Real ID?

Liberals and conservatives alike are in an uproar over the administration’s proposed “Real ID”.

Driving the movement, Montana and Washington last month passed statutes rejecting the federal law, which they claim will infringe on resident’s privacy and cost the fifty states over $14 billion in unsubsidized expense.

Money is definitely what’s talking in vigorous, immediate terms — it’s unlikely Bush’s No Child Left Behind initiative would have gone into effect without the support of hefty funding from the federal government, and there is no financial support being offered in the administration’s Real ID plan.

But there’s a deeper issue at stake, namely, the traditional structure of the US as a federation of semi-autonomous states. A national ID was never necessary before in the United States of America: why is one needed now?

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