IMPEACHMENT DISTRACTION

 

(Photo courtesy of Times of Israel)

by Diane Rufino, February 9, 2020

For the past months, we have watched as President Donald J. Trump was impeached in the House by rabid partisan politicians, then tried in the Senate, and ultimately ACQUITTED. We have been utterly disgusted at the depths to which Democrats were willing to go to tarnish the name of this president, to somehow remove him from office, to undue the legitimate election of 2016, and at the very least, to smear his legacy and help derail his changes at re-election in November. We will never forget how the wicked witch of the House, Nancy Pelosi, said these words at the podium “He is impeached forever.”

Now we know that Trump’s popularity increased steadily and impressively during the entire process of impeachment and that his campaign took in record donations. We also now know that history will record Trump’s impeachment as nothing more than the desperate act of the most angry group of House Democrats in our country’s history. It was distinctly partisan, it was highly prejudicial to the Republicans and to Trump (they were all excluded from the testimony phase of the inquiry), and it was profoundly bitter and angry. History will record Rep. Adam Schiff as a conniving clown who fabricated charges, fabricated testimony, interpreted Trump’s conservation with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky using his own personal and political slant, and essentially fabricated the two articles of impeachment without any actual crime committed (not that it is absolutely necessary) and in the most ambiguous and undefined terms. It was truly a “Schiff Show.”

So let’s take a look at this most solemn and serious of government processes – Impeachment of a US President.

Impeachment is the process whereby we can attempt to remove a president of the United States, other civil officers, or federal judges because of some egregious conduct.

As we’ll see, the term egregious conduct is what is and MUST BE the standard and the basis to legally attack a sitting president of the United States, or the other officers and judges, and then to remove him (or her) from office. So rabid were the House Democrats in their quest to destroy President Trump that their articles included a provision that he not be eligible to hold any other official public office.

Article II, Section 4 of the US Constitution provides:

The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

First, we must notice which class of government officials the Constitution reserves the process of “Impeachment” for. The provision specifically identifies “the President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States.” LectLaw defines “all civil officers of the United States” this way: “All officers of the United States who hold their appointments under the national government, whether their duties are executive or judicial, in the highest or the lowest departments of the government, with the exception of officers of the army and navy.” [See: https://www.lectlaw.com/def/c236.htm].

Clearly, members of Congress are not subject to the Impeachment process. Each house of Congress has its own set of rules to govern conduct, breach of conduct, and punishment.

Justia US Law explains even further what the drafters of the Constitution and our Founders envisioned with Impeachment:

“During the debate in the First Congress on the “removal” controversy, it was contended by some members that impeachment was the exclusive way to remove any officer of the government from his post, but Madison and others contended that this position was destructive of sound governmental practice, and the view did not prevail. Impeachment, said Madison, was to be used to reach a bad officer sheltered by the President and to remove him “even against the will of the President; so that the declaration in the Constitution was intended as a supplementary security for the good behavior of the public officers.” While the language of Section 4 covers any “civil officer” in the executive branch, and covers judges as well, it excludes military officers, and the precedent was early established that it does not apply to members of Congress. [See: https://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-2/48-persons-subject-to-impeachment.html].

Also notice that the operative words in Article II, Section 4 are “shall be removed from office.” And that’s what it’s all about, right? It’s about removing such an officer (and here we are specifically referring to the President of the United States) because of some horrendous conduct that is so shocking and repulsive as to erode general confidence, on a bi-partisan basis, in his ability to continue as the Chief Executive of the United States.

The provisions in the Constitution, which as we shall see, are written in simple and plain language, and without any detail, were designed to mirror the process of removal that was followed in Great Britain in the 14th century. Alexander Hamilton explains this in his essay, Federalist No. 65.

The purpose of Impeachment, therefore, is not to shame the president, insult him, demean him, tarnish his name or his legacy, diminish his likability with the American people, or to erode his chances of re-election. And it most certainly isn’t the process to use to undue a legitimate and constitutional election – to reverse the decision of the American people and the Electoral College at the ballot box, the sacred venue of the people to exert their voice in government. The purpose is to address a most serious and egregious violation (criminal or otherwise – “treason, bribery, or other high crime or misdemeanor”) and remove him from office because of it.

Democrats, as always, ignore the Constitution.

The Constitution gives the US House of Representatives the sole power to impeach the president (that is, to bring charges against him) and it makes the Senate the sole body to try him on those impeachment charges. That is, the Senate alone has the power to convict or acquit the President on the charges.

So what is the “process” of Impeachment? Clearly, and expressly, it is a 2-step process that takes place in the most powerful branch to counter the Executive – the Legislative branch.

Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution provides: “The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment.”

Article I, Section 3 provides: “The Senate shall have the sole power to TRY all impeachments.”

This latter provision necessarily implies something extremely important – it implies that Due Process is required in the Senate “trial.” In other words, the President, like any other civil officer of the United States who has impeachment charges brought against him (or her), has the right to address the charges, the right to address those who brought the charges against him, and in general, the right of Due Process.

Due Process is one of the essential cornerstones of our American society. It passes down from the British system which hails a sordid history where kings abused the rights of their subjects and in fact, targeted their political opponents to silence them. “Due Process” guarantees that before depriving a citizen of life, liberty or property, government must follow fair procedures. Citizens are entitled to have the government observe or offer fair procedures to secure said rights of life, liberty, or property (or other rights offered to citizens). Action denying the process that is “due” would be unconstitutional. Here is an example we can all appreciate: Suppose, for example, state law recognizes the right of every student to exercise the tenets of their religion (as long as it doesn’t interfere with or burden the learning environment). Before the state could deny, for example, a student from wearing a cross or using a backpack that displays an image of the crucifixion, it would have to provide fair procedures, i.e. “due process.”

The Constitution states only one command twice. The Fifth Amendment says to the federal government that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” And the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, uses the same eleven words, called the Due Process Clause, to describe a legal obligation of all states. These words have as their central promise an assurance that all levels of American government must operate within the law and provide fair procedures.

Regarding the recent impeachment of Donald Trump, he clearly had a right at stake. He campaigned for the office of the presidency (like no other candidate ever did, by the way) and he won. He was duly and constitutionally elected to the office by the American people and our Electoral College system.

In short, Trump had a right to the Presidency.

And House Democrats, out of hatred, political ambition, and extreme anger and desperate frustration, tried to deny him this right by passing two ridiculous Articles of Impeachment – (1) Abuse of Power, and (2) Obstruction of Congress.

According to the Impeachment process, according to the Constitution, the Senate was obligated to give President Trump his “day in court,” so to speak. And his legal team (including the esteemed attorneys Jay Sekulow, Pat Cippolone, Kenneth Starr, Alan Dershowitz, Pam Bondi, Pat Philbin, and Robert Ray) did an absolutey brilliant job.

I was lucky and honored to have been ale to sit in the Senate chambers to observe the proceedings. What an experience to observe such a historical event.

The Constitution doesn’t provide much detail or insight into what constitutes a “high crime or misdemeanor” sufficient to warrant removal from office, so we look to our nation’s history to see what past attempts at impeachment have taught us.

First, we should note that Impeachment was always intended as a process that was hardly ever to be used. It was to be reserved for the most egregious of behavior. Ken Starr addressed this in the remarks he delivered to the Senate. He explained that Impeachment was intended to be used, if ever, maybe every century. But something happened in the latter part of the 20th century to “weaponize” impeachment. He described it as “The Age of Impeachment.” It began, he explained, with Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal cover-up that he engaged so aggressively in.

President Richard Nixon was not impeached, as it turned out, but he was threatened with it. Congress was getting ready to bring articles of impeachment against him, including, of course, “Obstruction of Justice.” Nixon was convinced that too many representatives and senators, from both sides, were so disgusted and repulsed by how aggressively he obstructed justice during the Watergate investigation (obstructed the Starr investigation, as Independent Counsel), that they would have easily voted to impeach and then remove him. And so he decided to reign – to save face.

That would have been an actual and authentic exercise of the Impeachment process. Richard Nixon clearly used terrible judgement and used the full power of his office and the power of the federal government to cover up some illegality perpetrated by others (ultimately for his benefit in the upcoming presidential election).

Impeachment of a President has occurred in our nation’s history only three times – with Andrew Johnson (1868), Bill Clinton (1998), and Donald Trump (2019). None of them were removed from office, even though impeachment charges were brought against them by the House. Johnson came the closest to being impeached, and we’ll look more closely into how that happened.

First, let’s look at the impeachment of President Bill Clinton to see what it teaches us about the kinds of crimes that warrant removal from office. As mentioned earlier, Kenneth Starr, a brilliant and respected attorney, was appointed as the Special Counsel to investigate the charges that stemmed from Clinton’s sexual conduct (that is, misconduct) and especially from the sexual harassment lawsuit brought against him by Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee who was sexually assaulted by then Arkansas Governor Clinton. Ken Starr found eleven felony charges that Clinton was guilty of and, as he summed up in his famous Starr Report: “The President has pursued a strategy of (i) deceiving the American people and Congress in January 1998, (ii) delaying and impeding the criminal investigation for seven months, and (iii) deceiving the American people and Congress again in August 1998.” His repeated false statements to the American people about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky “represents substantial and credible information that may constitute grounds for an impeachment.”

The House of Representatives took up Starr’s Report and compiled the felony charges into four Articles of Impeachment. The House only approved of two of them: (1) Lying Under Oath (“perjury”), and (2) Obstruction of Justice. The charges stemmed from the sexual harassment suit filed by Paula Jones, and specifically, arose out of Clinton’s testimony before a grand jury. The testimony addressed his harassment of Ms. Jones and his relationship with Ms. Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was impeached by the House by bi-partisan support: He was impeached on the “Perjury” charge (228-206) and on the “Obstruction of Justice” charge (221-212). His presidency was saved in the Senate. All 45 Democrats in the Senate voted “not guilty” on both charges, and were joined by Republicans as well. He was acquitted by the Senate.

I didn’t agree with the Senate’s vote regarding President Clinton’s conduct. I saw him perverting his obligation to the Office of the Presidency and subjugating it in order to hide his sexual misconduct and to hopefully continue it. I interpreted the results of the Senate’s vote either of two ways: (1) First, I assumed the Senators didn’t believe Clinton’s conduct – as bad and derelict as it was – was serious enough and of the type to warrant removing him from office. Sure, it was bad conduct… very bad. It evidenced a lifetime of poor judgement and sexual predation, but it was of a personal nature and the Senate should understand that and excuse it. I didn’t buy that. It was of a serial nature. He simply had no will power or any other power to decline his sexual urges, even when it touched on his work in the White House Oval Office. (2) Second, I assumed the Senators were simply voting along partisan lines, which clearly the Democrats did. As I mentioned above, none of the Senate Democrats voted to convict.

But Clinton did face some degree of justice. Being a notable attorney, a state Governor, a US president, a Rhodes scholar, he proved his skills were more adept at lying. He was immediately disbarred and his license to practice before the Supreme Court was taken away.

So, whether it was politically partisan or not, it appears that Democrats didn’t believe that conduct as willfully deceptive and sexually predacious as Clinton’s was of a nature sufficient to remove a president from office.

Next, let’s look to see where Impeachment was first used as a “weapon” for strictly political reasons. That would be the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson in 1686.

In 1864, Abraham Lincoln won re-election. He had run as the Republican Party’s first presidential candidate in 1860, but he was looking to expand his base in 1864. Adding Andrew Johnson to the ticket was just the way he would do so.

Johnson proved to be a sharp and independent thinker. This was most evident following the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln when Southern states began to secede. While the secession convention met in Charleston, South Carolina in December 1869, Johnson addressed the Senate and proclaimed his allegiance to the Union. He was born in North Carolina to a poor family but when he was still young, he and his family moved to Tennessee. Johnson was a Democrat and didn’t necessarily see eye-to-eye with Lincoln.

Tennessee seceded in 1861, but Johnson decided to remain in Washington.. In March of 1862, President Lincoln rewarded Johnson’s loyalty with an appointment as military governor of Tennessee. When Lincoln sought a second presidential term in 1864 and needed the support of “Union Democrats” (as opposed to “Southern Democrats”), he chose Johnson as his running mate. He chose a Democrat as a running mate. Johnson became Vice-President on March 4, 1865, and just forty-two days later, after Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, he was sworn in as President of the United States.

At first things went well. It appeared, from the Radical Republicans, that President Johnson was a god-send. Relations between he and the Republicans was quite well. However, soon Johnson’s views on mending the Union and on Reconstruction became clear and they were not in line at all with the Republican plan. Johnson opposed political rights for freedmen and called for a lenient reconstruction policy, including pardoning former Confederate leaders. The president looked for every opportunity to block action by the Radical Republicans and freely used his veto power.. It became obvious that had no interest in compromise. When Johnson vetoed the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and then vetoed the Freedmen’s Bureau bill in February of 1866, he officially broke any final ties with his Republican opponents in Congress. They responded with the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution, promising civil rights to freed slaves and then guaranteeing them the right to vote. In March of 1867 Radical Republicans also passed, over Johnson’s presidential veto, the Tenure of Office Act which was designed to limit the president’s ability to shape his cabinet by requiring that both appointments and dismissals be approved by the Senate. The bill was a clear unconstitutional exercise of legislative power – as violative of the Separation of Powers doctrine.

Johnson’s biggest point of contention was with a particularly nasty hold-over from Lincoln’s cabinet – Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War. Stanton was a bad guy – a very bad guy. He supported total war against the South, supported General Sherman’s devastating treatment of the southern states, supported his “scorched Earth policy (as Lincoln did), and supported his “March to the Sea” (an overt act of supremacy and over-kill). Stanton supported strong punishment of the former Confederate States and demanded total control of the those vanquished states. According to Stanton, they would not be permitted a seamless transition back into the Union.

When Johnson tried repeatedly to remove Stanton, Congress responded quickly by passing the Tenure of Office Act. Stanton, a Radical Republican, was critical to the Republican plan to re-make the Union after the Civil War.

By mid-1867, Johnson’s enemies in Congress were repeatedly promoting impeachment. Johnson would have to go. The precipitant event that resulted in a third and successful impeachment action was the firing Stanton. Stanton was not aligned with the President and persisted in opposing his Reconstruction policies. Johnson hoped to replace him with Ulysses S. Grant, whom Johnson believed to be more in line with his own political thinking. In August of 1867, while Congress was in recess, Johnson suspended Stanton and appointed Grant as secretary of war ad interim. When the Senate opposed Johnson’s actions and reinstated Stanton in the fall, Grant resigned, fearing punitive action and possible consequences for his own presidential ambitions. Furious with his congressional opponents, Johnson fired Stanton and informed Congress of this action, then named Major General Lorenzo Thomas, a long-time foe of Stanton, as interim secretary. Stanton promptly had Thomas arrested for illegally seizing his office.

Johnson believed the Tenure of Office Act to be unconstitutional [and Congress must have ultimately agreed. It repealed the law in 1887 and the US Supreme Court, while evaluating the constitutionality of a similar law in the case Myers v. United States (1926), stated that the Tenure of Office Act was likely unconstitutional] and so he didn’t take it seriously as a bar to him getting rid of the pesky Stanton.

And that’s all Congress needed to finally bring, in their minds, a solid case of impeachment against Johnson. In 1868, Congress brought eleven articles of impeachment against him, most of them stemming from his suspension of Stanton – his alleged violation of the Tenure of Office Act. Article 1 stated that Johnson ordered Stanton removed with the intent to violate the act. Articles 2, 3 and 8 alleged that the appointment of Thomas, to replace Stanton, without the advice and consent of the Senate was a further violation of the Constitution. And so their political assassination of Johnson proceeded.

In the Senate, the vote fell short by one. The votes of all Senators was carefully noted and it was clear that Johnson would have been convicted. But at the last minute, Senator Edmund Gibson Ross of Kansas, decided not to vote to convict but rather to acquit. And thus, Johnson was acquitted and allowed to remain in office by one vote. The reason given by those who voted to acquit was that they “could not agree to destroy the harmonious working of the Constitution for the sake of getting rid of an unacceptable President.”

In other words, to convict Johnson on the specious charges brought by the rabid Radical Republicans in the House would be to plunge the country in a constitutional crisis.

That was 1868.

History repeated itself these past two months. As it was done with Andrew Johnson, angry and desperate political opponents weaponized the impeachment option for purely partisan political purposes.

In our history, twenty government officials have been impeached – including the three presidents I mentioned. Eight of them have been found guilty and have been removed from office – ALL FEDERAL JUDGES.

 

References:

“Civil Officer,” in Lectlaw. Referenced at: https://www.lectlaw.com/def/c236.htm

“Persons Subject to Impeachment,” in Justia US Law. Referenced at: https://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-2/48-persons-subject-to-impeachment.html

“Due Process,” in Cornell Law School. Referenced at: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/due_process

The Starr Report (Full report submitted to the House of Representatives by Special Counsel Kenneth Starr on September 9, 1998 – https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/icreport/srprintable.htm

The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson (1868),” United States Senate. Referenced at: https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Impeachment_Johnson.htm

It’s Not the Size of the Dog in the Fight; It’s the Size of the Fight in the Dog

TRUMP - wrestling belt

(Photo from Twitter)

by Diane Rufino, December 18, 2019

Mark Twain once said: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

With President Donald Trump we have both the size of the dog and the size of the fight.

This is re-affirmed to us every single day.

Trump took on the historic tasks of making America great again, draining the DC swamp, and returning the government to the people, as he promised in his inaugural address. For these admiral goals, he has been vilified, persecuted, and hated.

For these admirable goals, we are witnessing evil-intentioned partisan political insiders attempt something that was also attempted in 1868 with Andrew Johnson – a political coup to oust a president that is intent on frustrating the policies and goals of a political party. The Radical Republicans wanted to punish the defeated southern states and use the freed slaves to re-make the body politic in the south to reject the Southern Democrats and to align with them politically. Only then would Lincoln’s War to force the South Back into the Union achieve its ultimate goal – to re-join the Union and to go back to paying all the protective tariffs. Johnson was impeached in the House for violating the Tenure of Office Act (hastily passed by the Radical Republicans to prevent him from removing the vile and ambitious Secretary of War (Edwin Stanton) that Lincoln had appointed but saved in the Senate from removal by only 1 vote. The Tenure of Office Act, by the way, was found to be unconstitutional. [Sounds like today’s ambitiously blind Democrats!]. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, and the rest of the ilk initiated impeachment hearings after almost 4 years of conducting a witch hunt in their frenzied attempt to remove Trump from office. Since there was no crime to attach to Trump, one had to be found (or made up) – the so-called “insurance policy.” For that, a witch hunt needed to be initiated. And politically-motivated elements of the Obama administration, including Obama himself and the likes of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, were happy to accept the Steele dossier that was given to them by the Hillary Clinton campaign together with the DNC without verifying or confirming its accuracy and veracity. Why? Because the ends justified the means. When political insiders attempt a coup, they don’t care that it is based on actual facts or evidence of actual wrongdoing. And so these ambitious and rogue elements of our government presented this unverified and unproven dossier to the FISA court in support of its application for FISA warrants to spy on members of the Trump campaign, and withheld KEY information that the judges would have needed to prevent a fraud from being perpetrated on the court. These persons (criminals) without information proving the highly partisan nature of the information (it was intended merely for “opposition research” to be used against Trump by Clinton in her campaign, plus it was paid for by her and the DNC), withheld information undercutting the truth of the information (no verification at all; the only information to support it was given by Steele himself – from an article that he wrote – totally self-serving), and withheld information which would have persuaded the FISA court to protect Trump’s privacy (exculpatory information). The real Russian Collusion scandal was between Hillary Clinton, the DNC, Obama, the FBI and DOJ, and the mainstream media – for the sole purpose of interfering with the 2016 presidential election.

Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Chuck Schumer, and the rest are attempting a political coup to undo a lawful election result that was constitutional and legitimate. They are attempting a political coup for no other reason than they are angry. They are attempting a political coup to undo the collective will of the American people who have been rightfully frustrated over the years by the political goals of DC politicians, have been robbed of their interests by the Deep State and by powerful special interest groups, and have been ignored and used/abused by Obama and the Democratic Party. The so-called “party of the people” (Democratic Party) is actually the “party of political elites.” It is a group of hypocrites skilled at mobilizing useless idiots.

WE MUST DO ALL IN OUR POWER TO SUPPORT DONALD TRUMP THRU THESE TRYING TIMES and MOST IMPORTANTLY, SUPPORT HIM in 2020 !!

The Desperate Acts of a Dying Political Party

DEMOCRATS - Desperate Democrats

(Photo courtesy of BlazeTV)

by Diane Rufino, August 14, 2019

We cannot deny that the Democrats and those on the left are engaging in some terribly troubling and questionable conduct. And we know exactly why they are pursuing the questionable policies and the questionable direction they are pushing.

The explanation is simple: We are witnessing the desperate acts of a dying party. These desperate acts are designed to help them remain a viable party and to hopefully win elections. What are these desperate acts?

(1)  Democrats and rogue leftist elements of the federal government, serving under President Obama in the FBI and DOJ, committed many criminal acts against the United States when they set out to create a dossier implicating then-candidate Donald Trump in acts amounting to collusion with Russian officials to effect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and then to use that dossier to launch full-scale surveillance on the Trump campaign using the full resources of the federal government. The goal, of course, was to poison the Trump campaign (which didn’t work) and in the alternative, to provide evidence of crimes to impeach him should he surprisingly happen to win the election. Democrats broke further federal laws by misappropriating classified government documents and memos and leaking them to the press and to other individuals. It was this leaking that ultimately led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel and then a 2-year-long investigation into all things Trump. No other president was forced to face what Trump faced when he stepped into the Oval Office to run our country. First, he faced a very hostile mainstream media (so hostile that one commentator postulated what might happen if he were to be assassinated before taking the oath of office), then he faced a very hostile group of disappointed and maladjusted voters when they marched in Washington DC (the “Woman’s March”), then he faced an almost unanimous deranged Hollywood and Entertainment Industry crowd who spoke, posted, tweeted, or otherwise very publicly expressed their absolute hatred of him and his family, then he faced insane Democrats shouting “racist” at him and “Impeach Him” whenever they could grab a microphone, and then finally he faced the intense scrutiny of the Mueller investigation and the chilling of his actions that naturally results from such scrutiny.

For over two years, Democrats never gave up hope and never lost faith that Trump would be found to have committed actionable Obstruction of Justice, and when the Mueller Report was released and showed there was no such grounds for an indictment on obstruction, they absolutely refused to believe that the Report was correct. They were, and still are, manic disbelievers in the truth about Donald Trump, which is that he did not engage in any collusion with Russia to effect the 2016 presidential election, that he did not engage in any conduct that rises to the level of obstruction of justice, that he is not a racist, and that he is wildly popular and much-loved by the majority of the American people. They still hope to find some reason to impeach him. They will continue to probe every inch and every aspect of his life to find anything – anything at all – that they can use to try to impeach him. .

Democrats have been so completely consumed with hatred for Donald Trump that they have chosen to focus on harassing him rather than serve the general interests of our country. In other words, they chose to put hatred of Donald Trump over love of country.

(2)  Democrats are pushing to abolish the Electoral College. They want presidential elections to be tied to the national popular vote, which is controlled by between 10-15 of the nation’s largest cities. These cities, of course, are concentrated areas of liberal identity groups; in other words, the want the nation’s largest (liberal) cities to pick our American president. The hell to all the other areas of the country, which tend to be conservative and rational.

(3)  Liberal Democrats delivered a threatening brief to the Supreme Court of the United States, instructing them to “straighten up” or else Congress will “restructure” the Court. You can’t make this up, folks. Ignoring the age-old “Separation of Powers” doctrine and the “check and balance” that such a separation provides, liberal Senate Democrats Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Richard Durbin of Illinois, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York sent an “amicus brief” to the Supreme Court, in support of the state of New York in the current case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, accusing the high court of being “sick” and “motivated primarily by politics” and thus being inept at continuing to rule on important cases.

The amicus brief ended with this paragraph, which certainly sums up their position quite well:

“Today, fifty-five percent of Americans believe the Supreme Court is “mainly motivated by politics” (up five percent from last year); fifty-nine percent believe the Court is “too influenced by politics”; and a majority now believes the “Supreme Court should be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.” The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be “restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.” Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.”

The Democrats never complained about political motivation on the Court when it was engaging in the most egregious exercise of judicial activism in cases such as Roe v. Wade (abortion case, 1973), Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education (the bussing case, 1971), Miranda v. Arizona (Miranda warning needed when a criminally accused is taken into custody and before he/she makes any statements, 1966), National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (the Obamacare case, 2012), Obergefell v. Hodges (gay marriage, 2015), and so many others.

(4)  Democrats are threatening a duly-appointed and duly sworn-in conservative Supreme Court justice with possible impeachment. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), who together chair the Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee, wrote a letter last Tuesday (Aug. 6) to the head of the National Archives and Records Administration asking the agency to provide Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s records from when he served in the George W. Bush administration as staff secretary and in the White House Counsel’s Office, spanning the years 2001-2006. In that letter, the representatives wrote: “In the coming year, the Supreme Court will again address important matters regarding civil rights, criminal justice, and immigration. The Court may also review certain high-profile cases related to reproductive rights, the separation of powers, and the limits of executive authority — all topics within the jurisdiction of the House Judiciary Committee,’ and they have concerns that Kavanaugh will be able to rule with equal and impartial justice, based on some “inappropriately partisan statements” he made during his confirmation hearing and his “behaving in a demonstrably hostile manner.” We certainly all remember how forcefully and passionately and honestly he pled his case in trying to clear his good name… in front of his family.

Hmmmmmm….. This letter from Nadler and Johnson, this concern of professionalism on Justice Kavanaugh’s part, comes after Senate Democrats spent months launching false accusations against Judge Kavanaugh in an attempt to smear his reputation and block his confirmation to the US Supreme Court. And it also comes immediately after a judicial panel, the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability, ruled to dismiss ethics complaints filed against Kavanaugh, finding that it did not have authority to review the claims against him because confirmation to the high court excludes him from the ethics rules in question.

Apparently, House Democrats refuse to take NO for an answer, just like they refused to give up on the notion that somehow Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election from Hillary Clinton and just like they refused to give up on the notion that Trump somehow committed obstruction of justice in reaction to a fabricated and contrived allegation. Apparently, House Democrats refuse to give up another fishing expedition to tarnish his good name and threaten him with possible impeachment.

They are seeking to harass and then impeach Justice Kavanaugh for no other reason than he is a strong conservative justice, appointed by their sworn enemy, Donald Trump. Such a brazen and dangerous precedent to set. Again, they have chosen to dismiss the notion of Separation of Powers and have chosen to disregard the respect members of Congress are expected to have for justices of the Supreme Court.

(5)  Democrats are opposed to the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws and refuse to participate in any solution to address the illegal immigration situation. In fact, when President Trump characterized the situation at the southern border as a “national crisis,” they went ballistic. It was clear, and continues to be clear, that they put the interests and issues of illegals over the rightful concerns of American citizens (and taxpayers). Democrats want – and NEED – illegal immigration in order to build a new basis of Democratic voters. Their radical and un-American rhetoric is being lost on their traditional supporters. Long-time Democrats are finally realizing that the party has not delivered on its promises and even more, that it is taking the country in a very dangerous direction. At the end of the day, many long-time Democrats are realizing that they love their country more than they feel loyalty to the Democratic Party.

(6)  Democrats are pushing, in their states, laws to allow illegals to vote. Again, they are pushing these laws because illegals are their new voting base. Illegals want the free services and the representation that the Democratic Party is willing to give them (at the expense of legal citizens and from their purses).

(7)  Democrats fought strenuously to fight President Trump’s initiative to put a Citizenship question on the national Census Bureau Survey. The census is required by Article I, Section 2 of the US Constitution to be taken every 10 years. Article I, Section 2 states: “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States… according to their respective Numbers… . The actual Enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years” Section 2 of the 14th Amendment amended the section to remove the phrase “and excluding Indians not taxed and three-fifths of all other persons” and to substitute that the respective numbers of the respective states will be determined by “counting the whole number of persons in each State… excluding Indians not taxed…” In other words, the purpose of the census is to determine the numbers of persons in each state in order to determine the number of representatives that each state will have in the House of Representatives. It has always, ALWAYS been assumed that “persons” for the purpose of representation refers only to “legal citizens.” Democrats want all people to be counted (that is, they don’t want to the Census Bureau Survey to distinguish between illegal aliens and legal American citizens) for the state’s representation in DC as a way to increase their number of representatives (or at the very least, to keep their high numbers, as in the case of California, the state making the greatest noise over the citizenship question). They want to inflate their numbers using illegal aliens.

(8)  Democrats talk about “transforming the government of the United States and “transforming the Constitution.” Just recently in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders promised, if elected, to “transform the government so that it works for everyone, and not just the 1%.” Other Democratic presidential hopefuls have delivered similar promises or are putting out similar rhetoric. This theme goes back to a promise that candidate Barack Obama made when he was running to be president in 2008. He promised to “fundamentally change the United States,” when he was in Columbia, Missouri on October 30, 2008, on the cusp of his historic presidential election. Obama pretty much made good on his promise, although he had hoped to go much further. Luckily, President Trump is steadily un-doing and unraveling the damage that Obama had done. Immigration is one big area, the military is another, our relationship with the many nations of the world is yet another, and healthcare will be the next. Fundamentally changing the United States means that those systems and institutions providing the foundations for our country and our society must be changed or substituted or abolished. Religion has already been attacked; national hostility to religion continues to grow in order to replace morality and biology with the LGBT and transgender agenda. The Constitution defines our government system and for years, we watched as a liberal majority Court has “transformed” the meaning of the document through a soft interpretation of a “living, breathing document.” Hard interpretations are those made by an analysis of a constitution that has a clearly defined meaning, unchanging in time, with explanations and instructions provided by those who wrote, ratified, and engaged in the debate that led to its ratification and adoption. Democrats believe in soft interpretations; they believe that Article V (outlining the only legal way to amend the Constitution, which is the amendment process) is essentially useless and that the Constitution can be amended by men in black robes from the Supreme Court bench who view it as a “living, breathing document,” being capable of being transformed by courts to bring it in line with changing social times.

(9)  Despite the obvious crises that plague our country – illegal immigration, drug smuggling and drug trafficking, human trafficking, opioid overdoses, morbid obesity, an intolerant millennial population, Antifa and other violent leftist protest groups, mass shootings, an under-educated general population that lacks requisite speech, reading, writing, and math skills, too many people on government assistance and not contributing to society, and fear and crime, to name a few – Democrats assert that the real crises in the country are racism and white supremacy. Every time a conservative opens his or her mouth, and especially when President Trump opens his mouth, Democrats shout “RACIST!” Every time a conservative speaks out against illegal immigration, including President Trump, Democrats should “WHITE SUPREMACY!” Democrats love to assert that it is Donald Trump’s rhetoric that is causing division, anger, frustration, hatred, and violence in this country, when in fact, it is the rhetoric of the Democrats that is causing all of those things.

Which party and which party’s rhetoric has been responsible for the unprovoked killing and other violent attacks on innocent police officers? It is the Democratic Party. Which party and which party’s rhetoric has been responsible for the attacks, the harassment, and the threats against ICE agents?   It is the Democratic Party. Members of the Democratic Party explicitly and expressly encourage people to harass and otherwise do harm to ICE agents and its facilities. Which party and which party’s rhetoric has been responsible for the savage beating, the bullying, the threats, the assaults, and the destruction of personal property of those who hold different political views? It is the Democratic Party that has not only created Antifa and other such homegrown terrorist groups, but it constantly encourages them to shut down the speech and the venues of conservatives. The members of which party have called on people to “show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from [Trump’s] Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere” ? It is the Democratic Party that has called on its party members to physically harass Republicans and their families. Which party refers to the opposing party using the most disgusting and vile of terms, comparing them to body parts, and telling them they should be doing things with certain body parts or they should be raped ? It is the Democratic Party, and in particular members of the Hollywood and Entertainment industry. They can’t help but act uncivilized.

In short, modern-day Democrats are a group of un-hinged and un-American politicians and voters that despise our American system, despise President Donald Trump and all those who support him, despise the wealthy, despise our Constitution, despise our Founding Fathers, despise our Rule of Law, and despise deeply what our country has historically stood for. They believe that representation in the federal government is not about serving the American people as a whole and to meaningfully (and constitutionally) address our nation’s problems but rather it’s about frustrating President Trump, harassing him and his family every single day and for every single reason, about opposing Republicans, about fomenting hatred and division among identity groups, about ignoring the immigration, drug, and human trafficking crisis stemming from our southern border, about preventing the enforcement of our immigration laws and encouraging and increasing illegal immigration, and about advancing their progressive agenda for political, social, and government change.

Ask yourself this: A party that is so readily willing to ignore our Rule of Law, to ignore and disregard the US Constitution, to transform the Constitution to meet the party’s political needs, to allow for the invasion of our country by aliens for the sole purpose of quickly changing the body politic in order to gain the votes it needs to stay in power, to put the interests of illegal aliens before the rightful concerns and expectations of American citizens is a party that will readily turn its back on the people just as soon as it consolidates its political power.

Desperation is a dangerous thing.

 

Reference:

Amicus Brief submitted to the Supreme Court from US Senate Democrats, in furtherance of the case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, New York https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/New%20York%20Rifle%20&%20Pistol%20Association%20v.%20New%20Yor

TAKE ACTION NOW! Tell Congress to Fund the Wall

TRUMP-NE-030916-TEL

(Photo Credit:  National Border Patrol Council, NGPC)

by Diane Rufino, January 9, 2019

I’m writing this to all Immigration Activists and Concerned Citizens…..

The time for action is NOW !!

Last night President Trump delivered a straightforward message to the American people regarding the situation on the southern border. He called that situation a “crisis.”

That crisis includes uncheck immigration, violent crimes by illegal aliens, drug trafficking, child trafficking, a rise in MS-13 gang activity, rape, scores of hard drugs pouring across the border, lawlessness, over-crowding of our jails, and an unnecessary burden on all our resources (social services, healthcare, education, criminal justice, etc).

Anybody with eyes and ears, anybody who reads the real news, anybody who talks to their legislators, anyone who has a pulse on what’s going on in their community, in their state, and in this country is aware of the negative impact of open borders and unchecked immigration across our southern border. Have we already forgotten the caravan crisis?  Do we not understand that there are reasons why so many aliens are pouring into our country, choosing to take the illegal route – because we are NOT enforcing our laws, not trying to flesh them out once they get here, providing sanctuary cities and communities for them, providing them free education and healthcare, allowing them to go on our welfare system and to receive benefits and social programs (that US citizens must pay for)?

Several years ago, a student that had just graduated from a school I was teaching died of a fentanyl overdose. Someone slipped it to him unsuspectedly at a concert. A year or so later, a young man at my church overdosed from a heroin/fentanyl overdose. No one would have ever suspected him of doing drugs. The young man who treats my lawn recently passed away from an overdose. And my longtime friend and neighbor lost his son to a fentanyl overdose. A few years ago, I spoke with some town officials and they told me that MS-13 gangs have moved into Greenville from the Kinston area (Kiinston, which is Lenoir County, is next to Duplin County, which houses the highest concentration of illegal Hispanics in NC). MS-13 started pushing drugs on ECU’s campus and violence followed. There was a drive-by shooting downtown which killed at least one or two innocent young people, and about two years ago, there was a shooting at an ECU student apartment complex (at a party) involving drugs.

Our state officials talk about the opioid crisis and the enormous toll it is taking on our young and they suggest that we need to provide healthcare for them so they can kick the addiction. Not once has anyone addressed the root cause of the problem – the border “crisis” — yes, a “crisis.” Without the drugs pouring into the country (90% of hard-core drugs such as heroin and fentanyl), we wouldn’t have this epidemic of overdoses, and without the addictions and drug use, we wouldn’t have to consider the increased costs in healthcare to cover this problem.

The same can be said for the burden on education, our healthcare system (how many times have you gone to the emergency room only to see it filled with Hispanics – of which at least 45% are here, in NC, illegally). How many unskilled Americans can’t provide for their families because an illegal has taken a job they could have been hired for?

Again, it’s not hard to understand how the situation at the border has finally escalated to a crisis.

Yet, in response to President Trump’s Oval Office message last night, Democratic leaders, Senator Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, had the nerve to call his characterization of the situation a “manufactured crisis.” It was an insult to every mother, father, wife, husband, brother, sister, family member, friend, neighbor who lost someone they love to an illegal alien, it was an insult to everyone who has to close their eyes at night and try to shut out the horrible thoughts of the torture and pain their loved one suffered before being killed by an illegal, an insult to everyone who lost a child or other loved one to an opioid overdose, an insult to everyone harmed by the increase in drug trafficking, and an insult to every federal taxpayer whose tax dollars are being siphoned to address the uncontrolled border situation and to provide welfare and other services to illegals. To them, the situation is not a manufactured crisis but rather a manufactured situation – manufactured intentionally by Democrats as a way to grow the Democratic Party.

They call the wall “immoral” yet live in walled and gated communities themselves. They care little about the threats and burdens to our communities because they don’t live in those communities. They don’t worry about violence because they enjoy the protection of armed security. The don’t care that our laws are broken because as career politicians, they have made sure that they are exempt from the laws they pass (or refuse to pass, or refuse to provide the tools for enforcement).

They mock the President for his campaign promise to have Mexico pay for the wall. Other Democrats and liberals mock him as well for that. But Mexican assets can easily be converted to pay for the border wall, as Trump has alluded to. Trade deals can be negotiated that result in funding for the wall. There are drug forfeiture laws that would allow the government to use money and property confiscated because they were illegally obtained by drug trafficking for the wall. And then there is the simple math – If illegals cost the American people $150 billion each year (EVERY YEAR), and wall funding is only $5 billion, then doesn’t it just make sense to invest a one-time $5 billion allocation for the wall to save $150 billion every year?

Others reject the notion of an actual wall (a physical impenetrable barrier) saying that Trump will never get the $5 billion he is asking for. Well, that’s just a ridiculous, typical-Democratic /liberal response. They have a hard time understanding the concept of “constitutional spending” anyway. A border wall is related to immigration and national security, both of which are expressly delegated tasks to the federal government in the US Constitution. So, funding for the wall would actually be characterized as “constitutional spending,” something our government rarely takes into consideration. Right now, Congress spends far too much on unconstitutional objects – such as funding to South American countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan, other Middle Eastern countries (all of which give us nothing of real value in return), funding for abortion overseas, funding for research on stupid things that have absolutely no relevance or usefulness, funding for education (yep, it’s unconstitutional), funding in the form of state grants, most times simply for the purpose of bribing the states into complying with government guidelines and policies that it technically can’t impose on them (thus enabling the government to do an end-run around the Constitution). Take away the unconstitutional spending and the government has plenty to spend on constitutional obligations such as a border wall to enhance our safety and security and to help enforce our duly-enacted immigration laws.

Schumer and Pelosi fault President Trump alone for the government shutdown, telling the American people that government officials aren’t getting paid because of him, his insistence on dwelling on a “manufactured crisis.,” and his refusal to work with the Democratic leadership in Congress.

As Senator Lindsey Graham commented, the federal employees affected by the government shutdown will get all their back pay. They’ll be OK. But Officer Ronil Singh’s wife will never see her husband again and their baby daughter will never know her father. Angel Moms will never see or hug their children again.

The question is whether all those deaths and tortures of Americans at the hand of illegal aliens, all the drugs (including heroin and fentanyl) pouring onto our country and killing our college-age children, the rise in MS-13 activity which terrorizes our communities, the rise in violent crime, and the very admissions of our border agents amounts to a “manufactured” crisis or an actual crisis.

Remember the faces and the stories of those Americans taken from us because of our border situation – Officer Ronil Singh (shot because the illegal didn’t want a traffic ticket), Pierce Corcoran (killed by a drunk driver, an illegal alien), Kate Steinle (shot while walking on a pier in San Francisco with her parents), Molly Tibbetts (abducted and killed by an alien while she was jogging), Josh Wilkerson (a high school student beaten, tortured, and set on fire by an illegal alien), Jamiel Shaw (high school student killed by an illegal released earlier that same day on his 3rd gun charge), Ronald da Silva (murdered by an illegal who had previously been deported), Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens (best friends who were killed in 2016 by illegal MS-13 gang members), Sandra Duran (killed in a car crash in 2017 at the hands of an illegal alien who had been deported five times), Indianapolis Colts’ linebacker Edwin Jackson (killed by an illegal driving drunk), Rebecca Ann Johnson (murdered by an illegal), and so many others.

Anyway, President Trump NEEDS OUR HELP……

Please read the following and TAKE ACTION NOW – to support President Trump’s request for funding tall steel fence barriers at our southern border and apply pressure to members of Congress.

Here is the contact info. I suggest you call now instead of email, but email if you prefer.

CALL your Member of Congress and our two US Senators today (For those in the Third Congressional District, who knows if a call to Rep. Walter Jones will accomplish anything). This is what you’ll want to tell them:

  • Honor their oath to support and defend the Constitution;
  • Give President Trump the money he wants to fund the tall border fence barriers;
  • If they can’t find the funding for the wall, tell them to cut out all the “unconstitutional” spending and then the money will be available;
  • Close the asylum loopholes that are attracting these ridiculous caravans;
  • An Amnesty should NOT be part of any securing the border deal.
  • Remember that they represent you — not illegal alien smugglers and employers!

Contact your member of the U.S House. If you don’t know, go to: http://www.house.gov [look at the upper right corner of the webpage and enter your Zip Code and then click “GO”].

Call: U.S. Senator Richard Burr (202) 224-3154 at his Washington, DC office or email at: https://www.burr.senate.gov/contact/email

Call: U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (202) 224-6342 at his Washington, DC office or email at:  https://www.tillis.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-me

 

References:

President Donald J. Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office, January 8, 2019 –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=694Kmic4CKY

Senator Lindsey Graham’s Response to President Trump’s border address, Jan. 8, 2019 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2GD0YMzE2Q

Schumer and Pelosi’s Response to President Trump’s border address, Jan. 8, 2019 –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gyb-DjVT5_c

Mark Levin’s Response to President Trump’s border address, Jan. 8, 2019 –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9QS9gnd3gU

Derek Thompson, “How Immigration Became So Controversial,” The Atlantic, February 2, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/why-immigration-divides/552125/

Thanks Ronald Reagan for the Speeches and the Laughs, but Mostly for Your Wisdom and Your Example

RONALD REAGAN - black and white

by Diane Rufino, August 24, 2018

I’d like to take a trip down memory lane, back to the time when Ronald Reagan was president, when most Americans admired our leader, trusted him, and felt comforted and safe knowing he was in charge. He had class and a certain gentility, yet also having a backbone to stand up for our country’s values and to stand firm on his moral convictions.

Ronald Reagan should be a role model for all Americans. He was civil and polite and even if he disagreed with you, you felt that it could never shake the bonds of friendship or make him have any less respect for you. For him, government served a purpose and that purpose was clear and limited. To view it any other way was to sacrifice individual liberty and to diminish its security.  He believed our country was founded on individual liberty to secure individual liberty.  Yet he was fully aware that government belongs and serves all citizens and it is their voice, at the ballot box, that sets its course.

In looking at Reagan’s entertainment and then his public service career, we see that he refused to be defined by a particular political party, looking instead to see which party supported the best policies, which party best served the American people and furthered the safety and security of the country. As most people know, he started off as a Democrat but later switched to the Republican Party.

In 1986, speaking at a fundraiser for Illinois Governor James Thompson (running for the US Congress), Reagan recounted a conversation he had in the White House with a man, Jim O’Grady, who went through a similar political transition, or transformation. He said:

“When he was at the White House, Jim said to me, ‘The great Democratic Party of my father’s and grandfather’s time just doesn’t exist anymore. Mr. President, I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me. That’s why I switched parties.’ And I said, ‘Jim, join the crowd.’”

He went on to share the experience of the great Winston Churchill:

“I know how tough it can be to change parties. I was working for Republican candidates for some time before I changed my registration. But for anyone who’s concerned about, and thinking about doing, that, I think Winston Churchill—when he changed parties, was a member of Parliament in England. And he answered a question as to why. He said, ‘Some men change principle for party, and some change party for principle.’”

There was a time when the Democratic Party still stood for solid principles and policies.

Being an actor and president of the Screen Actor’s Guild, it would have been very unusual for Ronald Reagan not to be a Democrat. As we all know, Hollywood has been historically Democratic. Most likely, he used his political affiliation only to enhance his own interests, and the Democrat Party was more suited to his own personal advancements in the Hollywood business industry.

Once Ronald Reagan became more successful as a businessman than he actually was as an entertainer and became more involved in politics, it seems he realized that while the Democrat Party was good to address the plight and situation of certain groups of individuals, it was not looking out for the best interest of the country or American citizens as a whole. He realized, despite the policies of the Democratic Party to “take care of people,” at their core, the policies did more harm than good – for both those they intended to help, for taxpayers, and for the rest of Americans. For all the spending that Democrats did on entitlement programs, there was little good to show for it; in fact, the policies did little to actually further individual success, dignity, or advancement, and rather created a problem of dependency, inferiority, and victimhood. As Reagan would point out, entitlement policies were fraught with fraud, abuse, and dependency and they (more than anything else) were enabling government to become larger and larger, something he had always viewed with great skepticism. He found it inconsistent that a country that calls itself free could allow the federal government to have increasing control and influence on citizens’ everyday lives.

Ronald Reagan became a Republican.

Reagan officially switched political parties in 1962, although some say that he wanted to do so even as far back as 1952, when he threw his support for Dwight D. Eisenhower and his running-mate, Richard Nixon.

In fact, in 1964, being asked to speak on behalf of presidential candidate Senator Barry Goldwater, Reagan delivered one of the most significant and famous speeches of all time – “A Time For Choosing.” In that speech he alluded to the choice Americans would have to make in the 1968 election — a choice for big government and less freedom or limited government and more freedom (“This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”)

With that speech, California Republicans took notice. They were impressed with his political views and his undeniable charisma. And so they nominated him as the Republican party candidate for Governor in 1966.

The rest is history. And to a great many Americans, he is sorely missed.

Like it or not, agree or disagree, President Trump is a lot like Reagan. Like Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump started off as a Democrat. That makes sense…. he’s a New Yorker. And like Reagan, Trump became more civic-minded once he achieved personal wealth… once he came to understand all the intricacies of how businesses are affected by government policies; how wealth is created.

Both men gravitated to party that allows American citizens to have greater opportunities to control their own destinies rather than be made to be dependent on government agencies.

But most of all, both men heeded the call of the time, to rally a people to change a disastrous course that its government was on.  In fact, the situation presented to both men is incredibly similar. One just needs to continue reading Reagan’s remarks at that 1986 fundraiser event to note the similarities:

“As you may know, I went to Eureka College. That’s a little bit to the south and west of here. And I’ll never forget graduation day, when the president of the school handed me my diploma. He asked me a question that really stuck in my mind. He asked, ‘Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?’ Well, I’ve posed that question myself a few times since.

There was a time, and not so long ago, back in 1980, when the American people had to answer that question with a big, resounding ‘NO!’ The complete mismanagement of the party then in power had made an invalid of the once powerful giant of the American economy. After years of neglect, our proud military had fallen into disrepair and the mighty United States had become a whipping boy for penny-ante dictators and fanatics. A chorus of doom and gloom rose up from our opponents saying our best days were behind us and ringing down the curtain on America.

But you can be sure the American people never lost faith in our country. They knew that America’s best days were ahead of her, that the future was bright. And all they had to do was to clear out those people in Washington who were making such a mess of things. As usual, the American people were right. We came in and cut taxes, squashed inflation, unburdened the economy of needless regulations, heralding one of the longest peacetime expansions in history. Today there are actually 30,000 pages less in the Federal regulations than there were those few years ago. We built up our military, and around the world we spoke out loudly and clearly for freedom.

Today America is once again strong and united. Our economy is a powerhouse of economic growth and job creation, and we’ve regained our rightful place as leader of the free world. Now, there’s one change that makes me particularly proud: We have restored pride in the uniform of the military of the United States of America. Today’s recruits—and they’re all volunteers-are the most educated and some of the most highly motivated—simply the finest young men and women who have ever served their country. Indeed, we have a higher percentage of high school graduates in the military than we have ever had in our entire history, even with our wartime drafts. If we ever have to send them in harm’s way, I’m going to make sure they have the very best possible equipment that America can produce.

But it’s important to remember those dark days 5 ½ years ago, because the tax-and-spend crew is still lurking in the shadows, just waiting for a second chance. The liberal leadership of the Democratic Party hasn’t changed; they’re as addicted as ever to big government, high taxes, and inflation. They’re just itching to repeal our tax cuts, to replace our opportunity society with a welfare state. And their foreign policy is still the same: slash defense and, when in doubt, always ‘blame America first.’ The Democratic leadership would chart the most dangerous course for a nation since the Egyptians tried a shortcut through the Red Sea. You have to think about that one for a minute. We can’t let America be paralyzed by a hostile Congress. We have too much yet to accomplish…

I’ve come here today to tell you that this election in 1986 will be a crucial moment of decision for our country. Will liberal policies return us to the days of malaise?  Or will America continue down the road to progress? The answer to that question depends on one thing: [the people you elect]…..

I don’t have to tell you how important it is to have —– supporting our efforts to slim down the Federal bureaucracy and bring government back where it belongs: closer to the people. There are many people in Washington who have forgotten—or who want to forget this nation is a federation of sovereign States, and that is our basic strength……”

[Reference:   http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=37732 ]

Ronald Reagan brought us so much laughter and so much wisdom. He saw the defining issue of the day, laid it out crystal clear to the people of the United States, and put the country’s destiny in their hands. And as Reagan commented above: “The American people never lost faith in our country. They knew that America’s best days were ahead of her, that the future was bright. And all they had to do was to clear out those people in Washington who were making such a mess of things.”

And Donald Trump did the very same thing. Drain the Swamp. Make America Great Again.  The American people knew that it was DC getting in the way of the country’s greatness and the ability of people to get ahead.

I hope when people step into the ballot box in November, they remember Ronald Reagan and they realize the hope of the country lies within them, in their ability to appreciate what America needs to continues to be her greatest self and their willingness to make the right choices.  I hope they think back to Ronald Reagan and his path to finding his political identity, and especially to the criteria he used in finding that identity.

Conservatives, we may not have the mainstream media on our side, and we may not have those with the loudest platforms on our side, and we may not have the courts on our side, but if we want to do the right thing for our country, we need to use the one thing we do have…..  the ballot box.

As usual, the American people were right. We came in and cut taxes, squashed inflation, unburdened I hope everyone asks the right questions when they step into the ballot box

 

References:

Remarks given by President Ronald Reagan at a Fundraiser for Gov. James R. Thompson, Jr., in Rosemont, Illinois (April 12, 1986)  –   http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=37732

Video: Ronald Reagan’s Humor over the Years — https://www.facebook.com/diane.rufino.7/videos/10215249902793014/

Sorry Dinesh D’Souza: Your Comparison of Trump to Abraham Lincoln Evidences a Gross Misunderstanding of American History

DINESH D'SOUZA - Death of a Nation (Saving America a Second Time)

by Diane Rufino, June 15, 2018

Dinesh D’Souza’s latest movie is an excellent example of the kind of hogwash that writers and historians can put out there when there is a gross misunderstanding of our country’s history and its leaders.

The bottom line is this:  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS has no place in a society that values intelligence and truth.  WE’VE GOT TO PUT POLICIAL CORRECTNESS AND GOVERNMENT INTEREST ASIDE and  TEACH OUR HISTORY ACCURATELY.

Dinesh D’Souza has a new movie out in theatres. I just learned about this. The movie is titled DEATH OF A NATION (Can We Save America a Second Time). In its advertising, Dinesh uses the movie to make the comparison between Lincoln and Trump – both men elected to be president yet in both cases, the Democrats refused to accept the outcome.

Dinesh explains. “Not that they’re the same people, but that they’ve fallen into the same situation. Not since 1865 have Democrats so dramatically refused to accept the outcome of a presidential election. … The left has been playing these cards against conservatives for a decade. We explore if the fascist-racist tail should be pinned on the Republican elephant or the Democrat donkey.”

OK, first of all, I understand Dinesh’s need to make comparisons between Republicans and Democrats, and to use history to make his point, but in this case, the connection or comparison is a bit flimsy. The country is a far different place than it was when Abraham Lincoln ran. The country was divided along geographical lines – North vs. South.  It was economic pure and simple. In 2016, the divide is along ideological lines – Democrats v. Republicans. Neither party is the same party it was when Lincoln ran. NOT EVEN CLOSE. I can go into detail, and maybe I will at some later time, but the Republican Party was an evil and despicable party. There was nothing redeemable about it, although revisionist history paints them with a noble and compassionate brush.

I also understand the obsession Dinesh has (and I’m happy for his obsession for truth) to explore the roots of America’s racism and its claims of fascism. The left has been playing these cards against conservatives for a decade – maybe more. Anyone who thinks differently from a Democrat or a liberal/progressive is, of course, a racist. Not that anyone even knows what that term means anymore; most obviously it’s the left that doesn’t have a clue. It’s merely a term used to shut down intelligent conversation and to promote perpetual victimhood. And ANTIFA, a violent leftist movement much like the KKK, is a movement that accuses the right of supporting fascism. In his movie, Dinesh makes the case (strongly, as he has done in his prior works) that it has been the Democrats who are responsible for our racist history and who are, in fact, fascists.

The movie, first and foremost, is predicated on the comparison between Lincoln and Trump.

It’s hard to make an analogy between the two figures when both the country is so fundamentally different and when the political parties are so fundamentally different.

But that’s not my big issue with Dinesh’s movie DEATH OF A NATION. The racism and the fascism component is not my issue either.

Judging by its advertising and its poster, Dinesh believes that Abraham Lincoln saved the nation back in 1860.  As Dinesh wrote on Twitter: “Lincoln united his party and saved America from the Democrats for the first time” in the early 1860’s.” He then suggested that this is what Trump’s biggest challenge is and what he must do to “save the nation.”

Lincoln saved America from the Democrats??  Is Dinesh serious??  He writes this as if it were a good thing?  He says this and articulates this point in his movie as if it were a good thing? The Democrats, back then, were the party of the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence; they were the party of limited government and the party of the inherent “right of the People to alter or to abolish it [government], and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”  The Republicans, on the other hand, were the party of big government, the party of an ambitious government, and the party violently opposed to the right of self-determination. They were the party that believed that despite the Declaration’s assurance that in America, government is always temporary, always tasked primarily to secure the rights of the individual and always subject to happiness and satisfaction of the people, government in fact, has the primary objective to seek its own power and its own security and permanence, even when the people reject it and seek to abolish or alter it.

So, it was a good thing, Dinesh, that Lincoln and the Republicans “saved” the nation from the Democrats?

History is history. It should be taught and studied for what it was and what it is. It should be examined and studied for what it teaches all of us about the particular time period and about the people, the norms, and the views and politics of that era. It should NOT be taught or studied to suit current thought, and it should never be taught to conform to current norms, to a current agenda, or to a progressive agenda.

I am terribly disappointed in Dinesh in characterizing Lincoln as a great American leader and using him as a role model. I’ve read many of his books and I’ve usually been impressed with the research he’s done to support his views, but in this case, he has failed to do his due diligence on Lincoln, on the Civil War, and on our nation’s early history. The Civil War was the single most grievous decision by any US President. The Republican Party was an evil party formed for the sole purpose of destroying the South and subjugating its people through a highly confiscatory tariff scheme. It was not the party formed to abolish slavery. (that decision was merely a war measure, designed to encourage massive slave revolts against the women and children in the South and to discourage Britain and France from entering the war on the side of the Confederacy). The Democrats, on the other hand, merely wanted the federal government to respect the interests of all areas of the country equally, according to the Constitution. [Note, Congressmen from the North (Republicans, in both House and Senate; 7 Southern States had already seceded) passed the original 13th Amendment which would have cemented slavery in the United States; it would have completely prohibited the government from any attempts to abolish it]. If slavery is what the Democrats really wanted, the Southern States would have accepted that amendment and rejoined the Union, but they didn’t. They didn’t even consider the amendment.

This is what I wrote in response to Dinesh on Instagram: “Lincoln didn’t save the nation; he destroyed it. He re-made it, but on the most un-American and anti-revolutionary terms (reference to the principles the colonies fought for in the American Revolution). All the problems we have in the country right now can be traced to the government system that resulted from Lincoln’s purely political decision to instigate the war, his willing rejection of our founding principles, and his absolute incorrect re-characterization of our federal union and our Constitution. Thanks to Lincoln, there are no more effective checks on the power and ambition of the federal government. The government of our Founding Fathers is dead. To say Lincoln saved the Union (“saved America”) by fighting the Civil War is like saying a man saves his marriage by beating his wife. Submission by violence is NOT freedom.”

I have no problem bashing and criticizing the current Democratic Party. They voted to take God out of their platform 3 times at their Convention in 2016, they are violent, they are rude and offensive, they are hypocritical, they are un-American in their views, they work incessantly to undermine our country and are now vocal in their hopes that our country fails (just to be able to blame Republicans), and they are highly antagonistic to our essential freedoms. BUT, I am ever so disappointed in Dinesh D’Souza for enlisting Lincoln in any attempt to elevate the modern-day Republican Party.

 

- 2018 (BEST BEST, gray shirt)

Robert DeNiro at the Tony Awards: Another Member of the So-Called Entertainment Industry Goes Full Retard

ROBERT DeNIRO - Tony Awards (WT News)

(WT News photo)

by Diane Rufino, June 11, 2018

At the Tony Awards last night, Robert DeNiro delighted the audience with these words: “I’m gonna say one thing: F— Trump!” As he spoke, he clenched his two fists in the air, with great dramatic flair, probably hoping to be considered for another award.

What we have here is another liberal member of the so-called entertainment industry who has gone full retard. In the movie Tropic Thunder, Robert Downey Jr warned his fellow actors: “Everybody knows you never go full retard.” Apparently, DeNiro wasn’t paying attention.

Downey’s entire line went like this: “Everybody knows you never go full retard. Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, ‘Rain Man,’ look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Counted toothpicks, cheated cards. Autistic, sho’. Not retarded. You know Tom Hanks, ‘Forrest Gump.’ Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pong competition. That ain’t retarded. Peter Sellers, “Being There.” Infantile, yes. Retarded, no. Never go full retard. You don’t buy that? Ask Sean Penn, 2001, I AM SAM. Remember? He went full retard, went home empty handed…”

DeNiro went full retard. Up until last night, he had been acting essentially like an over-inflated, entitled, whining liberal crybaby. But on that stage last night, tasked with introducing fellow libtard Brice Springsteen, he went full retard.

In the court of public opinion, which is the realm where intelligent people exist, the empty-headed go home empty-handed.

In other words, good luck finding fans who give a damn about you or your movies anymore.

It’s true what they say about Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS)….. Those afflicted simply can’t get Trump out of their heads. The fact that he is president is enough to ruin every minute of their day and to cause them to turn every event and every conversation into an opportunity to insult him or to wish for his failure or his death.

Robert DeNiro, like Meryl Streep and Samantha Bee and Kathy Griffin and Bill Maher and Joy Behar, has gone bye-bye. He has left the building. He’s checked out of the world of sane people.

Let me put it another way……..

De-Niro is de-ranged! The Taxi Driver has driven off the planet. The Raging Bull is full of rage and bull.

How Quickly Trump’s Tax Return Story Has Disappeared

Trump - where are your tax returns

by Diane Rufino, April 23, 2017

During the September 26, 2016 presidential debate, candidate Hillary Clinton hinted that her opponent, Donald Trump, was hiding something by not releasing his taxes. Who can forget her attack: “You’ve gotta ask yourself, why won’t he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be. Third, we don’t know all of his business dealings, but we have been told, through investigative reporting that, he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks. Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes. Because the only years that anybody has ever seen, were a couple of years where he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license. And they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.”  Most of us shook our heads at the audacity of the likes of Hillary Clinton, a serial liar, cheat, intimidation expert, and lawbreaker, and known roundly for her lack of ethics, morals, and decency (particularly in a so-called charitable organization, the Clinton Foundation, which turned out to be a sham or front for her own campaign financing)

When Trump’s 2005 tax returns were inappropriately leaked (the smear campaign against Donald Trump already in full swing), Rachel Maddow, and MSNBC, couldn’t wait to treat their rabid progressive audience to what they were sure was evidence of a tax-evader. And so, on air, Maddow, filled with the kind of exuberance that only liberals and progressives are capable of – in anticipation of destroying the reputation of a hardworking, patriotic, conservative family man, exposed Trump’s tax results.

The only thing….  Trump’s tax returns weren’t at all what she, or the left, were expecting. Not only did Trump not escape paying taxes, but he paid a higher rate than the likes of Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama. The Obamas paid an effective tax rate of only 18.7% in 2015. Bernie Sanders paid a federal tax rate of only 13.5% in 2014. Ironically, Comcast, the parent of MSNBC, paid a tax rate of only 24% from 2008 through 2012, less than Trump’s 2005 effective rate of roughly 25.3%. Trump paid $38 million in taxes on an income of $150 million.

Back in 1995, Trump had serious financial issues. We know this because of another “inappropriate” leak of Trump’s tax returns. In fact, by the early 1990’s, Trump was hemorrhaging money and was on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars. He was heading toward personal bankruptcy as a result of a series of misguided investments and mismanagement of his company in the late 1980’s which ended up forcing him to borrow money from his family. Trump suffered a staggering loss of $916 million in 1995 – enough to allow him to take advantage of a tax law which would permit him to avoid paying income taxes for 18 years.

Perhaps Hillary Clinton and her campaign strategists took a gamble on this information, using it to make the bold accusation that Trump wasn’t releasing his tax returns because he wasn’t in fact, paying taxes. This, of course, begs the follow-up: She must have been given this information in advance; someone must have leaked information to her and the campaign prior to its release through the news that Trump suffered such devastating losses that surely he was exempt from paying federal income tax. Was that Hillary’s “October surprise”?

Trump’s tax information was leaked to the New York Times; it was received by an “anonymous” package in the mail. It then made it to Maddow and to all other news outlets. Those who gleefully exposed it, hoping it would embarrass and harm Trump’s legitimacy for the presidency, suffered ridicule and embarrassment themselves. We enjoyed watching them with egg on their faces.

TRUMP - tax returns (Rachel Maddow meme - fake news)

Indeed, Trump’s near-billion-dollar loss in 1995 might have been the single biggest net operating loss in the country that year, amounting to almost 2 percent of the total “net operating losses” reported by all American taxpayers who used the same tax provision as Trump.

Sure, Donald Trump did not pay federal income tax in 1995, and perhaps even a few years after that. But as the leaked 2005 tax return shows, he chose NOT to take advantage of a tax law that Congress itself put into the IRS code to enjoy relief from taxes for nearly two decades.

That speaks to the man that is Donald Trump.

Trump may not be as good a businessman as he claims nor as rich, but he is clearly an honest-enough taxpayer and loyal American who believes that if he has made money in this country, he is obligated to pay taxes and not shift the burden to the middle class to pay the taxes he should. He doesn’t have the intuition of a Hillary Clinton to break and skirt the law, nor the audacity of a Bernie Sanders, who paid minimal while being quite rich.

This story goes to show one thing —  Liberals and Democrats are so happy to go after conservatives and Republicans for character assassination. All too often, as in this case, we find the charges to be baseless or trumped up (couldn’t resist!) and in the end, we find that, by comparison, liberals and Democrats are guilty of far worse and have gotten away with it.

Maybe the American people will begin to take accusations by the left a little less seriously, maybe they will begin to note the glaring hypocrisy, and maybe – just maybe – they will give President Donald Trump a chance to help the American people, as a whole, and to Make America Great Again !!

 

References:
Daniel John Sobieski, “Rogue IRS Felons Vindicate Trump,” American Thinker, March 16, 2917.  Referenced at:  http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/03/rogue_irs_felons_vindicate_trump.html

Abigail Tracy, “Trump’s Financial Troubles in the Early 1990’s Were Even Worse Than Anyone Thought,” Vanity Fair, October 4, 2016.  Referenced at:  http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/10/donald-trump-financial-troubles-taxes-1990s

David Barstow, Russ Bruettner, Susanne Craig, and Megan Twohey, “Donald Trump Tax Records Show He Could Have Avoided Taxes for Nearly Two Decades,” The New York Times, November 2, 2016.  Referenced at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-taxes.html

Adam Liptak, “Is It Illegal to Publish a President’s Tax Returns,” The New York Times, March 15, 2017.  Referenced at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/15/us/politics/trump-tax-returns-legal-precedent.html

Give Trump a Chance

- at school (Feb. 28, 2017)

By Diane Rufino, March 18, 2017

I’m tired of the insane talking points and reactions to everything President Trump is doing. I’m tired of the messages and texts from people who accuse me of being some horrible person for supporting the election of Trump and his policies of tax reform, healthcare reform, trade deal reform, job creation, immigration enforcement and increased homeland security. Everyone who voted for Trump saw the necessity for these policies. And guess what, most of America (through the electoral system) agreed with him and rejected the decaying policies of the Democratic party and it spokesperson, the deeply-flawed Hillary Clinton. It indeed was a revolution of sorts, accomplished by a momentous turn-out at the ballot box and a major shift in ideology by a good chunk of the American people. Government wasn’t working for them.

The dishonest news better get on board and start paying allegiance to the ones it was granted first amendment protection in the first place – the American people….. not a political party and not the federal government. They need to start reporting objectively and accurately and start recognizing the legitimate concerns of the people and not the goals of the Democratic Party or the progressive movement. Otherwise, let them organize as a PAC. Progressive judges need to read the Constitution, understand it, and stop trying to be a branch of government that they are not. People need to show respect for the results of 2016 election because that was the voice of their fellow citizens. The election was extremely significant in what it stood for. All anyone needs to do is to take a look at a breakdown of the election county-by-county across the 50 states. Again, it was a grassroots revolution…. a unified message that government is corrupt, bloated, antagonistic to the interests of business and taxpayers alike, unfit to protect the American people and manage who comes across our borders, and incapable of putting the interests of American citizens before the interests of other groups.

Give President Trump a chance. Sit back and enjoy the increase in jobs. People who have jobs can support themselves and their families and can live productive lives with dignity and self-respect. Sit back and enjoy the lower taxes you’ll have to pay (if you are, in fact, one of the ones who pay). Sit back and watch how greater homeland security will make you feel safer. Sit back and watch how a common-sense immigration policy will reduce the burden on our social services, provide jobs for citizens, and reduce the violence in our communities. Sit back and enjoy the lower healthcare insurance premiums that you will have to pay. Sit back and enjoy decreased federal regulations that used to strangle small businesses, burden agriculture, increase costs of energy, lower the efficiency of public education, and lessen the personal use and enjoyment of our real property. Give him a chance. Maybe you’ll see that, in fact, the good and decent people of the United States got it right and that the people’s revolution was a good thing after all.

Let’s not forget the words of President John F. Kennedy: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

TRUMP - thumbs up

What Our Founding Generation Would Have Said About Obamacare

tea-party-you-mean-we-can-tax-them-for-not-buying-tea       by Diane Rufino, February 25, 2017

Although we are on the verge of having President Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka, “Obamacare”) repealed and replaced, I am writing this piece to remind folks of the loss of freedom we suffered at the hands of President Obama and his administration with the unconstitutional and universal healthcare scheme he misrepresented and then forced on the American people.

The assault on the precious liberties of the American people were realized by only a handful (and certainly not the liberal members of the Supreme Court) and to half of these, it didn’t matter. When I talk about those who could care less, I am referring to the Republican members of Congress, who for years seemed unable to craft legislation or summon a vote.

Certainly, the caliber of an “American” has changed. We should all shutter for the future of our republic and for the security of the liberties our forefathers fought a revolution for. The debacle known as Obamacare has shown that they are never secure in the face of a hostile president who uses a “phone and a pen” and secret meetings to pressure legislation that that are violative of them.

Yes, it would be wonderful for everyone to have healthcare insurance to help them with their healthcare costs. It would be great if insurance didn’t make it cost prohibitive for those with pre-existing conditions. It would be great if times were like they were many years ago when everyone went to school, took their education seriously, got a job, and took care of themselves and their families. But jobs are scarce and people willing to invest in themselves and look for a job are even scarcer. It would be great if people took stock of their health and avoided tobacco, drugs, and fattening foods so that they are not obese and prone to diabetes and heart disease and therefore put an enormous strain on our healthcare system, but they don’t.

Yes, there are poor people out there. Some are poor because of a legitimate situation but most are poor because of a mindset and lifestyle choice. Some complain about being poor but don’t want a job; they merely want to be made more comfortable in poverty, which the Democratic Party is all-too-happy to do. Dependents make the most loyal voters. Why would anyone want to set an alarm to get up early every morning, worry about shuffling their kids to daycare, deal with traffic on the roads, put up with bullshit at work, put up with a horrible boss, have to show up even when they don’t feel well, strive to earn a decent performance evaluation just to hopefully be able to take home the same amount of money the following year, stress out about whether he or she has job security, balance work with other parenting obligations (such as when children get sick), and deal with limited days off when they could stay home, sleep late, get a welfare check from the government, have their apartments paid for, heating and air-conditioning paid for, food paid for, daycare covered (even though they aren’t working), a free cell phone, and free healthcare. Why do they need to work? Why would they even want to work?

American used to produce things. Americans used to be productive citizens. They were ambitious, resourceful, proud. Our government programs are creating the human waste and decay that is beginning to define America and destroy our cities, our schools, and our ability to live contently amongst each other. How can one group of Americans, who work hard, raise their families responsibly, pay their taxes and then find out that those exceedingly high taxes are going to pay for others and their families, have any respect for the latter? They don’t. They don’t look at them as equals.

But there is a constitutional way to solve problems and there is an unconstitutional way to solve them. And that’s why it is so important to vet presidential candidates for their constitutional character and not make choices based on skin color or social justice.

And so, a lesson taught so well that it inspired a revolution has been lost on today’s generation of Americans. And that lesson was to never yield individual liberties to the designs of government, even if those designs are well-intentioned. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote: “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficient… The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

The lesson of the Boston Tea Party, an act of civil disobedience and protest that inspired today’s Sons of Liberty movement (the Tea Party), is an important and timeless lesson.

On the night of December 16,1773, members of the Sons of Liberty dressed as Indians, boarded three ships in the Boston harbor, and tossed 342 chests of tea overboard. They did this to protest the Tea Act. The Tea Act was actually not so bad in its provisions – it provided a high-quality tea, at lower costs than the colonists had been used to, and at a lower tax than what they had been previously used to. So why were the colonists so upset?

The Tea Act of 1773 was a follow-up to the Revenue Act, which was one of the laws in the hugely unpopular Townshend Acts. The Townshend Acts set new import duties (taxes) on British goods including paint, paper, lead, glass and tea. Due to protests from British merchants, whose trade was seriously effected by the American colonists refusing to buy the goods, Parliament ultimately repealed all of the duties (taxes) – except the tax on tea.

The principal objective of the Tea Act was to reduce the massive amount of tea held by the financially-troubled British East India Company in its London warehouses and to help the struggling company survive and to do so, it created a monopoly on the sale of tea to the colonies to the East India Company. It allowed the East India company to sell its large tea surplus below the prices charged by colonial competitors and thus under-cut and threatened local tea merchants. It was able to sell its tea at lower prices because the Act granted the Company the right to ship its tea directly to North America from its China warehouses (without first stopping at Britain to pay export duties). However, as mentioned earlier, the tea imposed on the colonies was still subject to the tea tax under the Revenue Act.

Specifically, the Tea Act provided:

1. Tea could be shipped in East India Company ships directly from China to the American colonies, thus avoiding the tax on goods first due England, as required by previous legislation.

2. A duty (tax) of 3 pence per pound was to be collected on tea delivered to America. [The previous duty (tax) was 12 pence (1 shilling) per pound, which was paid on tax which had been sent from Britain, so colonists would be paying LESS in tea tax with this Act. Also, interestingly, they would be getting their tea cheaper than the people of Britain !!].

3. The tea would be marketed and forced on colonists by special consignees (receivers of shipments) who would be selected by the East India Tea Company.

The new import tax of 3 pence was considerably less than the previous tea tax on the colonists, in which 12 pence (1 shilling) per pound on tea sent via Britain, so colonists would be paying LESS in tea tax with the Tea Act of 1773. Also, interestingly, they would be getting their tea cheaper than the people of Britain !! Even King George III was reported to comment that “the colonists will finally be happy!” and will stop protesting.

The Act also encouraged British agents to seek out local merchants of tea who were smuggling in tea (in violation of the new law) and shut down their operations. In effect, they were making sure the monopoly on tea was complete and that colonists were buying only the tea that the British Parliament were forcing on them.

While the average contemporary American might look at the bottom dollar and assess the law based on their pocketbook and conclude that the Tea Act was good and fair, our founding generation looked at the insidious violations to their fundamental liberties embedded in this seemingly harmless law.

First of all, the Tea Act forced the colonists to purchase Company tea on which the Townshend duties were paid, thus implicitly asserting Parliament’s right of taxation. Even though the costs and the taxes were lowered, they would not back down on their demand that there be “No Taxation Without Representation!” This basic English right was secured in the Magna Carta of 1215 and re-asserted over and over again up until the English Bill of Rights of 1689, which essentially transferred government power from the King to the peoples’ house – Parliament. And second, the Tea Act compelled the colonists to buy a product identified by a legislative body far away. It took away their right to enjoy competition and to pursue livelihoods.

If men like Sam Adams, John Hancock, James Otis Jr., Paul Revere were alive today, they would have called out Obamacare for violations similar to those in the Tea Act. They wouldn’t be complaining about the increased premiums or the frustration in signing up for healthcare… they would be sounding the alarm to government compulsion and unconstitutional taxation.

Let’s hope that when Obamacare is repealed it will be replaced by a scheme that divests the federal government of compulsion power over the American people and returns power to the free market system. And let’s help educate our lesser-informed members of society that those who are all too happy to receive hand-outs from the government are the most insidious threats to the very liberty upon which our country was founded. “A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety,” wrote John Stuart Mill, “is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”