‘30 Republican governors’: Mike Pence’s manifesto

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States and their governors acting together, or sympathetic states acting in parallel or in competition, is not a brand new idea. It was well articulated in Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2010 book Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington. States have since set forth on a variety of issues including guns, abortion, healthcare and Tenth Amendment rights. Yet this is still a fledgling political initiative, a new Jeffersonian movement to shift control of America’s fate from Washington to the states, where it was intended to be. It is today a movement still seeking form and an archetypal leader. That could well be Mike Pence.

I’ve been calling here these several years for an ad hoc council to consider the possibilities of going forward in a “supercommittee of governors” made up of sitting Republican governors like Pence to cultivate new state-oriented conservative leaders like Pence. A group of 12 current and perhaps including emeritus governors (which would include former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin) to meet outside of Washington in some central American place. (Like Indianapolis?)

A form of this original idea was suggested by America’s great ambassador George Kennan who identified the problem and brought forth his own solution in his 1993 book Around the Cragged Hill. It was the primary document for our vision here in north country New England back in 2003, which evolved into the Tea Party. Kennan proposed the decentralization of many of the functions of the federal government “into something like a dozen constituent republics, absorbing not only the powers of the existing states but a considerable part of those of the present federal establishment. ... To these entities I would accord a larger part of the present federal powers than one might suspect — large enough, in fact, to make most people gasp.”

If Tea Party is to reach beyond the howl of the redneck horde and the welcome call of the wild from Grizzly Mama, it needs to find its form and take a next step forward. Possibly no one is in a better equipped to bring it than Mike Pence.