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Jan 08 2013

Judson Phillips’ Constitutional Ignorance

Judson Phillips, leader of Tea Party Nation, claims to love the U.S. Constitution. He also doesn’t seem to understand anything at all about how it works. In his latest jeremiad, he displays his ignorance like a peacock displays his feathers when talking about the debt ceiling fight.

Barack Obama has thrown down the gauntlet on the Debt Ceiling fight. He has said he will not negotiate with the Republican majority in the House.

He just expects the GOP to roll over and do what he wants.

If John Boehner remains as Speaker that may well happen.

Obama signaled early on what he wanted with the debt ceiling. He wants the unlimited authority to incur debt. He wants to borrow money without any Congressional oversight.

Uh, no. The debt ceiling is not about how much money we spend, it’s about whether we pay for spending that has already been appropriated. And who does the appropriating? Congress, of course. The president can’t spend a dime that is not appropriated by Congress. It’s in the Constitution, you can look it up. What Obama is arguing, correctly, is that it’s ridiculous for Congress to pass bills to spend the money and then have a fight every year or so over whether to authorize the selling of t-bills to pay for it. If Congress doesn’t want to spend that much money, then don’t appropriate it — but don’t put the nation’s credit rating at risk by appropriating it and then acting like they may not pay for it.

And then Phillips just goes off into wingnut-land:

Barack Obama wants the authority to borrow money without even having to discuss the matter with Congress for two reasons. Incurring even more debt is a part of his strategy to take America down as a superpower.

Obama does not love America. He hates America. He looks at America through his Marxist background and sees not the greatest nation in the world. He does not see the country that has done more good for more people than any other nation. He sees the evil oppressive power that Marxists always view America as.

By continuing to borrow money, unabated, he knows sooner or later debt will completely bring down the American economy and possibly the American state.

There is a deeper battle here as well.

If Barack Obama and the Party of Treason can beat the Republicans down to the point where they abdicate or at least refuse to fight for their Constitutionally mandated role in controlling the purse, America will no longer have three co-equal branches of government.

False premise, stupid conclusion — yep, must be a teabagger.

26 comments

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  1. 1
    dmcclean

    I am extremely frustrated with people who claim to love the constitution and in the next breath throw around accusations of treason that prove they are unfamiliar with Article III, Section 3.

  2. 2
    timgueguen

    Another guy who needs to be locked in a room with a pile of political science textbooks, the works of Adam Smith, Karl Marx, etc. etc. etc. and only be allowed out after he’s read them all. Probably only take him 20 years or so.

  3. 3
    azportsider

    I believe Mr Phillips has decided to take on Steve Doocy in the race for the title of “World’s Stupidest Human.” My money’s still on Doocy since he proved his mettle by outstupiding Gretchen Carlson, but the odds are shrinking.

  4. 4
    Marcus Ranum

    Wow, that propaganda sure does work!

  5. 5
    eric

    He does not see the country that has done more good for more people than any other nation. He sees the evil oppressive power that Marxists always view America as.

    Funny, its the GOP that says federal power is oppressive and argues for smaller, more local government.

    America will no longer have three co-equal branches of government.

    IMO they haven’t been co-equal for a while; the Executive has been getting(relatively) stronger since at least WWII and possibly longer.

    Athough some of this change has to be attributed to nothing more than population & budget growth; with more people and bigger budgets, but the same size Congress, its perfectly natural that Congress would have to delegate more and more oversight to other entities.

  6. 6
    garnetstar

    Is there a law, analogous to Godwin’s, about invoking Marx? Thanks to the Tea Party, we need one.

    We could call it Phillip’s law.

  7. 7
    MikeMa

    Judson Phillips may or may not be that stupid but he sure knows how to appeal to the ignorant gits in his party.

  8. 8
    roggg

    I’m not old enough to remember a time when Republicans controlled governmental spending. In my memory, they seem to shift funds from health/education to defense, but are perfectly willing to spend. Did such a time exist?

  9. 9
    Doug Little

    Judson Phillips, leader of Tea Party Nation

    Ok, I’ll stop you there. Headline Confirmed.

  10. 10
    pacal

    THe comment about Obama refusing to negotiate with Republicans is definitely weapon grade projection.

  11. 11
    d.c.wilson

    I’ve seen members of Congress equate the debt ceiling with giving Obama “another credit card so that he can keep spending”. If the people who do the actually appropriating don’t understand (or pretend to not understand) that the debt ceiling is about money we’ve already spent, it’s easy to see why a hack like Phillips gets it wrong.

  12. 12
    Gregory in Seattle

    @garnetstar #6 – Phillips’ Law: As self-identified members of the Tea Party speak, the probability of a comparison involving socialism, communism or Marx approaches 1.

    And the adaptation of the Losing Corollary: Once a comparison is made to socialism, communism or Marx, the discussion is finished and whoever mentioned such has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.

  13. 13
    scienceavenger

    The notion that any elected official hates the country and wants to destroy it is absurd on its face, and anyone promoting that view marks themselves as a loon.

  14. 14
    John Pieret

    I’m pretty sure there is an inverse relationship between the loudness anyone proclaims their love of the Constitution and their knowledge of it.

  15. 15
    Synfandel

    Does any of these Tea Partiers have the slightest clue what Marxism is?

  16. 16
    d.c.wilson

    Does any of these Tea Partiers have the slightest clue what Marxism is?

    From the teabagger’s dictionary:

    Marxism: (N) the act of letting a black man get elected president.

  17. 17
    typecaster

    The notion that any elected official hates the country and wants to destroy it is absurd on its face, and anyone promoting that view marks themselves as a loon.

    Sadly, I find that I must disagree. There’s any number of elected officials, many of whom ran under Tea Party auspices, who ran on platforms that explicitly called for actions that would damage or eliminate the Constitution (which is my definition for hating the country), frequently speak against long-standing American ideals, and vote in a manner that is deeply injurious to the people within this country. The far right truly dislikes America as it currently exists, and would happily trash it and set up something else. I wish that this were not so, but everything I know about today’s politics tells me that it is.

  18. 18
    cptdoom

    I’m pretty sure there is an inverse relationship between the loudness anyone proclaims their love of the Constitution and their knowledge of it.

    @ John Pieret – I believe that is related to the inverse relationship between the speed with which someone tells you they are a Christian and the probability they’ll actually act like one.

  19. 19
    andrewbrown not the one from the grauniad

    Party of Treason

    When I first read that it came out as the party of T-reason (say it Tea reason). Sounds like a perfect name for Mr. Philip’s third party which he wants to set up.

  20. 20
    Doug Little

    andrewbrown @19,

    That’s cool and all but then we would have to redefine what reason means.

  21. 21
    garnetstar

    Thanks Gregory! That’s perfect. Now, alert the media, spread the meme.

  22. 22
    Area Man

    I’ve seen members of Congress equate the debt ceiling with giving Obama “another credit card so that he can keep spending”. If the people who do the actually appropriating don’t understand (or pretend to not understand) that the debt ceiling is about money we’ve already spent, it’s easy to see why a hack like Phillips gets it wrong.

    This is one of those cases where they have no choice but to lie. If the whole public understood what were going on, the Republicans wouldn’t dare pull this stunt. Threatening to inflict vast damage on the country in order to extract concessions that you couldn’t get through the normal Constitutional process is such a malicious and arrogant tactic that even most of their own supporters would turn on them if they were aware of it. The Republican Party has become a literal terrorist organization, and their survival depends on people not understanding that.

  23. 23
    naturalcynic

    @27 typecaste:

    Sadly, I find that I must disagree. There’s any number of elected officials, many of whom ran under Tea Party auspices, who ran on platforms that explicitly called for actions that would damage or eliminate the Constitution (which is my definition for hating the country), frequently speak against long-standing American ideals, and vote in a manner that is deeply injurious to the people within this country. The far right truly dislikes America as it currently exists, and would happily trash it and set up something else. I wish that this were not so, but everything I know about today’s politics tells me that it is.

    I find it curious that you are making the mirror image of the accusations that TeaPartiers make. My opinion is that you are close to correct in your interpretation of TeaPartiers actions and thoughts along with their consequences, however they are not consciously trying to do what you are accusing them of attempting to do. Just as Obama is not trying to do what the TeaPartiers misperceive Obama’s thoughts and goals. What most TeaParty followers and some of their leaders do have is sincerity to go with their irrationality. Their rational actors are their mercenary leaders.

  24. 24
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    You know what would “completely bring down the American economy and possibly the American state”, Judson? Shrinking government down to the size where it could be drowned in a bathtub. How do you stand on that?

  25. 25
    Hugo

    Please let me know if I’ve gotten this right:

    Congress decides to go on a shopping spree on eBay and willingly clicks on a bunch of Buy it Now buttons, fully aware that once they press those buttons, they are committing to paying the seller. Once the invoice from eBay comes in they change their mind and refuse to pony up the money because, well… that’s a mighty big bill they got there. Congress couldn’t honestly win a dispute with eBay if they admitted they consciously pressed all those confirmation buttons. So they are now trying to claim it was actually their drunk Uncle Obama who recklessly hacked into their account and bought all that shit without their consent.

    So did I get this right?

  26. 26
    scienceavenger

    @17, I was speaking of intending to destroy the country. Destroying it by accident is an entirely different animal, and sadly very common.

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