If you have visited my home page you already know that your Auntie keeps a “10 Most Wanted List” — just like my FBI! — including the names of some of the worst Enemies of the State out there. (Unlike the FBI, they are wanted only alive, for questioning. I keep my waterboard at the ready!)
Today I am adding a new and unrepentant hooligan to my Wall of Shame: Jeffrey Tucker. The reprehensible Tucker is founder of that heinous online enclave of liberty, Liberty.me. Liberty.me is designed to become a new “Facebook” for those hearty-partying libertarians.
Alarmingly, since its launch in 2014 this community has grown to 4000 dues-paying members.
This shall not stand!
These ne’er-do-wells celebrate the pretense that Liberty unleashes human potential, maximizes human joy, and promotes, rather than degrades, the moral order.
They gather at Liberty.me to read, write, and discuss seditious literature. As for Tucker himself he’s the founder, chief liberty officer, and aspirant for the award for “Best Dressed Man,” a distinction currently held by LIberty.me’s (formerly) secret member Kim Jong-eun.
We must crush Liberty.me. Before it grows any stronger.
New York’s Attorney General alleges there was false labeling on several herbal supplements found at major chain stores. The Attorney General issued cease and desist orders on the sales of these supplements in these chains.
Not surprisingly, this raised calls for the FDA to regulate the industry.
When don’t statists take advantage of a crisis? Everything is an excuse for more State regulation!
The Attorney General targeted an actual crime: Fraud. That was good.
But that order applied only to stores in New York. That didn’t stop the chains from removing the product from their shelves in all their stores, across the country.
Because the voluntary market is the greatest regulator of all! These large, supposedly untouchable corporate behemoths, all need to protect their reputation.
We have history to prove it…
* After the 1982 poisonings, Tylenol’s market share plunged from 37% to 7%.
* It climbed to 30% within a year after Tylenol introduced tamper-proof packaging.
* Competitors did the same — long before the FDA issued a tamper-proof requirement! (http://bit.ly/1DJ1roO)
And consumers can punish companies tarnished by this supplement fraud scandal, unless and until they become more honest and transparent.
On the other hand, FDA regulation will only increase the costs of many supplement producers, causing many to go out of business and making all supplements more expensive. Some supplements will even disappear from shelves.
And, as they say, “follow the money”…
Big Pharma will benefit by facing less non-drug competition. So…
Like so many statist initiatives, greater regulation of supplements will only succeed in harming the very people it proposed to help.
OPPOSE any attempt to regulate the supplements industry!
But please don’t stop there. After you’ve sent your letter, you’ll get an email with a copy of it. Forward your letter to the one or two friends (not 10, not more) who will be most interested in this message. Ask them to do as you did and send a letter too.
Suffice it to say then, that the Libertarian principles of self-ownership, self-determination and decentralization share themselves throughout the entire world. The work the same way whether we are considering a separate state wanting independence (like New Hampshire or Texas) or even dozens of breakaways (think the Soviet Union breakup or places like Scotland and Belgium).
Heck, we do not need to be a huge history buff to figure it all out. America itself was a secessionist colony as we broke away from England and the rule of King George. Our Declaration let the world know of our birthright, our unalienable rights, and how we planned to live by them. The very fact that we own that history to create the original Libertarian society and run the greatest Lockean experiment ever devised, makes me certain that a secession effort in America characterizes the greatest expectation of salvaging our heritage.
That Declaration founded the classical liberal (today, known as Libertarian) tradition and the promising society it provided for us to live in. We now live in a world where the government runs amok. Our politicians are consumed with state power and the dreams of controlling all of us and everything that we do. Our government is becoming the very enemy we fought against for over a century. As with our Forefathers, in today’s world, secession proposes an expectation that really liberal societies, built up and supported by civil citizens and markets (instead of a centralized government), can actually still occur.
For Secession to work, it MUST be a “Bottom-Up” Insurrection
In all likelihood, by now, you are probably asking yourself “How the heck can any of this actually happen?” To make an absolute peaceful transition away from a tyrannical government requires a lot of time and effort. It is the pinnacle question that every Libertarian ought to be asking themselves. If you, as a Libertarian, honestly asked yourself that question and sought an answer, that answer may surprise you.
I mean, wouldn’t you think that such a thing would require we convince a majority of Americans that it’s the right thing to do? If you wanted to create a viable secession movement in America, how many people do you think you need to convince? Must you convert at least half of Americans, or maybe just half of the voting population? Would it need to be a gigantic political battle like the elections we go through every four years?
Most people would certainly say yes, but I emphatically say no. Building a Libertarian secession movement is no different than building a Libertarian movement. Fortunately for all of us, it does NOT require a massive political movement at all. The various national political organizations that build hype against the Libertarians and kowtow to the Right and Left are helplessly lost. They are wasteful and naïve of what it takes and the resources they have available to them.
Hoppe told us that we should spend our time building defenses when the government is not on our back. He took the adage “and eye for an eye” and wrote it in terms of political power. Hoppe put it in a different way and tells us: just as force is justified only in self-defense, the use of democratic means is justified only when used to achieve non-democratic, libertarian, pro-private property ends.
Did you catch the meaning of those words? It was a very sneaky way of saying what is on everyone’s mind when they think about getting away from the government. He meant that such a bottom-up revolution must make full use of and include all aspects of persuasion and the democratic mechanism to secede. It is done on an INDIVIDUAL basis before anything else. Then it moves up to family, community and local level. It means literally, all the methods that encompass turning our backs on the government. We should be turning our backs as opposed to fighting them and trying to get them to bend.
In our Declaration, it is noted that the government gets its power from the consent of the governed. Hoppe is advising us on what secession really means. Unlike most people who think it means we break away from the United States and start a new country, Hoppe is telling us something completely different. He is indicating that secession, correctly recognized, means the removing of our consent and walking away from D.C. – not attempting to gain control of it politically (through elections or otherwise) and “converting the king” to our cause.
Properly Executed, Secession Is Individualistic, Not a Political Movement
I know this sounds outlandish, but it is not. It only seems that way because you have not considered it prior to this point. Radical, yes, by far, but then, in our current society, so is anything Libertarian. One would ask, at least on a national level if not at the state or local level, why is secession not political? So, let us take a look at the idea and see if we can make sense of it.
As much as I would love to see a Libertarian President running things, which is what we all hope for when voting for someone like Ron Paul, it is still the position of ONLY one person. There is an entire political apparatus that exists in Washington D.C., not just the Presidency. What about the Senate and the House? What about all the Cabinet members and the members of all the various Agencies that exist?
I dare say that any belief of a possible Libertarian occupation of the governmental administrative machine in D.C. is pure imaginary. Even if we managed to get a change going there is an army of some 4.5 million federal employees that will not simply vanish. Our current culture and the way people think in America will not allow such a thing to occur. It is just a pipe dream until the citizens learn exactly what Libertarianism is and how to live by it.
For sure, there are many people who will argue with me on this point. Maybe even you as a reader here would take up the argument. In all cases you and the others would be wrong. Sorry, it just is what it is. It is nothing against you. Remember, throughout history of the entire world, ALL politics has always been a trailing indicator, it is never the fore runner. Culture leads, politics follow.
It is impossible for any political tide to change in America without a massive philosophical, educational and cultural shift. You can see the proof already; we had a system in place that was of, by and for the people. Over the course of the last several centuries, the “progressive” took over our educational system, the media, fine arts, literature and pop culture. The result, they took over politics in D.C. Now it makes no difference which party is in office, they are all the same, they all lean progressive in the end.
Often I find myself surrounded by Libertarians and other people who want nothing more than to secede from the Union. I doubt they even understand the full concept of what it means and for sure have no idea on how to bring it about. The title here says it all. I must presume that if you are reading this you read the title and you are reading this because you have an interest in the topic of secession.
Perhaps your interest is superficial and you just want a better understanding. Maybe you look at it as an abstract concept for wishful thinking to bring about a utopian world of your own creation. Possibly, you want it as a feasible option to get away from the clutches of an over bearing government. Perchance you think that American citizens now fear and distrust their government in unparalleled numbers that secession seems to be the only viable option left.
Mises wrote in his 1927 book Liberalism In The Classical Tradition:
The situation of having to belong to a state to which one does not wish to belong is no less onerous if it is the result of an election than if one must endure it as the consequence of a military conquest.
Clearly, if you are reading this then you share this same sentimentality to some degree. When you read this quote, you find that Mises understood that the act of voting was no ancillary method to attain a liberal society. In fact, based on the outlook of what he wrote, he considered it to be the enemy of Liberty. The same mawkishness was observed by Ben Franklin when he was asked what type of government did the Constitutional Convention give us and he responded: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Mises and Franklin were correct. You only need to look around you in the world we live in today to see it. Almost 100 years since Mises wrote it and more than 2 centuries since Franklin made his quip, we are not ruled and engaged by a tyrannical state and its fake exterior portrayed by its deceptive democratic elections. Our federal government is currently the de facto emperor of almost every single facet of our existence in America today.
Now, while I am writing, you are reading, and together we are thinking about that daring notion of separation from the only country we ever knew. The very thought that Mises used and represented as the essential standard of classical liberalism.
Oh, do not get me wrong here. I know all about the human resistance to change and the psychological effects of such things. Clearly, it is very tantalizing to enamor our past and want to remain living in it. Yes, we can shut our eyes as tight as possible and live in denial in order to resist radical change in our society.
L.P. Hartley summed it all up nicely in his book The Go Between when he penned the line: “The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.” America, as we thought we knew her, is a thing of the past. It is nothing more now than a memory, a wish list, and an illusion – a foreign country. THAT, my dear readers, is exactly why we MUST take the concept of secession extremely serious, as unfailing with Libertarianism, and a tangible alternative for our impending survival.
Back in the day, America was a fledgling country. The fights and arguments were always about federalism vs. state’s rights. It was so consistent of an argument that we fought a civil war over it. After that, America was clearly monopolized by the powers that be in Washington D.C. But America kept growing in size and spectacular fashion as the beacon of hope around the world.
Take a gander at the physical size of America today. It is vast, full of multiculturalism everywhere. It became a democratic welfare state over time. Does any person reading this truly believe that a country so big, with 330 million people, many diverse local economies, various local social and cultural interests; can by any stretch of the imagination be controlled from D.C. forever without fanatical struggles and economic discord?
Look at all the laws coming out of D.C. Tax laws routing redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. We have quota laws that pit black against white. We have immigration laws that pit Hispanic with Anglos. We have gender laws that pit men against women. We have age laws that pit Old against young. We have marriage laws that pit the gay against the straight. We have entitlement laws that pit taxpayers against the welfare recipient.
We have red vs. blue states, urban living vs. rural living and the entire “political class” vs. the rest of us. Do any of you readers really believe that we have the ability to live freely in Liberty while being ruled by a state that constantly finds ways to divide us? By now, you should realize that our federal government took to heart the idea of “united we stand, divided we fall”.
The people, citizens of the United States, were supposed to be in charge. They were supposed to be the ones that controlled the government. Through the years of subversive and manipulative ways, our government has turned the tables. They divided us to the point where we fight amongst ourselves to make sure no one gets away with anything we cannot do, instead of holding the government accountable.
This problem of government and citizenry is not new. It was seen and understood more than a century ago. President Teddy Roosevelt at one point said:
“The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing as a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.”
Witnessing what the government does, honestly, it appears that our federal government, through successive Administrations, is Balkanizing America just the same. Therefore, why not pursue ways to separate in a rationally and nonviolently method? Why forego the idea of secession, the sensible substitute that happens to be glaring at us in all its simplicity?
History is full of examples where countries split apart and pieces seceded from the mother land. I would venture to say that almost everyone laying eyes on this is likely an American, just as I am. My emphasis throughout this critique is setting on the political and cultural happenings here at home in America. Principles, in order to work as principles must work in every situation where they apply.
We approach, perhaps even this week, an “Executive Action” dramatically reducing deportations. The phrase, and concept of, Executive Action has a very creepy connotation. It implies extralegal action. It was used by the CIA as a euphemism for assassination.
The current threatened Executive Action is called by its adversaries “amnesty.” In fact, it represents a temporary reprieve rather than a pardon, more likely to confound rather than promote a humane resolution. It is highly likely to cause a backlash against durable immigration reform.
And it is likely to trigger a lingering backlash against the Democratic Party. Barack Obama would do well to reflect upon and heed a social philosopher whose wisdom he spurns: Saul Alinsky.
President Obama often falsely is linked with Alinsky. They never met. >snip<
In Alinsky’s magnum opus, Rules for Radicals, Alinsky — a provocateur and agitator, a man of great integrity and also of great practicality — presents a message that President Obama would do well to heed:
Niels Bohr pointed out that the appearance of contradictions was a signal that the experiment was on the right track: “There is not much hope if we have only one difficulty, but when we have two, we can match them off against each other.” Bohr called this “complementarity,” meaning that the interplay of seemingly conflicting forces or opposites is the actual harmony of nature. Whitehead similarly observed, “In formal logic, a contradiction is the signal of a defeat; but in the evolution of real knowledge it marks the first step in progress towards a victory.”
Executive Action lacks the dynamic of complementarity. Executive Action is synthetic, rather than organic. It is fragile, rather than resilient. It is the ultimate in trickle down policy. It contains within itself, as Marx once proclaimed of capitalism, the seeds of its own destruction.
President Obama, then a teenager, may have missed it when the term, Executive Action, surfaced in the Church Committee’s Interim Report on a rogue CIA project using the term as a euphemism for assassination.
In addition to investigating actual assassination plots, the Committee has examined a project known as Executive Action which included, as one element, the development of a general, standby assassination capability.
“Executive Action” was a bad thing. It is still a bad thing.
Alinsky well understood the fundamental flaw of Executive Action. He precisely identifies the Achilles’ heel of Obama’s efforts thereby to effect positive, lasting, change. Alinsky:
If you respect the dignity of the individual you are working with, then his desires, not yours; his values, not yours; his ways of working and fighting, not yours; his choice of leadership, not yours; his programs, not yours, are important and must be followed; except if his programs violate the high values of a free and open society.
President Obama seems sincere in his commitment to improve the life of regular people. He has a blind spot, though: an obsessive belief that he knows best: better than an opposition he appears to consider cynical, corrupt, or stupid. Better than the people (recently categorized as stupid by a chief architect of Obamacare) themselves.
Actually we the people are a lot smarter than you might think, Mr. President. If your policies were good, really, we’d be rallying around you — and re-electing, rather than de-electing, your political allies. It isn’t, as you say, that your administration has done a poor sales job. It’s a mixture of your promoting a product that the majority of us do not want, or a poor quality version of a product (like universal health care) that we do.
It is not, Mr. President, a failure of politics. The recent election is a triumph of politics over a failure of policy.
>snip<Executive Action will not end well for the immigrants who you seek to shelter from deportation. Executive Action will not end well for your reputation or for America. Executive Action is the civic equivalent to ordering an assassination. Respect our dignity, Mr. President, and turn back.
Winter is such a dangerous time of year. You shouldn’t be outside in the cold. You could get chilled! Dubuque has done the Right Thing!
Dubuque has closed 48 and of its 50 sledding hills. That’s the spirit! Why, according to the Associated Press:
Kenneth Bond, a New York lawyer who represents local governments. In the past, people might have embraced a Wild West philosophy of individuals being solely responsible for their actions, but now they expect government to prevent dangers whenever possible.
“It’s a great idea on the frontier, but we don’t live on the frontier anymore,” Bond said…
Darn right and Thank The Deity we don’t live in the Wild West any more!
Picture from Google Images – declaration of independence
Losing The People’s Acceptance
Perhaps the most stunning example of government run amok was the 18th Amendment. That is the Amendment on prohibition.
Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919. Repealed by amendment 21.
After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
When you read the Amendment you can see where instead of limiting the power of government it tried to limit rights/power of the people. It is clear to even the most casual of observers who are familiar with Divine and Secular Natural Law that the government acted outside of and as an impediment to the accepted philosophy that set up the government. The 18th constricted instead of increasing Liberty.
It was clearly inconsistent with the founding principles of individualism. Time shows that it was generally disregarded by the people and eventually was repealed. If we look close enough, we can see the beginnings of the same thing about to happen with our current “war on drugs”.
Holmes was a Supreme Court Justice from 1902-1932. He was a champion of free speech at the time and did much to defend the cause of Liberty while he was on the bench. However, his proposition to bring forth Historical Natural Law to the bench overshadows what he did for Liberty. He presumed that all government officials thought the same way he did.
Unfortunately for America, this is not the case. Since his time on the bench, America glided gradually down the slippery slope of becoming a government of men rather than law. We can see the continued sliding in the recent enactment of the new Health care laws (Obamacare) as Congress decided to impose penalties on citizens who do not buy a product. This was quickly followed by a Supreme Court ruling that created a tax which did not exist beforehand.
The decline does not stop there. We saw the President order a government agency to not enforce the laws as written. We see Supreme Court cases that supposedly decide the constitutionality of a subject but the Constitution is never discussed. The list of unconstitutional actions is long and drawn out. They all decrease instead of increase Liberty in America.
Because of the court’s adaptation of Historical Natural Law, where a person of power that makes decisions is limited only by his or her own sense of history, our governments at all levels continue to move further and further away from the Divine and Secular Natural Law philosophies that gained the people’s acceptance of government. We were supposed to be a “nation of laws” where the government was “of, by and for the people” based on Lockean principles.
If our government insists on going down this track it runs the risk of losing the acceptance of the people. We can see this already taking place in the last several election cycles where Ron Paul ran for the Presidency. Organizations like the Tea Party and Campaign For Liberty are only the beginning of the people recognizing what is wrong with our government.
While the people are becoming restless, the government is moving with a stricter control over the people. The TSA and NSA along with a whole alphabet of agencies are now running roughshod over our citizenry. Control of the people is moving toward “control by fear” as with other tyrannical governments exercise their power outside their constitutions.
If it keeps up, the end result will be an illegitimate government. Libertarians have a bad rap because they are seen by the government as radicals. However, it should be noted that Libertarians are the only political party of people that agrees with the founding ideals of individualism and justice.
It is the only party that wants government for the true purpose of governance, to protect every individual’s right to life, liberty and property. It is the only political party in the United States that is grounded in the principles of Divine and Secular Natural Law supporting the individual against an ever encroaching government by and upholding espousing the non-aggression principle.
Picture from Google Images – declaration of independence
Our Unenumerated Natural Rights and The United States Constitution
By now you should recognize that our Declaration of Independence clearly delineates the legal origins of the United States in Natural Law. As a result of this, it becomes obligatory to grasp the idea of rights that are beyond the Constitution (i.e. the unenumerated rights). This acknowledgement was stated in the Ninth Amendment which says:
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Courts, to this day, refuse to see the Declaration as part of the law. To them it does not matter that it grounds our laws in Natural Law. They only recognize positive law. Positive laws are laws written by men, distinguishable from Natural Law which they have no control over. Major discourse took place when the Constitution was written because of this attitude toward the Declaration.
The arguments bought into positive law the unalienable rights of the Declaration in the first ten Amendments of the Constitution, which we refer to as the Bill of Rights. Since the natural rights of human beings are too numerous to document in a single document, our forefathers decided to list a few of the most important ones. Then, under a general provision (Ninth Amendment), they provided for the recognition of the rest of them that were not listed.
This provision makes way in positive law, so the courts can recognize them, other rights that are not specifically mentioned. The principle stands, coming grounded in Natural Law along with the Declaration, as providing the philosophy by which the United States government may derive its legitimacy and sets the constraints upon the governmental actions that can take place.
Because the courts do not recognize the Declaration as part of the law, it is extremely rare that the Supreme Court takes any sort of gander at the Founding principles embodied in Natural Law. Rare though it is, when it does take place, the courts generally side with Liberty. We can see this in the recent ruling that indicated the rights to bear arms was an individual right rather than a collective right.
Current Organizing Principles
We have shown here how Divine and Secular Natural Law are grounded in unyielding principles. These principles, as our Founders intended, can be sited as the basis for our government’s legitimacy and citizen’s acceptance of said government. These Natural Laws are geared to provide us with a “nation of laws” not one “of men” as the world knew before America existed.
America’s downfall begins with the use of Historical Natural Law. It relies on the customs of the time and the judge’s interpretation at the time. There are no controlling principles involved as there are with Divine and Secular Natural Law. As such, we grew into a nation that has a “government of men”, not laws.
While the use of Historical Natural Law continues to grow, judges are freed from the constraints of Divine and Natural Law interpretations. Since the judges are no longer constrained, then it follows that the rest of the players in the political system are no longer constrained either.
Being freed from the constraints of Divine and Secular Law means our representatives in government are no longer constrained to act within the boundaries set up in the Constitution and enacted into positive law. More and more governmental agencies are making laws and regulations that are treated as laws. Gone are the days when laws are written by Congress according to the Constitution.
At best, we can see that our government official talk of the Constitution is reduced to nothing but lip service. We do not have to look too far to see this is true. In President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address he said “But if Congress won’t act soon … I will.”
The warning bells were sounding but no one was listening. Clearly, coming from a supposed constitutional scholar, this is no kind of endorsement regarding the constitutional process set up by our forefathers. This is a perfect example of the lawless application of political power. It is a total disregard for the lawful power of government as indicated in the Declaration and limited by the Constitution.
Join Dr. Robert Sussman, M.D., as he takes us on the magical journey of Supply and Demand. Dr. Sussman, M.D. , will conduct an engaging talk on the law of supply and demand. Past events featuring Sussman have been very popular and educational. We meet in the private room upstairs at The Island Restaurant & Lounge. There is no charge to attend.
Event Special: 1/2 off all house wines
The Island Restaurant and Lounge
A Caribbean Fusion Experience Event Special: 1/2 off all house wines
921 Lake Avenue
Lake Worth, FL 33460
Palm Harbor, FL – The Libertarian Party of Florida announced that it will join Floridians for Solar Choice in a ballot initiative for the 2016 election.
The ballot initiative will allow for market competition in the field of energy and especially alternative energy by allowing citizens to produce solar energy for profit. This measure will not only encourage the use of solar energy, something found in abundance in the Sunshine State, but will allow small business to flourish in a newly created alternative energy industry.
“Energy is our most valuable commodity and for Floridians, solar is one of the easiest forms to harness. Our party has been a longtime advocate for the independence of every individual to flourish from their endeavors and we feel this ballot initiative will allow for the market to dictate the effectiveness of this alternative energy.”
Chairperson Dana Moxley-Cummings said in a statement. “It is time to break the monopolistic field surrounding our energy production of consumption that has been a stronghold by the major parties for too long. This initiative is an idea whose time has long passed and we are excited to see this become a reality for the citizens of Florida.”
Dana Moxley-Cummings is available for follow up comment or interview.
Phone: (727) 424-9530
Voters have shown, yet again, that we do not like political fanatics. “Fanatic” is defined by my resident dictionary as “a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, esp. for an extreme … political cause.” The Republican Party, in the nuanced language of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), “crushed,” everywhere, its fanatical wing during the past election cycle.
This implies no animus toward the Tea Party, of which I am a self-identified member. But there were factions within the Tea Party, and a few rump hotheads, who are, in fact, fanatics willing to go to such counterproductive extremes as shutting down the government. The fanatics have been marginalized. The GOP then marginalized fanatical Democrats.
Conservative grownups now are in charge of the GOP in both House and Senate. The GOP has yet to crystallize a vision on how to bring about a solid climate of equitable prosperity and job creation (by reining in a rogue Fed, perhaps), civil liberties (such as the free exercise of religion), and the pursuit of happiness (through traditional values). These can be threshed out in the upcoming presidential cycle.
The GOP could, of course, stumble. As of now, though, it looks like the 114th Congress is more likely to do right by, rather than wrong to, America.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party’s fanatics have Occupied their Party. Appalled, we voters administering crushing losses to Democrats across-the-board, at every level: Senate, House, Governorships, State legislatures, Dogcatchers. The Democratic Party leadership — fanatics — have implied that their response to the repudiation by the voters will be to double (or triple or quadruple) down on the Castor oil they wish to dose us with.
>snip<Cringe comedy? One explanation tendered for Democratic loyalty to Pelosi: her massive fundraising prowess, Politico reporting her as having raised over $100 million in campaign contributions in this election cycle and four times that since her original election.
This sale of a birthright for a mess of pottage, coming from the Party that vilifies its opposition as the Party of Big Money, drips with irony. And, the election results imply, this is an irony not lost on us voters. The bottom line?
Nancy Pelosi is a political fanatic. Tolerating her in leadership damages the Democrats.
Harry Reid provided what superficially sounded like a conciliatory note
The message from voters is clear: they want us to work together. I look forward to working with Senator McConnell to get things done for the middle class.
Which was, of course, Newspeak for demanding that the Republicans adopt elements of the progressive agenda (whose programs, in empirical fact, often do not serve middle income voters — which the voters understand even if the high officials of the Democratic Party do not). Succumbing to Harry Reid’s insincere blandishments is something Mitch McConnell will not do. Having crushed his own party’s fanatics he certainly is not about to kowtow to the fanatics of the other party.
Politico, before the election, summed up Reid’s ambient political fanaticism, and power base, which, again, is money:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid believes Republicans have walked into his trap.
[I]n addition to headlining a slew of fundraising events for the DSCC and Senate candidates, Reid has attended a staggering 81 meetings in 13 cities with big-dollar donors for the high-spending Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC spending more than any other Democratic outside group to save its party’s majority, a source said. Reid will attend even more in the final stretch of the season.
As Yogi Berra once observed, “in theory there’s no difference between theory and practice but in practice there is.” Once again, the anti-Big-Money-in-Politics Progressives prove themselves, in private, addicted to what they so ostentatiously, in public, deplore. Still, and notwithstanding his very public feud with the White House, the bottom line?
Harry Reid is a political fanatic. Tolerating him in leadership damages the Democrats.
The most damaging political fanatic happens to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Having pushed his party into a shellacking of historic proportions President Obama threatens to throw the Democrats out of the frying pan of Obamacare and into the fire of immigration-reform-by-executive-order.
I was, long have been, and remain a passionate teapartying advocate of comprehensive immigration reform to include a generous path to citizenship. Obama’s proposed executive action, in contravention of his oath of office faithfully to execute the laws, could set back comprehensive immigration reform by a full generation.
Not only would sweeping executive action by Obama poison the well for real immigration reform. It almost certainly will plant the seeds of yet another electoral backlash against the Democrats. According to an exit poll of the Midterms conducted by (right-leaning) Kellyanne Conway’s The Polling Company, “three-quarters (74%) of voters believed that “President Obama should work with Congress rather than around Congress on immigration….”
Conway calls this “playing the Lone Ranger on amnesty.” Too polite. This is political fanaticism, not vigilantism, at work.
I am familiar with many fine Democratic elected officials who would provide superior leadership both for their party and the country. They remain marginalized. Mystifying. And, unlike the GOP, the Democratic Party is exalting rather than pushing back on its fanatics.
The GOP is, of course, deeply imperfect. That said, incoming House Speaker John Boehner built the largest Republican majority in that body since the days of Harry Truman. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thwarted all challenges by conservative militants and then drove the Republicans to a majority in the US Senate. GOP leadership’s credibility is high.
Neither leader is intimidated, or befuddled, by the fanaticism of the other party. Neither will succumb to histrionic “shut down the government” bluster on the part of their party’s own marginalized fanatics.
Both have announced that they will advance conservative legislation that commands bipartisan support. They thereby will force the White House into, by signing good legislation, implicitly admitting that it was the Democrats, all along, who were thwarting “getting stuff done.” Or display raw fanaticism by continually vetoing popular legislation. Shrewd.
American voters punish political fanatics. The punishment of fanaticism is the central message from the 2014 election cycle, primary and general. This bodes well for the 2016 presidential race, and for America and the world, although not for a Democratic Party which grows more bewilderingly fanatical with every passing week.