Category ArchiveFirst things . . .
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 28 Nov 2013
Note to our readers: our commentary will be light during this Thanksgiving–Hanukkah season. Today we are writing from Nashville, TN.
Breitbart’s Joel Pollak in his “Obama’s Orwellian Thanksgiving” declared today here–
“The idea that politics must be brought into every family discussion and every personal relationship has been a hallmark of Obama’s style since the 2008 campaign, when he told his supporters to confront their neighbors, to get ‘in their face.’”
Senior editor Pollak continued–
“Yet [Orwell's] unique contribution was to show that totalitarianism was not just focused on repressing the individual, but on interfering with the most intimate relationships between people. It is necessary, Orwell explained, to destroy such intimacy in order for Big Brother to rule.
That is the Orwellian world of nanny-state liberals like Obama and Bloomberg–the latter even using children’s placemats to sell his anti-gun ideology. It is worth remembering that Thanksgiving was founded as a celebration of freedom by those who had escaped government repression. They recognized that the bounty of the New World went hand-in-hand with faith and liberty–something our present would-be masters have forgotten.”(Highlighting Forum’s.)
Here’s hoping that your own Thanksgiving dinner — as ours — was traditional and non-Orwellian.
Mark Steyn on Thanksgiving Eve
Hugh Hewitt reports last night from his interview here “Mark Steyn Moves Closer To Senate Announcement???”
“HH: On this Thanksgiving Eve, that of course is Mark Steyn in studio singing a little Jingle Bells in an anticipation of Black Friday shopping. Mark Steyn joins me. Happy Thanksgiving Eve to you, Mark.
MS: Hey, happy Thanksgiving to you, too, and did you know that Jingle Bells was written not as a Christmas song but as a Thanksgiving song? That guy, James L. Pierpont, he had no idea it would become a Christmas favorite. He wrote it to be the big Thanksgiving hit. So it was like Obamacare. It’s like, it had a botched rollout that was going to be fixed within six weeks.
HH: But you’ve not gone back into studio for a new release this year. Is that because the Senate campaign [link added] is taking up all your time?
MS: (laughing) Well, it was felt that the singing career would be damaging to my Senate prospects. I would be in the position, you know, where my minders would have to be explaining after my musical performance that I had mis-sung, and that wasn’t what I meant to sing.”
Obamacare and Black Friday
“MS: And they’ve got some terrific bargains, by the way. If you’re like a healthy 22 year old male, they’ve got a terrific, with no health problems at all, they’ve got a terrific deal this Black Friday only, where you can sign up for coverage at just $4,000 dollars a month. So you might want to get up early to go to Healthcare.gov this Friday, because they’ve got a lot of great deals like that.”
The Iranian Deal
“HH: Well, speaking of fraudulent, let’s turn to the Iranian deal that John Kerry magnificently oversaw, that the Iranians have now denounced as being inappropriately reported by the White House. Could it have been worse, Mark Steyn? Was there any way that you can think of that the deal could have been worse?
MS: No, because I think it, basically, each party had different objectives. The Americans and the P5 plus 1, they wanted to get an agreement. The Iranians want to get a nuclear program. Both parties in that sense are getting what they want. We already knew that Obama is never going to take out the Iranian nuclear program. And in a sense, all this agreement does is confirm it, that there is no obstacle to the Iranians going nuclear.
HH: And so I want to finish by pointing out, do you think this accelerates the obvious necessity of Israeli action?
MS: Well, I think what’s fascinating is that he’s turned, the one consequence of this is that the Israelis and the Saudi Arabians are now the bestest buddies on the planet. I mean, there are unlikely couples, and there are unlikelier couples. But King Abdullah and Netanyahu are basically arm in arm on this. The Saudis are phoning the Israelis every night.”
“Yeah, yeah, instead of getting trampled to death at Wal-Mart this Friday, you should come along to my Senate announcement and get trampled to death there.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 20 Nov 2013
YouTube:FDR’s 1933″New Deal”With The USSR:Shutting Our Eyes To Soviet Influence And Prefiguring Today’s Blindness To The MB
Last Friday, the Center for Security Policy declared here–
“Washington, DC — Eighty years ago this Saturday [November 16], President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed for the first time to recognize the Communist regime of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. He did so on the basis of formal undertakings by then-Soviet Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov that the Kremlin would not engage in subversive actions in America.
The rest, as they say, is history. And a sordid and still unfolding history it is.
‘The 16th of November 1933 is a day that truly should live in infamy. This symposium will explore its significance both in terms of much of the most sordid history of the 20th Century — and as the predicate for similar forces at work in the 21st.’
The Center for Security Policy is pleased to convene a symposium to review that history — both that of the immediate post-normalization period, of World War II, of the Cold War and of today — from noon-2:00 p.m. at the headquarters of Judicial Watch in Washington, D.C.” (Highlighting Forum’s)
Upon reflection, we decided also to do a regular post on Blue Ridge Forum, which would reach all of our readers.
Yes, this YouTube is one hour and fifty-three minutes.
But it recounts the history of the damage the U.S. sustained since 1933 from serious Soviet influence — as distinguished from “spying” — at the highest levels of our government. It addresses the equally grave dangers we now face from the Muslim Brotherhood(MB) lodged in the current administration.
As long-time intelligence expert Clare Lopez explained – -
“Whereas President Bush and most of his administration insiders remained largely unaware that they had been manipulated by the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama and his close advisors proactively chose to reach out to the Brotherhood, its affiliates, and supporters for advice, training, and even administration appointments.”
A common theme in this story is the hostility of the chattering classes to any public exposure of both Soviet influence then (and perhaps still), and the Bipartisan Establishment’s resistance to public discussion of Islamist influence today.
Click here to get started with the YouTube: one can hear the entire YouTube in one sitting, or perhaps break it into several sessions by topic and expert.
The YouTube is about our failures (and some successes) against the influence at the highest level of our government from a dangerous Soviet foe, and what lessons we must draw to be successful against the more open — but still widely unacknowledged — many-pointed, broad influence of today’s Muslim Brotherhood throughout the security and foreign-policy agencies of the Federal government.
Stephen Coughlin outlined the sources of facts about the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence agenda and how Federal intelligence agencies have been ordered to turn a blind eye to them. Major Nidal Hasan, for example, announced in military meetings his adherence to the doctrine laid out in MB documents, yet no one would connect the dots to prevent this Fort Hood massacre because discussion of concepts like “jihad” had been officially banned.
“I’ll tell you why this is important,” Coughlin remarked. “We could predict what was going to happen by just following their doctrine — it’s completely predictable, because they are just what they purport to be.”
The story presented in this hour-and-fifty-three-minute YouTube touches all of us — and our children and grandchildren.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 10 Nov 2013
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UPDATE NOVEMBER 12! Mark Steyn “War and Remembrance” here — from the Steyn website:“For Remembrance Day and Veterans Day, we present this piece from the first November 11th after September 11th. . . .”
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Readers may also wish to re-visit our November 12, 2011 post–
“What we conservatives can do ourselves and do now is teach ourselves, our families, our children, about the victories, hardships, misadventures, and traditions of our fighting men and women since the colonial wars in New England and the beginnings of the Republic.
We can talk with our friends and colleagues about about the complexities of the Barbary Wars (with their implications for today) and the “Shores of Tripoli.”
We can try to understand how Abraham Lincoln managed his generals – at least that Republican didn’t promise to ‘talk to his generals’ before he could figure out his war aims.
All this military history and much more should be part of our national conversation –- not topics relegated to the archives of academics and locked away from school children.”
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 18 Oct 2013
These last weeks have been a turning point for American conservatives. Let’s see why.
Again, the Republican Establishment failed signally to preserve the Constitution and our traditional freedoms by limiting Obamacare.
But that is nothing new since the Tea Party movement brought the current House GOP leadership to power in January 2011.
Since January 2011, how many Obama policies of consequence has that cabal stopped by defunding?
And Mr. Boehner’s circle persists in bringing to the floor omnibus appropriations bill only specialists and lobbyists can read.
Angelo Codevilla explains –
“Until circa 1990, Americans had taken seriously the relationship between appropriations and democracy. House and Senate used to divide the Executive departments’ requests for funds and programs into multiple categories and sub-categories. Then many committees and subcommittees held hearings on each item, followed by ‘mark-up’ sessions in which each would be modified and voted on. Thereafter, the full House and Senate would debate, amend, approve or disapprove them, one by one. This was ‘regular order’ – more or less as described in civics books.
This changed at first gradually in the 1980s, when Democrats (and Republicans) who were resisting the Reagan Administration’s efforts to trim government figured out that individual appropriations bills delayed until the end of the fiscal year could be rolled together into “omnibus” bills. These could be advertised as merely ‘continuing’ the current year’s programs and spending levels. In reality, these all-in-one bills 1) protected current programs from scrutiny, amendment, or repeal 2) were stuffed with new favors, programs, provisions and priorities that could not have survived an open process. Since 1989, the Congress has followed mostly ‘regular order’ only twice: in 1995 and 1997. Not since 2000 have the people’s representatives voted and taken responsibility for each of the government’s activities. In this century, the US government has been funded exclusively by single, omnibus ‘Continuing Resolutions’ (CRs).” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
(We need appropriations reform, but to explore that objective further is best left for another time. Meanwhile, readers will find this Liberty Law Blog post a most valuable resource.)
Behind the scenes, the Beltway GOP including House and Senate GOP leaders and their pilot-fish consultant class and the Republican National Committee have all done their share of badmouthing conservatives — real ones — not pretend conservatives, like Karl Rove’s front groups.
That is nothing new either.
But what is new is the open declaration of hostilities toward the grass roots from big government, liberty-indifferent Republicans and their statist enablers.
Yesterday Jia Lynn Yang and Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post crowed, “Business groups stand by Boehner, plot against tea party” here –
“Rather than revisit their strategy of supporting Republicans after this week’s near-disaster, influential organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are standing behind Boehner. More important, Boehner’s friends in the business community are getting ready to take sides in a few Republican primary races against tea party candidates in Michigan, Idaho and Alabama who could cause the House speaker more trouble.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Today the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty declares here –
“But this time, the question is: What will it take to save the Republicans from the self-destructive impulses of the tea party movement? That the government shutdown was a political disaster for the party that engineered it is widely acknowledged, except by the most ardent tea partyers.”
NewsBusters’ Tim Graham deconstructs the Tumulty piece here –
“The alliance between the ‘agreeable’ GOP and the media is getting more transparent. . . . Guess who will be very willing to ‘get damaging information in circulation’ about the Tea Party before they can win primary elections? Reporters like Karen Tumulty. They’re even more willing to put out damaging information after the primary is over. (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Snarling or mocking voices like those of policy-erratic John McCain and of the many-faced (wilfully-big-government-blind and open-borders, to name two of his faces) Grover Norquist openly attack senator Ted Cruz by name.
A raft of soi-disant conservative pundits, likely seeking advancement through the patronage of the Beltway Right, echo these attacks.
But the good news? A Maryland Tea Party friend notes that if the conservative base were powerless instead of resonating increasingly outside of the Washington. D. C. area, this kind of open GOP Establishment pushback would be unthinkable. The Establishment’s emergence from their big-government closet is a measure of their fear.
As Angelo Codevilla, a gifted teacher, points out in two short videos here and here, the GOP Establishment controls the Party’s institutions — but the Party’s energy, ideas, (and numbers) come from the base.
Third Parties & GOP Primaries
There are many compelling arguments against forming a third party.
And RedState chief Erick Erickson reminds us of the good work underway for the 2014 Congressional primaries –
“Never before have the people been less dependent on a party apparatus to play in primaries. Conservatives now have groups like Heritage Action, Senate Conservatives Fund, Madison Project, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, For America, and others to fund and rely on.”
But will this commendable effort be enough?
An extremely-well-bankrolled undertaking by Karl Rove and his confederates representing the Bush Dynasty is now making open war on GOP conservatives.
Whatever our antipathy to the Rovians, we cannot blind ourselves to their power and resources.
And these “agreeable Republicans” have natural allies in the Legacy Media and perhaps even on Fox.
Should the Rovians succeed in getting Big Amnesty enacted soon – and that is certainly a central and well-financed goal of theirs – a GOP schism in the House would certainly ensue.
And that would be the least of the consequences for America workers and our civic culture.
What Does the GOP Establishment Want?
The GOP Establishment would rather have a modest serving from the Obama Platter than fight for serious conservative goals that undercut the president’s “transformation’ of America.”
Ted Cruz’ long talk to the United States Senate was a mortal threat to the rice bowls of many in the Beltway GOP for Cruz’ path could well curtail the GOP culture of crony capitalism.
Readers might reflect on the wider implications of John Batchelor’s 2009 post here in the Daily Beast “How Obama Can Buy Off Mitch McConnell.”
A National Conservative Pow-Wow?
One seasoned conservative blogger told us that we need a national pow-wow of trusted conservative leaders now to develop a road map.
She is right.
Widely trusted and smart figures — like Ted Cruz, like Mark Levin with a detailed plan for his “Liberty Amendments,” like Sara Palin, like Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots, and some other key conservative advocates — need to come together to sketch out a conservative road map.
Perhaps on a state-by-state or region-by-region level, we ourselves need to put together parallel plans especially if we find ourselves, in fact, largely driven from the Party’s institutions and if our conservative primary challenges are only modestly successful.
And we need to keep on organizing visibly to keep fighting credibly in the House: against Giant Amnesty and against Obamacare.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 14 Oct 2013
Every conservative and independent voter should be asking their House GOP member “do you speak for us” – -whether we are citizens on Main Street America or in Blue Collar America.
We already know that Beltway GOP voices have been speaking for Big Business (Crony Capitalism and Amnesty), Big Education (Common Core), and of course Very Big Donors.
But the Beltway GOP and Congressional GOP leaders want to change the subject — they are into “smart deals”, not freedom vs. slavery.
In the House, Mr. Boehner and his circle sound very uncertain trumpets in any fight against Obamacare’s wicked transformation of America into a deeply statist society.
Too many members of the House Republican Conference apparently believe they should not be asked to risk their political careers in — what GOP nabobs and tame “conservative” pundits keep trying to convince them is — the dubious battle of defanging Obamacare. Of course, the members themselves are protected by the special Obamacare deal for senators and representatives and their staffs which the Heritage Foundation describes here.
This sense of GOP incumbent entitlement to a well compensated, largely-risk-free seat in the Congress is an outrage to most voters who already suffer not only from Obamacare, but from prosperity-killing EPA regulations which the GOP-controlled House shrinks from defunding.
And remember, the House GOP leadership is eager to put this ‘slimdown’ behind them and move right on to passing amnesty in behalf of big business seeking cheap labor, a severe blow to Blue Collar America.
John O’Sullivan explains – -
“This struggle pits a political coalition of the Republican and Democrat establishments versus blue-collar workers in both parties and of all ethnicities.”
The Disciplined Left v. A Soft, Self-Serving Beltway GOP
America’s Hard Left pushed Obamacare through in 2010 even knowing that the consequences might be losing control of the House.
Andrew McCarthy in NRO got it all right on March 4, 2010 here – -
“[T]he statists coldly calculate that these losses [even heavy election setbacks] are a price well worth paying in order to impose a transformative takeover of the economy. It is a perfectly rational calculation for two reasons. First, with a significantly bigger and more powerful government bureaucracy, there will be many avenues for leadership to reward Democrats who lose their seats after casting the unpopular votes necessary to enact the Left’s program. . . . Second, and more important, Democrats know the electoral setbacks will only be temporary. They are banking on the assurance that Republicans merely want to win elections and have no intention of rolling back Obamacare, much less of dismantling Leviathan. For my money (while I still have some), that’s an eminently sound bet.”(Highlighting Forum’s.)
We have written about how our freedom and our way of life are jeopardized by the wide reach of Obamacare.
The pain Obamacare is inflicting — or will inflict — on the American people is well documented: job losses; the prospect of citizens having to line up for access to quality medical care; increased tax and insurance-premium burdens; ‘rationing’ by death panels disguised with bureaucratic names like IPAB; the consequences of the invasion of their medical privacy; and, most important, the loss of basic freedoms in all matters relating to health care.
Facing The Next Steps?
Faithful readers will recall our February 21, 2013 post A New Party? How GOP Leaders ‘Orphan’ Conservative Voters about Angelo Codevilla’s article in Forbes — “As Country Club Republicans Link Up With The Democratic Ruling Class, Millions Of Voters Are Orphaned.” A quick review would shed some light on our present discontents:
Either we must convince our House GOP members to become soldiers of liberty, not merely soft deal-makers– or we must face up to a divorce in the GOP between those politicians who speak for the country or the yeoman party on the one hand, and on the other hand those who identify with ruling-class America and may even dream of a comfortable role in a New Feudalism.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 24 Sep 2013
Conservative member of Parliament to Neville Chamberlain invoking Oliver Cromwell’s words: “You have sat here too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go !”—Leo Amery, May 7, 1940
As the heroic effort plays out of senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee (and their often-belittled allies in the House of Representatives) to defund Obamacare, conservatives must come face to face with the flawed (if not intimidated, or worse) official GOP leadership in the Congress.
From the time the House of Representatives came under Republican control in January of 2011, its leadership has contrived – within a smokescreen of “conservative” rhetoric — not to defund any significant Obama enterprise.
As for the Senate GOP Leadership?
Daniel Horowitz relates the Senate’s failure succinctly here–
“When it came time to fight the amnesty bill, McConnell joined the battle after we already lost. In the case of the gun control bill and the Syria resolution, he joined the fight after conservatives already won it from the outside. In the case of the debt ceiling in 2011, he wanted to allow Obama to unilaterally raise the debt limit as long as he retained the right for a non-binding vote against it. This is not leadership. This is cowardice.”
Why Can’t We Defund Obama’s “Signature Achievements”?
Apart from Obamacare, there are many other Obama “signature achievements” — ranging from job-killing and industry-destroying EPA regulations; to a military budget in tatters; to unleashing the administrative branch on our property, our culture, our Judaeo-Christian heritage, and our schools; to failing faithfully to execute the immigration laws (and preventing states from doing so); to advancing the Muslim Brotherhood within our government and abroad. And, shamefully, they have allowed the continued expenditure of Federal funds for programs supporting abortions.
We (and many others) have written about these lamentable events, repeatedly. Click here and scroll down for a list of Obama’s ongoing “signature achievements” that merit strong public opposition through hearings and investigations, as well as — where appropriate — defunding.
But What Is Speaker John Boehner’s “Signature Achievement?”
House Speaker Boehner and his circle have moved the Beltway GOP to trumpet loudly that nothing can be done to rectify these grave Obama “transformational” changes, at least not until some future time when the GOP has 60 solid votes in the U.S. Senate (the last time the GOP held the equivalent of 60 seats was 1921), or, even better, when the GOP controls the presidency. And the Boehner Circle moved many in the big conservative media to echo this drumbeat of acquiescence — either because these pundits were simply misguided and ill-informed, or perhaps because a few were responsive to contrary pressures or inducements.
Angelo Codevilla declared here in “The Obama-Boehner Project”–
“But John Boehner and his chosen band have thwarted the majority of Republican congressmen’s desire to use the constitutional power they have to refuse to appropriate money for Obamacare. In this, Boehner &co. have worked in bipartisan coordination with the ruling class, including the media, including Fox News.”
The Imminent Danger from the Current House GOP Leadership
On Monday, the Daily Caller’s Neil Munro explained here in his “Obama hides aid for criminals in immigration bill” what the Other Team is expecting in moving amnesty to enactment, citing White House aide Esther Olavarria–
“Olavarria also suggested that the GOP leadership in the House, led by House Speaker John Boehner, may help pass an bill to increase immigration, despite opposition from the base and the possibility that immigrants will eventually vote for Democratic politicians.
‘The House is a very difficult place.… The [leadership is] not sure how they’re going to get to immigration reform,’ she said when asked by The Daily Caller if the GOP leadership wants to pass an immigration rewrite.
‘The speaker has difficulties with lots of things,’ she said.
Last week, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican chairman of the House’s judiciary committee, revived progressives’ hopes that the GOP leadership is quietly looking for a way to pass an immigration bill. ‘We have to find the appropriate legal status for people who are not lawfully here,’ Goodlatte told an audience of Hispanic politicians and activists attending an event planned by the House Republican Conference.
If any bill is passed by the House, Boehner will be able to schedule a joint bill-writing conference with Democratic Senators. In turn, Boehner will be able to bring that joint bill to the House floor, where it would be approved by nearly all Democratic legislators and become law despite overwhelming disapproval from GOP legislators.
‘If Speaker Boehner were to bring the [Senate] bill to the floor … we would have the votes to pass it, but he has not found a way yet do this,’ said Olavarria, who played the leading role in drafted a 2007 immigration-boosting bill for Sen. Ted Kennedy.
‘So it is important that we continue to work together … to bring it to the floor,’ she said.” (Highlighting Forum’s)
As the Daily Caller’s Munro reports –
“The Senate bill was passed in July. If approved by the House, it could triple legal immigration to 33 million over the next 10 years, and double the resident population of non-agricultural guest-workers to 2 million, according to matching estimates from rival groups seeking to increase or reduce immigration. The bill would effectively approve the arrival of one new immigrant for every two Americans that turn 18.” (Highlighting Forum’s)
So What Is To Be Done?
In the same May 7, 1940 Norway-Neville Chamberlain debate we cited earlier, British naval hero and member of parliament Sir Roger Keyes told the House–
“One hundred and forty years ago, Nelson said, ‘I am of the opinion that the boldest measures are the safest,’ and that still holds good to-day.”
The question then simply is whether conservatives in and out of the Congress want to risk waiting to see what Mr. Boehner and his circle do on Giant Amnesty, or whether conservatives should pull together for his replacement now — before he and his team do irreversible damage.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 14 Aug 2013
“Track down the members of Congress. Have your voice heard. Tell them to oppose the Gang of 8 Immigration Bill and tell them to defund Obamacare. Both messages are key. Get out there and let them know. If you don’t go tell your congressman, he’s going to presume you are okay with funding Obamacare and okay with passing the Gang of 8 plan. So this is on you. Get out there and let your voice be heard.”—RedState chief Erick Erickson (Highlighting Forum’s.)
The House of Representatives is slated to reconvene on Monday, September 9.
What the House GOP leadership has planned for this fall will be (yet once again) disheartening for conservatives unless they can make their voices heard right now throughout the districts of Republican members.
On defunding Obamacare, Robert Costa (NRO) reports (click here)–
“…on August 1, the ‘Big Four,’ as the group of four top-ranking House Republicans is known, met to go over the events of the previous day and the state of play, pre-recess. Boehner reflected on the relative peace of the conference meeting, and Cantor relayed stories from his lunch. Whip Kevin McCarthy of California and conference chair Cathy McMorris-Rodgers of Washington relayed what they were hearing from members. The consensus from the Big Four was that they’d keep moving ahead with their soft push to avoid a shutdown. They’ll aim to nudge the GOP caucus in this direction, and hope members will see it their way once the House reconvenes.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Too many GOP House members will trumpet their opposition to Obamacare but withdraw behind a smokescreen of words when challenged on defunding that scheme not only so destructive to the practice of medicine but to the civic health of our polity.
Readers may wish to get up to speed on the legislative details as they keep pressing GOP members about defunding.
- Heritage Action’s Russ Vought helpfully provides a plain-language key in his “Defunding Obamacare: Questions & Answers, Excuses & Responses” (click here). “Defunding Obamacare means attaching a legislative rider to a ‘must pass’ bill (debt limit, annual spending bill, etc.) that 1) prohibits any funds from being spent on any activities to implement or enforce Obamacare; 2) rescinds any unspent balances that have already been appropriated for implementation; and 3) turns off the exchange subsidy and new Medicaid spending that are on auto-pilot.”
- Freedom Works’ Dean Clancy presents “The Facts: A Government Shutdown Won’t Hurt the Military or Vets” (click here.)
Just last Saturday Virginia and Maryland conservatives brought a no-amnesty, defund-Obamacare message to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s district: Action Images: VA-MD Tea Partiers Take Message to Eric Cantor
But this must just be the first of such demonstrations in Mr. Cantor’s district between now and September 9. And Tea Partiers across the region must take the same anti-amnesty, no-immigration-bill-conference message to Representative Bob Goodlatte’s district in Virginia.
Mr. Goodlatte (click on foregoing link for next town meeting) is chairman of the House Judiciary panel which has jurisdiction over immigration measures.
Ed Hunter and the other outspoken participants at the Representative Andy Harris Town Hall on August 6 (click here) made one very significant contribution in addition to declaring their disappointment with the GOP leadership: by their example, they gave “permission” to mainstreet, polite Republican conservatives to confront their GOP members.
Our readers will understand the frustration of talking with so many Republican voters who absolutely agree with them on the issues then freeze when it comes to holding their member to account by initiating a face-to-face or telephone exchange.
What’s Going On With The House GOP Leadership?
Click here to find out the latest from Mark Levin yesterday (via TheRight Scoop).
Some excerpts –
“This is my great fear. My great fear is that guys like Boehner, and quite frankly Paul Ryan, and Eric Cantor and his goofball McCarthy – they don’t get it at all. Midterm elections in particular are base elections, they are turnout elections. And they’re doing everything they can to turn us off. . . . And what are the Republicans doing about [Obama constitutional transgressions]? Now the typical Republican response would be ‘well what do you want us to do about it?’ Here’s what I want you to do. You fools should have been, time and time again, every time he has violated the Constitution, you should have made an issue about it. You should have punished him in some way; denied him some appointee; obstructed some piece of legislation. Draw attention to this lawlessness so the American people after a year, or two, or three of you consistently explaining it and hammering away at it would, in fact, be aware of what you’re trying to do and say! But instead, what do we get? What do we get? We get John McCain attacking Ted Cruz. What do we get? Chris Christie attacking Rand Paul. What do we get? Karl Rove attacking Mike Lee. The same dug-in entrenched losers who may well cost us the House of Representatives in the next election.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Even the often-House-GOP-Leadership-tolerant National Review on Line editors said today (click here)–
“Incremental fixes to the immigration system make sense on the merits, and House Republicans understandably want to show that they favor their own set of reforms rather than oppose anything and everything. But incremental bills are destructive if their ultimate purpose is to get to a conference committee that would bless a version of the Gang of Eight bill. House leadership aides pooh-pooh the possibility of a conference committee. Well, then, there is a simple way to allay our fears and those of other opponents of the Gang of Eight — for Speaker Boehner to make a blood-oath commitment to oppose any conference committee.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Is your GOP member more afraid of Speaker John Boehner and his “leadership” team than of your fellow conservatives?
Many GOP members will stay Boehner-firsters if conservative voters don’t speak out now and forcefully and face-to-face – or by telephone.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 01 Aug 2013
Matt Cover of CNSNews reported Nancy Pelosi’s attitude toward the U.S. Constitution in 2009: “When Asked Where the Constitution Authorizes Congress to Order Americans To Buy Health Insurance, Pelosi Says: ‘Are You Serious?’”
Today NRO’s Mark Krikorian declares in his “Judge: Obama’s DREAM Act Amnesty Is Illegal, but ICE Agents Can’t Sue” (click here) –
“Obama’s usurpation of congressional authority is something Congress has the power to rectify — you know, checks and balances, if they still teach that stuff in school. But they let the illegal DACA amnesty go unchallenged when it was announced last summer because the surrender caucus — a.k.a. the GOP leadership — was afraid that to do so would make them look mean. And then that same brain trust is outraged when the president illegally delays the employer mandate for political reasons. What did they think he was going to do? If even congressional Republicans let him get away with rule by decree on immigration, he’ll then extend it to other areas.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Immigration expert Krikorian wonders whether — or perhaps concludes that–
“We might as well transfer management of the Capitol building to the Smithsonian, so they can properly outfit it for its true function: a museum.”
“The name of the senate was mentioned with honour till the last period of the empire; the vanity of its members was still flattered with honorary distinctions; but the assembly, which had so long been the source, and so long the instrument, of power, was respectfully suffered to sink into oblivion.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Conservatives might well ask two questions at this point–
- Will Speaker John Boehner – leader of the House GOP which party has long stood for preserving and protecting our Republic — be remembered as the man who conclusively ceded the powers of the House of Representatives to an American Caesar?
(One could almost sense Mr. Bohner’s eagerness last year for a president Mitt Romney to tell the House what it must do; in the event, the Speaker had to settle for a president Barack Obama in his second term: “Obamacare is the law of the land.”)
- Will the current rank and file of the GOP go down in history as those responsible for allowing John Boehner and his circle to abandon our Republic?
This August recess of the Congress will likely tell the tale. For this month we will see how effective are Tea Partiers and the conservative base in bringing many GOP members to a much stronger mind when they return to their districts.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 30 Jul 2013
“[Y]ou can’t be in favor of assertive American foreign policy overseas and increasing Europeanization domestically; likewise, you can’t take a reductively libertarian view while the rest of the planet goes to pieces. Someone in the GOP needs to do what Ronald Reagan did so brilliantly a quarter-century ago — reconcile the big challenges abroad with a small-government philosophy at home.” Mark Steyn
“Being right on the adequacy of the NSA programs’ structural safeguards, and being right on the law, will count for nothing if Americans are not convinced – quickly – that there is a real, material, comprehensible connection between the massive data collection and the prevention of terrorist attacks.” Andrew McCarthy (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)
We have been waiting for Andrew McCarthy’s take on the Amash amendment controversy (click here for a quick Heritage view by Paul Rosenzweig) because former Federal prosecutor McCarthy is both (1) a strong (and learned) constitutionalist and (2) a vigorous proponent of national security.
Author McCarthy does not disappoint us today with his post (PJMedia) The WHY Question — Why the National-Security Right Is Gradually Losing the NSA Debate where he makes these salient points –
- “An amendment proposed by libertarian Congressman Justin Amash (R., MI) that would effectively have killed the NSA surveillance programs was just barely defeated last week. In the battle’s wake, a consensus seems to be growing that conservatives must have an intramural debate over national security. This is healthy, or at least it could be if we could stick to facts, law and policy. The discussion will not be advanced by trading barbs that libertarianism is a ‘dangerous thought’; that those justifiably worried about an abusive surveillance state are ‘isolationists’ whose concerns are sheer ‘madness’; or that the national-security right has gone ‘statist.’”
- “A better model for the debate was featured on the Blaze Monday morning: On his radio program, NSA naysayer Glenn Beck invited Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R., MN), a staunch NSA defender, for a civil but spirited discussion about the program. Glenn and Michele are friends – of each other and, for what it’s worth, of mine.”
- “I am a proponent of the NSA programs, and a member of the national-security right who has long feared that our camp was frittering away its influence – by associating with the ‘Islamic democracy’ experiment and by uncritically supporting some excessive investigative measures that stoked controversy while not improving security. Thus, it will come as no surprise that I believe Congresswoman Bachmann has the better of the argument. As Glenn conceded, Michele sits on the House Intelligence Committee; she is in a better position than are we who don’t know both what the government is up to and what threats it is responding to. Still, Glenn illustrated weaknesses in the national security right’s case. If they are not shored up in a hurry, Amash & Co. will not be denied next time around.”
- “Another good and truly alarming comparison is the Federal Data Hub, revealingly reported on by John Fund at National Review. Unlike the NSA program, whose extensive safeguards are designed to make data more difficult for the government to peruse, the FDH is an Obamacare enterprise in which reams of personal information about Americans, far more extensive than communications data, is amassed for the precise purpose of making it easy for government bureaucrats to access under the guise of improving health care. And, putting aside that national security is the ultimate federal responsibility while health care is something the federal government should have no part in, the FDH data will be handled not by technically proficient intelligence professionals, as in the NSA program, but by ‘patient navigators’ who will require neither high school diplomas nor criminal background checks.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)
We are troubled about yet another dog that apparently didn’t bark very loudly (if at all) during the controversy over the Amash amendment. As McCarthy reported last year, the FBI has purged training (and presumably other) materials offensive to Islamists. Tea Partiers reasonably ask why the NSA needs all these surveillance powers when even with warning from the Russians the FBI couldn’t prevent the Boston atrocity. This purge (click here for our 2011 post) is certainly one answer. A satiric video (click here) illustrates that lamentable point. We wonder why the House GOP leadership didn’t put the same effort into spotlighting and fighting the FBI documents purge — from its beginning — as they did into defeating the Amash amendment.
Conservatives should consider all of McCarthy’s NSA post (click here) and weigh the points made both by Bachmann and by Beck to widen their understanding of the delicate balance between maintaining our traditional freedoms and protecting the United States — against the Muslim Brotherhood at home and abroad, and against other serious adversaries like Iran, Putin’s Russia, China’s PLA, North Korea, and their extenders in Latin America.
As with everything else from “common core,” to “smart growth,” to Giant Amnesty, to Obamacare, we need to keep up our homework — right now — on this delicate balance between liberty and defense to get our “facts, law, and policy” right.
Otherwise how can we keep our friends in the Congress and in state and local government on the right track?
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 25 Jul 2013
RedState chief Erick Erickson explains “The Ephialtes Establishment in the Republican Party” – “Leonidas and three hundred Spartans held the pass at Thermopylae against overwhelming Persian odds until Ephialtes betrayed them and led the Persians on a path around. If the Republican Establishment were in Greece, they’d stand with Ephialtes. So desperate are they to regain power, the Republican Establishment will be led by those who promised President Romney and spent hundreds of millions of dollars getting the status quo.” Erickson warns “I can see how the GOP loses in November of 2014. The establishment and base have moved so far apart the base is about ready to go third party or sit at home. If the GOP does not make a stand against Obamacare, they will not see the energy they need to effectively compete in 2014.” Read it all here.
“Boehner Non-Committal on Defunding Obamacare Mandate Through Must-Pass CR Bill” CNSNews’ Elizabeth Harrington & Curtis Houck report.“House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday said Republicans will do ‘everything we can’ so Americans are not put through the ‘horrific experience’ of Obamacare but would not say if that includes blocking its funding in the continuing resolution, the surest way to halt the individual mandate and other aspects of the law slated for implementation in 2014.‘No decision has been made about how we’re going to deal with the CR next month, in September,’ Boehner said when CNSNews.com asked if he agreed with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) that funding for the individual mandate be halted in the continuing resolution, or CR, in the fall. The CR is a catch-all funding mechanism that has been used frequently over the last few years because Congress has not passed, nor the president signed, a fiscal year budget. The CR, under negotiation now, would appropriate funds to keep the government operating past Sept. 30, the end of fiscal year 2013.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)
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Why We Must Fix Our House and Senate GOP Leadership
It would be hard enough to try to roll back — or even keep at bay — the Obama Revolutionaries even in the best of circumstances.
But with today’s GOP Congressional leaders — who themselves don’t put at the top of their list downsizing domestic government, expanding the circle of liberty, and rebuilding a serious defense of our homeland and our seaways — the task is vastly more difficult.
These GOP leaders have no wider landscape than Beltway deal-making. They cannot conceive of any higher purpose for their handsomely compensated time in the Congress.
What is worse, their messengers belittle those who try to advance conservative principles in government (click here).
Consequently these GOP leaders are wholly unable to map for Americans a competing path away from Obama’s dangerous “transformational” march.
And a vigorously advanced wicked plan generally beats no plan at all.
Beltway GOP “Capitulation”
These GOP Congressional leaders are always on the defensive — and continually losing ground to the Other Team.
Daniel Horowitz at the Madison Project sums up the case against Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell here. Rick Manning looks at (TheHill) the recent damage wrought to the Senate by senator John McCain and “his merry band of quislings.”
Mark Levin “asks what if Boehner gave a Lincolnesque speech on Obamacare like this” (click here).
Speaker Boehner’s obsession to see the House pass some flavor of amnesty is clear to everyone paying attention.
And in case anyone has overlooked it, Mark Steyn points to yet another consequence of Giant Amnesty –
“But the cultural effect from admitting through amnesty and the consequent chain migration tens of millions of unskilled immigrants from a narrow demographic source is less speculative: It will be lasting, profound, and transformative. Culture trumps economics.”
What is less well known is the Speaker’s unwillingness to appoint an effective investigative panel to get to the bottom of the Benghazi atrocity. Mark Levin has some insight on this — listen here.
Next year’s primaries could see a stronger GOP lineup for the U.S. Senate.
But even now the GOP majority in the House of Representatives has a powerful trump card — a preeminent role in spending taxpayer money. Andrew McCarthy explains this in some detail (click here, and scroll down).
But it is not just Obamacare which must be defunded.
There are other collectivist or anti-values Obama initiatives that must be denied taxpayer money –
- major job-killing EPA regulations;
- community organizers using the Federal Data Hub to sign people up for Obamacare;
- HUD and DOT programs enabling “smart growth;”
- Federal programs supporting abortion;
- formulating and enforcing university and college speech codes;
and this list is by no means complete.
Since John Boehner became Speaker in January 2011, he has been zealous in pursuing one objective: avoiding confrontation with the Obama Administration over defunding their programs and activities.
Conservatives in Blue States like Maryland can help fix the House GOP leadership by working closely with conservative and Tea Party groups in other states.
Conservatives in states with majority GOP House delegations like Virginia can play a crucial role in improving the House GOP leadership right away.
Facing down this Administration — deeply committed to the fundamental transformation of America — will require a persuasive counter-narrative based on principle, to succeed.
The current House GOP leaders with their “listening” and “Become America” tours, their gimmicks, and their profound crony capitalism are simply not capable of fashioning — or credibly uttering — such a crucial counter-narrative appealing to ordinary Americans.
We need a House GOP leadership who can appeal to the America beyond the Beltway — soon.