Whenever fine, fine members of the Tea Party (or some politicians who are trying to manipulate white, working-class Americans) want to get all states' rightsy or pretend they understand jackshit about the history of the nation's founding, they will often cite the Federalist Papers and especially James Madison, author of a chunk of those documents (which, lucky ducks that we are, Glenn Beck is translating
into "modern" English). They want to reduce Madison to Johnny Limited Government, but they don't think through the implications of that beyond "me-no-like-taxes" and "I'd rather die than get health care from a black man."
But since you shall know people by their deeds, here's a couple of actual decisions that Madison made while President that might just blow up the heads of your teabagger cousins when they come over to eat your meat.
Madison didn't think the federal government should build roads, so good-bye interstate highways. He vetoed
a federal works bill in 1817, saying, "'The power to regulate commerce among the several States' can not include a power to construct roads and canals, and to improve the navigation of water courses in order to facilitate, promote, and secure such commerce without a latitude of construction departing from the ordinary import of the terms strengthened by the known inconveniences which doubtless led to the grant of this remedial power to Congress...If a general power to construct roads and canals, and to improve the navigation of water courses, with the train of powers incident thereto, be not possessed by Congress, the assent of the States in the mode provided in the bill can not confer the power." Whenever teabag patriots cite this document, they keep the shit about a federal government constrained by the Constitution. They leave out that, followed through, there'd be no I-10.
But, sure, sure, in theory, if not in action, your cousin might say that the roads he drives on every morning and afternoon would have to go, but you know all that money that the federal government gives to "faith-based" organizations. You know how that's not supposed to impinge on the separation of church and state because only that asshole miscegenation-lover Thomas Jefferson actually believed in it? About that: Madison vetoed
a bill that would have flat out established an Episcopal church in Alexandria, Virginia. His reasoning? "[T]he Bill exceeds the rightful authority, to which Governments are limited by the essential distinction between Civil and Religious functions, and violates, in particular, the Article of the Constitution of the United States which declares, that 'Congress shall make no law respecting a Religious establishment.'" That last part? Yeah, Madison wrote that shit.
He added that he was vetoing also "Because the Bill vests in the said incorporated Church, an authority to provide for the support of the poor, and the education of poor children of the same, an authority, which being altogether superfluous if the provision is to be the result of pious charity, would be a precedent for giving to religious Societies as such, a legal agency in carrying into effect a public and civil duty." Limited government means "limited" to Madison, not just "limited to the shit I care about."
So to all the teabaggers out there, suck on Madison's secular humanism, bitches.