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August 23, 2011

What The Tea Party Understood From The Beginning

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.

Posted by Tom Bowler at 02:27 PM | Permalink


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Yes we did.

The most amazing part about being a tea partier these days is the ongoing, never ending projection by the left. I am constantly being told what I believe and think by people who don't have a clue what I believe or think.

The rallies may be over but the tea party continues to grow. Our values are the same today as they were in April 2009 when Rick Santelli made his call to arms.

Either we will save America or it will be done.

Posted by: Jane | Aug 24, 2011 8:39:04 AM

I think we'll save it, Jane, although it's definitely not a sure thing.

No question about the lefty projection, but let me ask you. Can you think of anything they say or any position they take that is anything other than a vehicle for advancing government (progressive) control?

Health care reform: Do you think liberals care in the slightest about anybody's health? While they grab off one sixth of the economy.

Poverty: Lefty poverty programs have proven to be the surest way to keep people in poverty. They need poor people who provide the excuse for keeping themselves in power, which leads to...

Illegal immigration: As standards of living have risen over the decades, progressives have been running out of poor poeple. So much so that they've been trying to import more of them through illegal immigration.

Global warming (Oops, Climate Change. They're no longer sure which direction the temperature is going.): It's a scam by lefty elitists to impose wealth redistribution on an international scale while milking the private sector by selling carbon credits.

And the list goes on. I guess I'm saying we better save America!

Posted by: Tom Bowler | Aug 24, 2011 11:44:40 AM

Can you think of anything they say or any position they take that is anything other than a vehicle for advancing government (progressive) control?

I actually don't think it is that thought out or sophisticated. I think, since Clinton, the only thing most of the diehards on the left are, is anti-right. They don't care if they lose freedom, as long as the right loses. They don't care what the policies are as long as the left opposes them. It's pretty pathetic.

Posted by: Jane | Aug 24, 2011 3:26:51 PM

You make a good point, Jane. But there are progressive leaders and progressive followers. I know first hand of some followers that don't care what's true, they just want to win. I had a conversation with one of them who told me, coincidentally, that he became a hard core Democrat when Clinton was impeached. He was nonplussed when I said that Clinton was, actually, convicted of perjury and disbarred.

But I digress. I'm convinced that progressive leaders do think these things through and that they pick their positions and their words without any regard for what is true or what might actually work as a policy. It only depends upon whether or not it will sell with the followers.

Actually, I think progressive politicians prefer programs that don't work. Government programs never go away. And when they don't work the solution is always to give them more money. The stimulus wasn't big enough, you know. Expanded programs are constituencies that keep progressives in power to feed the insatiable beast. Progressive leaders know this. I'm convinced.

Posted by: Tom Bowler | Aug 24, 2011 4:48:32 PM

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Posted by: Melbourne Electrician | Aug 25, 2011 3:31:15 AM

I don't know if the whole Tea Party saw it, but enough did. Which is why the soi-disant progressives are hell bent on demonising it. They are quite right to see the Tea Party as the enemy, and a relentless one too. But their game plan outs them as devoid of integrity, and in the end, that will finish the statists.
Seen from the point of view of young idealists, it's cavaliers and roundheads all over again. The cavaliers have the glamour but the roundheads have the principles. And it was the king's head finished in the bucket.

Posted by: john lawless | Aug 25, 2011 8:45:04 AM

But their game plan outs them as devoid of integrity, and in the end, that will finish the statists.

We can certainly hope so, John. And with Obama's poll numbers going the way they're going we can hope with at least a small degree of confidence.

Posted by: Tom Bowler | Aug 26, 2011 5:26:55 AM