‘Armed revolution’? A century of states’ rights ahead

“States rights’, states’ rights, states’ rights!” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, April 16, 2009, at The Alamo

A Zen history or anthropology of current times can be drawn on events that have occurred in the past three years that will undoubtedly change our American world, possibly for a century or two.

Three historic events have occurred, and one was iconic: Speaker Nancy Pelosi in October 2009, shouting, her face contorted in disbelief, at a reporter when asked if there were any constitutional problems with ObamaCare. "Are you serious?” she replied. The idea had never, possibly in decades, dawned on her or her Congress. But just before, in February 2009, New Hampshire state Rep. Dan Itse proposed that New Hampshire need not participate in ObamaCare, citing Thomas Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolutions. Twenty-nine states followed, held fast and brought their case to the Supreme Court. Nowhere in the past century did states bloc together so convincingly. The third came this week when President Obama used his “bully pulpit” to endorse same-sex marriage. Thirty states had already brought pre-emptive legislation in opposition. This time the states were ahead of history.

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The states that approve of same-sex marriage are either in the upper top right corner of the country (the very old Europeanish states) or the far left (their playground). The vast center (the newer states; some, like those in Comanche territory, very new) is universally united in opposition to same-sex marriage, and it is these same states that oppose ObamaCare. We can see formed by now what might be called the Three Americas, the artsy west edge, the grungy, post-industrial, Northeast which seems and feels now like all the people with money have moved to Singapore, then the middle. How closely this resembles an ancient pattern of Rome on one corner, artsy Athens in a far corner. And Gaul rising between the two in the center. As I recall from seminary school, the Gauls were the bravest of the three.

The American millennium arises within these parameters. America begins again in the middle and possibly what we have seen these past 236 years is only prelude to the real deal. We face a Jacksonian era just ahead and like the last one, it will not be for the timid. But whoever can take and hold Montana can take it.

I proposed here Friday that if Obama wants to be president for a second term — and it is not at all clear that he does — he might look for a running mate from the heartland. He might look to Montana’s Gov. Brian Schweitzer in particular. The most clever of Democratic advisers, Steve Jarding and Dave “Mudcat” Saunders, who call the Republicans who have risen in the heartland since Reagan “foxes in the henhouse,” have written most presciently that if the Democrats don't look to the country, they will lose everything.

By 2016 it might be too late. It might already be too late. Having lived in the Appalachian hills around Wytheville and Popular Camp, it seems a tad hysterical, but this week Tim Kaine, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee who is now running for Senate in Virginia, sent out two emails warning of “armed revolution” by the hill people of Virginia who live virtually in Thomas Jefferson’s backyard.