GOP Dinosaurs

lindsey-graham-john-mccainConstitutionalists around the nation were thrilled to see the recent filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). He wanted an answer from representatives of the current presidential administration regarding their use of drones against US citizens. He couldn’t get that answer, so he took the bold step of staying at the Senate roster, on his feet, for hours. In the end his action probably assisted in putting some pressure on Eric Holder, head of the Justice Department. In direct questioning from Ted Cruz (R-TX), Holder admitted that “we absolutely do not have authority to kill Americans on US soil.”

It wasn’t much of a victory. Representatives of the Obama administration–and even the president himself–have made it clear that they’ll say just about anything necessary to advance their agenda. For them, reality isn’t “out there,” it’s in the mind of President Obama. It’s whatever he and his political allies say it is. He smiles. He speaks. He meets with Republicans. He talks the great talk of a statesman willing to compromise. All of that means nothing in terms of genuine dialogue. He will not compromise. He only speaks the language of compromise–he never walks the walk. Watch him carefully. He always finds a way to avoid compromise while preserving the illusion of compromise.

Add to this the fact that too many in the “mainstream” media are Obama’s willing accomplices and the ridiculous, shrill mantra that “to criticize Obama is to be a racist,” and you have a recipe for continued escalation of the war on constitutional liberties occurring every day in Washington, DC.

The greatest slap of all, of course, is the way that Old-Guard Republicans continue to play the Democrat game. Like poor Charlie Brown who forever falls for Lucy’s promises not to jerk the football away, they come to the table as if their political opponents really intend to bargain in good faith. They don’t. They come for absolute victory. They use scorched-earth tactics, and their intention is to walk away seeming to be the reasonable ones while Republicans are left looking like a bunch of greedy white men who hate women, minorities, immigrants, the poor and the elderly. Over and over they fall for this ploy.

This fact was confirmed this week by former Democrat pollster Pat Caddell, a political contributor to the Fox Network. Speaking as part of a panel at CPAC 2013 (the Conservative Political Action Committee), he showed why Democrats are so successful. It’s because they come to the table to win, not to compromise. “In my party we play to win. We play for life and death. You people play for a different kind of agenda ….”

Here’s a perfect example. While Rand Paul stood on his feet during his filibuster for freedom, establishment GOP senators were dining with President Obama. They included Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). The event was hailed as an “outreach dinner,” arranged and personally paid for by President Barack Obama. Reportedly, GOP invitees were hand-picked by Obama and Graham. (How interesting it is that Rand Paul and Ted Cruz weren’t in the group.)

Hailed as a gesture of respect on the part of a generous and reasonable president, the event was nothing more than a gimmick. Obama will not compromise. He wants $600 billion in new taxes and he intends to get it. Taking the GOP dinosaurs to dinner was his way of covering his determination with the smoke of his seeming generosity and fake stance of political cooperation.

By referring to Graham and McCain as “dinosaurs,” I am not alluding to their age. I’m not an age bigot. Nor am I a racial bigot or a sexist bigot. But I am an unabashed bigot for the cause of freedom. I’m a partisan for liberty–not only mine, but that of every citizen in the nation. As Barry Goldwater once said, “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

Senators McCain and Graham wrongly believe they are dealing with up-front Democrats as they may have done in the past. But the past is the past. The Democrat party of today is more extreme than it has ever been in its political liberality. It is a steamroller headed toward the Republican party and toward any other political entity that may stand in its way. This includes the Constitution. McCain and Graham, and all those of their camp, are political dinosaurs because they don’t recognize that. They sail in the mystifying fog of Washington make-believe, wrongly thinking that what they see among Democrats is real. Nothing could be further from the truth. What they perceive on the American political stage is crafted for their consumption and for the consumption of busy citizens who don’t have time to look deeper.

It’s bad enough that Charlie Brown allows Lucy to fool him every time. At least he never criticized the rest of the cartoon kids for refusing to fall for the trick. The same cannot be said for Graham and McCain. Each of them stood on the Senate floor to denounce the Rand Paul filibuster. Barack Obama certainly got his money’s worth for the dinosaur dinner.

Constitutionalists can only pray that Rand Paul has sparked a new fervor in the GOP. For my money, the only Republican worth his or her salt is a liberty-minded Republican. Obama and the Democrats are driving the steamroller; somebody needs to be constructing a blockade big enough to slow its momentum. That somebody isn’t John McCain, nor is it Lindsey Graham. Nor will it ever be. Obviously, it wasn’t Mitt Romney either. All three of these Republicans have spent too much time agreeing with Obama.

The presidential election of 2012 demonstrated just how demoralized Republican voters are these days. Millions fewer of them voted in 2012 than in 2008. Even I was fooled by how deep the dissatisfaction runs. Now I rejoice that it runs as deeply as it does. It may yet be the power strong enough to put GOP dinosaurs out to pasture.

Drones: Hunting US Citizens at Home

220px-Eric_Holder_official_portraitOn February 8th, I sounded the alarm regarding the killing of US citizens abroad who are believed by highly-placed officials to be a threat to our national security. As I stated then, the United States Justice Department had recently explained in great detail “to a court and to the entire world why it can kill you, why it can do it secretly, and why it needs no oversight or court approval to do so” as long as you were overseas. In the same article I wondered how long it would be before our government turned drones against us within the borders of our own country.

Soon after, reports began to emerge that drones may have been used in surveillance against fugitive Christopher Dorner. According to medical examiners, he died on February 12th in a cabin located in Angelus Oaks, California, where he had taken refuge. There was no evidence that drones were used in a strike against Dorner. But there was still the nagging question of whether government officials might claim the right to use an armed drone in a strike against a citizen on US soil.

“How long will it be,” I ask have asked, before our leaders decide that they can “kill us at home without due process–if it’s best for the country?”

As far as the federal government is concerned, that is no longer a question. No matter where you may stand on the political issues of the day, you need to take notice.

In a letter to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), the highest law-enforcement official in the country has declared that the president may authorize the use of unmanned drones to target and kill a US citizen at home in an “extraordinary circumstance” such September 11, 2001. Attorney General Eric Holder communicated this message to Sen. Paul after the senator threatened to block the administration’s appointee to head the CIA, John Brennan.

In response, Rand Paul took to the floor of the Senate to exercise a time-honored tradition reminiscent of the 1939 movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: he waged a one-man filibuster for more than thirteen hours. In other words he continued to speak for that entire time and did not yield the floor. As reported by The Washington Times, this effectively stifled Brennan’s nomination for the moment.

Yesterday, while appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Holder faced questions about the drone program and its possible use against American citizens on US soil. At one point he stated that he doubted whether Congress had the authority to prevent the president from killing citizens at home. He was probably right about that. It’s not the job of Congress. Prohibitions with that regard are laid out clearly in the US Constitution. Simply put, there are some things the government cannot do. Period.

Frustration with the Justice Department has been expressed by senators of both major parties. Whether that will turn into courageous action–even more than a filibuster–remains to be seen. These days the Constitution is nothing more than a bump in the road for our political leaders–too many of whom will do whatever they damned well please with little or no regard to constitutional limits.

Is it any wonder that a new round of gun-control measures is flooding Congress these days? In the face of domestic warfare waged by a president against his own citizens, an unarmed, compliant citizenry will have much less a chance of effecting any type of resistance. Such a scenario as we now see in our nation’s capital is the very reason why the Constitution maintains the right to bear arms. As always in human history, an armed citizen is one with political options.

Honestly, this is one citizen who is now more afraid of his government than any terrorist.