It’s the day after Veteran’s Day. After flying the Stars and Stripes one last time to honor those who served our nation, Arizona citizens and businesses should be folding up their American flags and storing them away. Or, for the few who still pledge allegiance to the flag, they should remove the star representing Arizona. At the very least, they should cut the star in half.
Because, in our most recent election, Arizona voters passed Proposition 122. This new law, which will go into effect on January 1, 2015, makes it illegal for any Arizona state employee to enforce a federal law or regulation which our nincompoop-dominated legislature deems unconstitutional. Why trust the already far-right-dominated Supreme Court to make such decisions? Why pay attention to the Constitution’s federal supremacy clause?
Arizona’s legislators know best.
This brilliant piece of legislation, which legal experts have pronounced blatantly unconstitutional, was written by the late Tea Party Senator Chester Crandell and co-sponsored by other Tea Party legislators in response to the armed standoff by Cliven Bundy and his militia buddies against the Bureau of Land Management’s attempts to make Bundy pay more than $1 million in back fees for grazing his cattle on federal lands. Despite the fact that other ranchers pay the fees without complaint, the militant Tea Party seems to view the government’s attempt to collect the fees as blatant government over-reach. Arizonans certainly wouldn’t want the evil BLM to try to collect bills here.
In reality, Prop 122 is secession-lite.
The Arizona Tea Party “Patriots” would really like to secede from the United States (apparently nothing says patriotism like lifting a middle finger to your nation’s government and all those who have fought and died for it), but the state simply can’t afford to secede. After all, Arizona is a “taker” state. According to the most recent data, it receives approximately $1.50 in federal subsidies for every dollar the state’s citizens contribute to the federal government in taxes.
So we have Prop 122, instead, created by our legislature, passed by our voters and supported by Arizona’s governor-elect and attorney general-elect. That means Arizona’s citizens should be prepared to, once again, be the laughing stock of late night TV and the Comedy Channel. Moreover, Arizona taxpayers should be prepared to spend tens of millions in legal fees in a futile attempt to defend the state’s actions against the federal government. But, hey, enough of those taxpayers voted for the bill to allow it to pass by the slimmest of margins…slightly more than one half of the 44 percent of registered voters who actually made the minimal effort to vote.
It’s difficult to have much sympathy for Arizonans. The state that brought you the racist SB 1070 and the legalized discrimination SB 1062 has now fired the first salvo in secession. It’s as if the state has denounced its status of statehood and set the way-back clock to 1911 when Arizona was still a territory.