Tag: James Madison

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America’s Founding Pragmatism

Exclusive: America’s Founders were not marble statues, but rather real people facing tough challenges. To make ends meet, the esteemed Abigail Adams dabbled in black-market goods, and that kind of tough-minded pragmatism not starry-eyed idealism imbued the Constitution and guided…

Romney’s Upside-Down Constitution

Exclusive: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney wowed a convention of gun enthusiasts with a flowery talk about the Constitution and his fears about what a re-elected President Obama would do to it. But Romney’s speech reflected an American history…

The Founders’ ‘Musket Mandate’

Painting of President George Washington reviewing militia troops sent to put down the Whiskey Rebellion in Western Pennsylvania in 1794.

Exclusive: The negative tone of the Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court suggests that the Affordable Care Act, with its individual mandate to buy health insurance, may be overturned as “unconstitutional” by a partisan 5-4 vote. But key Founders had a…

A Judicial War on Democracy

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

Exclusive: Comments on the U.S. Supreme Court’s three-day debate over the Affordable Care Act have focused on the damage the five Republican justices are expected to do to President Obama by striking down his prized new law. But the bigger story may be their judicial…

Did the Founders Hate Government?

An artist's rendering of the Constitutional Convention in 1787

Exclusive: Orwell’s insight that who controls the present controls the past, and who controls the past controls the future could apply to the American political debate in which the Right has built a false narrative that enlists the Framers of…

The Roots of US Religious Tolerance

Statue of Roger Williams by Franklin Simmons

From the Archive: Ex-Sen. Rick Santorum’s accusation that President Obama follows a “phony theology,” one not “based on the Bible,” revives the right-wing notion that the United States must be a “Christian nation” and that “separation of church and state”…

Madison: Father of the Commerce Clause

James Madison in an engraving

Exclusive: The Tea Party has been fueled by the idea that key Founders, like James Madison, opposed a strong central government and thus laws like “Obamacare” are unconstitutional. But Madison was the framer who devised the Commerce Clause upon which…

The Right’s Inside-Out Constitution

James Madison, a principal author of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights -- and fourth president of the United States

Exclusive: It has become an article of faith on the American Right that the Founders opposed a strong central government and that federal activism — from Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal to President Obama’s health-care reform — violates the nation’s first…

The Founders’ True Foresight

Benjamin Franklin's banner urging the American colonies/states to unite against Great Britain

Exclusive: The Tea Party’s revisionist history of the nation’s founding document may play well with the ill-informed, but the truth is the framers of the Constitution were fed up with state “sovereignty” and decided on a strong central government, a judgment that has…

Ron Paul’s False Founding Narrative

Rep. Ron Paul speaking to a crowd of supporters

Exclusive: Rep. Ron Paul and other right-wingers have lured many average Americans into their camp by creating a false narrative about America’s Founding, claiming that the drafters of the Constitution wanted a weak central government. But that’s not the real…