Thursday, March 17, 2005

More Fair-Weather Federalism

The only thing more lifeless than Terry Schiavo at this point is the conservative commitment to "federalism" and "state's rights." Once again, a well-structure state legal process creates an outcome some right wingers don't like, so they set out to, literally, make a federal case out of it. Only a few years ago the Supreme Court refused to read a "right to die" in the Constitution, partly to leave the development of the law in that area to the states. But when the states get it "wrong" (as in Schiavo's case or Oregon's assisted suicide law), the GOP rushes to create a national fix. Bush and his handlers like to talk a lot about "principles," but their actions when their principles really get sticky show that they are just another set of political talking points.

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