“Which brings us to the point about the Tea Party. It — or “they,” in that it’s not really a party — may have lost the latest engagement in the battle of the budget and the debt. But in our view they have opened up an inspiring vista. We’ve been beating this drum for a while. The heroes of the Tea Party these days are not the kind of troublemakers and yahoos of the kind the Left lampoons on the right.On the contrary, the feature of the Tea Party heroes is that they are exceptionally well-educated. Senator Cruz is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School. He clerked for the Chief Justice of the United States. Senator Lee, the son of a solicitor general of America, was a star at Brigham Young University and clerked on the Third Circuit for a future Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito. Rand Paul is a physician who learned economics at the knee of his father, who goes home at night and reads the principles of political economy that guided the Founders.”
Editorial of The New York Sun | October 21, 2013
In respect of the power struggle inside the Republican Party, on which side is the Sun? Is it on the side of Senator Cruz or on the side of Senator McCain? Is it on the side of Karl Rove or on the side of Sarah Palin? Is it on the side of Governor Christie or of Senator Paul? We wouldn’t want to suggest that there are great throngs hanging on this question. But for the record, in the rift that is rending the Republican Party, the Sun is on the side of George Washington.
We speak of him as the personification of the constitutional founders. Few of our political loyalties are personal. Our base is the Constitution, at the drafting of which Washington presided. The more we study it, the more we savor the great cases that have been brought down from the high court, the more it seems that this is the ground on which to stand. In the political posturing, constitutional principles are what for what we look, references to it are for what we listen.
Constitutional thinking can be detected but rarely in the Democratic Party palaver. The Democrats are carrying on their crusade with scant reference to or reverence for the Constitution. When they do reference it, they too often do so in a glancing way, a point we marked when, in the midst of the budget crisis, President Obama blandly asserted that of “all the responsibilities the Constitution endows to Congress” there are two that “should be fairly simple.” They are “pass a budget, and pay America’s bills.”