What if there were a fourth branch of government that would allow the fans of “Duck Dynasty” to overturn Roe v. Wade, repeal Obamacare and pretty much nullify any federal law or Supreme Court decision they don’t like, based on the support of as little as 12 percent of the nation’s population? ... In tandem, the two blind spots have obscured the story of state-level conservative radicalization throughout the post-Vietnam era... The first [are] extensive state-level networks of Heritage-style free market think tanks (the State Policy Network) and Family Research Council-style social conservative think tanks (the Family Policy Councils). These have been instrumental in nourishing a culture of state-level right-wing activism that goes largely unnoticed by the national media... The second [are] ideas... presented as libertarian... “Since 2010, state legislators have introduced nearly 200 bills... challenging federal laws that they deem unconstitutional,” including anti-gun control bills in at least 38 states, and anti-Obamacare laws in at least 20 states. Such activism even “extends beyond the 50 state legislatures, spreading to county and local governments, including about 500 county sheriffs who have affirmed their commitment to ‘saying “no” to Obama gun control.’” Of course, nullification is unconstitutional. The text of Article VI is crystal clear... The stark disconnect between textual reality and the “constitutional” rhetoric of today’s Tea Party-era conservatism could hardly be clearer.Yes, the Republican Party is now dependent on the desperate "energy" of a dying, shrinking Base of elderly rural straight white males who can be enjoined by fear-mongering and resentment-peddling into voting against their own best interests to support incumbent elites and is casting about for magical ways to prevail over swelling majorities in a diversiyfing, secularizing, planetizing American reality. They are failing and they will utterly fail. And they are drawing on neo-confederate intellectual resources that, at their most respectable, were invalidated by the chaotic dysfunction of the pre-constitutional Articles of Confederation period or, at their least respectable, were invalidated by the catastrophic slaughter of the American Civil War. These bad ideas have failed and they appeal to few and fewer anyway. We just need to make sure that in failing the failures don't get in the way of our successes, especially since climate change and resource descent are not operating on the timetable dictated by our usual incremental reformism and we need to be successful, like yesterday, to have a hope of being equal to our planetary problems.
Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Last-Ditch Neo-Confederate Republican Nullification Strategies
Paul Rosenberg invites you to Meet the 12-Percent Solution in today's Salon: