Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Constitution vs Moralistic Therapeutic Deism as Civil Religion

Most tea partiers view the Constitution as a secular covenant whose terms the citizens and institutions in our republic are bound to honor. As Professor Randy Barnett argued in his 2004 classic, Restoring the Lost Constitution, we observe the meaning of the words in that document, as they were written. We are “originalists” and consider proponents of “a living constitution” to be usurpers of that original intent.

A more modern variation of the “living constitution” school was presented in a 2009 New Republic article by Damon Linker, who argued that “moralistic therapeutic deism,” which he called “theologically insipid,” is perfectly suited to become our new civil religion. In effect, Linker called for this philosophy to replace the Constitutionalism to which the Tea Party movement and the rest of America adheres.

You can read the rest of the article at Broadside Books here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Donald Trump and the Little Pink House

As one of many tea party activists who find the current crop of 2012 Republican Presidential contenders uninspiring, I’ve followed Donald Trump’s recent statements about a potential Presidential run as a Republican with great interest.

Last week, he spoke before a tea party group in Florida and claimed that he supports tea party values.

But, does he really?

As a developer, Trump is certainly familiar with the legal principle known as eminent domain, a notorious violation of individual liberty, which allows the state to seize the property of a private individual (usually at below market prices) in order to use that property for what the state determines to be a “public purpose.” Though the “Takings Clause” of the Fifth Amendment was intended to prevent the possibility that “ private property be taken for public use, without just compensation,” the state in 20th and 21st century America often uses its overwhelming power to define “just compensation” quite differently than the owner of the private property being taken.

You can read the rest of this article at Broadside Books here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What Tim Geithner Should Know About Alexander Hamilton

Dartmouth-educated Tim Geithner, our current Secretary of Treasury, has either forgotten or never learned the lessons from Alexander Hamilton’s first year as our inaugural Secretary of Treasury.

Hamilton is no favorite of the Tea Party movement. Indeed, it can be argued that no figure in the early years of the Republic did more to usurp the Constitution than Hamilton. He was, after all, the man who persuaded the First Congress to pass and Washington to sign the National Bank Bill that both Jefferson and Madison considered unconstitutional. He followed that up with a vainglorious show of force in the Whiskey Rebellion, and, while out of office, vigorously supported the unconstitutional Alien and Sedition Acts. And did I mention his notorious speech at the Constitutional Convention where he argued in favor of a life time appointment for the head of the Executive Branch and the members of the Senate? If ever there was an American champion of centralized federal power, it was Hamilton.

You can read the rest of this column at Broadside Books Voices of the Tea Party blog here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Former Commander, USS Cole, Embraces the Tea Party, Set to Challenge Angle

Kirk Lippold, who served as the commander of the USS Cole until his retirement, announced today that he intends to run for Congress in Nevada. He will be challenging Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle in the Republican primary. Here’s what he had to say about the Tea Party movement in the Daily Caller today:

“I embrace the Tea Party. I think that the organization, when you really stop and look at it, the tea party and what they stand for is a wonderful organization. I, quite frankly, am an independent proponent of limited government and citizen sovereignty. I’m very supportive of any citizen that takes up the charge to make the government more responsive to the people, and also I believe we need to begin to limit the amount of government intrusion into our lives. And that’s what the Tea Party stands for.”

You can read the rest of this blogpost at Broadside Books "Voices of the Tea Party."