Sunday, August 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

George Washington to Tea Party: "You know nothing of my work!"

George Washington to Tea Party: "You know nothing of my work!"

I'm glad to see that someone has finally taken on the burden of assembling "Everything Incorrect That You Didn't Need to Know About the Constitution You Learned from the Tea Party." That would be the Constitutional Accountability Project, which has begun an effort called "Strange Brew: The Constitution According to the Tea Party."

In today's version, you'll learn that the Founders -- once the U.S. of A. was up and running -- weren't as big on "2nd Amendment remedies" as Sharron "90-Degree Right" Angle is today. They thought that armed rebellions and overthrowing the government and what not were generally bad things, as long as the new nation continued to hold democratic elections and there was nothing on the order of a military coup. Notes the project's Doug Kendell:

After ratification of the Constitution, the powers of the new federal government were quickly tested in the early 1790s with the Whiskey Rebellion. Like the Tea Partiers, the whiskey rebels of the late 18th Century believed the federal government had overreached and had unfairly imposed taxes upon them. As recounted in Ron Chernow's brilliant biography of Alexander Hamilton, President George Washington determined the rebellion must be crushed, stating that if "a minority is to dictate to the majority, there is an end put at one stroke to republican government." Then, the 62-year-old Father of our Country joined Alexander Hamilton and the federal army on a westward journey that put the rebellion to rest.

As Washington's actions and statements support, in the American republic, we express our disagreement about policy through speeches, petitions, assemblies, and elections, not by taking up arms against our government, other than in the unlikely instance of a coup d'etat by the national military.

Note the importance of grammar and punctuation -- because "if a minority is to dictate to the majority," that actually IS "Republican government" these days, with a capital "R."

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Will Bunch
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