During his tenure as president, George Washington visited the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When asked if he would call upon the new chief executive, Governor John Hancock is reputed to have said, “I am the highest ranking public official in the state and he should call on me.” The humble Washington did so.
Today, every time a president visits a state, we are treated to the pathetic scene of the governor and various state and local public officials waiting on the tarmac for the “King” to emerge from his state-of-the-art aircraft. Sadly, the states have willingly become subservient provinces. This is not they way it was intended to be.
In two recent columns, I discussed what I believe to be the emerging and fast growing authoritarian state. To stop this onslaught, I believe it’s time for the states to begin an aggressive pushback, with new laws, defiant actions, and even nullification. And, fortunately, in many states it’s already happening.
A major target is ObamaCare. During the 2012 election, voters in Alabama, Missouri, Montana, and Wyoming passed measures that essentially nullified the insurance mandate of the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a move that would effectively kill it.
Several governors have vowed to ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling that upheld the law, while others have declared that they will simply not comply with its mandates. Many states are refusing to set up the state healthcare exchanges that are required for it to work. So far only 15 states have announced plans to set up the exchanges. This move will force the feds to set up their own exchanges, a daunting task that might slow down the implementation of the law.
In South Carolina, legislators are pushing to nullify the healthcare law and punish any state or federal official who tries to implement it. The bill, called the South Carolina Freedom of Health Care Protection Act, would impose fines and jail time for those seeking to impose the law on South Carolina. Interestingly, the punishment is harsher for federal officials. Legislators in Maine, New Jersey, and Oklahoma plan to do likewise.
The TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) is getting worse by the day. Recently, it was reported that TSA agents fully exposed the breasts of a 17-year-old at the Los Angeles airport during an invasive pat down. She just so happened to be the grand niece of a sitting Texas congressman, so no one is invulnerable.
Last week, a disabled, wheelchair-bound 12-year-old girl, suffering from brittle bone disease, was detained for an hour by the TSA because they detected bomb residue on her hands. The little girl was in tears while her mom was powerless to help her, because parents aren’t allowed to accompany detained children. It turned out to be fertilizer from the family farm.
The treatment of children should cause us the most concern. It has been documented that the TSA has hired sexual predators and even pedophiles to work as agents and supervisors. One agent was arrested for being involved in a prostitution ring, another for possessing child pornography, and a supervisor in Miami had previously been fired from that city’s police force for soliciting an undercover officer for sex. The TSA knew about his past but hired him anyway. He remains on the job.
In addition to sex crimes, countless agents have been arrested for theft, in some cases swiping tens of thousands of dollars in cash and passenger property. It’s nothing more than a gang of thugs. But the TSA is not really about safety; it’s about intimidation and forcing the people into a state of compliance and obedience to federal authority. Private security firms are far better but no longer allowed.
As of now, only the state of Texas has had the gumption to fight back. A new bill pending in the state legislature would make it a felony to touch a passenger’s private areas and to separate children from their parents. An attempt last year by Texas to reign in the TSA was met by FAA threats to blockade all of the state’s airports with F-16s, a gross abuse of power not covered by the main stream media, or in much of the alternative media either.
In 1774, King George III ordered a blockade of Boston Harbor, after the original “tea party,” yet it only increased colonial defiance as other colonies came to the aid of Massachusetts. Let’s hope Governor Perry has to courage to call their bluff this time around and other states will rise to help them. If so, what could Obama do? Nothing. With hundreds of thousands already having signed secession petitions in every state, he would have a full-scale rebellion on his hands if he dared make war on a state, which the Constitution defines as treason in Article 3 Section 3.
There are other actions that states can take to fight back against Washington’s growing power and arrogance. One is the “Sheriffs First Initiative,” which would require any federal law enforcement agency to notify the local sheriff before undertaking any operation within that county, including raids.
Another is called “Bring the Guard Home,” which will allow state governors to reassert control over their own National Guard units, preventing them from being sent overseas to fight in foreign wars, which was not the intended purpose of the state militias.
We need action soon before we have no Republic left. Republicans on the national level have been nothing short of cowards in battling the progressive left, rolling over at every opportunity. But on the state level the GOP has been a fierce fighter, taking on unions and instituting much needed reforms, as well as defy Washington. We should encourage our governors and state legislators to do likewise, or get out of the way.
This column appeared in the Laurel Leader Call (Laurel, MS) on Tuesday, December 18, 2012.