As with most worthwhile ideas or undertakings, The Coolidge Project was arrived at through an evolutionary process.
The basic skeleton of the Project was pieced together over a series of conference calls and face to face conversations from June through November of 2012. These talks largely revolved around the scope and role of our current Federal government, in relation to Constitutionally prescribed limitations thereupon. The Coolidge Project was launched as a means to counteract (and eventually reverse) the damage done by those who have expanded Federal reach (and massive overreach) beyond its necessary bounds.
Frustration with status-quo Republicans and statist-quo Progressives had been mounting among the participants in these talks, and for quite some time.
For the Project’s founder, Vociferous Cal, the seed was planted in mid-2006, when George W. Bush used his veto pen for the very first time.
What piece of legislation could possibly be so egregious and destructive of the very fabric of Western civilization to warrant a Bush veto, 5 1/2 years into his Presidency?
Was it a gigantic new Federal entitlement program, destined to explode the national debt and bankrupt as-yet-unborn Americans, all within a couple of generations?
Nope. Medicare Part D had already been passed, signed, and implemented, by that point.
Was it so-called “campaign finance reform”, which would, at best, chill free political speech and, at worst, completely silence it?
Nope. McCain/Feingold had been the law of the land for years, signed by Bush, though he did express “reservations” about its Constitutional muster, while leaving it for the courts to decide (which they eventually did in the Citizens United case).
Could it have been a veto on renewing the Patriot Act, due to some of its unconstitutional provisions (like those later found to be unconstitutional by Federal courts)?
Nope. Bush signed the original Patriot Act, and every renewal and extension and revision set before him, like clockwork and with glee.
Well, then, surely it was a veto of one of the massive budget bills sent to him by the Republican-dominated Congress, the largest and most bloated budgets our nation had ever seen, up to that point. Right?
Wrong again. Bush signed every one of them into law, with only reservations that some might be too small.
While issuing any one of the aforementioned vetoes would have been the sworn duty of any President taking an oath to uphold the Constitution, Bush did not issue a single one of them. Instead, he used the momentous occasion of his first of only a handful of vetoes to kill a bill which would have provided Federal funds for embryonic stem cell research.
Whatever your moral compunctions on that issue, or lack thereof, we should all be able to agree that, of the unalienable natural rights Jefferson described in the Declaration, all three are of equal importance. For Bush to draw a line in the sand, to the point of issuing a veto, over the question of life, while thoroughly trampling liberty and property via the bills he did sign, reveals a gross misconception of natural rights. Does it not?
In pondering all of the bills and proposals mentioned previously, both signed and vetoed by Bush, Vociferous Cal began to question why exactly the Federal government found it necessary (much less deemed it within the scope of their powers) to intervene in the majority of these issues at all.
Thus began a quest to fully understand Founding federalism, separation of powers, and the non-delegation doctrine… and reveal to the masses just how far we have strayed from that system.
Members of The Coolidge Project firmly believe that the vast majority of the ills which exist in modern America can be laid at the doorstep of the aforementioned falling away from those three bedrock tenets for governing a civil society. Separation of Powers, Non-Delegation, and federalism were enshrined in the Declaration and Constitutions (both Federal and state) by our Founders, Framers, and early statesmen.
With good reason.
Just witness the carnage we are left with, in their absence. And, after a good look, join with The Coolidge Project to begin the long and arduous process of devolution.
Federal, state, and even local governments love the power they are afforded by dangling funds, like a carrot on a stick, over their subordinate jurisdictions.
The Coolidge Project seeks to remove the carrot from the equation altogether, thus negating the effectiveness of the stick. Check out our other pages here to find out how this can be done. Legally. Constitutionally. And of necessity.
“Should the day ever dawn, when Jefferson’s warnings are heeded at last, and we reduce government to its simplest terms, it may very well happen that Calvin’s bones now resting inconspicuously in the Vermont granite will come to be revered as those of a man who really did the nation some service.” — H.L. Mencken, on Coolidge’s death in 1933