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As Tea Party Candidates Fail To Fall, Their Enemies Seek To Disparage Their Backers As Fringe


That emphasis on opposition to federal power meshes with Miller's central message: get the federal government out of our lives. He often calls himself a "constitutional conservative." His website explains what that means:

The only answer [to government spending] is to return our federal government to the limits prescribed by our Constitution. Federal powers not specified in the Constitution are reserved to the States by the 10th Amendment.

Critics call this Tentherism, an interpretation of the Constitution that does not allow for a vast swath of what the federal government does today -- from Social Security to gun regulation. This is the centerpiece of Miller's political identity. He asserts that there is no constitutional authority for the health care reform law or proposed cap and trade legislation. He advocates a state takeover of federally controlled land in Alaska such as Denali National Park.

These are the kinds of positions that are creating buzz in the militia world.

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