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January 13, 2011

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"If it were transported back to 1787, would the Tea Party have rejected the Constitution that today it professes to love and defend? Most likely, yes." Indeed, but if Hamilton, Madison, and the other most ardent Federalists were transported forward to 2011, and could see what the Federal government they helped establish has become, they would have fought against the Constitution tooth and nail!

Even the strongest nationalists during the Founding period couldn't have imagined a federal government as large and intrusive as the one we have today. If you read the Federalist/Antifederalist debates you can see the Federalists rushing to deny that a strong national government would ever do, well, most of what the US government does today.

Touche; an excellent point.

Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.

I think the battles during Jackson's era might be even more to the point. Too loose a union would lead to anarchy.

The ratification of the Constitution was, indeed, an infringement on individual liberties. That tea-party advocates are using a similar rhetoric to encourage a more federalist view of the document is not surprising. But Brutus certainly lost the tea-partiers when he expressed his fear of government involvement in the bed-chamber.

The Constitution is not a totemic touchstone. It is a practical set of rules, intended to keep the rulers from doing whatever they decide is best. When it needs changing, it is amended, an intentionally difficult process. The Constitution is an anchor that keeps us from drifting away on the emotions of the moment.

better late than never

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