what in my mind is a load of BS.
I was talking with my very conservative family member and I off handedly referred to him as a member of the Republican Party when I was quickly corrected.
I'm not a Republican, I'm a Jeffersonian Constitutionalist.
Ok. ....I'm using my mind's local search engine, What's a Jeffersonian Constitutionalist?
His interpretation was that the government can't do what isn't specified in the U.S. Constitution and must regard the fifty State Constitutions as the law of the people first and the federal law as second (Article VI, Clause 2 not withstanding). Sigh. It was going to be one of those kinds of "discussions". I basically was told that the government was "too big", collected too much in taxes and intruded too much into our lives, wanted to take our guns and you can probably fill in the rest of this thread. Predictably, transvaginal probes were ok, as was voter ID (that isn't voter suppression, it's just good sense) and so on. As you might suspect he was very bitter at the outcome of the 2012 November election.
No surprise, we had a major difference of opinion on all of this. He could only bluster when I said transvaginal probes are far bigger government than most women want to contemplate. He balked at my assertion that gun laws are just a method of regulating our home grown militias. He laughed at the idea that taxes buy us civilization. Finally, he was brought up short by these concepts
1. Our deficits rose at a faster rate under George Bush
2. Obama is officially a job creator
3. War, tax cuts and Medicare Part D are a bigger driver of our deficits than Social Security.
4. Romney lost by nearly 5 million votes
5. The only reason the GOP won the House was by stacking the Congressional Districts' deck.
He recovered quickly after he heard #5, "Well, if that's what it takes to keep the right people in charge, then that's ok with me".
No reasoning. No critical thinking. Lots of anti-intellectualizing and denial of inconvenient truths. Our visit was short, but not short enough for any of us.
From what I understand my experience in dealing with the right wing is typical. The only solution is usually to walk away, but that's not really a solution. I really need to engage in a thoughtful exchange of ideas, but this is impossible with people convinced they are infallible. The GOP's lack of respect for people who don't agree with them is cost in the GOP new members.
I found out a more precise definition of a Jeffersonian Constitutionalist when I got to a better search engine. Be sure your virus/malware is in good order before clicking this "link" It gives a good description of how my family member, a "Jeffersonian Constitutionalist" views the U.S. Constitution.
First, the status quo:
There are two basic approaches one can take to thinking about the United States Constitution. One is to treat it is a given, whether that refers only to the specific document proposed and ratified in 1787-88 with subsequent textual amendments or to the body of case law developed over the past two centuries. In any event, the lawyerly task with regard to a constitution that is treated as already existing is to engage in debates about its interpretation.
There is, however, a second approach, which is very different in its ramifications for how discussions of the Constitution should proceed. Instead of being fixated on what the Constitution means, one instead asks whether the Constitution, given a stipulated meaning that may in fact not be at all difficult to discern, is in fact wise. One might call this a “Jeffersonian” approach to the Constitution inasmuch as it invites relentlessly asking whether the Constitution is serving us well. This is, incidentally, an especially important question if we agree on constitutional meaning. Disagreement, after all, suggests the possibility of legitimately interpreting the Constitution to achieve what we might describe as “happy endings.” The situation is decidedly different, however, if we agree on constitutional meaning, but believe that it sets us up less for happy endings than for driving over a cliff.That's some insight as to how the GOP in several states believe it is their right to rig the Electoral College. A Jeffersonian sees this "interpretation" thing as a limiting factor. He believes that if the U.S. Constitution isn't giving us the "happy endings" we want, we should change it.
If you don't like the outcome of the game, change the rules.
We do this in sports, we would like to see less CTE in retired NFL players so head first hits are banned and fined (not that this approach is working particularly well). We didn't find the home run records believable in the MLB, so steroids were banned....or so goes that story line.
We change the rules in our relationships and work careers as we mature and educate ourselves. What we thought of as cool when we were 15 is not the same as it will be at 50. Twenty years ago cell phones were rare. Today it's almost unthinkable to leave our homes without our phones. At 15 a cell phone is cool at 50 a cell phone is just an efficient business tool and good sense convenience.
We use this concept as the basis for law. "We" didn't like the Great Depression, so the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 was enacted. "We" didn't like the limitations of the Glass-Steagall Act, so we repealed it with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999 and it took less than 10 years to bring us to the Great Recession. "We" didn't like the Great Recession, so "we" enacted the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and on goes the process.
To the current GOP and their allies, the Tea Party and the "Jeffersonian Constitutionalists" and Libertarians alike, changing the law and the U.S. Constitution to suit their purposes is the right and proper thing to do. The cognitive dissonance comes with the realization that the white way and the right way may take different paths. The idea that the right thing to do may not be a conservative idea is not only unthinkable; it's untenable. Right is right is the conservative's motto for all things except, when it isn't, then mental gymnastics ensue.
Changing the rules is good when the GOP does it, bad when the Democratic Party attempts it. You get the idea. Enacting Medicare Part D is "good", paying for it is "bad". Exempting gun makers from liability is "good", restricting ammunition clips is "bad". Changing entitlements is "good", raising the cap on payroll taxes "bad". Changing how Electoral College votes are apportioned is "good" for PA, WI, OH and FL and "bad" for TX and GA. Any manipulation will do as long as the GOP is in control and it goes their way.
What the GOP is facing is a world not of their choosing. They have self selected themselves into an ever shrinking group and they are desperate to retain control. Their economic policies brought us a world where the masses cannot spend our way out of an economic slump. A nation that taxes the poor through crippling fines, fees and expenses. A nation where living poverty creates a pipeline to incarceration. It's a black and brown world, less white. It's a world where minorities and women are less content with their lot in the world. It's a nation where more and more people live in poverty without health care. A nation that I hope wakes up and realize that it isn't opportunity and wealth that's trickling down on them.
Eric Cantor thinks a "softer tone" is all that's needed to appeal to a greater numbers of voters. I'm torn. Half of me wants to call BS while the other half says, "That's all right, keep talking; don't change a thing. See ya at the end of the next election". The only thing holding me back is I'm not sure if everyone is seeing this "softer tone" for what it is - a whole lot of bunk.