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Democrats poised to embrace states' rights?

With a somewhat cynical view of the integrity of some politician's commitments to or against states' rights, Michelle Goldberg argues in "If at first you don't secede" that it may be time for liberals and Democrats to take another look at the possibilities of Federalism [via Dave Farber's IP list].

Having lost any say in how the nation is run, liberals may be about to discover states' rights — for better or worse....

Liberals have long opposed the growth of state power, and for good reason. The century's most significant clashes over federalism have been over civil rights, with the national government forcing the South to submit to desegregation. Since then, fights over everything from abortion to school prayer have pitted Northern liberals, who want to use the federal government to enforce individual rights, often in the face of hostile majorities, against Southern conservatives, who believe that communities should be free to set their own norms.

Now, though, it's liberal enclaves that feel threatened by the federal government, and who will likely need to muster states' rights arguments to protect themselves from Bush's domestic policies.

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