Buy Rob Bishop a new gray uniform?

This article (click) in the LA Times puts an interesting historical light on Rep. Rob Bishop’s proposal to give the states the right to nullify rulings of the federal government.

Bishop’s proposal is grounded in his belief that the federal government — of which he is a part — has too much power. Rather than work within the government to fix that or, as the article suggests, gain a legislative majority in Congress and then cut federal power, he wants to go back to attempts that other states did in the early 19th Century, attempts that were discredited then and ought to be discredited now.

Interestingly, the GOP has only been on this “The federal government has too much power” kick since the Democrats won a majority in Congress. For the six years that they were in the majority during the Bush administration they seemed to be just fine with the state of federal power, even expanding it massively with the so-called Patriot Act.

The Utah State Constitution says that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. For Utah to think  it has power to override the federal government is asking for some real historical and constitutional trouble.

It’s interesting that Rob, a former History teacher, doesn’t know the fate of similar attempts such as his in the past, nor the potential trouble if they should succeed.

Such as? Well, you’d think he’d have at least heard of the Civil War.

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2 Responses to Buy Rob Bishop a new gray uniform?

  1. Bob Becker says:

    Have to wonder what Bishop taught his students the proper name for all that unpleasantness in 1860-65 was — “The War of Northern Aggression” perhaps?

    Interesting thing is, while Bishop is happily embracing John C. Calhoun’s and secessionists’ doctrine of nullification, Bishop constantly brays his patriotism and reverence for the Constitution he’s undermining. But then, that’s hardly surprising. Bishop also insists he’s a fiscal conservative while at the same time ranking number 2 among all members of the House in arranging pork barrel earmarks of federal funds for his district.

  2. Doug Gibson says:

    It’s an interesting column but comparing it to the Senate filibuster as a minority tool seems odd. Is the author assuming that only smaller populated states would be interested in the amendment? Is he assuming that there is a current and future hostility between Utah and California? Or are Utah and Vermont suddenly allies? Certainly those states I mention differ in political views, but I don’t think the regional or population differences apply nationwide. If that were to be true, it would seem far more likely that a 1/3 plus 1 coalition of more liberal states would find it easier to prevail. Having said that, I think there are better alternatives than the Bishop amendment to rein in spending. If we do cut spending to even 2008 levels, it will require bipartisanship.

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