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In Utah's vote, a wake-up call for Washington


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AR2010051304751.html
Washington Post:

Tim Bridgewater
Friday, May 14, 2010

Last Saturday, delegates to the Utah Republican Party convention retired a three-term incumbent, Sen. Robert F. Bennett. With so many people jumping to conclusions, I'd like to explore what that vote -- in which I finished first, with 57 percent -- means.

On a philosophical level, I think it was a call to return to a higher standard, to a view of the nation that used to and could once again prevail.

Much has been made of the Tea Party movement and its impact in Utah. The original Tea Party, in 1773, was a rejection of a government too far away, too detached and insufficiently attuned to what was happening in this country. It led directly to the formation of "committees of correspondence" in the 13 colonies.

In 1787, the Founding Fathers crafted a free system of government built on the principle that individuals have God-given rights. The Founders protected those rights with the horizontal separation of powers among the three branches of government and, most important, by a vertical separation of powers between the federal government and the states. The national government would manage external affairs and keep the states on a level playing field; state governments were to do the rest.

Over time, that vertical separation of powers has almost disappeared. Today, the federal government feels it can manage even the details of personal health care and education. States have been relegated to administrative units of a central leviathan, in a system of plunder in which each state tries to live at the expense of the others.

In such a system, experience in Washington is valuable. But Utah Republicans rejected that model of governance and so rejected the Washington veteran. The delegates seek a return to the earlier system, with Washington supreme in its limited fields (as enumerated in the Constitution) and the states responsible for the rest. I believe that not just in Utah but across the country, primary and general election voters will prefer the older model.

Today, individuals nationwide are looking closely at the documents that led to and came out of our founding and comparing them to what they see around them.....(Snip)

On a practical level, I think Saturday's results reflected voters' fear that Washington cannot control its spending. Bob Bennett, for all his considerable merits, was simply too comfortable in a Washington that routinely ignores those concerns and resorts to spending whenever there is a problem.....(Snip)

Is it any wonder the people are looking for new solutions or seeking to revert to a system that worked pretty well for the first 200 years of our national existence? Maybe the Founders were on to something, and we ought to pull back at the federal level and let the states do the work they are capable of doing.

Yes, in some instances, there has been justification for federal action to curtail the power of the states or to act in the face of state impotence, such as on slavery or civil rights. But that does not mean Washington knows how much salt I should consume or where a road should run down the west side of the Salt Lake Valley.

On Saturday, Utah's delegates said that it is time for a little humility in Washington. It is time for recognition that considerable wisdom exists in "fly-over country," and that even when we're wrong, we want to be left alone to make our own mistakes. If we screw up in Utah, that won't hurt Virginia, but if Washington screws up (and there is ample reason to think it will), we all suffer.

The Founders left us a better way. Let's give it a try.

The writer, a Republican, is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Utah.
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I just have to take this opportunity to correct a misconception that a majority of people, including most of those involved with the Tea Party movement, about what the original Boston Tea Party was about.

 

What it was not about, was the imposition of the tax on tea, but rather the British Government's interference in private business. The tax itself was considered a minor matter, and did not, of itself, provoke the colonists. It was the fact that in enacting the tax, the government exempted the British East India Company from it, thereby giving them an unfair price advantage.

 

The British East India Company was chartered by the Crown, and it's shareholders were members of the Royal Family and other nobles. At the time, it was in serious financial trouble. The exemption was not intended to give them an unfair advantage in the wholesale price of the tea, merely to reduce the cost of operations. The Rule of Unintended Consequences took over from there.

 

Considering the actions of this administration and this congress, I personally think that this angle is much more appropriate than the "Taxed Enough Already" slogan the movement has adopted.

 

As to the "wake up call".....I'm sure that the Beltway crowd have unplugged their phones.

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I just have to take this opportunity to correct a misconception that a majority of people, including most of those involved with the Tea Party movement, about what the original Boston Tea Party was about.

 

What it was not about, was the imposition of the tax on tea, but rather the British Government's interference in private business. The tax itself was considered a minor matter, and did not, of itself, provoke the colonists. It was the fact that in enacting the tax, the government exempted the British East India Company from it, thereby giving them an unfair price advantage.

 

The British East India Company was chartered by the Crown, and it's shareholders were members of the Royal Family and other nobles. At the time, it was in serious financial trouble. The exemption was not intended to give them an unfair advantage in the wholesale price of the tea, merely to reduce the cost of operations. The Rule of Unintended Consequences took over from there.

 

Considering the actions of this administration and this congress, I personally think that this angle is much more appropriate than the "Taxed Enough Already" slogan the movement has adopted.

 

As to the "wake up call".....I'm sure that the Beltway crowd have unplugged their phones.

 

 

FYI

Liberty - The American Revolution

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SrWoodchuck

I think that the retirement of a three term Senator was for reason's more personal to his Utah constituency. If a Senator that has been there that long, can turn a deaf ear to the people of Utah, over the federal land grab, and in addition, his support of the spending legislation; it's time to be called home & retired.

 

I wish I could call home & retire every one of Colorado's delegation, except Mike Coffman.

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