Tag Archives: federalists

Gun Control, the Dick Act of 1902, Bills of Attainder & Ex Post Facto Laws

publius-huldahBy Publius Huldah

The latest round of rubbish flooding our in boxes is an ignorant rant claiming that the Dick Act of 1902 (which respects our Right to be armed) can’t be repealed because to do so would “violate bills of attainder and ex post facto laws”.

Who dreams up this stuff? Does anyone check it out before they spread it around?

Of course we have the God-given right to keep and bear arms, to self-defense, etc., etc.  Our Declaration of Independence (2nd para) recognizes that our Rights come from God and are unalienable.

The 2nd Amendment to our federal Constitution recognizes that this God-given right to keep and bear arms is to be free from any interference WHATSOEVER from the federal government.

Our Framers were all for an armed American People – they understood that arms are our ultimate defense in the event the federal government oversteps its bounds.  See, e.g., what James Madison, Father of Our Constitution, writes in the second half of Federalist Paper No. 46!  The reason the Citizens – the Militia – are armed is to defend ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, communities, and States from an overreaching, tyrannical federal government.

Accordingly, the federal government is nowhere in the Constitution granted authority to restrict, in any fashion whatsoever, guns, ammunition, etc. Thus, ALL laws made by Congress, and ALL regulations made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco (ATF), are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers granted to Congress and to the Executive Branch by our Constitution. Regulation of arms and ammunition is NOT one of the “enumerated powers” delegated to Congress or the Executive Branch.

Furthermore, all pretended regulations made by the ATF are also unconstitutional as in violation of Art. I, Sec. 1, U.S. Constitution, which vests ALL legislative powers granted by the Constitution in CONGRESS.   Executive agencies have no lawful authority whatsoever to make rules or regulations of general application to The People!

In addition, the President and the Senate may not lawfully by treaty do anything the Constitution does not authorize them to do directly.   Since the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to disarm us, the federal government may not lawfully do it by Treaty.   See, http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2009/09/19/the-treaty-making-power-of-the-united-states/

But the assertion that one Congress may not repeal acts of a previous Congress is idiotic.

And the assertion that Congress can’t repeal the Dick Act because a repeal would “violate bills of attainder and ex post facto laws” shows that whoever wrote that doesn’t know what he is talking about. He obviously has no idea what a “bill of attainder” is, and no idea what an “ex post facto law” is.

This accurately explains what a “bill of attainder” is: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/Bill-of-Attainder.htm

An “ex post facto” law RETROACTIVELY criminalizes conduct which was not criminal when it was done.

Say you barbequed outside last Sunday. That was lawful when you did it. Next month, Congress makes a pretended law which purports to retroactively criminalize barbequing outdoors. So, now, what you did is a crime (for which you are subject to criminal prosecution); even thou when you did it, it wasn’t a crime. That is an ex post facto law.

Now, say Congress passes a pretended law making possession of firearms a crime and ordering everyone to turn in their guns. Only if you do not turn in your guns will you have committed a “crime”.  That is not an ex post facto law because if you turn in your guns, you won’t be criminally prosecuted. The “crime” is the failure to turn in your guns – not the prior possession of guns.

Such a law would be totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL, because gun control is not one of the enumerated powers of Congress. Thus, the law would be outside the scope of the powers delegated to Congress.

It would also be unconstitutional as in violation of the 2nd Amendment.

But it would not be an ex post facto law.

People shouldn’t sling around terms, the meanings of which, they do not understand. It is immoral.

If TRUTH spread as rapidly as lies, our problems would have been resolved long ago.  But if People can come to love TRUTH more than they love the ignorant rubbish they circulate, perhaps it is not too late to restore our Constitutional Republic. PH

Endnote:

In Federalist Paper No. 84 (4th para), Alexander Hamilton says re ex post facto laws (and of the importance of the writ of habeas corpus):

“…The creation of crimes after the commission of the fact, or, in other words, the subjecting of men to punishment for things which, when they were done, were breaches of no law, and the practice of arbitrary imprisonments, have been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny…” PH

Impeachment May Be Our Only Hope!

After three days of testimony before the Supreme Court on Obama’s health care law, the so-called “Affordable Health Care Act”, some things are becoming evident, although no one can predict how the Court will rule. In a “best case scenario”, it will rule the entire law unconstitutional, killing it completely. In a “worst case scenario”, they could rule the law constitutional as it stands, which would be catastrophic for the country. While either is possible, neither is probable. More than likely, the final ruling will fall somewhere in-between.

There seems to be a widespread belief that the individual mandate will be struck down by the court, although that is in no way certain. Even if it is, there is a strong possibility that parts of the law will be left intact. Based on the history of Supreme Court decisions, it is likely that if the Affordable Care Act is struck down, all or in part, the majority opinion of the Court will contain language that can be used by the left to further expand the meaning of the commerce clause of the Constitution.

At this point in the deliberations, it seems obvious that the final outcome and thus, the future of the Republic will hinge on the decision of a single Supreme Court Justice. It is certain that the four progressive/socialist Justices will come down on the side of government, while the four constitutionalists will elect to strike down, at least several parts of the law. The deciding vote on most of the major issues will certainly be Justice Anthony Kennedy. That means that the future of the Republic for generations to come depends on the decision made by one man. This cannot be allowed to stand. A free Republic must be governed by the rule of law. We cannot afford to continue to allow one individual to decide what that law shall be.

In order to maintain the independence of the Judiciary, federal judges, including Supreme Court Justices, are appointed for life, or “during good behavior”. This lifetime tenure was granted to the judiciary with the understanding that they could be turned out of office by impeachment, should they prove to be unworthy of the position. In the history of America, thirteen federal judges have been impeached. However, only one Supreme Court Justice. That was Associate Justice Samuel Chase in 1804. He was impeached by the House of Representatives, charged with allowing his partisanship to influence his Court decisions. He was acquitted in the Senate by one vote, however.

Congress, after the elections of 1800, was dominated by the Democratic-Republican Party. However, because of the slow turnover of the Senate due to the three-election-cycle term of Senators, the Federalist Party was still strong enough in the Senate four years later to prevent Chase’s conviction. Since that time, no Supreme Court Justice has ever been impeached by the House. Short of impeachment, there is no way Supreme Court Justices can be held accountable for violating their oath of office. This fact became a major subject of debate during the Constitution’s ratification process.

The anti-federalists feared that the Supreme Court would become too powerful, usurping the powers granted to the Legislature by the Constitution. Justices would hold their office for life and there were no provisions in the Constitution for correcting their errors. The Framers believed the threat of impeachment would by sufficient to prevent the Court from overstepping its authority. One of the Anti-federalists, writing under the pseudonym “Brutus”, succinctly stated the objection in an article dated March 20, 1788.

 “1st. There is no power above them that can correct their errors or control their decisions — the adjudications of this court are final and irreversible, for there is no court above them to which appeals can lie, either in error or on the merits. — In this respect it differs from the courts in England, for there the house of lords is the highest court, to whom appeals, in error, are carried from the highest of the courts of law.
2d. They cannot be removed from office or suffer a diminution of their salaries, for any error in judgment or want of capacity.”

Alexander Hamilton attempted to answer the objections of the Anti-federalists in Federalist numbers 78 – 81. In Federalist 81, Hamilton summed up the objections of the Anti-federalists.

“The arguments, or rather suggestions, upon which this charge is founded, are to this effect: ‘The authority of the proposed Supreme Court of the United States, which is to be a separate and independent body, will be superior to that of the legislature. The power of construing the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution will enable that court to mould them into whatever shape it may think proper; especially as its decisions will not be in any manner subject to the revision or correction of the legislative body. This is as unprecedented as it is dangerous. In Britain, the judicial power, in the last resort, resides in the House of Lords, which is a branch of the legislature; and this part of the British government has been imitated in the State constitutions in general. The Parliament of Great Britain, and the legislatures of the several States, can at any time rectify, by law, the exceptionable decisions of their respective courts. But the errors and usurpations of the Supreme Court of the United States will be uncontrollable and remediless’.”

Later in the same paper, Hamilton attempts to put this objection to rest by pointing out the power of impeachment given to the two houses of Congress.

“It may in the last place be observed that the supposed danger of judiciary encroachments on the legislative authority, which has been upon many occasions reiterated, is in reality a phantom. Particular misconstructions and contraventions of the will of the legislature may now and then happen; but they can never be so extensive as to amount to an inconvenience, or in any sensible degree to affect the order of the political system. This may be inferred with certainty, from the general nature of the judicial power, from the objects to which it relates, from the manner in which it is exercised, from its comparative weakness, and from its total incapacity to support its usurpations by force. And the inference is greatly fortified by the consideration of the important constitutional check which the power of instituting impeachments in one part of the legislative body, and of determining upon them in the other, would give to that body upon the members of the judicial department. This is alone a complete security. There never can be danger that the judges, by a series of deliberate usurpations on the authority of the legislature, would hazard the united resentment of the body entrusted with it, while this body was possessed of the means of punishing their presumption, by degrading them from their stations. While this ought to remove all apprehensions on the subject, it affords, at the same time, a cogent argument for constituting the Senate a court for the trial of impeachments.” (Emphasis added)

Conviction in impeachment cases requires a two-thirds affirmative vote in the Senate. This makes conviction almost impossible with the highly partisan nature of the professional politicians who populate both houses of Congress, a majority of whom will always side with their party over the welfare of the nation as a whole. We saw this in the planned impeachment of Richard Nixon and in full display during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. The Act of impeachment will always be a partisan issue so long as the two major political parties are allowed to hold the power over government they have exercised from the beginning of the Republic. This fact of political life prevails in all political parties. The prosecuting party will ignore facts and mitigating circumstances in order to gain a victory over its opponent, and the defending party will do the same in defense of the accused in its party.

The next four to twelve years will be an all-out battle between the forces of despotism and the forces of liberty. There have been only two periods in the past when the nation has been as divided as it is today; during and after the Revolutionary War and the period surrounding the Civil War and its aftermath. We cannot allow the outcome of the coming conflict to depend on the decisions of one Supreme Court Justice.

The Constitution is our only real defense against outright tyranny. By now, this should be apparent to anyone who honestly looks at the facts. Since the tenure of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1803, the Supreme Court has taken it upon itself to decide what the language penned by the Framers actually means. Our current Court is almost evenly divided between the enemies of the Constitution and its defenders. The four progressive/socialist Justices barley mount a pretense of honoring the Constitution they took an oath to defend. As difficult and distasteful as it is, impeachment seems to be the only means of changing the politically corrupted nature of the Supreme Court. We simply cannot wait for time and chance to do it for us, and the immediate future is likely to be the only time for generations when impeachment is possible.

Thanks to the heavy-handed and tyrannical way in which Obama wields the powers of his office, millions of Americans are waking up to the realization that our nation is on the verge of total economic, political and cultural collapse. Every day hundreds if not thousands of citizens are gaining more knowledge of how our system works and why. Humanly speaking, the system established by the Founders, has alone been responsible for the success and prosperity we have enjoyed in the past. Before the nation goes back to sleep, either from the stupor brought about by socialist despotism or the indolent slumber fostered by the blessings of liberty, we must begin to take the steps correct the problems in our court system, from the federal trial courts to the Supreme Court.

More information on the Supreme Court and Impeachment. 

Choosing the Right Candidate

Before we know it, we are going to find ourselves in the midst of the most important primary race in generations. The number of patriots who recognize the perils facing America has grown exponentially over the past two years along with the continued growth of the Tea Party Movement. A number of patriotic politicians have stepped up to the plate to oppose the reckless and dangerous socialist policies of the current administration. Still, as we survey the developing field of possible “conservative” candidates we see a lot of ambiguity as to what it means to be a true constitution  conservative, both among the people and the potential candidates.

There are only two issues in the next election, one for the people and one for the candidates. The one for the people is; do we wish to continue as a constitutional republic or as a democratic socialist oligarchy?  The answer to that question determines the question we must get a clear answer to before we decide to support any candidate in the coming elections.  If the answer is that we want to continue as a constitutional republic, then the only thing we need to know about the candidate is; will he or she fight for our founding principles and defend our founding documents?

This is not something about which we have to speculate.  We have over four hundred years of history as our guide; 169 years of colonialism under a monarchy, 5 years as independent nation states, 8 years as a confederation of sovereign states, and 222 years as a constitutional republic, including some 130 years of experimenting with socialism. The one lesson we should have learned from our own history as well as the history of other nations of the world is that socialism does not work. Yet, in spite of the clear evidence that it does not, our political leaders continue to attempt to force in on an inadequately informed population.

The number one challenge facing the patriot movement today is a lack of knowledge among the voting public concerning our history, our Constitution and our American heritage. America has become a nation addicted to big government socialism. In order to cure any addiction one first has to recognize it and admit that it is a problem and have a real desire to break the habit.

Illinois Conservative.Com has published a new book, “Philosophy of Evil” especially for Tea Party Members and other patriots to help in understanding who we are as a people, where we are today as a nation and how we got here. It is the result of years of study and months of intensive research in American history and the history of socialism, especially as it took root and grew in American society. Philosophy of Evil traces the history of socialism in America from the early experiments with it in colonial times, through the utopian commune movement, the progressive era and its rapid growth in the twentieth century, culminating in the economic, political and social crises we are experiencing  today.

We invite our readers to go to our website, check out the subject index and read the sample chapters we have posted there. We believe an understanding of the information found in this book is essential to the restoration of America as a constitutional republic. As Thomas Jefferson said concerning his writing of the Declaration of Independence,

“[Our purpose is] not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent. …. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it [is] intended to be an expression of the American mind.”  Thomas Jefferson, 1825

New Book
Philosophy of Evil
Socialism in America

Click HERE for more information

So, I Can Change My Mind, Can’t I?

One period of American history that is rarely, if ever, taught in our progressive education system is the Jefferson revolution of 1800. The revolution started a few years earlier and involved the struggle against the Monarchists and statists that dominated the Federalist Party during the administration of John Adams. The Federalist Party, like the Democrat Party today, controlled both Houses of Congress and the Presidency. The opposition party at the time was the Democratic-Republican Party founded by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

Jefferson was Vice President and President of the Senate during the Adams administration from 1797 until 1801 when he became President. Looking back on his career of public service, near the end of his life, Jefferson described this period as “the most important in its consequences, of any transaction in any portion of my life”… In a petition to the Virginia Legislature, February 1826, Jefferson explained his efforts in battling to preserve the Constitution against seemingly insurmountable odds.

“Their usurpations and violations of the constitution at that period, and their [Federalist]  majority in both Houses of Congress, were so great, so decided, and so daring, that after combating their aggressions, inch by inch, without being able in the least to check their career, the republican leaders thought it would be best for them to give up their useless efforts there, go home, get into their respective legislatures, embody whatever of resistance they could be formed into, and if ineffectual, to perish there as in the last ditch.

All, therefore, retired, leaving Mr. Gallatin alone in the House of Representatives, and myself in the Senate, where I then presided as Vice-President. Remaining at our posts, and bidding defiance to the brow-beatings and insults by which they endeavored to drive us off also, we kept the mass of republicans in phalanx together, until the legislatures could be brought up to the charge; and nothing on earth is more certain, than that if myself particularly, placed by my office of Vice-President at the head of the republicans, had given way and withdrawn from my post, the republicans throughout the Union would have given up in despair, and the cause would have been lost for ever.

By holding on, we obtained time for the legislatures to come up with their weight; and those of Virginia and Kentucky particularly, but more especially the former, by their celebrated resolutions, saved the constitution, at its last gasp.”
~Thomas Jefferson, “Thoughts on Lotteries”, February, 1826

This incident from Jefferson’s life points up that old adage, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”. It is easy to believe crises in our lifetime have never been faced by others in the past. That is seldom, if ever, true. That’s why a study of history is so important.

There are a number of parallels between Jefferson’s story and our own. Jefferson and the republicans in Congress were in much the same position as the Republicans of today. The Constitution was under attack, and those willing to defend it were in a conspicuous minority. They had to endure personal attacks on their character and on their patriotism because of their opposition to the administration in power. The situation became so untenable that the republican minority abandoned the Capitol and returned to the states to take a stand from there. The states rallied to the defense and eventually won the day.

We have much the same situation today. The Obama administration is waging an all out attack on the Constitution and the Republican minority, in spite of the valiant efforts of the few Constitution loyalists in the Republican Party, seems unable to do more than slow down the Democrat juggernaut. Fortunately, now as then, a number of states are taking up the cause. Jan Brewer of Arizona, Chris Christie of New Jersey, and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, among others are standing up to the progressive statists in Washington and fighting back. A number of state Legislatures are reaffirming their sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment. It is going to be up to us, as voters to send reinforcements next year to put down the attacks on the Constitution in both Washington and the Statehouses around the country. That’s why the November election is so important.

That leads to a dilemma for the Conservative voter. Considering the dearth of Constitution loyalists in the Republican Party, it is tempting to abandon the Party and look elsewhere for support. Two hundred years of history shows that third party candidates, as a general rule, hurts their allies and helps their enemies. Everyone who has followed this site for any period of time knows that I am adamantly opposed to third party candidates. However, recent events have caused me to consider that there may be exceptions.

Are we better off with Republicans who are willing to betray their oath of office and side with the anti-constitutionalists to serve their own ego and attempt to hold on to power, or is it better to concede that seat to a Democrat and adjust our defensive and offensive strategies accordingly? Of what possible benefit can Republicans like, Olympia Snowe, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, or even John McCain be to the country when they cannot be counted on in critical situations?

Illinois is going to have to answer that question when we go to the polls in November. Will we vote for Mark Kirk for Senate, or concede that seat to the Democrats? Last Friday Kirk announced his support for Elena Kagan. For me, that was the last straw. Kagan clearly revealed her disdain for constitutional government during her Senate confirmation hearings. Any Republican Senator that votes for her or any would-be Republican Senator that expresses support for her confirmation must be denied a Senate seat in 2010. Right now, we have four Constitution loyalists on the Court and one that occasionally comes to its defense. There is a possibility that another Justice will retire in the next two years. We must have Republican Senators that are willing to take a stand against another progressive on the Supreme Court whatever the cost.

For me and other Illinois constitution conservatives, that creates a dilemma. Do we just not vote for the Senate seat and concede it to the Democrat, or do we vote for a third party candidate?  Either way, the end result will probably be the same. However, by leaving the Senate choice blank, no one will know for sure, the reason we did so. In addition, we run the risk of helping to recreate another fiasco like Florida in 2000. For these reasons, I am seriously considering voting for a third party candidate in November.

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The 2010-2012 Revolution

America must repeat the Jefferson Revolution of 1800 if it is to survive

America is heading toward revolution. The time, type and nature of that revolution remain to be seen. Our Declaration of Independence expresses an undeniable truth drawn from thousands of years of humankind’s recorded history.

“…Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security….”

Near the end of his life, Jefferson revealed that the thoughts expressed in the Declaration were not original or new, but were intended to be an “expression of the American mind”. The American mind has not changed since these words were written. We are perhaps less tolerant of tyranny than most peoples of the world, and the spirit of liberty still lives in the hearts of every true American. Eventually we will reach the point where the American people will no longer tolerate the continual disregard of our Constitution and infringement on the liberties it protects. Just when that point is reached and what the remedy will be is still an unknown and unknowable factor.

The principles of socialism and the principles underlying our Constitution are mutually exclusive. The cost/benefit ratio between socialist promises and individual liberty must eventually be reckoned with. The level of anger among the American electorate has become palpable and continues to rise with every new outrage committed by the Obama administration. Anger alone is not enough, however, and if not properly channeled could prove to be counterproductive. What we need is a plan and a strategy that has a realistic chance of success.

Fortunately, the founders left us a plan and a model that works without bloodshed. The question is whether the level of dissatisfaction on the part of the people is widespread enough or intense enough to make it happen. Thomas Jefferson faced a crisis similar to our own in the early days of the republic, except on a smaller scale. What most Americans do not realize is that the majority of the Founders favored a strong central government with the states subjugated to its authority. It was only due to the resistance of the Anti-Federalists and the refusal of several states, particularly New York and Virginia to ratify the Constitution without the assurance that a Bill of Rights would be added that allowed the Constitution to be ratified.

Without the Bill of Rights, especially, the Tenth Amendment, it is doubtful the Republic could have survived its formative years with its liberties intact. The first test of the new Constitution came almost immediately after the new government took office, in the attempt to establish a national bank. Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of State, argued that the establishment of a national bank was not one of the enumerated powers given to Congress. Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of Treasury, argued contrary to his opposition to a Bill of Rights in Federalist No. 84, that any act not forbidden by the Constitution that contributed to the “welfare” of the union was permissible and therefore constitutional. Washington was undecided, but eventually signed the bill into law.

Soon afterwards, Hamilton and Vice President John Adams formed the Federalist Party for the purpose of strengthening the powers of the central government. Jefferson, as Secretary of State and later as Vice President and President of the Senate under President Adams, battled against the statist tendencies of the Federalist Party, culminating in what Jefferson referred to as “the revolution of 1800″ . Abuses of the Constitution under the Adams administration and the Federalist dominated Congress were so egregious that Adams was held to a single term and the Federalists lost control of Congress in the election of 1800.

Jefferson won the Presidency in 1800 and with the aid of a republican Congress was able to reverse most of the damage done by the Adams administration. Over the next 24 years, Republicans Jefferson, Madison and Monroe were able to reestablish the nation on a firm constitutional basis.  We need to replicate the Jefferson revolution in the elections of 2010 and 2012.

The task is doable, but it will not be easy. According to Rassmussen’s daily presidential tracking poll, between 45% to 48% of American voters still consistently believe Obama is doing a somewhat satisfactory job. In spite of the anger felt by Conservatives and the frequently expressed confidence that Democrats will be defeated at the polls in the next two elections, there is little room for error and no room for over confidence. Strong independent or third party candidates could easily split the Republican votes and give both houses of Congress and the White House back to the Democrats. If we are going to repeat Jefferson’s revolution at the polls there are four steps we must take.

1. The 2010 Primaries

For those states that have not yet had their primary, it is vital that voters familiarize themselves with the candidates and support and vote only for constitution conservatives. It is during the primaries that a real difference can be made. Illinois had its primary in February to make it easier for incumbents and harder for challengers to get their message out. As a result, we now have a choice between a progressive Republican and a progressive Democrat in the General election for the all-important Senate race. This increases the danger that conservatives will stay home in November or throw their vote away on an independent or third party candidate, “to make a statement”.

In states that have not yet had their primary it is equally important the Tea Parties and Patriot groups get behind a single candidate if possible. Otherwise, we run the risk of splitting the conservative vote and getting a progressive, establishment Republican in the general election. That, to a degree is what happened in Illinois.

2. The 2010 General Election

In the general election we have to play the hand we’ve been dealt. In many cases the choice will be between a progressive Republican (RINO) and a Democrat. As difficult as it might be for some of us, it’s important that we support and vote for the Republican. The task for Republicans in the next Congress is to hold the line on spending and unconstitutional legislation. To the extent possible we also have to rely on Congress to defund the progressive programs established by this Congress and repeal as many unconstitutional bills as possible.

One of the advantages—perhaps the only one—of party discipline in Congress is that if we can get enough conservatives in the House and Senate they can help keep the RINOs in line.  We can “cull the herd” during the 2012 primaries. Retaking Congress in 2010 is absolutely essential if we are going to have any hope of reining in Obama over the next two years until we can kick him out in 2012.

3. The 2012 Primaries

We will be going into the 2012 primary season with two years experience in organizing and motivating Patriot groups. We should be able to recognize conservative candidates better and not repeat some of the mistakes we made in 2010. We need to begin identifying potential candidates for 2012 immediately after the new Congress takes office, even if we believe we have elected a solid conservative to the office in 2010. Washington has a way of changing elected officials once they get in office. Congressmen and Senators who do not live up to their oath of office in 2011 should be challenged and defeated in the 2012 primary. It is important that we make it absolutely clear to those we elect this year, that if they do not honor their oath they will be replaced in 2012.

Conservative Republicans and independents must form a solid voting block against “moderate” Republican establishment candidates. 2012 is the “must win” election at every level. Our objective in ’10 and ’12 is to damage and demoralize the Democrat Party to the extent that it will be years before progressivism raises its ugly head again.

4. The 2012 General Election

2012 is “do or die”. If we fail to defeat Obama in 2012 there will be little chance for America to continue as a free republic. The Democrat Party will be fighting for its life. Voter fraud will be rampant. We can expect the “politics of personal destruction” to be the order of the day. It is important that all of us become more sophisticated in analyzing political propaganda and campaign rhetoric. Conservatives need to become so informed on the issues and so knowledgeable in the Constitution and our founding principles that we cannot be misled by slick sound bites and political spin. We cannot afford to end up with another McCain type candidate in the Presidential election. We need new people, not the same old ones with new faces.

Aftermath

If we succeed in repeating the successes that Thomas Jefferson and the republicans accomplished during the first six elections after 1800, we can then begin considering the organization of an alternative party. Should history repeat itself, as it often does, the Democrat Party will fade away with many of its members drifting over to the Republicans further corrupting that party. That is the time to establish a new party based on conservative, constitutional principles that can preserve out liberties for another couple of hundred years. If we don’t do it now our children and grandchildren will be forced to take up arms to restore their liberty or live in servitude. That cannot be allowed to happen.

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Looking Back at Our Future

For most of us, our concept of history begins with our own generation. Consequently, we believe that the problems we face were invented by us and it is up to us to find new solutions for them. That is not the case, however. Many generations have faced the problems we are dealing with today. The reason we are having such a difficult time in solving them is twofold.  First is the idea that it is up to our political leadership, and particularly those in our national government to come up with the solutions. Second is our tendency to view every problem as a separate issue, each with its own unique solution.

Although, on the surface, the problems we face today all seem to be separate issues, they are not. Out of control spending, the looming specter of confiscatory taxes, a burgeoning national debt, health care, energy, the global warming farce, declining quality of education and all the other issues we worry about daily are merely symptoms of our one fundamental problem, a lawless, out of control government.  That, in itself, is not new by any means. It dates back to the beginning of our republic and to some of our Founding Fathers.

President Obama brought nothing new to the table.  His administration is merely the culmination of the hundred year assault on our Constitution that began in the late eighteen hundreds during the Progressive (American socialist) era. Even that was not the first attempt by our elected leaders to circumvent the Constitution. Many of the Delegates who participated in the Philadelphia Convention were in favor of an all-powerful federal government with the state governments subordinate to its will.  That is why it proved so difficult to get a Bill of Rights added to the Constitution after it was ratified by the states.

The lust for power was as strong in the breasts of our Founders as in any of the politicians we send to Washington today. John Adams, for example, one of the leading patriots during the Revolution, and who later became our first Vice-President and then our second President, was a great admirer of the British system of government, as was his close friend Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson relates an incident concerning Hamilton and Adams and their admiration of the British Constitution in a letter to Benjamin Rush, January 16, 1811.

“I invited them to dine with me, and after dinner, sitting at our wine, having settled our question, other conversation came on, in which a collision of opinion arose between Mr. Adams and Colonel Hamilton, on the merits of the British Constitution, Mr. Adams giving it as his opinion, that, if some of its defects and abuses were corrected, it would be the most perfect constitution of government ever devised by man. Hamilton, on the contrary, asserted, that with its existing vices, it was the most perfect model of government that could be formed; and that the correction of its vices would render it an impracticable government. And this you may be assured was the real line of difference between the political principles of these two gentlemen.”

As we pointed out in a previous post, the British constitution is the model for the progressives concept of a “living Constitution”. Jefferson also made the following observation concerning Adams’ Presidency in a 1793 letter to James Madison.

“…If Mr. Adams could be induced to administer the government on its true principles, quitting his bias for an English constitution, it would be worthy consideration whether it would not be for the public good,”…

Today, Adams is esteemed as one of our greatest Presidents, and in many ways, he was.  However, he seemed to possess two of the character flaws that are common among those who aspire to government. First was the belief that only a member of an aristocracy is suited to the role of government, and second was his inability to deal well with opposition. These characteristics coupled with his disregard for the American Constitution caused him to overstep his authority as President and eventually destroyed his Presidency and the Federalist Party he and Hamilton founded.  Jefferson also referred to this aspect of the Presidency of Adams in his “Thoughts On Lotteries” included in a petition to the Virginia Legislature around 1825.

“…[D]uring the administration of Mr. Adams, [t]heir usurpations and violations of the constitution at that period, and their majority in both Houses of Congress, were so great, so decided, and so daring, that after combating their aggressions, inch by inch, without being able in the least to check their career, the republican leaders thought it would be best for them to give up their useless efforts there, go home, get into their respective legislatures, embody whatever of resistance they could be formed into, and if ineffectual, to perish there as in the last ditch…..”

The Federalist Party’s and Adams’ disregard for the constraints of the Constitution, more than anything else resulted in his defeat at the polls in 1800 and the eventual demise of the Party some twenty years later. The electorate could very well deliver the same verdict on the Obama Presidency and the Democratic Party in 2010 and 2012. That, in fact, represents the best and possibly only hope for the survival of our Republic.

Should the present follow the same course as history, displaced Democrats will flock to the Republican Party over the next few decades, transforming it into a progressive party. That would be the proper time for the emergence of a “Constitution based” Conservative Party to preserve the Republic. The current attempts by the media and the progressives to encourage the formation of a third party based on the tea party resistance, is premature and self-defeating.  Its only result would be the continuance of the country in the grip of progressivism, leading to the final destruction of the Constitution.

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Forgotten Patriots

liberty-bellEvery schoolchild knows the names, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and James Madison but few would recognize the names Arthur Fenner, Peleg Arnold or Aedanus Burke. Yet, it is more to the latter than the former to whom we own a debt of gratitude for the remaining liberties we enjoy today.

The foundation of our liberties rest on three documents; the Declaration of Independence that proclaims our status as a free and independent nation; the Constitution that established and empowered a new government; and the Bill of Rights that protects certain unalienable rights and sets the bounds of government beyond which it is not allowed to go.

Most of us erroneously assume that it is the Constitution that limits the scope of government and protects our rights.  It does not.  The Constitution empowers the government and enumerates the powers delegated to it by the people in Article 1, Section 8.  However, it does not specifically state the intent of the Framers that the government is limited to those powers.  History has shown that without that specificity, there is no limit to the powers government will assume for itself.

At the time the Constitution was written the federalists who crafted it assumed that the mere fact that the powers being delegated to the central government were listed would limit the government to those named and future governments would adhere to the wishes of the Founders.  This assumption on the part of the Framers became the number one obstacle to its quick ratification by the states.

Citizens, in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War were suspicious of a central government removed by distance from their close oversight.  Believing the Constitution, as written, did not adequately protect them from the expansive powers of government, they demanded a “Bill of Rights”.  Others feared that the new government would eventually become a “consolidated” government relegating the individual states to the status of provinces subject to the will of the central government instead of sovereign states.

The demand for a Bill of Rights by many of the states became the focus of contention between the federalists who supported the Constitution as written and the anti-federalist who opposed it. Federalist No. 84 by Alexander Hamilton was written in opposition to a Bill of Rights.  In it he argues,

“I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. … For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?”

The debate between the federalists and the anti-federalists took place publicly in letters and essays published in newspapers throughout the states.  The writings of the federalists are preserved in the Federalist Papers and have enjoyed widespread circulation throughout our history.  The writings of the anti-federalists, which are just a numerous, have been neglected for the most part, except by historians and scholars.  Only recently, have they begun to be available to the general public on a widespread basis.

The most well-known anti-federalist was perhaps Patrick Henry who refused to attend the Constitutional Convention because he “smelt a rat in Philadelphia, tending toward a monarchy.” Henry is considered to be one of the leaders of the anti-federalists.  Melancton Smith, Richard Henry Lee, George Mason and George Clinton are also well-known anti-federalists.

One of the most vocal was Arthur Fenner of Rhode Island.  Rhode Island was so opposed to the Constitution it refused to send delegates.  Fenner’s opposition to the Constitution was so popular with Rhode Islanders they elected him to the office of Governor in 1790 where he served until his death in 1805.  Rhode Island was the last of the thirteen states to ratify the Constitution.  The final vote was 34 to 32 in favor of ratification and came just three weeks after Fenner was named Governor.

Fenner and the other anti-federalist did not succeed in getting a Bill of Rights before the Constitution was ratified, but they did succeed in getting a promise that a Bill of Rights would be added by the first Congress.  True to its word, a Bill of Rights was introduced in the First Congress in 1789 by James Madison and ratified by the states in 1791.  Thomas Jefferson was one of the strongest supporters of a Bill of Rights although he was out of the country during the Philadelphia Convention and for much of the following debate concerning ratification.

It is to the Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights that we owe whatever restraints we have over the federal government.  Without the Tenth Amendment which says, “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”, we would, no doubt, have lapsed into tyranny generations ago.  It is this amendment that gives legal authority to the “enumerated powers” doctrine.

History and current events have shown that the forgotten patriots, known as the anti-federalists, who gave us the Bill of Rights, were well justified in their fears and reveals their wisdom and judgment to be equal to, if not superior to the federalist who gave us the Constitution. Even today, the statists who are, in many ways the philosophical descendents of the early federalist, continue to struggle against the Tenth Amendment.

The Obama Gamble

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Was the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States a bridge too far for the socialist movement?  Since the beginning of our Republic, the political struggle has been between a liberal big government and a conservative limited government.  The early contests were between the federalists led by Alexander Hamilton and John Adams and the republicans led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

The federalists won the first round by winning the Presidency and both houses of Congress in 1796.  Jefferson won the second round by battling them from his position as President of the Senate and then defeating them in the election of 1800, which he referred to as the revolution of 1800.  In a letter to Judge Roan dated September 6, 1819 he writes,

“I had read in the Enquirer, and with great approbation, the pieces signed Hampden, and have read them again with redoubled approbation in the copies you have been so kind as to send me. I subscribe to every tittle of them. They contain the true principles of the revolution of 1800, for that was as real a revolution in the principles of our government as that of 1776 was in its form; not effected indeed by the sword, as that, but by the rational and peaceable instrument of reform, the suffrage of the people. The nation declared its will by dismissing functionaries of one principle (federalism), and electing those of another (republicanism), in the two branches, executive and legislative, submitted to their election.”

The principle of government Jefferson referred to was the principle of a federation of independent and sovereign states united under a federal government of limited size with enumerated powers versus a consolidated government with all power residing in a national capitol.

A quarter-century later, Jefferson, looking back on his years of public service, writing in a petition to the Virginia Legislature, described this episode in his career as “the most important in its consequences, of any transaction in any portion of my life;”   While the federalists ceased to exist as an organized party by 1824, their influence has continued down through history.  The Supreme Court more or less kept them in check until the influence of European socialism began to gain a foothold in America during the twentieth century.

Their ultimate goal and their political tactics have remained steady for over two hundred years. Their aim is to consolidate state government powers under the control of Washington. Since Roosevelt, their techniques for gaining power have changed little.  The method used is to exaggerate problems into crises and use them to expand the power of the federal government.  The Recession of 1930-31 that Roosevelt turned into the Great Depression and then used it to expand government power more than at any other time in history provided the template for all future expansions.

Economic cycles, crime, drugs, communism, wars, and other chronic problems of society have been used to diminish liberty and increase government power.  The two most recent examples are the changing weather patterns and the economy.  The slogan for democratic campaigns is consistently “the worst economy since the Great Depression”.  This theme is carried on year after year regardless of the economic facts.  Unrelenting pressure is kept on the institutions of our society combined with the unremitting propaganda from the left to gain one incremental step at a time.

Incrementalism has been the hallmark of the socialist movement for the past century.  As the American people become more accustomed to the small changes that occur over time, they pay less attention to their disappearing liberties.  The election of 2008 was perhaps the most monumental since the revolution of 1800.  The socialist movement abandoned its past practice of incremental advances and decided to go for “the whole enchilada” with the candidacy of Barack Obama.

I fear those who cling to the hope that Obama will govern from the center are in for a major disappointment.   He was elected to bring about radical socialistic changes in the American system and everything in his rhetoric prior to the election and everything in his life experiences indicate that he is likely to do so, his proposed appointments and modified positions since the election, not withstanding.

The best hope for America is that he will overreach to a degree that even a conditioned electorate cannot overlook.

As Thomas Jefferson noted in the Declaration of Independence, “all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, that to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.  But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

If Barack Obama carries into practice all the policies he alluded to in his campaign he may very well cross a threshold of despotism the American people will not tolerate.  If so he could set in motion the same forces Adams set in motion in 1796 and the Democratic Party could follow the Federalist Party into the dustbin of history.  2010 and 2012 could be a repeat of the revolution of 1800.


John McCain and the Bi-Partisan Myth

The most often stated qualification of John McCain as a Presidential candidate is his ability to reach across the aisle and solve problems in a bi-partisan manner.  This supposedly has great appeal to independent and moderate voters.  The evidence given for this is usually campaign finance reform and energy legislation co-sponsored by McCain and Democrats Russ Feingold and Joseph Lieberman.  Many if not most voters, weary of the Congressional wars of the past few years, seem to welcome this as a definite positive.

During the campaign, McCain has been preserving his ability to work in a bi-partisan way by studiously avoiding any specific criticism of Congress.  In attempting to identify the root causes of the financial crisis, for example, he blames “Wall Street” and “Washington”.  These broad terms are not sufficient, and only add to the animosity felt by many people against “the rich” and “government”.  Obviously, not everyone connected to Wall Street and not everyone in Washington is Corrupt.

Wall Street is simply a “label” used to designate our financial markets.  Only certain members of those markets are responsible for the current crisis, those who deal in sub-prime mortgages.  Among those, the most culpable are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Both of these institutions are government sponsored and operate subject to the guidance of Congress.  Both have been run primarily by members of one party for years, the Democrats.  This is a well documented historical fact that cannot be denied by anyone other than blatant partisans.

During the campaign, McCain often uses the politically safe, “Washington is broken” cliché to reinforce his “reformer” image.  At times he may even go so far as to implicate “Congress”.  However until this past Thursday, he has avoided mentioning any Congressional wrongdoers by name.  It could be that he is simply following the advice of Jesus to “Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitation”. (Luke 16:9)  In case he loses the election he, no doubt, wishes to return to the Senate and resume his role as the “maverick” with the ability to “reach across the aisle”.

This bi-partisan image may serve his needs in the Senate, but it is costing him the election.  If he wins it will be due to voters rejecting Barack Obama and not because of a strong desire for the leadership of John McCain and certainly not because of his bi-partisan image.  Throughout its history America has always had a fiercely partisan government.  That’s the way the Founders set it up, either intentionally or unintentionally.  It may be unpleasant to many, but it is necessary for our government to function as intended.

In studying the literature of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries there is no doubt the Founding Fathers would have preferred a non-partisan government.  They often warned against the dangers of “factions” or partisanship.  However they established a government that requires a partisan political system.

The system of checks and balances required by our Constitution is perhaps the single most important factor in our becoming the strongest, and one of the most enduring governments in history.  In the arena of elective politics it is our two party system that preserves the system of checks and balances that keeps the government functioning for all the people.  The partisanship of each party prevents, or at least, lessens the excesses of the other.  Our unique method of electing the Chief Executive through the Electoral College rather than a straight majority vote of the electorate preserves the two party system.

More than two strong political parties would transform our government into a de facto parliamentary system rather than a republican system.  Since the election of a President and Vice President requires the majority vote of the Electoral College a multi-party system would more often than not throw the election of the President into the House of Representatives, resulting in a Chief Executive elected by the Legislature rather than the people.

In America the balance of power has always been between government tyranny and individual liberty.  For the first hundred years individual liberty held sway.  During the twentieth century the pendulum of power moved decidedly to the side of government tyranny thanks to the socialist policies introduced during the reign of Franklin Roosevelt.  Pure democracies always lean toward tyranny, either through the tyranny of the majority, or more likely through a ruling class of aristocratic elites, which is why we were setup as a republic.

In our own history, the Democratic Party has always been the party of government tyranny, grounded in its ideological beginnings in the Federalist Party of Adams and Hamilton.  For a hundred and seventy years it was the party of slavery and segregation.  Although the organizational history of the Democratic Party is generally traced to the one founded by Jefferson, there is no doubt it is the ideological descendent of the Federalist Party founded by Alexander Hamilton.

Just as the Democratic Party of today shares the big government philosophy of the early Federalists, the Republican Party, particularly the conservative wing, shares the love of liberty and the Constitution, espoused by Jefferson’s republicanism.  You can think of the political life of America as a continuum with republicanism, liberty and constitutional government on one end and democracy, socialism and tyranny on the other.  We are today somewhere between the center and the socialist side of that continuum.  If America elects Obama in November, we will move dramatically closer to the socialist side, based on his campaign promises.

If by chance we elect the McCain-Palin ticket, we may have a chance to slow down the advancement of socialism.  The last thing we need however is a President working in a bi-partisan way with the socialist wing of the Democratic Party.  The contest between Democrats and Republicans is a contest of ideology and principles.  Bi-partisanship is based on compromise, and principles can never be compromised and survive.  In the instances where McCain has attempted to work with Democrats in the past, the result has always been a net loss for the American people and the Constitution.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have made it clear over the past two years they are never willing to compromise until they have been soundly defeated, and then they merely withdraw in order to regroup and try again.  It would be good if we did have a non-partisan government that always put the good of the country above the welfare of the party.  Until someone invents a new kind of politician however, that is not going to happen.  Until then we need a President and Republican Senators and Congressmen willing to stand on the side of republican principles, the people and the Constitution; and not be taken in by the myth of bi-partisanship.


Thomas Jefferson Advice to Sarah Palin

One fact on which everyone can agree is that our nation is in crisis. In fact, this election cycle has been a series of crises: The illegal immigration crisis, the healthcare crisis, the energy crisis, and most recently the housing and financial crises. The one crisis we do not read about in the mainstream media is the real one: the crisis in government.

At the bottom of all the crises we face as a nation there is a crisis of government that has given rise to all the rest. The American people have lost control of their government or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say we have surrendered our control at the ballot box in exchange for the empty promises of our favorite politicians. In the process we have given up a major portion of our liberties. Moreover, we seem poised to vote away those we have left in the coming election.

We have faced threats to our liberties many times in the past. Almost without exception these threats always come when we allow our elected representatives in Washington to set aside or ignore the restraints placed on government by the Constitution. Just this year alone Washington has obligated taxpayers to an additional $2 trillion in debt on top of the $10 trillion already owed. If we add the cost of unfunded mandates that total climbs to over $50 trillion.

Without some type of government reform, these debts will never be repaid. The numbers just do not add up. Our GDP has been running about $14 trillion annually. That will probably go down over the next year or two as we recover from our current financial difficulties. Our rate of spending is somewhere close to $500 billion more than we take in in revenue each year. Exact figures are impossible to obtain before they have been politically adjusted.

Any reform of government must start with a reform of Congress. That reform must involve a return to the Constitution. Congress has always been at odds with the Constitution because it limits it powers. Over the past few decades, thanks to the liberal takeover of our education system, too many Americans do not understand the concept of “limited government”. Therefore they allow Congress to expand the tentacles of government into every nook and cranny of our lives with impunity.

If we are to believe the consensus of mainstream media, the next Congress is going to be the most liberal one in memory. It is easy to despair of any possibility of meaningful reform of Congress in the next few years. Fortunately, the prospects are not as bleak as they seem. This is not the first time in history we have been faced with similar attempts to undermine our constitutional form of government.

The first and perhaps, the most serious effort was attempted by the Federalists, the first political party established by John Adams and Alexander Hamilton in the early years of our republic. In order to combat this effort Thomas Jefferson and James Madison formed an opposition party, the Democratic-Republican Party, referred to at the time simply as republicans.

In his memoirs Jefferson relates a conversation he had with President George Washington on October 1, 1792. During the conversation he shared with Washington his misgivings about Hamilton’s view of the Constitution.

“He [Washington] then expressed his concern at the difference which he found to subsist between the Secretary of the Treasury and myself, of which he said he had not been aware. He knew, indeed, that there was a marked difference in our political sentiments, but he had never suspected it had gone so far in producing a personal difference, and he wished he could be the mediator to put an end to it.”

“That he thought it important to preserve the check of my opinions in the administration, in order to keep things in their proper channel, and prevent them from going too far. That as to the idea of transforming this government into a monarchy, he did not believe there were ten men in the United States whose opinions were worth attention, who entertained such a thought.”

“I told him there were many more than he imagined. I recalled to his memory a dispute at his own table, a little before we left Philadelphia, between General Schuyler on one side and Pinckney and myself on the other, wherein the former maintained the position, that hereditary descent was as likely to produce good magistrates as election.”

“I told him, that though the people were sound, there were a numerous sect who had monarchy in contemplation; that the Secretary of the Treasury was one of these. That I had heard him say that this constitution was a shilly-shally thing, of mere milk and water, which could not last, and was only good as a step to something better. That when we reflected, that he had endeavored in the convention, to make an English constitution of it, and when failing in that, we saw all his measures tending to bring it to the same thing, it was natural for us to be jealous; and particularly, when we saw that these measures had established corruption in the legislature,…”

In a letter to Doctor Benjamin Rush dated January 16, 1811 Jefferson relates a dinner conversation at Monticello between John Adams and Alexander Hamilton concerning the English constitution.

“While he [Adams] was Vice-President, and I Secretary of State, I received a letter from President Washington, then at Mount Vernon, desiring me to call together the Heads of departments, and to invite Mr. Adams to join us (which, by the bye, was the only instance of that being done) in order to determine on some measure which required dispatch; and he desired me to act on it, as decided, without again recurring to him.”

“I invited them to dine with me, and after dinner, sitting at our wine, having settled our question, other conversation came on, in which a collision of opinion arose between Mr. Adams and Colonel Hamilton, on the merits of the British Constitution, Mr. Adams giving it as his opinion, that, if some of its defects and abuses were corrected, it would be the most perfect constitution of government ever devised by man. Hamilton, on the contrary, asserted, that with its existing vices, it was the most perfect model of government that could be formed; and that the correction of its vices would render it an impracticable government. And this you may be assured was the real line of difference between the political principles of these two gentlemen.”

In many ways the efforts of the early Federalists to transform our government into a Monarchy resembles the modern efforts by Democrats to transform it into a Democratic Socialist one. Since we are not a monarchy today, it is evident that something happened to thwart the designs of Hamilton, Adams, and the Federalist Party. In researching the constitutional duties of the Vice President, I ran across an interesting passage in a petition to the Virginia Legislature by Jefferson seeking permission to sell off some of his property by lottery in order to pay off debts.

It seems that they were suffering from a decline in real estate values at the time (sound familiar?) and the only way Jefferson felt he could get a fair price for the property was through a lottery which required legislative approval. In the petition, Jefferson offered a recap of his sixty plus years of public service to the young republic. In it we find this revealing and inspiring passage.

“If it were thought worth while to specify any particular services rendered, I would refer to the specification of them made by the legislature itself in their Farewell Address, on my retiring from the Presidency, February, 1809.”

“There is one, however, not therein specified, the most important in its consequences, of any transaction in any portion of my life; to wit, the head I personally made against the federal principles and proceedings, during the administration of Mr. Adams.”

“Their usurpations and violations of the constitution at that period, and their majority in both Houses of Congress, were so great, so decided, and so daring, that after combating their aggressions, inch by inch, without being able in the least to check their career, the republican leaders thought it would be best for them to give up their useless efforts there, go home, get into their respective legislatures, embody whatever of resistance they could be formed into, and if ineffectual, to perish there as in the last ditch.”

“All, therefore, retired, leaving Mr. Gallatin alone in the House of Representatives, and myself in the Senate, where I then presided as Vice-President. Remaining at our posts, and bidding defiance to the brow-beatings and insults by which they endeavored to drive us off also, we kept the mass of republicans in phalanx together, until the legislatures could be brought up to the charge; and nothing on earth is more certain, than that if myself particularly, placed by my office of Vice-President at the head of the republicans, had given way and withdrawn from my post, the republicans throughout the Union would have given up in despair, and the cause would have been lost for ever.”

“By holding on, we obtained time for the legislatures to come up with their weight; and those of Virginia and Kentucky particularly, but more especially the former, by their celebrated resolutions, saved the constitution, at its last gasp. No person who was not a witness of the scenes of that gloomy period, can form any idea of the afflicting persecutions and personal indignities we had to brook. They saved our country however.” (Emphasis Added)

This piece of history contradicts popular beliefs concerning Jefferson and the constitutional office, President of the Senate. Popular history has it that Jefferson neglected his duty of presiding over the Senate and spent his term in office in abstention at home at Monticello. I referred to this in my last blog post, “Sarah Palin as President of the Senate”. It seems I was incorrect and owe an apology to Mr. Jefferson.

It should also put to rest the statement by Joe Biden in last week’s Vice Presidential debate that the Vice President has no constitutional connection to the Legislative Branch of government. Which brings me to the purpose of this post. Our best chance of reforming Congress and thus reforming government is to elect the McCain-Palin ticket next month.

Governor Palin has expressed her willingness to fulfill her constitutional duties as President of the Senate, although she seemed somewhat tentative in her answer to this question during the debate; as though she was not sure of the constitutional grounds she was standing on. Her past record of reform in previous offices she has held gives credence to this hope, however.

If McCain wakes up and decides to run against Congress instead of against George Bush there is a chance he could win in a landslide since the approval rating for Congress is below ten percent. He also needs to put more emphasis on putting some tarnish on Obama’s media created image. “Nice guys finish last.”

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