About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Senators Cruz & Paul Are In Dangerous Waters

After the House passed an increase in a clean debt ceiling bill this past week Ringside Reid had no problem envisioning the measure passing into law one way or the other.  A simple Senate Democrat majority & BO's signature were assured certainties to raise the debt ceiling until March 2015.   
So why did TX Republican Senator Ted Cruz filibuster the matter complaining that Congress was raising the debt ceiling without demanding any cuts in federal spending.  Of course there were no cuts in federal spending – there never are whether they are written into the law or not – see reversal of military pension cut below.  This point has been proven over & over & back in December I had hoped for a truce where the Republicans did not shoot themselves in the foot again like they did with the government shut down in October where they were blamed & the disastrous ObamaCare website launch was overshadowed by the shutdown.
It was expected that the hostile anti-American media would egg Republicans on after the House vote with news reports using phrases to describe House Speaker Boehner like "dropped all policy demands" & "marked a retreat."  But people like Amy Kremer, chairman of the Tea Party Express, were already incensed enough to say that Boehner & the House leadership must go.  Of course Boehner, Cantor, & McCarthy must go for starters as well as all of the establishment Republican Team A described in my letter published in the WSJ on December 28 & is posted on RTE.  But why not remove these people quietly in primaries without breeding the atmosphere for Senator Cruz to prove again what a fighter he is.  We already know who is on Team B as listed in the aforementioned letter.  The fact that some politicians like Paul Ryan switched to vote against the debt ceiling increase will be seen by savvy voters not as a change in Ryan's financially irresponsible position but rather as a chance for him to try to fool unsavvy voters.
Thanks to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's leadership the bill passed the Senate with no further damage done to the Republican Party (or the Tea Party) & in the process McConnell picked up some sympathy – something his Tea Party opponent businessman Matt Bevin did not need because he is already trailing in the primary polls in KY by 20 points.
My call for a Republican Party truce @ the end of 2013 did not mean that I wanted the two sides to come together – this could not happen any more than a tractor trailer could fall in love with a goldfish.  The point is for the two sides to fight it out in a smart way so that one side prevails without taking the ball off all of the problems the Democrats are having.
The worst part to me of this entire above matter occurred twenty five minutes after the debt ceiling measure passed in the Senate when the next vote came up – namely, "An act to ensure that the reduced annual cost-of-living adjustment to the retired pay of members and former members of the Armed Forces under the age of 62 required by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 will not apply to members or former members who first became members prior to January 1, 2014 . . ."  In essence this bill according to Fox News was going "to restore full cost of living pension increases for younger military retirees, completing a bipartisan capitulation to veterans groups that rose up against a modest cut when it was enacted less than two months ago."  The rub is twenty five minutes after Cruz's debt ceiling theatrics that were initiated because he thought Congress had not cut spending regarding the debt ceiling matter Cruz voted to restore a significant portion of what little spending Congress did cut in December bringing into play his entire motives & agenda in both recent filibuster attempts he instigated.
The vote was 95 to 3 with two not voting (Chambliss R-GA & Coburn R-OK).  The three voting Nay were Carper (D-DE), Coats (R-IN), & Jeff Flake (R-AZ) who for years was the most financially responsible member of Congress when he was in the House.  "Year after year members of Congress simply refuse to stick by the budget discipline that we said we'd stick to. Exhibit one is before us today. . .When deficit reduction measures get signed into law, surely at some point we need to stand by them," said Senator Flake. The rest of the Senate was no where to be found clearly afraid of the clout of veterans groups – particularly in an election year.  Given the choice I would much rather have had Cruz stick with Jeff Flake on the military pension vote than start another filibuster.
But Senator Rand Paul's filing of a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in DC against BO's administration, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, NSA Director Keith Alexander, & FBI Director James Comey has all the potential to be an even more serious blunder than the Cruz filibuster.  Senator Paul was joined in the filing by Freedom Works who said they filed the lawsuit for themselves & on behalf of "everyone in America that has a phone."  The lawsuit calls for an end to the bulk mass collection program of the National Security Agency (NSA) – which is authorized by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act - of millions of American's phone records because it violates the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches – & of course it does. 
The problem is that Rand Paul's lawsuit could easily turn into one elected branch of government suing the other elected branch with the possibility that five of the nine Supreme Court Justices will decide a matter that should never come before them – a thought that would make Alexander Hamilton turn over in his grave.  The Republican National Committee has already approved a nonbinding resolution to end the NSA program in agreement with Senator Paul's position.  Also, there are intra-party tensions because many Republicans support the NSA program for security reasons – just what Republicans don't need is another high profile squabble.

Lead council for Senator Paul & Freedom Works is Ken Cuccinelli who said that "this is a constitutional challenge primarily, we're not debating national security policy."  Cuccinelli  was the first attorney general to challenge the constitutionality of ObamaCare & was recently defeated in the gubernatorial race in VA so his recent record is not good.  Just like the detestable ObamaCare decision that resulted in the Supreme Court (Roberts) saying that ObamaCare is constitutional in their opinion the Paul case has the likelihood to have a similar result with the Supreme Court deciding that the NSA program is constitutional.  Then we have another terrible decision that should never have been made by the judicial branch of government & one more dangerous legal precedent establishing this non-elected branch of government as supreme over the other two.

People have come to take for granted that the Supreme Court is the only & ultimate source for determining whether or not something is constitutional.  This is one of the biggest mindset changes that is needed & when both elected branches run to the Supreme Court for decisions regarding matters they have no business deciding it undermines the Founders' intentions & takes away our liberties.

Please make no mistake that raising the debt ceiling & the unconstitutional NSA program are major problems facing our Republic.  Congress - the peoples' representatives - has many ways to solve these problems & the best is to enact new laws.  But this will require winning elections & the most desirable way to do this is to present to the electorate tried & true principles for restoring prosperity & raising the standard of living – things that are sorely missing today. 

Now I generally back Ted Cruz & Rand Paul but filibusters with no chance of winning your intended point & taking lawsuits like the one above to the courts are political losers that will not help turn the country around.  In fact they are amoung the best ways to ensure that elections will only be won by Democrats.



  1. Hi Doug - In my opinion, the Supreme Court is doing their job. Their decisions may be unpopular, however, the other branches of government are providing the enforcement. What we need is another Andrew Jackson…

    In Worcester v. Georgia, a case in which the United States Supreme Court vacated the conviction of Samuel Worcester and held that the Georgia criminal statute that prohibited non-Native Americans from being present on Native American lands without a license from the state was unconstitutional. Jackson’s response was, the Supreme Court has made their decision, now let him enforce it.

    1. I singled out Alexander Hamilton in the post because he was the Founding Father who wrote the Federalist Papers pertaining to the courts. Suggest reading Federalist No. 78 where Hamilton wrote "the judiciary on the contrary has no influence over either the sword or the purse, no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society, & can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither Force nor Will, but merely judgment; & must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments."

      This is what Old Hickory was referring to when he said let the Supreme Court enforce it.

      Reading the rest of the Federalist No. 78 as well as other writings by the Founders pertaining to the courts will document that the Supreme Court certainly has not done its job - mostly in the area of accepting cases it should not have accepted including ObamaCare.

    2. Hi Doug - I truly love the elegance, flow, and clarity of the founder’s words - thanks for quoting Hamilton.

      We know what the branches of government legally can do but unlike the founders they lack the will.