Dave Brat Wins One for Federalist 44
There will be plenty of talk -- some good and some awful -- about Dave Brat’s historic defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in yesterday’s GOP primary in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, and what the implications are.
Virginia has been an epicenter of the establishment GOP’s war on the Tea Party, and vice versa I might add, with political shenanigans and bullying known as “slating” designed to keep conservatives out of political party positions. Eric Cantor and his team were in it up to their necks.
The best explanation of Brat’s win, however, may have been given on January 25, 1788. In James Madison’s Federalist 44 he wrote, “[I]n the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers.”
Last night Dave Brat spoke volumes following his win by repeatedly mentioning the Constitution as a guide star of his candidacy. Fox News writes:
[Brat] said he enjoyed Tea Party support but was a candidate focused on Republican principles including free markets and “adherence to the Constitution.”
Such high-minded talk from a politician is sure to baffle the Washington establishment that has never comprehended the constitutional conservative movement that is such a threat to Washington’s lawless, crony capitalist ways. The Washington Post writes:
Brat, who teaches Third World economics, sounded every bit the professor as he addressed his stunned supporters Tuesday night.
‘The 10th Amendment is the big one; the Constitution has enumerated powers belonging to the federal government. All the rest of the powers belong to the states and the people,’ he said, getting huge applause.
Brat, who seems to eschew labels, is high-minded enough to understand that Washington abandoned adherence to the Constitution, and the consequences have been harmful to America. That is the essence of the constitutional conservative movement, which is attacked as politically naïve, ideological and worse.
Madison’s Federalist 44 provides a remedy of the people under our republican, federalist system for when the national government has violated our fundamental and paramount law, the Constitution.
The Tea Party, constitutional conservative movement is based in the reality that the remedy is not merely in defeating the anti-Constitution faction that has become the Democratic Party, but in challenging those within the GOP who too have abandoned the Constitution as the law governing government and their own acts.
Madison’s remedy can be summed up this way: throw them out. Of all the complexities, brilliance and beauty of how our Constitution was designed but has become battered beyond recognition, the right of the people to replace their leaders with those who are more faithful to our paramount law is still alive.