Arizona Senate President Tells Tea Party Rally: We Aren’t Citizens Of The United States

Via Think Progress, a very good example of some of the rather odd ideas making their way around Arizona:

PEARCE: U.S. history, most of us weren’t around when the Constitution was written. But you remember we kind of existed before Congress, the states. We created the Congress, we created the federal government, by compact. Do you know what existed before the Congress, the states? Do you know, you’re not a citizen of the United States. You’re a citizen of a sovereign state. The fifty sovereign states makes up United States of America, we’re citizens of those sovereign states. It is not a delegated authority. It’s an inherent authority that states have over the federal government. [applause] It’s about time somebody gets it right!

Someone needs to educate Pearce about the Civil War, and the Fourteenth Amendment.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Tea Party, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Not to mention the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

  2. tom p says:

    But you remember we kind of existed before Congress, the states.

    Uhhhh, maybe my history is a little rusty… The US of A came into being in 1776…. The constitutional convention was in 1787… A civil War in 1861-65… Didn’t AZ become a state in 1912? Isn’t that after 1787? After 1865?

    Maybe Pearce just lives in some kind of wierd time warp but this sounds really stupid coming from an AZ state senator.

  3. Kylopod says:

    Oh, Lordy. According to Wikipedia:

    * In October 2006, Russell Pearce forwarded an email from National Alliance, a white separatist group, to a group of supporters. The email, titled “Who Rules America,” criticized black and white intermixing and Jews in the media for promoting multiculturalism and racial equality, for depicting “any racially conscious White Person” as a bigot, and for presenting the Holocaust as fact. He quickly apologized. The article reports, “He does not agree with the sentiments in the article, but that the title and the first paragraphs about media bias appealed to him. He said the article had been forwarded to him by someone else and he would not have sent it if he had read it in its entirety.” He stated in one of his apologies, “Ugly the words contained in it really are. They are not mine and I disavow them completely. Worse still, the website links to a group whose politics are the ugliest imaginable.”

  4. The Tin Man says:

    “Do you know, you’re not a citizen of the United States.”
    Maybe Senate President Pearce should convene his unAmerican legislature in the Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

  5. Maybe Senate President Pearce should convene his unAmerican legislature in the Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

    Not a bad point. To paraphrase the Senator: Do you know what existed before the Congress? Spain (and later Mexico).

    So, by Pearcian logic, he is really a citizen of Mexico (or Spain, depending on when he wants to set the dials on his own mental TARDIS).

  6. Murray says:

    Has anybody told him that in 1767 Arizona was part of Mexico, that it was annexed by the US in 1847, that it remained just a Territory until it became a State in 1912, all that without ever being independent?

    I guess not.

  7. Kylopod says:

    What is this, reverse birtherism? If none of the Tea Partiers are citizens of the United States, then none of them are eligible to run for president. I can live with that.

  8. legion says:

    Hmm. Isn’t there some sedition clause that can be used for impeachment of some yokel like this?

  9. Murray says:

    Oups, I meant 1787 of course.

  10. jwest says:

    Pierce is correct in the fact that people are citizens of sovereign states that formed a federal government by compact. Of course, by the very force of that compact, people are also citizens of the United States.

    Also, I don’t understand where he’s coming from on authority. The federal government is a delegated authority (granted by the sovereign states) to carry out those items enumerated in the Constitution. All other powers are the province of the states.

    Widespread ignorance of how the states and federal government were formed and operate was the source of confusion during Hurricane Katrina. People didn’t realize that Governor Blanco refused to allow the federal government to take control and the President can’t cede control of federal troops to anyone else. Unless someone was willing to make an argument that an insurrection was in progress against the government, federal troops “invading” a sovereign state wouldn’t be a good thing.

  11. Ernieyeball says:

    K sez: “If none of the Tea Partiers are citizens of the United States, then none of them are eligible to run for president.”

    Why don’t we take this a step further.
    Pearce’s Tea Party acolytes are all illegal aliens without green cards and should be run out of all 50 of The United States of America.

  12. Rick Almeida says:

    The federal government is a delegated authority (granted by the sovereign states) to carry out those items enumerated in the Constitution.

    No. The Constitution is clearly established by “We, the People” as stated in the Preamble.

    Consider, by contrast, the Articles of Confederation:

    Whereas the Delegates of the United States of America…agree to certain articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of …

  13. Ernieyeball says:

    “State of Arizona, County of ______________ I, ____________________ (type or print name)
    do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Arizona;..”

    Apparently this is the oath of office Mr. Pearce swore to.
    Has he violated it? Is this grounds for impeachment?

  14. Marvin Marks says:

    This people are so crazy it makes me laugh until I cry.

    Then it’s not funny anymore… it becomes sad after awhile. Particularly sad because all of these morons vote and the con artists they elect are hurting our country.

  15. mattb says:

    @Steven T – +1 for Dr. Who ref!

  16. john personna says:

    It really is Tardis Consciousness.

    I don’t know about you guys, but I was born into 20th century, post-WWII, America. I did not live in Colonial America. I did not sleep, Rip Van Winkle style, until just now, to pop awake and say “this isn’t what I agreed to!”

    It’s really Tardis Fantasy Consciousness. That is, these knuckleheads choose some set of beliefs they’d like the Colonials to have had, and then pretend away the intervening generations of American.

    Let me guess, voters in 1910, 1920, 1930 … they were not “real Americans!”

  17. MarkedMan says:

    Jwest said “People didn’t realize that Governor Blanco refused to allow the federal government to take control and the President can’t cede control of federal troops to anyone else. ”

    I’ve heard this any number of times from the repubs – Katrina response was the fault of Blanco (never Barbour) because she didn’t authorize the feds. Can you show me one credible source that had someone on the fed side going to Blanco and saying “we have all this aid waiting but we can’t go in until you authorize us” and she said “No.” It is vaguely possible, but considering the type of nonsense that comes out of the repubs and their absolute dedication to not letting the facts get in the way of a good story, I need something more than “jwest said so”.

    And in fact, according to snopes.com this repub rumor is “False”.

  18. sam says:

    “The federal government is a delegated authority (granted by the sovereign states) to carry out those items enumerated in the Constitution. ”

    Do you have a textual basis for that? The preamble begins, “We the people of the United States…”, it does not begin, “We the states of the United States.” The states are artifacts — certainly states like Arizona are — of the federal government. The states, strictly speaking, did not ratify the constitution. Constitutional conventions were convened in the original colonies — states, if you want — and those conventions voted on ratification. If the states granted sovereign authority, as you maintain, why did not the state governments vote on ratification? No. The people of the -to be – United States were the ones who ratified the constitution through the constitutional conventions called forth in the states. The states, as political entities, were not involved.

  19. jwest says:

    MarkedMan,

    We’re talking about two separate things. The snopes article refers to declaring a disaster area, which was done prior to Katrina making landfall. This article does try to conflate some of the activities afterwards, with reference to the Insurrection Act, but it fails to tell the truth.

    What I was referring to was the need for Blanco to relinquish control of the disaster and turn it over to federal control. As governor, she was Commander In Chief of the Louisiana National Guard forces and also any other state NG troops sent under the mutual aid pact. On the third day after the hurricane struck, it was evident that New Orleans was coming apart at the seams. Governor Blanco could have called for federalization at any time, but she thought it might look bad. On the fourth day (Thursday), Andy Card formally raised the prospect of Blanco giving up control so that the 82nd Airborne could enter the state. Again, she refused.

    Bush flew to New Orleans on day five for a face to face meeting with both Blanco and Nagin. Nagin took a shower onboard Air Force One. Bush pleaded privately with Blanco to federalize the disaster response. She announced to the press afterwards that she needed 24 hours to consult with her lawyers.

    From CNN –
    NAGIN: The president looked at me. I think he was a little surprised. He said, “No, you guys stay here. We’re going to another section of the plane, and we’re going to make a decision.”
    He called me in that office after that. And he said, “Mr. Mayor, I offered two options to the governor.” I said — and I don’t remember exactly what. There were two options. I was ready to move today. The governor said she needed 24 hours to make a decision. S. O’BRIEN: You’re telling me the president told you the governor said she needed 24 hours to make a decision?
    NAGIN: Yes.

    S. O’BRIEN: Regarding what? Bringing troops in?
    NAGIN: Whatever they had discussed. As far as what the — I was abdicating a clear chain of command, so that we could get resources flowing in the right places.
    S. O’BRIEN: And the governor said no.
    NAGIN: She said that she needed 24 hours to make a decision. It would have been great if we could of left Air Force One, walked outside, and told the world that we had this all worked out. It didn’t happen, and more people died.CNN noted that they had put a call into Governor Blanco’s office.
    “They declined to come on our show this morning and talk to us. Her spokesperson did say, though, that it was a — this was a tragedy now that was being reduced to politics,” the transcript notes.

    On day 6, the call came in from Blanco. She refused.

    At 10:00AM, Bush ordered General Honore to move in without law enforcement authority. This quasi-legal move was extremely risky, because if one of the federal troops was killed or had killed someone during the operation, we would still be litigating the constitutional issues.

    http://www.nationalledger.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi?archive=1&num=584

  20. pcbedamned says:

    PEARCE: U.S. history, most of us weren’t around when the Constitution was written.

    The first thing that jumped out at me was ^^^. Seriously, who is still around from 1787?!? That should have been the first clue Pearce was full of blarney.
    *facepalm*

  21. MarkedMan says:

    jwest,
    You have an interesting link. But I have to ask myself “Based on the word of Ray Nagin and the a bunch of stuff from a republican email trail, do I really want to spend the time trying to track this down?” and the answer is a “no”. It’s my bad. I’ll admit it. But Nagin is a nincompoop and the repub email slander machine is worse. And the fact that the entire repub hierarchy, top to bottom, have proven themselves b*llsh*tters (remember a b*llsh*tter is different than a liar, in that the former marshals facts and lies indiscriminately so as to ‘prove’ their point, i.e. they aren’t even aware of the truth). So, bottom line, unless the source is one I trust, I’m just going to file it away under the rather vague category of something a repub said. Not fair to you, and I admit that, but there it is.

  22. […] Arizona Senate President Tells Tea Party Rally: We Aren’t Citizens Of The United States (outsidethebeltway.com) […]

  23. Ernieyeball says:

    Marvin Marks says:
    “This people are so crazy it makes me laugh until I cry.
    Then it’s not funny anymore… it becomes sad after awhile. Particularly sad because all of these morons vote and the con artists they elect are hurting our country.”

    Let’s face it. I don’t know what the AZ constitution says about qualifications for elected office but Our Great Charter doesn’t set the bar very high. Minimum age, established Citizenship and who, “when elected shall be an Inhabitant of that State of which he shall be chosen.”
    This leaves the door wide open for anyone who has the filing fee to run for City council, State Senate or, with a little help from your friends US Senate and, well, the sky’s the limit!