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Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for Jurists Prudence


The Tea Party started out as a Libertarian movement which gained popularity during the election of 2008. The Libertarians have since lost any respect and sincerity it would have once been attributed, however, when they started inviting and embracing the evangelical Christians into the party. Many of the views of these two conservative groups are in complete contradiction when the Libertarians seek to demand personal liberties as defined by the Constitution and the evangelicals seek to have them defined by the Bible. No one has offered a legitimate answer to a platform which actually embraces or explains the juxtaposition of those views. None of the followers seem to have noticed or minded, though, because the leaders have been able to keep them active and distracted by ranting about nonsense to get them riled up. They had a black man to oppose on the last two Presidential tickets, you know. They really needed little else.

The entire movement became even more awkward to watch when the GOP at large realized that they were losing a lot of their constituency. They allowed the Tea Party to basically hijack their party and their platform for fear of losing their capacity for reelection. What had once been a nightmare of a neo-Conservative movement has now become a clusterfuck of ideas where no one can really affirm a stance on anything without second guessing themselves. No wonder nothing is getting accomplished in DC.

The Tea Party Platform states "The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land and must be adhered to without exception at all levels of government. This includes the Bill of Rights and other Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and their provisions designed to protect states’ rights and individual liberties."

Any Tea Party fanatic will tell you that their only objective is loyalty to the Constitution and upholding the many rights attributed therein. That seems like a pretty noble ideal, no? LOL. No. They don't actually know anything about the Constitution. They are only really interested in that one right (you know the one) and their very narrow interpretations of the rest of the Amendments which speak to their selfish agenda.

Wait, now that's not fair of me. They do also believe in the 1st Amendment. They are really big on that freedom of religion. They will tell Muslims to leave the country, however. But they really do believe in the right to their religion. Well that's nice.

They also believe in freedom of speech. Whenever you call them out for being a racist, they will either counter by offering their strongest debate tactic, being the "nu'huh you are" defense, or they will remind you that they have a freedom of speech. However, even though the courts have defined flag burning as freedom of speech, if you tell that to a Tea Partier, they will simply tell you that is not true.

Of course, they believe in the right to a free press. They are very concerned about the bias in todays media and want them to be more accountable for the information they disseminate to Americans. We are all being inundated with a liberal bias in our news stories and the Tea Party are trying to let the rest of us understand how foolish we are for listening to it. They know what's really going on, though. They have a cable television channel with the word "news" in it where everything reported there seems to be legitimate.

The freedom to assemble is also a very big deal for them. Recently Tea Partiers used that right to march into the Texas Statehouse office of a Democratic Representative to intimidate him for his opposition to an open-carry proposal. They demanded that he was a tyrant to the Constitution and refused to leave his office. It seems whenever other groups want to use their right to assemble, like a protest against Wall Street or the lost lives of unarmed young black men, those in the Tea Party are so disgusted with that use of the freedom, that they will gather together and actually protest the protesters. As a rational human being, I have no means of explaining that mentality in a thoughtful manner.

Their platform actually states that their mission is to uphold and defend the Constitution. They would really rather get rid of the 14th altogether, though. Not only does it completely belie their constant insistence for states rites in Constitutional matters, but it saves the children of immigrants from being deported. It has also graciously been used to allow rights to those so maligned by the Tea Baggers like gays and immigrants. And let us not forget, it also allows a woman to have an abortion. Absolutely everyone is protected by the 14th. It states, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States ... nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Thankfully, because they don't actually spend time reading or comprehending the Constitution, their objections to all rights supported by the 14th Amendment due to morality have a little back up and are also negated by the 9th Amendment which literally states that our rights, "shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." This, for any Tea Baggers who have come across this essay, means you cannot use other rights granted to you as an excuse to take away rights of others. But, whatever, I'm sure Indiana isn't bound by the Constitution.

The Constitution is the document that defines taxing our citizenry to ensure the welfare of all. Thus, Social Security and Public Assistance are both guaranteed by the Constitution, as well. I suppose the Tea Party is very concerned about their maintenance as their platform says the Constitution must be upheld without exception. Its curious, but some of the biggest issues of the entire party platform are focused on getting rid of the IRS, the body that collects those taxes, and both Social Security and Public Assistance. They tell people that they shouldn't have to pay for people on welfare or social security. That should be the responsibility of the people. (Because, you know, they are such a selfless and generous bunch, they will make sure that those in need are taken care of).

The Tea Baggers don't really know what they support. They like the bits and pieces that they have a limited understanding of and their narrow interpretations of what each defines, devoid of any Amendments or Supreme Court rulings which have followed regarding that Amendment. They also like the radical mistranslations that the party leaders have offered them. However, they don't actually know what is in the Constitution. If they did, they would probably have to either create another party or demand that their party have a much different approach to defining their rights. Maybe they should focus more of their time rewriting the Constitution? Its a long road to get to change it from Congress, but its sure worth a try. Of course, they could also keep counting on the Supreme Court to hear ridiculous cases in hopes that they will continue to deny all dignity and humanity whenever possible and come up with some brand new interpretations of what America is meant to be. Let us hope they can control themselves to keep her from going over a cliff. Because if left to the Tea Baggers, those rights would most certainly, only be afforded to those who are Christian, heterosexual, white, men.

The truth is, it doesn't matter that they don't have any idea what they're rallying against or for. The people who founded and funded (Koch, Americans for Prosperity) the party from the beginning would never want them to understand why the people they support need to be elected or what their true ambitions are. And how glorious if you are a Koch brother ... it would never occur to a Tea Partier to ask.

Damn... Must be nice to be a billionaire, huh?




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