Tuesday, August 4, 2015

GOP-TEA Loves the Constitution: Just Not the Parts Fit for You

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After the fact posting (this part should have been posted first - my mistake) with this photo, however it does tie in with what follows. Enjoy:


TEA Party Logo (from 2010 era)

A bit dated (from 2010), however a lot is still relevant in many GOP/RW/TEA circles:

But despite all their talk about “returning to the Founding Father’s Constitutional” roots don't get confused. TEA party members (actually ultra-rabid GOP conservatives) are Constitutional purists, who just happen to read the document in a very ultra conservative way.

True, about half of the changes they have advocated to be made to mostly the social fabric (social programs) result from their peculiar interpretation of the Constitution as it exists.  The other half of the TEA types would actually require Congress and the states to change it altogether – I guess from scratch under their watchful eye…??? 

Here's how many TEA party candidates and organizers would amend the Constitution:

1. First Amendment:  Things get heated during campaign season, we all know that. Whether by head stomp, citizens arrest of a journalist, swastikas, or punches to the face, partisans try to silence their rivals. But in the 2010 campaign season, practically the entire month of August saw the ultra right flank of the GOP – the so-called TEA party wing and their tea party faithful took direct aim at the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" in lower Manhattan. First, though, you'd have to change that part of the Constitution that reads, you know kinda like: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” 

Yeah, that First one… that may have seemed a little far out there, but it did force the Department of Justice to file an amicus brief declaring that Islam is recognized as a religion following efforts by some TEA-conservatives who claimed it was not a religion in order for them to skate around the whole amendment.

2. Fourteenth Amendment:  The pressure on elected Republicans from the TEA wing to curb illegal immigration was so strong that some Republican members of Congress, including one supposed moderate, now in the 2016 race, to briefly consider amending the Constitution to change or eliminate what's known as “birthright citizenship” clause under this Amendment. It started with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who considered a constitutional amendment, and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who 
suggested the amendment process start with congressional hearings. In all, the birthright citizenship craze spread through a broad swath of the right and the GOP (and I guess they forget that Gov. Jindal from LA was an “anchor” baby since his mother was pregnant with him when she came to the U.S. on a student visa and stayed. Maybe an later day (2012) Rick Perry “oops” is in order???

3. Sixteenth Amendment:  This strikes the core of the tea party's libertarian heart. The 16th amendment provides Congress the power “to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” Many including KY Senate candidate (at the time) Rand Paul envisioned a world where the income tax is replaced by a national sales tax would really like to see the 16th Amendment repealed. Georgetown Law professor Randy Barnett described that as a “simple solution.”

4. Seventeenth Amendment:  Republican congressional hopefuls got themselves in trouble at one point during the primary season when several of them were revealed to have supported the idea of repealing the 17th Amendment. That's the one that provides for “direct election of Senators.” The thinking among states-rights oriented TEA party types was that states had more power over Washington when senators were picked by state legislatures, and not by popular vote. There was no indication that a Congress controlled by Republicans would pursue an amendment like this, but if they do, Texas conservative nutcase, Rep. Louie Gohmert already had one drafted.

5. Twenty-First Amendment: This one's a bit out of left (not political left mind you) field and there's little indication that a significant subset of the TEA party really cares about or supports this. But check out what Nevada Senate Republican hopeful Sharron Angle (said back then) to the Liberty Watch: “I feel the same about legalizing alcohol. The effect on society is so great that I'm just not a real proponent of legalizing any drug or encouraging any drug abuse.” A big oops is again in order… to wit:  The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, which instituted prohibition. Just repeal the 21st Amendment and – voila – the 18th is back in effect. Not sure that'd be great for Nevada's struggling booze and gambling centered economy, though.

Ouch … Thanks for stopping by.

The original post starts from here:

For all of their fake Constitutional pabulum, the GOP’s agenda is nothing less than a direct assault on America’s founding document. Time and time again over the past dozen or so years, the GOP has called for repeal of our most-basic freedoms and aspects either by amendment or activist judge. 

A few recent examples other than those below: 

Scott Walker says he’d consider a constitutional amendment allowing states to ban same-sex marriage
I luv this stuff, thanks David
(the real Koch - not fake one)

Huckabee Floats Plan to Deploy U.S. Troops to Stop Women From Getting Abortions
Huck Mikeabee - Center of Attention Clown 


REPEAL THE 14TH AMENDMENT: That amendment as we all know virtually grants U.S. citizenship to all persons born within the United States, with rare exception. Such a proposal literally revives the vision of citizenship articulated by the Supreme Court’s infamous pro-slavery decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford. It has no place today in our history – just don’t try telling that to this GOP – they simply do not care.

REPEAL CONGRESSIONAL POWER TO REGULATE THE ECONOMY: The Constitution’s “Commerce Clause” gives national leaders broad authority to regulate the national economy, but much of the GOP has embraced “tentherism,” the belief that this power is small enough to be drowned in a bathtub. The most famous example of tentherism is the ubiquitous frivolous lawsuits claim that health reform is unconstitutional, but these lawsuits are part of a much greater effort (and now twice the Supreme Court has blessed ACA/Obama-care). 

REPEAL CONGRESSIONAL POWER TO SPEND: The Constitution also gives Congress power to “provide for the common defense and general welfare,” a broad grant of authority to create federal spending programs such as Social Security. Should any of those happen with that GOP vision, it could also eliminate but also Medicare, Medicaid, Federal education spending, and countless other cherished programs that have served us well for decades.

REPEAL CONGRESSIONAL POWER TO RAISE MONEY: The Constitution also gives Congress broad authority to decide how to distribute the tax burden. For example, Congress is allowed to create a tax incentive for people to buy houses by giving a tax break to people with mortgages, and it is allowed to create a similar incentive for people to buy health insurance by taxing people who have health insurance slightly less than people who do not.  Many Tea Party Republicans go even further, calling for a full repeal of the 16th Amendment, the amendment which enables the income tax. Paying taxes is never popular and I agree, but it would be impossible for us to function as a nation if America lacked the power to raise the money it needs to pay for example the Armed Forces, as well as other bills and obligations.

REPEAL EQUALITY: The Constitution entitles all persons to “equal protection of the laws,” a provision that formed at one point on the basis of Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision that California cannot treat gay couples as if they are somehow inferior. For example and immediately after that decision former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) called upon Congress to immediately overturn it — something that it could only do through a constitutional amendment.  

REPEAL ELECTION OF SENATORS: A number of GOPers have come out in favor of repealing the 17th Amendment, the provision of the Constitution which requires direct election of senators. It is simply baffling how anyone could take one look at the U.S. Senate, and decide that what it really needs is even less democracy.

Do the research - the GOP's blatant hypocrisy is astonishing.

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