The Tea Party v. Alexander Hamilton

I usually do not write much about the Tea Party "movement" because, well, it is stupid, ignorant, and in my view, not particularly relevant. But digby pulls a Tea Partier quote from a Greenberg report on the Tea Partiers that is stunning in its "up is downism" --

We donít need any fresh ideas. It is fresh ideas that have gotten into this mess. All the ideas we need can be found in an 8 page document, itís the Constitution; if you need to go beyond that just look at the Federalist papers. We donít need any fresh ideas.

The ignorance of how the Constitutional Convention came to be, what it did and what the Federalist Papers and the Founding Fathers achieved is truly amazing. The real heroes of the Tea Partiers from the Founding Era should be the anti-Federalists, not the Federalists, who argued for the views now espoused by the Tea Partiers. The Tea Partiers should abhor the Federalist Papers, and, especially, one of its principal authors, Alexander Hamilton. Consider Hamilton's famous defense of the First Bank of the United States:

[I]t appears to the Secretary of the Treasury that this general principle is inherent in the very definition of government, and essential to every step of progress to be made by that of the United States, namely: That every power vested in a government is in its nature sovereign, and includes, by force of the term, a right to employ all the means requisite and fairly applicable to the attainment of the ends of such power, and which are not precluded by restrictions and exceptions specified in the Constitution, or not immoral, or not contrary to the essential ends of political society.

This view of the Constitution was enshrined by the Supreme Court in 1819, in the case McCollough v. Maryland:

[T]he Constitution of the United States has not left the right of Congress to employ the necessary means for the execution of the powers conferred on the Government to general reasoning. To its enumeration of powers is added that of making

all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States or in any department thereof.

[. . .] The subject is the execution of those great powers on which the welfare of a Nation essentially depends. It must have been the intention of those who gave these powers to insure, so far as human prudence could insure, their beneficial execution. This could not be done by confiding the choice of means to such narrow limits as not to leave it in the power of Congress to adopt any which might be appropriate, and which were conducive to the end. This provision is made in a Constitution intended to endure for ages to come, and consequently to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs. To have prescribed the means by which Government should, in all future time, execute its powers would have been to change entirely the character of the instrument and give it the properties of a legal code. It would have been an unwise attempt to provide by immutable rules for exigencies which, if foreseen at all, must have been seen dimly, and which can be best provided for as they occur. To have declared that the best means shall not be used, but those alone without which the power given would be nugatory, would have been to deprive the legislature of the capacity to avail itself of experience, to exercise its reason, and to accommodate its legislation to circumstances.

(Emphasis supplied.) The Tea Partiers obviously have no true knowledge or understanding of the history of the United States and the Constitution. While it is true that their intellectual inspiration can be traced back to the days of the Founding, it is manifestly not true that the Founders are their inspiration. Their heroes properly should be those who opposed the Constitution, the anti-Federalists.

Alexander Hamilton and the other Founders are their intellectual enemies, not their intellectual forebears.

Speaking for me only

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    There you go again (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:31:10 PM EST
    and since when did the "Right" ever utter an honest syllable? The Constitution to them is whatever they want it to be.

    It's like they call themselves "conservatives." Excuse me, "compassionate conservatives."

    Record deficits, unfunded everything,, spending run amuck, military solution to everything, huge increase in growth of Government.........Conservative; got it?

    The document may as well have been called "Charmin" for all the knowledge, and respect, they've shown it.

    Ignorance ain't just bliss (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:31:15 PM EST
    It is oxygen itself to these fools. Without it, their entire "movement" suffocates.  

    Reverse hairshirts anyone?

    If we could make some kind of a dent in (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 01:41:18 PM EST
    the epidemic of stupid in this country, we could solve an awful lot of the problems we face.

    Group stupid is the worst.

    I'm beginning to think that the reason we don't educate our populace better on the history and foundation of our country and our government is because an educated populace is too threatening to a power structure that thrives in a culture of ignorance.

    Anyone who's reading the "Top Secret America" series in the WaPo has to be - aside from deeply horrified - coming to understand that neither of the legacy parties, nor the nascent Tea Party, are anywhere near as threatening to us as a people than the massive "national security" network; instead, these political parties - with the able assistance of the media - are keeping people well-occupied and distracted from this real threat to our freedom.

    When viewed in conjunction with the threats to the social safety net, the dismal lack of action on jobs and the economy, the increased power of corporate America, it's hard not to feel as though there is a deliberate effort being made to render the majority of the population utterly powerless to effect any positive change on their own behalf.

    There is no political party in existence at this moment that I believe has an interest in, or commitment to, the people it claims as members; they are just using us to the power structure's own ends, which are 180 degrees away from ours.

    All the ridicule in the world that can be directed at the Tea Party does not change the sad and ugly truth that both the Republican and Democratic Parties are well-deserving of just as much disdain; if power is ever again to reside in the people, it will not come out of any of these political parties.

    it has been opined elsewhere, (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by cpinva on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 06:16:42 PM EST
    that the tea partiers really think the articles of confederation are still the controlling document, having failed to notice that it was abandoned, in favor of the present constitution, in 1789.

    this would explain their insistence that the founders provided for a small, weak, central government, and stronger state governments, nearly the polar opposite of the constitution.

    apparently, their collective knowledge of US history stops sometime around the signing of the treaty of paris, and the adoption of the articles of confederation.

    And picks up again for the 2nd amendment (none / 0) (#56)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 06:34:26 PM EST
    Something seldom opined is the loss of title (none / 0) (#64)
    by Jack E Lope on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 10:03:43 AM EST
    of those "Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union".

    Many of those who think the earlier Articles override the 1789 Constitution bristle at the words "...and perpetual Union", though the text of that document uses the full title four times, and twice states that "the union shall be perpetual".


    You would think that all liberals (3.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 01:00:03 PM EST
    would want people to read the Constitution...

    I am a Centrist (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 01:06:10 PM EST
    and I would hope that even Tea PArtiers like you would read it.

    Sort of the point of my post.


    heh (none / 0) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 04:29:36 PM EST
    Based on age differences I would say I was reading the Constitution long before you were born.

    Really (none / 0) (#47)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 05:18:52 PM EST
    And you are not embarrassed that you still do not understand it?

    Well. I use to think I did... (none / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 05:33:15 PM EST
    then I discovered that there is always a Leftist around to explain that the meaning changes depending on what the Left needs it to mean.

    Leftists like (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 05:37:42 PM EST
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Marshall . .

    Statists like (none / 0) (#53)
    by BTAL on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 05:50:59 PM EST
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Marshall

    First master reading and writing (none / 0) (#32)
    by jondee on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 03:02:09 PM EST
    which, admitedly, would probably cut down on available time for letting talk radio hosts and mega church preachers do your thinking for you, but still a worthwhile project capable of bearing fruit over time.

    Wow! (2.00 / 1) (#45)
    by cawaltz on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 04:46:30 PM EST
    Superiority complex much BTD?-

    Considering the mess the guy you helped get elected is making I'd be blushing before I'd be calling people stupid for being easily manipulated by political powers higher on the food chain.

    Do I agree with them? No.

    Do I think they are a bunch of idiots?

    Also no. I think they are a group of people who are being exploited and manipulated.( Much as I believe also that their are folks on the left side of the aisle also being manipulated by the idea of a Republican boogeyman being an excuse to vote for craven cowardly men and women who fail to live up to their values).

    It's not a complex (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 04:56:18 PM EST
    if my knowledge and intelligence are actually superior, which in this case, they are.

    Your knowledge (none / 0) (#50)
    by cawaltz on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 05:34:59 PM EST
    on this particular SUBJECT is superior. Your intellect on other areas-untested- as far as I'm aware.

    (Perhaps you and the teapartiers should appear ona Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader and compete)

    Smug and conceited isn't becoming coming from either side of the aisle.

    Bit of advice- leave out calling people idiots because they are prone towards viewing politics as a team sport. Particularly since BOTH sides engage in the behavior.


    Your advice comes too late for me (none / 0) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 05:36:29 PM EST
    I've been calling idiots idiots for decades.

    I've burned tha bridge. Never will I be able to run for political office.


    Actually (none / 0) (#59)
    by cawaltz on Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 12:58:03 AM EST
    you haven't called any people from the left side of the aisle punditry idiot that I'm aware of.

    You call their stances idiotic, and point out when they are factually being inaccurate but that isn't the same as calling someone an idiot( As I'm sure someone with your intellectual prowess is aware.)

    So for the record BTD, how many Tea partiers are you personally familiar enough with that you feel blanketly comfortable calling them idiots?

    The ones I know are decent hard working folks full of frustration with a government that appears to fail them time and time again. They see the government as non responsive  and as a result aren't anxious to feed their money to a government that doesn't seem to care about them. They see a government who ignores the majority's will (as the government has on everything from telecomm immunity, to bailouts, to Iraq, to a public option). They see no point in funding regulatory infrastructure when the result is things like the BP fiasco. Who can blame them?
    Certainly not me.

    I'm hard pressed to make an argument for government when it appears both parties have no idea how to govern to the benefit of most of us. Instead party bad and party worse seem intent on making the point they are the problem. something those "idiots" seem to have as their larger point.

    Anyway, feel free to diminish your argument with namecalling. I had no idea that Hannity(he who sneers at latte liberals and argues that the left has a superiority  complex)was your hero.


    Your humanitarian embrace (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 07:36:47 AM EST
     of the group (s) that assemble under the Tea Party banner is commendable, and undoubtedly sincere. But I fear that some of the specifics you mentioned as possible catalysts for their dissatisfaction are products of your poetic license.Telecomms, Iraq, public option? You could have juxtaposed Nike, Coleman, and Rubbermaid; their interest in, and knowledge of debatable issues, I gather, approaches, oh something like zero.

    I don't mean that in a demeaning, or pejorative sense, just that my sense of their anger is a little more basic, or just base. I agree they're angry, and they certainly are correct in being angry. I just think, however, that so far, at least, they should understand that lashing out for lashing out's sake will prove to be damaging to their interests, and unfortunately, ours.

    Kind of like, "a little knowledge being a dangerous thing." And when I see large throngs of under/mis/informed, some cognitively challenged, and the inevitable demigods that flock to them as if to a black hole, we all have reason to fear.


    I'm going to ask you (none / 0) (#63)
    by cawaltz on Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 02:13:41 PM EST
    too,how many of them do you speak to?

    Have you attended any of the parties or are you painting them all with the broad brush the media atends to portray them as?

    I actually KNOW some tea partiers. While we do not agree on alot of issues(I feel history show government can benefit society and wish for it to get to the point it does so once more)they are decent people who deserve not to be sneered at. Every single one of us left and right has areas where we excel and areas where we can stand to learn a few things. So "idiot" may be in the eye of the beholder at any given time. Sharing knowledge is a good thing. Making someone feel like a fool for not knowing what you know. Less so.

    One more thing, the media proved yesterday how easy it is to misrepresent one person, can you imagine how easy it is when you are looking  at groups of thousands of people to take a few people and make them what you want to portray them as?


    You're wrong (none / 0) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 11:42:42 AM EST
    I've spent a lot of time calling Democrats and people on the Left idiots.

    And here I thought my reputation preceded me.


    If there were more time (none / 0) (#1)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:25:20 PM EST
    it would be really interesting to learn more of the Founding Era....

    And the Tea Partiers are still protesting "taxation without represenatation," no?     Even I know that is silly.

    It's obvious the Tea Partiers (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:28:34 PM EST
    have neither the time, nor the inclination nor the intellect to actually try and understand what the hell the Founding was about.

    One thing they should never do is cite the  Federalist Papers.


    Your point is hard to refudiate. (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by steviez314 on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:51:15 PM EST
    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 01:06:37 PM EST
    Go to Asia (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:32:52 PM EST
    I believe they teach American history there.

    They are protesting (none / 0) (#7)
    by me only on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:36:18 PM EST
    representation without taxation.

    The funny thing is (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:42:12 PM EST
    The "taxation without representation" theme was merely a catchy slogan.  The leaders of the movement absolutely did NOT want representation in the British Parliament because they knew they would always be outvoted.

    Propaganda at its finest.


    Right, they wanted (none / 0) (#9)
    by me only on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:49:16 PM EST
    self-determination.  Taxation w/o representation was just a catchy way of saying it.

    However, they didn't give the right to vote to just anyone.


    Oh no (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 01:04:15 PM EST
    Just white, male, landowners.

    Maybe this crew... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 01:16:26 PM EST
    are the natural descendants of the founding fathers after all, carrying the torch for white male landowners:)

    Little do they know their banks own their land...they own debt.  "Keep your government hands off my medicare, and stay off my banks lawn!"

    It's a shame too, because they have a point on some issues and it all gets lost in the stupidity shuffle.  Maybe thats the point...keep us confused, arguing, and conquered.  


    And hey (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:04:01 PM EST
    I like white male landowners. :). (Actually, I like any color male landowners). :)

    picky picky (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by CST on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:13:51 PM EST
    who needs land?



    It's not a pre-requisite (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:17:23 PM EST
    But a perk. :)

    I see (none / 0) (#29)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:45:16 PM EST
    So, how about any color, apartment dwelling, yachtsmen? Hmmm?

    Oops, sorry...no more deviants, I mean deviations...back to the subject.

    (What is wrong with me today? Maybe the first sub 99% humidity day?)


    Don't hit me, please (none / 0) (#15)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 01:15:05 PM EST
    But the "white, male (were there any other kind?) landowners things was, or so some say, because they felt only educated people should be entrusted with something as important as voting. Since this was before publicly funded schools, "The White, Male Landowners" pooled their money, hired teachers, and educated their children privately. I think Educated voters was their goal; the abuse of A. A's & women not withstanding.

    I could be wrong, and probably am :)


    Partly, I think (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:02:31 PM EST
    But upper class ("rich") girls were educated too - in languages and the classics.  

    Basically, these men feared the masses and had no intention of really giving them the say in government.

    Not much has changed.


    that's also why (none / 0) (#20)
    by CST on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:12:19 PM EST
    they had closed primaries for so long.

    Fear of mob rule.


    yeah, you're right (none / 0) (#24)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:31:02 PM EST
    "finishing schools" & universities were not parallel paths to power.

    Sure that was some of it (none / 0) (#23)
    by me only on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:30:57 PM EST
    some of it was the land-owning part.  They didn't want people, educated or not, who didn't have an interest (meaning capital) in the community voting.

    in fact (none / 0) (#25)
    by CST on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:32:56 PM EST
    they even gave extra representation to those with extra capital (slaves).

    Not directly (none / 0) (#27)
    by me only on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:39:48 PM EST
    They didn't get extra votes; the 3/5 rule was for apportioning the House of representatives at the federal level (obvious effect on the electoral college).  In non-federal elections it didn't matter.

    i didn't say (none / 0) (#28)
    by CST on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:44:34 PM EST
    extra votes, I said extra representation.  As in extra members in the house of reps.

    From wiki:

    "The three-fifths ratio, or "Federal ratio" had a major effect on pre-Civil War political affairs due to the disproportionate representation of slaveholding states... As a result, southerners dominated the Presidency, the Speakership of the House, and the Supreme Court in the period prior to the Civil War.[5]"

    Obvious effect indeed.


    The district got extra (none / 0) (#30)
    by me only on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:51:31 PM EST
    representation.  Not just the slave owners.

    the district got extra representation (none / 0) (#31)
    by CST on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:57:46 PM EST
    because of the slave owners.

    These issues are even more (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by call me Ishmael on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 03:44:32 PM EST
    complicated than that.

    Remember that the rule for voting for the House was to be the same as the rule for whatever the lower house of a given state required--so in a place like Pennsylvania there weren't property qualifications to speak of and in a place like New York although there were some they weren't very large.  So you couldn't keep the free male population out entirely.

    On the 3/5 clause it was derived--in part--from the question as to whether or not wealth or population was what was being represented and the 3/5 came from economic calculations about the relative productivity of bound vs. "free" labor.  But even on the population level the Southerners argued that you couldn't exclude the enslaved because they were after all people and thus they believed that they were losing representation.  Madison's Federalist 54 is an--admittedly tortured--effort to justify some version of that position.


    Heck, Hamilton was an early (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:32:43 PM EST
    and prominent backer of issuing paper money (part and parcel of his support for the bank).

    If it were up to these folks, do you think we could even manage a national currency today?

    You make a good point (none / 0) (#26)
    by Slado on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 02:37:40 PM EST
    because you don't even need to read the constitution.

    Just watch the documentary "John Adams" on HBO and you'll soon lear to loathe Mr. Hamilton and even Mr. Adams in a way as you see the same debates we are having today beginning to develop right after the first president, congress and Senate are put into practice.

    Good stuff.

    As for the tea party being irrelevant, really?  The tea party is no more irrelevant then the anti war movement was in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

    The tea party has spurng from the general idea that government is too large an in turn our deficit is too large.  To deny this reality is to miss why democrats will loose this fall.

    It's the natural political reaction to Democrats controlling all of government.

    It's not totally accurate but neither was the anti-war movement.   There are kooks and crazies in every movement and to dismiss the entire movement and furthermore the real concerns they are illustrating misses the political reality.

    Even Mr. Hamilton might be a little shocked that our government is as large and intrusive as it is now thanks to both democrats and republicans.

    Americans are more concerned about the debt and the economy then anytime in history and democrats would be smart to realize it.

    Hamilton wouldn't be that (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jondee on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 03:06:19 PM EST
    shocked once he saw the size of the corporations, banks and the "standing army", that his friend Washington warned future generations about.

    Economy yes, debt no (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 03:27:28 PM EST
    Concern about the deficit is made up by the tea-partiers/Republicans (to me they are one and the same) for political reasons.

    CBS News Poll. July 9-12, 2010. N=966 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

    "What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?" Open-ended
    Economy/Jobs             38               
    War/Iraq/Afghanistan      7               
    Health care               6               
    Oil spill in Gulf         5               
    Budget deficit/National debt  5               
    Immigration                 4               
    Other                       31               
    Unsure                      4               

    "Other" equals... (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 03:44:23 PM EST
    ...the President being not lilly white?  

    and not born in the USA! (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 04:13:20 PM EST
    I'd love to see a breakdown of that 31% other. That seems like a huge number to me.

    i did notice (none / 0) (#43)
    by CST on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 04:21:29 PM EST
    education wasn't on the list.  So maybe that takes up some of it.

    A girl can dream...


    I hope a bit more is the erosion (none / 0) (#57)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 06:36:10 PM EST
    of habeas corpus and civil rights.

    But I'm not betting on it.


    A non-native born (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by jondee on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 04:15:43 PM EST
    secret muslim, who longs for the time when his movement will have the strength to codify into law it's sinister synthesis of Sharia Law, Soviet-style socialism, militant environmentalism and afrocentic eugenics.

    that IS a huge problem (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 04:18:15 PM EST
    you have to admit.

    Not according to Joe Biden (none / 0) (#39)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 03:58:45 PM EST
    Of course (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 03:38:00 PM EST
    But most people don't know the difference between the debt and the deficit.  The terms get used interchangeably, even though they don't mean the same thing.

    They may be different things... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by sj on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 05:19:25 PM EST
    ... but they are still low on the list of priorities.  As opposed to the economy.

    Someone who who needs that unemployment compensation extension is unlikely to care if it's affecting the deficit.  

    Worries about the economy do NOT equal worries about the deficit and/or debt.  Some people may worry about both, but they are NOT the same thing.

    On the other hand, worries about the economy DOES equal worry about job security/availability/sustainability.


    Oh, I know (none / 0) (#54)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 06:03:06 PM EST
    But it's one of those things they ask, and people answer, but have no idea what the difference is.

    Very apropos (1.00 / 1) (#34)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 03:20:52 PM EST
    To the subject at hand: Education. It's the subject that just can't get any traction, yet it's the one indispensable piece of our Constitutional Republic jig saw puzzle. Not sexy enough; elicits yawns, a throwaway term.

    Not to relive the primaries again, but all I could think about as I watched the throngs of "youths" fainting over Obama was, "how scary is this!" Brainless (meaning schooled, yet uneducated) automons using their sacred treasure (the vote) as if it was casting for American idol.

    If they only knew what power they held, power to truly change the world. So an uneducated public ended up giving us an unprepared President.

    Quite appropriate; Lindsay Lohan & Barack Obama; they've got more in common than first meets the eye.


    This is a bad way to argue.... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Walter in Denver on Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 08:06:46 PM EST
     Remember the poll in 2008 showing a large number of Obama voters didn't know which party controlled congress in 2008? It doesn't take much looking to find uninformed partisans on any side of politics. Aside from the ones working at CNN and Fox, even.

    LOL (none / 0) (#61)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 07:45:24 AM EST
    Quite right; but even as we're awash in a sea of morons, choices still have to be made. And, personally, I'd prefer to align myself with well wishing dolts than mean spirited ones.