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The Twinkie Enticement

The Twinkie Enticement

With the backlash to the ever growing power of the federal government and its increased dominance in our lives, one must ask, how did this behemoth come to be in the first place?

First, a little constitutional primer is in order to understand our current predicament. Under our constitutional system of government, the federal government is only supposed to have enumerated (limited) powers, while the states have plenary or general powers. Under this system, the federal government can only act in areas it is given authority to act such as national defense, while the states have general police powers to regulate the health, education and welfare of its citizenry. This separation of powers amongst the federal and state governments is better known as federalism and is an important cog in our governance as it keeps the central government from acquiring too much power and becoming oppressive. Yet, the federal government over the past few generations has been slowing usurping the states’ police powers. How can this happen and why would the states allow it to happen?

For the most part, states have been willing participants in this process. With the offer of federal dollars, no traditional state power has been sacred. Remember when we had a national speed limit? How did this come to pass even though the states have the inherent right to regulate their own roads without federal interference? Well, in order to qualify for federal dollars for road improvements, the states had to agree to the 55 mph speed limit. State treasuries loaded with money made it easier to give up power. Today, there is no national speed limit but we have a national drunk driving limit based on the same principle. Now don’t get me wrong, drunk driving is a scourge that needs to be combated; but just because it is a good thing to do, doesn’t mean we should not have concerns about how it came to be, because eventually after enough “good” decisions have been made for you, you will have no power to make any decisions for yourself – good or bad.

We can see the bad from the No Child Left Behind law. Although states have been given federal money to improve education standards, there has been no real improvement. All it has led to is teaching to the standards and if that fails, then resort to cheating in order to qualify for federal largess. Learning outside of the standards has been abandoned as this does not lead to federal dollars. Education across this nation has fallen off the rails.

As the federal government’s power has increased exponentially, the states have been left as mere vassals of the monarchy; and under the Obama administration, the nicety of offering a delicious treat for giving up one’s power has been done away with. Power will be grabbed by fiat.

Obamacare was shoved down all our throats with the ultimate goal of controlling our health care decisions from cradle (if you are allowed to be born) to grave. Additionally, the education power grab continues with the federal government taking full control of college student loans. One who controls the money, controls the content. Those colleges that do not tow the company line will see student loans dry up. No student loans, no students. The federal government is now poised to seize total control over our education system. Marx would be proud.

The process of federal domination has been going on for a long time. We are at a precipice as if this process is not halted; we will be subject to the whims of the omnipotent federal behemoth. In many ways, we have been complicit in this trajectory as we were addicted to the allure of free goodies. Now that the hammer has come down, hopefully, the populace will awaken.

Can we halt this process? This November should give us a clue.

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Comments

StrangernFiction | February 27, 2012 at 10:11 am

Nice piece, Lombardi. Time to wake up, folks.

Insufficiently Sensitive | February 27, 2012 at 10:53 am

Very good job on this post. Were I the Federal Commissar on top of the NCLB pyramid, I’d mandate that every student in the country be examined on it, annually.

I know, wishful thinking and bad means to the end.

Well, go Tea Party!

1. Can we halt this process?

I don’t know. But if America discards what makes it America, I want to tell my conscience that at least I spoke out.

2. In the 1970s it also seemed that we had entered stagnation, decline, or worse.

I am not sure the concept of separation of powers applies to the different spheres of power between the states and the central government.

states are negligent in defending its citizens liberty. the situation is always characterized as binary and mutually exclusive. that is whatever power the federal government doesnt have the states have. thta is untue. the tenth amendment reserves power to the states and the people. it recognizes that the peoplemay not have delegated the power to either government. when the federal govt infringes on apower not given to the state or federal govt who stands up for the citizens. states only defend infringments on their power not the federal infringments on its citzens liberty.

i remember reading a quote from a so called constituional scholar in the new deal era. he was horrified to think there existed a twighlight zone where neither the federal or state govts had power to regulate. that twighlight zone used to be called freedom.

Mr. Lombardi, I will caution you, however, that if you’re gonna mention Twinkies in your headline, there damn sure better be some Twinkies served.

The states have a Twinkie defense? They were to hopped up on sugar (fed dollars) to know what they were doing? I like it. It’s certainly true.

I have also tried to figure out what caused this sad, slow, demise of federalism, and I think it might have actually been slavery. Seriously, the Civil War got this ball rolling. Indeed, even post-war, “state’s rights” were seriously abused to limit and destroy civil rights for blacks. It made abuse of federal power the prefered method of dealing with the states refusals to adhere to the Equal Protection Amendment. So the Supreme Court started using the US Const. as a cudgel to beat them into line. I can’t say I wouldn’t have applauded it at the time. But, as fed power snowballed, it became harder and harder to stop the avalanche. Add to that the 17th amendment’s popular election of senators, and we were headed to a place were what state you lived in matter less and less.

As another reflection, it’s funny that citizens seem to be pushing power (and responsibility) further and further from themselves. As a citizen of Massachusetts (be gentle), I am one of about 8 million citizens (and shrinking, thanks liberalism), so my ratio of vote to power is 1 to 8mil). As to local elections and the like, it’s even better (1 to say 25,000 in my town). As a federal citizen, I am 1 in what 400mil, depending on how many illegals and dead folks come out to vote? Why would they listen to me? As a citizen, the more power I give the federal government and the President, the less my voice has meaning. I will never meet the president. I will never get him to hear my voice. The Governor? The selectmen (and women)? They have to listen to me!

Cheers, and keep the faith!

[…] Read it all, it is finger-lickin’ good. 55.957870 -3.199357 Share this:FacebookEmailPrintRedditTwitterStumbleUponDiggLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Posted in: Marxism/Communism/Socialism, Politics ← A Tale of Two Editorials Be the first to start a conversation […]

Excellent, succinct post. (I was expecting Michelle Obama’s name to pop up, though. Happily disappointed.)

When people begin to believe that the government is “smarter” and best able to decide for us, it’s over. Consider NASCAR babe Danica Patrick in response to a question about the Obamacare freebie contraceptives issue. She said: “I leave it up to the government to make good decisions for Americans.”
See http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/291919/perversion-rights-mark-steyn

In order to have a clear memory about these things, you should probably be 60+. The link contains an excerpt from the Congressional record in 1963 about “current Communist goals”.
http://irishrus.blogspot.com/2012/02/boy-islam-tossed-wrench-in-communist.html

On the other hand, this could all be explained by a developing universal law of gangster influenced government. Officers of a local government can be bought by local hoodlums; e.g. Chicago has been the #1 corrupt US city for as for back as I cared to research…it’s still amazing that we had the stupidity to elect a president from that corrupt machine. State governments can be bought by the Federal government as described in the posting. National organizations (famous universities) and Federal government politicians can be bought with Saudi oil money. The theory is still developing, so it’s a little rough yet.

Nice piece, but I would change that last line.

“Can we halt this process? This November should give us a clue.”

to

“Does the American electorate want to halt this process? This November should give us a clue.”

Unfortunately, I think I already know the answer to my tweaked version, and I hope I’m wrong…

I also thought this was a good article, but it didn’t go far enough. Sure, the states have been enticed to give up some of their power to the feds.

But … I submit that an activist, progressive Judiciary has greased the skids. Think of all of the cases that the Justice Department has brought against the several states over the past three years (immigration, voter ID, health care). In former times, such silliness would not have stood a chance in front of the SCOTUS. Now?? I’m not so sure.

For power to return to the people, it must first return to the Several States.

…which is why I was soooo disappointed in the Perry campaign.

From the total distortion of the Commerce Clause, to imaginary clauses, leftists in our government cite the Constitution to declare it null and void.

Watch this clip, and tell me why, in John Conyers’ mind, we even need a Constitution?

http://remixxworld.blogspot.com/2010/03/rep-john-conyers-cites-imaginary-good.html

I recall a former governor being one of the first to refuse Porkulus funds in an effort to keep her State sovereign, enslaving her citizens to Central Planning…

principles…

The drinking age of 21 is another example of the Federal government compelling states to have a universal policy through the threat of losing Federal Highway funding.

Where’s my freakin’ Twinkie???

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