WE MUST BURN THE VILLAGE TO SAVE IT

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (the online version of which, perhaps un-coincidentally, has the most awful, hope-destroying comment sections I've seen anywhere on the internet):

As Gov. Scott Walker contemplates whether to create a state health care exchange under Obamacare, he will have to contend in the coming legislative session with nine lawmakers who have said they back a bill to arrest any federal officials who try to implement the health care law…All nine also told a tea party-aligned group they backed passing so-called "right-to-work" legislation; allowing people to carry guns without having to get permits from the state; allowing people to buy raw, or unpasteurized, milk; and blocking state funding for the federal Real ID law that requires states to develop more secure driver's licenses.

But their stance on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, could cause the most fireworks in the upcoming session. Walker must decide by Friday whether the state will create a health care exchange under the health care law or leave those duties to President Barack Obama's administration.

Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) is one of the nine from Wisconsin who told the Campaign for Liberty he would back legislation to declare Obamacare illegal and allow police to arrest federal officials who take steps to implement it in Wisconsin. He said he believes the health care law is unconstitutional, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that it passes constitutional muster.

"Just because Obama was re-elected does not mean he's above the Constitution," Kapenga said…The other current and newly elected lawmakers said they supported the entire agenda the Campaign for Liberty, according to the group's website.

The Campaign for Liberty and others endorse a notion being promoted by conservatives called nullification that holds that under the 10th Amendment states can ignore federal laws if they choose. The 10th Amendment says: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Sounds like we've got some real experts on the Constitution at work here. Their convenient "interpretation" of the 10th Amendment is well researched, I'm sure, so we can all sit back and let states decide which Federal laws they will enforce. It's amazing that no state has ever thought of this before. Or if they did, it certainly must have gone well.

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51 Responses to “WE MUST BURN THE VILLAGE TO SAVE IT”

  1. Middle Seaman Says:

    Civil war with the uncivilized and, sadly for them, the unarmed. Obama should send the military to take over a deranged Wisconsin. Keith Richard said tonight that he loves American because of the crazies.

  2. Tim Says:

    This is great. I don't think I've laughed this much in a single week for years. And it somehow keeps getting better and better.

  3. J. Dryden Says:

    Oh, Wisconsin–for so many years, you were my favorite. What happened? When did you enter your angry contrarian, Holden-Caulfield phase? Also: has anyone asked *the police* what they think about fringe politicians insinuating that they will be encouraged to put themselves in the path of federal bullets to prevent someone from getting a subsidized flu-shot? I have to imagine there's got to be a whiff of the cop from GHOSTBUSTERS going around the WI precincts tonight: "You do your job, pencil-neck–DON'T tell me how to do mine!"

    Seriously, just…let's recall what happened when Wallace stood in the university doorway. Same thing'll happen here.

  4. T Says:

    Not sure what comments you were reading, but I just quick a quick look the top 15 of them were all bashing the tea party and saying this makes the state look like a bunch of country hicks.

    Some faith in humanity restored.

  5. Jonathan Says:

    "In late February both a Force Bill, authorizing the President to use military forces against South Carolina, and a new negotiated tariff satisfactory to South Carolina were passed by Congress."

    It got them what they want. I'd say it worked like a charm. See? That there's resistance in action. All this petitioning and letter-writing, while occasionally effective in some situations, does not sway a Congress or Administration that has other considerations foremost in mind and which takes your vote for granted (because, between the two-party system, it probably is). Threatening the ability for the Fed to conduct business-as-usual often enough does get results.

    I expect Colorado to take this general tack if the Federales get in the way of recpot — make it well nigh impossible for the DEA or its agents to operate, work with local law enforcement, travel, live, sleep or shit in the state — and the Administration will most likely respond with a smile, a gun and a workable counter-offer. I can't speak to how well this gambit would work in Washington State, as the border is of greater strategic importance to Federal law enforcement than Colorado might be.

    None of this is to suggest that the Teatards in the case at hand are accomplishing anything of significance besides sending a "thinking of you" card to their base and pissing in the wind. This law will simply not be allowed to take effect by TPTB, if only because too much private enterprise is riding on it.

  6. Tom Says:

    I second Ed re: MJS comments section. It's somehow below the level of national political discourse. I usually enjoy baiting as a conversation tactic and it's not even worth it there.

  7. jjack Says:

    Is there an online edition of a local newspaper anywhere in the world where the comments section is not routinely overrun with tinfoil-hat fucktards? I kind of figured they were all the same: the most obvious place to go to find the greatest concentration of dumbfucks any metro area has to offer.

  8. Arslan Says:

    "He said he believes the health care law is unconstitutional, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that it passes constitutional muster."

    I'm pretty sure that the US constitution designates the Supreme Court as having the responsibility and authority to interpret what's constitutional or not, as opposed to members of state legislatures. So the guy wants to violate the constitution in order to save the constitution. Appropriate title for the article then.

    This is a really simple issue for the Federal government though. No more federal funds, no FBI, BATF, DEA, no military protection(looking for a colony, Canada?), no more farm subsidies, no social security, etc.

  9. Xynzee Says:

    @Arslan: as much as the, "Ok, we'll just suck back any and Federal funds, move all military installations out of the state, and not let any military related projects happen in the state, etc" sounds like the best solution. Sadly I think the scotus ruling on the ACA could be used to prevent that. They removed the stick part as you may recall.

    Though I'd love to see how TX fares when the military money goes. Then they'd get a lesson in economic rationalism and cost benefits. Places like San Angelo, c ya'! bye!

  10. Buckyblue Says:

    Wisconsin, like many states it is opined, is just Milwaukee and Msdison surrounded by Alabama. Exurb and rural folks republican, big city slick steers democrats. Walker got caught with his pants down by refusing to create the federally mandated exchanges, betting on the obvious Romney win. Yeah, well, didn't work out so well there did it Scooter. So now they're scrambling to meet the deadline. One good thing for the repugs is they retook the state senate, which dems had taken during all the recalls. They can now go back to being full fledged knuckle draggers again. We had a state assembly troglodyte get on the rape bandwagon by saying that "some girls rape easy". He actually lost last Tuesday.

  11. c u n d gulag Says:

    Also too – there are secession petitions in 25-30 states.

    But if they ever seceded just think of the Blue States problems with Illegal Immigrants – waves of desperate white people from the South, with a horrible, desperate economy in their new country, moving North and willing to take low-paying jobs, taking them away from “The Real Americans.”

    Be careful what you wish for, Sesech States.
    One day, we may call you on it, and then where will you be?

    Btw – as a NYer, can I add my signiture to these states for them to go?

    For instance, can I sign the petition in SC?

    I’d love to see what a country with Jim DeMint as President, and Lindsey Graham as First Lady, looks like.

  12. comrade x Says:

    Buckyblue got it right: the same thing happens in Minnesota. Drive through Minneapolis- Saint Paul and their suburbs during a Presidential Election and you will see lawn signs everywhere supporting the Democrats. Drive a few miles further, into farm country, and it is a sea of signs supporting Republicans and their pet causes ( this despite farming towns being dependent on the Federal subsidies teat ).
    Even in this bluest of states ( MN was the lone holdout for Mondale in 1984 ) there are vast swathes of our rural countryside as rabidly teabaggerist as any Alabama county ( though Southerners are despised by our country folk as backward and practically foreign- irony strikes again ). The only thing that prevents a Walker style putsch is our poor, long suffering Iron Range which supports Democrats more out of habit than anything else.

  13. Dave Dell Says:

    I've been reading a decent history of James Madison. Charles Pierce has a Madison fixation and quotes him extensively in his blog at Esquire magazine. To make a long story short, Jefferson and Madison were the originators of the nullification idea during their fights with Hamilton – mainly over the Alien and Sedition acts. Jefferson even went so far as to suggest to Madison that states might have a right to succeed – Virginia/Kentucky leaving in particular. Madison was able to keep him away from this position. I haven't finished the book but I understand that Madison was later to regret his earlier support for the idea of nullification.

  14. purpleplatypus Says:

    "Looking for a colony, Canada?"

    Heavens, no. That would be rude.

  15. Freeportguy Says:

    Republicans are so lucky: in their paralel universe, THEY get to decide which election results and Supreme Court rulings are valid…

  16. bb in GA Says:

    @Arslan

    "I'm pretty sure that the US constitution designates the Supreme Court as having the responsibility and authority to interpret what's constitutional or not,…"

    Actually no…

    Perhaps perfesser Ed could could expound on the principle of 'Judicial Review' and how the Supremes arrogated that role unto themselves back in the day.

    //bb

  17. Matt Says:

    What's really disturbing about the anti-HCR tentherism is the deeper parallels with the last time – namely, that in both cases wingnuts fought LOUD and HARD to make sure that the least among them kept getting stepped on. WWJD indeed…

  18. Jon Says:

    How do you reconcile this with the liberal (and libertarian) fist pumping given to Colorado and Washington for legalizing pot in direct defiance of Federal law?

  19. Sarah Says:

    Btw – as a NYer, can I add my signiture to these states for them to go?

    For instance, can I sign the petition in SC?

    There's nothing stopping you. People in Nevada, Colorado and Texas are signing the petition for Florida to secede.

  20. bb in GA Says:

    Not that many secessionists read G&T….

    but I would recommend some time on youtube watching the memorials and services honoring our military heroes who recently have given their all.

    I am unhappy with the Federal Monster we currently have to feed.

    However, I think it absolutely incumbent on each of us to move heaven and earth to get it right as best we can before we even think about the ultimate remedy that the Declaration of Independence affords us.

    Typical of the USA – many of us are way too impatient. We need to sweat a whole lot more before we consider bleeding.

    //bb

  21. acer Says:

    @c u n d @Sarah

    I fully support giving the Tea Party five years to turn Alaska into a libertarian wonderland. Let's see how it goes.

  22. grumpygradstudent Says:

    Jon, there's a difference between a state legalizing pot under state law and a state trying to arrest Federal law enforcement officials. There is no Federal requirement for states to use their law enforcement personnel to enforce the Federal Controlled Substances Act. The Federal government is still free to enforce Federal law within the borders of those states (if they want to waste FBI resources on something that stupid and trivial, it's their choice).

    That's a very different scenario than a state trying to ARREST FEDERAL OFFICIALS who are implementing Federal policy.

    If Colorado said, "we will arrest any FBI agents who try to enforce Federal anti-marijuana law," then it would be the same thing. But clearly these are not equivalent issues.

  23. grumpygradstudent Says:

    I guess I should say DEA resources rather than FBI resources.

  24. c u n d gulag Says:

    acer,
    Give Alaske 50 years and it might be a tropical paradise, if we don't start to do something about global warming soon.

    First step to eliminating global warming is for all the people who don't know jack-sh*t about the situation, from blowing hot air about it.
    I'm looking at YOU, FUX Noise and Radio Rushwanda!

  25. Sarah Says:

    I fully support giving the Tea Party five years to turn Alaska into a libertarian wonderland. Let's see how it goes.

    What would be really ironic about that is that they socialized their big natural resource, the oil reserves within Alaska's borders. Every Alaskan is entitled to a check every year, for their share of the state's oil profits.

  26. c u n d gulag Says:

    OY!
    "Alaska," that should be.

    And I think the old gold miners used to spell it with two "ee's," as in, Yeah, ah wen' up thar, but didn't make no fortune in Ol' Alaskee."

    Y kent oui haz "EDIT" pleeze?

  27. Eric Titus Says:

    These are a handful of angry tea partiers trying to hold a whole state hostage (and Wisc did just vote for Obama/Baldwin).

  28. xynzee Says:

    @Jon: Which is why there's some confusion over what the fallout and way forward will be.

    King County (Seattle) DAs are going to stop prosecuting, as under the state law it would be pointless. Spokane will continue business as usual. At this point they're looking at the Fed to see what happens next. Hickenlooper probably gave the most sound advice on not stocking up on the cheetos and goldfish just yet.

    So in addition to needing to utilise Federal officers to conduct arrests and investigations into drug laws, I'm going to punt and say that the local/state level courts would also lose jurisdiction to try these cases. Pushing them up to Federal level courts of some kind. Not necessarily the kind of business the Feds want in their gears.

    More interesting question is do either of these states have outsourced prisons? You know the ones that have minimum occupancy clauses to their agreements. Given that the war on drugs, have been what's been ensuring minimum occupancy, will present a bit of a problem for the states to honor their contracts. Oh well, I'm sure they'll find a way, just as the relevant departments found a way to protect their jobs when Prohibition ended. How did marijuana suddenly become so evil? Follow the money.

  29. anotherbozo Says:

    Too bad we can't combine these right-thinking Wisconsinites with all those petitioners from the South who want to secede from the union. Just the signers, mind, not the states: for a total of somewhere upward of 100,000, all told. Maybe a small plot of land, say, in beautiful downtown Syria, or maybe Sudan, could be carved out for them to govern themselves as they see fit. Or, since those latter are, after all, sovereign nations, battle-torn or not, perhaps a large raft set adrift on the Sargasso Sea.

  30. bb in GA Says:

    @xynzee

    google Henry J Anslinger and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics

    //bb

  31. sluggo Says:

    I wonder what the percentage of petition signers actually voted last week.

    The funny thing is, that if any of these states actually succeeded in seceding, most likely there larger cities/counties (and tax base) would secede from them.

  32. jeneria Says:

    I fled my home state of Montana because I couldn't handle the crazy conservative xenophobes and I ended up in Louisiana. I left Louisiana hoping to escape hypocritical racist anti-intellectuals and wound up in Wisconsin. On paper, Wisconsin should have been a refreshing change. Instead, it's every bit as bigoted and anti-intellectual as Montana and Louisiana.

  33. c u n d gulag Says:

    jeneria,
    Come to NY State!
    But only NY City, and other urban areas and sorrounding suburbs. Our Upstate rural people are just Southerners who can tolerate the cold better.

  34. Southern Beale Says:

    Since we're taking Tentherism, can we stop with the bullshit about state petitions to secede? I swear to God this shit makes me insane. These petitions aren't real. I guarantee you, in a month we'll be reading HuffPo stories about "how the false secession petition meme got started." This is some Tea Party astroturf BS designed to further the idea that Obama's second term is illegitimate, he doesn't have the support of the majority of the people, blah blah. We all know 20% of the country is batshit (I know, it's supposed to be 27% but I really think it's closer to 20%). Get some of those peoples' e-mail addresses and you can make anything look like a big deal.

    We just had a national petition. It was called the election. Time to ignore the crazies. They are trolls on the discourse and paying attention to them just encourages them. I'm concerned for the welfare of this president and our nation.

  35. Andrew Says:

    "Perhaps perfesser Ed could could expound on the principle of 'Judicial Review' and how the Supremes arrogated that role unto themselves back in the day…."

    The principle of judicial review was well-established by the time Marbury came about. No one was going to argue the point that it was up to the judiciary to interpret the law of the land, even then. All that the SCOTUS did was affirm that was, the Constitution as the supreme law of the land is still the law of the land and insofar as it needs interpretation, it remains up to the judiciary to do so.

    They didn't take any power or authority they didn't already have; they just confirmed its existence.

    Think about it – where else could the power to interpret the Constitution lie and still have the protections afforded by it mean anything? If the legislative body gets to say what the Constitution means, then there will never, ever be an Unconstitutional law. If the executive has that power, then you might as well not have a legislative body; they'll only get to do anything if it meets the executive's approval.

    No, I don't think there are any ground – historical, philosophical, and so forth – on which you can honestly argue that the judiciary doesn't properly have the interpretive power and has always had it.

  36. ryan Says:

    As a proud Wisconsinite, I can assure the good people of this Union that we are all Constitutional scholars from birth. Each and every one of us. From the moment we enter wailing (some of us haven't stopped), we are educated on the incredibly complex and excruciatingly subtle nuances of Constitutional Law. 87.3% of us have argued before the Supreme Court. More than half of us have served on the Supreme Court.

    Our Constitutional interpretations usually boil down to two arguments: "nuh-uh" and "so's your old man". Some of our slightly more gifted scholars will close their eyes and jam their fingers in their ears while shouting "la-la-la-la-la-la-la, I can't hear you!" before running into a pole.

    Look into your own hearts and remove the mote from your eye before you mock Wisconsin any further.

  37. bb in GA Says:

    @Andrew

    You're a lawyer right?

    Arslan said that

    "I'm pretty sure that the US constitution designates the Supreme Court as having the responsibility and authority to interpret what's constitutional or not,…"

    I believe everything you wrote as you are much more educated in that area than I, but in lawyer-like fashion, I submit that the Constitution does not 'designate' that the SCOTUS has that responsibility – they inferred it and affirmed it in the manner you described.

    In fewer words – Implicit rather than Explicit.

    //bb

  38. Chicagojon Says:

    @Buckyblue & ComradeX

    Minnesota & Wisconsin aren't that bad…I'm from the true Alabama of the North.

    Using counties as a measurement these were the number of blue:red in the latest election:
    WI: 35:37
    MN: 28:58
    IL: 23: 80
    (note, I'm just counting off of maps so these may be wildly wrong)

    If it wasn't for the 8 counties 0-50 miles from the Mississippi Illinois would literally be Alabama with a European capital dropped in the middle.
    (yes I know that's not literal – I'm using the internet figurative literal here)

  39. mel in oregon Says:

    when a lot of the south tried to break federal law, jfk nationalized the national guard & sent in federal marshalls to stop the potential slaughter of black people. tea party types are just as rascist as people of long ago. unfortunately obama is no jfk, he betrayed all the starry eyed progressives that worked so hard for him in 2008. barack has much better morals than kennedy, but as a leader he fails. he will never stand up & be a man when it comes to the conservative power structure. you can take that to the bank.

  40. John Magnum Says:

    @Andrew

    " If the executive has that power, then you might as well not have a legislative body; they'll only get to do anything if it meets the executive's approval."

    I don't understand why the same argument doesn't apply to the SCOTUS. You might as well not even have a legislative body because they'll only get to do anything if it meets their approval. Is the salient difference that the President has to sign or veto every law that's passed, whereas the SCOTUS only takes on a law if it takes a case with standing related to that law? I don't have a great understanding of what exactly makes it work out.

  41. Major Kong Says:

    It's really simple once you figure out how it works.

    Conservatives get to have it their way, all the time. Period.

    The rest is just a matter of cherry-picking and reinterpreting whichever parts of the law that allow this to happen.

    States rights? Sure, if that's what gets us our way, but we'll gladly let the Feds overrule the states if that's more to our liking.

    The courts rule against us – "Activist judges! Legislating from the bench!" but if they're on our side "Separation of powers – bitches!"

  42. Nate Says:

    @Sarah Yeah, I have a friend from high school who lived there for a few years. I think she gets like $500 or so a year? I know her husband just renewed his driver's license in Alaska so they can keep getting the extra dough. I think they both voted for Romney too, which is really interesting.

  43. BobS Says:

    @Chicagojon

    I need a geography review- all this time I've been thinking Indiana is the Alabama of the North.
    Can Indiana be Mississippi then?

  44. Bernard Says:

    yes, i'd love for the South to secede again. let the Rednecks have their plantations once more. this hatred is so tiring and passe.

    we could get lucky now the Supremes are Right wingers. after all they DO have the final say unless 38 of the States override such "Activits Judges."

    The Right has America right where it wants and this is pure hog heaven for them. A Black Muslim who stole the election, again. perfect set up.

    i'm hoping my home state of Louisiana does the "Chivalrous thing" and all that. lol Such idiots are the making of the next post Weimar. unfortunately, the Right is so clueless as always, full of BS. wouldn't accept the facts if the facts were contrary, like Nate Silver's polls.

    we are so lost in the Right wing dream land, so far down that Rabbit Hole. and of course the "ultimate remedy" as BB calls it, is always there. Such drama, such fantasy.

    Obama reminds me of the incompetent Andrew Johnson who lorded over America, akd while the Children fight doing nothing. while the States fight over who gets to ignore the Federal laws of their own choice. Libertarian la la land. boy, what feral insanity.

    we are making Pre Nazi Germany look like a walk in the part. such easy prey, the middle class, continues to work as their dreams gets stolen in this "Divide and Conquer" kabuki. The middle class needs to thank ST.Reagan and the Republicans for this "gift" of Trickle Down. lol death by Republican water torture/Trickle Down.

    you can bet Washington and Colorado will be crushed under the DEA. Too many blacks going to jail/unable to vote Democratic/ and too many prison/police departments getting DEA funding for the War on Drugs/American Minorities. think of all the Tazers, Tanks, Drones, etc the Police get to "fight" the War on Drugs! Asking them to give this up is MJ is legalized, ever!!!

    i can only hope the lunatics secede. i am so tired of the hate against the "other", though i can't imagine living in Cold Weather in Winter time/the North. hopefully New Orleans will secede too. being mostly Black, you can be sure the rest of the state won't want us or allow Blacks to stay. The Right will finally take back The cities from the Blacks. lol such vitrol and stupidity.

    The Right had better be careful. sooner rather than later, they WILL come for you. You are the perfect foil. just like YOU/the Rigth came for the Left/ the Daddy Party will say, Thanks, now it's your turn.

    just wait and see. you could read History, but that would require.. oh never mind. welcome to America post Reagan.

  45. just me Says:

    @purpleplatypus Says:

    November 14th, 2012 at 8:39 am
    "Looking for a colony, Canada?"

    Heavens, no. That would be rude.

    As much as it distresses me to disagree with your articulate, well-considered reply, I do believe the politically correct response in this case would be: HOLY FUCK NO!!!!

  46. Andrew Says:

    "I don't understand why the same argument doesn't apply to the SCOTUS. You might as well not even have a legislative body because they'll only get to do anything if it meets their approval. Is the salient difference that the President has to sign or veto every law that's passed, whereas the SCOTUS only takes on a law if it takes a case with standing related to that law? I don't have a great understanding of what exactly makes it work out."

    Precisely. The SCOTUS has no ability to choose laws to review; the case has to be brought to them, with standing, before they can rule on a law's constitutionality. This buffer prevents the SCOTUS from obsoleting the legislature.

  47. Andrew Says:

    "I submit that the Constitution does not 'designate' that the SCOTUS has that responsibility – they inferred it and affirmed it in the manner you described."

    Due to the fact that judicial review was already well-known as the mean by which law in interpreted, and the Constitution explicitly establishes a Supreme Court and gives it the highest level of judicial authority in the country, it's not an inference so much as it is an unstated fact.

    Further, remember that the Constitution only created one court. Before the judiciary act, there was only one court in the land, the Supreme Court.

    Basically, we have this logic:

    a) The interpretive power lies solely with the judiciary
    b) The Constitution creates only one supreme court within the judiciary
    c) Therefore, the interpretive power must lie with that one court.

    In other words, the very act of a Constitution creating a Supreme Court includes designating the interpretive power to that Court. The strange thing about Constitutions (and laws in general) is that they can do things without saying a single explicit word about them, mostly because the legal profession works in a world where it's assumed that if a thing is logically required by the existing text, it doesn't need to be explicitly stated itself. Until such time as it needs to be explained to someone, anyway.

    So yes, I think it's fair to say the Constitution designates the interpretive power.

  48. Chicagojon Says:

    @BobS

    Probably too late for this thread but you made a common mistake — see IN may technically be of a relatively northern latitude but that place is the South. My father was raised in Evansville and it may as well have been Evansville, Mississippi.

  49. lless Says:

    Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion; SEE it doesn't say the States so the Tenth Amendment means Wisconsin can require worship of the Mighty Favogg!

  50. ChrisBear Says:

    @bb
    "Typical of the USA

  51. ChrisBear Says:

    To finish:
    @bb
    "Typical of the USA – many of us are way too impatient. We need to sweat a whole lot more before we consider bleeding."

    wisest thing I've seen in comments this week.