Karl Gallagher (libertarianhawk) wrote,
Karl Gallagher
libertarianhawk

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Debra Medina Will Not Be Our Next Governor

Last week I went to a meeting of the local Republican Club to hear a talk by a candidate for governor I was curious about, Debra Medina. They held it at a country club--way to live the stereotype, guys. We began the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. When I was a teenage Democrat the club meetings also started with the pledge, and I noticed there was always a big dip in the volume during the words "under God." I listened carefully but the volume here was constant, even during "indivisible." We then made a hash out of the state pledge. Doesn't come up too often apparently.

Several local candidates were invited to introduce themselves at the start. This included Mike Brasovan, who's running to replace the free-spending Kay Granger. I did a day of volunteering for him last month. We've also got yet another primary challenge to my state rep, Charlie Geren, who has to be feeling a bit picked-on at this point.

I've heard Rick Perry talk. Medina isn't as smooth as he is but I liked what she had to say a lot better. Perry's paean to the 10th Amendment wouldn't survive his election to Federal office. Medina's fighting for principles. Ones I'm pretty happy with--reduce the size of government, increase individual freedom. Cracking down on corruption in the state government (molestation in TYC, financial screw-ups in TxDoT) I'm all for. I like restricting illegal immigration with state resources instead of waiting for the feds to do it. The proposal to replace the property tax with additional sales taxes I'm not sure about but it wouldn't be a deal breaker.

Where it got complicated was the discussion of Obama's health care proposals. I don't see anywhere in the Constitution that allows Congress to order me to buy an insurance policy from a set list . . . but the Federal government is doing all sorts of things that I don't see Constitutional authorization for. Medina's opposed to it and vowed to resist its implementation with "nullification and interposition." That I had to look up when I got home.

The theory goes back to the Founding--if a law is unconstitutional a state can declare it as such (nullify) and prevent its enforcement within the state (interposing). The most famous application was an attempt by South Carolina to set off the Civil War thirty years early. More recent uses of the concept are the attempts by several Southern states to block school desegregation in the 1960s. This is why googling on "nullification and interposition" mostly gets you transcripts of MLKjr's "I Have a Dream" speech.

And here I've gone and wasted the "live the stereotype" line on the country club.

I'm not accusing Medina of being a racist or segregationist. I saw no signs of anything like that and she was in front of a very friendly crowd, not needing to hide things. But I think she's oblivious to how some of her pet theories would sound to moderates, let alone how they'd work in practice.

Medina mentioned Utah's resistance to the No Child Left Behind Act as an example of nullification. But refusing federal subsidy dollars because of the attached strings is a very, very different thing from telling the IRS that they can't collect the portion of income taxes going to health care from Texans. One is declining a bribe--the way any one of us can decline the bribe in the tax code to get health insurance from our employers--the other is a direct challenge to one of the chief powers of the federal government. That can not end well.

So I'm not going to be using this bumper sticker I picked up, or doing any campaigning for Medina. Pity. I was hoping to have another race where I could vote for a candidate instead of just against.
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