They're Back: States' Rights and Secession Democrats

Democrats are rediscovering their roots.  States' rights assertions and secession talk, long the domain of disaffected conservatives, are being embraced by today's Democrats.  Donald J. Trump's ascendancy to the presidency is estranging Democrats, they say.  John C. Calhoun might be smiling from his eternal perch.

Attempts to nullify federal law and talk about breaking away states by Democrats may open a Pandora's box.  Pushing for state defiance of Uncle Sam invites red-state conservatives to do likewise in future times, when an Obama clone becomes president and Democrats run Congress – provided, of course, that the U.S. is still intact.  

Californians, in particular, are fueling new norms with their determination to be a sanctuary state.  Declaring a state a safe haven for illegals defies federal laws.  The president has a constitutional and statutory obligation to enforce those laws.  But no matter.  Democrats are making a bold declaration: states' "rights" supersede federal laws.  Red states are taking note.  What's good for California today may be good for Texas down the road.   

California state assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) are pushing legislation (separate bills) to make the Golden State an illegals' sanctuary.  Bonta's legislation, in part, would prohibit state authorities from cooperating with ICE.  State tax money would be used to defend criminals from deportation.  Last year, 11,000 convicts released from California prisons were turned over to ICE for possible deportation.  That cooperation would stop.

George Skelton, a Los Angeles Times political columnist, and no Trump fan, wrote on Thursday that the Bonta and Hueso bills could prove Trump right that "California is out of control." 

Skelton's not bothered about state and local authorities refusing to cooperate with Washington to enforce immigration laws, citing costs as the consideration (as if costs matter to spendthrift California Democrats).  But he does say that if the Bonta or Hueso bill passes, then state funds will go to defying federal law.  It's a move that validates Trump's charge, per Skelton. 

State defiance of federal law is precisely on Bonta's mind.  Again from Skelton:

Bonta issued a statement saying his bill represents "California's values of inclusion, compassion and justice" and is a key weapon in the state's "fight against the reckless and hate-fueled Trump agenda."

Should California become a sanctuary state, President Trump will have no choice but to retaliate, pushing to strip California of federal funds, among other actions.  Congress and federal courts will certainly weigh in; that could muddle executive actions.  But any efforts by California or other states to aid and abet illegals, or outright block federal law enforcement in state jurisdictions, might invite a constitutional crisis.  We'll see what Governor Jerry Brown does if the Bonta or Hueso measure reaches his desk.

There's also been talk of secession among Californians.  Support for secession seems fringe – at the moment.  But modern California is about the fringe becoming mainstream.  Perhaps California will become the Democratic Party's new South Carolina – that's South Carolina circa 1860-61.

In the wake of Trump's election, a group called "Yes California Independence Campaign" began a push for a ballot measure to separate the state from the U.S.  The proposed amendment to the state constitution can be read here.  The instigator of the ballot measure, and the self-described vice president of the "Yes" campaign, Marcus Ruiz Evans, comes off as a crank making big claims.  Or might Evans have caught a tiger by the tail? 

This from an NPR report:

To be eligible for the 2018 ballot, the proponent, Marcus Ruiz Evans, will have to collect 585,407 valid signatures from California voters by July 25.

According to an opinion article Evans recently wrote for the San Jose Mercury News, "almost 7,000 volunteers" will collect the signatures – an extremely difficult task without professional signature gatherers. It's generally believed to cost at least $1.5 million to finance a successful signature-gathering drive of that magnitude. So far, campaign records on file show the Yes California committee has raised no money.

Raising big money, putting together a statewide organization, recruiting thousands of volunteers, and delivering over a half-million signatures by the July 25 deadline is a tall order for a seeming piker like Evans.  But if Evans's campaign captures the fancy of the activist left and the left's rich underwriters in California's tech and entertainment communities, among others, who knows?  Maybe Soros would start stroking checks.  The left is expert at commandeering groups and organizations for its purposes. 

Recall the WikiLeaks exposure of emails between John Podesta and a leftist activist about the need to instigate a "Catholic Spring" – in other words, a leftist putsch inside the Catholic Church.  Communists of yore also did a fine job infiltrating unions.  Ronald Reagan battled that infiltration as head of the Screen Actors Guild.

President Trump's executive actions and legislative initiatives in the coming weeks won't mollify California's progressives.  And say another vacancy occurs soon among the Supreme Court's progressive justices (Ruth Bader Ginsburg goes bye-bye).  Holy hell will break loose among Democrats knowing that Trump will nominate another Neil Gorsuch, giving the Court a decidedly originalist tilt.  How would a development like that stoke California independence schemes?

Over the years, conservative-leaning Californians have attempted to create a new state from red counties.  The "State of Jefferson," it's referred to, includes roughly the northern third of California and often red counties inland.  Suppose California independence gained traction.  There's precedence in allowing pro-union counties to secede from a rebellious state.  The western counties of Virginia did so and were granted statehood by Congress in June 1863.  We know the state now as West Virginia.

California Democrats anxious to divorce the union need to think again.  The U.S. can't permit a new country to form along the Pacific coast (let's say Democrat-dominated coastal Oregon and Washington State joined the secession).  That could pose grave national security concerns to the U.S., as well as potentially limit commercial transit for U.S. shipping from the West Coast to all points in the Pacific.

Let's do a quick "what if."  What if the Republic of California chose to enter into a defense treaty with the People's Republic of China?  Could the U.S. tolerate Chinese warships making ports of call or porting in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco?  Or imagine PRC troops based in the Republic of California.

The environment in the coming weeks and months promises to be fraught with ever more stresses and conflicts.  Trump's yuge American Reset flies in the face of Democrats' worldview, core beliefs, and facile assumptions that the future belongs to them. 

That Democrats have begun channeling their Copperhead and Southern secessionist forbears shouldn't really surprise anyone.

Democrats are rediscovering their roots.  States' rights assertions and secession talk, long the domain of disaffected conservatives, are being embraced by today's Democrats.  Donald J. Trump's ascendancy to the presidency is estranging Democrats, they say.  John C. Calhoun might be smiling from his eternal perch.

Attempts to nullify federal law and talk about breaking away states by Democrats may open a Pandora's box.  Pushing for state defiance of Uncle Sam invites red-state conservatives to do likewise in future times, when an Obama clone becomes president and Democrats run Congress – provided, of course, that the U.S. is still intact.  

Californians, in particular, are fueling new norms with their determination to be a sanctuary state.  Declaring a state a safe haven for illegals defies federal laws.  The president has a constitutional and statutory obligation to enforce those laws.  But no matter.  Democrats are making a bold declaration: states' "rights" supersede federal laws.  Red states are taking note.  What's good for California today may be good for Texas down the road.   

California state assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) are pushing legislation (separate bills) to make the Golden State an illegals' sanctuary.  Bonta's legislation, in part, would prohibit state authorities from cooperating with ICE.  State tax money would be used to defend criminals from deportation.  Last year, 11,000 convicts released from California prisons were turned over to ICE for possible deportation.  That cooperation would stop.

George Skelton, a Los Angeles Times political columnist, and no Trump fan, wrote on Thursday that the Bonta and Hueso bills could prove Trump right that "California is out of control." 

Skelton's not bothered about state and local authorities refusing to cooperate with Washington to enforce immigration laws, citing costs as the consideration (as if costs matter to spendthrift California Democrats).  But he does say that if the Bonta or Hueso bill passes, then state funds will go to defying federal law.  It's a move that validates Trump's charge, per Skelton. 

State defiance of federal law is precisely on Bonta's mind.  Again from Skelton:

Bonta issued a statement saying his bill represents "California's values of inclusion, compassion and justice" and is a key weapon in the state's "fight against the reckless and hate-fueled Trump agenda."

Should California become a sanctuary state, President Trump will have no choice but to retaliate, pushing to strip California of federal funds, among other actions.  Congress and federal courts will certainly weigh in; that could muddle executive actions.  But any efforts by California or other states to aid and abet illegals, or outright block federal law enforcement in state jurisdictions, might invite a constitutional crisis.  We'll see what Governor Jerry Brown does if the Bonta or Hueso measure reaches his desk.

There's also been talk of secession among Californians.  Support for secession seems fringe – at the moment.  But modern California is about the fringe becoming mainstream.  Perhaps California will become the Democratic Party's new South Carolina – that's South Carolina circa 1860-61.

In the wake of Trump's election, a group called "Yes California Independence Campaign" began a push for a ballot measure to separate the state from the U.S.  The proposed amendment to the state constitution can be read here.  The instigator of the ballot measure, and the self-described vice president of the "Yes" campaign, Marcus Ruiz Evans, comes off as a crank making big claims.  Or might Evans have caught a tiger by the tail? 

This from an NPR report:

To be eligible for the 2018 ballot, the proponent, Marcus Ruiz Evans, will have to collect 585,407 valid signatures from California voters by July 25.

According to an opinion article Evans recently wrote for the San Jose Mercury News, "almost 7,000 volunteers" will collect the signatures – an extremely difficult task without professional signature gatherers. It's generally believed to cost at least $1.5 million to finance a successful signature-gathering drive of that magnitude. So far, campaign records on file show the Yes California committee has raised no money.

Raising big money, putting together a statewide organization, recruiting thousands of volunteers, and delivering over a half-million signatures by the July 25 deadline is a tall order for a seeming piker like Evans.  But if Evans's campaign captures the fancy of the activist left and the left's rich underwriters in California's tech and entertainment communities, among others, who knows?  Maybe Soros would start stroking checks.  The left is expert at commandeering groups and organizations for its purposes. 

Recall the WikiLeaks exposure of emails between John Podesta and a leftist activist about the need to instigate a "Catholic Spring" – in other words, a leftist putsch inside the Catholic Church.  Communists of yore also did a fine job infiltrating unions.  Ronald Reagan battled that infiltration as head of the Screen Actors Guild.

President Trump's executive actions and legislative initiatives in the coming weeks won't mollify California's progressives.  And say another vacancy occurs soon among the Supreme Court's progressive justices (Ruth Bader Ginsburg goes bye-bye).  Holy hell will break loose among Democrats knowing that Trump will nominate another Neil Gorsuch, giving the Court a decidedly originalist tilt.  How would a development like that stoke California independence schemes?

Over the years, conservative-leaning Californians have attempted to create a new state from red counties.  The "State of Jefferson," it's referred to, includes roughly the northern third of California and often red counties inland.  Suppose California independence gained traction.  There's precedence in allowing pro-union counties to secede from a rebellious state.  The western counties of Virginia did so and were granted statehood by Congress in June 1863.  We know the state now as West Virginia.

California Democrats anxious to divorce the union need to think again.  The U.S. can't permit a new country to form along the Pacific coast (let's say Democrat-dominated coastal Oregon and Washington State joined the secession).  That could pose grave national security concerns to the U.S., as well as potentially limit commercial transit for U.S. shipping from the West Coast to all points in the Pacific.

Let's do a quick "what if."  What if the Republic of California chose to enter into a defense treaty with the People's Republic of China?  Could the U.S. tolerate Chinese warships making ports of call or porting in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco?  Or imagine PRC troops based in the Republic of California.

The environment in the coming weeks and months promises to be fraught with ever more stresses and conflicts.  Trump's yuge American Reset flies in the face of Democrats' worldview, core beliefs, and facile assumptions that the future belongs to them. 

That Democrats have begun channeling their Copperhead and Southern secessionist forbears shouldn't really surprise anyone.

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