Tag: Federalist Papers

Education: What’s It All About?

As a professor of American history for more than twenty years now, I have ceased to be surprised by the lack of knowledge our students bring to the classroom. American history—particularly early American history—is like a foreign language to many. The majority can still identify George Washington, and most know there was a Civil War, but they’re not sure when it happened. The Constitution is virtually an unknown document when it comes to its basic provisions. This year we celebrate… Read more »

Congressional Limitations

Tomorrow, Americans will vote for every seat in the House of Representatives and about 1/3 of Senate seats. The new Congress will convene in late January. As it does, it needs a few reminders. These come from the U.S. Constitution. In particular, each new member of Congress ought to reflect on Article One, Section 8, which deals with the taxing power and the authority for legislation. It says, The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and… Read more »

What Real Hearings Would Be Like

I don’t watch Supreme Court confirmation hearings. I have much better things to do than see a preordained script followed. What’s taking place in the Kagan hearings right now is nothing but a show for the cameras. You won’t hear the nominee say anything of substance. Then again, that’s really not necessary in her case. We may play a game about not knowing what she believes, but everyone really does know already. The key is for her not to tell…. Read more »

The "Stupid" Strategy

Have you noticed the strategy employed by the Democrats over the past three decades? You might have to be as old as I am to see the pattern, but it’s now very obvious. I call it the “stupid” strategy, which is aimed at any Republican who is a threat to actually win the presidency or any other high office. It all started with Ronald Reagan. When he ran against President Carter in 1980, the whispers began, then rose to a… Read more »

Government Controlling Itself?

I don’t have a problem with government. I believe it is a God-ordained institution that is to protect citizens of a nation. Whenever it stays within those boundaries, it is a servant of God. What I do have a problem with is government out of control. James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and one of the principal authors of the Federalist Papers, in discussing the reason for the checks and balances incorporated into the federal government, noted in Federalist… Read more »

The Kingdom of Congress

Let’s pause briefly for a recalibration of our thinking. We spend a lot of time contemplating what Congress is doing—new pieces of legislation, the strategies for passing them, etc. Stop and remember something: Congress was originally set up with very limited powers. The United States Constitution did not erect a tribunal that could legislate on any matter it deemed fit. In Article One, Section 4, we find the following wording: “The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year.”… Read more »