Wednesday, December 28, 2016

One conservative idea liberals will start to love in 2017

Governing from the state and local level has long been something conservatives prefer to federal action, given their desire for a limited federal government and affinity for the 10th Amendment, which reserves for states and "the people" any powers not given in the Constitution to the feds. For the past six years, it's helped that so many state legislatures and governorships have been held by Republicans.

But next year, as Republicans start to dismantle President Obama's legacy, liberals will start to warm to the idea of state-level reforms. Why does everyone have to lose Obamacare coverage, they might say, when most of the people in deep-blue California or New York want to keep it? Why should every state jettison environmental regulations, they might say, when people in blue states in the northeast want to keep many of them?

The good news for liberals is that the 13 states where Democrats control both legislative chambers are welcome to pass such laws on their own (though some of those states, such as Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts, have GOP governors, which will make it difficult).

Obamacare repealed? California can pass its own version, if that's what its people really want. Environmental regulations undone nationwide? Oregonians can pass their own....