4/20/2014

The Tea Party "loser" narrative, the decoupling

Via-My Brenner Brief Column


(See part one here)

The continuing rise of the Tea Party has the GOP establishment still worried.


Photo By Author DC 2009
Photo By Author
DC 2009
As the 2012 elections approached the rise of the  Tea Party continued and they were no longer an unknown entity either to the nation or to the GOP establishment.  The initial enthusiasm that all “right” leaning America felt as they witnessed a spontaneous grassroots movement percolate seemingly out of nowhere to dominate the political scene in 2010 was being replaced by institutional animosity.  As that same movement revealed that it was not a partisan movement but an ideological one bent on a different kind of change.  Despite the diverse nature of the Tea Party it was clear that the underpinnings of the movement were based almost solely on two bedrock principles, a return to fiscal sanity and re-establishment of the constitution as the law of the land. Everything else was a distant third including party politics.
On the surface it seemed like the GOP ought to have embraced this new-found source of enthusiasm and electoral clout but things did not play out that way.  The Tea Party was a principle driven movement whose spontaneous combustion onto the political scene was neither spontaneous or a coördinated movement at all.  The Tea Party formed from a boiling cauldron of years of frustration by millions of conservative and libertarian minded Americans coming together in loose knit local confederations to express their pent-up anger at the direction the nation was headed.  Much to the GOP establishment’s surprise that anger was also directed at them. The battle was not to take on the Democrats, the battle was/is to change the direction of the country and the enemy was/is Washington D.C. and the power structure which was/is bankrupting the nation, undermining constitutional freedoms and in general destroying the American ideal. And it did not matter which uniform you wore because both sides were responsible for the deterioration. Once the GOP establishment realized that they were not immune to the wrath of the “masses”  rather than join the revolution they did what good bureaucrats always do, they began to protect their turf.
By the time the 2012 election cycle rolled around, what should have been a cake walk election for the Republicans across the board as 2010 had pretty much been instead became an us versus them contest between the “establishment” and the primary base of the GOP.  While the insiders lectured the people fumed.  The “outsider” Romney of 2010 became the “insider” Romney of 2012 and as the primary season wore on it became a contest between Romney and the “non-Romney” candidate of the week until only Rick Santorum was left to lose.
Which brings us to the elephant in the room of the 2012 election season, Tod Aikin. of “legitimate rape” fame  The GOP establishment and the media hang that elephant around the Tea Party like an anchor in hopes of drowning the movement.  But here is the simple question that is never asked, if Tod Aikin was the Tea Party candidate that sunk the GOP’s Senate hopes, who was the establishment candidate that he beat?
In the Missouri Republican senate primary in 2012 there were three legitimate contenders, Aikin the five term U.S. Congressman, Former  State Treasurer Sarah Steelman and St. Louis businessman John Brunner.  Aikin’s Tea Party credentials were that he was a member of the Tea Party caucus in the House and had been endorsed by fellow House caucus members Michelle Bachman (R-MN) and Steve King. R-IA).  Steelman on the other hand had been endorsed by Sarah Palin, The Tea Party Express and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT).  If there was an “establishment” candidate it was John Brunner who was endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce, but he was also endorsed by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) who had been elected in 2010 as a Tea Party candidate and Freedom Works with its strong ties to the Tea Party. 
All three candidates had ties to and could legitimately have claimed to be Tea Party candidates. So whoever won was going to wear the Tea Party mantle into the general election. In fact a lengthy Christian Science Monitorarticle published the week before the election described it this way:
In Missouri, tea party support is spread across all three candidates, with Ms. Steelman receiving an endorsement from Sarah Palin, Mr. Akin receiving one from US Rep. Michele Bachmann, and Mr. Brunner being endorsed by the tea-party-friendly FreedomWorks group in Washington.
An ABC News article called the race a “Tea Party Mashup.” and called Aikin the conservative Christian candidate who would appeal to  social-issue voters, which indeed he was and which he did.  Two points that are important to remember though, Aikin’s comments that caused the firestorm fed by Karl Rove and crew, had absolutely nothing to do with the Tea Party,  they were spoken or misspoken while he was wearing his social conservative hat.  In addition it was not some “outside the beltway”  Tea Party bumpkin that cost the Republican’s the Senate seat in Missouri, it was a five term sitting congressman who was elected to that office long before the Tea Party ever came into existence and whom the GOP gladly wanted in their ranks in the House.
Whether Aikin could have recovered from his stupid comments is doubtful, but it became impossible once the GOP establishment threw him under the bus and continued to use him as a speed bump on every conceivable occasion.  That old party unity thing again don’t you know? When Republican’s eat their own it is assured that the media will continue to serve up further courses. Which is exactly what happened in Indiana.
Richard Murdock was a decent candidate and would probably be an US Senator today had it not been for the Aikin statements.  His comments in a debate would probably have drawn little or no attention if they had not come in the wake of the Aiken controversy.  In fact the question that prompted his statements would probably have never been asked without the “Aikin problem.” The hypersensitivity of the “rape issue” which is a manufactured contrivance made to trip up religious candidates on the right undid him  The fact that Murdock did not handle the question better is regrettable but candidates in both parties make mistakes all the time and it has nothing to do with whether you believe in the constitution and fiscal responsibility it is a matter of whether the party has your back, the GOP definitely did not have Murdock’s back.
Not so candidate macaca in Virginia.
Whereas Aikin and Murdock are excoriated and thrown in the face of the Tea Party Movement for losing their elections because they are inarticulate Tea Party boobs, we hear not a word about the failure of two former Governors losing in states where there were not only sitting GOP governors but the Republican’s held the legislatures. George Allen (R-VA) and Tommy Thompson (R-WI) were sold by the “experts” as being perfect candidates for the time. Both of these “perfect” candidates lost by nearly 6%. As did many other establishment backed candidates in 2012 such as Rick Berg (R-ND), Denny Rehberg (R-MT), Connie Mack (R-FL), Heather Wilson (R-NM), Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), Scott Brown (R-MA) and a slew of other Republicans who lost in less competitive races. All of the candidates mentioned above have served in Washington either as congressman, Senators or cabinet officers.  Besides all being old Washington “hands” they now have one more thing in common, they all lost Senate races in 2012 along with Murdock and Aikin.
Was the Todd Aikin defeat the worst of the most “winnable” races to be lost in 2912? Probably but not much worse than Rick Berg’s loss of an open seat in North Dakota where Romney carried the state by 20%.  Remember Aikin was facing an incumbent in a purple state.  So why is Berg’s candidacy not scrutinized and ridiculed as having “cost the Republicans the Senate?” Or Allan’s or Thompson’s or Rehberg’s?  All seen as competitive if not very winnable seats going into the election season.  All of which establishment candidates failed at miserably.
The reason these races are ignored is simple, to analyze these elections is to admit that the GOP “insider’s” candidates did no better than the Tea Party “losers.” In fact they did worse. So who were the non-incumbent Republicans that won their races in 2012?
NE-Deb Fisher, endorsed by Sarah Palin and other Tea Party conservatives
AZ- Jeff Flake, endorsed by Freedom Works, Senate Conservative Fund and Club for Growth
TX- Ted Cruz,
Well is there really any more to say?

The Tea Party “loser” narrative

Via-My Brenner Brief Column

Is the Tea Party helping or hurting the Republican Party in elections?

Photo by Author DC-2010
Photo by Author
Tea Party Rally September 2010
Perhaps of all the false narratives thrown out about the Tea Party and they are legion, the most easily defeated by actual facts is that the Tea Party somehow has caused the GOP not to gain control of the Senate. The first point that must be remembered is that the Republicans held the Senate for over a decade until they lost it in 2008.  In one election cycle the GOP went from a ten seat majority to losing control of the senate and they did this all on their own, without any Tea Party to blame.
It must also be recognized that it is very difficult to combat false assertions that are deemed to be facts.  The false assertion in this case is that but for poor Tea Party candidates the Republicans would have gained control of the Senate. This assertion is based on the unknown, I could just as easily say that if not for poor GOP candidates the Republicans would control the Senate.  After all in the last two election cycles far more GOP candidates have lost senate elections than Tea Party backed candidates, which is a fact  Really the only way that this false narrative can be made to stick is by ignoring one side while focusing on the other which is precisely what the GOP establishment with the gleeful help of the media does constantly.
If you look at how the “civil war” in the Republican Party has played out over the last five years it is basically that when the “entitled” establishment does not get their way, meaning no opposition in primaries, they wine and cry. When they actually lose they often times take their ball and go home or in some cases actively work to destroy the Tea Party backed nominee.  Then with Alinsky like tactics they accuse the Tea Party of seeking to destroy the Republican Party while it is they who are by far most responsible for the divisiveness.
The electoral facts do not live up to the false narrative.  Although the Tea Party has been responsible for some less than stellar candidates, so too has the GOP establishment.  But more important perhaps is how the GOP has mis-characterized the Tea Party’s failures  while ignoring their successes.  So a look back at the record might be a good place to start.
Let’s begin by looking at the 2010 Senate contests.  The first thing that is necessary is to identify who were the Tea Party backed candidates in the general election and who were not. This is more important in 2012 but we shall stick to 2010 for now.  Although some of these names are not recognized as Tea Party Senators today, IE Toomey and Johnson, they clearly identified themselves as being so during the 2010 election cycle.
In 2010 there were 34 Senate contests, of those 25 were being defended by incumbents while 9 were open seats. Here are the Republican candidates who were actively backed by the Tea Party and sought their support, with a star next to those who were facing an incumbent. Those in italics won their election and are now Senators.
  • AK- Joe Miller *
  • CO- Ken Buck
  • DE- Christine O’Donnel
  • FL- Marco Rubio
  • KY- Rand Paul
  • NV- Sharon Angle*
  • PA- Pat Toomey*
  • UT-Mike Lee
  • WI-Ron Johnson *
Of the nine clearly identifiable Tea Party Senate candidates in 2010, five won their elections, two unseating sitting Democratic incumbents.
A couple of other significant notes that need to be made.  Joe Miller lost his election in Alaska to an incumbent Republican, Lisa Murkowski, who in a fit of divisive self-interest ran as a write in Independent.  It is possible, indeed very likely had she not inserted herself in the race after losing in the primary that Joe Miller would have been elected as a Republican Senator from Alaska. It could  also be argued that Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire belongs on this list as well since she was endorsed by Sarah Palin  and had some Tea Party support which the media and the GOP establishment consider the same as a Tea Party endorsement.
So in fact the only Tea Party candidates who lost in 2010 were Buck, O’Donnel and Angle.  Buck lost in a purple state by 1.68%, Angle lost in a purple state to a five term incumbent who just happened to be the sitting Majority Leader in the US Senate. O’Donnel, probably the weakest of the candidates lost in a solid blue state. The important thing to remember though is that all of these candidates that lost and some that won were not enthusiastically supported by the GOP establishment.  In fact in some cases, O’Donnel and Angle in particular they were actually derided in the media by “our side.”  In the case of  Nevada and especially Colorado,  more positive and enthusiastic support from the GOP might have made a difference, instead there was ridicule.
A quick list of other GOP “losers” in the 2010 Senate election cycle.
  • CA-Carly Fiorina *
  • CT- Linda McMahon
  • HI- Cam Cavasso*
  • MD- Eric Wargotz*
  • NY- Jay Townsend*
  • NY- Josef DioGaurdi *
  • OR- Jim Huffman*
  • VT- Len Britton*
  • WA- Dino Rossi *
  • WV- John Reeves Raese
How many Democratic incumbents did the Republicans unseat in the 2010 cycle? Two, Russ Feingold and Arlen Specter both defeated by Tea Party candidates. How many Republican Senators were unseated in 2010? One, Robert Bennet by a Tea Party Candidate Mike Lee who held the seat for the GOP.
Then  there is the story of Marco Rubio and Charlie, which way does the wind blow, Crist whom the GOP actively supported right up until he became an independent. There were two Republican candidates who lost their primaries and instead of backing the GOP winner as good party member are supposed to do, they not only did not support the party’s choice, they turned and ran against them, Charlie Crist of Florida and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Both of these candidates were “establishment” backed candidates and both acted in the most divisive way possible. So much for party unity.
Just to wrap up the 2010 Senate election cycle.  There is another Tea Party Senator that was elected in 2010, Tim Scott of South Carolina. Although elected to the House he was appointed to replace Jim DeMint when he left to take over the Heritage Foundation. Scott will be elected in his own right this fall having tremendous approval ratings in the state. The only African-American Republican Senator is virtually ignored by the GOP establishment, simply because to tout him would be to highlight his strong Tea Party roots. So much for reaching out and diversity.
Interesting isn’t it how you hear the drumbeat of  negativity about Angle and O’Donnel coming out of the establishment still while they ignore their own failures IE, Fiorina, McMahon and Rossi.  Were these seats any less winnable than Colorado or Nevada? It is probable that Mike Castle would have won Delaware, but is this loss or even the loss of the others reason enough to attack the most energized and committed portion of a political party’s base.  If the GOP establishment actually believes this, then not only are they out of touch with that base, they are very foolish and incompetent political strategist.
Tomorrow the 2012 debacle.


4/17/2014

Putin’s grand scheme bommerangs back to hit U.S. politics

Via-My article in The Brenner Brief

Putin’s grand scheme dividing his biggest threat,the GOP

Putin's grand scheme
CREDIT: Wiki Commons
As the Ukraine situation devolves into an uncertain future it is having the effect of clarifying the U.S.  domestic political picture. By highlighting the Republican Party’s divide on future American foreign policy, Russia’s intervention into Ukraine has pit two strong elements of the GOP coalition against one another.
The two factions, the so-called neocons who have in the past held great sway over Republican Party policy and politics and the rising power within the GOP of the more libertarian elements on the right, have not as yet reached a means for peaceful coexistence and the Ukrainian crisis highlights this divide.  Unlike the schism which has been created between the “establishment” and the grassroots “Tea Party” element of the GOP this foreign policy divide cuts across all elements of the Republican Party landscape. In 2010 as the Tea Party swept the Republicans into power in the House it was also primarily responsible for sending two of the GOP’s rising stars to the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul from Kentucky.  Although Rubio’s light has dimmed somewhat with the grassroots due to his foray into the immigration quagmire, he is still seen by most on the right as an articulate spokesman for individual freedom and a champion for constitutional conservatism.  Rand Paul has spent much time and effort in an attempt to reach out and draw new constituencies into the GOP fold, primarily the youth, which he hopes to attract to his libertarian philosophies and principles.  Both Senators are considered not only to be rising stars in the Republican Party, but also potential 2016 presidential candidates. These two “Tea Party” senators though have vastly different views on the Ukrainian situation. Rubio put out a Press Release on the crisiswhere among other points he recommended:
…. We should also stand with Ukraine as the interim government attempts to deal with these provocations. This includes immediately providing the lethal assistance they requested weeks ago. We also need to take measures to reassure our allies in Central and Eastern Europe by deploying more alliance assets to their territories to reinforce our NATO commitments to their security.
Rubio’s statements on and prescriptions  for the Ukrainian situation virtually mirror those of Senator John McCain (R-AZ) perhaps this generationsleading spokesman for the neocon viewpoint. Given his background as the son of Cuban immigrants, it is not surprising that he would have a more aggressive stance on  international matters  as it relates to foreign tyrants.  When  Senator Tom Harkins (D-IA)  recently took to the Senate floor and gave a speech praising the Cuban healthcare system, Rubio responded with an  impassioned and well received rebuttal showing not only his gifts as an orator but his sincere passion in regards to tyrannical foreign regimes. At the same time that Rubio is promoting the Right’s typical response to foreign interventions and bullying by tyrants such as Putin, Rand Paul is counselling what for the GOP is a new direction in foreign policy. Paul has put out only one press release on Ukraine, which in itself is telling, and that was back on February 28, 2014.  In the statement the Kentucky Senator took a more “internationalist” tone calling on the Russians to remember “that stability and territorial integrity go hand in hand with prosperity.” Since his initial formal response, Paul has made statements that indicate that he has absolutely no desire to be drawn into what he sees as a European problem but would use every non-military tool at the United States disposal to punish Russia. In an op-ed for Time he set out what a Paul Administration would do in response to Russia’s aggression, though slightly more aggressive than the Obama Administration’s feeble response, it is far from the cold warriormentality which has dominated GOP policies for the past several decades.  Perhaps most telling in his opinion piece he attempts to remind his Tea Party base what America’s biggest enemy is, and it is not Putin:
America is a world leader, but we should not be its policeman or ATM. At the end of the day, I still agree with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen — the greatest threat to America’s security is our national debt. Russia, the Middle East or any other troubled part of the world should never make us forget that the U.S. is broke. We weaken our security and defenses when we print money out of thin air or borrow from other countries to allegedly support our own.
Two “Tea Party” Senators with different views of how the United States should proceed in what still is a hostile world in the twenty-first century.  The foreign policy debate between the factions was ongoing but under the surface of other policy matters, Putin through his aggression has just brought it to the surface. It is not that Marco Rubio does not believe in fiscal responsibility or that Rand Paul does not believe in a strong national defense both men believe in both.  What this particular schism brings to the fore of Republican politics is more about priorities and tactics than divisions.  The fact that some are attempting to paint either man as somehow not “right” enough because of their differing priorities is actually counterproductive.  both men represent views which reflect their different backgrounds and has nothing to do with either man’s commitment to the constitution or the nation. Personally I might prefer one man over the other as President, but I have no doubt that either man would lead the nation in a different and better direction than it is heading now and upon that there ought to be no debate on the right.

2/21/2014

A House Divided... not so much



Abraham Lincoln famously said that "a house divided against itself can not stand", the civil war and the modern divorce rate proves him right.  Of course he was just quoting Jesus so he was on pretty solid footing for his assertion.

I have given quite a bit of thought lately to what really divides the United States these days and have reached the conclusion that we truly are not nearly as divided as it appears.  I'll get into that in a bit but first it must be recognized that political divisions are not necessarily bad, in fact in many ways they are good.  For one thing differing political philosophies actually define choices for the body politic and in the political realm citizens with choices are as a general rule a good thing. What a democracy does is institute these choices into a policy framework for governing, what a republican form of government does is protect the minority view against the "tyranny of the majority," or as Lord Acton put it:
The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.
Lord Acton by the way was the one who more famously observed that:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
The problem it seems to me is that in America today we have parties which are not truly defined by their beliefs but rather fraudulent representations of their beliefs. Examples would be that while the Republican Party ostensibly stand for "small government" when in power they actually expand government, IE the Bush years.  Conversely the  Democratic Party which ostensibly stands for the "little guy" instead has become the party of special interest, IE green energy, teacher unions, etc. Both parties talk a good game, but less and less represent We the People.

They get away with this by creating false narratives about issues which misrepresent the reality of the public's actual stance on issues.  Both parties do this but the Democratic Party are the masters of it.  I will take just one important political issue and show how on this issue America is not divided.  Yet a party, in this case the Democrats,  gins up division to maintain a political "edge" by totally misrepresenting the issue.

The issue is voter ID laws.  For years public opinion polls have shown the American public across all political ideologies have supported not only voter ID laws but photo ID's.  Last year just before the presidential election, in a nationwide Washington Post poll they asked this rather unambiguous straight forward question:

Q: In your view, should voters in the United States be required to show official, government-issued photo identification -- such as a driver’s license -- when they cast ballots on Election Day, or shouldn't they have to do this?

By any account an overwhelming number of American's support voter ID laws, in this poll 74% or three quarters of Americans said yes you should have to show a photo ID  to vote.

The Democratic Party whose own voters support this measure, in this poll by a 60-37 percent margin, consistently and as a matter of party policy fight against  voter ID laws. Their reason for opposing the laws is the loosely defined, never proven but divisive claims of voter suppression on the part of Republicans.

One of the ways they do this is by bringing national attention to changes to voter ID laws in Southern states, making it seem as if the sole purpose of these laws is to suppress the black vote.  Besides being a slanderous assertion towards the South in general, they do this despite the fact that a large majority of African Americans actually support photo ID's to vote! In the WAPO poll 65 % of blacks support photo ID. The Democratic Party as a matter of policy ignore the fact that these laws exist nationwide and the first state to enact a strict photo ID was Indiana, not known as a hotbed of segregation.

What the Democratic Party is actually attempting and largely succeeding in doing is equating photo ID's with racism and then pinning the Republican Party as being the racist. Of course this is an absurd and malicious proposition because to be true it would mean that 74% of Americans including 65% of blacks are racist against African Americans.

Just to drive the point home here are a few facts about the voter ID situation in the United States today.  Only 12 states currently require a photo ID to vote with six more states,  having new laws on the books which will require photo id in future elections.  Two of these state's  laws, Mississippi and North Carolina, are being challenged by the US Justice Department.  In addition two other states, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, also have enacted photo ID laws which are being challenged and appealed in state courts. Rhode Island and Alabama have photo ID laws which will go into affect this year.This means that 18 states have passed some form of photo ID laws. These states are as diverse as Georgia and Hawaii and New Hampshire and Texas. These 18 states represent over 40 % of the United States population.

But that is not the complete story.  Currently 30 states require a citizen to provide some form of ID when they vote.  This represents 61% of the population, when the North Carolina, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin cases are upheld, which they will be, just as Indiana's stricter law was, then 71% of Americans will have to show some form of ID to vote.

Interesting isn't it that Alabama which is rated by Gallup as being the most conservative state and Rhode Island rated as one of the most liberal states are both enacting voter photo ID this year.  This, like every other fact,  flies in the face of the Democratic Party's narrative of why voter ID is important.  If some form of voter suppression was the motive, then the vast majority of states are attempting voter suppression against their citizens. States controlled by both Democrats and Republicans.

The question people should be asking is not are we a seriously divided nation, we are.  The more important question is why are we divided and even more important who is dividing us and for what purpose?

There are in fact very few issues where the American people are actually seriously divided.  Or at the very least it can be said that the divisions are not as clear cut as some, for their own political purposes, make them out to be. In other words the problem is not with We The People, the problem is with political entities which stir up division for their own power. Until we recognize this and begin to end it by voting for what we actually believe in rather than what party we belong to, we will continue to be a house divided.

2/05/2014

MY Seal of approval



One of the main reasons I was never really opposed to the Iraq War, especially as it evolved was that we ended up fighting terrorist from all over the world in a foreign nation (not here in the USA) with our military, rather than having those terrorist coming here to kill civilians. It seemed to me then and still seems to me now that this was a win, win for America.

The only counter argument is that our being there actually created the terrorist. This argument is foolish on its face, since the vast majority of terrorist who came to Iraq to fight us were not Iraqis but came from other nations. So the argument seems to be that Libyans, Jordanians, Saudis, etc suddenly became terrorist because we went in and ousted Saddam Husein, whom they hated. The primary leader (until we killed him) was a Jordanian born terrorist who was killing innocent people long before we invaded Iraq. The truth is that the terrorist we fought in Iraq were terrorist before we invaded and the ones that lived mostly still are. America is not responsible for radical Islamic terrorism, or their hatred for America, radical Islam is.

So all these terrorist from all over the world flood into Iraq and we kill them with the military we have precisely to protect us from such threats and this is somehow a bad thing? The reason I bring this up is that almost every night I watch some story on FOX news about how thousand of Islamic terrorist are flooding into Syria from all over the world, including European nations. These terrorist are being identified by US and other western intelligence agencies and the reports all make this out to be a bad thing.

Granted it is a terrible thing for the Syrians whose nation is not only in the midst of a terrible civil war, but their nation is being infested with terrorist but even the left would have a hard time blaming that on the United States. It is the result of having a tyrannical dictator not wanting to give up control and willing to do anything to keep it. It is indeed very sad for the Syrian people, not unlike the Iraqi people especially the Kurds who lived under a tyrannical dictator for years who was willing to do anything to keep power including the genocide of large segments of his own population.  As an aside here, the Kurds and for that matter the Kuwaitis were not really too upset at us invading Iraq and getting rid of a mass murderer, but that is not the main point here.

The point is that thousands of terrorist who, if not otherwise engaged in Syria, would be looking to kill Americans are not only being identified, they are being killed fighting another terrible dictator, and this is a bad thing? Terrorist at war with dictators in foreign nations sounds like a bigger win, win for us than the American military fighting terrorist over there. Not only this we are identifying these terrorist from other nations so we know where they are.

I have a suggestion for our government, close down the NSA and assign each of these terrorist a Navy Seal.

2/02/2014

Indivisible, not

One nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. 

 Inseparable only applies so long as the ties that bind you are stronger than those that separate you. Once those ties are loosened through diverging philosophies then the ties are no more than chains used by one side to imprison the other. The ties that bound the divergent factions of the the Founders of our nation was the profound and unshakable belief in the liberty of men and that this liberty was not inferred on them by governments but was in fact the natural order of the universe.  Two of our founders whom held the most divergent views on the role of the "national" government in public life were Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson but on the first principle of our founding they agreed;

The fundamental source of all your errors, sophisms, and false reasonings, is a total ignorance of the natural rights of mankind. Were you once to become acquainted with these, you could never entertain a thought, that all men are not, by nature, entitled to a parity of privileges. You would be convinced, that natural liberty is a gift of the beneficent Creator, to the whole human race; and that civil liberty is founded in that; and cannot be wrested from any people, without the most manifest violation of justice. Civil liberty is only natural liberty, modified and secured by the sanctions of civil society. It is not a thing, in its own nature, precarious and dependent on human will and caprice; but it is conformable to the constitution of man, as well as necessary to the well-being of society.
-Alexander Hamilton 1775

"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time."
-Thomas Jefferson 1774

So what actually tied these various slightly differing governing philosophies together was an overriding singular belief in the inherent liberty of man. But a mechanism needed to be found to not only explain this overriding principle of man's liberty but to establish the governing principles to protect them. Thus the Constitution, which while not perfect left open the pathway to amending to correct and to adapt to changing times.  But most important of all it established a governing structure which was intended to protect the liberties of man which was the "tie that bound" us together and tied the Founders together..

Today it is again sophistry of the highest degree to claim that you can ignore this most basic of all ties, personal liberty, for the sake of some sort of communal governance. When the twentieth century progressive movement began to describe these protected rights as negative liberties "what government could not do to you, rather than what government could do for you" they unbound the ties which bind us. Because as an objective view of 20th century American history clearly shows we are "progressing" away from man's inalienable rights towards government's power to impose.  This imposition of government power on the citizen is a fundamental principle of Progressive political ideology.

Because government does what all governments do as they grow, while claiming to do "for" the people they are in fact doing "to" the people. And what they are doing "to" the people is imposing on them laws and regulations that increasingly imprison them to the dictates of a less and less responsive government. This is why a growing Federal Government fits right into the progressive philosophy and is contrary to our Founder's philosophy.
 We are less and less a representative democracy and more and more a fascist state, where connections and influence to the governing elite and its bloated bureaucratic institutions is what determines the" public " policy.  Rather than WE THE PEOPLE which are supposed to be the beneficiary of and the rulers of the governing structure, the governing structure instead rules the people,  "as government grows, liberty shrinks."


Those "special interest" connections are only possible because the Federal Government controls and influences more and more of public life and in a centralized location. If you want to influence policy for your own interest, go to Washington. This is why the DC area is now the richest region in the nation, it is where the money and the power is. We have gone from a nation where merit and industry is the backbone of our existence to one where political influence determines destiny.

To say that this has happened or is happening for the "public good" is naivety of the highest order. To say that the progressive philosophy is not primarily responsible for this is simply willful ignorance. But to say that this philosophical divergence from our founding principles is somehow an American principle is to stick a knife in our Founders and Framers back.

Progressivism was never intended to progress the ideals of democracy as envisioned by our Founders, but rather from its founding was intended to progress us away from our founding principles towards a more "enlightened" Utopian vision, based more on Marxism.  To show how far removed Progressive thought is from founding principles it is only neccessary to quote their founding icons.

One of Progressive's founding members considered to be one of its great thinkers, the educator John Dewey who said:
"Natural rights and natural liberties exist only in the kingdom of mythological social zoology."
What would Hamilton and Jefferson think of that?  Is that a philosophy that binds us to our founding principles?

 Then there is another leader of the early progressive movement Margaret Sanger the founder of the cherished progressive institution Planned Parenthood:

[We should] apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.

That just shouts, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness doesn't it? As does this from Ms Sanger's "Plan for Peace":

Article 1. The purpose of the American Baby Code shall be to provide for a better distribution of babies… and to protect society against the propagation and increase of the unfit.
Article 4. No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit…
Article 6. No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.

A fundamental tenant of progressive ideology IS that the American principle of individual liberty is flawed at its core.

 Perhaps nobody consistently made this point clearer than the 26th President of the United States Woodrow Wilson an avowed progressive who said of the Declaration of Independence

“the rhetorical introduction of the Declaration of Independence is the least part of it…. If you want to understand the real Declaration of Independence, do not repeat the preface.”

“the rhetorical introduction" of course is all that meaningless verbiage about  holding  truths to be self evident, men are created equal endowed by their Creator with rights..blah, blah, blah.  Wilson argued that this was just so much nonsense.

So when the progressive left or right for that matter tries to claim that they are part of the American fabric, they are right in one sense.  They are the loose thread which is attempting to pull apart the fabric of the American union. Because if that union is not built on the founding principle of individual liberty there really is no union at all.

Are we indivisible? No we are very much divided not by the people who believe in our founding principle but by those who through sophistry attempt to destroy it. Because if you do not believe in individual liberty, you really don't believe in America at all.