Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Strike Three! You're out nullified! Setting Tyranny Free part 6

Looking at the news today, there are a lot of things that need to be covered... but none of it from the news today. Why take the time? Liars & fools doing what liars & fools do: trying to fool all of the people all of the time.

I should waste time my time and yours with that?

Nah. Better to help some of the people to recognize how too many of the people are subverting what all of the people rely upon to live their own lives all of the time.

What we need to better understand in order to actually advance the cause of liberty, is how our best laid plans too often unwittingly aid in "Setting Tyranny Free", as with the first two posts (here and here) looking at John Locke's undiscovered error, and a too relevant case in point is where I left off with on the last post, examining the popular libertarian cure-all that, as it's proposed today, which is far worse than the disease itself,and cannot fail to quicken it: Nullification.

I've gone through modern nullification, beginning here, and replied to the first two of three summary points by its leading modern proponent, Thomas E. Woods, here and here, and I'll deal with the last point, today.

As I mentioned in the last post, Woods' three summary points are essentially the same single point, put three different ways - that there is no singular 'We The People', and that instead we have 'We The States', each of which have their own peoples, which have no binding relation to, or responsibility for, the nation which our Constitution constituted, 226 years ago. Since I've already answered that twice already, I'll keep this post brief (well, for me), so we can move on to a more fundamental problem and then solutions - and yes, there are solutions.

Here is how Woods puts it in his third summary point:
  • "3) Since the peoples of the states are the sovereigns, then when the federal government exercises a power of dubious constitutionality on a matter of great importance, it is they themselves who are the proper disputants, as they review whether their agent was intended to hold such a power. No other arrangement makes sense."[emphasis mine]
Actually, lots of other things make sense.

For We The People to have formed a more perfect union, for the purposes of then having individual states singly ignoring, disputing or thwarting any decision (law) made and passed by the whole of that union, because their particular state disagreed with it... that would truly make no sense whatsoever.

But such a claim makes even less sense, when you consider that the Constitution was originally entered into by the original thirteen colonies in order to replace the Articles of Confederation, which actually did refer to the states as fully sovereign and independent powers, capable of thwarting the intentions and laws proposed by all of the rest of the states together. A large part of why they wanted to replace the original Articles of Confederation, was because they enabled each state to behave as an independent, fully sovereign power, thereby preventing any coherent and unified laws being passed between the several states.

And more to the point: their unilateral confederacy did not work!

And since we are not a confederacy of independent states stitched together by a unilateral contract, and since the 'PeopleS' of 'We The States', are not entities which exist under our Constitution, then they obviously cannot be 'the proper disputants' for reviewing 'their agent', and to claim it, makes no sense at all. And BTW, to the obnoxiously repeated 'What, do you really think the states would have signed onto an agreement that limited their sovereignty?', yes, you patronizing putz, I do. The Constitution was clearly, deliberately, and openly designed to delimit the sovereignty of the states within its framework, and far from that being a latter day interpretation on the part of James Madison & everyone else since 1830, that intention was stated right out in the open by he, Hamilton, Jay and the rest in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere while selling the constitution during the process of ratification, as this in Federalist #62 demonstrates:
"In this spirit it may be remarked, that the equal vote allowed to each State is at once a constitutional recognition of the portion of sovereignty remaining in the individual States, and an instrument for preserving that residuary sovereignty. So far the equality ought to be no less acceptable to the large than to the small States; since they are not less solicitous to guard, by every possible expedient, against an improper consolidation of the States into one simple republic."
Language such as 'the portion of sovereignty remaining' and 'residual sovereignty', are not the stealthy sort of language best used to trick the people of the several states into thinking that their states will remain fully sovereign and independent states! The states do retain sovereignty, but only as much as can be retained within the larger government our Constitution defines.

Else, why bother with abandoning the Articles of Confederation? It wasn't just to have change for change' sake, but for a purpose.

The old Articles were replaced because the one dimensional idea of state sovereignty had proved to be a failure, which was why the constitutional convention was called, which was why the Constitution was submitted to We The People instead of We The States, and all of which was debated before the proposed constitution was ratified, and ratified for that purpose, because the idea of single states nullifying the actions of all of the states, was not only found to be not working, it was eventually understood to be downright wrong.

Hamilton in Federalist #22, in speaking against the Articles where each state really was sovereign and able to nullify the laws of the whole, touches upon that principle of separate sovereignty which nullifiers are blindly urging us towards, at our peril, today,
""But this is not all: what at first sight may seem a remedy, is, in reality, a poison. To give a minority a negative upon the majority (which is always the case where more than a majority is requisite to a decision), is, in its tendency, to subject the sense of the greater number to that of the lesser. Congress, from the nonattendance of a few States, have been frequently in the situation of a Polish diet, where a single VOTE has been sufficient to put a stop to all their movements."
The Founders, the Framers, the Ratifiers, were concerned that such solitary actions continued over time, would obstruct the creation of a uniform set of laws which were understood more and more to be indispensable to upholding the Individual Rights of all Americans.

What they sought, the reason for appealing to We The People, rather than 'We The States', was a union established under the authority of all of the people, so that no subset of them needed to fear the unlawful acts of another; their understanding of history, ancient and recent, taught them that their continued liberty required them to ordain and establish a single unified constitution with which to structure our laws around and under, but through the Constitution they devised a method which was neither confederate, nor national, an important point which nullifiers have the greatest difficulty in grasping: our system is neither entirely federal, nor national, but something new, something different - a blending of the two.

Granted, it's not the easiest system to explain, though Madison gave it a shot here in Federalist #39
"...The mode provided by the plan of the convention is not founded on either of these principles. In requiring more than a majority, and principles. In requiring more than a majority, and particularly in computing the proportion by STATES, not by CITIZENS, it departs from the NATIONAL and advances towards the FEDERAL character; in rendering the concurrence of less than the whole number of States sufficient, it loses again the FEDERAL and partakes of the NATIONAL character.

The proposed Constitution, therefore, is, in strictness, neither a national nor a federal Constitution, but a composition of both. In its foundation it is federal, not national; in the sources from which the ordinary powers of the government are drawn, it is partly federal and partly national; in the operation of these powers, it is national, not federal; in the extent of them, again, it is federal, not national; and, finally, in the authoritative mode of introducing amendments, it is neither wholly federal nor wholly national."
As I pointed out in the last post, the first three words of the Constitution, We The People, as opposed to 'We The States, was the very first issue dealt with, and resolved, during the ratification debates. For some reason nullifiers refuse to see the United States as a union, maybe because that view enables them to see "a rogue federal government" as a discrete foreign unit which they can then claim to have no part in, and no responsibility for; or perhaps in their minds it frees them from feeling any responsibility to their sister states, as was the case that earlier semi-functional and loosely interlocking compact.

Personally I'm not nearly so forgiving of my fellow Americans, nor so willing to push the blame on others, as Nullifiers are want to do.

But pursuing such fantasies and easy excuses will not get us any closer to making any real progress towards re-establishing a nation of Laws, and not the unbridled powers of men. What does it mean if you are willing to see "a rogue federal government", but are equally willing to assert that the laws don't have to be followed by those states who don't want to? Does a state require no other authority than its own, to declare a law that has been otherwise constitutionally passed by the congressional representatives of a majority of the states... to be unconstitutional? Under what authority, mutually recognized by your fellow states, can you claim the power to invalidate a law made by the majority of your fellow states and signed into law by a president who has been elected by an electoral majority of the entire nation?

There can be no 'authority' to do that, such a thing is an exhibition of power, and nothing more. Does it even get any more 'rogue' than that?

If we are truly seeking after solutions, it is that charter which We The People brought into being, as well as the understanding which it developed from, which needs to be consulted, and followed, in addressing the questionability of laws passed in its name, not the petulant objections of those who failed to make their case during those legislative sessions in which all of the people of all of the states were represented, or by elevating pure power over the Law, even bad law.

That's three strikes, nullifiers, you're out... unless you want to get a jump on things and question my call?

But that's highly unlikely, because what I've found in debating nullifiers, is that real understanding and real solutions are not what they are after. I say that, because each time I provide not just an answer to their assertions and objections, but the reasoning for them, and instead of refuting them or responding with a better argument, they simply brush them aside and retort with something such as this:
  • "Sometimes I wonder if guys like you really understand just how bad things are."
  • "I'd like to know if you plan on handing over your guns if the Senate ratifies the anti-gun U.N. treaty?"
  • "If single state nullification is bad, what if 30 states nullified a law?"
  • "What if the federal govt passed a law saying your child was a slave?!"
  • "What is your limit?! What will it take for you to fight bact?!"
  • "If you lived in the 1700s, would you have sided with Sam Adams and Company or with King George?"
In other words, what they are after is not an answer or a solution, but an excuse. They are frustrated with the undeniably unconstitutional laws being passed by our federal government - and with good reason, as am I - they are deeply concerned by the steadily increasing erosion of our Rights - and with good reason, as am I - but rather than working with and building upon the ideas our constitution was constituted upon, what the nullifiers are really after, is a plausible rationalization for retaliating with their own misuse of power, exerted against those many federal laws which are indeed anti-constitutional in spirit and in fact.

I can hardly blame them.

But no single state can choose to disregard the laws which govern it, delimit and restrain its power, without becoming an outlaw and putting their own people in even deeper thrall to unrestrained power. And being joined by 20 or thirty others doesn't change that one whit. No progress will be found through trumped up sovereignities and manufactured peoples, only disunion, even weaker laws and more emboldened and unrestrained abuses of power can follow, and all of our rights and all of our liberties will be sucked down into that whirlpool together - a union, after all.

We have many problems, but only one supreme law of the land, and we require a unified constitutional solution to resolve them, not fragmented rebellions which set out to nullify us all.

If we truly want a solution to our problems, we've got to confront the nature of our problems, which means going to the nature of what Law is, and the Declaration of Independence's charges of 'Pretended Legislation', provides the most fruitful path towards just such an actual solution. I'll turn to that in the next post.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Are you done wasting time on 'Get Liberty Quick!' schemes?

So...Sequester? Continuing Resolutions? Debt Limit? ObamaCare? Defunding ObamaCare? 'Health Exchanges'? Amnesty?

How are those Conservative Rock Stars like Marco Rubio working out for you? Is the support you gave the GOP living up to your expectations?

Are you done pussyfooting around yet? Are you done wasting time on foolish 'Get Liberty Quick!' schemes?

Are you done sending politicians to do a citizens work? America is a nation of Ideas, yet our schools are producing students that don't understand those ideas, and the Common Core Curriculum, by its very nature, is a threat to those ideas and the constitutional system they require.

There is no political solution - it requires You., here, not in Washington D.C., but here, in your own back yard - lose here and lose it all. There are no quick answers, but there are steps that can be taken to halt the slide, and those require you to lend a hand in taking back our schools.

I'll be giving the opening presentation, starting at 1:00 Sunday, the 20th, I hope to see you there.

Sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core:

Take Back Our Schools

St. Louis – Sunday October 20, 2013  1-6:00*

The Wildwood Hotel 2801 Fountain Place Wildwood 63040

  •  The History of Common Core Standards – How Did We Get Here?
  • High Quality Standards For Everyone? Not so much. What about special needs kids? How could CC harm early learners?
  • Testing Testing Testing
  • Data Collection – The government wants to know everything about your children. How can you protect their privacy?
  • What are your rights according to Missouri state law? How can you begin to assert those rights?
  • What is happening at the federal level when it comes to Common Core, Data Collection and state’s  rights to control education
  • The future of education in Missouri – a common sense approach based on local assertion of rights  already granted by our constitution and legislature.
There will be break out sessions for various interest groups to network with other grassroots activists.
School Board Members – Know your rights as a School Board member. Compare experiences and network with other board members who are trying to get their district out of the public/private system of common standards.
Grassroots Activists – For parents, taxpayers, teachers, legislators. We’ll talk about everything in our activist kit, answer questions and get you networking.
Non-Public Schools (Catholic/Private/Home Schools) – Whether or not CC is in or coming to your school, you need to know what to watch for and how to keep the quality education you are paying for or providing.
Learn more and receive your Grassroots Action Kit with everything you need to inform people in your district about Common Core and data collection.
Don’t wait for government to hand you back control.
 Take back the control that has been yours all along.
* (These times are accurate. Times on Eventbrite might not match due to a service limitation.)
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Friday, October 11, 2013

The wrong lessons learned again: Revisiting the St. Charles GOP social media kerfuffle.

It's late, this will be quick and short (I hope). I went to the St. Charles GOP 'Central Committee' meeting this evening, with just a few questions in mind. One, to see who it was that made the remarks the weekend of the CPAC STL and to see if it was only the comments that were foolish and unintentionally provocative, or if it was the person who made them that was foolish. Second, I wanted to see if the St. Charles GOP approved of individual members making editorial comments in their name, upon hotly debated issues, and if not, then third, to see if they would require an apology for the slight given to the committee by the person speaking in their name, and to all of those he spoke to, and attempted to speak for.
St. Charles GOP Central Committee Chair, Jon Bennett

Well I saw who it was that made the comments, the committee chairmen, Jon Bennett. And as I watched him pepper his comments as chairmen of the committee, with

  • "Because I can",
  • "Because I said so",
  • "If you don't like it, too bad, I don't care"
, he came off, not too surprisingly, as frustrated, cornered and scared... which partially answered my first question.

He made every attempt possible to brush past the Facebook/Twitter issue (which was the reason for the crowd in the room) and not have it addressed, bristling at any hint at all that he might have acted foolishly. And it was only after a couple false starts where other committee members motioned for audience participation, and then seconded despite him, that anyone else had a chance to engage in the matter. He clearly would have preferred to 'move on' without acknowledgment or resolution.

Be all of that as it may, clearly, the members of the committee, displeased with the negative attention his comments had garnered them, decided to adopt a new media policy, but as it still allowed individuals to post their personal comments under the St. Charles GOP banner, it will still (or so their reading of it seemed, I haven't seen the actual policy) require the committee to meet later on and vote on countering any inflammatory ones. Oh, they also expect those who are allowed to post, to add their initials to their posts, when they're making any comments that express a personal opinion.

Guys, really? I kind of assumed that that was what the policy already was... that's the solution? Why would that result in anything different than what already happened? I doubt he'll realize next time, that he's stuck his foot in everyone else's mouth, any sooner than he did this time. He still thinks he acted 'with transparency', saying that
"I quickly identified myself"
, well, if 10 or so comments and insults on Facebook and Twitter later is quickly, ok, sure. But maybe if they set their page up with page moderators posting in their names on the page, maybe that would help make it clear?

Possibly a problem...
During his comments upon their social media policy, Bennett actually remarked that,
"I don't get Twitter, or care about it at all."
, apparently not grasping that that might not be the best basis for an effective policy directed towards building a larger social media following. And people wonder why the GOP (as opposed to Grassroots) lags behind in social media.

Along the same lines, he seemed unaware that his several attempts to move past the issue without allowing comments from the committee or the audience, saying:
"I'm done with this subject, if you don't like it, I don't care."
, might also be a tactical policy more likely to limit the effectiveness of GOP outreach, than to expand it. Neither was his grab for sympathy and justification for his manner very effective, when he said:
'I've... personally received... threatening email and phone calls, so I don't want to hear it from anyone!'
Any of us who've been in the fray, even on the edges, for the last few years, have had some share in both of those. And I've seen some of Dana's email... I'll guarantee you that his little flurry of poison pen messages don't stack up to a single afternoon's worth of hers.

For him to have posted his personal opinion under the banner of the St. Charles GOP, putting Dana down, accusing her of taking money to divide the party, and implicitly accusing everyone else who might agree with any part of her position, was itself extremely divisive, putting both words and silence into the mouths of those who otherwise thought to see themselves as being aligned with the St Charles GOP.

To put forth under the name of the St. Charles GOP, the idea that disagreement is bad, that one particular side of a hotly contested debate is the one that all must either agree with or else be considered 'ill-informed' , was itself highly 'divisive'. Worst of all, to do that under the misguided notion of promoting (demanding) party unity, was downright boneheaded.

That seemed to be an issue he couldn't grasp. He kept asking me if someone with millions of listeners, who called for 'defunding the GOP, isn't that divisive?!'; the issue isn't whether or not such a thing is divisive, the issue is that an individual can put their personal opinion out there without it being an issue. But putting your own personal opinion out there under the banner of representing the entire organization - that's a problem. THAT is not only divisive, but wrong and destructive to the aims of that entire organization.

The simple solution to this kerfuffle, one that should have followed within hours, would have been to acknowledge that he unintentionally put the GOP's foot in it, say he's sorry, and be done with it.

But nope, that's not gonna happen. The committee might stand up to him in the future, but not now, and there are certainly no apologies coming from either him, or from the committee, not while he's chairing it.

Learning the wrong lesson again
But one abrasive person is really not the issue, or at least it shouldn't be.  There was a far worse lesson that those present seemed to be taking from this, which was that disagreement and argument were bad and should be avoided at all costs. Several people commented to the effect that::
"If you feel angry, wait till the morning before posting."
, to which all nodded sagely.

Sorry, no. Not the case, not reality, and certainly not the social media world the rest of us are living in today, and which the GOP is being left further and further behind in.

But worse, that's the wrong approach for a conservative party which claims to be a party of principles.

To be a party of principles and ideas means, must mean, that there will be disagreement and much argument over how to implement those principles which everyone holds. It is only through discussion, sometimes, often even, heated discussion, that good plans are finally found. For those who think the Founders were of one mind with never a raised voice or dissent to be heard, they haven't looked into the matter much.

Yes, threats and insults are over the line and should be condemned, but disagreement, even angry disagreement, is not itself divisive. A party that seeks to be a party of principle is going to have to realize that there will be much disagreement and discussion, and that it cannot, and should not be avoided. Their greatest strength is to embrace that and to forcefully proclaim those ideas and their principles wider meaning and application (which is precisely what thrilled so many of us when Sen's Cruz, Paul & Lee took to the senate floor with them the previous week).

The Party leader's job is not to tell people what to think or shove them into line - that sort of 'unity' is only weakness - but to moderate the discussion, to do their part to provide a framework for that discussion and to keep it moving along, so that decisions can be made. Only then can a unified effort can be found and taken a stand upon. And note: It will NEVER be a decision which all agree with, but principled people understand that; they don't want blind obedience, they simply want the opportunity for a fair and full hearing.

That is not divisive.

Argument and disagreement are not divisive. Those are the natural, and proper, results of adults attempting to implement principles in particular situations.

Preventing discussion, argument and disagreement, attempting to co-opt the agreement of others, discounting and denouncing disagreement, THAT is divisive.

As I tried to point out during my few moments to comment last night, I'm all for disagreement and discussion, no problem there, but as individuals. The St. Charles GOP banner should be used for making unified statements, or for prompting principled discussion.

Had Bennett simply posted, as the St. Charles GOP, something like:

  • "Disagreement over Senate strategy - do you support Sen. Cruz or Sen. Blunt?"
, he could then have, under his own name, legitimately, endorsed Blunt's position and disagreed with Cruz's, and of course even have questioned Dana Loesch's assessment of the issue. That's disagreement and debate, that draws people to the discussion, rather than repelling them, and the last person that would have taken personal offense to a good argument would have been Dana Loesch.

But to attempt to put words, or silence, into the mouths of others... that's never going to end well.

But hey, the Central Committee is thinking of boosting GOP popularity by having a band for the next Lincoln Days event.

I'm sure that'll bring unity and turn things around.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

CPAC St. Louis - Conservatively speaking shut downs and storytelling

Several people have asked me about what I thought about CPAC St. Louis this past weekend. Well, the obvious answer is that it was fun and it was a thrill to be there and it was great to see friends I only seen virtually in over a year and even some for the first time; but there were a few less obvious questions that got my attention, and need some less obvious answers:
  • What good was it?
  • What did it accomplish?
  • Was it worth it?
My answers?
  • That depends upon how well you listened,
  • That's up to you, and
  • It certainly could be, if you listened closely.
There were many speeches, many announcements, and many political designs conveyed, and there are many sites that can give you all of the details and analysis of them, I'd especially draw your attention to Duane Lester's 'The Torch' which has all the video (as well as an article you should really pay attention to). But as an alternative to those options, and with the above questions in mind, I'd like to focus in on just a few key comments from the day.

Some of the speakers, Grover Norquist, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry & others, I've disagreed with in the past on both minor and major positions, but a few of them made some important points on Saturday, and what they had to say is of the utmost use and value for where we are, and for what we need to do to get to where we need to be going. Also, what one of the scheduled attendees, who didn't show up, never managed to say, and which a party member/fan also neglected to say for him, should be front & center of what we put behind us. Fast.

The past, even a weeks worth, is prologue
You've of course heard of Senators Cruz, Paul, Lee, Rubio & others speaking out in a marathon session on the floor of the Senate against ObamaCare last week... and the painfully ineffective efforts of the GOP to battle it. A local apparatchik posting under the name of "St. Charles GOP" made a personal comment in the 1st person, without using his name, but instead took it upon himself to speak for the local party as a whole:
"I am convinced that Senator Roy Blunt understands the process that is occurring in DC better than Dana Loesch and others who make their living trying to divide the Republican Party.

Relax and wait. It's a funding bill, and it is rightfully back in the hands of the House of Representatives."
Quite a large number of the folks he presumed to be speaking for, spat those words back out at him pronto, but keep all of what that doesn't say in mind, and I'll come back to it in a few moments.

CPAC St. Louis
If you didn't know, and if you read or listened to local media you wouldn't know, that the person which the nameless pol mentioned, Dana Loesch, was the host of CPAC, as it brought their long running and nationally known conservative political action committee, which began in an effort to build support for Ronald Reagan's campaign for President, to St. Louis for the very first time.

Such plumbs of local events on the national stage, especially when connected to a local personality, are usually big news with local St. Louis media. Not so this time; the STLPD was somehow able to review the entire day without mentioning Dana Loesch's name even once. No matter. The popular FM 97.1 radio host, and Fox News Commentater (and Birthday girl!) brought her 'consevatarian' voice & fire to introducing the many naitonal conservative voices and political leaders to the popular convention, and helped bring the attendees to their feet, over and over again.

One of the first of those she introduced, was Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who, unlike Sen. Blunt, who is from Missouri, found a way to make it to Missouri (perhaps Sen. Blunt should have asked Sen. Lee to 'Show Me' the way) to address the very, very, appreciative conservative crowd.

He made a very good speech with several good points, but to my mind, and with the above questions in mind, the most important one, was that:
"We The People are sovereign and we need to continually assert our Rights"
This is an issue that I've been focusing on in my last few posts, and is one that is critical for us all to understand.

That We The People are sovereign, not the federal government, and not the states either. Neither does that mean that we behave as if we were a democracy telling our elected representatives how to vote; instead it means that we have a responsibility to see to it that those we elect to represent us, do forcefully represent our interest in our rights, and that they represent us by upholding and abiding by our Constitution in those laws they participate in writing. Failing that, as the sovereign, it is critical that we assert our responsibility and replace them for failing to effectively do so.

If you're not sure what that means, look to the people of Colorado who recently recalled two of their state senators for just such a failure, that is most definitely one of the ways forward.

Who we face... and who we face them with
Grover Norquist, famous for his Tax Pledge, told a story which illustrated a characteristic difference between the Left, and the conservative Right. He was asked by the New York Times about what would happen if the left tried imitating an early practice of his, where he held weekly meetings of conservatives around the nation seeking to coordinate their efforts to promote liberty.

The short version, was that contrary to the conservative's situation, where different organizations came together to help each other build something from nothing, the leftists seek to take something from everyone, and that if the tax booty were reduced, they would soon be left eyeing their fellows around the meeting table, as little more than rivals competing for the same booty. As he said:
"...our friends on the left are not made up of friends and allies, they are competing parasites."
Why is that? Because it is only when working from a position of true principle, that something can be built where nothing stood before. The wealth of The United States of America that exploded upon the wilderness of North America, is what we can proudly point to and say: "We built that."

The ruin of Detroit, wrought from those seeking ever diminishing slices of power and booty, are what the statists frantically try their damnedest to keep from having to admit that: "We built that."

That stark contrast, which is central to the current ObamaCare and Govt Shutdown 'crisis', illustrates the position of the Leftist of the left and the right. It is the mark of the proRegressive in general, that they feel justified, and compelled even, in using political power to take from some, in order to give to others, so as to force everyone to comply with their various conceptions of 'the greater good'. A mindset that is equally true of the proRegressive of the Left, and of the Right.

There was an excellent panel discussion between Tom Minnery, Libertarian Geoffrey Neal, and a favorite author of mine Matthew Spalding ("We Still Hold These Truths"), and libertarian author Doug Bandow, on How, or even If, Conservatives and Libertarians can work together for their common goals. The prognosis was mixed, but one issue they identified as being central to both concerns, centered upon the one issue that should unite us in our current political doings, which Doug Bandow summed up in a few words:
"There is no virtue in a coerced act."
That is the understanding that should permeate any and every debate we have with proRegressives of the Left (and Right), on ObamaCare, on the abuses of the NSA, IRS, EPA and all else, that what they pretend to themselves is being done for the betterment of others, is in fact being forced upon them, and that the citizens of this country are being forced to to comply with what those 'who know best' say is 'right', and it is bringing real harm and ruin to us all.

The supposed compassion of the statist crusader, is anything but, and however much they like to pose as defenders of the weak, their positions are weak and uninspiring. They, Reid, Obama, etc., have to misinform, mislead and intimidate, because they cannot convince us to submit to it voluntarily. The truth is that their positions are so weak that they can't be put into practice without forcing them upon us all. And if you need proof of that, those most responsible for promoting that 'greater good' are frantically exempting themselves from experiencing any of it. Whether congressional staffers, Unions or politically connected corporations, they are all seeking to exempt themselves from the current regulatory flagship of ObamaCare.

They have no real strength because there is no virtue in their faux-compassion; it is nothing but coercion, and it is nothing but wrong, without basis in reality, and as such, they have only our compliance to prop themselves up with.

And what of those proRegressives of the Right, who council compromising on principle, who seek to maneuver in secret, who pretend to oppose the growth of coercive and unconstitutional government, when in fact they mean at the very most reducing nothing but the rate of growth? Well, Grover Norquist had another galvanizing illustration,
“Republican elected officials who vote for tax increases are rat heads in a Coke bottle: They damage the brand for everyone else.”
Which brings us back around to what the St. Charles GOP flack had to say.
"I am convinced that Senator Roy Blunt understands the process that is occurring in DC better than Dana Loesch and..."
A position that would have been received well by the leftist St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which, remember, on the rare occasion of a major national political convention coming to town, and hosted by a local personality, was able to avoid mentioning the host's name even once. Though it did manage to defend the position of Sen. Blunts, and the St. Charles GOP's 'voice':
"U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and several House members from Missouri and other states had to back out of the program to remain in Washington over the weekend."
Interesting, yes? Except that, of course, Sen. Mike Lee, managed to make it, and deliver a crowd rallying speech.

And that opposition to, and avoidance of, those who speak unabashedly for conservative and constitutional views, and the roaring standing ovations which those who spoke plainly received on Saturday, which indicates one of the most important points from CPAC: That Conservatives are hungry for their spokesmen & representatives to stand up for what they believe in, to speak out, and most of all to apologetically speak out for what we believe to be right!

Sen. Blunt has not been doing that. He says many nice and easy things 'Oh, I have always opposed Obamacare!', but he won't take a stand to back those words up, he won't risk making waves to drive that point home. Dana Loesch had been pressing him all last week to state his position during Sen. Cruz's marathon stand in the senate, and she wasn't alone; I, along with many others in the blogosphere and twitterverse were pressing him to take a stand.

When he did finally come on Dana's radio show, he talked again about how he opposed ObamaCare, but about how the GOP couldn't do anything to defund ObamaCare, because they don't have a majority, it needed to go back to the House. What the Senate would do with a new bill from the House, with that same lack of a majority, he didn't have much to say about.

He chose instead to stand aside. Blunt dodged, kept silent, and then finally spoke out of both sides of his mouth, even trying to characterize Sen. Cruz's post speech vote, as a vote for Cloture. Blunt's vote, was a vote to give Harry Reid the ability to strike the House's effort to defund ObamaCare.

A friend of mine, Jim K., a businessman who is very familiar with the daily toll that being able to say "I built that" requires of you,  mentioned something in a private email, that brings together the dark principle which unites ProRegressives of the left and right, the desire to have their cake and eat it too - to deny reality and get away with it (as safely as possible) - as with the mincing of words from politicians like Blunt and his blunt buddy in the St Charles GOP, who just want to play it safe:
"No, Mr. Senator, what really set off business owners was that he ignored the *risks* taken by business owners.  By telling them 'You didn't build that' he ignored the amazing risks they took and gave credit to people who took no risks at all."
Blunt's vote was to stand by and stand aside and let others deal with the issue, at a safe distance from him.

We don't want people speaking for us who who want to stand aside and avoid saying what we mean. We're tired of you and we're done with you.  We want someone more inclined to speak up,  than whisper secret plans,  more prone to standing up,  than standing aside.

The people we need to have in the position of defending our Rights, are not government workers seeking safe government jobs!
And so in reply to the nameless & faceless MO GOP flack who claimed that Sen. Blunt 'knew best', and that those who didn't blindly trust their secret plans were dividing the party, I had one word (for a moment): Pathetic.

We on the Right have been losing because the GOP has done little or nothing to declare the prinicples it is willing to stand for, and has shown us no strategy that reflects anything more than their desire to maintain their precious positions and most of all, to avoid losing.

Pathetic. People who whine "We can't win without a majority", are the same people who can't win with one either. Witness the failure of the MO GOP to override even a tax cut veto.

The GOP, nationally and locally, is divided, because it has no principles to unite around, no prinicples it is willing to stand for, no matter the immediate consequences.

Instead its frantic attempt to hang on demonstrates nothing but weakness. And excuses. Like Missuori Sen. Blunt saying he couldn't make CPACSTL because he had to stay in DC on Senate business. While Utah Sen. Mike Lee managed to make it to CPACSTL just fine.


Far from declaring and standing their principles, they give lip service to them while running away from what those words might commit them to if the stood by them long enough to be associated with them. Because they do not have the truth, their position is in opposition to reality and the truth.
Telling The Story
And that brings us around to what I think was the most important comment of the day, made by former Senator Rick Santorum, that
  1. "We have the truth - why are we playing defense?"
  2. "We need to tell better stories", and
  3. "We need to get better at telling stories."
We have the truth on our side... why the hell is the GOP playing defense?! One reason, is because they only thing the GOP can talk about are hollow sounding puffery for 'family values' (when looking for easy applause), and economic tic's. If they had the soul to grasp and portray economic issues as the trumpet blasts of liberty and individual rights that they truly are, they could get somewhere with them... but instead, they play the proRegressive lame game ("economics is the dismal science") and allow it to be reduced to quantified percentage points of this and that.

Which is the same line of thinking that has reduced the American Revolution in our children's textbooks, to be an issue of taxation percentage points.

It is the anti-thesis of telling a story. And without a winning and inspiring story, no, NO, NO issue of principle can EVER hope to win the day. Principle requires allegiance to Truth, the proRegressive leftist requires nothing but playing to the basest of desires. And without the foundation and backbone of principle, of doing what is Right, because it is Right...and capturing people's imagination to do so... why would anyone bother?

Why should anyone bother to do what is difficult, when you know damn well that it isn't being done because it is believed in, wholeheartedly, but only because it serves someone's purposes for power and position?

If we who support the Constitution because it IS the requisite framework for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, if we don't communicate that in everything we do, the dream of liberty will die. Will.

It is for that reason that we don't want people who only seek to gain political advantage, we want people to stand up for what we believe in, and that requires telling the story of what we understand to be true and believe so deeply in - Individual Rights, Property Rights, the Rule of Law under our Constitution and how it can transform our lives, and the world, for the better - and that is the only way we will ever win people over.

Not through talking points, but by making our point in ways that have meaning in our lives.

And step one is standing up for what we believe in, and if those we've elected to represent us in that, refuse to, seek the easy way around having to do that, we need to get the hell rid of them.

Col. Oliver North gave an inspiring speech about the efforts, and purposes of the United States Military, and in a solid observation, noted that:
"We need a Gov that lives up to their oaths & We The People are responsible for seeing that they do"
And finally, as Sen. Lee noted:
"The American people will always have the final word"