The Corner

A Race-Based Government in Hawaii

My colleagues and I have written about Senator Akaka’s bill to create one a few times over the last year–see here, most recently. In the next few weeks, the Senate is going to vote on whether to take up the bill. Opponents need to get 40 votes to stop consideration of the bill. Right now, they don’t think they have them. But is this really what the Republican Senate wants to take up in the aftermath of the immigration bill? A bill to pave the way for secessionism in Hawaii?

A new poll for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii finds that only 56 percent of native Hawaiians–the ethnic group for whom the bill would create a new government–favor the bill. Among all Hawaiians, 67 percent oppose the bill. If Congress enacts this bill, D.C. will be imposing racial separatism on a state that doesn’t want it.

Most Republican senators will probably vote against taking up this bill. But too many of them are for it. Stevens, Murkowski, Graham, Smith, and Coleman are co-sponsoring it. McCain is said to be leaning in favor. And we haven’t heard firm “no”s yet from Allen, Brownback, DeWine, Enzi, Grassley, Hatch, Talent, or Warner. Conservatives shouldn’t let their interest in the immigration bill, or the impending vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment, to distract them from opposing this bill with the vigor it deserves.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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