Hmm, I was unaware that we’d fixed the state budget

But apparently the Lieutenant Governor thinks we have money to burn on lawsuits we’re going to lose.

The thing I love and am still most flabbergasted about with this whole states’ rights crap is that it isn’t actually about protecting the liberty of individuals. It’s about wrestling power away from the feds and then giving it to the states.

If this were to transpire somehow, us regular folks would be singing “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” But Ramsey’d be a whole lot more important, which, I suppose, is the point.

20 thoughts on “Hmm, I was unaware that we’d fixed the state budget

  1. Wasting money on frivolous states’ rights grandstanding + refusing to do anything to create or save jobs + insisting on a system of taxation that is dependent upon people having money to spend = the TNGOP idea of state governance.

    Will asserting “states’ rights” mean so much when the state doesn’t have two coins to rub together to do anything?

  2. Samantha,
    You and I may not have two coins left, but Ramsey and the others will have plenty of cash to burn.
    Rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

  3. Pingback: What Is All This States Rights Jazz About Anyway? : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  4. .. isn’t actually about protecting the liberty of individuals. It’s about wrestling power away from the feds and then giving it to the states.

    No, it’s not. It’s about hippie-punching. It’s about pissing off liberals. You know, these assholes didn’t give a shit about states’ rights when Bush Cheney were in power passing the Patriot Act and interfering in the Terri Schiavo case and telling the state of California that their emissions law was too mean to oil companies and the DEA raided medical marijuana growers who were perfectly legal under Colorado law.

    C’mon. It’s just another wackadoodle wedge issue to keep the masses occupied on talk radio while the real deal making goes down in the smoke filled room.

  5. Aunt B.,

    Of course there is that messy little thing called the Constitution which expressly discusses the Rights of the States. I grant that this is a somewhat nebulous concept but if you look at Article I Section 9 you will see that Congressional power is limited. This is reinforced by the 10th Amendment.

    Suggesting that the federal government does not have the authority to force people to buy health insurance may be bad policy but there is a very reasonable case that the Constitution might say that.

    Contrast that with something like ‘separation of Church and State’ which does not appear anywhere in the Constitution but has come to be, for some, an article of Faith, if not of the Constitution, over the last 50 years.

    None of which is to say that ‘States’ Rights’ as envisioned by some of the Framers, much less the segregationists of the 50s and 60s’, is a viable option. The America of 1789 is far different from the America of today. To suggest otherwise is silly.

    But the idea that the absorption of so much power by the federal government is an unmixed blessing is equally silly. For example, why should the federal government get to determine what Tennessee farmers can grow and sell to each other? What business is it of the federal government what rules Tennessee passes for lakes that lie only in the state?

    No reasonable person disagree that issues like civil rights should be federal. No one wants Tennessee to coin its own money.

    But it is hard to make the case that some federal involvement is a good thing to Conservatives when Liberals act like a belief in the Rights of States is equivalent to a klan membership. Think about your response to my snide remark about Stalinists in academia. Now magnify that by a factor of 1000.

    This is another area where we need an adult debate not reflexive nastiness.

  6. Mark, come now. There’s nothing in the Constitution that discusses state or federal rights. States don’t have rights. They have powers.

    People have rights.

    Which I know you know.

    So, ask yourself this. Since you know states don’t have rights, they have powers, and I know states don’t have rights, they have powers, what exactly is the rhetorical strategy for people on your side to invoke “states’ rights”?

    It’s not like it’s any harder to say “I believe in states’ powers.”

    So, why do y’all stick with terminology that has with it all that racist history?

    I’m not asking to be snarky. I’m asking sincerely.

    Because I don’t get it. If it doesn’t reflect Constitutional reality and people mistake you for a crazy racist when you used it, why don’t y’all switch to a more accurate, less loaded term?

  7. ‘States Rights’ is the term used by those who advocate for the exercise of those powers and for efforts to restrict the powers granted to the federal government to their original limits.

    But for the sake of argument, do you then accept the contention that the federal government has overstepped its powers and illegally abridged the Constitutional powers of the State?

    Do you ever think that many of our current problems exist because we have made government too high up and too far away for average people to think that their voices matter?

  8. As for the racist history, that is a fair point. But even if one did talk about state powers and federal powers, unless people like you stand up for the difference, others will still demonize a legitimate Constitutional view.

    Perhaps the Constitution would be more comprehensible if judges didn’t try to write their own personal views into it and left legislating to the legislators.

  9. Samantha,

    That refers to the supremacy of the Constitution, not of whatever laws that Congress might want to make.

    Or do you think that we should only follow the parts of the Constitution that you like?

  10. Mark, I think you’re going to find it to be a tough row to hoe to argue with people who have been historically disenfranchised that the Constitution is not and ought not to be a malleable document.

    Anyway, I don’t believe states have rights, so if I ever thought there was a circumstance worth getting fired up about in which the federal government was overstepping the Constitutional limits of its powers, that’s what I’d call it.

    But I don’t feel it’s necessary to go mopping up after you guys. If y’all say “states rights,” I’m not going to sit here and be all “Oh, but what they really mean is…” That’s on you guys.

    Do I think that the federal government requiring me to buy health insurance is kind of bullshit? Yes. I don’t believe the federal government has the power to tell me that I must purchase something from a private company.

    But I tell you what. I know people who are really, really suffering, who this bill will help, and I’m not going to sit here and say, “Oh, no, we can’t do this because I’m not completely comfortable with it, even though it means you’re going to die.”

    To me, this is analogous to Katrina. You don’t sit around arguing over whose job it is to do what. You save everyone you can and you straighten shit out later.

  11. Article 6, Section 2:
    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.

    do you think that we should only follow the parts of the Constitution that you like?

    Don’t be disingenuous, Mark. Where was the concern when the Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments were being violated left and right by the previous administration? I, for one, have a hard time buying this concern for the constitutionality of federal laws when the right has nothing to say about how the Feds have wiped themselves with the Bill of Rights for much of the last decade. It seems like a convenient cover for suddenly crying “states’ rights!” when a black President enters office.

    Do you ever think that many of our current problems exist because we have made government too high up and too far away for average people to think that their voices matter?

    How is that changed by shifting power from Speaker Pelosi to Speaker Ramsey?

  12. Lt. Gov. Ramsey. That’s what I get for doing this quickly and trying to parallel the person mentioned in the post with the Democratic leader most vilified.

    It’s Friday. I’m not going to argue anymore. Enjoy your weekend, Mark.

  13. Folks who were formerly disenfranchised didn’t receive their franchisement through malleability.

    They got it via the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments. Or in other words, via the prescriptions laid out for amendment in Article V of the actual Constitution itself.

    But remember “maleability” is a two way street. It was the stretching of the original intent of the Fifth Amendment and eminent domain that allowed five liberal justices to say that the govt can take your property and give it to another private citizen via Kelo.

  14. Do tell, Lee. And here I thought the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1965 Voting Rights Act actually had something to do with the actual implementation. As I remember (maybe you’re too young, you sweet thing), when they were forced to open the ballot box to native-born citizens of the US, southern states screamed that their state sovereignty was being VIOLATED by the feds.

    Jesus Christ. It’s as though y’all think everyone’s forgotten about that late unpleasantness. The past isn’t past around here.

  15. I do admit I wasn’t around in ’65. In fact, both my parents were in elementary school at the time.

    And just because a valid Constitutional principle was latched onto by segregationists two generations ago doesn’t mean that said principle is inherently invalid in all situations.

    The past isn’t past around here

    Typical. For a liberal, it’s always “the bad ol days.”

  16. Aunt B.,

    Of course the Constitution is malleable. Some people call that amendments.

    As for the good that can be done in areas like health care, you think mandating people to buy insurance is wrong but you are willing to accept that for the end of greater coverage for people. Does the phrase ” And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide…”


    It is much easier to influence elections at the state level than at the federal. That alone ought to appeal to anyone who thinks more people being involved in elections is a good thing.


    Lee has a point. Sometimes you get to declare Victory and move on. The federal government is far more powerful than the state governments. Nothing will change that. But that may be justification for stepping back and asking if all that federal power is still needed.

    For example, advocates of health care reform have cited the negative impact of employer-provided health insurance. That was supposed to be a temporary measure during WWII. Well WWII has been over for 65 years and they are still around. That is a classic example of a federal usurpation of power that outlived its need.


    The federal budget must be in pretty good shape since we just added a trillion in spending and promised $500 billion in Medicare cuts that aren’t supposed to exist and won’t be imposed anyway.

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