A time for a new Federalism?

The first place I went online to give myself some support after hearing the election results was to Josh Marhsall’s weblog, talkingpointsmemo.com From there, I linked over this statement about Federalism on Andrew Sullivan’s weblog, which I never read.
What we’re seeing, I think, is a huge fundamentalist Christian revival in this country, a religious movement that is now explicitly political as well. It is unsurprising, of course, given the uncertainty of today’s world, the devastating attacks on our country, and the emergence of so many more liberal cultures in urban America. And it is completely legitimate in this country for such views to be represented in public policy, however much I disagree with them. But the intensity of the passion, and the inherently totalist nature of religiously motivated politics means deep social conflict if we are not careful. Our safety valve must be federalism. We have to live and let live. As blue states become more secular, and red states become less so, the only alternative to a national religious war is to allow different states to pursue different options. That goes for things like decriminalization of marijuana, abortion rights, stem cell research and marriage rights. Forcing California and Mississippi into one model is a recipe for disaster. Federalism is now more important than ever. I just hope that Republican federalists understand this. I fear they don’t.
The more I read about Federalism, the more it appeals to me.
Or, even better, how about if all us liberal northeast states band together and form a Union of Federalist States as part of the United States. Then we can control our laws about gay marriage, abortion, separation of church and state, protecting personal privacy from the extremes of the Patriot Act etc. etc.
I don’t know enough about Federalism to understand how those expanded states rights interface with national responsibilities. I guess that I have my reading cut out for me.
I figure that the two avenues we have for working our way out of Bush’s imperial dictatorship is ferment civil war or ferment Federalism. Being a pacifist at heart, I opt for fermenting a New Federalist Movement.

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