Friday, April 24, 2015

The Opposition-For-Opposition-Sake Crowd Vs. Loretta Lynch

     Yesterday the United States Senate voted 56 to 43 to confirm President Obama's nominee to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. Loretta Lynch's nomination was proffered by the president 163 days ago and was delayed by senate Republicans over passage of a human trafficking bill, which passed the senate earlier this week. The last yeah in favor of Ms. Lynch's confirmation was still lingering in the air above the senate like the last remnants of a campfire when the opposition-for-opposition-sake crowd took to lambasting the ten Republican senators who voted for her.
     No one argued the imminent qualifications of Loretta Lynch as they applied to the job for which she was nominated. The opposition was based on ideology, namely her refusal to denounce President Obama's executive order on immigration signed last November. These same persons on the Right vociferously decried Democrats opposing George W. Bush's nominees based on ideology, but here they were engaging in the same behavior. It is inconsistent at best and hypocritical at worse.
     Ms. Lynch was correct in not responding to calls for her to comment on a signed executive order by the sitting president that nominated her. Especially when that executive order is under legal challenge by a federal judge's injunction. The disposition of signed executive orders with respect to their constitutionality and legality is not for the Attorney General to decide, that is within the purview of the Supreme Court of the United States, for a subsequent executive order to reverse, or for congress to override in legislation which then must be signed by the president.
     Opposition to Ms. Lynch's confirmation after the attainment of the human trafficking bill would have been senseless. Do the opposition-for-opposition-sake crowd really think that Barack Obama would have put forth a conservative candidate had Loretta Lynch not been confirmed? No, he would have put forth an even more Left wing choice, which after having opposed Ms. Lynch, the Republicans would have had to confirm or run the risk of looking like they are part of the opposition-for-opposition-sake crowd. Nominating candidates to executive branch positions is an authority given to the president by the constitution, and no president is under any obligation to please the opposition party with his choices.
     I understand the frustration of some on the Right with the lack luster and limp-wristed performance of congressional Republicans during the Obama administration. I too have pulled out the precious remaining shocks of hair from my balding head over the capitulation of those who are suppose to be representing me, and more importantly the constitution. But the Loretta Lynch confirmation for Attorney General with only 20 months left in the Obama presidency is not one of those times. In the final analysis, considering her qualifications and the passage of human trafficking bill, this nomination was just not one of those to make a stand on principle. I am not even sure that those who opposed her know the principle upon which their opposition rested. 


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Founders' Vision, Not One Of Purism

     I am a devotee to the constitution, and to the republic which James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, et al established almost 240 years ago. Additionally I am of the belief that the United States in the year of our Lord 2015 has drifted far from the currents of that republican form of government our Founders envisioned for this nation. But I am also a pragmatist, and as such I realize that our society has become pluralistic. And those who believe as I do no longer constitute a majority of the population, but perhaps only twenty percent.
     As an observer of this culture in which we live I have resolved that we are a society of fifths. One fifth believe as I do, in the original republican government of the Founders. Another fifth believes in some form of fiscally conservative, but socially progressive form of government. A third fifth has no opinion on government. The fourth fifth of the population believes in a robust and generous federal authority. And the final fifth believes in the Utopian society of Karl Marx.
     I have proffered the proceeding as a prelude to a discussion on the upcoming presidential election and the purists who wish to have it "their way or no way." I am going to support in the Republican primaries the most conservative candidate that is running. But with a reasoned eye on the improbable nature of such a candidate winning the nomination, I will support the inevitable Republican candidate, whoever he or she is.
     Which lands me on the doorstep of the conservatives' least favorite presidential candidate, Jeb Bush. I heard an interview with Governor Bush yesterday and found him to be not as much of a Lefty as some have tried to make him out to be, and more conservative than those same people are willing to admit. I am in no way saying I would support Mr. Bush in the primaries, however I would not let my vote be wasted by sitting out the election or voting for a third Party candidate that has a snow ball's chance in hell of winning.
     I think conservative principles and values are the best path to Liberty, prosperity, and freedom. But the absolutism of those principles in the face of a culture that has drifted as far from them as ours has, is foolhardy and illogical. We are not going to right the Ship of State in one fell swoop, it being so far off course due to 100 years of progressivism. The Left has not veered off the course set for this nation by its Founders in one election cycle or even in one generation, neither are we going to put it right in the same amount of time.
     I implore my brethren on the Right to support the most conservative candidate in the Republican primaries, but cast your vote for the eventual nominee, whomever it is. For to do any less in the name of purist values would be voter malpractice and an insult to the Founding Fathers. Men like Madison and Jefferson accepted political realities and built and operated the best republican government they could for the time, knowing that they would not always be able to implement the purity of their values, for that in itself is a form of tyranny. Let us not as conservatives have the hubris to think that we can accomplish that which the Founders did not with their actions, nor support with their words.
    

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Democrat Party Sets Sights On 2020

     There are times when a political Party, knowing that their chance of winning a national election is small, that they will concede that election to their opponent by the champion they choose to represent them. This happened when the Democrat Party chose George McGovern to run against Richard Nixon in 1972 and were trounced by the Republican incumbent, who carried 49 states. It was also the case in 1984 when the Democrats conceded the election to Ronald Reagan by nominating as their candidate Walter Mondale, who like McGovern was destroyed by his Republican opponent's ability to win 49 states.
     Republicans have also conceded elections, like in 1996 when they nominated the aged and lackluster Bob Dole to run against the popular president and vibrant campaigner, Bill Clinton. Or more recently when the Republicans ran the outclassed John McCain in 2008 to run against Barack Obama. To the chagrin of the nation we all know how that decision by Republicans turned out. Sometimes a political party just succumbs to the punditry class when they tell them they just can not win.
     The Democrats are in the position with respects to next year's presidential election that they are throwing in the towel and placing a rather limited amount of chips on Hillary Clinton. No intellectually honest Democrat can realistically predict a win for the aged and uninspiring Mrs. Clinton. The Democrat big wigs feel that after throwing her over in 2008 for Barack Obama, they must now give her this last opportunity to run for president. They figure if they flush her out of the pipeline now it will clear the way for a more qualified candidate to beat the first term Republican president in 2020.
     By 2020 Hillary Clinton will surely be too old and even less inspiring. And many of her competitors within the Democrat Party will be more seasoned and in the sweet spot of their political careers. Look for Democrats to develop their bench in the next 4-5 years in anticipation of unseating whomever the Republican is that will win 2016.
     The Democrats are politically savvy and have conceded the election of 2016 by choosing Hillary. They do not wish to sully their up-and-comers with a loss, so they will hold them in reserve until 2020. That is not to say that Mrs. Clinton will have no competition for the Democrat nomination, she may. But that competition will be minimal and designed to make Hillary look better to the voters than she is.
     And when she loses, the Democrat establishment can say they kept their promise to Hillary in exchange for her defense of her husband all those years and for being the good loser to Barack Obama. Remember she had more than enough reason to challenge Barack Obama's nomination on legal grounds vis-√†-vis the Obama campaign's shenanigans. Hillary Clinton will ride off into the sunset, with one more failure to place in a lifetime of failures, for which she will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars an hour to speak about to the slobbering masses of Leftists that value ideology over success.
    
    

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Corker Bill: One Step Closer To The Past

     President Obama's social justice plan for Iran is proceeding according to the Ayatollah's desired schedule, and nothing seems poised to stop or even slow its progress. The lowering of sanctions on the world's foremost supporter of terrorism and repository of anti-Semitism, seems to be a fait accompli. Considering that the sanctions were the mechanism for strangling the effectiveness of the Iranian regime to produce terrorism, President Obama's naivet√© in lifting them, i.e. thinking if we are nice to them they will be nice to us, is more dangerous than a president who would be over zealous in prosecuting a war against the rouge nation.
     Some estimates have the lifting of sanctions on Iran to be a $50 billion dollar windfall to the brutal regime. These funds would be in the form of unfrozen assets of Iran that the sanctions prevented them from accessing. These funds would be available to the Ayatollah on the day that any deal is signed with the hapless Obama administration. Contrary to what State Department mouthpiece Marie Harf said in a recent press briefing (she actually claimed the Iranian regime would use the funds to moderate their terrorist tendencies), the billions of dollars would most assuredly help in vastly expanding Iran's terrorist franchise.
     Stepping into the malaise, and worsening it, is Senator Bob Corker and his band of misfit Republicans. The Corker Bill, which recently passed the Senate, would essentially allow President Obama to veto the Senate's constitutional authority to ratify this treaty with a 2/3s majority. The legislation states that congress has the authority to support or reject any deal the president makes with Iran with an up and down vote. But since the bill replaces congress' constitutional authority to approve or reject any such deal with legislation that gives them that authority, the president can simply veto an unfavorable decision by congress.
     It would be incumbent upon congress to then muster the 2/3 majority needed to override the president's veto. So in essence instead of President Obama needing 2/3 majority to approve his ill-fated deal, congress would need 2/3 majority to deny him such a deal. If we did not know that this piece of legislation was written by Bob Corker, one would think it was written by Barack Obama. It increases not only President Obama's authority in the executive, but sets a dangerous precedent for future presidents.
     It is shocking how rapidly the congress has given up its constitutional authority over the last few decades. The Corker Bill seems to be accelerating the drive to create in the executive branch of government a scepter of power at least equal to that of King George III, whom those brave and principled men fought a revolution to eject as their leader and forever changed the world for the better. Have we now cycled back to find ourselves in a post-Liberty world? Have we lost the insight to elect leaders, who without fatigue or wavering, will fight to defend the natural rights of free people to their personal Liberty? I do not have the answer, but I do know that the Corker Bill moves us as a nation closer to a pre-revolutionary past.      

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Bogus First Term Senator Argument

     The 2016 campaign season has just begun and one of the most often repeated assertions by those on the Right is that we do not need another first term senator like Barack Obama. The reason most cited is that the lack of experience is a hindrance to an effective presidency. This theory has been applied to Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul by the governors-only-need-apply crowd. Maybe they have a point, but that point is certainly no where near being made by citing the Obama presidency as an example.
     As inexperienced as Barack Obama was when he was elected the first time in 2008, no one can say that he has not been effective. Unfortunately his effectiveness has benefitted his radical Leftist ideology more than it has the cause of Liberty. He rode into Washington with barely more than community agitating on his resume and has flummoxed, fouled, and flaxed men who have orchestrated the machinations of the nation's capital for decades.
     When one compares the state of the union in 2009 when Barack Obama was inaugurated, and its state in 2015, the transformation is breath-taking. The best healthcare industry in the world has been transmogrified into the federal government's whore. The influx of illegal aliens has essentially been codified in U.S. law by an unlawful executive order. Poverty has increased, and along with the dependence on government for basic subsistence. The banking industry has been put in chains through the Dodd/Frank legislation which rewards large banks and drives smaller community banks out of business with insurmountable compliance expenses.
     I could go on, but if the reader has not gotten the point by now, there is no sense in engaging in useless prosecution of my charge. Point is that this first term senator, with no experience in the private sector, has been more effective than any president since Franklin Roosevelt. Unfortunately his effectiveness has taken this nation on a collision course with tyranny and oppression. Just imagine the good he could have done, and the prosperous and balanced government we could be enjoying now had this first term senator used his effectiveness for good instead of ill.
     I understand the desire for some to have a governor as president. The executive experience gained from running a state is equal to that of heading a fortune five hundred company. But first term senators can also have the skill and political acumen to move the country in one direction or the other. The fact that Barack Obama was a first term senator and has been effective at moving the country in the wrong direction, does not imply that this is a trait of all first term senators. I am for any candidate that can move the country back to constitutional rule, whether he or she is a governor, a former CEO of a major corporation, or even a lowly first term senator. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Case Against Term Limits

     In this time of political and cultural upheaval, many are looking for a magic bullet that they say will fix all our problems and return us to a constitutional society. In the effort to do this many on the Right have been transfixed on term limits for members of congress. They say it will mitigate corruption in Washington and provide a more responsive congress to the needs of the people rather than the desires of the well-connected capitalist cronies of the current system.
     Many of the defenders of congressional term limits proffer the argument that the Founders never intended for there to be career politicians running the government by, for, and of the people. These termies ignore the fact that many of the Founders themselves were career politicians. Three fourths of the first congress was comprised of men that had spent most of their adult lives up to that point serving in their states' legislatures under British colonial America. James Madison, Father of the Constitution, never had employment outside of government, and Thomas Jefferson spent most of his adult life in public service.
     So can we finally dispel the myth that the idea of career politicians is somehow unconstitutional or inherently bad for the country? Even if the termies get their way and congress becomes a revolving door, the poisonous well of our culture will still exist. One can not simply ladle out clean, pure water from that well by dipping into it more frequently. Our leaders are culled from the culture that produces them, no term limits will change that fact.
     Besides the aforementioned, is the fact that term limits limit the people's choice of representation, which I am against. The theory of term limits basically says, "We have some bad leaders, so we must therefore rid our government of all leaders through the force of law, because the voter can no longer be trusted to do so."  And if this last part is true, then we have lost something in this country which will not be returned simply by limiting the amount of time someone can serve in the government.
     It is strange that the termies claim to want to change the constitution in order to save it. Sort of like when George W. Bush during the 2008 financial crisis said he had to "abandon free market principles in order to save the free market." The Founders were wise enough and had every confidence in the American people to select their own representation in congress. That is why they did not include term limits in the constitution. If we are saying that the Founders' confidence is no longer valid, then we have admitted that the republic which they built is no longer relevant.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Message To Those In The Selfish Party

     The 2016 presidential campaign season has just begun, four candidates have thrown their hats into the ring with many more to come. The Republican voter has a luxury of choices this time around, with many young, principled candidates, and yet the purists are already beginning to set themselves up to boycott the election if their favorite does not receive the nomination. This selfish and childish expression of dissatisfaction with not getting one's way use to be closely and almost exclusively associated with grade schoolers, but has in recent years become a virtual political Party unto itself.
     I have not made up my mind as to who I will support in the primaries, but I do know that I will support the Republican nominee in the general election. Because even my least favorite candidate in the primaries will be superior to Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat being bandied about as a possible choice. And after all, is not selecting the best candidate, who has a chance of winning, out of those running the intended purpose of voting?
     I know that those in the Selfish Party have a problem with allowing what is good to succeed when what is perfect has been eliminated. And those in the Selfish Party refuse to extricate themselves from their temper tantrum of staying home on election day, or just as useless, voting for a third party candidate. The Selfish Party stands on its principles, even if those principles are fed by the defeat of reason and maturity. Those like the Selfish Party who do not vote based on not wanting someone to win who holds only 60% of their values, by their absence at the polls are supporting a candidate who may hold none of their values.
     My imploration of those in the Selfish Party is this: Work hard in the primaries to elect your candidate as the nominee. But if you lose, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and vote for the good of your country and for the continuation of Liberty. Not participating because your candidate was not chosen to represent you is not standing on principle, it is just the opposite. Were John McCain and Mitt Romney my choice for president in 2008 and 2012 respectively? Of course not. But do I think with all their faults and moderate views that had either of them become president things would be immeasurably better in this country today? Of course they would.
     If you have identified yourself as a member of the Selfish Party, please reconsider and join the rest of maturation in the world of voting for the candidate that best reflects your values, not sitting out because none of the candidates reflect all your values. If you use the latter as your yard stick for whom to vote, you will most probably never vote again. In which case you will have allowed your principles to disenfranchise you from the political process.