Editor’s Note: Diane Schrader attended the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s West Coast retreat earlier this month – this is the final installment of her five reports on the various speakers and panels. The others covered Obama’s reign of failure, stealth jihad, separation of mosque and state, and Dennis Prager’s address on God.
With a salute to states refusing to march in lockstep with the Obama agenda, and with the stakes for our country higher than ever, one U.S. Congressman and two law professors argued forcefully for the current state rebellions on issues of public unions, illegal immigration, and Obamacare during a spirited panel discussion at the David Horowitz Freedom Center retreat earlier this month. The ferocity of some of the state-level battles now being waged made for a lively presentation.
Congressman Steve King is fighting Obamacare tooth and nail, and outlined a strategy to defeat it once and for all. The legislative approach involves introducing bills to defund and repeal at the federal level; the litigation approach involves the various states fighting Obamacare in court. Panelist John Eastman, a renowned Constitutional expert, insisted that the healthcare bill is indeed patently flawed, and that none of the administration’s arguments (which keep changing) are legally sound. Unfortunately, that is not a guarantee that courts will not rule in Obama’s favor.
Along with discussing states taking the feds to court – the panelists covered Obama taking the states to court, as well, in the case of Arizona’s immigration bill. Nationally-recognized litigator Kris Kobach said that letting states fight illegal immigration is the ultimate unfunded mandate, burying border states in fiscal liability. The profoundly negative effect on K-12 schools, and dramatic increases in crime, are two particularly troubling results. Congressman King noted that more than 20,000 American citizens have died at the hands of illegal aliens, making illegal immigration a crisis issue in some areas.
One would think, as the panelists pointed out, that our President would want to step in and assist states attempting to tackle this problem themselves. But we all know that instead of assisting, he’s filed a federal lawsuit against Arizona. Thanks for the kick in the face, Dear Leader! Eastman goes so far as to characterize Obama’s blockage of the Arizona bill as immoral – partly because in the face of immense unemployment figures, he has no business keeping even one citizen from a job he or she could take from an illegal. “Create one job today – depart one illegal today,” Eastman said.
Kobach debunked the leftist myth that there are only two solutions to the illegal alien problem – round them all up and deport them, which is a daunting and expensive proposition – or give them all amnesty. A third alternative is to arrange factors so as to facilitate self-deportation. If businesses were penalized for hiring illegals, all benefits stripped from them, and arrest threatened, that would be a powerful disincentive for them to stay here. Kobach noted that when some of these “get tough” tactics have been signed into law in various states, the numbers of illegal aliens have dropped automatically as they cross back out of the U.S.
There is no question that the focus of much political battle has shifted from Washington, DC to the state capitals, as state after state takes on the Left on these issues and more. Wisconsin’s public union battle may have been the most strident to date, but it was not the first and it will not be the last. It is telling that at an event like the Freedom Center retreat, with a decided lean toward national and international affairs, that one of the most vigorous panels was all about states and their rights to fight the federal government. Given the intensity of the state-level battles, it is not surprising that some attendees from battle-weary states, like Arizona, say they would be lying if they didn’t admit the thought of secession has crossed their minds. That, of course, is a testament to the gulf that separates the Left from the rest of America.