Swear on the Constitution

Our U.S. Constitution is a remarkably efficient document. It is our only founding charter. Many times changed, rendered, adumbrated. But it’s essence is unshakable. Written in Thomas Jefferson’s handwriting, edited against his will, pored over, discussed, hushed about, while it lay about some small wooden tables in independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Americans believe, that the Constitution is the link between our government and our lives. Congress and the Executive, can not overstep the harmony that exists, by each American following his path of liberty. Unfortunately, too many harmful minds, want too much power in this country. Power never vested in the Constitution. Power never meant to be handled by bureaucrats or officials or committees. We need to change all this. The oath of office should be sworn on the Constitution. In the Capital Rotunda. Among the historicity of remains from past great ages of the United States.

Drones in our night skies. Unelected lawyers interpreting the U.S. Constition. Surveillance. Internet spying. Blackouts and Stasi-like encroachements. Torturing. Deaths and internment of American citizens. Socialization of medicare for the elderly, and healthcare for those in mid-age. Food stamps and deductibles for people who do not work. Taxation over representation. Data-accumulation. Groping at airports. Fumbling and nefarious Justice Department officials. Cronies. Welfare abuses. War and destruction as an industry, like Hollywood and Corporate America! Blame-games. Undermining of basic civil rights. Monetarism-mongering! Unaccountability and state-sponsored fear. Campaigns of division. Solutions disguised for self-created problems.

What can we expect on Super Tuesday?

Tomorrow is shaping up to be a very interesting day in the race for the GOP’s nomination for president. Mitt Romney has momentum on his side heading to Super Tuesday, but some of the states that are heading to the polls aren’t exactly ones that you would think that he’d be running very strong in.

Nevertheless, Romney is running on a high after four straight wins, and Nate Silver explains that, despite the states voting tomorrow, Romney still could come out with a majority of the 422 delegates on the table tomorrow.

Other candidates in the race are just hoping that they can slow Romney down, but they have their on problems to deal with. Rick Santorum is trying to refocus his message after a few weeks of fighting to explain his position on social issues, where no candidates needs to be given the volitility of the economy. Newt Gingrich is just trying to prove that he’s still a viable candidate.

Ron Paul serves his purpose in the race, but it seems that many of his supporters are planning to go underground to try to become delegates at the Republican National Convention and hijack the delegate vote for the nomination.

Here is a look at states heading to the polls on Super Tuesday and what we can expect by the end of the night; some it’s straightforward, others, not so much.

Alaska (27 Delegates): If Ron Paul hopes to have an impact on Super Tuesday, it’ll most likely be in Alaska and Idaho, which both hold a caucus, where his campaign has been focusing.

Cato and the Future of Libertarianism

An earthquake rocked the libertarian world last week when news broke that a lawsuit had been filed over the ownership of shares in the Cato Institute, the libertarian think tank founded some 30 year ago in the wake of Ed Clark’s run as the 1980 Libertarian Party Presidential nominee. It started, apparently, last year with the death of William Niskanen, who along with Ed Crane, David Boaz, and countless others, had spent three decades shaping Cato into not just the leading libertarian public policy think tank, but also an organization that has become well-respected on both sides of the political aisle.

It’s difficult to list everything that Cato has done in the past thirty years, because they’ve done so much. They publish numerous publicy policy analyis reports on every subject that the nation’s leaders deal with. For many years they have published a guide book for each new Congress. Since the late 1980s they have run Cato University, an opportunity for young libertarians to learn from an interact with some truly great minds. Indeed, yours truly particlpated in one of those seminars at Dartmouth College in 1989 and I still remember it as one of the most intellectually engaging weeks of my life. That’s just a short list, I’m sure I’m missing something.

In any case, the dispute that is rocking Cato now is, as I said rooted in the death of William Niskanen last year, and a shareholder agreement with Charles and David Koch:

The billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch filed a lawsuit Wednesday for control of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington.

Romney urged Obama to adopt the individual mandate

While he’s had some momentum recently in the Republican presidential primary, Mitt Romney may have yet another hurdle to jump over. The Massachusetts health care law, known as RomneyCare, has long been a problem for him, but Romney had insisted that he would work to repeal ObamaCare, which was based on his plan.

However, when Washington was taking on health care, Romney urged President Barack Obama to look to the so-called “reforms” passed in Massachusetts, including the individual mandate, as a national model (emphasis mine):

Health care cannot be handled the same way as the stimulus and cap-and-trade bills. With those, the president stuck to the old style of lawmaking: He threw in every special favor imaginable, ground it up and crammed it through a partisan Democratic Congress. Health care is simply too important to the economy, to employment and to America’s families to be larded up and rushed through on an artificial deadline. There’s a better way. And the lessons we learned in Massachusetts could help Washington find it.
[…]
First, we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages “free riders” to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others. This doesn’t cost the government a single dollar. Second, we helped pay for our new program by ending an old one — something government should do more often. The federal government sends an estimated $42 billion to hospitals that care for the poor: Use those funds instead to help the poor buy private insurance, as we did.

The Loss of Andrew Breitbart: A Fan’s Perspective

It has been just over a day since I got the Fox News alert that Andrew Breitbart had unexpectedly passed away overnight, and I am still shocked by the news.  Despite having never met the man, and not one to ever really be affected by news of celebrity deaths, I feel like I have lost a friend.

As a bit of a news junkie, I can’t tell you exactly how long Andrew Breitbart has been on my radar, for a number of years at least, but it wasn’t until the past year or two that I really began to realize the boldness and creativity that I admired so much in him, and am so sad to see taken from our movement.  There are quite a few of us who believe we are doing our part to advance freedom and protect individual liberties, but Andrew Breitbart made things happen.

His book, Righteous Indignation, spoke to me so profoundly that having initially purchased it on my Kindle, I went out and bought a few hard copies so that I could loan them out to friends because I thought it was that important that they read his message.  If you haven’t read it yet, you must, I like to think it helped me see the big picture in terms of who controls the information we, as Americans, are bombarded with from so many different angles.  And I will never forget that summer day last year when I sat in my living room, glued to the television set, as I watched Andrew Breitbart at the podium of what was meant to be a press conference held by Anthony Weiner to address the Breitbart exposed Weiner-gate scandal.  It was so spectacular and unbelievable, despite the fact that I was sitting there watching it with my own two eyes, I could not believe what I was seeing.  He was my hero that day.

What Does The Death of Moderate Republicanism Mean?

With Senator Olympia Snowe announcing that she will not run for a fourth term, some pundits—including John Nichols of The Nation—are claiming that moderate Republicanism is dead. I’m not 100% sure of that, but it does seem that moderation within the GOP is fast becoming impossible. Santorum and Gingrich have stalled, but even with Romney in the lead, it appears that the Republican party is still moving to the right, and not in the manner of Ron Paul.

Doug Mataconis is calling it the “Twilight of the RINOs.” I find it to be apt—and lamentable. It is quite disheartening to see the GOP get devoured by radical “wingers” who are unable to compromise in order to advance a truly free market agenda, and are basically letting the left win the ideological battle because they are painting themselves as frothing-at-the-mouth nutjobs with their talk of how the gays are destroying America and how President Obama is actually a Muslim from Kenya with an anti-colonialist worldview—things that the vast majority of the American public simply does not buy.

There have been many treatises written over the decades about the demise of the GOP. This is a common defense of many Republican and conservative pundits, but that’s just the appeal to history fallacy: you guys said it before and it didn’t happen, so it obviously won’t happen this time. I’m not so sure.

Americans are fed up with both parties. They’re disgusted by the blatant disrespect for democracy and economic stupidity practiced by the (inappropriately named) Democratic Party, yet simultaneously are turned off with the radical right-wing psycho-populist pro-war Republican Party. And with the moderate faction of the GOP essentially dissipating, the question becomes: what now?

Mitt Romney’s American Delusion

Republican voters are being put through the pincers. We are back to 2008. Heaps of strong candidates, but no consensus. Great speeches, but no substance. PAC money spent by the millions, but no conclusive results. GOP candidates are even welcoming Democratic voters, to smear each other, to add to their victories, or to just plainly embitter each other. The Republican race is not going to get any more civil. Once, we see these subterfuges, we can ask the real questions: what will it take to unseat Obama in November, and who can best do this?

In America the conservative movement has been changing. Neo-conservatives, who had for roughly two decades (1980-2000) held the strongarm of the party, are gone with the Bush Administration’s doctrine of “pre-emptive strike” and the PATRIOT ACT. We are in the midst of the dregs. Still trying to find out which direction this country will spill it’s spirit of changelessness.

For all his grandeur, Mitt Romney just has not taken his campaign to the next level. Rick Santorum has peaked, but more likely will not hold his miniscule leads. Newt Gingrinch’s populism and Ron Paul’s constitutionalism, so similar to each other, are self-negating. None is in charge. Marginal candidates can’t win delegates, nor the RNC party’s nomination. Mitt Romney, the ever-chameleon like business mogul, can’t strike a human touch to save his life and political prospects.

If Mitt Romney is the front runner of the wolves, ready to flay Obama; what is his version of the American Dream? How does he see this country, through which prism? Is it a legalistic, rigidly technocratic, institutional approach? It seems, his advantage is not his base, his character, anything as much as his warchest. He won’t run out of steam. Even if the delegate count gets close in Tampa, FL this spring; he’ll be able to resurrect himself, make the necessary promises and sail away with the nomination.

GOP has voter enthusiasm on its side

While President Barack Obama is leading his possible Republican competitors in head-to-head matchups in most polls, a new Gallup poll shows that the GOP still has an important advantage in voter enthusiasm:

By 53% to 45%, Republicans, including independents who lean Republican, are slightly more likely than Democrats and Democratic leaners to say they are “more enthusiastic than usual about voting” this year. Republicans have consistently led Democrats in voting enthusiasm since last fall, but to varying degrees.

Enthusiasm About Voting in 2012 Presidential Election -- Trend by Party ID

The 53% of Republicans who feel more enthusiastic about voting today — as Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are engaged in a pitched nomination battle — is greater than the 44% found in February 2008 when John McCain and Mike Huckabee were still dueling in the primaries.

This poll really means nothing this early on, but is an indicator that Republicans are motivated to out Obama. And for all of the talk about a brokered convention or supporters of one candidate threatening not to vote for another, I’m willing to bet that this will quiet down the closer we get to the fall as ousting Obama will become a common objective.

What’s More Important: Liberty or Nonpartisanship?

I had an interesting discussion with Doug Mataconis and Brian Lehman on Twitter last night about partisanship and polarization in American politics. It was, of course, initiated over the death of Andrew Breitbart, conservative “journalist” extraordinaire, who infuriated many on the left and whose death brought out a number of deplorable comments that were akin to dancing on his grave. As Brian wrote:

And as Doug Mataconis tweeted later:

Rick Santorum and JFK

Peter Mains is a blogger, political activist and technology consultant living and working in the Phoenix metro area. In his free time, he enjoys writing music, reading voraciously, and trying exotic food.

Rick Santorum’s comments to George Stephanopoulos about John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech to the Houston Ministerial Association are making the rounds. Apparently, the speech so unnerved Rick, that he wanted to throw up. He thinks you should be just as offended as he is, In the interview, Santorum encouraged people to look the speech up and decide for themselves. Having followed Santorum’s suggestion, I couldn’t disagree more.

The worst part is, I want to root for Rick Santorum. Recent revelations paint Kennedy as something of a moral monster. In contrast, Rick Santorum seems like a good family man. When it comes to religious matters, one might think that Santorum would come out on top. Nevertheless, JFK wipes the floor with Santorum — even from beyond the grave.

The one point where I am ambivalent in regard to Kennedy’s speech is his insistence that government not give any funding to religious institutions whatsoever. Bush’s faith-based initiatives and various voucher programs show that public funds can be redirected to religious institutions without creating a de facto established church or violating freedom of religious exercise. Nevertheless, such issues could be completely avoided if we were to reform education, healthcare and so on such that government gets out of those businesses altogether.

 


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