12 August 2011

Chris Moody Is an Idiot

How else to explain this:

The rise of the tea party has breathed new life into the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which states that all powers not listed in the Constitution should be left unto the states. But Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a staunch social conservative, is fed up with it. [Emphasis added.]

Anyone who has actually read the constitution knows that the tenth amendment states:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Note that the tenth amendment says “are,” not “should be.”  The distinction is crucial, for the former language indicates that the final political authority is held by the states (who then delegate their rightful power to the federal government to act in limited, specific ways on the states’ behalf) whereas the latter language implies that final authority resides with the federal government and is then delegated to the states.

Of course, the latter interpretation is wrong because the very language of the constitution indicates that it exists to define and limit federal power, not state power.  The founders operated from the thesis that the states were sovereign, but found it useful to delegate certain acts to a federal body for sake of expediency.  All powers belong to the states, and they can collectively delegate whatever powers they wish to the federal government at any time.  The act of delegation, then, should not be construed as evidence of a lack of state power; rather, it should be an affirmation of state power.  After all, how can the states delegate power they do not have?

It may seem that this analysis is somewhat pedantic.  Unfortunately, the pedantry is necessary because there are yet dunces in this world, devoid of historical knowledge and incapable of reading beyond a fourth grade level.  Chris Moody is one of these dunces.

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