Friday, December 12, 2014
For 5 years (2009 - 2014) the GOP said "Oh, we just don't have enough influence to do anything." At first there was some truth to that- minorities in both houses of Congress, and a Dem President will do that. Even so, they seemed unwilling to use what influence they did have, because the MFM would call them big meanies.
Porkuluous passed with nary a word. ObamaCare could have been derailed at any of several points, but Republicans wouldn't. At one point it could have been killed in committee. At any number of points it could have been killed by a single Republican refusing "unanimous consent" to skip the reading of the bill (or the various amendments).
Then Scott Brown was elected as the "41st Vote Against ObamaCare." All Republicans had to do to kill it was keep the debate moving until he could be sat. Instead, they allowed it to be passed because they didn't want to work over Christmas.
Then, 2010, we handed them the House. With which they immediately preceded to do... nothing much. "1/2 of 1/3 of Government!" we were told. "Oh, a Shutdown would ruin our chances in 2014!" we were told. (Hmm... almost as if winning elections were more important to them than doing the right thing)
Did they even pass a budget? No. "Oh, it will just get stopped in the Senate." So Continuing Resolution after Continuing Resolution passed. Did they stop raising the debt ceiling, or even get some kind of real budget cut in return for raising it? No. In fact, they ceded that power to the President, just so no one would ask them to do something scary like vote on it again.
So in 2012 (after 2 years of them doing nothing, and with a candidate who couldn't/wouldn't take on TFG) we let them maintain their control of the house. For another 2 years they proceeded to do... not much.
Admittedly, after Mitt Romney's loss in 2012, they were a somewhat reduced party. Lots of soul-searching had to be done. But they still had chances. The shut down was the most intestinal fortitude any Republican had shown in years, and the leadership fell over themselves to end it, and give up yet more concessions in the process. Only their (stated, though not acted upon) opposition to ObamaCare saved them.
Now in 2014 we have given them majorities in both houses of Congress. So rather than stall until the new congress can be sat of course they rush to pass a bill which takes away almost all of the influence they would be able to wield for nearly half (and really more than that, considering we'll be spinning up for 2016 at the end of 2015) of the next Congressional term.
Why should I ever vote Republican (for national office) again?
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
What to write about?
I could write about the Rolling Stone UVA story, but why? At this point, Rolling Stone and “Jackie” have about as much credibility as an unemployed man with a 480 FICO score.
I could write about the riots over the Michael Brown and Eric Garner Grand Jury decisions, but, again, why? Pretty well everything has been said. People made up their minds before the evidence was in; they’re not changing them now.
I could write about CrOmnibus- the Republicans trying to sell out Conservatives once again. I could write about the Use of Force authorization that the SCOAMT wants, but won’t specify exactly what he wants. Sorry, Barry, no blank checks.
With all that’s going on in the news, maybe we need to get back to first principles. Maybe we need to consider why we’re conservative in the first place. It’s always a good idea to review why you believe what you believe from time to time.
So with that, I’ll consider the second* of the first principles: Natural Rights.
What are Natural Rights?
Natural Rights are those things (really the only Rights at all) that every human being possesses simply by virtue of being human. No government can grant or remove them. No one has more of them than any other person. Simply being human grants these rights. In many ways, they are simply laws of nature- like gravity or entropy. But, being laws of Human Nature, we often fight against them in various ways.
The Natural Rights are generally summed up as “Life, Liberty, and Property.” Some guy who was really smart in other ways nevertheless screwed the pooch and changed that last one to “pursuit of Happiness” in our Declaration of Independence. We can forgive him that, I guess, though that wording has cause great harm.
Each right really deserves its own post, and may get one, but they deserve a little bit of illumination here.
The Right to Life is perhaps more specifically “the Right to sustain and protect one’s life.” The Right to Life includes things like the right to self-defense and the right to bear arms. It includes the right to feed one’s self (which is a bigger thing than you might think).
It really should not be mistaken for a reverence for life. While I am pro-life when it comes to the abortion argument, it is not because of my belief in the Right to Life. Here, a baby has no more “right to life” than a man being eaten by a bear. Less, in fact, simply by the fact that the man being eaten by the bear has some chance of defending himself. He can be his own agent of life protection and sustenance.
The Right to Liberty is both the “right to be left alone” and the “right to do as you please.” From it we derive things like the freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to work.
The Right to Property is the right to accumulate property. It includes the right to purchase and own a home, as well as the right to build wealth.
Why are natural rights important?
A belief in God is the foundation of the United States of America (if you don’t believe that, go re-read your history). The Natural Rights are the pillars standing on that foundation holding the rest of the structure up. All of the Constitutionally protected (not granted) rights are either direct applications of, or logical derivations of Natural Rights. I mentioned some in the previous section. The Right to Life is the one where we derive the Second Amendment, for example. The prohibitions against double-jeopardy and bills of attainder also have roots in the Right to Life. The Right to Property is where we derive things like the 3rd and 4th amendments.
Natural Rights are also important because if you do not realize from where your rights come, you might agree to any sort of nonsense. If Rights are not Natural, then they must be granted by some agency. If some agency grants them, then that same agency can rescind them. If they can be rescinded, then they are not “rights” at all.
I said previously that no government can either grant or deny the Natural Rights. No matter how restrictive the regime, no matter how devoted to Communism and/or oppression, you cannot be deprived of your Right to Life, Liberty, and Property. The exercise of those rights can be legally forbidden and therefore punished, but the rights themselves exist and you retain them fully.
That may seem trivial. What good is having a Right to Property if exercising it is going to get you imprisoned and all your stuff confiscated? But it is just the fact that people lost sight of the Right to Property that caused them to agree to stop exercising it. Communism cannot exist if the People remember their Natural Rights and vigorously defend them.
One example that might seem trivial. My brother (sorry, bro, but it highlights the point) and I were talking at Thanksgiving, and he mentioned a device had been invented which could be added to a circular saw (or table saw, or maybe either) which would sense when your finger came too close to the blade and stop the blade nearly instantly. He further asserted that this device would add only pennies to the cost of a saw, and expressed disbelief that people making saws were fighting a regulation which would mandate the use of this device.
But, of course, if you really believe in the Natural Right of Liberty, you immediately see why such a mandate should be prohibited. My Right of Liberty says that I can do what I want. Maybe I want to add this safety device to *some* saws and charge a higher price. Maybe I know that some people have uses for circular and table saws which would be interfered with by this device, so I want to continue making them without it. Maybe I just don’t want to add the device to the saws I make. Why should it be the government’s business?
And so we come to the end of this primer on Natural Rights. It is our belief in these Rights which lead first to the Declaration of Independence, and then the Constitution. Our continued belief in them is what motivates the various Tea Party organizations. It is why Conservatives are so upset with Boehner’s CrOmnibus. Belief in the Natural Rights is why we side with Darren Wilson and George Zimmerman over Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. Our commitment to them is why false charges of rape such as those made by Rolling Stone are met with such condemnation. It is why we oppose rioting for any reason.
*-Yep the 2nd. As alluded to, the first First Principle is a belief in God. All the founders where Christians of one sort or another.
Friday, November 21, 2014
It says something I've been thinking- and even saying- for the last week or so.
Let's set aside all the problems with Emperor Obama's Amnesty. Let's pretend he did something I liked. I dunno- an across the board tax cut, just to pick something.
That makes it no less wrong. That makes it no less evil. Barack Obama is not an Emperor- or, he's not supposed to be. He is a President. Our Founders sought for just the right term for the Chief Executive of our Nation for some time before settling on "President." He "presides." He is supposed to "faithfully execute" the law, see that it is Justly applied to all.
But note that he is precisely operating as an Emperor. Even if he were going to simply ignore immigration law, that would be one (very, very bad) thing. But it would be equally applied to all. Instead, he enacted- by executive fiat- new law. He did not simply say, "I'm just ignoring immigration law," his plan has requirements and prerequisites which must be met. That's not "details about the execution of a law." That's not "discretion." That's authoring new law.
And the Legislature will let this stand. The Republicans will do nothing because there's nothing they can do. All the talk of defunding the government or shutting it down? It won't stop this amnesty. It won't stop an Imperial President. Not confirming presidential appointees? For one thing, no one will really notice that. For another, that *also* won't stop the amnesty.
There is only one remedy- the Constitutional remedy: impeachment. And Republicans will not do that, because the Democrats will not do that. Democrats have welded themselves to the SCOAMT. They hitched their wagons to him in 2008, and now it's too late. If they turn on him now, they lose *both* the black and hispanic vote. At least, that's their fear, and it's not entirely irrational.
Absent some real action from the Legislature- a united legislature looking to preserve the great Republic our Founders created- we have just witnessed the end of the American Experiment.
I wish I could say I was surprised. I am outraged. But in a sense that's like being outraged at a scorpion for stinging. I do not believe that his character would allow him to do anything else than what he did. Malignant Narcissism is *going* to assert its power, especially after being told it's not so powerful after all.
However, I do have more outrage for the Media. The MFM consensus seems to be this: "Barack Obama is protecting illegals." Yes, that is their word of choice: "protecting." It's odd to me that they would discuss the decision not to see justice done against law-breakers as "protecting."
Would they be so sanguine if he "protected" thieves in the same way? Murders, arsonists, identity thieves, or even dead-beat dads?
Let's say the President had said this: "Too many Americans must live in the shadows. Their situation requires that they live outside our normal bounds of law, but it is not their fault. Society and their history have forced them into these shadows. It is their poverty, their lack of education, and their lack of opportunities- a lack reinforced by law and custom- which causes them to live on the outside. So tonight I am declaring an amnesty for all thieves. If not for their poverty and lack of other options, they would not steal your cars, your jewelry, or your money. It is a failure of our system- a great moral failure- to hold them accountable for their past deeds. So I am now offering complete amnesty for any past crimes and wiping the slate clean."
Would the MFM be speaking glowingly of him "protecting" the thieves?
Yet that is just what he has done. Illegal aliens break laws all the time. Setting aside the ones we might normally classify as "criminal"- those who have committed heinous crimes- even the most benign routinely commit fraud and identity theft. They drive illegally and have no insurance- and they don't drive particularly well. The most "deserving" illegal alien broke the law first by coming across our border illegally, and then repeatedly breaks the law any time they work, receive welfare benefits, or drive.
And what of those here legally? What of low-income, low-skilled legal aliens or citizens? It is they who will see most of the negative effects of this. They are the ones who will face additional competition for already low-wage jobs. It is they who will have to face waiting rooms- for Doctors who accept Medicaid, and for Hospital Emergency Rooms- filled to overflowing, even more than now, with the children of illegals. It is these in our society- those most already in need of "protection" who the President just threw to the wolves.
Then we consider legal aliens, especially naturalized citizens. If this is anything other than a strongly-expended middle digit toward them, I can't see what. Legal aliens jumped through numerous hoops- even those on temporary visas. They pay high fees for their residency. They know that one misstep in regards to our laws- even one relatively benign- can get them sent back to their country of origin with no chance of ever returning legally. Those who seek naturalization wait years and pay astronomical fees to do so.
Yet now they look at what this President has just done, and realize their foolishness. Why obey the law, why pay all those fees? They could have just come illegally and been saved all of that.
Yet it is the illegals who are being "protected."
Monday, November 17, 2014
CNN Cries over GOP Wave
So, continuing the leftist post-election trend going back to at least 2000 in Florida, CNN has decided that the only way the GOP won this election was through cheating. How? By violating campaign finance laws, in spirit if not in fact.
Their logic goes something like this: Campaign finance laws forbid specific candidate campaigns from coordinating with super-PACs and other non-candidate organizations. "Someone" was tweeting what looked like poling data. Since every Dick, Jane, and Harry wouldn't have been able to decode the tweet, it MUST be collusion.
Now they don't know who "Someone" was. And by their own admission, they didn't find out before the accounts were deleted. That would seem to be a hole in their case, but maybe that's just me.
Now, there are lots of problems with the whole article, so you should read it for yourself. But I was taken by two things. The first was the almost reflexive "they cheated!" reaction.
This article took some time to research. The twitter accounts they reference were not widely known, so this wasn't something that was "general knowledge." They had to have been looking for it.
Yet it is not Republicans who are known campaign finance law violators, unlike several prominent Democrats, the President among them (remember 2008 and not checking if donations were foreign? Making a campaign speech on foreign soil? Yeah- not legal.)
Projection, as they say, is not just a river in Egypt.
The other thing that I noticed was they spend a whole lot of time saying, basically, "Those wascawy Wepubwicans! They used Twitter effectivwy! That must be iweagle!" And then, for support they go to leftists.
Case in point, this quote:
"It might not be legal. It's a cutting edge practice that, to my knowledge, the Federal Election Commission has never before addressed to explicitly determine its legality or permissibility."
That comes from one Paul S. Ryan, cited as "senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center."
CNN references the Campaign Legal Center as "a nonpartisan organization," but, this being CNN, I figured I'd double-check their math. If you follow that link above, it goes to the CLC's "Election Center." Among their blurbs are "what the Court got wrong in [Citizen's United]," and bragging that their president played "an incredibly important role" as the "'personal lawyer' to comedian Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central's 'The Colbert Report.'"
Does anyone seriously think that a center which sees being the "personal lawyer" for the Colbert Report and opposing Citizen's United is "nonpartisan?" Seriously?
But the best part of that quote might be the idea that the FEC should have to rule on whether something is "explicitly" legal. Umm... that's not how the law works. Something is legal unless it is "explicitly" illegal. Murder? Explicitly illegal. We don't have to ask if any given killing is "explicitly" legal. It is legal (assumed innocent) until it is proven to be illegal.
This is how leftists work. Does anyone seriously think we'd be hearing anything about this if it had been Democrats and they had won an historic majority?
Perhaps the best part is the end of the article, wherein CNN acknowledges that, yes, this is probably legal. I'll leave with that quote (emphasis mine):
Despite the questionable nature of the Twitter communications, experts doubt the FEC will do much to act. Members of the commission have been deadlocked along party lines for years and attorneys for these groups often develop legal arguments before engaging in such practices to avoid acting outside the bounds of the law, Ryan said.
"In many instances, we have very sophisticated political players with really good lawyers who know where the legal lines are and know where to push them to their client's advantage," he said.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Before I get to my response to the fundraising letter you sent me today, please go see the comments of the new House Majority Whip's new Communications Director
Oh, you might also want to go take a look at the emails you are sending.
Now on to the response.
I am not some low-information, uninvolved voter. I assume you listed me as a registered Republican (more on this in a minute) because of a "citizens' congress" event I attended with Representative Joe Barton several years ago (he called me a better Lloyd Doggett than Lloyd Doggett- I'm still not sure if that was a compliment). I maintain a political blog. I have a fair idea of what is going on in my State, the country, and the world.
Further, I consider myself a "Tea Party" Conservative- note the word I did not use, that will be important later. I believe in limited, fiscally sound government. I believe that the Federal Government is supposed to be constrained by the Constitution- that it enumerated specific powers for the Federal Government and any which were not specifically enumerated were reserved to the People or the States. I believe "that Government governs best which governs least."
Since 2008, I have seen nothing that would make me support the Republican National Party, and much that disgusts me about you. People actively opposed to limiting government have leadership positions; those actively attempting to limit government are removed from leadership positions. When you had several chances to stop Obamacare cold, you have continually refused to take them. And don't give me "1/2 of 1/3 of government." The simple expedient of withholding unanimous consent during the "debate" over Obamacare would have ended it- no one was going to sit while 1800 pages were read so that a bunch of old men and women could hear them.
I could expound at length about how you seem intent on remaining disconnected from the American People (the vast majority support legal immigration while opposing illegal immigration or any form of amnesty, for instance, yet you continually seek "comprehensive immigration reform"). I could point out the awkward and pathetic attempts you have made to seem "hip" and "cool." I could point out time after time after time that senior Republicans have called those like me "the fringe."
But I will not.
Had I known that I had been registered as a Republican, I would have asked that registration be removed long ago. Any party of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and John Cornyn is not a party with which I identify. Perhaps you can hit me up again when you have listened to the likes of Mike Lee, Pete Sessions, and Ted Cruz. Maybe I'll be more willing to listen when you grow a spine, or testicles, or both. Until then, no, not one red cent.
More Sincerely than you can possibly Imagine,
The Dedicated Tenther
Friday, July 25, 2014
Now, normally I get these emails and I just ignore them. If I decide I want to give money, I will. I don't give money to the RNC for lots of reasons, but those have been *my* reasons and I've kept them to myself. However, accusing me of "abandoning the Republican Party" is a bridge too far.
You know what Mr. RNC Treasurer Tony Parker? You asked for it, you're getting it.
When I was a kid in the 80s, I believed, with the innocence of youth, that the Republican Party was a conservative party. How could I not? Ronald Reagan was president. My Conservative (yes: Christian) parents loved him. My father (in banking) never bought into the idea that the S&L crash was due to too little government. The Republicans had reduced taxes, and, if they had also increased spending, at least it was spending on conservative things, right?
Then came the 90s. I got a little older. I was still a kid, still innocent, but I was pretty sure that raising taxes wasn't the conservative option, whatever George HW Bush had said. And I'd been taught lying was bad (Read my lips). Both George HW Bush and Bob Dole were certainly better than Bill Clinton- a draft-dodging womanizer (at best)- who never met a government program he didn't like, but I was beginning to see that things weren't so clear as I'd believed when I was (yet) younger.
My first Presidential election was in 2000. I enthusiastically voted for George W Bush. He'd been my governor, I knew I liked how Texas was running, I figured we'd be back to conservatism after 8 years in the Prog/Commie desert. And things started out well. The crash of 2000 happened (that no one remembers), and President Bush responded as he should have- by cutting taxes and putting money back in the hands of the citizenry. If he also gave some of my money to people who already didn't pay taxes... well, the economy was in a slump.
And after September 11th, 2001, I was incredibly glad he was at the helm.
But George Bush was never Conservative. Maybe "conservativist" might be a better term, but really he was always a big government progressive who happened to believe in slightly smaller government than the Democrats. The Patriot Act passed at his insistence. The Department of Homeland Security quickly started stepping on the Constitution. No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D both passed and were signed by President Bush.
For 2001, and the immediate aftermath, I was still young enough to believe that "as long as people we can trust" were in charge, the law giving them the power to trample on the Constitution would not be abused. I have since come to realize the error in that thinking was flawed. For one thing, people we trust will not always be in charge. For another, you should never trust government in the first place.
I've grown wiser since then. It's been nearly 13 years since Muslim Terrorists flew airplanes full of our neighbors, brothers, sisters, parents, and children into three buildings -and attempted another- in the largest single attack on US Soil in history.
And what does the RNC Stand for now?
1- They stand for big government. I have never heard a Republican on the national stage- except for Presidential debates, which don't count (words are cheap) call for an end to the grossly unconstitutional government overreach which exists. Find me the Constitutional Authority for the EPA, DoE (either one), No Child Left Behind, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, or any other big government program. The Constitution is short, I'll wait.
Republicans don't want to shrink government. They don't want it out of our lives as much as possible. They want it under their control.
2- They stand for amnesty. Over and over Republicans have tried to force amnesty (under the Orwellian term "comprehensive immigration reform") down the nation's throat. We don't want it. A nation which cannot or will not control its borders is not a nation.
And what do Republicans stand against?
1- They stand against small government. If you are for big government, you cannot be for small government. QED.
2- They stand against border control and sane immigration policy. See above.
3- Most importantly: They stand against their own constituents. Over and over since 2010, engaged Republican voters at a grass-roots level have shown their displeasure with the current status quo by selecting actual conservative candidates to run against incumbents. Some of those were... ill advised. But some were not. Some were men and women quite capable of winning their elections. How did the RNC respond?
When they engaged in the primary at all, they always did so on the side of the incumbent. I suppose that's fair enough. But what did they do *after* the primary? Well, when the incumbent won, they proceeded to rub Conservatives' noses in the fact that their candidate lost, and then immediately called for "party unity." When the incumbent lost, they gave words of faint praise, and then mostly did nothing. That was bad enough.
But then came the Mississippi run-off between Thad Cochrain and Chris McDaniel. In that race, the Republican National Committee shat upon Conservative Republicans from a great height. When Republican Leadership bought ads smearing Chris McDaniel as a racist homophobe- the very same deceitful attacks Democrats use- they were saying to Conservatives across the nation: "We don't want you. We don't value you. We don't think we need you to win."
To which I say, "Fine. Then you won't have me."
I will vote for Republicans in my Great State of Texas. I will vote for Ted Cruz- one Republican who does seem to get it. I reserve the right- if the Republican Party stops trying to urinate on me and tell me it's precipitation- to vote for whoever is the Republican nominee in 2016.
But the RNC will never see another dime from me. And if the candidates are not as conservative as I am, they will not get my vote. If they're too Progressive, I'll vote Democrat.
No more. You have pushed me too far, and you will push me no further.