Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | June 02, 2003

Debunking the GOP on 'state rights'

Thematically, this weblog has consistently attempted to debunk misconceptions about the Republican Party -- e.g. it is the "party of fiscal responsibility", or "party of personal liberty".

The truth is often quite the opposite of the accepted CW.

Much the same way, the GOP's claims that it supports "state rights" is also a joke. Such support arises only when it's ideologically convenient. When the Republicans control DC, well then, state rights are a fanciful dream.

Witness Ashcroft's aggressive assaults on California's (voter approved) marijuana clinics, or Oregon's assisted suicide law. Thus, on social issues, it's clear that the GOP gives "state rights" no quarter.

Nor, as Nathan Newman points out, on business issues:

The most recent example is a California law that prohibits companies receiving state funds from diverting that money to fund anti-union campaigns; they can use their private funds to do so, but they can't use public money. Seems eminently reasonable for the state to prevent misue of such funds, but a federal court has declared that the law is preempted by federal labor law.

Now, the National Labor Relations Board has jumped in, with its three Republican appointees voting to file a legal brief on the appeal opposing the California law -- the Democrats took the pro-states rights and pro-labor position of not doing so.

There's definitely no surprise here. But it does provide further evidence that the "state rights" label does not fit the GOP.

It's true, the Democrats are generally no defenders of state rights, but they never claim to be. There should be a certain sense of virtue to political honesty.

The GOP fails miserably on this score.

Posted June 02, 2003 12:32 PM | Comments (19)


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