Christmastime myths are traditionally shared by millions of families across America and usually do no harm. There is one popular lore, however, that must be confronted once and for all: many still believe that Washington, D.C. is supposed to be Santa Claus, while the states are its worker elves.
The American system may be one of wonder and magic, but this common construction is just absurd. Or, at least, it would be absurd if not for the reality: the feds are constantly intervening as the welfare-warfare police-state, blindly believed to be a source of relief and generosity.
What has been the response to governors refusing to implement Obamacare exchanges? And to the voters choosing a different marijuana policy? Or to Texans legislating protections from the TSA? How about city councils not complying with NDAA indefinite detention? Calls of treason from the left and right have made the parable into conventional wisdom: resisting the central government is naughty, not nice.
“Stay in that assembled line states, just like good little elves so that Federal Santa can deliver the goods,” say the faithful masses.
Undoubtedly, there is a jolly spirit amongst elves reading childrens’ letters to Santa, even merryness as they are making toys and attending to the upkeep of the reindeer and sleigh. Not so for the people of the states who suffer from trickle down D.C. policies. Those caught under the thumb of federal education laws and regulations like Race to the Top do not feel festive. Believers in a Santa Capitol and 50 elf states world, however, must support HUD property transfers, OSHA compliance, and fishery quotas without regard to a state’s preference. To them, the 10th Amendment is just a shiny ornament – all sparkle, no functionality.
If the people were sovereign, their states would not facilitate the expansion of unconstitutional surveillance from federal agencies. With Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency money ($1.4 billion of it), so-called intelligence is being shared across all law enforcement levels through fusion centers. Your local cop has become Santa’s little helper, a spy, forwarding detailed accounts of ordinary peaceful activities to the feds which are then stored indefinitely, violating privacy and chilling dissent. There are at least 72 of these fusion centers in operation, combining the forces of 20,000 FBI agents and 800,000 local police in surveillance both online and off. This is not what America is supposed to be.
Nationalists clinging to childlike visions of government tell those who would nullify to instead campaign harder next November, or litigate as if the federal government has any reason to limit itself. But carolling to Congress and courts won’t dissuade the District of Columbia from meticulously maneuvering local polities. ‘Tis the season for the “fiscal cliff” after all, and it’s clear to every sane person that D.C.’s spending has done more to threaten the Union than any state action.
Only nullification offers a path to sleighing the federal government, so let Ho Ho Ho time be immediately followed by No No No time in 2013.