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EDITORIAL: A referendum on Obama

Leftist agenda is being checked at the state level

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Voters scared about the country's liberal direction are taking action. Early voting began Monday in states including Arkansas, Colorado and Texas. This gives the public a timely opportunity to do more than just pull the lever in favor of handing control of the House or Senate back to Republicans. A few states have ballot measures designed as a direct repudiation of the administration's policies, including union card check, Obamacare, global warming and out-of-control government spending.

President Obama has sought to pay back the union bosses who were critical to his election, and Big Labor's top demand is the enactment of card-check legislation during a lame-duck session of Congress. This law would allow union thugs to scrutinize how individual employees vote on questions of union representation. As labor leaders are not known for their subtlety, this gives rise to the obvious concern that threats and coercion would be used to compel the desired outcome. Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah residents will be given the choice of rewriting their state constitutions to guarantee the right to a secret ballot for all elections for public office and employee representation.

The Show Me state gave us a sneak peak at how a vote directly repudiating a centerpiece of the O Force agenda might turn out. In August, 71 percent of Missouri voters decided to reject the health care mandate central to Obamacare. Now Arizona, Colorado and Oklahoma will hold votes on amending their state constitutions to prohibit state officials from enforcing any federal requirement for residents to participate in a given health care plan. Similarly, California's Proposition 23 would suspend state regulations imposing job-killing limits on carbon-dioxide emissions (that's the same gas you're emitting as you read this) until the state's unemployment rate drops from 12 percent to 5.5 percent. Although this deals with overturning the Golden State's own environmental policy bureaucrats, passage would send an unmistakable message. If the global-warming farce can't pass this test on the left coast, federal schemes will have no chance.

Florida voters will have an opportunity to make a statement on the wisdom of running $1.3 trillion annual deficits. The ballot asks, "In order to stop the uncontrolled growth of our national debt and prevent excessive borrowing by the Federal Government, which threatens our economy and national security, should the United States Constitution be amended to require a balanced federal budget without raising taxes?" Colorado voters will have the chance to amend their state constitution to reflect that the term "person" applies to the unborn, a challenge to the Democrats' radical pro-abortion policies. Arizona would tackle the issue of preferential set-asides based on sex and race. If enacted, the state government and public universities would be banned from hiring employees and admitting students based on the color of their skin or their sex.

These state-level measures will provide a useful gauge of the public's tolerance toward the marauding leftism that pervades national policy when Democrats have power. Widespread defeat for Mr. Obama's priorities would signal that the electorate is feeling buyer's remorse from the change they were sold two short years ago.

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