Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
The word everyone is using to describe Fred Thompson: lazy. Fewer people realize that he's calling for the federal government to be just as lazy as he is. Just look at his views on civil unions for gay couples:
I do think that states have the power under our Constitution to make their own determination with regard to those matters ... (I) think the federal government's powers ought to be limited to what's set out in the Constitution - and states, with regard to matters that are traditionally state matters, ought to be free to make those decisions themselves, even if Fred Thompson might disagree with them.
Statements like that make me wonder whether states would prefer a federal government that, through laziness or ideological preference, delegates more to them. Sure, states are sick of mandates like REAL ID and No Child Left Behind, but many want the feds to do more, not less, on other issues such as immigration and global warming.
UPDATE: Thompson reiterated his position on yesterday's "Meet the Press":
"At the end of the day, if a state legislature and a governor decide that that's what they want to do, then yes, they should have the freedom to do what Fred Thompson thinks is a very bad idea."
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.