Via The American Prospect
Tentherism, in a nutshell, proclaims that New Deal-era reformers led an unlawful coup against the "True Constitution," exploiting Depression-born desperation to expand the federal government's powers beyond recognition. Under the tenther constitution, Barack Obama's health-care reform is forbidden, as is Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. The federal minimum wage is a crime against state sovereignty; the federal ban on workplace discrimination and whites-only lunch counters is an unlawful encroachment on local businesses.
Tenthers divine all this from the brief language of the 10th Amendment, which provides that "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." In layman's terms, this simply means that the Constitution contains an itemized list of federal powers -- such as the power to regulate interstate commerce or establish post offices or make war on foreign nations -- and anything not contained in that list is beyond Congress' authority.
The tenther constitution, however, reads each of these powers very narrowly -- too narrowly, it turns out, to permit much of the progress of the last century. As the nation emerges from the worst economic downturn in three generations, the tenthers would strip away the very reforms and economic regulations that beat back the Great Depression, and they would hamstring any attempt to enact new progressive legislation.
And while there are, in point of fact, many within the conservative movement that wish Obama to fail because he's the black man with the funny name currently holding the highest office in the land, the bulk of conservatives are willing to do and say any and everything to destroy healthcare simply because Obama is a member of the Democratic Party.
All the Republicans have to do is muddy the debate enough to either prevent healthcare reform from passing or, and this is their best bet right now, delay it long enough until after the mid-term elections next year, when the Republican Party will have likely gained a few more seats in both houses. However, banking on the "Tea-baggers", "Tenthers", "Birthers", and Fox"News" to gin up enough ire within the easily lead sections of the American public might not pay off as big as they hope next year.
However, when you continually trot out the Constitution as the rationale to your idiocy, there are enough people out there not willing to challenge your preposterous assumption for fear of being seen as un-American.