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When Heather Gerken asks you to get in a car, you go along for the ride. Sometime later, however, you may find yourself asking, "Why am I here?" and, then later, "Where exactly is this force of nature taking me?"
I have had the good fortune of being placed in precisely this situation, having been generously included as a fellow traveler in Professor Gerken's account of the new "Nationalist School" of federalism. I puzzle sometimes over whether I really belong here and where exactly the car is going. My own account of modem nationalism is more state-centered-more traditionally "federalist"-than that of the Gerken pack, although as I will detail, I believe my account is complementary to, rather than in conflict with, theirs. But the Nationalist School also has some more work to do to define its theory of nationalism and what differentiates it from what came before. It also lacks a doctrinal component, apparently intentionally, and so runs the risk of adding to the doctrinal nebulousness of a field-cooperative federalism-whose legal principles can only be described as twenty years of mush.
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