I was just on a news radio show in Los Angeles today, and the host wanted to know how people were reacting to Governor Jan Brewer's recent cancellation of the 2010 Border Governors Conference, which was scheduled for September.
With overwhelming indifference, I told him. Sure the New York Times bled some ink on it, the bloggers are tearing it up, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's ticked and wants to find a new home for it. Hopefully, one the border governors from old Mexico won't want to boycott.
The problem is that, as with the U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit against Arizona and the boycott of Arizona from municipalities such as the City of Angels, all of this is lending itself -- in the short term -- to a backlash.
Beyond Arizona's borders, Sand Landers may be regarded as barbarous bumpkins who eat with their bare feet. But within those borders there is a sort of freakish nationalism, and the idea of Arizona as a nation-state beholden to no other entity.
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So you think Brewer quashing some governors' border summit will garner much more than a collective shrug?
Arizonans are a hard-headed lot. Lost conferences, lost tourist dollars, lost business, and so on. The toll from these will be gradual, as we creep toward a self-made snake pit of disaster.
What's the breaking point? I don't know. But I do know that this rebellious states' rights attitude must be crushed. By boycott. By lawsuits. By federal intervention. By demonstrations and civil disobedience.
Think of it as the flip side of state Senator Russell Pearce's "attrition through enforcement," which was codified by SB 1070. Arizona may want to be an island, removed from the Constitutional guarantees that protect us all. But it cannot survive indefinitely as one.