The New York Times has a story this morning explaining how the Tea Party movement is trying to take control of the GOP.

The article highlighted a Tea Party forum in Pennsylvania where "Teapublicans" grilled candidates. One of their litmus tests? Federal health care reform and the 10th Amendment.
Each was asked to define the 10th Amendment, and to cite examples of where it “might have been violated.” ...

The amendment declares that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the states or the people, and Tea Party activists hold that Congress has overstepped its bounds, particularly by legislating health care. So candidates were asked whether they would support efforts to nullify the health care bill?

Earlier this week, I interviewed Washington state's Republican Minority Whip, Ellensburg-area Rep. Bill Hinkle (R-13), about his "Washington state health care freedom act of 2010."

Here's an excerpt:

“Have you heard of the 10th Amendment?” Rep. Hinkle begins when asked to explain the bill. (Answer: Yes. That’d be state’s rights.) Hinkle, the Republican minority whip, says the health care bill is a federal power grab that violates the 10th Amendment “because it would be a national system, preventing states from having our own system … and this kind of stuff is driving people crazy. People in my district are furious.”

Hinkle says, “It’s time for the states to excercise the power to remind the federal government of constitutional restrictions on their power.”

Hinkle's proposal failed along party lines, with Republicans voting in favor. It looks like the Tea Party is already in the GOP leadership in Washington state.
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