Sunday, May 19, 2013

Oh Shaddup Already

Trey Smith

Rep. Steve King is a Republican Congressman from Iowa. On his website, under the issues tab, there is a statement called "Upholding the Constitution." As part of this statement, he writes,
I believe that our great Founding Fathers implicitly understood the threat posed to individual liberties by a large and intrusive federal government. One of the ways the Founding Fathers sought to limit the power of the federal government was by reserving powers to the individual states, and to the people themselves. I am a firm believer in states' rights, which is why I am a proud member of the Tenth Amendment Caucus, which focuses on restoring the critical balance between the powers of the states and those of the federal government. (emphasis mine)
After reading his declaration, you might be a wee bit surprised by the following news item.
On Wednesday, May 15, an amendment to the House version of the Farm Bill, inserted under the guise of protecting interstate commerce, passed out of the House Agricultural Committee. If the King Amendment makes it into the final Farm Bill, it would take away states’ rights to pass laws governing the production or manufacture of any agricultural product, including food and animals raised for food, that is involved in interstate commerce. The amendment was proposed by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), largely in response to a California law stating that by 2015, California will allow only eggs to be sold from hens housed in cages specified by California. But policy analysts emphasize that the amendment, broadly and ambiguously written, could be used to prohibit or preempt any state GMO labeling or food safety law. (again, emphasis mine)
You see, conservatives care immensely about states' rights...except when they don't! For example, they don't want the federal government to legalize same-sex marriage. THAT should be left to individual states to decide. But when it comes to doing the bidding of Corporate America, that's completely different. All of a sudden, they have no qualms about "a large and intrusive federal government."

This isn't some anomaly either. The states' rights argument almost always is red herring. They want America to be shaped to their ideology. When the federal government makes decisions they don't favor, then they become "champions" of states' rights. When states make decisions they don't favor, then they become "champions" of federal decision-making.

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