In 1971, The Who released Who’s Next featuring one of the greatest songs of all time. It couldn’t be more fitting this week as we usher in our new boss here in the United States thirty-seven years later.
Pete Townshend tells us the story of a rebellious uprising against the ruling class. The opening verse states that there is “fighting in the streets” and that “the men who spurred us on sit in judgment of all wrong.” I can’t help but think of the parallels we have been seeing from the media-tainment industry for months driving home the displeasure that the American people have with the Bush administration and serving as pundits (or should I say puppets) by dishing out the propaganda of who is right and who is wrong.
It’s no secret that Vince Vaughn was an outspoken supporter of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. He introduced the Texas Republican at the 2011 Libertarian Political Action Convention (LPAC), noting that Paul’s philosophy is “consistent” and “rooted in the very foundation of America.”
Vaughn — who has starred in a number of films, including Swingers, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, The Wedding Crashers, and Dodgeball — offered a deeper glimpse into his political beliefs last week during a discussion with Adam Carolla.
Recounting a conversation the two previously had about politics, Carolla asked Vaughn if he considers himself to be a conservative.
“I do, yeah. I mean, I’m very supportive of Ron Paul, but I’ve always been, you know, more conservative than not,” Vaughn said, adding that his parents’ hardworking, self-reliant background helped shape his personal political views.
Carolla explained that he, too, identifies as a conservative, though he’s more libertarian on social policy. He asked Vaughn whether he took a similar angle on politics. His answer is more profound than what one would expect from many conservative politicians and talking heads.
“I think that what you come, as you get older, you just get less trust in the government running anything,” Vaughn told Carolla. “And that you start to realize when you really go back and look at the Constitution and the principles of liberty, the real purpose of government is to protect the individual’s right to, sort of, think and pursue what they have interest in.
The Republican primary in California’s 7th Congressional District will be one of the races worth watching next year as a retread, big spending ex-Congressman and a fresh-faced fiscal conservative square off for the right to challenge Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA).
FreedomWorks, which bills itself as a grassroots service center with more than 6 million members, is the first conservative group to get involved in the race. The organization’s PAC endorsed Igor Birman last week, becoming the first candidate they’ve endorsed in the 2014 election cycle.
“The choice is clear, Igor Birman is the only conservative in the race, and he will be a clear voice for common sense fiscal policies and a return to limited government in Congress,” said FreedomWorks PAC in a release announcing the endorsement.
Birman is running for the Republican nomination in CA-07 against three other candidates, including former Rep. Doug Ose (R-CA), a big spending Republican retread.
“We have a long campaign ahead of us,” said Birman, who served as a senior staffer to Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), in the release. “But with the backing of voters who want to see a return to limited government here in California and groups like FreedomWorks PAC who are fighting for limited government in Washington, I am confident we will have the support and resources we need to win the 7th Congressional district next year.”
Despite $6.1 trillion being added to the national debt since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, ex-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says that there are no spending cuts left to make in the $3.8 trillion federal budget.
The comments came in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, in which host Candy Crowley pressed Pelosi, who currently serves as House Minority Leader, on a different issues currently dominating politics in Washington, including the Continuing Resolution and debt ceiling. But Crowley pressed Pelosi on limited government and spending.
“None of us of comes here to have more government than we need. So, we should subject everything we do to real scrutiny to say is this needed because most of it is an expenditure,” Pelosi told Crowley, later knocking what she called the “anti-government ideology” of Republicans in Congress.
Pelosi accused Republicans of purposefully trying to shutdown the federal government over ObamaCare, calling concerns about the law “an excuse.” The conversation shifted to spending and the debt ceiling. Crowley noted that past presidents — including Reagan, Clinton and Bush — had negotiated on the debt ceiling and spending cuts. But Pelosi astonishingly disputed that there is any place to make further cuts.
“[T]he cupboard is bare. There’s no more cuts to make,” declared Pelosi. “It’s really important that people understand that. We all want to reduce the deficit.”
“We’re all committed to that. Put everything on the table. Review it,” she added. “But you cannot have any more cuts just for the sake of cuts. Right now, you’re taking trophies.”
The libertarian philosophy is taking the Republican Party by storm, according to a poll conducted by FreedomWorks, a DC-based grassroots service center with over 6 million members.
With Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and many other liberty-minded politicians gaining influence, libertarianism has generated new interest inside the Republican Party, much to the chagrin of the GOP’s political establishment.
Though still not a dominate view inside the party, there is no denying that the narrative inside the Republican Party has significantly changed. Moreover, libertarians have an opportunity upon which they can seize, if they’re willing to work within the system.
“FreedomWorks’ poll shows that 41 percent of Republican voters hold libertarian views. Conventional wisdom is that many voters who are libertarian don’t know the word. But this may well be changing,” noted David Kirby, Kellyanne Conway, and Stephen Spiker in the report on the data.
“FreedomWorks’ poll shows that 42 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of the word ‘libertarian,’ and only 10 percent don’t know the word, compared to 27 percent who don’t know nationally,” they added.
And the term “libertarian” may still turn off some Republican voters, the basic message of the philosophy earns significant favor. The poll found that 68% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents agree with the statement that “individuals should be free to do as they like as long as they don’t hurt others, and that the government should keep out of people’s day-to-day lives.”
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has gone off the rails again. During an interview Nevada Public Radio, the Senate Majority Leader attacked the Tea Party presence in Washington, comparing them to “anarchists” who want to destroy the government.
The host of the segment asked Reid about the “gridlock” in Congress and any way out of the legislative “standstill.” Reid called the current Congress the “least productive in the history of the country.” And that’s when he took the opportunity to slam the Tea Party.
“Who is the Tea Party? Well, understand, when I was in school, I studied government, among other things, and prior to World War I and after World War I we had the anarchists. Now they were violent — you know, some say that’s what started World War I, the anarchy movement — but they were violent,” Reid told KNPR. “They did damage to property and they did physical damage to people.”
“The modern anarchists don’t do that. That’s the Tea Party. But they have the same philosophy as the early anarchists,” he continued. “They do not believe in government. Anytime anything bad happens to government, that’s a victory to them. And that’s what’s happened.”
“We have absolute gridlock created by a group of people who represent few Americans. But it makes it extremely difficult to get things done,” he added.
“The sequester is quite possibly the greatest thing to have happened to the fiscal conservative cause, at least in quite some time as far as I can remember.” — Jonathan Bydlak
It’s that time of year when spending battles come to the forefront of political discussion in Washington. Various congressional committees are currently debating appropriations measures that will divvy up taxpayer dollars to fund the federal government and a litany of government programs.
Most free market groups place heavy emphasis on taxes and regulatory concerns. But the Coalition to Reduce Spending, as their name suggests, seeks to focus its efforts on spending and budget deficits.
United Liberty recently talked with Jonathan Bydlak, president of the Coalition to Reduce Spending, about his organization’s very specific focus on the river of red ink that has been flowing from Washington.
“When you think about which groups in DC tend to be the most effective, it usually, in my experience, are those that have a very focused mission and execute on that mission very effectively,” Bydlak told United Liberty. “So there’s a reason why people pay attention to the NRA or the ACLU — because their mission is very focused and they build an interest group and they are very successful at accomplishing that mission. Nobody’s really done that for the issue of spending.”
Nancy Mace, a businesswoman and the first woman graduate of The Citadel, announced on Saturday that she will challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in the Republican Senate primary in South Carolina.
“I grew up during the Reagan years. I believe our fortieth president understood what being an American was all about. He was proud, resolute, and he was an eternal optimist. Our friends knew he would be steadfast and our enemies respected him.,” said Mace in a press statement. President Reagan helped regain our national pride, but he also left us with a powerful warning. He said, ’Freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction.’ He said ‘we must fight for it, protect it, and defend it.’”
“I think those words ring true now more than ever,” she added.
She explained that Washington is out of touch with the rest of America and that the federal government has become far too intrusive. While Washington is trying to solve all of our problems, Mace says that “we are still not better off for it.”
“[I]n the last decade or so, our government has taken a significant turn for the worse. Americans are waking up to the fact that our freedoms are being threatened,” said Mace. “There are powerful forces in Washington that consider individual liberty passé and the Constitution dead letter.”
“I believe our state desperately needs new leadership,” she added, “someone who truly understands the challenges before us and what’s at stake and is willing to fight for the principles that make America great.”
Mace is branding herself as a fiscal conservative. On her issues page, she speaks against a government that picks winners and loser and supports “fixing” the tax code. She slammed excessive spending and warns of the “coming wave of entitlement costs that will bankrupt our nation.”
The distinctions between a government that adheres to constitutional limitations and a government that runs roughshod over the Bill of Rights were heard yesterday on Fox News Sunday.
General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, defended the programs being employed to surveil Americans accused of no crime and said that efforts to limit them would put the country at risk. He also proclaimed that there is no expectation of privacy when it comes to third-party records, including phone records collected by the NSA.
But Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) disputed this notion, explaining that the Founding Fathers put the Fourth Amendment to protect Americans from an overreaching government.
“[I]t’s precisely because we live in this dangerous world that we need protections like the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution,” Amash told Chis Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday. “The Framers of the Constitution put it in place precisely because they were worried that you would have national security justifications for violating people’s rights.”
As we head into the mid-term election, Republicans are still trying to figure out how to bring them back into the fold. During a recent tele-townhall, Sen Mike Lee (R-UT) was asked how he plans to reach out to young voters and others who don’t typically vote for Republican candidates.
There was once a time when Republicans did well with young voters. Just after the 2012 presidential election, in which President Barack Obama won 60% of voters under the age of 29, Jason Riley noted at the Wall Street Journal that both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush actually won the youth vote. Riley also pointed out that “George W. Bush lost young voters to John Kerry by only 9 points and lost them to Al Gore in 2000 by less than that.”
“It’s important to remember that young voters will bear a disproportionate share, a disproportionate part of the burden associated with our $17 trillion debt,” Lee replied. “It’s a tragic thing…that these days most of the debt that we have in our federal government has been accumulated before a lot of today’s young voters were old enough to vote and, to a significant degree, a lot of that debt was acquired before they were even born.”
“That isn’t fair. It ends up creating a really pernicious form of taxation without representation,” he continued. “You’re gonna have to pay something to the government that you didn’t ever vote for, and that’s a big problem.”