Thursday, July 01, 2010

Will Arizona die from a drug overdose? Governor Jan Brewer for President?

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 7/2/10

Those who follow historical cycles are well aware that we are at the end of things. Political cycles erode after the third generation, in around the 64th year. From Eisenhower to the Dalai Lama it has been an astonishing half century. Yet history falls into troughs. It did with the death of Jefferson. It did in the 1930s and it has entered one now. The old gods are gone; the Kennedys are dead, but the successes have been great, the era ending with a victorious milestone: a black President. But at the Creation, the Monkey God, Bob Dylan, said he would not be so all alone if everybody would get stoned. So they did. Could we start again with that?

Nature wastes no time. The federal concept is in a shambles and is today being challenged on all fronts. It is failing in Afghanistan. It failed in Katrina. It is bankrupting the republic, it fails in the Gulf and it fails incredibly along the southwestern border. Invariably, history turns on the one person to stand up and say, no more: “Do your job!” Insisting that if he doesn’t she will do it herself. This is the Gray Champion, the senior statesman or woman who will go alone. Right now it is looking like Jan Brewer, governor of Arizona, who brings a legitimate challenge to President Obama and to the very idea of federalism as we have been practicing it since Alexander Hamilton designed it. A challenge which should send shivers through the whole bipartisan establishment.

As The Hill’s A.B. Stoddard writes, “Even Obama, with his ambitious agenda of sweeping reforms, knows the Congress can't tackle immigration this year. Or possibly ever.”

It is a complete and total abdication of responsibility. Almost two dozen people were killed on the Mexican border Thursday in a gun battle between rival drug gangs. Obama’s inaction and the continued federal incompetence is tantamount to leaving the southwestern states to die like a glamorous and tawdry rock star, of an overdose of heroin. As Mexico is dying of drugs, chaos and squalor. As Detroit, Newark, Philadelphia and hundreds of other smaller American inner cities have already died of drug overdose.

The federal approach has allowed these cities to die. It encourages people to go someplace else until there is no place else to go, but it is tragically irresponsible. Possibly only the governors of the southwest with or without the federal government can save the region. Possibly only the people can save it. Governor Brewer could gain a headwind in this and she should broaden her initiative.