June 26th, 2011
01:22 PM ET

Letters to the President: #888 'States rights and wrongs'

Reporter's Note: President Obama has spoken occasionally about which responsibilities should fall to the federal government, and which to the states. That’s why this letter is falling on his desk.

Dear Mr. President,

One thing I have noticed about states’ rights is that they seem to be highly influenced by the subject at hand. For example, if someone has succeeded in grabbing a political edge on some issue in his neck of the woods - no matter if it leans liberal or conservative - that person is suddenly a staunch defender of the right of local rule.

By the same token, if the political winds start blowing against them at home, suddenly they are howling on the Capitol steps or skulking around the White House lawn demanding that the federal government intervene.

It’s tiring, and it seems pretty darn disingenuous. It’s like watching a team scream about the referees after every game they lose, and praise the refs after every one they win, even if the officiating is rock-solid across the board.

You know who I admire? I admire people who at least seem capable of separating their principles from their issues. People who, if they say states’ rights are important, will hold that line even when it goes against their favorite cause; and vice versa.

It just seems more honest that way. Not that I’ve noticed a lot of that in D.C., but still.

Anyway, not much to say on a Sunday. I’m pretty tired after a busy week, and expect another busy one ahead. But I guess you feel that way too.

Call if you get some time and perhaps we can take a break by chatting a bit.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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