It's not even remotely clear for whom the NH Senate believes it works these days, or whether they quite grasp that "oath" thing they took. Hell, I haven't even been able to prod a response from my Sen. Janeway on anything. Have you?
Last year, to its everlasting credit, the NH House listened to its rather vocal constituents (not to mention surprisingly fairly unanimous enlightened media), came to grips with the myriad massive and troubling fiscal, sovereignty, privacy, federal competency (or rather repeatedly stunning lack thereof), and even religious issues involved, overcame a poorly considered committee report, and passed HB685, prohibiting NH from participating in any national ID scheme. However, they then had to drag the Senate, kicking and screaming, to pass the bill that Governor Lynch had already promised he'd sign, thereby actually representing NH rather than the federal government.
Well, fast-forward to this year, and despite just the latest D.C. security shocker, the Senate is clearly still steaming (about 1:35 in) over having to knuckle under to mere constituents and not reflexively genuflect to our masters in Washington, rather than make a stand for the Constitutional rule of law. Our clear duty, in the addled mind of the Senate, seems to be to blindly obey federal "authority." Unlawful or otherwise. Utter submission to continuing and growing federal hubris. Period. A paltry few pieces of silver-- sorry, fiat currency in exchange is just a happy bonus.
So they've now amended an unrelated Senate bill, SB434, to start the process all over again, and quickly passed it unanimously. What, exactly, is it that you have against the Constitutions, Senators? What of the 10th Amendment (which reserves authority over driver's licenses to the states) or NH Article 7 (which states -- redundantly, it could easily be argued -- that NH voters must first explicitly relinquish that authority, which, of course, we have not done) isn't crystal clear to you? What price is your freedom worth? What price are you willing to accept for mine, as if I'd in any way given you authority to trade it? There is not a single patriotic, sovereign, rule-of-law spine among them. Any bets on whether their roll call vote on this one makes it onto the NH Liberty Alliance's Legislative Report Card?
Now assigned to the House Science, Technology & Energy Committee, its (first, as it turns out) public hearing was yesterday, 3/25/2008. The important take-away is that the hearing is suspended until 10am Thursday, 3/27/2008, again in LOB Rm. 304, more than likely. Herewith, the record of this initial House committee hearing. I had intended to edit heavily, but as events developed, and became more time-sensitive, I decided to just post it as-is, so it's pretty rough. Sorry. I may get around to a "highlight reel." In the mean time, contact the Committee members, and see if you can set aside Thursday morning to join us...
Google Video version (soon disappearing)
Through the Governor's counsel's testimony, Lynch clearly believes this legislation is thoroughly unnecessary, even redundant. Representatives Kurk, Itse, and Vaillancourt are eloquent. Questions posed by the Committee members suggest they are sympathetic. The Committee Chair, informing me before the hearing that she believes the REAL ID component belongs with another Committee, and so intends to gloss over it, reconsiders mid-proceedings, and decides they need to reserve more time to its investigation. Thus the continuance to Thursday.
I believe merely asking for an extension is "blinking." I believe it would say that we're working toward compliance. And that would be lying, either to the feds or to the citizens of NH, who have worked very hard to keep NH out of any national ID scheme. And I now honestly believe the Senate is more interested in pleasing the equally arrogant feds, and selling us out for chump change than in listening to constituents and defending liberty. What would have become of the American Revolution had "inconvenience" been sufficient imposition to quietly lay down arms and obediently go home?
If we're making a stand for the constitutional rule of law -- as I vehemently believe we should, and must -- let it be here, let it be now. Damn it, I'm pissed. But cautiously hopeful...
"Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say 'What should be the reward of such sacrifices?' Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776