I’ve noticed a theme of late with the Obama administration, one that troubles me. We have a couple of governors who’ve noticed that the federal government has side-stepped its responsibilities, so they’ve stepped up to do what is needed to be done — and one of them is getting stepped on for recognizing the necessity.
In Arizona, they’ve suffered for years from the federal government’s staunch refusal to enforce the border. So, finally, they passed their own law requiring state law enforcement officials to enforce federal laws regarding illegal aliens — and they’re being assailed for that by the left, especially the Obama administration.
In Louisiana, they’re trying to keep as much of the spilled oil off their shores as possible. They’ve had quite a few ideas that require federal approval, and Washington has fiddled while Rome burns (so to speak). So, finally, Governor Jindal decided it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission and started ordering barriers set up at sea to keep the oil at bay. It remains to be seen how the federal government will handle this impertinence.
There’s a third governor who’s also making waves, but so far he hasn’t stepped on Washington’s toes. New Jersey’s Chris Christie has vowed to get his state back on solid fiscal standing, no matter how many unions he has to utterly piss off. To this point, he hasn’t run afoul of DC, sticking strictly within the state’s purview, but sooner or later the unions (who already hate Christie with a passion) will call in their allies in the Obama administration and find some excuse to get them in on their fight with Christie (probably through the Department of Labor, but potentially through the Department of Justice — they’ve shown they are quite happy to do Obama’s political bidding).
It’s a fascinating development. On the one side, we have a president who wants to redefine the role of the presidency (and, by extension, the federal government) to suit his own priorities and agenda, by choosing which government bodies have authority in what area, regardless of precedent, existing law, or the Constitution. On the other side, we have some rather boisterous governors who are putting the interests of their state ahead of Obama’s agenda.
Normally, I’d give the advantage to the federal government. Its supremacy has long been established. But, by Obama’s own statements and actions, he doesn’t give a great deal of respect for the underpinnings of that supremacy, which undercuts his arguments. Further, he’s never won a fight against a truly determined opponent — he’s either caved, outmaneuvered, or relied on his allies, backers, and proxies to do the heavy lifting.
We certainly live in interesting times…