Fred Thompson looks more and more like he’s in the early stages of an unconventional run for the presidency. Today on RedState, Thompson responds to a Ramesh Ponnuru column from last Friday in which Ponnuru criticized Thompson’s support for tort reform. Kudos to Thompson for tackling Ponnuru’s points head on, and offering a thorough response devoid of the usual spin. His post ends with an eloquent defense of federalism:
As I understood it, states were supposed to be laboratories that would compete with each other, conducting civic experiments according to the wishes of their citizens. The model for federal welfare reform was the result of that process. States also allow for of diverse viewpoints that exist across the country. There is no reason that Tennesseans and New Yorkers should have to agree on everything (and they don’t)…
Adhering to the principles of Federalism is not easy. As one who was on the short end of a couple of 99-1 votes, I can personally attest to it. Federalism sometimes restrains you from doing things you want to do. You have to leave the job to someone else – who may even choose not to do it at all. However, if conservatives abandon this valued principle that limits the federal government, or if we selectively use it as a tool with which to reward our friends and strike our enemies, then we will be doing a disservice to our country as well as the cause of conservatism.
If Thompson doesn’t end up running for president, he’ll make a great blogger.
UPDATE: Ponnuru strikes back.