States lose big this week
The Tenth Amendment reads:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
See anything in the Constitution about defining marriage? See anything there about being forced to establish a health insurance exchange?
Those are two items of state determination that fell by the wayside last week.
First, states, according to the bill as written, had the option of participation in the Affordable Care Act by deciding whether or not to establish a “state exchange,” thus qualifying the citizens of that state for federal subsidies.
Second, the 16 states that did not honor same-sex marriage are now instructed by the federal government to do so.
Finally, the third blow to States and in another vein, we had it driven home that the War between the States was never, ever about “states’ rights.” It was only about slavery, damn it!
Disregard the testimony of those who fought and died for the South who declared that their motivation was “states’ rights.” Disregard that there actually was a Confederate general named States Rights Gist from South Carolina. (Must have been a mistake.) Disregard that Jefferson Davis’s February 1861 inaugural speech, prior to any bloodshed or shots fired, provided a litany of states’ rights concerns and constitutional issues yet never mentioned slavery.
Disregard that Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas did not secede with the Deep South states, states that did indeed declare their concern over slavery issues, but were pushed to secession by Lincoln’s call to those states to make war on the Deep South.
And disregard Lincoln saying he had no right to interfere in slavery where it already existed (First Inaugural). And finally, disregard the Johnson Crittenden Resolution, passed by Congress after the war began, which explicitly said the recent conflict was not about slavery. Forget that.
Confederate general Patrick Cleburne saw the rewriting of history coming. His prescient comment was this.
Surrender means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the War; will be impressed by all the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit subjects for derision.
Flags were lowered, banners dropped, and history began to be forgotten as the politically correct politicians protected their positions at the expense of the Southern states’ heritage.
Yes, it was a bad week for the states. From control over federal health insurance programs to gay marriage to heritage preservation. And the absurdity that a branch of the federal government (judicial) can measure and determine the power of that same federal government over the states becomes brutally evident.
Is there no remedy or recourse for the states? For our federal system is established with a balance between the two, but the one has the perpetual upper hand, at least since 1865. Ever since the federal income tax, a system in which the people of the states send money to the federal government, then elect politicians to beg for it back, the threat of cutting off those monies returning to the states is the big federal stick inhibiting states’ resistance to federal power. Nullification becomes a tack with remote chances of success, sadly.