Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Health Care

Tea Party Locke-Down

In the latest issue of the Claremont Review of Books, editor Charles Kesler explains why Obamacare clashes with America's most fundamental political principles.  Charles notes the massive delegation of power to boards and agencies, among other anti-Lockean (that is, anti-Declaration of Independence) practices.

It was against the threat of such a despotism that proper and not so proper Bostonians threw the original Tea Party. The English East India Company was about to go bankrupt, and the British government bailed it out by passing the Tea Act of 1773, granting the Company's agents a monopoly on selling tea to Americans and filling the government's own coffers by taxing the sales. The Americans had already rejected this tax as unconstitutional in 1767, but it stayed on the books. Among the Company's agents in Massachusetts were the royal governor's two sons and a nephew. They didn't call it Chicago-style politics then, but the principles were the same.

Today's Tea Party movement sees a similar threat of despotism-of monopoly control of health care, corrupting bailouts, massive indebtedness, and the eclipse of constitutional rights-in the Obama Administration's policies. The Tea Party patriots may mistake the President's motives when they compare him to King George. But they are right to suspect in the very nature of modern liberalism and the modern state something hostile to the consent of the governed and to constitutional liberty. The republic will owe them a debt of gratitude if Obama's plans end up just as wet as George III's, floating in the salty tea pot of Boston Harbor.

A desperate response to such attacks on Progressivism from resident WSJ leftist Thomas Frank (subscriber only); here's his conclusion:

Now, here is the revolt against big government stripped down to its essentials. Civilization itself is the [sic.] bunk, its taxes and regulations as artificial and as unhealthy as its diet of booze and candy. For today's cavemen conservatives, the correct model is simplicity itself: It's every man for himself. And if you want a piece of the mammoth, you'd better get to work.
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