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And the Articles of this confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the union shall be perpetual...
November 30, 2010 2:04 PM   Subscribe

“It’s time to return America to the common sense conservative principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual responsibility. The Repeal Amendment would provide a check on the ever-expanding federal government, protect against Congressional overreach, and get the government working for the people again, not the other way around. In order to return America to opportunity, responsibility, and success, we must reverse course and the Repeal Amendment is a step in that direction.” —incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), on a proposed amendment allowing a 2/3 vote by the state governments to overturn any federal law or regulation. posted by kipmanley (134 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm so glad we can now address this pox on our House, having solved all the other problems our nation is facing.
posted by yiftach at 2:09 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Constitution is a living document.
I mean the Constitution is holy scripture.
I mean the Constitution is like Wikipedia.
I mean the Constitution is like this big unchanging rock, maaaaan.
I mean the Constitution is like just this guy, y'know...

etc etc
posted by tittergrrl at 2:09 PM on November 30, 2010 [9 favorites]


Wouldn't that slog down the legislative process further? How do you limit government by involving more people? And how is it that state legislature is so much more honest and "for the people" than politicians at the federal level?
posted by filthy light thief at 2:11 PM on November 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


And if the state governments vote against the Repeal Amendment... *head asplode*
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:11 PM on November 30, 2010 [14 favorites]


The South will rise again!
posted by pianomover at 2:12 PM on November 30, 2010 [12 favorites]


Wouldn't that slog down the legislative process further?

No because the only point is to be able to repeal this year's Health Care Reform. After that it won't come up again.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:14 PM on November 30, 2010 [21 favorites]


That's actually a really interesting idea. It's a check and balance on the Federal government as a whole. They can't PASS laws, but they can UNPASS them.

I'll have to think about it for a good long while, but it might be an excellent way to do an end-run around our very, very corrupt House and Senate when they're trying to do something unusually awful, like the bank bailouts.
posted by Malor at 2:14 PM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Let's see how quickly this lasts if a state decides to repeal the drug laws.
posted by Maias at 2:14 PM on November 30, 2010 [24 favorites]


So Mr. Cantor, et al. won't have a problem if CA's legislature votes to decriminalize pot and New England allows gay marriage?
posted by MikeKD at 2:14 PM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


States' rights, bro. Same as it ever was, there are more "conservative" states, but the "progressive" states are much more populous.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:15 PM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh, but one problem that immediately comes to mind -- it would be very easy to get into a California situation, where the states repeal taxes, but don't repeal the services those taxes are supposed to pay for.
posted by Malor at 2:16 PM on November 30, 2010 [16 favorites]


So the South is finally rising again?
posted by Joe Beese at 2:16 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'd wager It's cheaper to buy State legislators that Federal congress members.
posted by edgeways at 2:17 PM on November 30, 2010 [12 favorites]


The people most vocal about preserving the integrity of the Constitution are also the quickest to suggest amendments.

Hokay.

There is no Tea Party with a cohesive agenda. There are only knuckleheads.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:17 PM on November 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


In related news, Idaho has agreed to split into seventy-nine different states.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:17 PM on November 30, 2010 [16 favorites]


Hopefully this will slow down the breakneck pace at which congress is currently operating.
posted by snofoam at 2:17 PM on November 30, 2010 [21 favorites]


MikeKD, Maias, and others - It takes 2/3 of all 50 US states voting to repeal something for it to work. Not 2/3 of one state's legislature.
posted by mrgoldenbrown at 2:18 PM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is not a good idea.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 2:19 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]



MikeKD, Maias, and others - It takes 2/3 of all 50 US states voting to repeal something for it to work.


Doesn't that give even more power to the small states?
posted by drezdn at 2:20 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is no Tea Party with a cohesive agenda. There are only knuckleheads.

Unfortunately, there is no _________ Party with a cohesive agenda. There are only knuckleheads.

Fill in the blank at your leisure.
posted by chavenet at 2:20 PM on November 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


It takes 2/3 of all 50 US states voting to repeal something for it to work.

Somebody crunch the numbers on the percentage of the US total population living in the smallest 2/3rds of the States because I'm too lazy to. I'm pretty sure it comes to less than 50% of the US population though.
posted by GuyZero at 2:21 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


So then every federal law that gets passed has an amendment saying that if the law gets repealed all the states above the Mason-Dixon line gets their various funding sources reduced, or some other end-around the end-around.

Best part of that is that the very process necessary to pass this is the one they are trying to avoid in the first place.
posted by Leth at 2:21 PM on November 30, 2010


I'd wager It's cheaper to buy State legislators that Federal congress members.

But you'd have to buy 34 states' legislators.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:21 PM on November 30, 2010


States as such already have representation in the US Senate, this "reform" would create, in effect, a "super-senate" heavily weighted towards sparsely-populated (and conservative) states.

Basically it would add yet another layer of conservatism to our already stultified government. What's shocking to me is how blatant a
power grab it is. They might as well propose making a fourth branch of government made up entirely of soldiers and land owners. It would have the same effect.
posted by Avenger at 2:22 PM on November 30, 2010 [31 favorites]


Eric Cantor hates America.
posted by crunchland at 2:23 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is kind of dumb. It seems to me that if you can get 2/3rds of the state legislatures to agree on something then you can get 218 representatives and 51 senators. Shoot, even if the President vetoed any given repeal bill, 2/3rds of the Senate is sufficient to overcome that veto. So I don't really see this as some kind of magic solution to any problems.

And of course this would disproportionately put power in the hands of the low-population states.
posted by jedicus at 2:24 PM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Everyone saying this is good for repealing anti-drug laws or gay marriage bans are misreading the proposed change here. You would need 2/3 of all states to repeal a federal law. So unless California can find 33 other states to join it in repealing--no dice. On the other hand, getting 34 states together to repeal the new healthcare bill seems possible. Since there are more red states than blue, this will essentially give conservatives a permanent avenue to veto federal laws regardless of who controls the White House, Senate, or Congress.
posted by reformedjerk at 2:24 PM on November 30, 2010 [16 favorites]


And btw I'd kind of would like to know what fucking mythical la la land Cantor s actually talking about when he says "It’s time to return America to the common sense conservative principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual responsibility"

When exactly is he talking about? The last 40 years have never seen a limited government Republican administration, perhaps longer, but that is my life span and I have never seen an American Government whatever party is in power be for limited government. And isn't "individual responsibility' and "get(ting) the government working for the people again" a little contradictory? isn't "getting the government working for the people again" just a bit ... socialist?

If Cantor is serious about this crap I expect to see him bring up laws decriminalizing drugs, reducing the Defense Budget dramatically, abolish the TSA, full repeal of PATRIOT Act, equal protection under the law for all citizens...

but it's all lip serving masturbating
posted by edgeways at 2:28 PM on November 30, 2010 [21 favorites]


Somebody crunch the numbers on the percentage of the US total population living in the smallest 2/3rds of the States because I'm too lazy to. I'm pretty sure it comes to less than 50% of the US population though.

You are correct in your assessment. The top 16 states compose 60+ percent of the population.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:29 PM on November 30, 2010 [9 favorites]


It's not Congressional overreach I'm worried about. As a matter of principle, I tend to worry about the imperial Presidency. I dislike this proposal for many of the reasons mentioned above, but to the extent that Congress has abdicated its roles and responsibilities (see: declaring war), I'm not sure that this measure would even serve the proposed purpose of checking federal excess.

(Not that I'm under the illusion that this is anything but a "let's override liberal shit we don't like", but still.)
posted by immlass at 2:29 PM on November 30, 2010


Is there room for me in Canada? After Sarah Palin gets elected and this stupid shit becomes the subject of serious discussion, I might have to bail. On second thought, maybe I'll go somewhere warm like the DR and smoke cigars in the sunshine...
posted by fixedgear at 2:29 PM on November 30, 2010


crunchland: Eric Cantor hates America.

Interesting twist on the article titled "Cantor Told Netanyahu That GOP 'Will Serve As A Check' On Obama." Serving as a check on Obama was the main talking point for most Republicans running in this last election.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:30 PM on November 30, 2010


Malor: “That's actually a really interesting idea. It's a check and balance on the Federal government as a whole. They can't PASS laws, but they can UNPASS them. I'll have to think about it for a good long while, but it might be an excellent way to do an end-run around our very, very corrupt House and Senate when they're trying to do something unusually awful, like the bank bailouts.”

If the House and Senate are that corrupt (and that capable of destruction) then adding a veto power for the states won't help. And this is something that's likely to cause damage in a lot of situations.

This country has always been extraordinarily contentious – the cost of having a democratic republic, I guess – but it is absolutely essential that we agree on certain things as a society and resolve to uphold them as law. I appreciate that there are a few things in our constitution which could use reforming – not least among them electoral procedures – but the balance of Federalism is not one of them. There are things that we really, really have to come together as a nation and decide to do, and a strong federal government allows us to do that. pianomover's snide remark about the south rising again is nonetheless astute; one need only consider what history might have been like if such a veto power had been included in the constitution from the beginning: there would have been no civil rights act, there might still be slavery, &c. There are already enough balances to make sure that the federal power isn't misused. If the powers that be are getting around those balances, it's time to scrap the whole thing altogether.
posted by koeselitz at 2:31 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


You are correct in your assessment. The top 16 states compose 60+ percent of the population.

Specifically it's 68.7% to 31.3%. And those 34 smallest states are overwhelmingly Republican-majority states.
posted by jedicus at 2:32 PM on November 30, 2010 [11 favorites]


So would that mean you'd be allowed to stop giving the red states money?
posted by Artw at 2:33 PM on November 30, 2010


But you'd have to buy 34 states' legislators.

Nah... just 51% of the legislators of those States sitting on the fence, which some election cycles could be just a handful at most.
posted by edgeways at 2:33 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Colleagues,

In these challenging and uncertain times there is only one thing we can depend on, change. We can either ride the wave’s crest or be swallowed by the storm. That is why I would like to present to you the future of our great union. I call it First13 or F13 for short. Under this new initiative the united state will right-size to the original 13 colonies. We have made some create friends along our journey of nationhood but we must make some tough choices. Retraining and counseling services will be made available to all those states who are not able to continue on our journey.

Best of luck with all your future endeavours,
posted by Ad hominem at 2:33 PM on November 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


Didn't Eric Cantor pledge allegiance to Israel over the U.S? Am I thinking of someone else? In any case, it seems a little, I dunno, weird, to have State Legislatures all up in Federal business.
posted by boo_radley at 2:35 PM on November 30, 2010


shakespeherian : the only point is to be able to repeal this year's Health Care Reform. After that it won't come up again.

Unless a Democrat tried to wield it in the future after the Republican regain power, and then it goes from being a "check on the ever-expanding federal government" to an "attempted subversion of the principles of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers; quite frankly un-American behavior that borders on treasonous." or some other ridiculous talking point.

Still, I'd love to see it pass only to be used against the beloved drug war and things like the Department of Corrections funding. That would make me laugh till my sides hurt.
posted by quin at 2:36 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


They might as well propose making a fourth branch of government made up entirely of soldiers and land owners. It would have the same effect.

Ahem. I think you meant white, male soldiers and land owners.

Full Disclosure: I am a white male. Eric Cantor is still an idiot.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:37 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


So the South is finally rising again?

gotta watch the news more, dude.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:42 PM on November 30, 2010


But the Electoral College -- that's stays, right?
posted by mosk at 2:44 PM on November 30, 2010


I'd wager It's cheaper to buy State legislators that Federal congress members.

But you'd have to buy 34 states' legislators.


Nope, shakespeherian; you'd only need to buy the swing votes. As always.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:46 PM on November 30, 2010


"that stays." Grrrr...lousy, no good fingers...
posted by mosk at 2:46 PM on November 30, 2010


I think there's a case from the left for returning some power to the states; but this may very well be the worst idea I've ever heard. It essentially creates a fourth branch of the federal government, expanding everything that makes said government dysfunctional without solving anything at all.

But I suppose, of course, that that's the point.
posted by steambadger at 2:46 PM on November 30, 2010


Somebody crunch the numbers on the percentage of the US total population living in the smallest 2/3rds of the States because I'm too lazy to. I'm pretty sure it comes to less than 50% of the US population though.

That's exactly what I came in here to say. The red/blue state divide is really an urban/rural divide. The importance of conservative states would be way out of proportion compared to their population. 30% of the population should not be allowed to dictate what happens in this country, and that's exactly what would happen if this passed.
posted by Tooty McTootsalot at 2:46 PM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hey, Cantor, I'd like to be individually responsible for the recreational substances I consume. I'd like to be individually responsible for the gender of the person I choose to marry. I'd like women to be individually responsible for their own reproductive systems. Are those the "common sense principles" you're talking about?
posted by Zozo at 2:51 PM on November 30, 2010 [19 favorites]


I kinda like this idea. It could put a useful curb on federal overreach. Power being spread around and decentralized can be a good thing. Looking over the past (and I may be wrong on this) none of the big game changing laws would have been repealed by this like the civil rights act. But it could be a very useful tool-for both sides of the political isle-in removing stupid, outdated, and harmful laws. Like the drug laws, like the patriot act and so on. And i am inclined to believe that if you can get 2/3 of the state legislatures to vote repeal it then it probably needs repealing. The original purpose of the senate-to be the voice of the states in the federal government-was largely defused when the senators became popularly elected instead of appointed by the state legislators (or governers). I think this was the 17th amendment but it really doesn't matter which amendment it was.

The more local the government the more accountable it is. I bet that most of you could get a few minutes of one on one time with either your local city representative or county rep and probably your state rep, just try to do that with a federal representative. A lot of people feel that the federal government is too isolated from the life of the average american and this is one of the feelings that have given rise to the Tea party. Such an amendment to the constitution would to a long way to defusing this while still being a huge hurdle to cross.

A huge problem we have in this country is the overwhelming number of laws on the books-and putting something in place that could help remove them would be a good thing.

In addition I see this removing power from the executive branch as well as congress. The executive branch can not enforce laws that don't exist.
posted by bartonlong at 2:53 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


States as such already have representation in the US Senate, this "reform" would create, in effect, a "super-senate" heavily weighted towards sparsely-populated (and conservative) states.

I'll point out that, even at the height of Republican power during the Bush2 years, Democrats in Congress still represented a larger portion of the U.S. population than Republicans (at least, IIRC).

Also, I would only support this amendment if it was accompanied by another mandating that every American receive a decent education. But no politician at the national level would ever support such a thing.
posted by coolguymichael at 2:53 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I propose we return to the conservative values that made this nation great and revoke Indiana's statehood.
posted by klangklangston at 2:55 PM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


30% of the population should not be allowed to dictate what happens in this country, and that's exactly what would happen if this passed.

Hey now! 30% representation is way, WAY more democratic than the less than 1%* representation we're getting now.

---------------
*Bankers, Oilmen and Media Moguls.
posted by notyou at 2:56 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


But it could be a very useful tool-for both sides of the political isle-in removing stupid, outdated, and harmful laws.

Yeah, it's a great idea. We should really set up some kind of house of representatives of states who meet in order to legislate, or something like that.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:56 PM on November 30, 2010 [13 favorites]


Doesn't that give even more power to the small states?

That's exactly why they want to do it.

I doubt they expect anything like this to actually pass, but it'll serve as an excellent thing to shout about on TV and put the dems on the defensive: it sounds like a very reasonable idea when presented in soundbite form, and it's hard to refute without talking about population statistics (and thereby causing two thirds of the television audience to tune you out completely.)
posted by ook at 2:56 PM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


30% of the population should not be allowed to dictate what happens in this country, and that's exactly what would happen if this passed.

Nah, actually it's more like 8%. You only need a majority of legislators in the 34 smallest states, not every legislator; and each legislator needs only a majority of voters in his district to be elected (less if there's a significant third-party candidate). So it's more like half of half of 31.3% of the population (~7.8%) being able to dictate what happens in this country.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:57 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


How about this for a law: require legislators pass grade-school level math classes before they can be sworn in.

Because no one with a basic grasp on math would propose such a ridiculous system as this and the budget might even get balanced.
posted by GuyZero at 2:59 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by mrstrotsky at 2:59 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that the US Senate was created with exactly this same purpose in mind. And I also was under the impression that it actually manages to do that job (hobbling the federal government) more than well enough...
posted by Skeptic at 2:59 PM on November 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


political isle

That's the best idea I've heard all year: put all the politicians on an island and let global warming and rising sea levels do the rest
posted by ook at 3:01 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Uh this is being floated in VA, FOR VA not as some nationwide amendment to the U.S. constitution but for the VA constitution. Kind of a day dream "opt out" policy.

They can "opt out" of federal funds too as far as I'm concerned.
posted by Max Power at 3:02 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


At my in-laws house last week I was introduced to the National Review, which I found while in the bathroom, which seemed apt. There was an article that pretty much said repealing the 17th amendment would give power back to the people. By returning the election of U.S. senators to state legislatures rather than the people you are giving power back to them. I thought it was a joke, like The Onion or something, but apparently not.
posted by Big_B at 3:03 PM on November 30, 2010


also, how the fuck is this conservative, by any definition?

This is a radical attack on the structure of our US Government, and should be branded as such.
posted by mrstrotsky at 3:04 PM on November 30, 2010 [10 favorites]


This is a radical attack on the structure of our US Government... posted by mrstrotsky

eponysterical.
posted by GuyZero at 3:05 PM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


I love all the commentary, here and elsewhere, that posits some magical era when legislators "did their jobs" in a bi-partisan, non-rancorous, genteel manner. We see this same naivete in occasional calls to move to some sort of a parlimentary system. Whenever someone doesn't like the current or recent lawmaking situation they call for "reform" of the system. (yawn)
posted by twsf at 3:07 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, this would have been an interesting amendment during reconstruction, huh?

How long do you think Title 26 (Internal Revenue Code) would stick around under this proposal?
posted by mrstrotsky at 3:08 PM on November 30, 2010


This is Nullification. I thought Andrew Jackson had straightened this out in the 1830s.
posted by rdone at 3:10 PM on November 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


Probably should have linked the Wikipedia article on Article V conventions in the main body of the post. Highlights: two-thirds of the states would have to submit applications for such a convention for it to be called; such a convention would probably not be limited to merely considering the proposed amendment(s) submitted, but no one knows because it's never gotten that far; Congress usually preëmpts attempts that appear to be succeeding by passing laws or amendments of its own; we've only come close twice since 1969; there's probably been over 700 such applications to Congress, the majority in the 20th century; every state but Hawaii has submitted at least one. (Max Power: Howell wants Virginia to submit such an application; eight other states though I can't find citations are said to be considering same. So it's not a Virginia-only deal.)

Also for some reason I'm reminded of the government proposed in Moon is a Harsh Mistress, with a bicameral legislature where one house could pass laws but only with a two-thirds majority, while the other met to consider any such laws passed and could with a one-third minority repeal any of them.
posted by kipmanley at 3:10 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Uh this is being floated in VA, FOR VA not as some nationwide amendment to the U.S. constitution but for the VA constitution. Kind of a day dream "opt out" policy.

No, it's not. Virginia is trying to use a less popular method of amending the US Constitution by which 2/3 of state legislatures call for a convention on a proposed amendment. The idea isn't just to pass this in Virginia, but to encourage other states to do the same.
posted by naoko at 3:11 PM on November 30, 2010


A better idea would be just to kill the Senate. I could get behind that. (Or what Skeptic said ...)
posted by mrgrimm at 3:13 PM on November 30, 2010


The big issue with this proposal is that both houses in state governments are gerrymandered, where in the national legislature, it's just the house. If they tied it with some restrictions on redistricting, it might work.
posted by verdeyen at 3:14 PM on November 30, 2010


Well back when there was no crime, and everyone left their doors unlocked, around the time when men were men and men delivered milk to your door and kids could go trick-or-treating without getting apples full or razor blades, before there was the pc thought police and women knew their place, legislators did their jobs.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:14 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Shifting power from the ineffectual bigwigs in the federal government to ineffectual bigwigs in state governments seems pointless. I favor an amendment that gives the power to create and repeal federal laws with a 2/3 vote by student council members of the high schools of the US.

Of course, I do acknowledge that this change in governance may lead to a massive increase in spending for homecoming dances.
posted by snofoam at 3:15 PM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oops misread on my part but still this is going nowhere...

"Howell plans to kick off the repeal amendment push by bringing a bill calling for a Constitutional Convention to the floor of the Virginia legislature this January. If he can get 2/3 of the states to go along with calling for a Constitutonal Convention, then that would trigger one of the two amendment processes under Article Five of the Constitution."

From TPM, when was the last constitutional convention?

1787? 1867? My google is failing me.
posted by Max Power at 3:18 PM on November 30, 2010


I mean the Constitution is like this big unchanging rock, maaaaan.

You rock, rock.
posted by naoko at 3:18 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Heh, mrstrotsky: from the TPM article: "The pair [Howell and Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett] say the plan is a response to the federal overreach created by 'two 'progressive' constitutional amendments adopted in 1913'--the 16th Amendment creating a federal income tax and the 17th Amendment allowing for the direct election of U.S. Senators, which were previously appointed by state legislatures."
posted by kipmanley at 3:18 PM on November 30, 2010


Of course it's going nowhere - Eric Cantor knows that, he's just being a dick. As usual.
posted by naoko at 3:19 PM on November 30, 2010


I'm starting to think that maybe splitting the country up into a dozen or so smaller nations might not be such a horrible thing. Maybe we're just too big--our species, after all, has spent almost its entire existence living in groups of a few dozen at most. Maybe it's just impossible for three hundred million of us to come to a useful consensus about anything. Why not spin off Alaska, Hawaii, California and Texas as sovereign countries, rebrand the South as Jesusland, watch New England flourish under the rule of Kucinich I, let the mountain west and plains form the glorious libertarian utopia of Ronpaulistan, and so on?
posted by EarBucket at 3:20 PM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


So, if your elected congressmen and senators aren't doing your job for you, you ask your elected state officials to do their job for them.

Basically, this is like imposing a second senate vote, except each state has one vote instead of two. There's a reason why we have two congressional houses, one that takes into account population, and one that takes into account mere statehood. There is no need to add another layer of congress that, again, takes into account mere statehood.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:24 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Taken to extremes, this seems like a surefire way to split the country right in half. On the west and east coasts, you'd have legalized drugs, single payer health care, higher taxes of the wealthy, and increased infrastructure spending. In the midwest and south (especially the south), you'd have outlawed abortion, mandatory prayer in school, regular pogroms against Muslims and attacks on mosques, homosexuality would be punishable by jailtime, etc.

In essence, you'd create The United States of Canada and Jesusland. Probably not a good thing for the United States of America.
posted by zardoz at 3:26 PM on November 30, 2010


Ecotopia
posted by crunchland at 3:28 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait, is this the comic books and the law thread? Because Cantor really sounds like the Ultimate Nullifier.
posted by Bromius at 3:28 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


All this does is give lobbyists more power to buy government. If they can't buy what they want in Washington, they can just buy it at the state level. If that doesn't work they'll start making it so that mayors and school boards can vote down federal laws and regulations they don't like.

Why don't we just make it all out in the open and let churches and corporations veto any bill.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:29 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I propose we return to the conservative values that made this nation great and revoke Indiana's statehood.
posted by klangklangston at 5:55 PM on November 30 [+] [!] No other comments.


I was gonna say Wyoming. Nobody lives there anyway. And we coulda saved ourselves a lotta trouble if we'd just thought of it, oh, a decade ago...
posted by toodleydoodley at 3:30 PM on November 30, 2010


Specifically it's 68.7% to 31.3%. And those 34 smallest states are overwhelmingly Republican-majority states.

I'm curious where those 34 smallest states sit in the ranking of (taxes in vs taxes out) ratios.
posted by inigo2 at 3:30 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Taken to extremes, this seems like a surefire way to split the country right in half. --- It worked for Israel, so it's got to work here, right? It's all well and good until the ethnic cleansing starts.
posted by crunchland at 3:35 PM on November 30, 2010


On the west and east coasts, you'd have legalized drugs, single payer health care, higher taxes of the wealthy, and increased infrastructure spending. In the midwest and south (especially the south), you'd have outlawed abortion, mandatory prayer in school, regular pogroms against Muslims and attacks on mosques, homosexuality would be punishable by jailtime, etc.

This is not how it works.

posted by naoko at 3:35 PM on November 30, 2010


I dunno, naoko: in the current political climate, getting 34 state legislatures to submit an application for such a convention to congress? With Fox and the Koch bros. potentially pushing the issue and running interference for it? I wouldn't bet money against at this point, but I am a notorious pessimist who worries too much so there's that. —Congress would probably do the smart thing and kick the can as far down the street as it could with a repeal amendment of its own to try and suck the wind out of their sails (civics recap: Congress can propose an amendment with two-thirds in both houses, and then pass it to the states with a deadline, usually seven years; three-fourths of the state legislatures must ratify it within that time frame for it to get pasted onto the end of our living constitution)—but that's a terribly self-defeating thing for them to do even hoping it would fail.

I dunno what the goal is, beyond MAKE ME MORE MONEY. But I bet they'd be much happier with an actual convention and not just a repeal amendment. —For those values of THEY what might apply in this consideration.
posted by kipmanley at 3:40 PM on November 30, 2010


Sure, just redraw the map so that the states are all about the same population. The federalism argument really suffers for its main proponent: the south. Absent federal intervention they'd still have Jim Crow (or slavery) and an economy about parallel to Mexico.

The senate currently is supposed to be a vastly more moderate body by virtue of representing larger constituencies. It only vaguely represents the "interests of the states", which is an odd concept to start since the states are a mostly arbitrary fiction. I've never seen why the spatial correlation of support for a law should be an important consideration. Contrary to the widely made claim that local government operates better, it seems to be full of the corrupt and stupid here in IL, getting worse the more local it is (maybe Cook County is worse than the city, hard to determine). The size of the political unit is arbitrary: why not make it 2/3 of counties? States today are vastly larger in population and more diverse than in the founder's day; perhaps we need to break them up to achieve that federalism mojo I'm missing.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 3:41 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Conservatives gonna con.
posted by Decani at 3:44 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


The federalism argument really suffers for its main proponent: the south. Absent federal intervention they'd still have Jim Crow (or slavery) and an economy about parallel to Mexico.

Hey, that'd mean less immigrants! Win win!
posted by Artw at 3:46 PM on November 30, 2010


Kipmanley, I guess it's not totally impossible, but I really think Cantor is just trying to make a statement that proves what big government types the Dems are more than he's actually thinking this is going to happen.

Meanwhile in other Republican horrors today: Steve King being Steve King, only more so that usual
posted by naoko at 3:46 PM on November 30, 2010


than usual. Argh.
posted by naoko at 3:47 PM on November 30, 2010


Eric Cantor: "It’s time to return America to the common sense conservative principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual responsibility."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

No, wait, no, let me catch my breath. I'm all right

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:48 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is a good one! Here's another: no Congressman from a state that receives more than 125% of the federal money it contributes gets to introduce, sponsor, or debate a tax cut measure.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:50 PM on November 30, 2010 [18 favorites]


Hey, that'd mean less immigrants! Win win!

Hey, woah, I don't want any Texans coming to my city looking for work. (NOT TEXAN-IST)
posted by entropicamericana at 3:54 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


crunchland: "Taken to extremes, this seems like a surefire way to split the country right in half. --- It worked for Israel, so it's got to work here, right? It's all well and good until the ethnic cleansing starts"

Excuse me? You're not trying to turn this thread into that, are you? Seriously, WTF? Ethnic cleansing?

Also, earlier:

boo_radley: "Didn't Eric Cantor pledge allegiance to Israel over the U.S?"

What? Are you referring to that meeting with Netanyahu story that the aforementioned crunchland linked to? Because this has nothing to do with allegiance/Cantor being Jewish/etc. Cantor is an obstructionist prick who will do and say anything to contradict and destroy everything Obama & the Democrats try to build.
posted by yiftach at 3:58 PM on November 30, 2010


150 years later, VA is still fighting the Civil War, I see.
posted by QIbHom at 4:00 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


In essence, you'd create The United States of Canada and Jesusland. Probably not a good thing for the United States of America.
So Iowa, one of only a handfull of states with legal gay marriage gets lumped into 'Jesusland'. Great.

Also you guys remember Carl Paladino? Obviously he didn't win but he still got a lot of votes. Or the Mosque protests in NYC? New Yorkers need to stop lecturing the country about their supposedly superior liberalness. I think it's pretty clearly been disproven.

Also this proposal is quite stupid.

That said, I'm not entirely sure returning senators to state appointment is a bad idea. It seems like they spend a lot more time worrying about their campaign donations then they do their states. And local appointment would create a house of congress with no concern at all over campaign contributions (which would be fantastic)

I mean does anyone think the Senate, in it's current formation is doing anyone any good?
posted by delmoi at 4:02 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's what we are going to do. Based on 2008 election results, we have about 5M spare voters just in California and New York. With a simple resettlement we can easily take Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming, with enough left over to fortify across the board.

Your turn, GOP.
posted by ivancho at 4:02 PM on November 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


What? Are you referring to that meeting with Netanyahu story that the aforementioned crunchland linked to? Because this has nothing to do with allegiance/Cantor being Jewish/etc.
Cantor said he would supprt Netanyahu over Obama.
posted by delmoi at 4:03 PM on November 30, 2010


rdone got it right, welcome back Nullification Crisis! Interesting, the background section of the page sounds super familiar.
posted by cgk at 4:04 PM on November 30, 2010


Wow, Eric Cantor and his ilk are such tools. They want to reduce government by making it more cumbersome because, according to them, they themselves cannot be trusted to do their jobs.

Reminds of me of that saying: "Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected to prove it."
posted by Schwartz_User at 4:06 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


welcome back Nullification Crisis!

me: must be that thing in the uk where scotland has its own parliament or whatever

Events leading to the US Civil War

fuuuuckkk
posted by synaesthetichaze at 4:18 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


delmoi: " Cantor said he would supprt Netanyahu over Obama."

Setting aside the issue of whether what he said even means anything (seeing as this administration's Israel policies do not significantly differ from the previous three or four or eight presidents'), allow me to repeat and paraphrase myself:

He said this because he's an obstructionist, grandstanding asshole who's preening to his party's base, not because he's supposedly more loyal to Israel than to the US.

So he (what? singlehandedly?) would "block" Obama (who, what, has superhuman/superlegistlative powers and can enact not only domestic policy against the will of the people but also impose policies on foreign countries that are against that country's interests?). And only Eric Cantor has the power to stop him?

Really?
posted by yiftach at 4:33 PM on November 30, 2010


FPTroll
posted by Fupped Duck at 4:36 PM on November 30, 2010


As a Virginian, I've had plenty of opportunity to watch this asshat perform.

My take: He's a media whore. He relishes being smug and obstinate. He is waaaaay into presenting the Republicans as a brand - talking points and solidarity above all. He is an authoritarian and a punk.

He is would have made an excellent brownshirt.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:42 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


If Cantor didn't stand for things I find unholy and otherwise wretched, I'd find him a little inspiring. Kind of like watching a mentally ill person wander through crowded car traffic, haranguing each car he passes.

My secret thought upon watching such spectacles is damn. think of how crazy I could be and still exist in society.
posted by angrycat at 5:08 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This States vs. 'Big Government' thing is really getting old.

The Democrats should start pushing the line that federal taxes fund the military, that the federal government is the military. If you hate taxation, and hate the federal government, you hate the troops.
posted by jet_manifesto at 5:18 PM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


welcome back Nullification Crisis!

And just in time for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Bless our hearts, we Americans think we can learn from history!
posted by dw at 5:28 PM on November 30, 2010


Looking over the past (and I may be wrong on this) none of the big game changing laws would have been repealed by this like the civil rights act.

Actually, I think those would have been among the first to go, along with the voting rights act and most federal labor protections. The big fights over federalism in the last century have been over civil rights (including abortion) and labor laws. That isn't the whole of the conflict -- administrative agencies like the EPA and FDA are points of contention -- but without those conflicts, modern federalist complaints lose a lot of steam.
posted by Marty Marx at 5:57 PM on November 30, 2010


That said, I'm not entirely sure returning senators to state appointment is a bad idea. It seems like they spend a lot more time worrying about their campaign donations then they do their states. And local appointment would create a house of congress with no concern at all over campaign contributions (which would be fantastic)

I mean does anyone think the Senate, in it's current formation is doing anyone any good?


Why not get rid of it, then? What does it do that the House can't handle, except create obstacles? We only have a bicameral legislature because we got the idea from England and because some of the founding fathers didn't want the elected rabble to have all the power, which is why the Senate was appointment only and why we got the Electoral College. To keep the rabble from getting out of hand.

Get rid of both, keep the House, and get the fuck away from repealing my right to vote and own my own body, two things that would be the first to go under this proposed nonsense.
posted by emjaybee at 6:40 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Steve King being Steve King, only more so than usual

"Figure this out, Madame Speaker: We have a very, very urban Senator, Barack Obama, who has decided he's going to run for president . . ."

*slow clap*

Well played, sir. Well played.
posted by EarBucket at 6:49 PM on November 30, 2010


United We Stand?
E Pluribus Unum?
posted by pashdown at 7:18 PM on November 30, 2010


get the fuck away from repealing my right to vote

Huh? You mean, like, they'd repeal suffrage or something? Women are a majority of the population. There's no way they'd get 2/3 of the states on board.
posted by Malor at 7:43 PM on November 30, 2010


This Amendment won't happen. That's not to say that the suggestion of the Amendment isn't worth comment. Cantor just broke ground for one of the grand Republican projects of the next few years: the consolidation of 2010's gains in governors' seats and state legislatures into lasting national control.

Before the election, the Democrats had 26 governors to the GOP's 24, 27 solid state legislatures to 14. Now the Republicans have 29 governors to the Democrats' 20, 26 legislatures to 17; in 21 states, they own both the legislature and the governor's mansion.

What happened is that the politics of the moment handed the Republicans a disproportionate amount of state power relative to history, national demographics, and the U.S. Congress. What the Republicans want the country to believe is that they rightly claimed a wholly appropriate amount of state power, and, if anything, it's Congress that's out of balance.

That's the idea that Cantor's introducing through the Repeal Amendment: "the Federal government should take its lead from the states." The debate over the Amendment will dissipate after a couple of news cycles, but it will leave that concept as residue. If enough talking heads and show Conservatives take up the message, then it will start to take hold.

And when the time comes for redistricting, and the Republicans gerrymander the living fuck out of every state in their control, then the prevailing attitude will be one of calm acceptance. It's proper that the Federal government take its lead from the states.
posted by Iridic at 7:56 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


If Cantor didn't stand for things I find unholy and otherwise wretched, I'd find him a little inspiring. Kind of like watching a mentally ill person wander through crowded car traffic, haranguing each car he passes.

My secret thought upon watching such spectacles is damn. think of how crazy I could be and still exist in society.


Think about this: That lovable crazy person you're describing is, as a result of the midterm elections, now third in line in the order of succession for the office of the Presidency, next in line behind the vice president.

One poorly timed plane crash, and we'll be looking at President Cantor tomorrow.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:17 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's one of those things that seems so outlandish that it must be nothing but a Michael Bay film and then you think waaaait a minute
posted by angrycat at 8:30 PM on November 30, 2010


Cantor’s the incoming House Majority Leader. Boehner’s the Speaker, and third in line.
posted by kipmanley at 8:34 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


saulgoodman, I think the President and Vice President never fly on the same plane for precisely that reason. Well, not to prevent Cantor from taking power, but to prevent excessive disruption to the government.
posted by Malor at 8:35 PM on November 30, 2010


Cantor’s the incoming House Majority Leader. Boehner’s the Speaker, and third in line.

Dear God. That means that President Boner could actually happen.
posted by Malor at 8:37 PM on November 30, 2010


As if I didn't have enough reasons to be ashamed to live in Virginia.
posted by kafziel at 8:58 PM on November 30, 2010


Serving as a check on Obama was the main talking point for most Republicans running in this last election.

No. Making sure that Obama is a failed, humiliated one-term president was the main talking point for most Republicans running in this last election. There's a difference.
posted by blucevalo at 9:26 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


No, Cantor is the speaker of the house, third in line. Boehner is the incoming senate majority leader.

And there are still people around here who wonder how we got here.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:33 PM on November 30, 2010


Damn. It's my fault we're going to hell in a handbasket. You're right, kipmanley. Boehner's a rep, too. Thought he was in the senate. I gotta stop posting while I work. Not that President Boehner's any less frightening.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:37 PM on November 30, 2010


I thought you'd written that Cantor was a senator in your comment. I did know that much wasn't right.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:38 PM on November 30, 2010


Do the conservatives even take rational positions anymore? Like, seriously, I haven't heard of a single measure, movement, or opposition to a measure or movement come out of the conservative in years that doesn't just fall apart under the slightest bit of scrutiny, except maybe the opposition to the bank bailout, and even that was on pretty shaky ground.
posted by tehloki at 9:40 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Damn--and I somehow put Boehner in the senate, too. Gak.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:42 PM on November 30, 2010


Meanwhile, in other Boehner/Cantor news:

Bowing to pressure from top Republicans John Boehner and Eric Cantor, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery has removed artwork containing a 4-minute video showing ants crawling on a crucifix, CNS News reports. Cantor had demanded the artwork be "pulled," calling it "an outrageous use of taxpayer money and an obvious attempt to offend Christians during the Christmas season."

Boehner's spokesman added that the Smithsonian must either "correct it, or be prepared to face tough scrutiny beginning in January." The museum's director said the 1987 work is not sacrilegious and was meant to show the suffering of an AIDS victim. "It was not the museum’s intention to offend. We are removing the video today.”


It's 1989 all over again! Cue up "Like a Prayer"!
posted by blucevalo at 9:52 PM on November 30, 2010


sounds like Cantor has an ant issue. If I were Ant Queen, I'd start with:
1) A handful of ants
then move up to
2) A suitcase of ants
and then
3) A truckful of ants.

All delivered to his office with the catchphrase: YO CANTOR YOU ANT HERE'S YOUR ANTS
posted by angrycat at 4:31 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, Cantor is the speaker of the house, third in line. John Boehner is the incoming senate majority leader. --- I see you already corrected yourself, but for the record, Eric Cantor will be the House Majority Leader in the 112th Congress. And Boehner is going to be the next Speaker of the House. Harry Reid will still be Senate Majority Leader and Mitch McConnell will still be the Senate Minority Leader. (Note: All of these posts are technically presumed, since they still have to be voted in when the new congress convenes, but their success is virtually assured.)

Eric Cantor has pretty much no chance of becoming President due to death or assassination, but after January 3, 2011, John Boehner will be third in line, should disaster befall the President and Vice-President.
posted by crunchland at 4:46 AM on December 1, 2010


So Iowa, one of only a handfull of states with legal gay marriage gets lumped into 'Jesusland'. Great.

Also you guys remember Carl Paladino? Obviously he didn't win but he still got a lot of votes. Or the Mosque protests in NYC? New Yorkers need to stop lecturing the country about their supposedly superior liberalness. I think it's pretty clearly been disproven.


Iowa legalized gay marriage through a state supreme court decision, not popular vote. All three state supreme court justices up for re-election were just voted out of office in a "historic upset," following a campaign against them specifically because of the ruling: "The people of Iowa stood up in record numbers and sent a message ... that it is 'We the people,' not 'We the courts.' "

So your example undercuts your point.

Yeah, I get frustrated with NYC arrogance and provincialism and I've lived here for 20 years. And you can certainly make a case that "supposedly superior liberalness" is actually not all that. But declaring that said liberalism just doesn't exist? That's taking reflexive contrarianism a bit too far.
posted by dogrose at 6:36 AM on December 1, 2010


California
Connecticut
Delaware
Hawaii
Illinois
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
New Jersey
New York
Oregon
Rhode Island
Vermont
Washington
Wisconsin

16 reliably blue states, by my count.

Colorado
Florida
Iowa
Michigan
Missouri
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Mexico
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Virginia

11 more swing states, by my count.

You can quibble with my categorization, but at present there's still a significantly large bloc of blue states that the Republicans being able to use this to pull any serious shit is hard to imagine... unless overly-timid Democrats in those blue or swing states cave to Republican talking points out of fear... so actually maybe it's not that hard to imagine after all.

I knew memorizing that song that's just the names of all 50 states in alphabetical order in 4th grade would come in handy some day!
posted by notswedish at 6:41 AM on December 1, 2010


notswedish...You really can't correlate how a state votes en masse in a federal election, with how their legislatures are liable to vote. Because of the way state legislative districts are drawn, it's very possible for a state to elect a Democrat for President (and, thus, be characterized as "blue") and still have an overwhelmingly conservative state legislature. The Republicans understand this and, I believe, this accounts for their sudden interest in handing certain decisions (including the appointment of Senators) back to the state bodies. It's a way to better ensure conservative goals.

And 2011 is a redistricting year. And guess which party just made huge gains in legislatures across the nation?
posted by Thorzdad at 6:56 AM on December 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm curious where those 34 smallest states sit in the ranking of (taxes in vs taxes out) ratios.

For the most part, they are the same states. Exceptions are the rich eastern tiny states.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/266.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population
posted by gjc at 7:04 AM on December 1, 2010


I am practicing saying "Oh no please don't" convincingly for when the red states say they want to secede.
posted by Legomancer at 9:44 AM on December 1, 2010


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