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Whither the Seat?

by Mark

I know I’m not supposed to officially start writing here until tomorrow, but John’s post [1] this morning at Culture11 about the possibilities of federalism [2] for preserving the traditional Republican Party coaltion provided an outstanding opportunity to introduce some of my more fundamental arguments about faction and to preview some of what I intend to write about here. 

My full thoughts are here [3].  The bottom line? I agree that federalism presents a unique opportunity to maintain the Republican Coalition in its traditional form.  Indeed, it may be the only broad philosophy that theoretically could unite the elements of the coalition (although it wouldn’t be particularly inspirational for so-called “neo-conservatives”).  My doubts are simply that I think social conservatives have given up on federalism in a way that makes federalism a particularly difficult sell to them, even if it theoretically would have significant benefits for that particular group of conservatives.

4 Comments (Open | Close)

4 Comments To "Whither the Seat?"

#1 Comment By John On November 12, 2008 @ 4:40 pm

I’m glad you posted this, Mark – I was going to link to your post myself. Read it, folks!

#2 Comment By Mark On November 13, 2008 @ 6:48 am

You’re too kind, John!

#3 Comment By Cascadian On November 13, 2008 @ 10:11 am

At the end of your linked post you write:

*Much of this can be alleviated through rigorous and expansive enforcement of the 14th Amendment, at least from a libertarian perspective – I don’t think social conservatives would be too keen on that solution, though.

Could you explain this a bit. I’ve always been under the impression that it was the fourteenth amendment that defined a national citizen, thus undercutting Federalism.

#4 Comment By Mark On November 13, 2008 @ 10:29 am

Cascadian – in answer to your question, yes. Actually, the significance of the 14th Amendment is central to my upcoming post on creating a more perfect form of federalism.

One thing I should have noted, though, is that the 14th Amendment is rather unpopular with many libertarians, particularly those of the paleo-libertarian variety. Indeed, one could argue that in some ways, views of the 14th Amendment are the most central fault line dividing so-called paleo-libertarians from so-called “cosmopolitan libertarians.”

I was hoping to have that post out today, but it’s looking more likely that it will have to wait for the weekend.