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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Wingnuts" and "Zanies" and Proof Positive of Darn Near Total Ignorance

You know, I can handle the local lib blog crowing over Randy Brogdon's loss to Mary Fallin. They crow because they see it as a defeat of "Tea Party" ideas, including what they call "tentherism."

I think they've totally misread the results. I never expected Mr. Brogdon to win, but that's because I have known very well who Mary Fallin was for several years, and Randy Brogdon only appeared on my radar screen within the last eighteen months. Considering the amount of time I spend reading and listening to things political, I really don't think it's too much of a stretch to conclude that Mr. Brogdon was at too much of a disadvantage in terms of name recognition to stand a chance.

Also, I've heard all the Republican candidates' ads--over and over and over again. They all ran on Tea Party ideas, every single mother's son and father's daughter of 'em. Kind of hard to determine that mainstream Republican voters don't like Tea Party ideas in a situation like that, I would think.

But you know, there is something about their crowing that bugs me. Bugs me every single time they bring it up. It's their persistent characterization of Mr. Brogdon's ideas on the Tenth amendment as those of a--conflating their terms slightly here--"zany wingnut."

It just astounds me that anyone could be so fantastically ignorant. Mr. Brogdon's ideas on the subject are perfectly in line with those of the Founding Fathers, as anyone can see by reading The Federalist Papers. They are perfectly in line with those of Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans that ruled American politics for a very substantial part of the nineteenth century. They were, in fact, very common currency right up until the New Deal. Those same bloggers once linked to a piece that complained of how the High Court consistently ruled--at least at first--against Roosevelt on specifically "tenther" grounds--that is, they inadvertently admitted that those ideas were widely-enough held prior to the Roosevelt administration to secure the appointment of several Supreme Court justices who shared them.

They missed that, of course. They miss everything that might shatter the wonderful little spun-glass world in which they live.

Look, here's Jefferson on the Tenth Amendment:
I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that "all powers not delegated to the U.S. by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people". To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.
And here he is on the General Welfare clause (since leftists always run immediately to the General Welfare clause when you bring up the Tenth Amendment):
...our tenet ever was, and, indeed, it is almost the only landmark which now divides the federalists from the republicans, that Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated; and that, as it was never meant they should provide for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money. I think the passage and rejection of this bill a fortunate incident. Every State will certainly concede the power; and this will be a national confirmation of the grounds of appeal to them, and will settle forever the meaning of this phrase, which, by a mere grammatical quibble, has countenanced the General Government in a claim of universal power. For in the phrase, “to lay taxes, to pay the debts and provide for the general welfare,” it is a mere question of syntax, whether the two last infinitives are governed by the first or are distinct and co-ordinate powers; a question unequivocally decided by the exact definition of powers immediately following.
Not an iota of difference exists between Jefferson's views and Mr. Brogdon's views. Mr. Brogdon's views aren't those of a zany wingnut; FDR's were. But since, to rather an awful lot of American liberals, history only starts with the New Deal, the local lib-bloggers most likely don't know that. They most likely don't know that they've inadvertently characterized Jefferson's, and many other prominent Americans', views of the Constitution, as those of zany wingnuts. They most likely don't know that they've branded themselves, for anyone who's done the reading to see, as grossly ignorant.

And frankly, it bugs me to see the grossly ignorant act as though they were intellectually superior to the likes of Randy Brogdon.

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