Home National Politics The “States Rights” Hypocrisy of the Right Wing Knows No Bounds

The “States Rights” Hypocrisy of the Right Wing Knows No Bounds


It’s utterly amazing to me how those on the right will trot out, anytime they don’t like a policy, the “states rights” argument: that whatever issue they’re having a problem with at the federal level would be “best left to the states” or whatever. Of course, it’s amazing how right wingers suddenly don’t like “states rights” very much when, let’s say, a deep-blue state like New York, Connecticut or California moves towards stricter gun laws, or to legalize gay marriage, or to allow transgender kids to use the bathroom that conforms to who they actually are, or to take aggressive action to protect the environment, or…or…or.  Yeah, we could on forever, because the list of cases where right wingers suddenly do NOT like “states rights” is endless.

By the way, while we’re on this topic, have you noticed how here in Virginia, the Republican-controlled General Assembly does anything/everything to prevent “blue” localities like Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, etc. from having any real power? Instead, the same people who constantly preach “local control” make sure that Virginia stays a strong “Dillon Rule” state, where localities can basically do nothing unless they get permission from the General Assembly. Yet again, utter hypocrisy on the part of Republicans — but screw conservative “principles,” when the obvious goal is simply to prevent “blue” localities from, let’s say, enacting a carbon tax or preventing a highway expansion from trashing their community or having more welcoming policies towards immigrants or transgender kids or whatever.

What got me going on this topic today? Two things. First, my friend Josh Israel posted Trump’s White House is for ‘states’ rights,’ except when it’s against them (subtitle: “Sean Spicer took three different positions on states’ rights in one press conference.”) at ThinkProgress. Here’s an excerpt (also see video at the bottom of this post):

At Thursday’s White House daily press briefing, Sean Spicer criticized Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) for telling school superintendents and law enforcement officials in his state that they did not need to take it upon themselves to enforce federal immigration policies, even if Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security asks them to aid his crackdown on undocumented immigrants.


Federal immigration laws are the purview of the federal government and states have absolutely no constitutional obligation to enforce them.

But after dismissing the Tenth Amendment rights of states, literally in answering the very next question, Spicer argued that transgender students should not be guaranteed civil rights protections because it is a matter of “states rights.”

In short, more evidence that Sean Spicer and the entire Trump administration is completely full of crap. Still, even though this isn’t surprising, it’s galling to listen to these @#$@$ers blather on about being for “states rights,” when of course what they’re really for is using the power of the government – federal or state – to get their way. And in the case of right wingers, getting their way usually means really bad stuff: taking away people’s rights, trashing the environment, etc.

The second reason I decided to rant about this topic today was that I saw this article (“Sessions Should Go Farther on Title IX Bathroom Guidance”) by former Loudoun County Board member Mick Staton (Far-Right “R”; hell, he’s insane Dick Black’s son in law…) at the Virginia Teapublican political blog The Bull Elephant. In it, Staton argues – apparently without irony – that “Instead of leaving it to the states, Sessions should draft guidance that would revoke federal funding for any institution that allows boys to use the girls bathroom.” Again, what’s amazing is that this is coming from the same Tea Party/right-wing mentality that supposedly HATES the heavy hand of the federal government telling states and localities what to do or not do. Yet when it comes to pushing bigotry and intolerance, depriving people of their right to vote, letting fossil fuel and mining companies run amok on public lands, etc. — hell, screw the “states rights” stuff, unleash the feds!!!

And that concludes today’s installment of: right wingers are bullies, bigots AND hypocrites. Great combo, huh?


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