Taken together, over the last five days, we’ve learned that the way to impress Republican voters, at least the ones who show up for events like these, is to support letting the uninsured die, accusing the Fed of treason for trying to improve the economy, and executing lots of people.And booing when somebody (the Texan libertarian-of-convenience Ron Paul) tries to tell you that not all Muslims are homicidal terrorists.
There’s a deep strain of madness running through Republican politics in 2011, and it appears to be getting worse. Those wondering why the GOP presidential field appears weak, insipid, and shallow need look no further than the voters they choose to pander to.More interesting to me is that Michele Bachmann, who claims to be the bona fide Tea Party Republican — and who reportedly has a degree in law — doesn't even understand how federalism, the motivating principle of American government, works. Last night she asserted that it's unconstitutional for a State to impose what's known in the federal Affordable Care Act as the individual insurance mandate. But the whole point of the Constitutional Convention was and is to limit federal power in order to preserve the States' powers to do whatever they need to do.
So of course States may impose such a mandate.
Not only does the Constitution not forbid it, the Framers devised the 10th Amendment, for which Tea Party Republicans otherwise profess their undying fealty, to affirmatively reiterate that motivating principle.
It's nice that the Tea Partyers have reminded us there is a Constitution.
Now if they would actually take the time to read the damn thing, we might be getting somewhere. Here in Wisconsin, the alleged Tea Party Senator Ron Johnson can't read it and nor, for that matter, can these seven Federalist Society attorneys, led by none other than Governor Scott Walker's choice to head up his judicial appointment committee.
Yet few seem even to care about those jarring dissonances.
More broadly speaking — and being the deepest of ironies — the Tea Party Republicans yapping and clapping at these candidate debates are precisely indicative of the irrational mentality that the Framers distrusted to make political decisions, and why the latter limited their political participation to electing only the House of Representatives, itself limited to two-year terms to keep its damages to a minimum.
In that oft-forgotten sense, the Tea Party Republicans have nothing to do with the Constitution at all, being exactly the mob upon which the Framers' jaundiced eyes were fixed. So when the Tea Party Republicans complain about so-called liberal politicians presuming to know what's best for them while at the same time pledging their devotion to an alleged originalist constitutionalism, tell them they cannot have it both ways.
That oughta flip their ersatz tricornes.