It appears the left has taken a break from attending the Alexander Hamilton Broadway show to study several treatises penned by former Presidents John C. Calhoun and Thomas Jefferson. In the age of President Donald Trump, it has become evident that the Democrats are selectively choosing what federalist principles to abide by out of political expediency. They would never showcase the same exuberant dissent to Washington overriding state laws pertaining to abortion criminalization.
On Friday, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had his federalist moment by announcing a plan to decriminalize marijuana. Because the Senate Minority Leader has ostensibly always believed “states should function as their own laboratories of democracy,” Schumer thinks it’s time to allow states to “decide what works best for them.”
Schumer’s remarks were echoed by his fatuously chirping Marxian colleague, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who tweeted: “States should make their own decisions about enforcing marijuana laws.”
Liberty Nation’s Scott Cosenza has extensively reported on the efforts by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to engage in a “pot blockade.” Despite several states legalizing weed, the federal government is clamping down on the “dangerous drug” because “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” Schumer, alongside other Democrats and Republicans, is looking to prevent this from happening.
Erecting his finger like a weathervane, Schumer discovered that the winds of weed suggest pot legalization is the popular cause du jour. His initiative will likely be met with applause by weed activists, states’ rights supporters, libertarians, and the makers of Cheetos.
Despite his sudden munificence to the 10th Amendment, Schumer cannot erase the foul residue of statism on his record. Rather than being a perpetual virtue, his lip service is more of a case of promoting states’ rights when the opposition is running the swamp.
During the eight-year reign of former President Barack Obama, the lifelong politician regularly railed against states on a diverse panoply of issues, from guns to healthcare. The senator’s current rhetoric is contradictory to his decades-long atrocious file on states’ rights.
So, is he a federalist or anti-federalist?
Chucker Schumer’s Record on Federalism
Here is his personal history on federalism:
Ahead of the 2016 election, Schumer outlined a concept for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats to enact a federal carbon tax. He also promised to defend Obama’s environmental rules from Republican attacks.
In January 2017, Republican senators suggested that states should be given two options: stay in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if they like it or move to a replacement program. Schumer dismissed the proposal as an “empty façade.”
In November 2017, Schumer joined other Democratic leaders to propose eliminating all state right-to-work laws. Democrats noted in their agenda that right-to-work measures do not protect labor unions and they strip the rights of workers in 27 states. Schumer argued that the middle class is eroding because of “the assault on unions and labor” over the last 30 years.
These are only some of the examples of how Schumer hasn’t exactly acted as the paragon of 10th Amendment advocacy. Throughout his career, Schumer has sponsored, co-sponsored, and voted for legislation that severely restricts states’ rights and expands the size and scope of the federal government.
Now that the senator has had his federalist moment, will he begin to petition the courts to overturn Roe v. Wade? Would he favor abolishing Obamacare in its entirety? What about same-sex marriage? Will he enroll in the Tenth Amendment Center? Unlikely to all four.
The Erosion of Federalism
When the Founding Fathers framed federalism, they saw it as limiting the power of a central body and preventing the rise of a political class – except Hamilton, who wanted more powers extended to the state and a permanent political class. They believed that the federal government should only handle matters that states could not, like immigration or national defense.
With the GOP controlling the White House, the House, and the Senate, the Democrats are suddenly promoting the benefits of federalism. Whether it is on the issue of sanctuary cities or marijuana, Democrats at all three levels are attempting to undermine Washington.
And that’s the way it should be. But don’t slam the Republicans for acting in the same manner when Democrats rule.
Sure, Chuck “Big Government” Schumer is getting admonished for his hypocrisy. But both parties are guilty of this behavior. Former President George W. Bush called for a nationwide ban on cloning, while President Donald Trump is using eminent domain to construct the border wall. When in power, the GOP and Democrats abuse their federal authority. When in opposition, they decry this very same abuse.
Should the Democrats take control of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Capitol Hill and they impose laws mandating states what to do, Schumer must be reminded of his disingenuous “laboratories of democracy” talk.
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