A Step in the Right Direction

Govs. Sanford and Perry impressed in Thursday night’s Republican Governor’s Association’s ‘Tea Party 2.0′

Between the refreshing zeal shown during last month’s tea parties, the recent escalation of a dispute between fiscal and social conservatives, and an administration which is not nearly losing political capital and public opinion as quickly as it should be, I have become nothing short of obsessed with the future of conservatism and the Republican Party. I’ve long lamented the GOP’s inability to keep pace with the tech- and grassroots-savvy Democratic Party, and worry that those of us on the right will lack the cohesion and organizational infrastructure necessary to take advantage of faltering political rivals when the time is finally right.

After all, the nonfeasance and malfeasance of the Obama administration and congressional Democrats will inevitably manifest itself in staggering inflation, crushing job loss and the mass exodus of business and industry, not to mention the realistic possibility of another terrorist attack on our own soil facilitated by our new, laissez-faire, détente-at-all-costs approach to foreign policy – the GOP must be ready as an alternative to the big-government Democrats, ready to provide Americans with a feasible plan by which our nation can begin a return to that which our founders intended when they established this great experiment.

The prospect of being properly equipped, adequately prepared and sufficiently organized to reclaim America when presented with the opportunity by a faltering majority keeps me up at night. Last night, however, I slept like I haven’t in a long while, and here’s why.

Yesterday evening, at about 10:00 p.m., I hung up my telephone after listening in on a conference call sponsored by the Republican Governor’s Association. According to Mike Schrimpf, Communications Director for the RGA, I was only one of more than 30,000 people who listened and participated.

The call itself, according to the RGA organizers, was “inspired by the tea parties seen across the country on April 15th” and was intended to “honor what each and every one of those patriotic Americans started anew.” Both South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford—chairman of the RGA—and Texas Gov. Rick Perry spoke a bit and answered questions from the crowd; as solid conservatives and part of the solution rather than the problem, both had attended tea parties in their respective states, events where many politicians simply were not welcome. There’s a reason these two men were an exception.

The topics ran along the political spectrum, from the always contentious issue of abortion to the perilous lessons of the Weimar Republic to the new debate over detainee abuse photos, but for the most part the main, overarching themes were fairly simple – the overall role of government, the conservative movement in general, and the importance of upcoming gubernatorial contests.

For a good while now, I’ve been writing and talking about the Republican Party’s need to distill its message down to the vision that Thomas Jefferson had with regard to the balance of power in America. Instead of trying to be all things to all people, instead of focusing on and arguing about taxes and sanctity of life and welfare reform and entitlement reform and responsible spending and cap-and-trade, it occurs to me that, in order to be relevant and connect with a broad spectrum of people while retaining our very core conservative principles, the GOP should approach everything in terms of role and scope of government. It may seem overly simple to ask Americans, before asking anything policy-specific, exactly how involved they want the federal government to be in a particular aspect of their daily lives, but remember that when it comes to simplicity of message, just last year we were handily trounced by the superficial prospect and empty promise of “change.”

Without spoiling a bigger piece I’m working on, what the role-of-government approach essentially boils down to is a way to bring together the currently warring fiscal and social factions of the political right in America. Since well before the election I’ve spoken about how, instead of building a bigger tent to accommodate those in the center and even on the center-left, the Republican Party must patch the holes over those of us on the political right who have been left standing out in the rain and cold, staring in at the dilapidation of our party and degradation of our values. Adopting a straight role-of-government approach would provide for a flexibility in focus and a recurring theme—sorely lacking in campaigns past—without abandoning the core principles of the conservative movement. The RGA conference call was fantastic in that regard. It seemed as though the Jeffersonian idea of governmental size, scope and influence rung true with both Sanford and Perry, and both kept intently focused on the ills of federal government run wild.

Perry in particular spoke about the power of the several states, bringing back memories of his secessionist talk during the April 15th tea party in Texas. Last night, the Texas governor mentioned his own children briefly before stating that he “worries about the young people” when he looks at what is going on in Washington, D.C., at the debt we are incurring, at the ever-expanding scope of the federal government, and at our freedoms, eroding with each passing day. He also touched briefly upon legislation in Texas dealing with the Tenth Amendment which, in Perry’s words, “goes right to the heart of what the tea parties are all about.”

“When it comes to the Tenth Amendment, I look at it pretty simply,” Perry said, cautioning that he was neither attorney nor constitutional law scholar. “The federal government was created as an agent for the states, not the other way around. It’s a simple concept, but it’s been lost on so many.”

Alone in my living room, a cordless phone on the coffee table, I clapped when I heard that.

Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist No. 28, wrote of the pendulum-like nature of federalism and the balance of power in America, warning that the federal government may, from time to time, wield excessive power at the expense of the state governments and of the people just as, at other times, the state governments may wield excessive power at the expense of the federal government and of the people. Either way, drought or deluge, feast or famine, the very nature of this nation and its people will right a government listing in one direction or another.

In theory, Hamilton was correct; in practice, however, he was wrong. The pendulum has swung in only one direction. In the 220 or so years since then, Congress has constantly engaged in activities shifting power further and further away from the people and from the states and into the coffers of the federal government. An overreaching Congress, helped by an activist judiciary and the misinterpretation and perversion of essential measures like the Privileges or Immunities Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause, has permitted a power grab of epic proportions. One by one, the Fourteenth Amendment has incorporated provisions of the Bill of Rights against the states. Overzealous legislation such as the No Child Left Behind Act has handcuffed the states and enjoined them from pursuing measures that work best for each specific environment, each in competition with one another to establish what fosters success and what does not. Time and time again, the federal power grab has overshadowed the need for a state-by-state, free market approach to governance. Now, considering the goals of the Obama administration and the spendthrift nature of this Congress, America is getting a glimpse of just what such a deviation from Jeffersonian principles will mean.

As I’ve mentioned so many times before, the Jeffersonian model brings about that essential free market approach to governance, and allows state and local governments to take advantage of insight from other state and local governments confronting and weathering similar situations and circumstances.

I keep coming back to what Ronald Reagan said during his seventh State of the Union address. On that day in January 1988, President Reagan maintained that “some years ago, the federal government declared war on poverty, and poverty won.” He suggested that Washington exhibit “a little humility” and extolled the benefits of a Jeffersonian system of strong states and limited federal government. “There are a thousand sparks of genius in 50 states and a thousand communities around the nation,” he told a revitalized nation. “It is time to nurture them and see which ones can catch fire and become guiding lights.”

During last night’s conference call, it became clear that Gov. Perry understood the merits of Reagan’s words, and of those spoken by Thomas Jefferson so many years before.

“We need competition,” Perry said. “I want to compete with Mark Sanford in South Carolina. He’s going to keep taxes low, he’s going to keep the regulatory burden in check, and South Carolina is going to grow and become stronger because of it. That’s the type of competition that the states should be involved with. If this administration has its way, though, we’ll all look the same, we’ll all be a reflection of Washington, D.C., and that would be devastating for America.”

Perry and Sanford both celebrated the virtues of several Republican governors throughout the evening, mentioning how Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty “vetoed a billion dollars in new taxes last Saturday,” how Hawaii’s Linda Lingle “vetoed four different tax increases last Thursday,” and how Republican chief executives such as Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, Connecticut’s Jodi Rell, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and others have all shown resolve in drawing upon the core values of fiscal conservatism in guiding their individual states and citizens through trying economic times.

“Those governors and their reflection of their fiscal conservatism is what Americans will pay attention to,” Perry said. “And when you compare Republican governors in general with their Democrat counterparts, you see that 90 percent of the states considering sales and income tax hikes right now are controlled by Democrats, and that’s one of the reasons we need to do a good job of standing up, defining ourselves in our states as conservatives.”

When it comes to matters of defining the Republican Party, both Sanford and Perry maintained that it all came down to the grassroots. The future of the conservative movement, they said, would come from the grassroots through the states; Washington, D.C. will only change when pressure from the states mount. Sanford, tipping his hat to his Texan colleague, went so far as to say that our nation is at “an Alamo moment,” a time to draw a line in the sand, a “serious gut-check moment in terms of what comes next for the American civilization.” Salvation, he said, would come from a return to first principles.

“If you look at this notion of what we’re really about, in this case I would liken the GOP as really little more than an essential, great brand in the world of business,” Sanford said. “If you think about the great brands, Caterpillar for example produces bulldozers, John Deere produces tractors, and when they find themselves in market difficulty, when they get into trouble, they don’t say ‘I tell you what, we’ve got engineering capacity, let’s go ahead and expand the tent to produce airplanes and boats and, by doing that, we’ll be able to grow our way out of the wilderness.’ That doesn’t make any sense. Instead, they say: ‘No, let’s go back to what made this company great in the first place.’”

In touching upon the need for the GOP to return to its conservative roots, the Palmetto State powerhouse (America’s Right is a big fan of Gov. Sanford) cited Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman’s landmark book, In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies. One of the key tenets, Sanford said, was “sticking to the knitting.” Great companies, he said, stick to the knitting, “and so I think the resurgence of the conservative movement is key, and it goes to the idea of going back to what made us great in the first place.”

And while the key to the success of the Republican Party undoubtedly lies within the reversion to first principles, both Sanford and Perry agreed that the key to growth, prosperity, success and security for America as a whole relies upon the permeation of the conservative movement at the state level. Both cited 38 gubernatorial races looming in the coming 18 months, highlighting Bob McDonald’s race in Virginia and the race against John Corzine in New Jersey, both of which come to fruition this fall. A Republican victory in either state—preferably both—would, they said, send a message to the Democrats that the states and the people are not for sale, and that a state like Virginia may not be the blue state the national media holds it to be.

“What is past is prologue,” said Sanford, quoting William Shakespeare and noting that in 1992, the governor’s offices in both Virginia and New Jersey were up for grabs, and it was a Republican victory in both that paved the way for the Contract for America and Republican resurgence two years later.

Even during the darkest hours of last year’s presidential campaign, I held fast in arguing that a Barack Obama win in November could translate to 2008 being 1992 all over again. Just like during much of the first two years of Bill Clinton’s presidency, I argued, America would see a stagnant economy if not worse, and a revitalized GOP, down to its fighting weight and core values, would be ready to shock the world again in 2010.

Judging from what I heard last night, and considering how I awoke with a smile after a great night’s sleep this morning, this particular conservative is starting to believe. So long as we can find a way to distill our message, unite our dueling factions and present concerned Americans across the political spectrum with bold colors rather than pale pastels, with a choice as clear as Hamilton versus Jefferson, night and day, the right Americans can retake our nation in the names of and with the principles held by those imperfect but brilliant men who fought and bled and died so that we could be free.

Mark Sanford is right. This is an “Alamo moment.” The American people are waking up, and the new American revolution starts now.

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Comments

  1. AMAZED says:

    dude, do you sleep? that was incredible.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Maybe that could be the ticket for 2012 … Perry/Sanford!

  3. Roses, WA says:

    I realize that lawyers often get paid by the word, but … was there anything in there about more TEA parties planned for 4th of July? TEA parties so big, so full of signs and passion that even the media feels obliged to show up? Maybe with the Democratic party it is all about fundraising, but with the GOP, it will take people, lots of people who are not going to take it any more.

  4. TIME FOR A REBELLION says:

    Think we will ever call the ‘tea parties’ ‘whiskey rebellions’? Tea Party sounds like a feminine afternoon with some Brits. I like the sound of rebellion better. I don’t drink but even whiskey sounds more serious than tea. AND, the whiskey rebellion was against THIS government once it was established… tea party was against the King of England. Let the higher ups think about this and get back to me.

  5. CAL says:

    Roses, WA – I liked your comment. You are right – it is going to take people for the GOP to win next time and people will beat money anytime. I often feel helpless and wonder what one person can do to change things, but these tea parties have given the average American an opportunity to make a real impact. The tea parties have given these conservative governors – Sanford and Perry – a platform to stand up for limited government and states’ rights. I hope that there are more tea parties around the 4th of July. The other great thing about the tea parties is that it is bringing democrats and republicans together. People at these events are sick of the spending and the waste and that sentiment is on both sides of the aisle. Our founders were such men of genius and their genius is playing out before our eyes right now. Through the constitution that they created we the people are going to take the country back. Through freedom of speech, the right to assemble, states’ rights, and the right to vote, we can shift the balance of power back to where it belongs – in the hands of the people.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I had a dream last night. On June 6th 2009 on the Hallowed ground of Normandy a hundred surving veterens gather for the last time in this life. All had fit into their former uniforms and lined up in formation for the presidents speech. At the moment standing at attention as best as they can, obama steps onto the platform to begin his speech the NCO in charge calls the formation to attention. Just as obama begins, a loud clear command rings out. ” Troop about face!” The brave men who gave all for this nation and all free people render their proper salute to the coward who brought this nation to another war. At last people around the world awake from the spell of obama and begin to see the real essence of freedom and bravery. Then I awoke to a nightmare. Gods Grace

  7. Anonymous says:

    There are very specific tasks that individual states need to take action on so as to inform the Federal governemnt of the reality of states’ rights, i.e. taking a stand on the 10th Amendment. As Laura Ingraham so aptly said not long ago, Obama did not get elected because he was a centrist. The opposition does itself no great favor by trying to appeal to all sides of the political spectrum. We need to show true differences and hold on to widely held conservative principals.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You know, I have thought for some time the “liberally biased current-events coordinators” (news media) have been missing the point with a lot of the polling data.

    All you hear is the decline of the number of people considering themselves Republicans…well heck yea. Those people are just like me. Don’t mis-understand, just because they don’t refer to themselves as an ‘R’ doesn’t mean they aren’t “conservative”.

    Jeff, I think your commentary hits that point. These two (2) Governors (Mr. Perry happens to be mine) may be Republican…but even greater than that…they are conservative before they are Republican.

    If the greater masses in this country see the next set of candidates “truly” placing conservative principles over party affiliations, I believe any candidate will have a chance. I want a candidate that will come out and not just “Believe” in “Hope” and “Change”, but tell me “no longer will we ‘kick the can down the road’ for the next generation to worry with, we are going to bend over and pick it up so the next generation won’t have to”.

    This will be like pulling a band-aid off a ‘road rash’ scrape…but guess what…it’s going to feel like that regardless. Why not do it now while it’s easier to remove. The longer we wait the more it will hurt.

    I’m with you Jeff, I’m beginning to see some individuals starting to “wake up with a smile”.

    …thanks for all you do as well…

  9. Rix says:

    A great piece, Jeff, and I itch in anticipation of even better one that you mentioned. I believe, however, that 2010 will be a rude awakening for honest believers in the Spirit of America such as yourself. There will be no fair election; you’ll see multiple repeats of Minnesota recount, just on a larger scale and much more brazen. And why shouldn’t it happen? The Congress is now in the O’s pocket; most of the media are O’s lapdog puppies; our eastern “allies” will clap cheerfully as we go down; the SCOTUS has proven itself to be an iffy protector of the Constitution, given its handling of Obama cases; and the People… well, if they were up to it, you’d already see barricades in November 2008.

  10. Ian Thorpe says:

    @Time For A Rebellion:
    “Tea Party sounds like a feminine afternoon with some Brits. I like the sound of rebellion better.I like your Whisky Rebellion idea but lay off us Brits or we might abduct you and take you for a few pints of Theakstons Bitter or Jennings Special at The Albion Inn.

    They have Tea Parties in the genteel south of England. Up here even when people drink the stuff, if it doesn’t dissolve the teaspoon its not really fit to be called tea.

  11. Laurie says:

    Jeff…Excellent article. I am with you 100% and only hope that this is just the beginning of taking back our country. Thank you for all your hard work.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Great article, Jeff, I too see signs of hope and revival in America! We need more tea parties (or Whiskey Rebellions) on Memorial Day and July 4th. The leftist baffoons like James Carville would have you believe that the Tea Parties were comprised of angry ‘old’ people…angry yes, but we consist of patriots of all ages, race and political affiliation who want our country to be all it can be for every individual and to be controlled by the people, not the selfish politicians. They are worried that this movement has the potential to sweep them out and it most assuredly does. If the conservative movement comes together, we can accomplish great things for America…this is an exciting time in which we can participate in the revitalization of our beliefs and foundations of our nation. May God give us wisdom and guidance to thwart this assault on our freedoms and identity as a nation. Each one of us has a part to play and it is an opportunity that should not be squandered by any of us!

  13. elspeth says:

    Rix,

    Hope you’re not a prophet. Thought of those events happening, but much further in the future.

    elspeth

  14. Gail B says:

    “Perry/Sanford” DOES sound great!

    Both are young enough to connect with the younger crowd. Both have shown dedication to public service. Both are genuine conservatives. Both are admired. Both are trustworthy.

    Remember the expression, “When Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy!” — Well, when Jeff Schreiber wakes up smiling, we can all smile!

    The Motto of South Carolina: “While I breathe, I hope!” (My 8th grade teacher, Mary Bates Sherwood, will fuss at me for not knowing the NC State Motto; and I don’t know what GA’s is, either.)

    There’s just one big problem: Perry and Sanford will have to hand-pick suitable replacements for governors of their respective states. (Jeff, you’ll be in South Carolina!)

    When GA’s HR 470, the Sovereignty Bill, did not make it to the governor’s desk, the disappointment was indescribable. The states that take action for its citizens are the ones that are admired and envied.

    As for what to call future protests, I think the title of Tea Party, or TEA Party, has served its purpose.

    Citizens for a Free America or Citizens to Protect the Constitution (or Citizens Against Fascism) all ring true with me.

    What about Citizens for America’s Rights?!

  15. Gail B says:

    What about “Citizens Demanding Obama’s Proof of Eligibility” as a point of order for a rally?

    I’ll bet that gets a little coverage! Even minimal coverage will go a long way.

  16. Rix says:

    > Rix,
    > Hope you're not a prophet. Thought of those events happening,
    > but much further in the future.
    > elspeth

    I'm likely not, but I do have some sort of Cassandra syndrome. I predicted Obama's win in my Russian-language blog as far back as 2004 Dem convention (truth be told though, I was unaware of the eligibility issue). I also won a few hefty bets on John McCain and Sarah Palin being the nominee and the VP pick.

  17. cher-pa says:

    The American Revolution is well underway.People are worried and fed up with the federal government.However,WE MUST TAKE DOWN ACORN AND THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA NOW.

  18. Dee says:

    Jeff, I hope you are right. Perry and Sanford are the type of leaders that we need. Sometimes it seems that our elected officials are interested only in themselves and not the country. The next Presidential candidate that runs against BO will have to be strong and thick skinned. He will not be able to be all things to all people. The media will tear the candidate apart and never touch BO. I only hope the country lasts until the 2012.
    Thanks to all.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for you synopsis of the conference call event 2.0, Jeff, and for your observations as to what needs to occur in the coming months. Your thoughts and actions on this are sound and brilliantly in tune with the thoughts and ideals of the founding fathers. It gives those of us who were unable to attend the conference call a sense of what occurred and how to go about moving on from the April 15 tea parties.

    Here’s to you, Perry and Sanford for giving us renewed hope! Thank you.

  20. Madmom says:

    Rix,

    I agree with you about the lack of a fair election in 2010 and to take it one step further, that we had one in 2009. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say there may not be an election in 2010 due to either a manufactured crisis or the declaration of martial law because of the dubious flu. Once you start watching these people and get a picture of the Endgame, they’re actually pretty predictable. I think you’re on to something important here.

    I’ve often wondered if we should be spending time working on our states to do away with electronic voting due to the ease of manipulating the numbers. I’d say we need to go back to hand counting the votes with non-partisan overseers until we can install a better system. I don’t trust these machines at all after finding out how vulnerable they are.

    Madmom

    word verification: blarkil: death to political blarney!

  21. THEY'RE COMING TO GET YOU says:

    Not to belabor, BUT, any history buffs out there Google ‘Whiskey Rebellion’. It is fascinating, that in this newly born country people got fed up real soon with extreme taxes, on whiskey in this instance. And the fact that the sitting president George Washington himself mounted a white steed, gathered up an army and set about to quell the dissent himself is pretty incredible (can you see Obama doing that? ha, NOT). Sounds like what we need today!! TAXES WILL BE DEATH OF THIS COUNTRY.

  22. Rix says:

    > I've often wondered if we should be spending time working on our
    > states to do away with electronic voting due to the ease
    > of manipulating the numbers. I'd say we need to go back to hand
    > counting the votes with non-partisan overseers until we can
    > install a better system. I don't trust these machines at all after
    > finding out how vulnerable they are.

    Don't be silly. Paper bulletins are just as prone to cheating as computers. In Russia and Israel, a trick called "injection" (fake bulletins are added en masse into the urn prior to or after the voting time) is used. Here, one doesn't even need to bother – apparently, it's finding "lost" bulletins in a car trunk is good enough.

  23. LIVER in the POOL says:

    Ian,

    I sure didn’t mean to offend the common WORKING CLASS of Great Britain…. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of the aristocracy. It would be fun to get smashed with you guys. I’d be a cheap date as I haven’t had a hearty one in a while. Just remind me to MIND THE GAP when go to take the ‘trolley’ home.

    Here’s to a Whiskey Rebellion!
    Saluteeeeeeee

  24. Madmom says:

    Rix said: “Don’t be silly. Paper bulletins are just as prone to cheating as computers. In Russia and Israel, a trick called “injection” (fake bulletins are added en masse into the urn prior to or after the voting time) is used. Here, one doesn’t even need to bother – apparently, it’s finding “lost” bulletins in a car trunk is good enough.”

    True, True. Hand counting with lots of checks and balances was the only thing I could come up with, since we all know, if there’s a will there’s a way and fraud will find a way. At least with hand counting, someone could be checking the box before and after and standing watch…unless the watcher is driving a new car he mysteriously found in his driveway. Maybe we need three watchers. One from both parties and an independent per box. Or not.

    Geez, I don’t know then what we should do to ensure an honest election…if there’s any such thing. I just know in my gut that this last one most likely wasn’t and the ones to come won’t be if we don’t do something.

  25. IT'S TIME AGAIN PATRIOTS says:

    The Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 is little remembered today but its impact had profound effects on the future of the United States. Among them was a new relationship between the federal government and the states, dissension within the administration of George Washington which would lead to the demise of his popular Federalist party, and the birth of a new political party which lives on to this day. The Whiskey Rebellion also marked the first and only time that a president of the United States put on a military uniform to personally lead troops into battle.

    Although the Whiskey Rebellion had broken out in 1794, it had been simmering for several years. Following the Revolutionary War, the federal government agreed to assume the war debt of the states in exchange for moving the nation’s capital from Philadelphia south to a swampy mosquito ridden area on the Potomac which is today known as Washington, D.C..

    In order to help pay these war debts, the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, placed a 25% excise tax on all liquor sold in the United States. This tax was vehemently opposed by farmers in the western areas of all states south of New York because they relied upon producing whiskey for their livelihoods. This was because transporting grain, as liquor was much easier to transport than as grain.
    This unpopular tax represented a large imposition of federal authority at the time. In fact, Thomas Jefferson resigned from his administration post as Secretary Of State, in part due to his protest against the whiskey tax. After Jefferson’s departure, he went on to help form the Democratic-Republican Party which supported States rights against the power of the federal government. This was to lead to the demise of the Federalist party of Washington and Hamilton.

    By 1794 the Whiskey Rebellion had broken out into the open. Tax collectors who were sent to western Pennsylvania were routinely threatened and tarred and feathered, making it impossible to collect the whiskey tax from that area. In June of that year, local officials ordered the arrest of the leaders of the whiskey tax resistors. However, all this did was incite the farmers of western Pennsylvania to more violence. A month later, in July, the commander of the local militia, James McFarlane was shot and killed by federal troops defending a besieged tax official named John Neville. This enraged the local anti-tax settlers who went on to burn down the buildings belonging to Neville as he was hustled to safety by the federal troops.

    In reaction to this, President George Washington recruited a militia force in August, 1794 from the Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia. This force was derisively nicknamed the “Watermelon Army” by the western Pennsylvania whiskey tax rebels.

    When negotiations between federal commissioners and the rebels failed, Washington himself put on his Revolutionary War uniform again and personally led the army of over 12,000 troops into Western Pennsylvania. This force easily put down the Whiskey Rebellion because the farmers, faced with such a large force and notable commander, quickly dispersed. Most of the prisoners that Washington’s army captured were later released due to lack of evidence. Two of the rebels were convicted of treason but were subsequently pardoned by Washington who perhaps did not want to leave bad feelings lingering from this greatest crises of his administration.

    Although the Whiskey Rebellion did mark the supremacy of the federal government, it also made the citizens of the states wary of this power. The question of states rights versus the powers of the federal government was not to be fully resolved until after the Civil War.

  26. lonestar says:

    I missed the call, thanks for sharing what was discussed. It is definitely reassuring, we need more of this. All of us should try to get involved at the state and local level to mount a defense to federal intrusion, much like what Montana did with its recent gun laws (with Texas and Utah following suit).

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