Monday, May 16, 2011

For the Tea Party, the Meaning of the Founding Era is in the Words of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

Author William Hogeland is an honest historian who, despite his apparent left wing proclivities, doesn’t distort the historical record. He also seems to appreciate the unique self-organizing character of the Founding Era civil rebellions that continue to inspire modern Tea Partiers. Where we disagree is in our view of the Constitution. In his guest article published here today in Broadside Books’ “Line of Fire,” Hogeland argues that the Tea Party movement“makes a claim on history that I think distorts, to a damaging degree, realities of the American founding period, and what those realities might mean for us today.”

To the contrary, our claim that the Constitution, as ratified and amended, is a secular covenant by which we are all bound is the strongest, most democratically rooted claim on history that emerges from the American founding period. As I argue in my upcoming book, The Covenant of Liberty, this secular covenant was formed in an intense, elaborate national discussion that took place over four long years from 1787 to 1791. Perhaps the most important outcome of that exhausting but authentically democratic process is that Congress’ powers are limited to those enumerated in Article I, Section 8.

You can read the rest of this article here at Broadside Books' "Line of Fire."

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