Nullification is all the rage these days -- especially among conservatives. And what is nullification? Simply the notion that if the federal government passes a law that blatantly violates the Constitution, the states have the right to, basically, ignore it. This ancient and venerable (and never used since the Civil War) idea has become popular due to ObamaCare, the idea being that the government cannot compel citizens to buy health insurance... and a number of states are taking the bull by the horns and declaring this law null and void.
But wait! Now comes Massachusetts -- which, let's admit -- seceded from the United States of Normal People decades ago -- with a nullification idea of its own. And no, it's not about "gay marriage". But it's about the Constitution itself. It has to do with the Electoral College -- remember, that thing that Hillary Clinton vowed she would absolutely, positively, do away with the minute she became president? Or senator? But Massachusetts is serious about this; they have just "passed legislation to nullify Article II, Section I, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution" -- that part providing for the Electoral College, i.e. for election not by direct democracy (i.e. the voters) but by "electors". And there are apparently five other states that have the same idea; it's all part of something called the National Popular Vote, which is a kind of piling-on, social metaphysics venture that says that all of a state's electoral votes should go to the candidate who wins the most popular votes. In other words, no more "states rights" or "regionalism" here! From now on it's, let the people speak and hinder then not, for they have the word of truth.
Now, granted that that premise is wildly untrue, and unlikely, and improbable in the extreme, let's at least give Massachusetts et al. credit for finally -- finally! -- seeing the value of nullification. But would they be willing to apply the same idea to ObamaCare, for instance, or to the commerce clause? Damned unlikely. And yet I can't help seeing this as a much-desired crack in the ice of federal tyranny. Today's nullfication when it comes to the Electoral College could become tomorrow's nullfication when it comes to the commerce clause... or any of countless other government inroads. And of course, my local paper, which has a conservative bent, is in a state of high dudgeon over all of this -- but I think they need to take a broader view of the situation. If the idea becomes popular -- and if it works! -- it could mean a significant turning point in the relationship between the federal government and the states, or localities. I say, let's give this a chance to work even if the specific issue is not one of our priorities... because our turn might come next, and if it works for "popular vote" buffs it could wind up working for anti-commerce clause buffs, anti-ObamaCare buffs, or any number of other praiseworthy causes.