“… states’ rights, states’ rights, states’ rights …” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, April 15, 2009
When I proposed up here at the buildup to the war on Iraq that if the United States no longer wanted to be part of the U.N. then New England should send its own representative, it brought a kindly note from John Kenneth Galbraith, who thought it “wonderfully to the good.” America’s greatest ambassador since Franklin, George Kennan, like Galbraith, almost into his hundreds, proposed New England secession. “We are a monster country,” he wrote, and proposed decentralizing the U.S. into a dozen constituent republics. Harvard’s pastor, the Rev. Peter Gomes, proposed a new Hartford Convention like the one during the War of 1812.
Possibly Emerson’s anthem and manifesto of New England self-reliance is beginning to sink in. Martha Coakley, Massachusetts attorney general, following Emerson’s order to “go alone,” takes initiative on her state’s behalf. From the Massachusetts Real Estate Law blog: “Breaking away from the proposed 50 state attorney general settlement talks, Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley has filed a monumental consumer protection lawsuit over wrongful foreclosures against the top 5 U.S. lenders, Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial.”
The Democrats hate Wall Street and the Republicans hate Washington, D.C. As George Will wrote this week, Rick Perry doesn’t like either very much. Which in my opinion makes him the man for our times. New England is a place. Texas is a place. Let them think for themselves. Take the training wheels off.
The timing of Coakley’s action seems a manifestation of Occupy; moving from the amorphous to the actual. That is, moving from rest to an awakening. I propose Coakley take it further and run for governor on this; Governor of New England.
And California Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, a Democrat from Sylmar, for governor of California. He is gathering signatures for a ballot initiative for what he calls the California Opportunity and Prosperity Act, in which hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants living in California could work without the threat of deportation. But this could be a job for Arnold Schwarzenegger, no? He seems at loose ends. (“I’ll be back!”)
California is falling apart because it is a free state that, like Tibet, must answer to power thousands of miles away. Companies and capital are fleeing to the hinterland. A major India journal recently suggested that if the U.S. wanted to jumpstart the economy it should bring in several million East Asians, Chinese, South Koreans and others thereabouts to start a new economic cycle. As New England brought in Irish workers in the 1830s and later. It gave New England a hundred years. California should be able to make its own judgments on this.
Arizona’s immigration issues last year brought a legal prelude. Not a lawyer, but as I understood it, Arizona was not within its constitutional rights to make decisions on immigration. Nor is California. Fuentes knows that. So it is a constitutional issue: Does California have the right to override federal legislation by state referendum? No, the real question is, should it?
A question for Judge Andrew Napolitano.