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The notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland's delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, show that at the end Benjamin Franklin was asked "What have we got – a republic or a monarchy?"
His answer? "A republic, if you can keep it."
One tea party favorite, former Rep. Allen West, a Republican from Florida, now says America lost it.
"When I look at the fact that Obamacare is not the law of the land, it's an edict, I see this as King Obama now President Obama who is making rules that apply to certain people that kowtow or appeal to his vision of the destruction of this great constitutional republic," West said.
"So I think that we have gone beyond an imperial presidency. We almost have a monarchy … that has been established in the United States of America."
West's comments came during an interview on the Steve Malzberg Show, where the two were discussing the congressional decision to raise the debt limit, reactivate the federal government and spend money on other special projects that Obama wanted.
All while getting essentially nothing for critics who condemn Obama's out-of-control spending and the huge economic damage being inflicted on the nation by Obamacare.
"This is not a constitutional republic any more and I think people need to understand that," West added, "and with the passage of this CR (continuing resolution), and this debt limit extension we have definitely taken a large leap toward losing the great republia that men such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Mason, John Adams gave us as an inheritance.
"And shame on us as an American people for falling for this and letting this usurper and this petty charlatan … take it away from us."
West explained that he calls Obamacare an "edict" since laws apply to everyone, and Obama has carved out exemptions for his supporters in unions, for Congress and for himself in the Obamacare requirements.
And West described the continual demands from the White House for the government to raise the debt ceiling so Obama can borrow and spend more money are creating "a catastrophic situation" for the nation.
"The American people have been let down," he said.
West said Republicans need to come together with a strong voice and point out the unconstitutional actions of Obama's administration.