Michelle Goldberg’s longish piece in Salon is the most thoughtful reaction to the whole Red State-Blue State divide that I’ve seen yet: If at first you don’t secede. Honestly, I’m a bit irritated by the recent flood of gratuitous fuck-yous and pathetic disavowals; both seem divisive and unproductive to me, and on top of that, they make progressives look like a bunch of mean-spirited, foul-mouthed poor losers. Let’s face it: We lost the election, and that’s because the Republicans ran a better-organized campaign, because they were more in touch with popular sentiment than we were, or both. Get over it: It’s time to start figuring out how we can get back on track.
In many ways, the states’ rights line looks promising. That’s partly because Republicans have largely abandoned it in favor of increasingly intrusive big-government initiatives that limit private freedoms and curtail state laws. Abortion, gay marriage (and even civil unions), free speech, privacy, gun control: All are under attack by special interest groups who want to impose their values on every state, via big federal government bureaucracies and/or sweeping national laws. Now is the time to fight back — at the state level. Let’s make a stand for our values, and our right to make our own laws.