The Folly of Article V

Lately, many of my political friends have been talking about something called Article V.  For those unfamiliar with the term, it is a call for a constitutional convention to amend the U.S. Constitution.  Article V reads as follows:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.”

Photo from Mark Levin's Facebook page
Photo from Mark Levin’s Facebook page

This idea had been promoted by a number of conservative pundits, especially Mark Levin who has written a book entitled The Liberty Amendments.  However, it should be noted that the states have never called for a constitutional convention under Article V.

The more I read about this idea, the greater my opposition to it grows.  What if the nation held a constitutional convention?  Would the result be more liberty and a more constitutionally bound federal government as people like Levin suggest?  Or would it serve as an opportunity to expand power even further in Washington?

The outcome is uncertain and one that would be nearly impossible to correct should the process go awry.

Do we really need any “liberty amendments”?  It seems to me that the federal government has already done a pretty good job ignoring its limitations already spelled out quite clearly in the 9th and 10th Amendments.

In case you’ve forgotten, the 9th Amendment reads,

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

And the 10th Amendment states,

“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.”

Friends, the Constitution already lists what powers the federal government rightfully ought to have.  Therefore, I’d much rather see my legislators in Richmond invoke these amendments to protect the people of this state as opposed to opening Pandora’s box of a constitutional convention where the outcome will almost certainly erode our freedoms further.

Now, I won’t claim to be an expert on this subject and all of us have been wrong before.  But, at this point, I think all Americans, especially those claiming to be either conservatives or libertarians, should be exceedingly wary of invoking Article V.

A Morning With Jeannemarie Davis

Jeannemarie Davis
Jeannemarie Davis

This morning, I met with Jeannmarie Davis, one of the seven candidates seeking the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, at the local Panara Bread in Harrisonburg.  We spoke for about 40 minutes or so, discussing policy issues, Virginia politics, and, of course, the most pressing topic, the race for lieutenant governor.  Our conversation was one of several stops for her on her busy campaign schedule today.

Speaking with Mrs. Davis in person was a welcome opportunity, a chance to talk without all of the hype and frenzy associated with debates, 30-second ad spots, and the legions of opinionated activists who have already chosen their political camps.  After brief introductions, we delved into the heart of the matter, why she is running for this office, her political principles, and what she can bring to the table through her skills and knowledge.

One unique perspective that Jeannmarie Davis offers comes from her time as a member of Governor McDonnell’s cabinet.  Several of the candidates have experience serving in the General Assembly, including Mrs. Davis herself, while others currently head local government, are business entrepreneurs, or are leaders in their communities.  However, one can certainly make the point that her familiarity with the executive branch of the state government could prove quite valuable as our next lieutenant governor.

An opinion that Mrs. Davis stressed is that the Republican Party needs to nominate the candidate who is the most conservative possible, while still being electable.  As she mentioned, despite the Democratic slant of both her former House of Delegates and state Senate districts, she still achieved electoral success while remaining solidly pro-life.  Jeannmarie continued by remarking that, given the shifting demographics, if a statewide candidate is unable to run a competitive race in northern Virginia, it is almost certain that he or she will be unable to capture a large enough percentage of the vote in the rest of the state to garner victory.  It is certainly a valid argument; purity is relatively meaningless when faced with the harsh reality of electoral failure.

As an aside, as I’ve written previously, at the end of the day I will support whichever candidate I believe is the most conservative/pro-liberty, who also has a competent campaign indicating that he or she has at least a reasonable chance at winning.  It is too easy for new activists to fall into the trap of the Sir Galahad theory of politics, “I will win because my heart is pure.”

In addition, she mentioned that the Republican Party has done a particularly poor job in reaching out to many of the ethnic communities and that the party will enjoy very limited success if they simply concede these voters to the Democrats.  By comparison, she stated that her campaign is actively courting these voters, not just for the Republican convention, but to also bolster the statewide totals in November.

When it comes to the issue of neglecting certain demographics, I added that the GOP has done a particularly poor job in reaching out to the newest generation of voters, the high school and college students.  Drawing on a personal example, when I attended my first local Republican meeting at the age of 15, I was, not surprisingly, the youngest person in attendance.  However, at the January gathering of our local GOP, almost 18 years later, regrettably I still had the distinction of being the youngest person there.  As was the case at this weekend’s ISFLC, far too many leaders in the Republican Party seem to have forgotten about minorities, the youth, and the cause of liberty, another important factor that has contributed to the party’s decline in recent years.

Given that this issue has not made too much of an appearance in the forums thus far, I was somewhat surprised to hear about Mrs. Davis’ support of federalism and the 10th Amendment, a position that she mentioned has only solidified further during her time working in the Virginia Liaison Office in D.C.

Let me close by thanking Jeannemarie Davis and her staff for the opportunity to speak with her this morning.  We certainly have areas where we agree as well as issues in which we don’t, but, as I’ve stressed time and time again, it is critically important for each delegate to the RPV convention to possess a strong understanding of all seven of the lieutenant governor candidates so that he or she can make a rational and informed decision, not merely on the first ballot, but on the second, third, and however many ballots that we end up casting so that we will nominate a candidate who will strongly articulate our values in Richmond for the next four years.  Therefore, I encourage you to check out Jeannemarie’s website and record, compare it to everyone else who is running, and decide for yourself your first, second, and even third choice.

Virginia’s Tenth Stand

Here in Virginia we are gearing up for another session of the General Assembly, the legislative body of the state government.  Delegates and senators have begun to showcase the bills they hope to pass in the upcoming year and there is one that should be of particular interest to any person who seeks to curtail the power of the federal government.

The purpose of bill, House Joint Resolution Number 130, is in “memorializing the Congress of the United States to honor state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”  This resolution has attracted a good number of sponsors, currently including: Delegates Randy Minchew of Loudoun County, Dave Albo of Fairfax County, Rob Bell of Albemarle County, Mark Cole of Fredericksburg, Chris Head of Roanoke, Keith Hodges of Middlesex County, Jimme Massie of Henrico County, Rick Morris of Isle of Wight County, Israel O’Quinn of Bristol, and David Ramadan of Loudoun County.

But what exactly does this resolution say?  Well, it begins by quoting the 10th 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.”  It further notes, “The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more”.

The resolution goes on to boldly claim that “many federal laws are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States” and “that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states”.

The resolution concludes with the following assertion: “The Commonwealth of Virginia hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States. The Commonwealth by this resolution serves notice to the federal government, as its agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers. Further, the Commonwealth urges that all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding shall be prohibited or repealed.”

The full text of Resolution 130 can be found here.

It has become clear that most of the legislators in Congress, the president, the courts, and the federal bureaucracy have little interest in restraining their powers to those specifically enumerated in the Constitution.  Therefore, in order to restore some sense of federalism, it is up to the states and the people to claim the authority that is rightfully theirs.

But lingering questions remain.  Will the delegates and senators in Richmond have the political courage to pass this resolution?  And if they do, are they willing to chart a course that will enforce the federal limitations found in the Constitution and the 10th Amendment?  After all, it would mean an end to federal control of many facets of life including, but limited to: education, healthcare, retirement, and the modern welfare state.

Conservatives, libertarians, and constitutionalists all across Virginia should support House Joint Resolution 130 and ought to write his or her legislators and encourage them to do likewise.  It’s time to make a stand!

Understanding Obamacare

We all know that the federal government’s takeover of healthcare is unquestionably unconstitutional.  Now I know that some liberals out there disagree, therefore I ask you to show me where this authority is spelled out in the enumerated powers.  If you cannot do so, then Obamacare must be repealed.  After all we must always remember that, “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.”  Oh, that darn pesky 10th Amendment.

Nevertheless, as we wait for the multitude of state lawsuits to proceed through the judicial system, we should take a bit of time to understand what Obamacare means and how it could impact our lives.  Fortunately, our friends at Americans For Limited Government are taking the time to wade through the impact of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the official name of Obamacare).  They’ve recently created a new website http://obamacarewatcher.org/ to uncover many of the pitfalls hidden within this liberal feel good legislation.

Despite the claims of some big government Republicans, nationalized healthcare doesn’t need to be replaced or reformed, but repealed completely and the idea thrown on the ash heap of history.  This ridiculous folly mocks the concept of liberty, the notion of individualism, and ultimately undermines the true spirit of America.  As we work toward this goal, I strongly encourage reading more on Obamacare Watcher so that you can learn the truth for yourself.

Share The Blame

I can’t tell you how many times recently people have said to me either via email or in person that our country would be heading on the right track if only President Obama was out of office.  Unfortunately, such a viewpoint is not only overly simplistic, it is also quite wrong.  President Obama is a problem, yes, but the issue runs far deeper.  Even if we were to broaden our scope and remove Congressional leaders like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, our government would still be in a bad shape.  Some people have the mistaken impression that our government is a type of monarchy whereby one person, or a select few people, runs the nation.  Although from all public appearances we seem to be trending in that direction, there are still many people in Washington D.C. who can influence policy.  Just disregarding the cabinet members, advisors, and legions of bureaucrats, we still have the power to elect our president and the four hundred and thirty five members of Congress.  You must remember that the President cannot make laws, that power is reserved for the Congress. So let’s turn our focus there.

How did Nancy Pelosi become Speaker of the House?  How did Harry Reid become Majority Leader?  Was it merely by chance or was it some sort of electoral free-for-all?  No, of course not.  With the Democrats in power, they selected two of their Congressional leaders to take charge in the House and Senate.  Don’t like the actions of Reid or Pelosi?  Blame the Democrats in Congress who gave them power.  What about the Republicans?  Can they be held responsible for massive increases in the growth of the federal government?  Absolutely.  While some of them outright supported unacceptable legislation, some of the others stood silent, merely watching from the sideline.  As all spending bills must originate in the House, House members must claim the courage to vote against unconstitutional acts and wasteful spending.  But our Senators are guilty too.  In the Senate, a dedicated minority can use the filibuster to stall business in order to kill or delay bad laws.  They must not be afraid to use this tool whenever the rights of the constituents are being trampled.  The simple rule we must follow is that Representatives and Senators who either actively or passively ignore the Constitution must be removed.  Although we rarely take advantage of the opportunity, we have that chance every two (or six) years.

But the blame goes beyond the corrupt cesspool of Washington.  Should our national leaders fail us, which most have repeatedly, we must look to Richmond, and related capitals for redress.  After all, under the authority of the 10th Amendment, power not specifically granted to the federal government is reserved for the states and the people.  As a result of this nationalized health care scheme, some states, like ours, have sued the federal government.  It is a step in the right direction, of course, but they must press other issues as well where D.C. has overstepped its bounds.  Unfortunately, such a course of action requires a political will and determination that few statesmen possess.  The majority of politicians do not chart this course, and so they are at fault as well.

But blame goes further than the White House, Congress, and the State House.  What about the average citizen?  Does he or she blindly go through his or her day rarely reflecting on the mischief of Obama and his associates?  When we vote, do we really consider the issues and stances of the potential leaders in question, or are we duped by the hollow promise of “hope” and “change”?  Educated and active voters are key components of a healthy nation.  In America though, our base is largely apathetic and ignorant, drawn to the tiny details of the relatively empty lives of celebrities rather than actions of our supposed representative delegates.  We cannot complain about the whims of Washington, and the power-grabbing nature of our leaders when we refuse to get involved.  How can you hold politicians accountable when you remain unaware of their activities?  Thus the greatest culpability for people like Obama along with the greatest hope for their removal rests with a single person.  Surely you know the individual.  After all, you see that person in the mirror every morning.  So, now that we all share the blame, only one question remains.  What are you prepared to do?

Constitutional Legislation?

For the last several months, I have receiving emails from the office of Representative J. Randy Forbes (VA-4).  Although I don’t recall ever signing up on one of his lists, I have appreciated the opportunity to learn more about Congressman Forbes, his priorities, and his legislation.  I must say, the more I read the more I like.

He is currently cosponsoring H.R. 450, commonly known as the Enumerated Powers Act.  In short, this legislation would require Congress to demonstrate its specific Constitutional authority to enact new laws.  Along with Forbes, 62 other Representatives are either sponsoring or cosponsoring this bill including several from Virginia:  Cantor (VA-7), Goodlatte (VA-6), and Wittman (VA-1), and many conservative/liberty minded folks: Broun (GA-10), Garrett (NJ-5), and Paul (TX-14) to name just a few.

Here is Representative Forbes to explain a bit about the resolution:

The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, “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.”

Increasingly over the past year, many of you have written to me to express your concern for what many view to be the expanding and abusive authority exercised by the federal government. For too long, the federal government has operated without constitutional restraint. In doing so, it has created or proposed ineffective and costly programs, large burdensome healthcare mandates, massive deficits year after year, and a staggering national debt.

I’ve recently signed onto legislation called the Enumerated Powers Act, H.R. 450. The legislation mandates that all bills introduced in the U.S. Congress include a statement setting forth the specific constitutional authority under which that law would be enacted. This measure is intended to force a continual re-examination of the role of the national government and to begin to focus legislators on thoughtfully addressing the expanding reach of the federal government.

Our Founding Fathers believed that granting narrow and specific legislative power to the national government would be a powerful mechanism to protect individual freedoms. I believe H.R. 450 would take a first step in encouraging Congress to abide by the principles embodied in the Constitution.

I’d like to hear what you think of this legislation. Please e-mail me your thoughts. If you would like more information on my work on this issue or others, you may visit my Web site at forbes.house.gov.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours in service,

Randy Forbes

Member of Congress

What a novel concept huh?  Legislating according to the Constitution.  Unfortunately, I doubt the Democrats would allow such a law to pass, as it would hinder so much of their grand schemes like nationalized health care.  Hopefully once the Republicans regain control of Congress they will not forget the 10th Amendment and will advocate a return to a constitutional, limited government.  Therefore, I strongly encourage you to write to your Representative and Senators to insist they pass a law like H.R. 450.  Yes, we must enact drastic cuts in the size and scope of the federal government, but we must also curb its future growth.  H.R. 450 is an important step in the right direction.

In Defense of Federalism

Individual states ought to have more power and control over both the lives of the citizens residing and visiting within it, as well as territory under their control, than the federal government.  The purpose of our national government is to accomplish tasks that state government is either unable to provide, offer large-scale benefits to all states, or restrain the states in certain aspects.  For example, it only makes sense for the national government to have the sole power to declare war, defend the states from invasion, and create and maintain a national currency.  Despite what some might say, the powers and limitations of the federal government are pretty clearly defined in the Constitution and its amendments.  I assure you that the 10th Amendment is in there for a reason!

By contrast, states have far more latitude.  Unlike the national government, assuming their constitutions allow it, they can create a statewide health care system, legalize all sorts of drugs, or modify the drinking age (assuming the federal government didn’t mettle by withholding highway funding).  Now I’m not saying that I advocate these plans, but, as “laboratories of democracy”, it is far better for a state to tinker with such modifications than Washington D.C.  Once a plan is proven successful in a state or, better yet, several states, and assuming it is constitutional, only then should it be considered on a national scale.  This largely forgotten theory was one of founding principles of our nation.  You want state run health care?  Then move to Boston.  You want to smoke marijuana?  Then migrate to Los Angeles.  Otherwise lobby your state and not the federal government.   Let’s agree to keep such plans out of the hands of D.C. bureaucrats.  If you want Virginia health care, or the freedom to use recreational drugs in Danville, then I recommend talking to the folks in Richmond.  Just know that I have the right to argue for the other side.

You say that the constitution is outdated and states rights are a thing of the past.  Assuming you are right (I sure hope you aren’t by the way), consider this fact.  If I want to contact my State Senator or one of his representatives in person, I need only to drive a couple minutes to downtown.  Conversely, if I’d like to meet someone from my U.S. Senator’s office, I’d have to travel about 2 hours to go to either Richmond or Roanoke.  Furthermore, State Senators have approximately 1/40th of the constituents that our national Senators have.  Who do you think is more responsive to a citizen’s concerns?  I often get letters, emails, and cards in response to my inquiries with Senator Obenshain.  Guess what I have gotten from Senators Webb and Warner…that’s right, nothing!  One of them knows me; the other has a territory too large for any sort of personal relationship.  Now tell me, which one represents me better?  Which is better suited to make policy decisions regarding your city, town or county?  Is it the one who lives in your community or the one who, like a distant relative, visits once or twice a year?  If for no other reason than proximity, increased devolution just makes sense.  Unfortunately, if we leave it up to the politicians in the D.C., we will continue the slow march toward a unitary state.

For additional information on this topic, I encourage you to read a recent article written by Josh Eboch, State Chapter Coordinator for the Virginia Tenth Amendment Center regarding the tension between libertarians and constitutional conservatives over the 10th Amendment.  I hope you find it as worthwhile as I did.

Bad Medicine

With each passing day, America slips further and further into the grip of socialism.  I expect that both the House of Representatives and Senate will soon reach an agreement on the latest attack on our liberty, national health care.  Although I’d like to think that Senator Webb and Warner would uphold their vows to our Constitution and vote against the bill, in the end, it is highly likely that both will toe the Democratic Party line.  Sigh.  I suppose that at some point our government must have been pretty decent.  Then again, the Supreme Court finding a supposed right to privacy that allows you to kill your own children through abortion but doesn’t protect you from the intrusion of the government through the excesses of the Patriot Act makes just about as much sense in today’s society.  It’s amazing what you can get away with when you interpret the phrase “general welfare” as liberally as possible while ignoring the 10th Amendment.

I have a confession to make.  Like millions of Americans, I don’t have health insurance.  Why don’t I, you may ask?  The answer is simple.  I cannot afford it.  Although I have had health insurance in the past and will likely do so again in the future, my budget doesn’t allow it at the present.  Well then, should I look to the government for assistance?  Should I insist that the government take money out of your pocket and give it to me so that I too can enjoy the benefits of health insurance?  Is that scheme unfortunately becoming the new “American way”?  While we are on the subject, I have to wonder why we need health insurance for routine doctor visits.  My understanding is that originally health insurance was used for major things like surgery, hospital stays, and the like.  Using insurance for any health related issue under the sun makes about as much sense as requiring auto insurance for oil changes.  As a result, this increased reliance on insurance has greatly spiked the health care costs in this country.  Take it from me; to now seek medical assistance without it is tantamount to financial suicide.  And when this legislation passes, if you choose to go without insurance, then the federal government can fine you?  I’m starting to wonder, which side won the Cold War, liberty or statism?  To borrow a phrase from Yakov Smirnoff, in Soviet Russia, insurance chooses you!

Now we can scream foul at the top of our lungs, but will our elected representatives hear our cry?  Sure, some statesmen like Delegate Bob Marshall, Senator Mark Obenshain, and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli are actively fighting for your rights, but the vast majority of politicians simply don’t care.  After all, Washington insiders know what’s best for you and are more than happy to dictate policy.  You agree, yes?  Remember, Napoleon Obama is always right.  Anyone who supports federalized insurance must be voted out of office and I encourage you to read Senator Obenshain’s recent article on the subject found in the Washington Times.  Not only does socialism promote bad medicine through expanded bureaucracy and inflated costs, it also spawns bad governance.

The R3volution: Two Years Later

Let me start with some background.  After finishing my work for a pro-life organization in the state of Tennessee, I faced a tough dilemma.  What would I do next?  What about working for a presidential campaign?  After all, I had been rigorously volunteering for political campaigns for about a decade at that point, and in the last election I had the opportunity to work for the Republican Party of Virginia.  But which one was best?  For starters, the candidate had to be completely conservative both socially and fiscally.  One thing was certain; I wasn’t about to offer my services to any sort of pro-choice politician, no sir.   In addition, I had become increasingly frustrated with a growing number of Republicans over their apparent abandonment of the principles of a constitutional, limited government (George W. Bush anyone?).  And so I researched.  One candidate far and away drew my attention…Congressman Ron Paul of Texas.  Sure, I had heard of him, but I didn’t really know too much about him.  After all, with 435 members in the House of Representatives, who can keep track of them all?  Many fellow Republicans regarded him with derision calling him Dr. No due to his track record of voting against so many bills.  But the more I read, the more I liked.  Unlike so many other members of Congress, he consistently voted in accordance with the Constitution, even though doing so meant he wouldn’t bring home pork to his constituents.  He opposed tax increases; he favored state rights, slashing spending, and the elimination of many federal programs, departments, and agencies.  Although heavily controversial, he also opposed the conflict in Iraq, a big selling point for me.  Even though I was, and still am, leery of the legalization of many types of drugs, he was right, it was a state issue, not a federal one.  He represented, in my mind, the true ideals of the Republican Party and conservatism.  My goal was clear.  I had to promote Ron Paul aggressively.  I had to work for his campaign.

Trying to get employment with the Ron Paul campaign was a difficult task, a job in and of itself.  I called weekly and spammed the campaign with email.  Finally, when I heard a Ron Paul campaign staffer would be in Winchester, I hopped in my car and headed north.  It took months, but my determination finally paid off and I was soon headed to South Carolina.  This effort was not simply another campaign, but a revolution.  Although I can’t find a backwards l or a proper backwards e on my keyboard, you could often find signs that read, “Ron Paul Revolution” with a backwards e and l so you could simultaneously see the words revolution and love written backwards.  In many ways, we were just that, a nonviolent revolution.  Although we certainly wanted to win the primaries, we had an objective much more far reaching than a single election.  Our goal was the hearts and minds of the average citizens of America.  Some people treated us with skepticism; others, like Rudy Giuliani, rudely and openly mocked our principles.  But, we labored on, never second-guessing the importance of our cause, winning converts slowly but surely.  Unfortunately we didn’t win South Carolina.  Then again, the campaign didn’t win a single state.  Some people might view such a result as a failure, but we knew better.  After the South Carolina primary, I had hoped to continue on with the campaign to my home state of Virginia, but fortune had other plans.  Even though I was sidelined, a spectator, that didn’t stop me from cheering as loudly as I could.

During the primaries, Rush Limbaugh mentioned that the nomination of John McCain would destroy the Republican Party.  Now, if John McCain had actually won the election, I think Rush would have been right.  Given his plethora of non-conservative tendencies, we would be a party without a clear ideological direction, leaderless.  Although not necessarily as a result of, but definitely concurrent with, the election of Barack Obama, conservative activists began to rise in great numbers in opposition.  Even though I do not have the specific data in hand at the moment, a majority of Virginia Republicans viewed Ron Paul unfavorably in 2008.  By 2009, opinion had shifted greatly.  Had Ron Paul or his positions changed?  Not as far I as could tell.  One by one, activists and ordinary American have come to understand that maybe Ron Paul wasn’t a crazy tinfoil, hat-wearing lunatic.  Maybe the government had grossly overstepped its constitutional bounds.  Maybe we had to react now, before our liberties diminished further, before we totally become vassals of the state.  As proof of this trend, one only needs to look to rise of the tea party movement.  Although I can’t pinpoint the exact origins of this protest, I can easily see some roots from both the message and tactics of the Ron Paul campaign.  Conservatives of just about all stripes are fed up with the status quo, the steady lurches toward a socialistic nanny state, and demand a halt!  Many are discovering the merits of the 10th Amendment for the first time.

Although the Ron Paul campaign wrapped up back in 2008, I’m pleased to say that the movement has taken new forms, morphed to become useful post election.  The two largest and organized children are the Campaign for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty.  Many of my former coworkers are heavily involved in these organizations.  I encourage you to visit their websites and learn more about them.  Take it from me; they are both worthy of your time, your money, and your support.  As history is still being written, it is impossible to gauge the full impact of the revolution, but in many ways Ron Paul could end up being the Barry Goldwater of this generation.  If you will recall, although he didn’t win the presidency himself, the movement that he started led to the rise and election of Ronald Reagan.  I will always respect Ron Paul and his followers for their devoted, principled stance and am pleased to count them as my allies.  Even if tomorrow is uncertain, two years later the R3volution lives on!

Modeling Botetourt

A few days ago, I found a rather interesting press release in my email inbox.  It came from a member of the Botetourt County GOP, one of our conservative friends and allies, and it reads:

Botetourt Co. Republican Committee Unanimously Passes Resolutions
Botetourt County’s Republican Committee has passed one resolution supporting the tea parties and a second resolution voicing its support for state sovereignty.

Fincastle, VA – April 27, 2009 – The Botetourt County Republican Committee unanimously passed two resolutions at their April meeting.  The first commends those participating in the Tea Parties and invites them to join the Botetourt County Republican Party. The second resolution commends Texas for passing a state sovereignty bill in support of the Tenth Amendment, and calls upon Virginia’s Legislature and Governor to pass Virginia’s state sovereignty bill – HR 61.  The Botetourt County Republican Party believes the unanimous passage of these resolutions will not only send a strong message to Virginia’s elected representatives but also to the Republican Party.
The Botetourt County Republican Party hopes both resolutions will send a clear signal to Virginia’s citizens: there is a renewed willingness in the Virginia Republican Party to stand up for your Constitutional rights.  Danny H Goad, Vice Chair of the Botetourt County Republican Party summed it up this way, “We are the party of the people and the passage of these resolutions further demonstrates that.”
In passing the second measure, the Botetourt Co. Republican Party leads the way for other Party units in Virginia to call upon their elected state legislators to pass HR 61 – which will strengthen the Commonwealth of Virginia’s assertion of its sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.  Delegate Fralin who represents part of Roanoke and Botetourt is a sponsor of the bill.
Contact:
Mr. Douglas Gimbert
Chairman
Botetourt County Republican Party
Tel: 540-353-4028

As you would imagine, I’m quite impressed by these resolutions.  When it comes to the issue of the tea parties, it is notable to see the Botetourt Republicans boldly reaching out to the community at large.  I’d bet that a number of folks who participated in the tea parties have never really gotten involved in politics before then.  They don’t really care about the differences between Republicans and Democrats, liberals or conservatives.  They just know that the federal government takes far too much of their money and they want it back.  It is a very important realization and one that if vocally embraced by a majority of citizens, would create a tremendous backlash against the federal government and might just even create the change we desperately need.  The Virginia Republican philosophy, not that bull neo-con crap that has led both our party and country astray, of limited government and personal responsibility, is the message that will resonate with these people.  That ideology, firmly held, rationally explained, and decidedly implemented, will restore our liberty and restrain our government to its proper role.  I therefore applaud the efforts of the Botetourt Republicans in this regard and wish them well in their efforts to grow the party and the movement.  County and city committees throughout this state would do well to follow the example of Botetourt.

The second resolution was equally important, if not more so, as the first.  As you know, states across this nation have been reclaiming their rights unconstitutionally stolen by the federal government under the guise of “promoting the general welfare”.  It’s high time that Virginia did the same.  I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I somehow missed HR 61, as the 10th Amendment is extremely important.  Nevertheless, I’m planning to speak with both my Delegate and State Senator (or their staffs) about this resolution to learn both their insight in the matter as well as their role, if any, in guiding or opposing the resolution in the General Assembly.  Therefore, once I have a bit more information I’ll revisit this topic.

Thanks again Botetourt County for standing up for our principles!  I’m looking forward to meeting you all at the convention in a handful of weeks.  As for the rest of the state, isn’t it time for your own county or city committee to do likewise?