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Divided We Stand The country is hopelessly split. So why not make it official and break up?
NYMAG ^ | 11/14/2018

Posted on 11/14/2018 4:00:34 PM PST by Altura Ct.

Let’s just admit that this arranged marriage isn’t really working anymore, is it? The partisan dynamic in Washington may have changed, but our dysfunctional, codependent relationship is still the same. The midterm results have shown that Democrats have become even more a party of cities and upscale suburbs whose votes are inefficiently packed into dense geographies, Republicans one of exurbs and rural areas overrepresented in the Senate. The new Congress will be more ideologically divided than any before it, according to a scoring system developed by Stanford political scientist Adam Bonica: the Republicans more conservative, the Democrats more liberal

The year is 2019. California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, recently elected on a platform that included support for the creation of a single-payer health-care system, now must figure out how to enact it. A prior nonpartisan analysis priced it at $400 billion per year — twice the state’s current budget. There appears to be no way to finance such a plan without staggering new taxes, making California a magnet for those with chronic illnesses just as its tax rates send younger, healthier Californians house-hunting in Nevada and big tech employers consider leaving the state.

But Newsom is not alone. Other governors have made similar promises, and Newsom calls together the executives of the most ideologically like-minded states — Oregon, Washington, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland. What if they banded to create a sole unified single-payer health-care system, spreading risk around a much larger pool of potential patients while creating uniformity across some of the country’s wealthiest states?

Fifteen end up forming an interstate compact, a well-established mechanism for working together, explicitly introduced in the Constitution. They sketch out the contours of a common health-care market: a unified single-payer regime with start-up costs funded in part by the largest issue ever to hit the municipal-bond market. The governors agree, as well, on a uniform payroll tax and a new tax on millionaires and corporations set to the same rate with revenues earmarked for health-care costs. The Trump administration has already proved willing to grant waivers to states looking to experiment beyond the Affordable Care Act’s standards — primarily for the benefit of those seeking to offer plans on their exchanges with skimpier coverage. But the states can’t act unilaterally: The Supreme Court has ruled that Congress must approve establishment of any compact claiming authority that previously resided with the federal government.

Newsom pressures his friend House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi to introduce a bill that would give the compact all federal money that flows into its constituent states for health-care costs. Pelosi’s members from Arizona and Florida balk at the proposal, which they fear would enable their states’ Republican governors to gut Obamacare protections. But there are scores more from states looking to join the compact, and their governors marshal Democratic House delegations into a bloc. The bill passes the House, with the support of tea-party Republicans eager to strike a blow against federal power. When it reaches the Senate, the initiative comes from Republicans. In 2011, then–Texas governor Rick Perry championed a Health Care Compact Alliance, joined by eight other states seeking a “regulatory shield” against the Affordable Care Act and full control over their Medicare and Medicaid funds. By the time the Democratic bill passes the House, current Texas governor Greg Abbott has rallied more than 20 states, including North Carolina, Missouri, and Arizona, for a new version of the Health Care Compact. He also has the support of two prominent senators, Ted Cruz and Majority Whip John Cornyn. Republicans who had promised for nearly a decade to repeal and replace Obamacare can finally deliver on the promise — for 40 percent of the country.

The president sees opportunity, too. While running for president, Donald Trump called himself “Mr. Brexit,” a boast tied to his apocryphal claim of having accurately predicted the British vote to leave the European Union. Now he’s convinced, thanks largely to a Fox & Friends chyron reading BIGGER THAN BREXIT?, that an even more significant world-historical accomplishment is within reach. Trump lobbies Pelosi and Mitch McConnell to combine their bills. Trump beams at the Rose Garden signing ceremony, calling it “the biggest deal ever” as he goads Pelosi and McConnell into an awkward handshake. Historians will later mark it as the first step in our nation’s slow breakup, the conscious uncoupling of these United States

Let’s just admit that this arranged marriage isn’t really working anymore, is it? The partisan dynamic in Washington may have changed, but our dysfunctional, codependent relationship is still the same. The midterm results have shown that Democrats have become even more a party of cities and upscale suburbs whose votes are inefficiently packed into dense geographies, Republicans one of exurbs and rural areas overrepresented in the Senate. The new Congress will be more ideologically divided than any before it, according to a scoring system developed by Stanford political scientist Adam Bonica: the Republicans more conservative, the Democrats more liberal.

Come January, we are likely to find that we’ve simply shifted to another gear of a perpetual deadlock unlikely to satisfy either side. For the past eight years, there has been no movement toward goals with broad bipartisan support: to fund new infrastructure projects, or for basic gun-control measures like background checks or limits on bump stocks. Divided party control of Capitol Hill will make other advances even less likely. For the near future, the boldest policy proposals are likely to be rollbacks: Democrats angling to revert to a pre-Trump tax code, Republicans to repeal Obama’s health-care law. By December 7, Congress will have to pass spending bills to avoid a government shutdown. Next March looms another deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

Meanwhile, we have discovered that too many of our good-governance guardrails, from avoidance of nepotism to transparency around candidates’ finances, have been affixed by adhesion to norms rather than force of law. The breadth and depth of the dysfunction has even Establishmentarian figures ready to concede that our current system of governance is fatally broken. Some have entertained radical process reforms that would have once been unthinkable. Prominent legal academics on both the left and the right have endorsed proposals to expand the Supreme Court or abolish lifetime tenure for its members, the latter of which has been embraced by Justice Stephen Breyer. Republican senators including Cruz and Mike Lee have pushed to end direct election of senators, which they say strengthens the federal government at the expense of states’ interests.

Policy wonks across the spectrum are starting to rethink the federal compact altogether, allowing local governments to capture previously unforeseen responsibilities. Yuval Levin, a policy adviser close to both Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio, wrote in 2016 that “the absence of easy answers is precisely a reason to empower a multiplicity of problem-solvers throughout our society, rather than hoping that one problem-solver in Washington gets it right.” In a recent book, The New Localism, center-left urbanists Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak exalt such local policy innovation specifically as a counterweight to the populism that now dominates national politics across the Americas and Europe. Even if they don’t use the term, states’ rights has become a cause for those on the left hoping to do more than the federal government will. Both Jacobin and The Nation have praised what the latter calls “Progressive Federalism.” San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera has called it “the New New Federalism,” a callback to Ronald Reagan’s first-term promise to reduce Washington’s influence over local government. “All of us need to be reminded that the federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government,” Reagan said in his 1981 inaugural address. At the time, Democrats interpreted New Federalism as high-minded cover for a strategy of dismantling New Deal and Great Society programs. Now they see it as their last best hope for a just society.

Some states have attempted to enforce their own citizenship policies, with a dozen permitting undocumented immigrants to acquire driver’s licenses and nearly twice as many to allow them to qualify for in-state tuition. Seven states, along with a slew of municipal governments, have adopted “sanctuary” policies of official noncooperation with federal immigration enforcement. Many governors, including Republicans in Massachusetts and Maryland, have refused to deploy National Guard troops to support Trump’s border policies, and California has sued the federal government to block construction of a wall along the Mexican frontier. After the Trump administration stopped defending an Obama-era Labor Department rule to expand the share of workers entitled to overtime pay, Washington State announced it would enforce its own version of the rule and advised its peers to do the same. “It is now up to states to fortify workers through strong overtime protections,” Washington governor Jay Inslee wrote last week.

In California, officials who regularly boast of overseeing the world’s fifth-largest economy have begun to talk of advancing their own foreign policy. After Trump withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, Governor Jerry Brown — he has said “we are a separate nation in our own minds” — crossed the Pacific to negotiate a bilateral carbon-emissions pact with Chinese president Xi Jinping. “It’s true I didn’t come to Washington, I came to Beijing,” said Brown, who is often received like a head of state when he travels abroad. Around the same time, Brown promised a gathering of climate scientists that the federal government couldn’t entirely kill off their access to research data. “If Trump turns off the satellites,” he said, “California will launch its own damn satellite.”

Brown’s successor Newsom comes to office just as Californians may be forced to reckon with how much farther they are willing to take this ethic of self-reliance. Since 2015, a group of California activists have been circulating petitions to give citizens a direct vote on whether they want to turn California into “a free, sovereign and independent country,” which could trigger a binding 2021 referendum on the question already being called “Calexit.”

During the Obama years, it was conservatives who’d previously talked of states’ rights who began toying with the idea of starting their own countries. “We’ve got a great union. There is absolutely no reason to dissolve it,” Rick Perry said at a tea-party rally in 2009, before adding: “But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what may come out of that?” Perry’s lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst, met with members of the Texas Nationalist Movement on the opening day of a legislative session. Right after this year’s midterms, the would-be leaders of the breakaway republics of Texas and California met at a secessionist conference in Dallas. In 2012, the White House website received secession petitions from all 50 states; Texas’s was the most popular, with more than 125,000 signatures. (A counterpetition demanded that any citizen who signed one of the secession petitions be deported.) Two years later, Reuters found that nearly one-quarter of Americans said they supported the idea of their states breaking away, a position most popular among Republicans and rural westerners.

More at link


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society
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1 posted on 11/14/2018 4:00:34 PM PST by Altura Ct.
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To: Altura Ct.

Alright, but make Texas a country and Staten Island a state of Texas.

hell, there’s 500,000 of us on this Island.


2 posted on 11/14/2018 4:02:07 PM PST by dp0622 (The Left should know if Trump is kicked out of office, it is WAR!)
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To: Altura Ct.

Tried that once down here. Wonder if the Fed monster will leave us alone this time?


3 posted on 11/14/2018 4:02:34 PM PST by TallahasseeConservative (Isaiah 40:31)
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To: Altura Ct.

I’ve been saying for at least 20 years that we might as well draw a line from Seattle to Miami and secede. Demographics are all that matters when you have unlimited immigration. Go to any grade school in Southern California. THAT is California.


4 posted on 11/14/2018 4:02:53 PM PST by freedomjusticeruleoflaw
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To: Altura Ct.

Walter Williams wrote about this years ago. We discussed it here.


5 posted on 11/14/2018 4:04:23 PM PST by bankwalker (Immigration without assimilation is an invasion.)
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To: Altura Ct.
How about we drive you and your allies out of the country, you synagogue of Satan bastard!
6 posted on 11/14/2018 4:04:28 PM PST by cowboyusa (America Cowboy Up)
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To: Altura Ct.

All of those who want to turn America into Venezuela can move to Venezuela.

Problem solved.


7 posted on 11/14/2018 4:05:32 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: Altura Ct.

I don’t actually believe that the COUNTRY is split.

The left wants us to believe that when the real issue is those in power who want to ruin the country.

So they try to tell us the country is split.

However, if the split is real, it’s between city folk and rural, grassroots America.


8 posted on 11/14/2018 4:06:12 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith......)
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To: Altura Ct.

Or, according to Kid Rock...


9 posted on 11/14/2018 4:06:28 PM PST by DoodleBob
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To: Altura Ct.

The article repeated the lie that rural citizens are overrepresented in the Senate. Wow, the libs do repeat a lie until people believe it.


10 posted on 11/14/2018 4:06:31 PM PST by Moonmad27
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To: Altura Ct.

Someone took my tag line seriously!


11 posted on 11/14/2018 4:06:44 PM PST by scottteng (Why fight it out lets split up the country peacefully now)
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To: Altura Ct.

I see problems. Who keeps the military? Who pays for welfare?

I want to be in the Red Zone. Alas, I live in the blue at the moment.


12 posted on 11/14/2018 4:07:27 PM PST by Pearls Before Swine ("It's always a party when you're eating the seed corn.")
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To: Altura Ct.

Fine with me. Give half the country to the libs - along with their friends the illegals, convicts, millenial snow flakes and people who want free stuff.
We will take the other half with productive people, Second Amendment supporters and patriots.


13 posted on 11/14/2018 4:07:59 PM PST by ZULU (Jeff Sessions should be tried for sedition.)
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To: DoodleBob
Whoops...wrong shirt...


14 posted on 11/14/2018 4:08:44 PM PST by DoodleBob
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To: Altura Ct.

There is no logical dividing line, because our differences are urban vs. rural, with the suburbs being pulled in both directions.


15 posted on 11/14/2018 4:09:24 PM PST by Mr. Jeeves ([CTRL]-[GALT]-[DELETE])
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To: Altura Ct.

Why not? Because the split is urban vs rural, not state vs state.


16 posted on 11/14/2018 4:11:27 PM PST by ctdonath2 (The Red Queen wasn't kidding.)
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To: Altura Ct.

This is idiocy. Plain and pure idiocy.

1. The left can not tolerate the existence of any other ideology. Period.

If we were to “break up” the left would keep coming at the remnants to take possession of them too. To keep them out, in all their usual locusts, refugee and other guises would demand slaughter at the borders of those areas resisting leftism that would be intolerable to the kind of spineless, cowardly idiot that thought running away would work in the first place.

2. We built this. They just parasite off of it.
It is ours. All of it. Running away wont work. Running away will still require much bloodshed. Might as well do the bloodshed and keep the land.


17 posted on 11/14/2018 4:12:07 PM PST by Grimmy (equivocation is but the first step along the road to capitulation)
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To: Altura Ct.

That’s what Ive been saying..enough of this co exist crap..the left hates us and we hate the left..they think we are evil and vise versa..so why not just split the country in two..the lefties can have their half, their own Supreme Court, Congress, Senate, White House..they can have all the illegal aliens they could ask for, all the socialized medicine they could ever imagine..and on the other half of the country, can be the rest of us, who can live in FREEDOM with our own House, Senate, White House, and Supreme Court


18 posted on 11/14/2018 4:14:43 PM PST by Sarah Barracuda
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To: Moonmad27

The article repeated the lie that rural citizens are overrepresented in the Senate. Wow, the libs do repeat a lie until people believe it. ........................ They are over presented because NE/WC Liberal politicians took positions in the rural areas, as Transplants and 5th columnists.


19 posted on 11/14/2018 4:16:07 PM PST by Bringbackthedraft (What is earned is treasured, what is free is worth what you paid for it.)
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To: dp0622

“hell, there’s 500,000 of us on this Island.”

But they elected a Democrat to Congress.


20 posted on 11/14/2018 4:17:07 PM PST by Blue House Sue
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