Published: Thursday, July 19, 2012, 10:10 PM
By Robin DeMonia -- The Birmingham News
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- A man who helped launch the national tea-party movement urged a local chapter to redouble its efforts to defeat Barack Obama, accusing the president of corrupting the Constitution with the help of a "faithless chief justice."
Speaking to the Rainy Day Patriots in Hoover, Michael Patrick Leahy warned that a second term for Obama will lock in a "nightmare government" that tramples individual liberties and pushes the country to financial ruin.
Leahy told 120 people who gathered at Hoover Tactical Firearms that the United States is at risk of a crisis like that being experienced now in Greece and other European countries. He said federal spending is already at historical highs in relation to gross domestic product and predicted it would rise even higher in a second Obama term.
"This is financially reckless extremism," Leahy said. "The founders ... would despise and detest this."
Leahy also had strong words for Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the opinion upholding Obama's signature health care law. Leahy, who has called Roberts a "judicial Benedict Arnold," tonight called the chief justice a "con artist ... (who) redefined the court as an overarching, superlegislative body."
"Justice Roberts knew he was conjuring up a decision that would make the American people retch," Leahy said. "More importantly, he just told us which team he's playing on. He's with the anticonstitutionalists. His legacy as their champion is secure."
But Leahy predicted the victory would be short-lived, and that Obama would be defeated in November, thanks to tea-party members who insist on preserving constitutional limits on government and protections for citizens.
"We are faithful to that covenant," Leahy said. "Barack Obama and the allies he has are in the middle of corrupting that covenant. It will not happen on our watch. ... We conservatives will defeat Barack Obama."
In response to an audience member, Leahy agreed Republican leaders don't have a solid record of supporting limited government. Still, he defended Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as someone who will be more responsive to tea-party concerns.
"I would say he's better than the alternatives by a long shot. He's our only alternative," said Leahy, who was elected in Tennessee as a Romney delegate in 2008.
Leahy helped start the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition in 2009. He also has written a book, "Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement," which he autographed after tonight's gathering.
The Rainy Day Patriots formed in Birmingham and Shelby County in 2009, in response to concerns about the encroachment of big government going back as far as the prescription drug plan during George W. Bush
administration. "Then Obama's socialist government takeover finally broke the camel's back," said Zan Green, the group's president and founder.
Green said her chapter now counts 4,000 "hard members" and has had more than 10,000 attend its events and rallies. She expects members to get more active as the election approaches and tonight pushed an effort to get Birmingham area tea-partiers to sway their Florida friends to Romney's side.
Tonight's Rainy Day Patriots meeting was a first for Ben Marcus and his son, Barry Marcus. "It's time to get involved," said Barry Marcus, who lives in Shelby County. "We have strayed so far from the Constitution, it's not funny. It's time to stand up and say we're going in the wrong direction."
He said his concerns are not limited to either political party. "It's just the entire political climate. It's just gotten so toxic and corroded, I don't trust the Democrats or Republicans to do what they say."