, has entered the fray along with the Missouri General Assembly. They are crying, “Foul!” because Democrats, who now make the laws, thought the old laws were unfair and changed them — just as the conservatives did when they were in power.
Let us begin with Senate Concurrent Resolution 34, introduced by Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Mehlville. It reaffirms "Missouri's sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment and demands that the federal government stop all activities outside the scope of their constitutionally delegated powers."
Evidently, the language of SCR 34 is not strong enough. Rep. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, introduced House Joint Resolution 88. It reads:
"The state of Missouri hereby enforces its constitutional sovereignty and the sovereignty of its citizens under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America over all powers not enumerated and delegated to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States of America, nor prohibited by it to the states."
Nieves wants to put aside federal laws concerning "federal restrictions on the right of private citizens to bear arms; federal laws legalizing or funding abortions or the destruction of human embryos; certain specified federal actions involving health care including a federal public option; federal actions requiring the sale or trade of carbon credits or the taxing on the release of carbon emissions; federal actions mandating the recognition of same sex marriages; federal actions increasing the penalty for a crime based on a perpetrator’s thoughts or designating hate crimes; federal actions regarding the Establishment Clause based on a “wall of separation” between church and state; and federal actions restricting the right of parents or guardians to home school or enroll their children in a private or parochial school or placing restrictions on the school’s curriculum."
It continues: Federal law is to be interpreted by Missouri for Missouri, and the Constitution is no longer a “living, breathing document” and must be interpreted as originally written.
Unless, of course, it must change to meet the neoconservative agenda.
The right’s attitude has become, and I quote from "Network," the 1976 movie, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" With that, Missouri’s lunatic bunch joins their brethren in Alaska, Texas and Vermont threatening to secede from the Union.
I can’t make this stuff up.
Former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart told me that in order for government to work, opponents must remain civil to each other.
I get it. The new right-wing fringe element is mad. However, they have stopped talking to their counterparts. They are yelling, accusing and threatening. That’s not civil. That’s childish.
Listen to the campaign rhetoric carefully this election cycle. Do you really want 5-year-olds running your state and federal government?
David Rosman is an award-winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. You can read more of his commentaries at InkandVoice.com and The New York Journal of Books.