Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The ‘Good Ol’ Days’ that weren’t

Express Staff Writer

Every grown man once was a boy who would throw fits during school playground games and threaten to quit the team because he didn't like the rules.

Many of those boys grew up to be politicians in Washington and in state capitals.

Some of them, especially Republican ones, don't like the rules of the game the country has been living by for all these years. They want to set their own rules.

When he's in a grown man's little-boy tantrum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry says maybe the Lone Star state should go it alone and secede from the Union. Like little boys who stomp and scream and turn blue when they don't get their way, Gov. Perry hasn't thought through how Texas would make it as an independent nation—you know, its own currency, security defense, medical programs for citizens, roads and airports operations, etc.

However, there's a less drastic strategy—so they think—for other little-boy grown men in politics who don't like the team rules, and want to pick and choose the ones they like.

It's called "nullification"—the batty theory that says, essentially, states can decide which laws they will honor and which ones they'll reject. This is of the same wacky mumbo-jumbo promoted by tax resisters who insist Americans don't need to pay income taxes because they're illegal, notwithstanding a string of court rulings affirming the tax.

(A new version of this creepy reasoning is that military personnel don't have to follow orders because Commander-in-Chief Barak Obama is a foreigner and not a legitimate president.)

"Nullification" is sweeping across the land, almost entirely in red states dominated by way-out Republicans, such as Idaho, where legislators and Gov. Butch Otter have been reading a textbook on the loony theory and will consider legislation to empower Idaho to ignore certain federal laws.

In a hopeless effort to help them avoid humiliating themselves, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden's office has warned lawmakers and the governor that nullification is unconstitutional, as well as a violation of their oaths to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

In these days when obsessed Republicans are driven by hooey (Obama is a foreigner), fear-mongering (the census will be used to detain Americans) and hallucination (Obama imports Mexicans to vote, then sends them home), Wasden is wasting his time.

Once Capitol reporters ask Idaho lawmakers what federal laws or parts of the Constitution they want to ignore, Idahoans truly will understand what they've wrought with their votes and why Idaho continues to slip behind when looking ahead is required of state politicians.

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