On Thursday, October 30, 2008, five days before the election Barack Obama told a University of Missouri audience that he intended to fundamentally transform America. Americans took him at his word and in a matter of months the Tea Party was born. At the time, details of the Obama's transformation hadn't been spelled out, but Tea Partiers understood the implications.
Obama's signature issue was health care reform, which represented a major transformation of the U.S. economic and political landscapes. Of course it was not sold as such. "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan," promised President Obama in August of 2009. One month later the Tea Party gathered in Washington, DC in a massive show of skepticism, but Obama and Senate Democrats forged ahead. In December 2009 The Senate passed ObamaCare by a margin 60 - 39 with all Republicans voting against it.
Once again the Tea Party registered its objections. In January 2010 Massachusetts voters elected Republican Scott Brown over prohibitive favorite Martha Coakely in a special election to replace Ted Kennedy who died of cancer. Brown won by promising to be the 41st vote against ObamaCare if it ever went back to the Senate for reconciliation with yet a to be passed House version. But ObamaCare never went back to the Senate, since the House simply passed the Senate version and ObamaCare was signed into law.
Then came the court challenges with the most recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit declaring the individual mandate to be unconstitutional. The implications of ObamaCare, so clear to the Tea Party, were distilled by Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in its decision in FLORIDA v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.
In sum, the individual mandate is breathtaking in its expansive scope. It regulates those who have not entered the health care market at all. It regulates those who have entered the health care market, but have not entered the insurance market (and have no intention of doing so). It is overinclusive in when it regulates: it conflates those who presently consume health care with those who will not consume health care for many years into the future. The government's position amounts to an argument that the mere fact of an individual's existence substantially affects interstate commerce, and therefore Congress may regulate them at every point of their life. This theory affords no limiting principles in which to confine Congress's enumerated power.
Now, there's a transformation for you. No limit to the power of Congress to regulate Americans "at every point in their life." This is what the Tea Party understood. The Constitution with its Tenth Amendment becomes meaningless under ObamaCare.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
What's left in the way of power that can be reserved to the people when our mere existence entitles Congress to say what we must buy and when we must buy it? All impediments to the power of progressive politicians to firmly guide us toward correct thought and action are swept away with ObamaCare. It's what health care reform has always been about. It's not as if progressives care about anybody's health. If they did, maybe their focus would on improving health care itself instead of meddling with health insurance. The Tea Party understood this from the beginning.