Friday, August 17, 2007

Real ID - Real Demands

I never liked the federal government tying legislation in the states to requirements for receiving funding. When Ronald Reagan and the congress did that to federal funds for highways by demanding that in order to receive such funding states must raise the drinking age to 21, I was appalled. Some conservatives give a pass on this sort of feel good legislation and most Democrats see it as appropriate, but my view of the Constitution is that such matters should be left to the states. The federal government is blackmailing the states in cases like this
So, what to make of Fatherland Security's Chertoff blackmailing states over their objections to RealID? From the CNN article linked:
Americans may need passports to board domestic flights or to picnic in a national park next year if they live in one of the states defying the federal Real ID Act.

...The cards would be mandatory for all "federal purposes," which include boarding an airplane or walking into a federal building, nuclear facility or national park, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the National Conference of State Legislatures last week. Citizens in states that don't comply with the new rules will have to use passports for federal purposes.

"For terrorists, travel documents are like weapons," Chertoff said. "We do have a right and an obligation to see that those licenses reflect the identity of the person who's presenting it."

...Many states have revolted. The governors of Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Washington have signed bills refusing to comply with the act. Six others have passed bills and/or resolutions expressing opposition, and 15 have similar legislation pending.

...Chertoff said there would be repercussions for states choosing not to comply. "This is not a mandate," Chertoff said. "A state doesn't have to do this, but if the state doesn't have -- at the end of the day, at the end of the deadline -- Real ID-compliant licenses then the state cannot expect that those licenses will be accepted for federal purposes."
Not a mandate, but there are repercussions such as citizens of those states who, in a federal system, do not wish to comply with the idiotic mandate of Congress and the Executive branch having to carry passports in order to enter their national parks, their federal buildings, or board airlines?!!? Fuck that; it's blackmail. This shit really needs to end.

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