Line of Fire

Now We Know the Stakes — Let’s Get it Done

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“Nothing in the Constitution has given [the federal judges] a right to decide for the Executive, more than to the Executive to decide for them. … But the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional, and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislature and executive also, in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic branch.”

~ Thomas Jefferson


After three years of working to defeat the health care bill, first in Congress, and then in the court system, we finally have an official ruling on ObamaCare, the law that grants government the abusive power to tax its citizens for not purchasing a product or service.

The United States Supreme Court has upheld government corruption, coercion, and oppression. They have struck down Liberty.

How does that make you feel?

If you love this country – and I know you do – it saddens and angers you. But it should also energize and embolden you. The Supreme Court does not have the final say on Liberty.

We do.

This is not over. The stakes in the 2012 election were already enormous, and now they’ve been raised even more. We must win. We must elect small-government representatives who will roll back this egregious abuse of power – and all the others that Big-Government Disciples have racked up during the last century.  And we will succeed if we commit to engage and work tirelessly from now through November – and beyond. Let us not be the generation forced to look our children and grandchildren in the eyes and tell them that we let freedom expire on our watch.

It’s time for everyone in the Liberty movement to put whatever differences we’ve had aside and unite to dedicate our lives, no matter the cost, to delivering in 2012 an even bigger political earthquake than we did in 2010. This means educating every person who will listen to us on governmental abuses and the need to restore the Constitution as originally intended, our only defense against tyranny and oppression; and recruiting people from every place and background to pound the pavement, purge the voter rolls, work the polls, and get out the vote to deliver a total smackdown to power-hungry politicians who helped pass this law and put in place the justices to uphold it.

The facts, numbers, and passion are on our side. A low percentage of Americans still actually believe in the health care legislation that was just upheld. This is our last chance, and it is the chance to convince average Americans everywhere that government has grown way too big and to join us in helping elect small-government representatives who will overturn this atrocious law. And then we must be energized to go all the way beyond this election and reactivate the floodlight of freedom that America was meant to shine for the entire world before it’s too late.

It’s all up to us now. But we can do it. Together.

Now let’s get it done.

Jonathan Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virginia Tea Party. He is the author of Saving America: A Christian Perspective of the Tea Party Movement and the novel Fatal Reality (a thriller), both of which are available on Visit his websites at www.teapartyforchristians.comand



Walker’s Recall Victory First Step in Coming Conservative Landslide

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Scott Walker’s big 53% to 46% victory in the Wisconsin recall election last night is just the first step in the coming conservative landslide I predicted two months ago in my Daily Caller op-ed.  At the time, quite a few liberals and conservatives discounted my predictions. Today, after the stunning scale of Walker’s victory, they’re singing a different tune.

For the left, Wisconsin was supposed to be the beginning of the resurgence of progressive politics. Instead, it turned out to be the first of what will be several humiliating Waterloos coming over the next five months, which will culminate in a conservative electoral college landslide for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama in November.

The conservative formula for success in Wisconsin–hard hitting, well financed, television advertising combined with a Tea Party powered grassroots door to door get-out-the-vote ground game–will be replicated in all 50 states on November 6, 2012.

As Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (who won her own recall 53% to 47%) told an ecstatic crowd at a victory celebration last night, “This is what democracy looks like.”

As a Tea Party activist from the beginning, I can only add that “it’s about time.” But as Instapundit often cautions, “don’t get cocky.” For the next five months, Tea Party activists need to keep up the pressure. The time for celebration will be after the polls close on November 6, 2012. Until then–let’s keep the pedal to the metal!

Michael Patrick Leahy is the co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and, and a Breitbart News Contributor. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, was recently published by Broadside Books. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.


Why Bill Clinton Wants President Obama to Lose

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It doesn’t take a genius to see that former President Bill Clinton wants President Obama to lose in November.

Clinton, who never liked Obama, is still angry over the way the President “played the race card” against him when he was campaigning for Hillary in the 2008 South Carolina primaries.

More importantly, say what you will about Bill Clinton’s policies and characters, Bill Clinton is of heartland America and understands all of America in ways Barack Obama never will. Clinton sees Obama as an arrogant left wing ideologue who lacks the political instincts to adjust his policies when circumstances warrant.

When Clinton was hit hard in the 1994 mid-term Congressional elections and the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives for the first time in four decades, Clinton got the message. He dropped Hillary’s government run health care proposals and tacked hard to the right.

In contrast, when the Tea Party movement fueled the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections, President Obama doubled-down to the left. Inspirational “Hope and Change” vanished, replaced by the  blame shifting and downbeat negative attacks that have marked his Presidency ever since.

Earlier in the week, President Clinton praised Mitt Romney’s “sterling” business record, a direct repudiation of Obama’s ill-advised efforts to portray Romney’s years at Bain Capital as “vampire capitalism.” Yesterday, Clinton was back on the Obama campaign bus–sort of–endorsing the incumbent President and faint heartedly saying a Romney Presidency would be “calamitous.”

No one, of course, thinks that’s what former President Clinton really means. His intentions are clear. He will do just enough to raise money for President Obama so that loyal Democrats won’t call him a turncoat. The Clintons look forward to helping President Obama open the doors of the Barack Obama Presidential Library some wintry Chicago day in 2014 . Meanwhile, on November 7, 2012, you can bet the entire Clinton machine, after having helped Romney secure a victory with their luke warm support for Obama, will turn their attention to the main prize once more–a Hillary Clinton run for President in 2016.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and, and a Breitbart News Contributor. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, was recently published by Broadside Books. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.

In Virginia, Jamie Radtke Offers a Tea Party Budget

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Jamie Radtke, former head of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, an organization of more than forty tea parties in Virginia, has been fighting the good fight in the Virginia Senate Primary against Republican establishment endorsed former Senator George Allen.

Most polls show Allen with a comfortable lead, but don’t count Ms. Radtke out quite yet. Unlike Allen, has some good and original ideas that the Republican voters in Virginia may want to consider before the cast their ballots in the June 12 primary election.

In an April 5 op-ed piece at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Ms. Radtke boldly stated:

If Congress froze the current spending level and then cut it by 2 percent annually,  we could balance the budget in five years.

Even Politifact, after checking the statement out, acknowledged that Ms. Radtke was correct.

Why, then, is Ms. Radtke’s bold proposal not generating more support for her candidacy?

Personally, Ms. Radtke’s proposal is a step much closer to the right direction that Congressman Paul Ryan’s timid plan. As I’ve written earlier, we need to cut federal spending in half over the next five years. Instead of Ms. Radtke’s proposed 2% annual cut in expenditures, cutting spending in half over the next five years would require a 10% annual cut rather than a 2% annual cut.

The conditions may not yet be right to see Ms. Radtke perform with the kind of strong last minute electoral closing as tea party favorite Ted Cruz  just did in the Republican Texas primary, where he forced establishment favorite Lt. Governor Dewhurst into a runoff. But 2012 is a very different year, and Jamie Radtke is a very different candidate. Don’t count her out yet.


Michael Patrick Leahy is the co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and, and a Breitbart News Contributor. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, was recently published by Broadside Books. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.

The Three Pillars of Grassroots Electoral Success in 2012

Posted in: Blog, Voices of the Tea Party

There are three pillars of grassroots electoral success for constitutional conservatives in 2012:

(1) Voter Registration

(2) Get-out-the-vote infrastructure development and implementation

(3) Voter fraud detection and prevention

Every tea party and 9-12 group around the country should be undertaking projects right now to focus on these three areas.

The best national coordinating groups that can provide assistance in these areas are:

United in Purpose for voter registration.

Election Day Tea Party for get-out-the-vote infrastructure development and implementation.

True the Vote for voter fraud detection and prevention.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, was recently published by Broadside Books. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.

Why Young Americans Under 30 Should Look to the Tea Party as Their Answer for a Bright Future

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You have the most incentive of anyone to not only join the Tea Party movement, but become its most passionate leaders.

Stop laughing. Just hear me out.

I’m 35 years old. And though you make think I’m already old enough to draw Social Security, I can assure you that I’m not and can still clearly remember what it’s like to be young(er).

Because of that, I understand why the Tea Party isn’t exactly the coolest thing on campus. Though toga parties seem to remain a winner, I haven’t heard of any where people are sporting knee-length pants, tri-corner hats, and powdered wigs. I’m not really a partygoer myself, but even I would be creeped out by something like that.

But the Tea Party isn’t about being cool (obviously) or social networking or feeling good about oneself; it is primarily about one thing: saving some semblance of freedom for your generation.

I know, it sounds melodramatic—but it’s true. There are many examples of how your freedoms are being rapidly stripped from you in ways you likely don’t even see, but for the purposes of this article, I will focus on the one I believe to be the biggest.

The national debt.

While this topic may seem well suited for a crowded lecture hall where you normally catch up on sleep, believe me, it’s hard to overstate its impact on your future. Consider that the national debt is roughly $15.5 trillion. That is real money our nation owes to real people who expect us to pay it back. And the payments must come from the taxes we forfeit from our own wallets.

It may be difficult to conceptualize what the total debt means to you personally, but all you have to do is divide it by the 320 million people living in America, and you discover that your share of the load is $48,437. If that weren’t bad enough, America’s unfunded liabilities (future debt for which no money has been set aside) are estimated to be anywhere from $60 to $118 trillion. Let’s be conservative and take the low number, adding it to the $15.5 trillion, and round down what we collectively owe to an even $75 trillion. That increases your individual share to $234,375. And this doesn’t even include any student loans for those of you that have—or will have—them.

Is this getting real to you yet?

Now—answer this: Which demographic is suffering the highest employment in America?

You got it: young people. In fact, the Associated Press just reported that more than half of four-year college grads under 25 are either unemployed or underemployed.

The staggering national debt and high unemployment rate, especially among young people, are a direct result of the Big-Government policies our nation is advancing. It took America roughly 200 years to accumulate its first trillion in debt, but President Obama has accumulated five trillion in three years alone. We’re borrowing at a rate of 333 times as fast as we did over our first two centuries of existence. And this is done by the same person who when he was Senator Obama less than four years ago said, “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents—number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back—$30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic” (emphasis added).

I would add staggeringly immoral to that assessment, for he was exactly right: to fund our government’s reckless spending we were (are) borrowing from nations like China and foisting the debt on future generations (you) who had no say in the matter. In fact, most had no idea it was (is) even happening. Furthermore, we have also inflated our money supply at an unprecedented level, making our dollar worth far less than it used to be.

So to summarize: you have been saddled with an enormous debt without your permission, you face a terrible job market to try to make some money to actually pay off the debt, and the little money that you do have holds ever-diminishing purchasing power. Oh, and by the way, the $75 trillion America owes is more than the combined money supply of the entire world. There is simply no way to pay it off. Which means that your generation as inheritors of this debt is facing blinding taxes, resulting in far greater unemployment and a loss of freedom you probably can’t even imagine.

Okay, let me stop here and say that I’m not trying to depress you. Honestly. I’m simply illustrating the fruits of Big Government … and offering you a real solution.

The Tea Party.

Our support for limited government and fiscal responsibility are your best shot at hanging on to some semblance of freedom and not spending the rest of your life working for the government to pay off all the money they borrowed in your name. If you want to have any ability to provide a good living for yourself (and possibly a family someday), you will join with us in demanding an immediate and dramatic reduction in government spending across the board and a balanced budget to start getting our debt under control. And to jumpstart our dying economy, you will help us push for a simplification of the tax code and massive reductions in regulations and taxes on businesses, which would help them grow and create jobs and bring many back that have been shipped overseas.

Believe me, I know that declaring yourself a member of the Tea Party may treat you to some strange looks or snickering at your upcoming social gatherings, but in the long run that will seem like a small price to pay for preserving your freedom. So join with us in protecting your future by helping your local Tea Party—or starting one of your own, especially if you’re on a college campus—to find and support those political candidates who will advance the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility. Plenty of them will be running. And if we elect enough of them this November (and beyond), your generation may help prevent an economic catastrophe for all of us, but especially for you.

What could be cooler than that?

Jonathan Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virginia Tea Party. He is the author of Saving America: A Christian Perspective of the Tea Party Movement and the novel Fatal Reality (a thriller), both of which are available on Visit his websites and


The Coming Conservative Landslide

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Wishful liberals and Chicken Little conservatives who watch the weekly fluctuations in the presidential polls have concluded that President Obama is a shoo-in for re-election. They point out that Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee, can’t connect with women, has a large likability gap and is slightly behind Obama in most national polls as well as in the key swing states of Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.

The despair of faint-hearted conservatives deepens when they contemplate President Obama’s disastrous performance in office. His record of fiscally reckless extremism is unparalleled in American history. In three short years, federal spending as a percentage of GDP has climbed from 20% to 24% while the national debt has exploded from $10 trillion to $15.5 trillion. By the end of his term, Obama will have increased the national debt by a staggering 67%.

Add to this record President Obama’s continual disrespect for the Constitution, his unceasing regulatory attacks on free enterprise and small businesses, his rhetoric of class warfare, his deceptive demagoguery and his spendthrift economic policies that have fattened the wallets of his political cronies but created so few jobs that millions of Americans have simply dropped out of the labor force, and many conservatives can offer only one explanation for Obama’s current lead in the polls.

America, they conclude, must have lost its can-do spirit of rugged individualism and replaced it with what Governor Chris Christie recently called an attitude of “paternalistic entitlement” championed by a coalition of political elites, acolytes in the mainstream media, crony capitalists and an ever-growing dependency class.

Conservatives across the nation should be of good cheer, however. The United States remains a center-right nation. This November, voters will choose common sense over fiscally reckless extremism in what will be a landslide conservative victory. Republicans will retain the House, gain the Senate and win back the presidency with a 2-to-1 Electoral College margin.

You can read the rest of the story at The Daily Caller.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, was recently published by Broadside Books. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.

Ryan Budget a Small, Timid Step in the Right Direction

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Last month Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, Chairman of the Budget Committee, unveiled a proposed budget for FY 2013 and beyond that actually cuts spending. Given the hue and cry that followed from the White House and Democrats in Congress, it would be easy to conclude that Ryan has proposed drastic cuts. He hasn’t. His plan is a small, timid step to reverse decades of unconstrained spending by pandering politicians of both parties.

A comparison of President Obama’s proposed budget to Ryan’s proposed budget for the next five years, from FY 2013 to FY 2017 shows that while Obama’s current plan continues his pattern of financially reckless extremism, Ryan’s modest cuts do very little to bring the federal government’s expenditures into the kind of balance consistent with our “fiscal constitution.”

In FY 2011 the federal government spent $3.6 trillion, exactly 24% of the $15 trillion of GDP created in the United States during the same twelve months. That’s a record peacetime high, the result of three years under an Obama Administration characterized by financially reckless extremism  and a  Democrat-controlled Senate who, for 1000 days, has deliberately violated one of their core duties by not passing a federal budget.

To put the scale of Obama’s profligacy in perspective, consider this: During his three years in office, the amount he’s increased spending—(the current 24% of GDP is an additional 4% of GDP higher than the 20% of GDP the federal government spent in George W. Bush’s last year) equals the average annual federal peacetime budget during the 142 years between 1789 and 1931 when politicians lived by our “fiscal constitution.”

When I speak of the “fiscal constitution” I mean the universal agreement among politicians and the populace that during peacetime, the federal government could only make expenditures for which a corresponding tax revenue can be identified. Our Founding Fathers unanimously felt that the federal budget should be treated in the same way as the family budget. Current consumption should be paid for by current tax revenue, and never by incurring debt. Debt should only be used to finance defense expenditures during times of war

Under President Obama’s budget, spending in FY 2012 will increase to $3.8 trillion, while Congressman Ryan proposes to hold spending at $3.6 trillion. Under Obama, spending in FY 2013 will remain at $3.8 trillion, but rises to $4.5 trillion in FY 2017, the first quarter of which will be his last year in office. Ryan proposes to cut spending to $3.4 trillion in FY 2013, but increases it to $3.8 trillion in FY 2017.

Under both plans, we continue to experience annual spending deficits. Under Obama the annual deficits, even under the rosiest scenarios for economic growth, hover around $1 trillion annually. Under Ryan’s plan annual deficits drop to a “mere” $300 billion by FY 2017.

As I argue in my new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, we face a stark choice as a country. We must either drastically cut our spending in half from the current level of 24% of GDP to 12% of GDP, or we will certainly increase spending to 36% of GDP—putting us in the same category as European countries like Greece.

That’s a level consistent with 142 years of our “fiscal constitution” tradition, and breaks down as follows: 4% for the “normal” operations of the federal government, 6% for defense, and 2% to service and reduce the national debt.

How do the Obama and Ryan budgets stack up according to this standard?

Assuming a 3% annual increase in GDP, under Obama’s budget, federal government as a percentage of GDP increases to 25% in FY 2017. Under Ryan’s plan, it decreases to 21% in FY 2017. That’s not an insignificant improvement, but it still higher than George W. Bush’s FY 2008 budget, which put federal spending at 20% of GDP.

The Washington Post called Ryan’s plan “bold but risky,” but in my view, there’s little boldness in a plan that increases federal spending as a percentage of GDP beyond George W. Bush’s last year. While President Obama’s plan puts us on a path to become an economic basket case like Greece within a decade, the Ryan plan merely delays the day of reckoning by a few years.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, was recently published by Broadside Books. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.

Romney’s Team Suggests VP Selection is “Liberated” from the Tea Party?

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Stephen Hayes writes today at The Weekly Standard that an unnamed source on the Romney team may have set back the steady progress Romney has been making with the Tea Party movement over the past several weeks. Here’s the quote, said to be from a top operative in the Romney campaign, taken from a Washington Post article:

“The conventional thinking has been that after a long and divisive primary campaign, the challenge of uniting the GOP would force Romney to pick a running mate with strong appeal to tea party activists and evangelicals. But Romney’s team thinks he may be liberated from that pressure if he can finish off remaining rivals Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul in the next few weeks. ”

Hayes wonders if Romney can build on the “great strides [he’s made] with Tea Party leaders in the past two weeks.”

I have the quick answer to that question:

Not if he and his team think they’re “liberated” from us.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, was published by Broadside Books on March, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

On Sale Now: COVENANT OF LIBERTY by Michael Patrick Leahy

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We’re excited to share this excerpt from the introduction of Michael Patrick Leahy’s COVENANT OF LIBERTY: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement:

Four Broken Promises: Why the Tea Party Arose

The story of civilization can be told in the conflict between the individual’s desire for liberty and the state’s need to establish social order. Every government, once established, seeks to centralize and consolidate its own power at the expense of individual liberty. This is as true for a democratic republic as it is for a constitutional monarchy, an absolute monarchy, and oligarchy, or a dictatorship.

From the moment the citizens of a country bind themselves in a constitutional covenant that guarantees the rights of the individual and defines and limits the powers of the government, the battle lines are drawn between the faithful defenders of that covenant and those who seek to corrupt it.

The Tea Party movement arose in 2009 because the political class of the United States–in the form of members of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of our government–broke four promises found within the Constitution, thereby accelerating the natural tendency to centralize and consolidate power at the expense of individual liberty.

The first promise–to abide by the written words of the Constitution–was broken before the ink was dry on the last documents that sealed the uniquely American secular covenant contained in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The second promise–to refrain from interfering in private economic matters–was broken whent he modern party that routinely pays homage to “free markets” first came to power. The third promise–to honor the customs, traditions, and principles that make up the “fiscal constitution”–was broken by Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelet 143 years after the Constitution was ratified.

Had not the fourth and final promise–that members of the legislative branch would exercise thoughtful deliberation while giving respectful consideration to the views of their constituents–been broken in such a disdainful and audacious manner in January and February 2009, the grassroots activists who came to be known as the Tea Party movement would never have been compelled to action.

The views presented on our guest blogs are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Broadside Books. We thank all of our guest bloggers for their thoughtful perspectives.

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