Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Pledge Allegiance. . .

Well, there were two big celebrations in Richmond this week. One was the Richmond Folk Festival, in its third year, getting better with each version. Two was the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The Folk Festival drew more than 100,000 people in three days. The Tea Party party drew over two thousand. Having attended only one of the festivities, this maven is unable to tell you which was more entertaining. The Folk Festival was mainly music. The Tea Party party was mainly citizens bad-mouthing the Federal Government.

Every Republican politician in the Commonwealth—those formerly in office, those currently in office and those hoping to soon be in office—attended the Tea Party party. These Republicans have a tough balancing act in dealing with the Tea Party Patriots. They are trying to encourage the Tea crowd to come out on November 2, and throw the rascals in Washington out of office, assuming they are Democrats. However, they certainly don’t want the Teas to throw any
Republican rascals out of office. That would totally defeat the whole purpose of Republicans creating and nurturing the Tea Party throughout the country in the first place.

Our own Republican governor, Robert (Bob) McDonnell, went to the Tea Party preparty party on Thursday. He encouraged the Teas to do the right thing (pun intended) on Election Day. To win them over he stated his support for a constitutional amendment—the Federal Constitution, that is—allowing the legislatures of two-thirds of the states to overrule any legislation or regulation issued by the Federal Government. McDonnell, trying to avoid being out-teaed by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, pledged to get a resolution to that effect through our General Assembly. (Cuccinelli considers the amendment too mild. He wants one granting state attorneys general the unilateral authority to strike down any federal law.)

I could sit here for a few hours setting forth the pros and cons of the suggested constitutional amendment. But, I’m sure there are many people out there quite willing to do so. I might just point out that such an amendment would have some pretty drastic effects. Some state legislatures would spend so much time voting on laws enacted by the Congress that they would have no time to legislate for their own state, which I guess might be a benefit. Also, it might be difficult to find candidates to run for Senate and House of Representative seats. Who wants to have all your work reviewed by a legislative body that you have already outgrown.

But, the greatest effect would be on the school children in our fifty states. They would have to learn a new morning ritual to start their days. It would go like this:

I pledge allegiance to the flags of the Friendly States of America, and to the republics for which they stand, fifty nations, under God, quite divisible, with liberty and justice for those whose legislatures allow it.

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