Reason's Radley Balko notes that center-left publications including the The American Prospect and The New Republic (plus our own Blogging for Michigan) are "pushing the 'Tenther' smear, aimed at lumping those who, horrors!, still take seriously the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in with the Obama birth certificate deniers and 9/11 truthers."
At least in Michigan, however, the partisan smear mongers have a challenge: Politicians from both parties are showing themselves to be bipartisan posturers on this issue.
Naturally, GOP pols love this 10th Amendment placebo because it distracts the base from their misdeeds, and allows them to posture without having to do anything except pass meaningless resolutions.
And Dem pols are happy to play also. Last week the Republican-run Michigan state Senate passed its own meaningless, eye-candy 10th Amendment resolution 31-0 vote. All the Dems who were present voted "yes." (Two Dems and two Repubs were absent.)
Here's how MichiganVotes.org described the measure, Senate Concurrent Resolution 4:
"To send a note to Congress stating that the Michigan Senate and House think they should honor Michigan's sovereignty under the 10th Amendment over all powers not enumerated and granted to the federal government. The measure has no force of law, and requires no further actions on this issue by the legislature."
Here's how Reason's Radley Balko characterized the issue:
"Tenth Amendment supporters need to harbor a sort of quaint detachment from political reality to still seriously advocate that the federal government roll back to its constitutional limitations. That cat has far outgrown its bag. And to be fair, most of the Republicans invoking the amendment on the stump today had no problem with a leviathan federal government during the Bush years."
BTW, there is one Senate resolution with 10th Amendment implications that may be less meaningless, and that I would love to see Senators go on the record on, Senate Joint Resolution K. This would place a Constitutional amendment on the ballot to recognize that “every person has a right to provide for his or her own health care,” and to prohibit any state law or rule that would directly or indirectly “compel any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system.”