Rick Perry 1, Obama 0

"States' rights, states’ rights, states’ rights!" — Rick Perry, governor of Texas, at the first Tea Party event on April 15, 2009.

To put it simply, the most astonishing thing that has happened these past two years is that the states have suddenly seen, as if through a glass darkly, that they do not have to do what the federal government tells them to do.

Consider the consequences. The idea seemed incomprehensible when it was first presented up here in northern New England five years ago. And backwoods governors up here, like Vermont’s Peter Shumlin today, saw themselves exclusively as pharaoh’s agent. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) truly shocked comment when she was told she couldn’t do just anything she wanted was, “Are you serious? Are you serious?” Today, the Supreme Court faces state sovereignty challenges which promise to shake the nation.

If the U.S. Supreme Court upholds U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s ruling allowing gay marriage in California after the state had clearly indicated its collective will in opposition in a referendum, it will bring an existential situation to California. Advocates welcome the Obama administration's announcement that it will no longer defend the federal law denying recognition to gay married couples as validation of their plan to get the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the gay marriage issue. But today such a ruling would suggest to Californians that their plight via Washington is no better than that of Tibet, dominated by alien and arbitrary rule by foreigners thousands of miles away.

Thirty-seven states at first imitated challenges to ObamaCare and the Obama bailouts when the Tea Party arose as a movement during the first rallies on April 15, 2009. The lower court’s rulings since have been clearly politicized. These states, many of which are in proximity to one another, will not now accept a Supreme Court ruling in opposition to their view and will see the federal government reaching into realms where it has no right to be. A Supreme Court ruling on the states challenge to ObamaCare could open to a legitimate revolutionary situation.

So the president has backed down. “Obama backtracks on health mandate, wants opt-out from start,” reads The Hill headline. “President Obama backed a significant change to the healthcare reform law for the first time Monday, supporting a plan that could delay implementation of the unpopular mandate to buy insurance.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Obama’s change of position “makes the case” that Republicans have made against the entire law.

Rick Perry 1, Obama 0.