At a Tea Party rally in Richmond last week, Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell (pronounced Mc DONN-el) and Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli (pronounced KOOK-inelli) took turns regaling the crowd with anti-Washington rhetoric, McDonnell going so far as to endorse a constitutional amendment that would allow states to nullify federal laws. Throughout the rally, much chatter about “taking our country back.”
I have two questions: First, back to what? Obviously McDonnell has in mind the Articles of Confederation; which leads to Question Two: What is it about the way state governments operate that makes Tea Partiers think they’ll be better off if power passes from Congress to the 50 state legislatures?
I remember reading, as a wide-eyed young political animal, a column by Westbrook Pegler (a conservative no less), who wrote after a visit to the state capital in Baton Rouge, “Louisiana law prohibits the operation of a house of prostitution within two miles of its state university but obviously exempts its legislature from the meaning of the act.”
That was back in the 1940s, but at last report nothing much has changed in Baton Rouge. Do the Tea Party nullifiers honestly believe things are any different in capitals like Albany, Annapolis, Richmond, or any of the other 50? If so, I’d suggest they check the tea they’ve been drinking for cannabis content.