The horse... She is dead.

We'll set aside the whole "socialist" point, then, something that I thought I had done before. I'm not in favor of the super-progressive tax scheme that Senator Obama is calling for; further, I think it's disingenuous to refer to those 2% "giving back" the taxes that they "received," as though the federal government had been very generous by not reaming them quite as hard as it did earlier. I also think that simply pronouncing that such taxes work is glossing over a whole new area of discussion. I think it is morally bankrupt to claim that this is going to be a "fair" system when so many Americans don't pay into it at all. I pay little or no income tax, yet I am hardly "poor"--I have a second refrigerator, just for beer </redneck>. Now is it truly patriotic to pay taxes, as Senator Biden says, or is that only for the rich? The whole tax issue this year smacks of blatant class warfare and is greatly offensive to me.

I did miss your point about civil rights issues because you didn't really make one; you just said that they were as important to you as the CinC issue is to me. I accepted that on its face, but all I could do is guess about what you meant.

I do see it as a state rights issue, but we are basically working back toward a fundamental difference in how we think the government should work. Your argument basically concludes that we need a central government--not a federal government--because the states can't be trusted to do the right thing. I have no doubt that states cannot be necessarily trusted to do the right thing--I could cite examples, but I'm sure you would view many of them as signs of success in government; that's fine, it's a difference of opinion.

The key point, however, is that the Constitution sets up a federal system, in which the power is shared between the federal government and the states. There is a limited number of things that the federal government is allowed to do, and there is a much broader range of things that the states are allowed to do, and there are some things that neither the fed nor the states can do. The states were never intended to be mere administrative divisions between One Big State. Thanks to rogue interpretations of the commerce clause, the federal government has assumed authority over a very wide range of things that have no constitutional basis; education is one of the more ridiculous of these.

Now we can argue whether we are blue in the face about whether we should have an all-powerful central government, but that's not the government that we have on paper. Despite the abuses you have cited (and many more you could have, I'm sure), I would rather have an oppressive state government than an oppressive federal government--because I can pick a different state to live in and still have all of the guarantees and liberties that I enjoy under the Constitution. I'm not by any means an absolute states rightist; as a society, we have come to find additional essential liberties not guaranteed in the original Constitution, whose necessity was such that the federal government had to impose their enforcement upon the states. Many of those are codified in amendments to that same document. What does this prove? By and large, the system works, if slowly and painfully. Do you honestly think that I couldn't find even worse examples of abuse of power by the federal government, cases where federal law is contrary to the stated will of the people of a state? (How do you feel about medical marijuana--legal in WA, as long as you don't get stopped by customs or other federal agents?) Do you really believe that vesting so much power in our historically despised Congress is preferable?

No doubt, if a future Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, there would be some states that immediately made laws restricting abortions. There would also be a lot of states, probably the majority, that would not; it is, after all a "particular religious sect" whose name is taken by many but whose beliefs are shared by relatively few. There would be no laws affecting your ability to move from one to the other, short of a Constitutional amendment. Similarly, as an open sewer grate worshiper, laws in the Evergreen State preventing me from honoring my smelly gods would not prevent me from moving to Wisconsin, where my kind might be more welcome. Contrast this with a central government, in which I have no choice but to live under laws passed under the tyranny of the majority, unless I want to abandon my nation entirely. If the federal government were really as oppressive to religious minorities as you seem to think it is, I cannot understand why you would want to vest more power in it. Is this a particularly ironic moment, where I have more faith in the checks and balances of government than you?

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