Rand Paul has won some liberal plaudits for his filibuster against extra-judicial drone strikes against Americans on U.S. soil. Fine and dandy. But what liberal don’t realize is that debate, the debate over government spending, the debate over gun control, and the debate over ObamaCare are not separate fights, they’re the same fight over the central issue: what is the proper size and scope of the federal government in a constitutional republic with limited, enumerated powers?
The founders were deeply and rightly suspicious of centralized government power. They set up a system in which the federal government’s power was not only limited, but balanced against competing power. Not only were the executive, legislative and judicial branches balanced against each other, all were balanced against state governments, and against the power in the people themselves, which is why the Bill of Rights is an enumeration of what the federal government could not do to its citizens. The state exists not to do things for people, it exists to keep things from being done to them.
Those right have been eroded by the excessive expansion of the federal government, and those checks and balances thrown off by the creation of a permanent parasite class in Washington D.C. that benefits from raking its percentage off the top of an ever-expanding redistributionist state.
Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, etc. all know, understand, and believe this. To them, the Constitution is a constant, a vessel of liberty to hand down from generation to generation to keep America strong and free. To liberals, the Constitution is an obstacle to be nullified by left-wing federal judges who ignore provisions like the 2nd and 10th Amendments because the limit how much power Democrats can take from the people and give to government.
The larger government’s sphere, the smaller that of the American people. Drone strikes on U.S. soil are a big, bright line even liberals can understand. But gun control, outrageous deficits, and ObamaCare are all chipping away at the constitutional republic left to us by the founding fathers, day by day. Barry Goldwater once said that “A government big enough to give you everything you want it is big enough to take away everything you have.” Rand Paul and Ted Cruz understand that. Liberals either don’t, or actively want to participate in the taking.