The group is a concept hatched by political strategists Nancy Jacobson (Hillary Clinton campaign veteran) and Mark MicKinnon (John McCain/George Bush) and touted by MSNBC hosts. In fact, the launch event was moderated by Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Dylan Ratigan, and Michael Smerconish. Politicians like Crist and Castle jumped on the chance to get behind this new reincarnation of the Soros “Mainstreet Republicans”. Looking through the leadership of the group, it’s easy to spot the real purpose behind the facade. It’s a group intended to promote Progressive policies by using whatever direction the wind blows. Their idea of bipartisanship is little more than moving the country further to the left incrementally instead of all at one time.
Their cause sounds noble. Seeking to make government more efficient and more fluid sounds great but we have to stop and look at what our founders gave us. Is our government meant to be efficient and solve all of our problems? Well, let’s look at the quotes our founders gave us to find that answer:
“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” – George Washington
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” – Patrick Henry
“Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” – Declaration of Independence
"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories." - Thomas Jefferson
"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their Own hands; they may a point teachers in every state, county, and parish, and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision for the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit of the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare." - James Madison
It’s quite clear from these quotes that the founders intended a limited government based on rights possessed by the people and lent to government. It is a government rooted in individual liberty and natural law. What does that mean? Natural law is a law of nature that every person is entitled to from birth such as the right to self defence, the right to pursue happiness and the right to live. Ask yourself this question next time you read about a law the government wants to pass: “Do I have the natural right to do that?” If you don’t have the natural right to do it, government cannot do it either. Yes, that means that a great many of the laws government has created extend beyond the intended reach of government at many levels. Let’s look at an example:
If your friend Tom does not buy health insurance, do you have the power to force him to buy it? Of course not! Neither does the government.
So the Founders intended government to be restrained by the Constitution. There is little doubt of that. But what about the political class we have today? The founders intended the people to be involved in the process and in fact to control government. The founders themselves were not aristocrats; they were farmers, merchants, lawyers (not nearly the lucrative profession it is today), doctors and writers. George Washington is an example of the idea of the founders for government, he was elected President unanimously and could easily have been King for life but he chose to leave office after only 2 terms. The founders even built wording into America’s first laws “Government derives its power from the just consent of the governed.” (Declaration of Independence) and Thomas Jefferson was quite clear when he said, “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories." The American government is meant to be small, limited to a few powers defined in our founding document and controlled by the people.
Lastly, let’s talk about the founders intentions for efficiency of government. Washington called government “force” and said “Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” This is a common feeling throughout the origins of our nation. The founders distrusted a powerful government that was able to give the citizens everything they wanted. Ben Franklin said as much, when he intimated that a government large enough to give us all that we desire is large enough to take everything we have. A cursory look over the Constitution itself shows you that the document is meant to be a series of checks and balances. No branch of the federal government has complete control or can even accomplish anything without the others. The President may set the agenda but Congress must pass it and the Supreme Court can overturn it. Congress may control the writing of the budget but the President must sign it and the Supreme Court may strike portions that are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court may determine the constitutionality of a law but they are restricted from writing it or setting policy. Finally we have the issue of the people and the states. They are the final arbiters of federal law. The states were intended to retain more powers than the federal government and the people were left with the bulk of the power. The states, in conjunction with Congress, even have the ability to alter the Constitution which is a power that even Congress cannot do alone. The President has no role in this process at all. The two ways the Constitution can be amended are:
1.) Constitutional Convention (this method has never been used) called by 2/3rds of the state legislatures
2.) A proposal by Congress which is done so by obtaining 2/3rds majorities in both the House and Senate and then ratification by 3/4ths of the state legislatures.
As you can see, the process to change the Constitution and even to write and pass a law is intended to be an arduous process that is not undertaken lightly. We haven’t even touched the partisan divide and lest ye think the founders weren’t a partisan group, remember that from the very beginning there were debates and opinions. The party process has actually streamlined the legal process by uniting individual lawmakers around common party causes and even undercut the states by dividing the Senate along party lines. During the time of the founders, the factions included Federalists, Anti-Federalists and Loyalists. Imagine the gridlock that met the first Congress as the individual states, which had just fought a war against the most powerful army and government in the world, vied for their own piece of the federal pie! Gridlock in government is built into the Constitution and built into the federal government design from the founders.
Now back to our friends over at “No Labels” who claim that the TEA Party is an extremist movement that they stand to be a counter to. We’ve already discovered that their opinion that government should be efficient and solve all of our problems is not in keeping with the ideals of the founders. So let’s examine what the “No Labels” crowd has said in their own words, that they stand to counter. The Tea Party stands for:
So it begs the question, does “No Labels” stand against these things? The media and the political establishment have consistently fought to portray the TEA Party movement as a radical right wing group but I ask each of you who read this, do you see anything extreme in the points above? Do you disagree with the idea that taxes should be kept as low as possible? Do you disagree that individuals should be able to pursue the career of their choice in a market that is not controlled by the government(meaning we aren’t told what to do for a living, what to buy, how to make it and what to sell)? Do you disagree that the government should abide by the Constitution? Finally, does anyone disagree that our government should be ultimately accountable to the people? If you can’t disagree with these things, seek out a TEA Party group near you.
1.) Constitutionally Limited Government
2.) Low Taxes
3.) Free Markets
4.) Government Accountable to the people
The “No Labels” folks are little more than the Progressive political establishment who see the TEA Party movement as a threat to their current monopoly on power OVER the people. They see that it is educating more and more people and that the movement reaches across party lines while the common sense it preaches is refocusing the debate on the issues on their merits and taking nothing for granted. They’re frightened because people like Mike Castle, who long ago stopped listening to his constituents were badly beaten in primaries and general elections across the country. Charlie Crist is another example of a Progressive who was rejected by the people and who has joined “No Labels” in an effort to stick it to the citizens who had simply had enough of the failed Progressive policies. In the coming weeks and months we will look into each of the leaders of “No Labels” in an effort to find the true purpose behind the group. All appearances at this time point to a group of Progressives, largely political pundits, strategists and politicians who are turning on the people of America after being rejected by their constituents and the American public at large.