Former Florida governor and 2016 Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush is widely seen as the establishment choice for the GOP nod. However, amongst conservatives, the Bush dynasty member is about as popular as tax increases and Shariah law.
It’s not hard to understand why, either. In a quixotic quest to earn the Hispanic vote, Bush has done all he can to voice his support for amnesty for millions of illegals and has even called the crime of illegal immigration “an act of love.”
Curiously enough, however, his main strategy for taking-down rival GOP contenders has been to boast of his conservative credentials while downplaying the credentials of others.
On Tuesday, Bush made perhaps the biggest blunder of his career; while attempting to showcase his support for the Tenth Amendment and the states’ rights it protects, Bush showcased his blaring ignorance of the Constitution by asserting that the Tenth Amendment supersedes the Second Amendment.
Appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Bush explained his mistaken understanding of federalism by discussing America’s gun laws.
Colbert questioned, “If mental health checks are opposed by the NRA, how do you fight back?”
Bush replied that the answer was to allow states to decide for themselves what parts of the Constitution by which they will abide. Bush stated, (emphasis added)
“I think that you do it at the state by state level. This is the greatness of our country that — tell you what. Vermont is a lot different. Vermont is actually the most pro-gun state probably in the country, believe it or not, but New York City is a lot different than rural Florida, and vice versa. Why would you want to impose national gun laws on top of every circumstance of this country?”
For those who passed 8th grade government, the flaw in Bush’s “logic” is obvious.
While, of course, the concept of states’ right is very important and is, in fact, enshrined in the tenth Amendment, the Tenth Amendment reads: (emphasis added)
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
This would include Amendments one through nine (and later amendments, too).
So, yes- the states should be able to decide such things as drinking ages and state economics, but they are all equally bound to the Bill of Rights, which includes the Second Amendment.
Evidently, Colbert maintains a modicum of constitutional understanding and noted that Bush is mistaken. Colbert questioned,
“Well, the right to have an individual firearm to protect yourself is a national document, in the Constitution, so shouldn’t that also be applied national —“
Bush did not take the helping hand and jumped to display his ignorance again, saying,
“No. Not necessarily… There’s a 10th amendment to our country, the Bill of Rights has a 10th amendment that says powers are given to the states to create policy, and the federal government is not the end all and be all. That’s an important value for this country, and it’s an important federalist system that works quite well.”
Federalism is a good system. However, there are a few basic rules that transcend state lines.
Could you imagine the First Amendment applying in Texas but not Oklahoma? To have the Fourth Amendment apply in Wyoming but not Montana? Such a system would not only be ludicrous, but unjust.
After the interview, Bush’s campaign released a statement defending Bush’s record:
“Governor Bush is a strong 2nd amendment advocate and reiterated his view that the federal government should not be passing new gun control laws. He believes in states rights and as Governor of Florida he used the 10th Amendment to expand gun rights with a “Six Pack of Freedom” bill and received an A+ ratings from the NRA.”
However, Bush can never again claim to be a supporter of the Second Amendment for a true supporter would understand the Second Amendment’s application.
If you don’t understand it, how can you be expected to defend it from the near-constant attacks coming from the left?