The Constitution Party, formerly called the U.S. Taxpayers Party, had its presidential nominating convention June 23-26, in Valley Forge, Pa.
Many party activists hoped to nominate Roy Moore, the Alabama judge who lost his post for refusing to take down a monument of the Ten Commandments. Mr. Moore, though, declined to be considered, so the nomination went to Michael Peroutka, a Maryland attorney and founder of the Institute on the Constitution. His running mate is Chuck Baldwin, a Baptist minister from Florida.
Mr. Moore has made at least six joint appearances with Mr. Peroutka since spring, according to party and news accounts. The most recent stop was a visit to Seattle, Wash., where the two spoke to about 750 people at two Constitution Party gatherings. Alabama state party chairman John Beal said Mr. Moore still considers himself a Republican and did not endorse Mr. Peroutka or the Constitution Party during the appearances, which focused more on constitutional issues and Mr. Moore's fight to display the Ten Commandments. "While Judge Moore respects Michael, he didn't make any mention of supporting him. He does support his principles."
The party wants to return to a constitutionally limited government. It is unabashedly Christian, insisting on the Bible as the foundation of constitutional law. As summarized on its website, the Constitution Party is "pro-life, anti-homosexual rights, pro-American sovereignty, anti-globalist, anti-free trade, anti-deindustrialization, anti-unchecked immigration, pro-second amendment, and against the constantly increasing expansion of unlawful police laws, in favor of a strong national defense and opposed to unconstitutional interventionism."
Although the Constitution Party would seem to be the polar opposite of the Green Party, the two, ironically, share some positions. Both would immediately withdraw our troops from Iraq. Whereas the Green Party would do this out of left-wing pacifism and sympathy for our enemies, the Constitution Party is against the war because supporters believe it represents the sort of "foreign entanglement" the Founders warned against. Both are against globalism, free trade, and the influence of multinational corporations; the Greens because of their left-wing socialist economic theories, the Constitution Party because of its protectionism.
The Constitution Party achieved ballot access in 21 states in 1992, 39 in 1996, and 41 in 2000. The Libertarian Party -- whose nominee is Austin computer programmer Michael Badnarik -- was on the ballot in all 50 states in the last election. The Reform Party has won 2004 ballot access in only three states so far, and the Greens 22.
Which means that if the Greens are a potential threat to draw away votes from John Kerry from the left, the Constitution Party may be the same kind of threat to George W. Bush from the right.