If you read about how the federal constitution came about, one thing is crystal clear: it was devised by people who wanted to create a strong federal government and saw the states as obstacles to doing so. The people who believed in states rights and an anemic federal government — the ancestors of today’s Tea Party — were the Anti-Federalists. And they lost.Regular readers know this: see The Republican Party, The Anti-Federalists And The Tea Parties, Taking The Tenth Amendment Seriously, The Tea Party v. Alexander Hamilton, What The Tea Party Believes, What The Founders Believed and David Brooks' Dishonest Invocation of Alexander Hamilton.
Marshall reports on the somewhat more honest GOP attempts to reinstate the Articles of Confederation. Marshall writes:
[N]ow it seems that anti-federal government thought has become so powerful and accepted that it’s finally ready to come out of the Anti-Federalist closet and embrace its true heritage: The Articles of Confederation, the failed union of sovereign states the federal constitution was hatched to replace.Yes indeed, understanding the anti-Federalist, anti-Constitution arguments embraced by Republicans is important and needs to be discussed often. Romney and Republicans support the Articles of Confederation. They are anti-Federalists.
In her latest column, Amity Shlaes proposed a major reversion to the Articles of the Confederation model: removing the federal government’s ability to tax individuals and replacing it with a claim on states. In other words, devolving the taxing power to the states. And the idea actually appears to come from none other than Kevin Hassett, one of Mitt Romney’s economic advisors.
Whatever else, getting the real identities of the players in the ‘federalism’ debate is a very positive development.
Obama and Democrats support the Constitution. They are the heirs to the Founders.