"Thaddeus McCotter … notes that Hope & Change has degenerated into Tax & Hate. We’ve never heard him sound quite so serious," Hate the Media captions the above video of Michigan Rep's latest floor speech.
"It is clear the most dangerous special interest is big government, and president Obama is its lobbyist," our favorite Congressman, Thad McCotter (R,MI) declared in floor remarks yesterday:
This arrogant administration and its enablers have defied the American people and bipartisan opposition in Congress to unilaterally jam through a trillion-dollar takeover of health care. Why? For so many Americans the answer is that this President and his Democratic Congress think they are smarter than you, want to run your life and want to make government your ruler, not your servant …
Jonah Goldberg (left) and Glenn Reynolds were flaying the same topic from a slightly different perspective today in a lively Instavision PJTV discussion about "Tea Parties, Populism and Why Some Conservatives Identify More With Liberals." Here's Jonah on the Tea Parties:
I personally think, with all the caveats there are some kooks in every movement, I think on the whole this is an incredibly healthy, important movement for democracy that is in many ways sort of the antibody response to an attempt to sort of turn this into a European-style social welfare state.
And Prof. Reynolds in reply:
It's funny, because my wife had a blogpost where somebody had called Rush Limbaugh toxic, and her response was, "He's not a toxin, he's an antibody."
Actually the framers thought this … it was just taken for granted back then, and quite awhile after the framing of the Constitution that, you know, if the government went too far, the people would just rise up as a body. It would be kind of an organic thing. It wouldn't even require any leaders. That's just what the people would do … Now we're seeing it again.
The Tea-Party-as-antibody metaphor called to mind the thesis of Reynolds' provocatively-titled and prescient 1995 essay "Is democracy like sex?" wherein he proposed that "Some of the characteristics of democracy that are often postulated as shortcomings may actually be strengths":
To explore this idea, I have chosen as an analogy or metaphor another widely criticized and misunderstood institution — sex. In short, some discoveries resulting from the application of complexity theory to the question of evolutionary fitness among biological systems have important implications for our discussion of the fitness of the body politic …
The well-known changes in government introduced since the New Deal era have substantially undermined the protections against special interest dominance contained in the Constitution . . . First is the substantial expansion of federal authority brought about by the Supreme Court's broad reading of the Commerce Clause in Wickard v. Filburn. From James Madison's notion of a federal government whose powers are "few and defined," the Wickard case brought us to the proposition that there are few, if any, limits to congressional power … [the limits to those powers are about to be tested by lawsuits filed by 14 states challenging Obamacare's requirement that those without health insurance must obtain it or face fines].
Enter, stage right, the Tea Partiers. "I think the Tea Party movement is an almost entirely healthy thing," continues the Professor:
And I think it's funny that for my whole lifetime, people have been saying "Why aren't ordinary Americans more interested in politics?" and the minute they do get interested in politics, everybody is basically saying "Why are all those ordinary Americans out there. Shouldn't they just listen to their betters?" And listen to their betters is a lot of the tone I've gotten, and not just from David Brooks, but from a fair number of sort of higher-level conservative intellectual types.
The last word goes to our comrade-in-arms Amy Kane (above showing off Michael Graham's new book, which contains one of her Tea Party photos ), a fellow New Englander who, like us, was "not accustomed to demonstrating, protesting, or even politely begging to differ in mixed political company" when we both attended the Essex County Tea Party and Rally in Newburyport last March, where we met for the first time. We've come a long way in a year — for us, using our social-networking skills to disintermediate the powers that be via the internet and help send Scott Brown to Washington. For Amy, she's on the case working to send her own Rep, Pelosi/SEIU puppet Carol Shea-Porter, packing come November. From Amy's latest blogpost, "That's no angry mob, that's me holding Michael Graham's new book":
When I drove around my state with a camera on April 15th last year, it was essentially with this purpose in mind: to make friends with influential, witty, intelligent conservatives like Michael Graham …
Michael's book is dedicated to the millions of Americans who showed up at tea parties and townhalls across America during the "Revolution of '09." He writes:
"The politicians never knew what hit 'em. In fact, they still don't. That's why I wrote this book."
Update: "Thad does it again," marvels Bird Dog at Maggie's, with a link:
McCotter talks just like a Maggie's Farmer. Government is a special interest.
Special notice. This year's Essex County Tea Party Rally will be held on Sunday, March 28, from 12 to 2 p.m. at Atkinson Common Park, Newburyport. Meet at 3-road intersection. Contact Paul Breau @ firstname.lastname@example.org for details.