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President Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka, “Obamacare”) repealed and replaced, I am writing this piece to remind folks of the loss of freedom we suffered at the hands of President Obama and his administration with the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.”

Constitution Day 2013

Constitution - #2  by Diane Rufino

Last Tuesday was Constitution Day – September 17.  It marks the day that the Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 concluded and the final draft of Constitution was signed by the delegates who attended.  It is fitting that this is the day we choose to honor the US Constitution.  As we all probably know, the Convention was called in a somewhat devious and misleading manner.  James Madison and others from Virginia called the Convention (after securing a promise that the most beloved man in America would serve as its president – George Washington) for the express purpose of AMENDING the Articles of Confederation and tweaking the Continental Congress (the government at the time) to make it more effective. The most glaring defect of the common government was its ability to raise the revenue it needed to carry out its functions.

All the states sent delegates except Rhode Island.  And so 12 of our original 13 states participated in Philadelphia. Collectively they appointed 70 individuals to the Constitutional Convention.  But a number of our most important Founding Fathers did not accept or could not attend. These included Richard Henry Lee (of VA), Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock. Jefferson, who authored the Declaration, was overseas at the time, acting as Minister to France. And Patrick Henry did not trust the intentions of some of the delegates.  He found out the real intention of the Convention – to scratch the Articles entirely and to write a new Constitution and design a new government.  Patrick Henry suspected that New York’s delegate, Alexander Hamilton, a strong monarchist, would try to get his way and fashion our new government after the British Monarchy. And so Henry declined to go to Philadelphia, claiming: “I smell a rat.”

And so when a total of 55 delegates from the states met in Philadelphia, they soon found out the real purpose of the gathering. Some did not take the news very well and argued that they did not have the proper authority to abandon the Articles of Confederation.  James Madison, George Mason and Edmond Randolph, all of Virginia, arrived in Philadelphia well-prepared. In fact, Madison was the first to arrive.  He arrived in February, three months before the convention began, with a Plan already prepared and a blueprint for the new Constitution and government in place. Although he authored the Plan, it was Randolph, who was Governor of Virginia at the time, who proposed it at the Convention – in the form of 15 resolutions. It was known as the Virginia Plan. It called for a strong NATIONAL government with many centralized functions and also with a UNIVERSAL VETO power over the States.  Madison called it a “universal negative.” Under Madison’s Virginia’s Plan, the government would have the power to veto any state law “for any case whatsoever.”

Luckily, the Virginia delegation couldn’t sell all of their plan to the other states and the Convention turned out to be a 4-month exercise in compromise and well-intentioned debate.  In the end, on September 17th, we got a constitution that created a limited FEDERAL government.  It was quite different in many respects from the government that the Virginians proposed. Luckily, the overwhelming number of delegates at the Convention that year did not believe in concentrating too much power in a common government; they believed that government is most responsive when it is closest to the People and so they remained steadfast that the bulk of government power must remain with the States.  A government that is closest to the People can serve them best and can be “altered or abolished” by them when circumstances demand it.

The delegates ranged in age from Jonathan Dayton (of NJ), aged 26, to Benjamin Franklin, aged 81, who was so infirm that he had to be carried to sessions in a chair. They brought with them the interests of their States and their people. They brought with them a wealth of knowledge and a keen eye on the prize they fought for in the American Revolution (which Patrick Henry would later describe as “that precious jewel – Liberty”).  They brought with them their understanding of what a common government should do to serve them and also to serve a common good for all States.  Not one State intended to surrender its sovereignty or its influence.  Not one state intended to surrender its individual identity for a “national” identity.

In the close of the Convention, only 39 delegates would feel compelled to sign the Constitution.  Many refused to sign because there was no Bill of Rights.  More than half of the Virginia delegation wouldn’t sign, including Mr. Randolph himself and George Mason (who wrote Virginia’s Bill of Rights). Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts was another powerhouse that refused to sign it.  A Bill of Rights, they argued, was an absolute necessity to limit any government.

The particular opposition by George Mason is most compelling.  While Elbridge Gerry was, by most accounts, cantankerous, irritable, and most disagreeable to many things and Randolph was likely sulking since his Plan was rejected in good part and believing that the States would ultimately reject a new constitution anyway, it was Mason who refused to sign based on pure principle.

George Mason didn’t trust a large republican government…  not without a Bill of Rights, that’s for certain.  He believed certain stipulations were necessary to protect the liberties of the People from the reaches of government.  James Madison, on the other hand, argued against a Bill of Rights. It was his position that such stipulations weren’t necessary due to the nature of the Constitution. He argued that the Constitution specifically enumerated the powers that were delegated to the federal government. That is, the document explained what the government COULD do and not what it COULD NOT do.  He feared if a Bill of Rights was included, it could ultimately backfire on the People. He feared that if a Bill of Rights was added to prohibit the government from intruding on rights A, B, and C, then it could be inferred that the government could intrude on rights D, E, and F. Madison explained that if you listed some individual rights, you must list them all and that would necessarily change the Constitution from forbidding the federal government from doing anything not enumerated to something that allows the government do whatever it wants as long as it is not listed in a Bill of Rights.

But Mason wasn’t convinced by fellow his fellow Virginian’s rationale.  For Mason, it came down to principal, basic human nature, and the enormity of history that taught us what happens when government has the ability to concentrate power. In early 1776, before Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, Mason drafted the Virginia Declaration of Rights and helped frame Virginia’s constitution. George Mason was exceedingly proud of Virginia’s Declaration of Rights, and was pleased that it became a model for other states. In part, the Declaration of Rights provided:

SEC.1 That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

SEC. 2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants and at all times amenable to them.

SEC.3.  Government is, or ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration and […] when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

The document had sixteen sections, but it’s quite clear that these short paragraphs encompassed America’s Founding Principles, which Thomas Jefferson would later incorporate into the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. Mason simply did not trust a government to police itself.

Even Thomas Jefferson agreed.  He wrote James Madison from his post in France that a Bill of Rights should be added: “A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.”

The decision of whether to add a Bill of Rights ultimately came down to the States in their Ratifying Conventions. And George Mason, along with Patrick Henry, would do all they could to derail the ratification of the Constitution until proper assurances and restraints were added.

At the Virginia Ratifying Convention in June 4, 1788, Mason took the floor and addressed the delegates:  “Does any man suppose that one general national government can exist in so extensive a country as this? I hope that a government may be framed which may suit us, by drawing a line between the general and state governments, and prevent that dangerous clashing of interest and power, which must, as it now stands, terminate in the destruction of one or the other. When we come to the judiciary, we shall be more convinced that this government will terminate in the annihilation of the state governments: the question then will be, whether a consolidated government can preserve the freedom and secure the rights of the people.  If such amendments be introduced as shall exclude danger, I shall most gladly put my hand to it. When such amendments as shall, from the best information, secure the great essential rights of the people, shall be agreed to by gentlemen, I shall most heartily make the greatest concessions, and concur in any reasonable measure to obtain the desirable end of conciliation and unanimity…”

Patrick Henry accused the Virginia delegation of abandoning the spirit of the Revolution by taking the Constitution at face value and trusting a common government to respect the sovereign powers of the States and limit itself to expressly-delegated objects.  On June 5, 1788, he addressed the members of the Ratifying Convention with these words:

“When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different.  Liberty, sir, was then the primary object.

      We are descended from a people whose government was founded on liberty; our glorious forefathers of Great Britain made liberty the foundation of everything. That country is become a great, mighty, and splendid nation; not because their government is strong and energetic, but, sir, because liberty is its direct end and foundation. We drew the spirit of liberty from our British ancestors; by that spirit we have triumphed over every difficulty. But now, sir, the American spirit, assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation, is about to convert this country into a powerful and mighty empire. If you make the citizens of this country agree to become the subjects of one great consolidated empire of America, your government will not have sufficient energy to keep them together. Such a government is incompatible with the genius of republicanism. There will be no checks, no real balances, in this government.

      Consider our situation, sir; go to the poor man and ask him what he does. He will inform you that he enjoys the fruits of his labor, under his own fig tree, with his wife and children around him, in peace and security. Go to every other member of society; you will find the same tranquil ease and content; you will find no alarms or disturbances. Why, then, tell us of danger, to terrify us into an adoption of this new form of government? And yet who knows the dangers that this new system may produce? They are out of sight of the common people; they cannot foresee latent consequences. I dread the operation of it on the middling and lower classes of people; it is for them I fear the adoption of this system. I fear I tire the patience of the committee, but I beg to be indulged with a few more observations.

 I profess myself an advocate for the liberty of the people. I have said that I thought this a consolidated government; I will now prove it. Will the great rights of the people be secured by this government?  Suppose it should prove oppressive, how can it be altered?  Our Bill of Rights (Virginia’s) declares that ‘a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.’ 

      The voice of tradition, I trust, will inform posterity of our struggles for freedom. If our descendants be worthy the name of Americans they will preserve and hand down to their latest posterity the transactions of the present times……

      Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings…  Give us that precious jewel, and you may take everything else!   Guard it with jealous attention. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel…

At this point, the adoption of the Constitution seemed unlikely. Virginia would likely not ratify and neither would New York, and North Carolina clearly would not ratify. Without Virginia, Madison realized, there could be no hope of ever building a coalition to adopt it.  Madison needed Virginia. And so he began working tirelessly for ratification. He teamed up with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay on a series of articles (collectively called “The Federalist Papers”) that were published in newspapers all throughout the States making the case for ratification. And then he changed his stance on a Bill of Rights. He promised to include a bill of rights as the first order of business for the new federal congress. This finally brought George Mason around, which then helped tip Virginia towards ratification.

In the end, as we know, the Constitution was ratified by the States and we became a “more perfect Union” in 1788.  On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making it the Law of the Land.  Virginia and New York ratified it within a month and North Carolina wouldn’t ratify it until over a year later (November 1789).

The Federalist Papers, the debates in the various State Ratifying Conventions, and the Bill of Rights itself continue to be a lasting testament to the limited nature of the US Constitution.

In past years, Tea Parties, Constitutional groups, and other conservative organizations honored Constitution Day by passing out pocket Constitutions.  We have asked people to take the time to read it and become familiar with it.  But perhaps the real message we need to send is how all our Founding documents fit together and why the Constitution still matters.

First, let’s ask what IS a Constitution?  Our Founders gave us that answer.

The Supreme Court, with John Jay (author of some of the Federalist Papers) as the Chief Justice, told us in 1795:

What is a Constitution? It is the form of government, delineated by the mighty hand of the people, in which certain first principles of fundamental laws are established. The Constitution is certain and fixed; it contains the permanent will of the people and is the supreme law of the land…
       It is stable and permanent, not to be worked upon by the temper of the times, nor to rise and fall with the tide of events; notwithstanding the competition of opposing interests, and the violence of contending parties, it remains firm and immovable, as a mountain amidst the raging of the waves.”   [Opinion in Vanhorne’s Lessee v. Dorance, 2 U.S. 304, 308 (1795)]

A constitution is not the act of a government, but of a people constituting a government; and government without a constitution is power without a right. All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must be either delegated, or assumed. There are not other sources. All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either.”   — Thomas PaineRights of Man (1791-1792)

The purpose of a written constitution is to bind up the several branches of government by certain laws, which, when they transgress, their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to surrender those rights.” — Thomas JeffersonNotes on Virginia, 1782.

Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction.” — Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to W. Nicholas (1803)

Does it sound like our Constitution was intended to become a LIVING, BREATHING DOCUMENT?

The reality is that the Constitution is not a stand-alone document.  And I think that is where our discussions have failed.  Our founding documents fit together as follows:

(i) The Declaration of Independence.  It proclaims our philosophy of sovereignty, rights, and government.  It establishes the order in our country and puts government in perspective. The individual precedes government. Government must serve the individual by protecting his rights.

(ii) The US Constitution.  It designed a government (checked by the sovereign powers of the States and the People) to embrace the philosophy set forth in the Declaration.

(iii) The Bill of Rights.  It further limits the authority of the federal government (as the preamble to the Bill of Rights states: “In order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added…..”)

We enjoy our God-given rights because our founding documents boldly assert that only We the People have the right to determine our government, since it is only by the voluntary and temporary delegation of our rights to govern ourselves that government exists. We have the right to “alter or abolish” government when it becomes destructive of its ends (which is first and foremost to protect and preserve our rights to Life, Liberty, and Property and the right to defend them). Nowhere in any of our founding documents is government given a life of its own; it has no right or power to seek its own self-interests nor to preserve, insure, or protect its existence. Yet today, government’s interests are placed above those of the People. Government has made sure that it has the exclusive power to define its own powers.

Our creature has become our master.

Too often the Supreme Court uses a skewed perspective. Instead of asking:  ’Are citizens’ rights being violated by this law?’  the Court asks: ‘Is the violation of citizens’ rights justified because of overriding government goals and objectives?’  Too often the answer the court delivers is ‘yes.’  When your rights get in the way of a government objective, you lose.

       Government created to protect your rights should have no goal higher than the protection of those rights. When government’s own goals override your rights, government is acting unconstitutionally. Government often states that these violations of citizens’ rights are necessary ‘for the good of society.’  Society is ill served by laws which violate the rights of the citizens making up that society.

       The Constitution (and the federal government it brought into existence) was created by the states to serve the states. It sets forth the rules for how the government must behave and says, in effect (in the tenth amendment)  ’Any powers that we did not give to you are ours; we’re still the boss.’

This is like exercising parental control. You tell your child how to act, with whom he (or she) may associate and what time he must be home. You assign household chores and responsibilities. In short, you establish rules of proper conduct.

       Suppose that this works fine for a while, but as your child grows, he begins testing the boundaries you had set and breaking the rules, but you do nothing to prevent it. One day you realize that your child is making his own rules, even telling you what to do and what you cannot do. If you object that he is not acting within the rules you set down, he says that he knows better than you what your rules mean. If you try to assert your own rights, you are punished — your child is now bigger and stronger than you are. Your child’s allowance demands are ever increasing. If you don’t do something to correct the situation soon, you’ll be declared incompetent and your child will control all aspects of your life.”

The Tea Party and Constitutional groups take a lot of criticism.  The media, for example, says that the Tea Party has lost steam and has lost relevance.  And sometimes, I admit it, I wonder if it might be true. But when I celebrate Constitution Day and when I continue studying the Constitution and what our Founders intended, and when I have those “light bulb” moments when I begin to understand why certain principles were incorporated into our founding documents, I am reminded of why the Tea Party was founded in the first place and why it is so important.  And I am re-inspired to be a part of it, as well as the Tenth Amendment Center.  It’s because the Tea Party is the party of the Constitution.  We understand its relevance……   We understand why our Founders rejected that Virginia Plan in Philadelphia and why they spent four months building the consensus for a government that would be delegated only limited powers and that would be restrained by a series of checks and balances.

We understand that the problems our country faces today are all a direct consequence of the federal government’s failure to keep itself limited to the express powers delegated to it by the States back in 1791 AND the States’ failure to stand up and remind the government of its limits.

We understand – because we know that America is still defined by the Declaration of Independence – that every time the federal government oversteps its constitutional authority, it is taking sovereign power away from We the People and from the States.  And it has to stop.   We are slowly (maybe not slowly) slipping back into tyranny.

There is a lot at stake in the American experiment. Ours is a nation founded on an ideal and nothing else.  Whether that grand ideal will survive depends on whether the American experiment is successful or not. What is that ideal?  It is the notion that individuals are sovereign and that they are endowed with Natural rights that are “self-evident” and “inalienable” which are an integral part of their very humanity. Since these rights come from our Creator, they cannot be deemed to be granted by government. Hence government is powerless to take them away or violate them. In fact, governments are instituted to serve the People and to protect those rights.

It was from that ideal that our Founders understood the great challenge that would be presented:  How to keep the role of government strictly limited in order that liberty is enlarged and that government is prevented from growing into a new form of tyranny.  They studied history and were well-aware that the nature of any government is to control and gain more power from those it governs. And that in that challenge, we understand why the Constitution is still relevant.  At one time it defined a limited government and it offered numerous protections against those governmental intrusions which they knew would come eventually.  The Constitution still holds the power of limited government and still defines the proper relationship between the People, the States, and the federal government. The key is to put that document, with its original meaning and its original intent, back to work for the American people and for the protection of their inalienable rights.

The Tea Party summoned the spirit of the Revolution to resurrect the Constitution. They went back to the days of peaceful civil disobedience, ownership of their rights and destiny, engagement of their government in their civil liberties, and robust discussion of what it means to be a “free” people.

They took the name “Tea Party” because of its rich historical significance. The Boston Tea Party occurred on December 16, 1773 as a protest against the tax on tea imposed by a government in a far-off land that did not permit its representation in the legislative process (Parliament).  Earlier that year, the British government passed the Tea Act, which authorized the British East India Company to ship tea directly to colonies while the government levied a tax of three pence on each shipment. While the Tea Act actually lowered the price of tea for colonists (so that even with the tax, the colonists were still paying less for tea), many colonists were still angry at being taxed at all.

“Taxation without Representation” was a rallying cry that was particularly significant. The taxes the British tried to collect were modest and the revenue collected was to be spent entirely in the colonies for their benefit and protection. It wasn’t even going to be sent back to the mother country. So why all the fuss and cry of “tyranny”?  It was because the real reason for American Revolution was the lack of political machinery to protect the colonists’ rights.  In short, our founding agitators and revolutionaries weren’t as concerned about the insignificant tax on tea as they were with the underlying violations of their basic human rights.

The American experiment will continue to be successful only as long as we continue to be as vigilante and protective of our rights and as long as we continue to demand that government keep its distance. And so, as we recognize Constitution Day each year on September 17, we should re-commit to our Revolutionary spirit as Americans and read our founding documents in that light. As Jefferson warned, we shouldn’t render our government one of general and unlimited power because we’ve tacitly allowed it the exclusive domain to interpret the Constitution as it sees fit.  We can all know the meaning and intention of the Constitution simply by doing our homework and reading what words of wisdom our Founders left. We don’t need government officials or judges to tell us.  Government wants power.  People want liberty.

As Patrick Henry warned on June 5, 1788 when he addressed the Virginia Ratifying Convention: (paraphrasing) “When we lose the American spirit and our mental powers have decayed, then our liberty will be gone forever.”

Unite in Freedom!

Freedom - eagle

by Diane Rufino, January 13, 2013

A message to the Tea Party, 9/12 groups, the Republican Liberty Caucus, Ron Paul supporters, and other Liberty-minded groups and individuals….  

In this article, I hope to convince grassroots conservatives to unite in the coming year to re-assert founding values and strengthen principles of Liberty and to reject the contorted view of the Constitution that President Barack Obama is pushing on the American people.

First, let’s view the results of the 2012 election, as much as it pains me to do so –

1).  Obama received a majority of the electoral votes –  332 to 206

2).  He won the popular vote: 50 – 48%

3).  Independents made up 29% of the vote this time, and Romney beat Obama by five points among those voters. This was an increase over 2008 when McCain didn’t capture any of the independent vote.

4).  Surprisingly, Mitt Romney received less votes in November than McCain got in 2008. Romney received 2-3 million less votes than McCain.  Romney lost the 2012 election not so much because he got fewer votes than Barack Obama but because he got fewer votes than John McCain in 2008.

5).  Obama received 60.6 million votes in 2012, almost 9 million less than he received in 2008. Again, if Romney could have had even a slightly better showing than McCain had in 2008, he would have won the presidency.

6).  Outside the South, President Obama defeated Romney 55 – 45%.  In the South (minus Virginia and Florida), Romney took the lead 60 – 40%.  As the Daily Beast put it: “Romney got elected president of the old confederacy.”

7).  Romney won North Carolina by 2% of the vote

8).  Obama only received 39% of the white vote – the worst showing among whites since Mondale. Yet outside the South, whites didn’t turn out as strongly for Romney either.  In fact, the share of votes cast by whites was at its lowest (at 72%) since 1992.

9).  Romney won among white voters by 20 percentage points.  That was up from John McCain’s edge of 12 percentage points in 2008.  Of all those who voted for Romney, 88% were white.

10).  Non-whites made up 28%  of the electorate, up a bit from 27% in 2008.  This group largely backed Obama: 71% of Hispanics (up 4 points from 2008) and 93% of blacks (down 3-4 points from 2008).

11).  Romney, on the other hand, received only 2% of the black vote and 29% of the Hispanic vote.

12).  Young voters were important to giving Obama his first term.  Voters under age 30 showed up again this time:  They represented 19% of all voters, one point higher than 2008.  But this time, they didn’t back Obama as strongly this time.  In 2008, they backed him 66%, but in November their support dropped by 6 points.

13).  Seniors backed Romney by 56 to 44%, mostly unchanged from 2008.

14).  Married women backed Obama by 11 points (down from 2008) while married women backed Romney by 7 points (a far better showing than McCain got).

15).  Men, in general, backed Romney (by 7 percentage points), but married men backed him by an even wider margin (almost 2-1).

16).  White Catholics went for Romney by a margin of 59-40%.

17).  Romney apparently didn’t fare as well as he could have among Mormon voters.  George W. Bush received more support from the Mormon community in 2004 than Romney did in November.

18).  While Romney won the presidential debates, the attention that Obama received in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, particularly with bloated NJ Governor Chris Christie, helped him in the polls in the days leading up to the election. (Never mind that the government has yet to provide any assistance to the victims). 42% of voters said Obama’s handling of the hurricane disaster influenced their vote in a positive way. The Benghazi scandal, on the other hand, which far exceeded any wrong-doing that Richard Nixon did in the Watergate affair, seemed to have no negative impact on voters.  4 Americans serving their country in a hostile part of the world notified the State Department that their lives were in danger from radical extremists and requested additional security, but were denied. Hilary Clinton watched in real time as Ambassador Chris Stevens, computer specialist Sean Smith, and former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were overcome by a terrorist assault on the US Consulate and a safe house.  An urgent request from the CIA for military back-up and air support during the attack was denied. US forces were told to stand down and 4 Americans were left to be slaughtered.

19).  Republicans lost 6 seats in the US House

20).  Republicans lost 3 seats in the US Senate

The fatal mistake that we made was in thinking that voter turn-out would be like that of 2010 when Republicans made historic gains in state government and in Washington DC.  The single cause of Romney’s defeat was the failure of Republicans and conservatives to get out the vote.  3 million Republican voters stayed home on Election Day.  If those Republicans had voted, Mitt Romney would have won the popular vote by 180,000.

Why did Republicans stay home?  The only conclusion is that they weren’t motivated by the Republican party’s election message.  They weren’t inspired by the Republican party.  They weren’t convinced that Mitt Romney was a better alternative than Barack Obama. They didn’t see a clear-cut difference between the candidates.

On the bright side, however, thirty (30) Republican state governors were elected.

On Saturday, January 5th, Pat McCrory was sworn in as the new Governor of my state of North Carolina.  The last time NC had a Republican governor was 24 years ago. And for the first time in 144 years, a Republican Governor will meet a Republican Legislative Majority.

The NC General Assembly picked up an additional nine Republican seats (for a total of 77 out of 120 seats) and an additional two Republican Senate seats (for a record total of 33 out of 50).

But unfortunately the NC GOP could not get an outstanding slate of conservative candidates elected to the NC Council of State.  Ed Goodwin, Mike Causey, John Tedesco, Mike Royal, and Debra Goldman all lost their races. How could that be?  Many, including the candidates themselves, believe that the failure of the state GOP to provide adequate funding to their campaigns, when it could have done so, was what cost them the victories.

So let’s look at where we are now that the 2012 election is over and what the challenges are ahead.

On Monday, January 20, Obama was sworn in again as President.  I could barely summon the fortitude to watch  the event. I’ve changed the diapers of my four children with no problem, and endured their episodes of projectile vomiting, but I couldn’t stomach to listen to this man.  Just like a mother knows from the sounds her infant makes what vile mess awaits her, that’s how I feel about Barack Obama. The notion of a socialist/Marxist, globalist as the President of the greatest republic in the world, premised on the greatest respect for individual liberty and property rights, offended me to the very core. The lessons of Nazi Germany and Communist Russia are playing out right now here in the United States.  An ignorant and uninformed electorate, sufficiently devoid of morals and personal responsibility, more concerned in classifying themselves as a particular ethnic or social group than unifying into one common culture, was swayed by the charisma and promises of “hope” by a demagogue. We’ve given this man great political power and now we wait to see what he will do with it.  It struck me how our country, in all its greatness and with its supposed dependence on the Rule of Law, is not insulated from the seeds of tyranny.

In his inauguration speech, Obama laid out his agenda in stark terms: More spending on the same failing big government programs and another push for his global warming agenda to drive up energy prices and take away more of our freedoms in their name of sustainability and wealth redistribution. More centralization of power and more centralized planning over people’s lives and property. We were treated once again to a lecture on Obama’s interpretation of the Constitution and the meaning of our founding principles. And once again he talked about the transformation of America to meet the needs of a new day.  It’s clear once again that he is willing to trample on the Constitution anytime it interferes with his ends.  We are seeing it right now with his gun control initiative.

We have many challenges ahead and I hope they will serve to make our resolve stronger and unite the many conservative groups on common goals. These challenges include the mounting fiscal showdown, the government’s outright declaration of war on the wealthy and its wealth distribution polices, the administration’s open support of a gay rights agenda, Obamacare and its implementation, the re-interpretation of our Constitution, and the rising storm against Gun Rights.

We already see the start of the same old fight.  House Republicans are insisting on spending cuts in exchange for agreeing to a 3-month deal to temporarily raise the debt ceiling. But President Obama has already warned that he will not negotiate. He wants the rich to pay and pay and pay so that he doesn’t have to make any cuts in government programs.  Only in America can the rich people – who pay 86% of all income taxes – be accused of not paying their “fair share” by people who don’t pay any income taxes at all.

Welcome to 2013 where the gravest problem threatening the nation is spending, where our Democratic president refuses to make spending cuts, where the Democratic Senate lawlessly refuses to pass a budget, and where Democrats frustrate congressional GOP efforts to enact spending and entitlement reform, yet the public is conned into believing that Republicans are the problem. Almost all polls show that the American people blame Republicans for the fiscal mess (either because they refuse to give in or because they haven’t aren’t standing strong enough).

The question is whether the debt ceiling deal, the “No Budget, No Pay” bill that the US House passed and just recently the Senate, which will delay pay to members of the House or Senate if they don’t approve a budget by mid-April.  According to Section 2 of the bill, a payroll administrator would withhold Congress members’ pay after April 15, 2013, if one or both houses of Congress couldn’t agree on a fiscal year 2014 budget. The money will be held in an escrow account and given back to Congress members when a budget is passed or at the end of the current 113th Congress in January 1, 2015.  Of course the deal lacks any meat since the 27th Amendment, our most recent constitutional amendment, would most likely prevent the holding of Congress’ pay.  The 27th Amendment essentially prohibits a sitting Congress from adjusting its compensation.

Obamacare is moving forward. By November, the exchanges will be open and those without an employer health plan can start enrolling in the government scheme. And next year, the Individual Mandate kicks in. To fund this massive socialist entitlement plan, the government will deep further into our pockets.  This will be in addition to the “American Taxpayer Relief Act” which Congress recently passed to allow the expiration of the payroll tax cut to have more money taken out of people’s paychecks. (The mean increase, by the way, is $1,635).  Embedded in Obamacare are approximately 6 new taxes which will hit everyone, while 21 new taxes will hit the wealthy (mostly affecting small business owners).  Personal and real property will become less and less valuable to us and our children (perhaps even becoming a liability). Because poorer Americans will be exempt from the Individual Mandate and the insurance fee and the wealthy will have no problem paying the “penalty,” Obamacare will be the largest tax increase on the middle class in this country’s history. As Rand Paul said: “Just because a couple of people on the Supreme Court declare something to be “constitutional” does not make it so. The whole bill remains unconstitutional..”   The four Justices who dissented wrote: “The values that should have determined our decision today are caution, minimalism, the understanding that the Federal Government is one of limited powers, and federalism.  But the Court’s majority undermined those values at every turn.  The decision creates overreaching taxing power and undermines state sovereignty. The adherence to those core values is central to liberty, and when we destroy it, we place liberty at peril.  Today’s decision should have vindicated, should have taught, this truth;  Instead, our judgment today has disregarded it.”

What the Court has done is to clear the way for  a very broad use of the tax power, even to the point of coercing people into doing what the government wants them to do and punishing them for their inactivity.  We think we have free will, as human beings, but according to the government, we may have to be burdened with taxes to enjoy that luxury. Under the precedent set by the healthcare decision, government can now impose pretty much any mandate of any kind.  It could force people to purchase broccoli or cars or other product.  It could force people to join a gym and exercise, take contraceptives, limit families to two children, or any other government initiative.  We must continue to fight this bill in every way we can.

The Obama administration has succeeded in updating the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which continues to include the offensive provisions which allows the President, and the Defense Department and Homeland Security personnel he surrounds himself with, to target American citizens as belligerents, thereby detaining them indefinitely, interrogating them, and stripping them of their constitutional (Bill of Rights) protections. He have already seen Obama’s willingness to use the NDAA against Americans.

Last August, a 26-year-old former marine and citizen of the state of Virginia, Brandon Raub, wrote the following posts on facebook: “The bill of rights is being systematically dismantled.”  ”Your leaders are planning to merge the United States into a one world banking system. They want to put computer chips in you. These men have evil hearts. They have tricked you into supporting corporate fascism. But there is hope. BUT WE MUST TAKE OUR REPUBLIC BACK.”  For those words, the government showed up at his home, arrested him, and committed him involuntarily and indefinitely to a mental hospital. The government made the decision to take his rights away. (Luckily, his mother and a sharp lawyer were able to fight the unlawful arrest). But having the mental institution on his record might prevent him from exercising his Second Amendment rights.

Also last year, the FAA, at the behest of Congress, made the decision to allow low-flying, unmanned drones to patrol the US skies to aid local law enforcement. By the end of the decade, there will be as many as 30,000 drones in our skies. Drone manufacturers are currently working on prototypes that would be equipped with fire power. These drones are so sophisticated that they will be able to read license plates, lettering on envelopes, faces, and at night, to detect activity through heat emission. Routine aerial surveillance would profoundly change the character of public life in America.  It is said that at any given time, every American is likely breaking between 3-8 laws each day — simply because there are so many laws that we can’t possibly know them all. The only reason we aren’t arrested or stopped or cited is because police themselves can’t keep up with all the laws and plus, resources are limited in most localities. But imagine with the extra tools to spy on citizens??  Remember, you can be denied a license to carry guns if you are convicted of breaking the law.

In 1996, Congress overwhelmingly passed the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman for the benefit of children and society.  But the Obama Administration has disregarded this law and neglected its duty to defend DOMA in court.

In March, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in two crucial marriage cases: One involves the constitutionality of DOMA and the other involves the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which is California’s voter-approved constitutional amendment protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The potential impact of these two cases on the future of marriage can be potentially be disastrous.  The question is whether we trust the Supreme Court to do the right thing?

Years ago, the government had an interest in the education and morality of its children to ensure the best America possible. I remember the days when every student stood to salute the flag, acknowledged God, and then got a good, solid education, based on the time-honored principles of competition and responsibility. I remember when the family was the most important structure in society. I remember when church bells rang throughout my town and everyone’s lives somehow centered around the church and its activities. Now the government proclaims that it has no business legislating morality. Now the government has an interest in our youth for the primary purpose of indoctrinating them with the mindset that traditional social policies are unfair and discriminatory and should be challenged.

In 2001, Congress passed No Child Left Behind and now we have different standards set for different students and education has never been so bad in the United States. If a child doesn’t get enough sleep, he qualifies for a disability.  If he doesn’t want to study hard, he qualifies for another disability. Children learn that in life, they all get to play by different rules.  Administrators don’t want to spend their energies disciplining children so they put the responsibility on the teachers so that valuable education time is spend managing problem children, at the expense of those who want to learn. Teachers don’t want to spend time disciplining, so they dumb down their lessons, requirements, assignments, and tests. Teachers and school administrators don’t want these troubled, bad students to keep returning so they move them along, often by setting lower standards so they can pass the classes. They use group assignments, often pairing smart students up with those who struggle. They share one grade.  But diversity and tolerance is promoted… which all too often seems to be the aim of the public school agenda. Academic excellence continues to yield in the name of fairness, diversity and social justice.

Currently, the Obama administration is bribing the states with federal dollars to implement his “Common Core” program, which is the administration’s radical make-over of our children’s public school core curriculum. Michele Malkin says the program should be called “Rotten to the Core.”  Grammar classes will be deemed irrelevant; literature classes will de-emphasize the classics because too many of the classic authors are white.  History lessons covering western civilization and our Founding Fathers will be attacked as being racist. With respect to the math reforms alone, Stanford University has concluded that the Common Core scheme would place American students two years behind their peers in other high-achieving countries.

Remember, America’s downfall began with the entitlement generation and it will continue with the proliferation of the “low-information voter.”  And that, of course, starts right in our schools and in our homes….. It starts with the no-knowledge student.   The same can also be said about the voter without morals and values.

Probably most offensive to us, as Americans, are the 23 Executive Orders that Obama signed into law on January 16 to regulate gun rights. We knew Obama was coming for our guns. The school shootings just provided him the opportunity.  We all know that psychopaths are attracted to schools precisely because they are gun-free zones and because they want to vent their anger in the most audacious way. We know that firearms are merely instruments. They don’t shoot themselves. It’s malevolent souls, like those who shoot helpless children in their classrooms, who are the problem, not the Second Amendment.

We don’t have a God-given right to the Second Amendment, but we do have a God-given to self-protection and self-preservation. And that’s what the Second Amendment is all about. It protects our right to Life, and by extension, Liberty and Property.  If we are denied the ability to protect those basic rights, then we are not truly free. The Second Amendment was not written to protect the rights of hunters, it was written to protect the rights of the hunted; whether those that are hunting us or our family are common criminals or a tyrannical government that no longer respects the Constitution, the Rule of Law, or our God-given rights as human beings.

Requiring Americans to register themselves and their firearms, have a photograph taken, have fingerprints on file, and submit to psychiatric evaluations when the government defines what classifications of free speech are considered dangerous is a prerequisite for government monitoring and then confiscation, which then is the prerequisite for subjugation and totalitarianism. In the extreme cases, it is a prerequisite for the extermination of political enemies.

Everyone concerned for their Second Amendment security should contact their state representatives, their County Commissioners, and their local Sheriff’s department (the enforcement agency closest to the individual) and inquire whether each intends to honor their oath to support and defend the US Constitution (and state constitution, which also contains a Bill of Rights).  Please urge your representatives and local officials to adopt resolutions which declare the intent to preserve and protect the rights to have and bear a firearm.  Resolutions are being adopted all over – from the state of Wyoming to Beaufort County in North Carolina.  Model resolutions are available from the NC Tenth Amendment Center. (http://www.northcarolina.tenthamendmentcenter.com)

We need to start treating abuses of the constitution as felonies.

The unconstitutional, fiscal, social, educational, moral, and criminal problems we suffer today are not the problem. They are the symptoms and the consequences of a people who have turned from God and become a society that encourages the “instant gratification” nature in many of us. It’s the American people who need fixing before we can hope to fix the country and our government.  A good and moral people require few laws and therefore a small government is possible. And a small government allows for the greatest exercise of freedom.  People who can’t control their conduct are one of the reasons we have an out-of-control government and a judiciary that thinks they need to deconstruct the Constitution in order to fashion new social norms for these types of people.

As Tea Partiers, we constantly refer back to the Constitution and our founding principles. It’s our respect for the Constitution and Founding Fathers that gave rise to our movement.  Governments are an extension of Natural Law – to address the social nature of man and to keep us in ordered societies and to protect our God-given rights. Constitutions, on the other hand, are not of divine origin. They are man-made instruments that restrain the government and prevent it from oppressing the people it is supposed to serve and protect. Laws restrain people but Constitutions restrain government.  Luckily for us, our Constitution was divinely-inspired.

The brilliance of our Constitution is the separation of government powers, each branch jealously guarding its sphere of authority, and the complex system of checks and balances, which includes the states (under the Tenth Amendment) and an engaged and vigilante electorate. Without these effective checks and balances, we would cease to have a constitutional republic. We would, in effect, have a democracy, the one thing our Founders wanted to avoid.  The rule of a constitutional majority would simply become the rule of the numerical majority – where the majority would be able to use the full resources of the federal government for its selfish purposes.  In times of stress, such as our economic depression and rising unemployment, the rule of the majority can easily become the rule of the mob – with the majority taking what it wants from the minority.  Again, this is precisely what our Founders struggled to avoid.  Freedom is God-given, but it is up to us, as men and women, to make sure it is secured from the evil tendencies of government.

The attacks on our freedoms and our property rights are a symptom of a deep problem – an unfortunate shift in the political wind and a calculated re-engineering of American society. Those in power get away with it because we let them.  And there are several reasons for this:
(a)  a fundamental disrespect for the Bible and our Constitution
(b)  a failure to stick to our traditional American values
(c)  a failure to hold our representatives to their oaths of office..  (we keep electing them);  and
(d)  a failure to find candidates to represent the party who are not afraid to ask the tough question: “What would Thomas Jefferson do?”

We are facing an unprecedented level of central planning over our lives, our fortunes, and our Pursuit of Happiness. What are our rights worth if the government regulates us so much that we can’t exercise them freely and safely?  What President Obama implied in his inaugural speech, as he so heavily relied on the memory of Abraham Lincoln, is that the pursuit of happiness is the pursuit of equality of result. Not the equality of opportunity, but the equality of result. He implied that would do what he could to use the government to make everybody more equal, in terms of their income and their life’s work. He didn’t talk about the rightful reward for effort, sacrifice, and achievement. He didn’t talk about the reward for success, which is the natural incentive and which keeps a civilization moving forward and becoming more successful.  It was an income-leveling speech… which signals the death of our John Locke foundation of government and the nation’s view of Natural Rights.

As columnist Keith Koffler wrote: “Jefferson, Adams, Madison and Franklin trusted the people with a Republic. Liberals say the people can no longer be trusted alone with such things…..   Jefferson wanted to guarantee the pursuit of happiness. Obama wants to guarantee happiness. The former is the philosophy of capitalism. The latter is Socialism, which uses government to reduce freedom, not create it. This is not what the Founders intended.”

It was unthinkable to hear the leader of the United States, the nation founded on the recognition of man as an inherently free creature, and a former Harvard-educated constitutional lawyer, argue during his speech that America has evolved to the extent “our founding documents” no longer require us to “define liberty in exactly the same way.”  The truth is that Obama’s ideology contradicts the Constitution he is sworn to uphold and he is putting his ideology above the one thing that protects the freedom our Creator has endowed us with – the Constitution. Because of this president, we can expect the ideological divide to grow wider over the next four years and time-honored social foundations to be sufficiently eroded.  Put on your seat belts folks….   The carnage we can expect as a result of his divide-and-conquer policies and his policies of national transformation will be immense.

As if this all isn’t enough, the rumor that Obama might seek to repeal term limits for the Presidency so he can run again in 2016 is coming true.  On January 4, Democratic US House rep, Jose Serrano (NY), introduced a piece of legislation – Joint House Resolution 15 (H.J. Res. 15) – proposing “an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.”  It is currently referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

What is it about “tyrant” and “dictator” that is attractive to people? And why is the government trying so hard to make it a reality for this particular president?

But while the pendulum of political ideology swings back and forth, tipping right now at the far left, we have to wonder if the momentum will ever bring it back over to the right. History shows a recurrent movement back and forth  in our country, between idealistic big governmental activists and their conservative counterparts who oppose centralized government and believe that government is best when it governs least. These historical cycles have usually lasted for one generation, approximately 20 to 25 years.  It’s been 25 years since Ronald Reagan left office.  It’s been 25 years since we last enjoyed a president who actively sought to turn back “big government.”

Let’s hope there is a political equivalent of the laws of physics: “For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction.” What goes around comes around.

What will the Republican Party offer in 2016?

I got a call from the GOP sometime before Christmas, asking for money. It was a call from a Washington DC number.  Still being in a funk over the results of the presidential election, I wasn’t in a donating mood. But the guy wouldn’t stop asking so I asked him what the GOP plans to do going forward to energize the conservative base?  This is what he told me  –
1).  It will have to support some kind of amnesty – to attract the Hispanic vote  (An analysis of the Hispanic community, however, shows that  Hispanic voters are not voting for Democrats because the Democratic party is for amnesty or for open borders. The reason they vote for Democrats is the same reason other groups vote for Democrats.. for the hand-outs).
2).  The GOP platform can continue to show its support of the Right to Life and the rights of the Unborn but it should not pursue policy to limit or take any abortion rights or funding from those who believe otherwise.
3).  The GOP platform can continue to show its moral disapproval of Gay Marriage but it should not pursue policy to deny rights to gays/lesbians.

In other words, the Republican Party intends to sell out its principles and abandon the hope of restoring moral principles to this once moral nation.  It is planning to pander to social groups.  What party does that remind you of?

The Democratic Party.

If the GOP doesn’t believe in the Rule of Law, if it believes there are special rights for special groups, and if it is willing to concede our founding principles for a more fair outcome, then it has ceased to be Republican party. It is just another liberal party and should waive the white flag of surrender. If you think it is acceptable that our choice in 2016 will be the party of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and the party of unprincipled conservatives, then our country is lost. If you believe that we should resign ourselves to a culture  that lacks the moral courage to discourage envy and covetousness, then you have rejected the American ideal of “Equal Opportunity” in favor of the French model of “Equality of Outcome.”

We have to stand the course and fight as best we can issue by issue, at this point. If we still believe in the notion that we have a government of the people, by the people, for the people, then we have to put the power back in the foundation where it came from – us.  We the People.  That’s what the Declaration of Independence proudly proclaims.

We have 4 more years with a President who fundamentally stands for everything we oppose and who is as ambitious at transforming America as Kim Kardashian is at finding a husband…. or as ambitious as Chris Christie is at finding a donut shop.  Obama has made, perhaps, one too many a mistake by going after our Gun Rights. That might be the issue we can hope to build stronger coalitions against this administration. We HAVE to win more seats in the House and Senate in 2014, and we HAVE to figure out, once and for all, the winning strategy for 2016.  Or we may never see a Republican in the White House again.

If you believe, as the Republican Liberty Caucus believes and as many Tea Party groups believe, that with hard work and determination we can wrestle the GOP from the grips of those who would sell its soul and restore her, then I beg you to please take to heart what you will hear and learn here today.

Again, we have to get involved to make a difference.  The success or failure will rest with us…..   working together.


I.    Obama’s 23 Executive Orders to Regulate Gun Ownership:

1). Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background-check system.

2). Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background-check system.

3). Improve incentives for states to share information with the background- check system.

4). Direct the attorney general to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5). Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6). Publish a letter from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7). Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8). Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9). Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10). Release a Department of Justice report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11). Nominate an ATF director.

12). Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13). Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14). Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15). Direct the attorney general to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun-safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16). Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17). Release a letter to healthcare providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18). Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19). Develop model emergency-response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20). Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21). Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within Affordable Care Act exchanges.

22). Commit to finalizing mental-health parity regulations.

23). Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

Reference:   http://www.newsmax.com/headline/obama-guns-executive-orders/2013/01/16/id/471689#ixzz2JgW48lwc  (“Obama’s Executive Orders to Address Gun Violence Reduction?)

Also see:  Scott Coffina, “Gun Control by Executive Order,” National Review Online, January 16, 2013.  Referenced at:  http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/337789/gun-control-executive-order-scott-coffina?pg=1

II.    Obama’s First Term by the Numbers 

At the beginning of January 2013, the RNC Research arm released a list of how much President Obama’s first four years cost in terms of deficits, regulations, stimulus spending, and the underemployed and unemployed individuals. The following are a few of those figures:

  • $25.4 Trillion: Projected federal debt in 2022 due to Obama’s binge spending (Office of Management and Budget, 7/27/12).
  • $16.4 Trillion: Current national debt (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • $9.2 trillion: Amount Obama’s FY2013 budget would add to the debt through FY2022 (OMB, 7/27/12).
  • $5.8 Trillion: Added to the national debt since Obama took office (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • $2.6 Trillion: True cost of ObamaCare once fully implemented (Office of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Report 1/6/11).
  • $1.75 Trillion: Annual cost of federal regulations (Small Business Administration, September 2010).
  • $1.18 Trillion: Total cost of Obama’s first stimulus with interest (CBO, 1/31/12).
  • $1.17 Trillion: American debt held by China (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • $1.090 Trillion: Federal budget deficit for FY2012–Fourth Highest in U.S. History (CBO, 10/5/12).
  • $833 Billion: Price tag of Obama’s first failed stimulus (CBO, 8/23/12).
  • $820 Billion: Amount of taxes in ObamaCare (CBO 3/13/12).
  • $518 Billion: Amount of regulatory burden since Obama took office (American Action Forum, 1/14/13).
  • $447 Billion: Price tag of Obama’s second stimulus (The White House, 9/8/11).
  • $236.7 Billion: Amount of regulatory burden in 2012 (American Action Forum 1/14/13).
  • $188 Billion: Taxpayer funds for Fannie May and Freddie Mac (ProPublica, Accessed 10/10/12).
  • $28.5 Billion: Outstanding government investment bailouts of the auto industry (Treasury Department, 1/10/13).
  • $24.3 Billion: Amount government expects to lose on bailouts of auto industry (Treasury Department, 1/10/13).
  • $535 Million: Stimulus loan to the failed solar company Solyndra (The Oakland Tribune, 11/4/10).
  • 46.2 Million: Number of Americans receiving food stamps (Department of Agriculture, 1/4/13).
  • 22.7 Million: Americans unemployed, underemployed, or have given up looking for work (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • 12.2 Million: Unemployed Americans (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • 2.6 Million: Unemployed workers that have given up looking for work (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • 757,000: Unemployed veterans (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • 226,000: Unemployed post-9/11 era veterans (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • 89,000: The number of stimulus checks sent to dead or incarcerated people (The Wall Street Journal, 10/7/10).
  • $53,224: Your share of the national debt (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • $18,804: Increase in your share of the national debt since Obama took office (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • 45,696: Pages of new rules added to the federal register during Obama’s first two years in office (Competitive Enterprise Institute, 2011).
  • $15,500: Annual cost per household from federal regulations (Small Business Administration, September 2010).
  • 61%: The amount by which new offshore leases for oil and natural gas drilling has declined under Obama (FactCheck.org, 10/19/12).
  • $3,065: Amount of increase of average cost of family health care premiums since Obama took office (The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012).
  • 7.8%: The current unemployment rate, which is the same as when Obama took office (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).
  • Since Obama took office, the unemployment rate for women has increased from 6.9% to 7.8% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/4/13).
  • In December 2012, the unemployment rate for women spiked from 7.6% to 7.8% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/4/13).
  • Since Obama took office, the African American unemployment rate has increased from 12.7% to 14.0% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/4/13).
  • In December 2012, the African American unemployment rate increased from 13.2% to 14.0% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/4/13).

Reference:  Figures compiled by the Republican National Committee