Tuesday, September 13, 2005

NPR Declares US Constitution A "Legal Technicality"

Yesterday I commented on the NPR report that ascribed "rights" to the Federal government and suggested that the difference can be found in the Constitution and the Federalist papers.Today I understand why the NPR was confused. They apparently consider the Constitution to be merely a "legal technicality."

In the report the political fallout of Hurricane Katrina, Storms Shake Presidential Agenda, the reporter, Don Gonyea, mentions that DHS Director Chertoff "pointed to local officials and legal technicalities" in a statement regarding the Federal response. The report then includes an excerpt of Chertoff's statement where he refers to the Constitution and the limits of federal powers, saying "...part of this is because our Constitutional system really places primary authority within each state with the Governor..."

This is a "legal technicality?" I am disappointed but not surprised that reporters, reporters ostensibly covering stories about government, could be so ignorant about the federal government's basic structure. The Constitution limits the power of the federal government.

Granted, the application of the commerce clause has been expanded so that it seems at times that there are no real limits, but let me ask this...Do you really want to give the Federal government the power to displace our state and local governments? Do you want some Washington or regional bureaucrat to tell the state governor "step aside, we're in charge now."

I have some confidence in my state and local officials. Not alot, but some. If they are overwhelmed, I expect them to request assistance. So I wonder, are you asking for the Feds to decide when an event, maybe completely contained within a single state, is beyond the state's ability to deal with it? Do you really want the Feds to decide that? As long as you consider the US Constitution a mere legal technicality, that's where you're taking us.

Power is easy to give up, but hard to get back. Especially when it goes to Washington. They have professionals there who deal in serious power. They know not just how to keep it, but how to spread it around Washington. Never back to the states. Maybe our local bubbas sometimes get it wrong, but if they relenquish power to Washington, they'll never get another chance to get it right.

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