Tomorrow morning, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and the minority leader of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), will address the National Conference of State Legislatures in Louisville, Kentucky. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if they spoke about what they really thought of the states and Constitutionally-divided government?
During their session, being advertised as “Does Congress Really Care About the States?”, Speaker Pelosi and Sen. McConnell can be expected to lavish fluffy platitudes onto the legislators, and espouse the cliche metaphor, described by Justice Louis Brandeis, a former member of the U.S. Supreme Court, of states being “laboratories of democracy.”
Whether or not Justice Brandeis’ assertion is actually true, and for which reasons, these two legislative leaders will probably not admit what much of the country already knows. In many cases, the federal government has been trampling over the Several States, and the people, for the better part of the past five decades. If not longer.
This federal encroachment can be felt far and wide. From health care, education, and transportation to eminent domain and energy, the heavy hands of Washington lawmakers and bureaucrats have been weighting down on the states and the people.
Now of course, it wouldn’t be surprising if Speaker Pelosi put the needle on the worn-out record that blames the current state of affairs on former President George W. Bush, but she’s not likely to admit that her own party misled voters to gain power. Nor will she say that they really want to concentrate more political decision-making in nation’s capital.
Additionally, Sen. McConnell will probably say President Obama & Company have gone too far. But he’s not predicted to discuss why he didn’t fight more vigorously for limited and reduced government when Republicans held control.
Furthermore, when the former Republican Senate majority leader, Trent Lott, who is now a Washington lobbyist, essentially impugned the credibility of the conservative U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), in the Washington Post, the minority leader looks to take a pass. It doesn’t appear as though Sen. McConnell will weigh in and defend his current colleague, who has been fighting to devolve power back toward the people.
It will be interesting to see the conference attendee’s response. If given the opportunity, it would nice if one of the state legislators would remind the members of Congress that they are supposed to be an agent for the people, and the states, and not the other way around.