A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.I thought that was an interesting proposition, but what is a "Constitutional conservatism?" Since the Tea Baggers and Conservatives throw around the Constitution and the Founding Fathers so much, lets see how much of their "defining statement" is in the Constitution. As Newt has pointed out: Words Matter.
So the question of the day is: Are the Mt. Vernon Statement's words in the Constitution? And if so, in what context?
The Mt. Vernon Statement calls for:
A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.Below are keywords from the statement, and if they are in the Constitution?
- It applies the principle of limited government based on the rule of law to every proposal.
- It honors the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life.
- It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and economic reforms grounded in market solutions.
- It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that end.
- It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood, community, and faith.
Conservatism: Nope, not in the Constitution!
Policy: Nope, not in the Constitution!
Limited: In the Constitution!
It is used to discuss Congress' Authority over Trademark and Copyright
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;Rule of Law: Nope, not in the Constitution!
Liberty: In the Constitution!
Used 3 places
First Use: To establish the reason for our government. Note, it is seven words away from welfare, don't tell Tommy Thompson.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Second Use: In the 5th Amendment, it ensures the Government cannot take away our life, liberty or property without due process (something we can all agree on). But, how can we be guaranteed life, but not access to healthcare? Just a thought for the times...
nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law
Third Use: This is my favorite for this exercise. "Liberty" is used in the 14th Amendment to define the rights of Amendment 5 (above) and the entire Constitution to "All persons born or naturalized in the United States." Please note that Hawaii is, in fact, a state. It also says that no state can "make or enforce any law" that takes the rights of an American Citizen away from them. (Once again, even if they were born in Hawaii.)
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.Free Enterprise: Nope, not in the Constitution!
Entrepreneur: Nope, not in the Constitution!
Market: Nope, not in the Constitution!
Freedom: In the Constitution!
Used in the 1st amendment to ensure there would not be a national religion (kinda gets in the way of the faith remark), or to put down speech against the government.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Tyranny: Nope, not in the Constitution!
Family: Nope, not in the Constitution!
Neighborhood: Nope, not in the Constitution!
Community: Nope, not in the Constitution!
Faith: In the Constitution!
Used to describe the authority of the Federal Government to ensure the credit of transactions and relations between the states (an expanded federal big-gov't policy I am sure the Tea-Baggers would be against). Note: not a reference to religion.
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other StateSo, in review, the Mt. Vernon statement is, in fact, another meaningless statement from the Teabagger Right Conservatives distorting the Constitution they claim to uphold. The words used in the statement are either not in the Constitution, or are used for an entirely different context.
David Frum has more in the meaninglessness here.