Consent of the Governed

In the battle between conservatives and statists, a fundamental difference seems to lie in the meaning of a concept found in the Declaration of Independence:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed[.]

The dispute is how men convey consensual powers to their government.

Conservatives believe that governmental power is conveyed exclusively through the Constitution; statists believe power is conveyed through elections.  In this dispute, statists are simply wrong, provably wrong, and wholly unwilling to engage in a proper debate because they know they're wrong.

Does the Constitution Have Meaning?

For the statists to be right in claiming that elections, not the Constitution, determine our government's just powers, then they must provide a rational explanation for the Constitution.    Just as the atheist cannot explain joy or subatomic particles that preceded the Big Bang, the statist cannot explain the Constitution were just powers derived from elections.  Instead of a Constitution with means for amendment, the founders might well have adjourned after penning the first 4 sections of Article I.  Unfortunately for the statist view, they continued.

In fact, the Constitution and its Amendments make clear that the Constitution itself is the only conveyance of just powers from the people to the government.  Article I Section 9 limits the authority of Congress, and the Bill of Rights limit the power of the government as a whole.  The 10th Amendment prohibits the federal government from doing anything that is not explicitly authorized by the Constitution.

Were the intent to simply authorize elections by which Congress may do whatever it please, why did the founders waste so much time and treasure in crafting these details?  Why doesn't the 10th Amendment, and all other paragraphs that limit government power, end with words to the effect:  "Or whatever the government feels like doing."   Instead, the founders specified that government is limited to specific powers.  As Jacob Hornberger writes:

The argument [that elected officials would trample rights of citizens without Constitutional positive statements of rights] partially failed and partially succeeded. It failed to stop the passage of the first eight amendments, but it ensured the passage of the Ninth Amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” and the Tenth Amendment: “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.”

If elections alone determine the limits of government power, then the Constitution has no meaning oustide of its first four sections on the holding of elections.   But the Constitution does have meaning, and no statist would argue otherwise.

Consequences of Constitutional Meaning

If, on the other hand, the Constitution has meaning, then its meaning must be uniform and final.  No article or paragraph is more important than any other.  The means by which Representatives and Senators are elected is no more important than the 9th Amendment or Article V.

If the Constitution is the vessel through which power, derived from our Creator, is transmitted, in part, to the government, then any act of government that is not directly authorized by the Constitution is illegal and anti-Constitutional, just as sin is anti-God.

If the Constitution has meaning, then those who willingly advocate for anti-Constitutional government activity--Cap and Trade, the Department of Education, etc.--are anti-Constitutionalists.  They seek to destroy all limits on government power.  They advance a government capable of anything, up to and including genocide.  To the statists, the Constitution is an evil burden that must be isolated, ridiculed, and destroyed.

And they are winning.


I will personally debate any statist to defend "Resolved:  The results of an election neither increase nor decrease the just powers of the US Government."

--Bill Hennessy

Flow-Thru Afterglow

Dangerous Thoughts Standing in the Wings

Why are you here? I thought.

I was standing on the steps of the Arch fully aware that my fingers were painfully cold when the wrong thought crossed my mind.  By "wrong thought," I mean that one thought that will subconsciously sabotage the important or dangerous thing you are about to attempt.  Like thinking, "what if the front wheel just fell off?" as you're cruising down a winding road on a motorcycle, or "what if I forget my lines?"  just before stepping onto the stage.

100_0795 Before and behind me stood 1,500 people, most of whom I'd never seen before.  They had traveled from as far away as Cincinnati, Ohio, Scottsdale, Arizona, Rolla and Kansas City, Missouri, to St. Louis on one to three days notice on a cold workday with snow flurries spitting on their heads.  Winds gust to 30 miles per hour, slapping the the tea bags they'd taped to their signs. 

But why were they here? Why would they sacrifice to attend a rally called by some blogger they'd never heard of and a conservative radio talk host?

Answers Emerge

Jackie Smith, the hall of fame tight end, took the megaphone and asked, "How many of you are at a protest for the first time in your live?" 

Ninety percent raised their hands and hollered.

A Voice, For Once

A small business owner provided the answer to my question:  we've been afraid to say anything for years.


Political correctness--a Nazi-like, liberal speech suppression technique begun in the 90s--cowed average Americans into keeping their mouths shut for 20 years.  Not since the early days of the Reagan administration have conservatives felt free to say, "I love this country because we're free."  The truth is, if we're not free even to speak our minds, then there is now "America" to love.  There is only a European socialist quasi-dictatorship a little too far west. 

The Next One

The Tea Party was only the first step in a march that ends with a Congress that understands that America is not a land, it's an idea. That idea is that human beings are the best judges of what will achieve happiness.  Free to follow that judgment, some will fail, but more will exceed their wildest expectations.

On February 27 in cities from coast to coast, a few hundred people pretended we still have the freedom to pursue our own dreams.  We ignored the shackles of political correctness and a semi-fascist president.  We hoped to draw out 50 to 100 like-minded souls to begin a movement.

Our humble expectations were exceeded by a factor of 15. 

And, as the Gipper might say, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Claire McCaskill?  Freshen up your resume.

Other Reactions:

Side Notes:

  • I finally met Gateway Pundit in person.  It was an honor, much like meeting Dana Loesch and Jackie Smith.  
  • Dana Loesch and I met for the first on Friday at about 10:00 a.m.  What better testimony to the power of new tools like Twitter and Facebook and email that two perfect strangers would coordinate, split duties, and manage an event for 1,500 people in 4 days. 
  • The next even will be different, bigger, and far more threatening to the left and the national medial.  Not violently threatening; politically threatening.  They will not be able to bury the story, nor will they escape the consequences.  But they will try to prevent it.  In other words, this story will have legs.



St. Louis Tea Party Turnout Rocks!

Thanks to the 1,000+ patriots who stood in the snow at the Arch, Dana "The Energizer" Loesch, Doug Saur, the speakers, Michelle Moore and Jeff who managed the fairgrounds, Desiree' the Poster Party Lady, and the true leaders at #TCOT who held my hand after I stumbled into this event.   St.Louis 1000 Conservatives in 4 daysToday at the Arch in St. Louis was simple patriotic magic.  I have to do some wrapping up of the event, but I'll say this:

America's future is not in the White House; it was on the steps of the Gateway Arch and dozens of other Tea Party locations today.

This was not an event; it was step in a march that ends with Repealing Pork by Retiring socialists.

The scene was simply unbelievable.  Dana Loesch electified the crowd, and Hall of Famer Jackie Smith had them roaring.  In between, American Issues Project President Ed Martin, conservative blogger Shamed Dogan, responsible mother and former candidate for State Senate Gina Loudon, and State Senator Lemke (sp?)  sent a clear message that the 1,000+ adored. 

The Republic will be in great hands. . . soon.  

Thank you all.

If you were at the St. Louis, event, upload photos and videos to  See you Facebook messages for details.

Photos & Videos:




Keep this movement growing; going isn't enough.  Tell your friends to watch the news feeds, read the blogs, monitor #tcot.  Don't stop.  This wave won't crest until we have a conservative Congress, President, and SCOTUS.

How to Change the World with Twitter

My light blogging owes to our efforts to change the world in a week.  My role is, appropriately, miniscule.

When Congress listens, it will repeal the trillions of waste, fraud, and abuse it has produced over the past 4 months, it will stop proposed borrowing and bailouts, it will stop rewarding bad behavior in corporations and citizens, or it will retire.  This time, there are no two ways.

image Using tools like Twitter, email, and Facebook, TCOT has provided at least 163 patriots a forum to voice its discontent on Friday, February 27 at 11:00 a.m. at the foot of the Arch steps in St. Louis.

These citizens are coming out to tell Congress that we utterly reject its notion of borrowing its way out of debt, paying people and companies for failure, and building debt that must be paid through high taxes or high inflation.  

In the past 24 hours, the House has spent $410 billion and President Obama has requested hundred of billions more for healthcare.  When will it stop?

The stop starts on Friday.  Join us. 

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Matt Sczesny Rocks, and other Tea Party News

Great coverage of the St. Louis Tea Party on KMOV Channel 4 by reporter Matt Sczesny.   Channel 4 has not posted the video (that I can find).  I'll link or embed it as soon as it's available.

Please say "thanks" to Matt and KMOV for a fair report.


Amy at Top Conservatives on Twitter has put together a convenient list of the Tea Parties across the country.  This list is NOT exhaustive, as not all cities have a Facebook Event page.  

If you have friends and family in other cities, please encourage them to attend their local rally.  And remember, this is an exhibition, not a competition; please, no wagering.  (h/t Letterman)


For our local St. Louis theme, I really, really like the Red:  the blood of the patriots.  We represent that vast stretch of land filled with strong, working people who rush to the shores when our Republic is threatened.  We stand tall against enemies foreign and domestic.  We bandage our wounds and march on, ever forward, ever humble, yet ever certain of our purpose.  

Red-stained guaze around our heads, red sweaters on our chests, the river at our backs, the Great Frontier before us.  St. Louis was the far side of the America's Rubicon.  All who travel there on Friday will set themselves on the trail to a future under the torch of our brilliant past.   

When Ben Franklin left Consitution Hall after the delegates had finally ratified the document that forever changed man's relationship to government, a citizen shouted, "Dr. Franklin, what have wrought us?"  

Franklin replied simply, "A Republic . . . if you can keep it." 

To hear our President doubt our steel, question our resolve, and deny our ability to right ourselves and help our neighbor without some immense government to guide us is to hear that Philadelphia citizen shout back at Franklin, "Can you keep it for us?" 

Our red shirts tell Franklin, "Just watch."

See Dana's Channel 5 Interview

Go Dana.  How 'bout a little equal time?  Why does the WU prof get 80 percent of the time? DELETED VIDEO EMBED

I detest videos that start automatically.  

You can see the report on KSDK's web site.  Not the best coverage, certainly not fair, but publicity is publicity.  So thanks to Rebecca for visiting with Dana and selecting 7 seconds of the interview to air ahead of 30 minutes of some college professor who wrote a book in his spare time.  (I wrote mine while I was in the Navy.)

Live Blogging Barry's Crappy Reagan Imitation

The future is ours. Your disgust with the borrowing and spending, your noble desire to restore the republic the founders wrought, those are the real protests. The tea party is in our hearts and souls--the events are just the physical manifestations.  But now, the President: Ninety percent of live blog posts suck.  So I did my blog readers a big favor:  I tested my quips on Twitter.  Here I present my instant reactions that were good enough to get retweeted.  (You're welcome.)

  • I wish he'd ask "the Democrat majority to ramrod one-sided legislation through Congress" just once.
  • BHO's funnier if you don't look at him, but Biden makes me laugh. What do I do?
  • socialized medicine! Reminds me--my license plates expire this week
  • If I'm ever prez, remind me to cure a bad disease in every speech
  • I miss the suspense of W sneaking up on "kazakishtan" 
  • When will he thank China for making all this "investment" possible?
  • Read the 10th Amendment, Barry
  • When the hell did borrowing become the lifeblood of the economy?

And the winner . . . 

  • We need to produce more solar power? I'm NOT financing a new Sun!

On Friday, we get our turn to tell the world how it is.

Uncle Barry’s Adding Machine Stimulator Regulation Gimmick

A few weeks ago, shortly after his inauguration, Barry “The President” Obama panicked:  the Republicans might talk the people out of the stimulus bill.

Barry moved quickly.  But Barry is an organizer, not an engineer.  He’s the cheerleader, not the quarterback.  He moves mobs, not nations.  And when panicked, he fell apart.

Barry decided to announce that life as we know it would economically end the Day After The Stimulus Bill Is Defeated.  The “greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression,” was a convenient bludgeon for Barry to use as a candidate against the two men least responsible for it:  Bush and McCain.  Now, that crisis was his to fix.

“A crisis into a catastrophe"

His words.  If Congress failed to pass a near-trillion dollar spending spree, then financial ruin would be upon us.

Congress passed it. The economic slide into depression accelerated.

Thanks, Barry.  Even Robert J. Samuelson – who was our Krugman when I was in college – is kind of appalled at the whole unseemly creation of this Frankenstienian spendfest.

Judged by his own standards, President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus program is deeply disappointing.

Samuelson has more bad news for those who that the trillion dollars would do anything before the next election cycle. 

His [Obama’s] politics compromise the program's economics. Look at the numbers . . . At his news conference, Obama argued (inaccurately) that the two goals don't conflict. Consider, he said, the retrofitting of federal buildings to make them more energy efficient. "We're creating jobs immediately," he said.

Yes -- but not many. The stimulus package includes $5.5 billion for overhauling federal buildings. The CBO estimates that only 23 percent of that would be spent in 2009 and 2010.

Politics Over Principle

Were Samuelson not on the left, one imagines, his critique of Barry’s first major act as president would be scathing. 

By using the stimulus for unrelated policy goals, spending will be delayed and diluted. There's another downside: "Temporary" spending increases for specific programs, as opposed to block grants, will be harder to undo, worsening the long-term budget outlook.

The reason so many are vowing to attend Tea Parties to protest wasteful spending, skyrocketing debt, transfer of wealth, and creeping socialism is because we cherish freedom, not because we’re greedy.  Most of the people at the rallies have a net worth that dwarfed by Obama’s cabinet’s daily checking account balances.  We know the value of a dollar, and we to keep the few we earn. 

It’s Socialism, Stupid

Obama is an old-time socialist with new-fangled toys what whir and sizzle.  But the magic is getting old fast. 

What a tiny, tiny honeymoon for Uncle Barry’s Adding Machine Stimulator Regulation Gimmick.  Got my cynicism early, wouldn’t you?