Friday, October 26, 2007

The Abomination of H.R. 505

First a very important hat tip goes out to Senator Lamar Alexander for bringing this to my attention. H.R. 505 would allow Hawaii to create a sovereign government of their own and not on that it would be a race based government. Here is how the Senator summarized it.

The question the bill poses is thus one that is fundamental to the very existence of our nation. It creates a new government based upon race. Our constitution guarantees just the opposite: equal opportunity without regard to race.

Hawaiians are Americans. They became United States citizens in 1900. They have saluted the American flag, paid American taxes, fought in American wars. In 1959, ninety-four percent of Hawaiians reaffirmed that commitment to become Americans by voting to become a state. Like citizens of every other state, Hawaiians vote in national elections.


America is different because, under our constitution, becoming an American can have nothing to do with ancestry. That is because America is an idea, not a race. Ours is a nation based not upon race, not upon ethnicity, not upon national origin, but upon our shared values, enshrined in our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, upon our history as a nation, and upon our shared language, English. An American can technically become a citizen of Japan, but would never be considered “Japanese.” But if a Japanese person wants to become a citizen of the United States, he or she must become an American.

This is yet another bill that the Dems have tried to pass under the cover of darkness. This follows a pattern that includes ENDA, the DREAM Act, and the abomination that was the NON BINDING resolution to condemn the genocide from 100 years ago of the Armenians by the Ottoman Turks.

There are two important things to keep in mind with regard to this bill. The first is that in the aftermath of the Revolution our own founding fathers initially set up the nation so that all states had the same power that the House has given to Hawaii. That didn't work and thirteen years later we had the Constitution we have now. Second, the tenth amendment gives power to the states to decide anything not enumerated in the Constitution. Thus, the states by nature, already have a lot of power. Any bill that creates extra powers not only goes against the letter and spirit of the Constitution but it threatens to very fabric of the dynamic of the system we have set up.

This bill tries to follow the same logic of protection that this country gives to the Indian tribes. Of course, the Indian tribes receive special protections because of the sordid history that this country has with them. It is nothing short of terrible policy to start allowing every minority group special sovereignty rights. By doing so, the United States no longer exists and we revert back to the Article of Confederation, our first constitution.

Here is how another blogger viewed it.

What is one to make of that? The whole justification for the Akaka Bill rests on the Indian precedent. There is no doubt that the Akaka Bill provides for a new government in the midst of federal, state, and city & county jurisdictions. And there is no doubt that the Interior Department has a key role (as it does with Indian tribes).

So some people in Hawaii are going to have a new government to report to. This government is going to pass laws because that is what governments do. Then it is going to enforce those laws. Thus members of the new Hawaiian nation will have to obey four governments while others obey three (city & county, state and federal).

What is the advantage for anyone subjected to such a complicated scheme? If we are not to look to the Indian model, where are we to look? And if the Indian model does not apply, why are Indian tribes so much in favor of the Akaka Bill? The people who keep pushing this construct never have any details. Most are from the government, as in, "I am from the government and I am here to help.” Please trust them, they accept responsibility. But they never will be held personally accountable. Not possible. Cheap talk.

There is no doubt that this bill is bad policy. So, how did it pass through the house? The same way all bills pass that make no sense. The folks don't know about them. There is a long way before this bill becomes law so there is time to act. I urge everyone to contact their Senator. So, please go here and find your Senator and let them know how you feel.

No comments: