The Iowa Senate race is one of the closest in the nation, and what it seems to have come down to is the following two questions: Number 1, did Bruce Braley act like a jerk when he and his neighbor had a dispute over the fact that the neighbor's chickens were crapping on Braley's lawn? And number 2, is Joni Ernst a radical extremist?
You can argue that only one of these questions has anything to do with what Iowa's next senator will be doing in office, and you'd be right. But the latest bit of information on Ernst is, if you actually understand the issue, quite a doozy:
State Sen. Joni Ernst, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Iowa, once said she would support legislation that would allow "local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement" Obamacare.
Ernst voiced her support for that, as well as supporting legislation that would "nullify" Obamacare in a Iowa State Legislative Candidates survey for Ron Paul's libertarian-aligned Campaign for Liberty in 2012. It can be viewed here.
The question was: "Will you support legislation to nullify ObamaCare and authorize state and local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement the unconstitutional health care scheme known as ObamaCare?" Ernst answered that question as "yes."
The "My opponent agreed to something crazy in a questionnaire" is its own genre of outrage, and seldom an enlightening one. It's possible that a staffer filled this out, and it didn't reflect Ernst's actual views. If that's the case, she should have the opportunity to clarify what she really thinks, and if this questionnaire doesn't reflect her beliefs, then she needn't necessarily be blamed for it.
But if this does reflect her views, then she's not just a radical on the substance of issues (which she certainly is), but she's a procedural radical as well. You can put words like "liberty" in the name of your organization all you want, but what Ernst was agreeing to here isn't liberty, it's insurrection against the Constitution of the United States.
States do not have the right to nullify federal laws they don't like. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution makes that absolutely clear. And the idea that local cops should be arresting federal officials who implement duly passed federal laws isn't just some colorful conservatism, it's positively insane. If you believe that, you forfeit your right to say you love the Constitution, and you worship the Framers, and all the other things people like Ernst so often claim.
Like I said, maybe these aren't Ernst's actual views, and if they aren't, then that's fine. But she damn sure ought to say whether they are.
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