Day By Day

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wretchard's Prediction

Wretchard [Richard Fernandez] expanding on observations by Charles Krauthammer, has an interesting take on the aftermath of the upcoming election. If, as many expect, the Republicans gain control of at least one house of Congress, the only way Obama can continue to put his reforms in place is through the federal bureaucracy. This sets up an interesting situation:
Democrats will advance their agenda on Obamacare, financial reform and energy by means of administrative regulation, such as carbon-emission limits imposed unilaterally by the Environmental Protection Agency.”  That will be the main card for 2011 and what a humdinger it will be. If a conservative Congress attempts to cut back on the agencies, the giant bureaucracy will be fighting for its life. In that capacity it will be formidable. In zero-sum game against the President and the agencies, Congress may be the political underdog without allies.

Where will it find them? The only plausible allies that Congress can line up behind it are the States. The States are the other separate power in the Federal structure. Their stake in the outcome is as great as anyone else’s.  At some point in an all-in political conflict, especially when money and authority is concerned,  the several states are likely to play a part in proceedings.  It is unlikely they will watch completely passively from the sidelines. With Washington in a meltdown and a divided capital struggling in unparalleled acrimony, there’s a possibility the states will be drawn in, perhaps through Interstate Compacts, or simply through political persuasion. What will they do about Obamacare, financial reform and carbon emissions?

What may occur after the Tea Party breaks over the capital is not that the wave will dissipate, but that the impetus will return to to the States and spread downwards from there. 
Read it here.
Some degree of conflict between federal mandates, largely unfunded, and State governments is inevitable. State governments simply cannot afford to comply with many federal dictates. And the response by Democrats and the MSM to State insubordination is equally inevitable. They will invoke the mid-twentieth century struggle for civil rights and howl "RAAAAACISM". But that tactic has lost much of its sting and is unlikely to be very persuasive. For half a century and more we have seen a continual trend toward concentration of power in the federal government and in the non-elective elements of that government [the bureaucracy and the courts]. Perhaps in the coming struggle that tendency can be halted, or even reversed, and that, to quote a famous criminal mastermind [Martha Stewart], would be "a good thing".

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