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Monday, August 5, 2013

The Future Confronts the Past

Who is Thomas Massie?  What does he have in common with the Founders, with men like Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and George Washington?  Mr. Massie was the subject of a front page article in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, August 02, 2013.  He is a freshman Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky.  He is a healthy, tea party conservative who has not yet come down with Potomac fever, that insidious disease that corrupts well-intentioned and principled men and women who are elected to Congress.  Potomac fever muddles their mind and causes them to forget their principles, their idealism, and the very reason they were elected to Congress in the first place.  Potomac fever causes their head to swell, their ego to expand and grow to proportions that blind them to the principles they formerly held.  They then lose their direction and forget that they are not to be masters of the people, but servants of the people.  They no longer think of themselves as residents of their home town, but residents of Washington, DC.

But, Thomas Massie has, thus far, avoided catching Potomac fever.  In fact, he helps those recovering from this disease regain their ideals and commonsense.  Who is Thomas Massie?  Mr. Massie and his wife are both graduates of MIT.  Thomas has degrees in both Mechanical and Electrical engineering from MIT.  While at MIT the Massies started up a company in their apartment, using 24 patents that Thomas Massie had developed.  By 2003 they had 60 employees and had raised $30 million from investors.  At that point, the Massies sold their share in the company and moved back to their hometown in Kentucky.  Thomas Massie is smart like Thomas Jefferson, wise like George Washington, and principled like Patrick Henry.

When Thomas Massie ran for a seat in the US House of Representatives in 2012 Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and other old bulls of the Republican Party contributed $50,000 to now Congressman Massie’s opponent.  Perhaps that’s one reason why Mr. Massie doesn’t feel beholden to the Republican leadership.

While the Republican establishment is dedicated to maintaining the status quo and enjoying their careers, Thomas Massie is a man of principle.  In short, he can’t be bought.  Thomas Massie is the future of the Republican Party; the old bulls, Boehner, McCarthy, etc. are the past of the Republican Party.

The old bulls profess that they are against Obamacare and that they will do anything in their power to derail Obamacare.  However, their opposition to Obamacare is driven less by principle and an understanding of Constitutional principles, and more by the reality that it is good politics.  The Republican leadership is big on symbolic votes to defund Obamacare, but when push comes to shove, they run for cover.

The old bulls counsel patience, and promise that victory will come in the future, if we will only bide our time, and wait for the right opening.  But, the right time never comes.  Socialism rolls forward, crushing freedom, stopping progress, perpetuating poverty, restricting prosperity, and remaking America into something the Founders hated—a powerful, centralized government that pries into and controls every aspect of our lives.  In reality, the Republican establishment lives in fear.  They fear the news media.  They fear failure and defeat.  Unlike those who signed the Declaration of Independence, they are unwilling to take risk in the defense of freedom.  They calculate, they ponder, they wait, and they eventually cave.

If the current Republican leadership had been living at the time of the Declaration of Independence, you would not have found their names on that document.  They would have been the ones counseling patience with King George III and they would have promised that if we only wait, King George III would come around.

But, this is not the time to shrink from the task before us.  Now, is the time to defund Obamacare.  What use is a majority in the US House of Representatives if it is not used to block funding of Obamacare by removing funding for it from the Continuing Resolution that comes before Congress this October?  But, the leadership is scared.  Karl Rove is scared.  Their knees knock together as they fear the wrath of the news media.

The media evokes visions of 1995 when Bill Clinton shut down the Federal Government.  Of course, the left stream media characterized it as a shutdown of government by the Republican controlled House of Representatives.  That is simply untrue.  Here is what happened.

The Congress (House and Senate) passed a spending bill that cut wasteful spending from the budget.  It provided for funding of all essential functions of the government, but President Clinton vetoed it, thus shutting down the government.  There was another, more lengthy shutdown in 1996.  Clearly, these shutdowns were caused by Clinton, not the Republican controlled House and Senate.  They were simply fulfilling their Constitutional responsibilities of sending a spending bill to the President for his approval.  Because the news media were cheerleaders for Clinton, they falsely portrayed it as a Republican shut down of government. 

So what happened?  Politics aside, the 1995 and 1996 shutdowns of the government led to the first balanced federal budget in 1997.  That was the first balanced budget in more than 50 years. 

But, what happened politically?  Well, as Karl Rove, Senator Saxby Chambliss and the news media tell it, the Republicans were “handed their heads” in the 1996 election.  Sadly, that is political revisionism.  It is a fabrication.

In 1996, a very weak Republican candidate, Bob Dole, was nominated to run against Bill Clinton.  Bob Dole had once been a very principled conservative when he was first elected to Congress.  He was in the vanguard of Congressmen who were idealistic and driven.  But, Bob Dole caught Potomac fever.  By the time he was elected to the US Senate, and eventually became the leader of the Senate, he was no longer a public servant, or a resident of Russell, Kansas.  He was an entrenched, establishment Republican who was a resident of Washington, DC.  He was a member of the ruling class.

In spite of Dole’s weak candidacy, the results were not at all as they are recounted by the news media or the RINOs in Congress.  In 1994, the GOP won a smashing victory, taking control of the United States House of Representatives for the first time since Dwight Eisenhower was elected President in 1952.  They picked up 54 seats in the House and eight seats in the Senate.  Because it was such an exceptional year for the GOP, they won almost all marginal races, some in districts where they were heavily outnumbered by Democrats.

According to the news media and Saxby Chambliss they overreached in 1995 and were handily defeated in 1996.

Not so!

In the 1996 elections, Democrats did gain nine seats in the House of Representatives, but the Republicans maintained their majority.  The seats lost were less than expected.  The losses were in extremely vulnerable districts.  And, while the GOP experienced minimal losses in the House of Representatives, they added two additional seats in the US Senate, increasing their majority in that body!

The story of the 1995 government shut down as told by the RINOs and the news media is a far cry from the reality of what happened.  By having backbone and standing firm for fiscal responsibility the Republicans not only held their own, but just one year later were able to force Bill Clinton to sign the first balanced budget in more than 40 years!  The 1995 and 1996 government shutdowns are a story of success, because the Republicans showed courage and leadership.

It’s that type of courage and leadership that is dearly needed today if we are to save this nation from total financial collapse.  If you think the deficit is dangerous today, consider the fact that if Obamacare is fully implemented the deficit will more than double over the next few years!  That’s right, double.

That’s why it is so important for the Republicans to stop fooling around and get some backbone.  It’s time to defund Obamacare now.  As Charles Krauthammer and others have noted, this is the last opportunity to stop Obamacare.  We will not have another chance.  Why?  Because once they start enrolling millions in Obamacare it will be too late.  Socialism has never been repealed once it becomes entrenched.  Like opium, it is addictive and destructive.  Obamacare will drive our economy into a permanent, never-ending recession.  What’s more, Obamacare will destroy the best, the most universal health care coverage on the face of the earth.  And finally, it will end opportunity and prosperity for your children and your grandchildren. 

To stop Obamacare we must defund it.  We can do that via the Continuing Resolution that comes before Congress in October of this year if Congressmen and women like Thomas Massie succeed.  Massie and others personify Jefferson, Adams and Washington who had the courage and the character to put their names to the Declaration of Independence.  We are in a time much like that described by Thomas Paine who wrote on December 23, 1776…

“THESE are the times that try men's souls.  The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.  What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly:  it is dearness only that gives everything its value.  Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”

Men like Saxby Chambliss tremble with fear that they might offend the mighty news media.  He and others counsel caution and patience.  They simply do not have the courage of their convictions.

Our nation deserves our prayers, but it also deserves our help.  We don’t have to sit idly by and let the Republican Establishment once again cave to the Obama juggernaut.  Although members of Congress don’t like to be reminded of it, they are not our masters, they are our elected public servants. 

Between now and October there will be a giant rally held on the mall in Washington, DC.  You will hear ads on the radio and even television ads calling for the Republicans in Congress to stand up and be counted.  Nearly 70 members of the House of Representatives have already pledged to vote against any Continuing Resolution that does not defund Obamacare. 

The Republicans in Congress wonder why their standing in the polls is so low.  It’s not because they have opposed Obama, it’s because they have not had the courage to refuse to go along with him.  Romney did not garner 2 million votes less than McCain in 2012 because he was too conservative; he lost because he was an ineffective, cardboard conservative candidate.  His performance as Governor of Massachusetts, passing Romneycare, and other non-conservative legislation made him suspect.  That’s why millions of conservatives stayed home and did not vote.  It takes more than conservative words to make a conservative, it takes courageous action!

You and I need to stand up and be counted.  We can do that by…

  1. Refusing to support the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Senatorial Committee until and unless the Republican Party regains its will and its principles.
  2. Attending any and all rallies in support of the courageous conservatives in the House and the Senate who are fighting to defund Obamacare, not just symbolically, but in reality by removing funding from the approaching Continuing Resolution.
  3. Letting your Congressman and Senator know that regardless of whether they are a Republican or Democrat you will not contribute to them or vote for them in 2014 unless they vote to defund Obamacare.

Believe me, if even a few hundred thousand, or better yet, a few million conservatives tell members of Congress they will lose votes if they fail to defund Obamacare, they will change their tune quickly.  Those without conservative values and principles have one inviolate principle—getting re-elected.  Anything that threatens their cushy lifestyle and threatens their career will be treated with the utmost seriousness.

These times are really no different than those faced by our Founders at the time of the American Revolution.  The Virginia House of Burgesses was dominated by cronies of the British Governor.  They were our first crony capitalists.  Just like the crony capitalists of today, they received special economic privileges from the Colonial Government for kowtowing to the wishes of King George III.  King George wanted to continue slavery because he was personally benefiting from it, and the slave owners fell into lock step.  When George Mason and George Washington and Patrick Henry tried on several occasions to stop the slave trade, these crony capitalists blocked their efforts.

And, when Patrick Henry gave his speech in the House of Burgesses opposing the stamp act, concluding with the words…

“Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell and George the Third — .”

At that point he was interrupted by cries of “Treason!” from Delegates who easily recognized the reference to assassinated leaders.  Henry paused briefly, then calmly finished his sentence:

“...may profit by their example.  If this be treason, make the most of it.”

Those interrupting Patrick Henry and charging him with treason were the same Delegates to the Virginia House of Burgesses who were the crony capitalists who strongly supported the continuation of slavery, and who were willing to accept the curtailment of individual freedom in order to feather their own nest. 

There will always be men (and women) like those who accused Patrick Henry of treason, who falsely charge conservatives as being racist and against the poor.  There will always be small, timid men who know what is right, but do not have the courage of their convictions.

But, the future of the Republican Party, indeed the future of the Republic is in the hands of those who will dare and challenge and stand for principles.  Today, young men like Thomas Massie are challenging the old bulls in the Republican Party.  They are standing up courageously against those who are satisfied with half-measures and compromises and who quail in fear of losing their seat as a member of the ruling class.

We must support them with our dollars, our volunteer efforts, and our prayers.  They are the hope of America.  They are, God willing, the future of our nation.

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