Well, they go askin' for a hand-out from the evil/tryanical/unconstitutional Federal government they hates ever so much, of course...
In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has been a vocal critic of federal spending under President Obama, but as the state closest to the undersea leak, he already has requested various forms of federal disaster assistance. He's also anticipating the possibility that British Petroleum either won't, or won't have to under the law, foot the the full cost of all the damages associated with the spill.Were I in the deciding committee's shoes, I confess I'm immature enough I'd be very tempted to say "You know what, Bobby, why don't you just handle this one yourself... I mean we represent the Federal Government, what do we know, right?"
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) took a swipe at Jindal when I asked during a brief interview this week if Congress was considering any funding to add to what BP will do. "Well you know, here we go. You know, the governor of Louisiana says the federal government should stay out of the state's business," Menendez told me Tuesday night. Jindal's office said they would respond but haven't yet gotten back to me. We'll update if they do.
This is just a good lesson for those who believe every state could flourish in a Fairy-tale Land of Constitution-ville led by the Carl Wimmers and Mike Lees of the world. The federal money is like a giant risk pool when crisis comes along. Utah cashes every federal check it can get every serious drought that hits.
Balance is one thing, but the anti-Fed mentality many buy into, and many hope to capitalize on for political gain walks all over itself so many times in the space of a month, I can't do much but laugh. It's not that a conversation about state vs. federal power isn't valuable. It's that these folks have taken the idea so far to the extreme that you'd think every state would actually be better off without any federal influence. Here in Utah, it's quickly become less of a conversation and more of a dogma, bordering on religious zealotry. I've even heard several arguments recently for the complete defunding of higher education research (Mike Lee) and the FDA (Crazy Republican on the bus) just so that a few of these zealots can complete their ideological agenda.
Obviously, this issue is a wee bit more nuanced than "states rights" advocates either understand themselves, or are willing to discuss until you've voted.