Rand Paul as President?

Long-time liberal commentator Michael Barone has commented on Fox Business that the Tea Party movement parallels that of the Sixties. The first major conference in Nashville last year did have the folksy qualities I first felt in the presence of Doc Watson and The Weavers back in Newport Rhode Island in the early 1960s.

What I’ve been looking at in the last two years is a kind of anthropological model based on what I saw happen there in the early Sixties when I went to high school. The Newport Folk Festival suddenly awakened our world with Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. The Beatles said they inspired them to greater artistic challenge. Some writers of the era say The Sixties started from there; some marking the day when Dylan switched from a natural guitar to an electric guitar. It spread like wildfire. The entire generation changed overnight in a matter of one or two years.

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Rand Paul Rises

It is interesting how well and how fast Rand Paul, the new senator from Kentucky, has fit in. He comes after long advance in the tail of his father Ron Paul, who might be considered the Father Abraham of the Tea Party Movement. His speeches on the Senate floor are thoughtful, informed with history and tradition and appropriate to current events and so are his frequent conversations with Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox Business. He calls on the heroic Cassius M. Clay as his avatar, the Kentucky anti-slavery iconoclast, who placed a Bible and Bowie Knife on the podium before he spoke and frequently used the Bowie Knife. And time appears to be opening up to him.

The invasion of Libya presents the perfect possible political moment to him. Father Ron railed daily against the invasion of Iraq, but America at first required vengeance. We are not a commonly vengeful people, but will respond as the bard Toby Keith so poignantly put it at the time, with “a boot in the ass” when we are injured, and that more than anything perhaps represented the heartland feelings about the Iraq war and 9/11. But Ron Paul had what might be called a “higher law” vision and it has now captivated almost 40% of younger Republicans.

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Invasions to nowhere: Gingrich, the sequel, starring himself

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bernie Quigley will be a featured speaker at Nullify Now! New Hampshire. Get tickets and info here – http://www.nullifynow.com/newhampshire/ – or by calling 888-71-TICKETS

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The Hill’s observations on the Republican line up reveals inherent weakness in the Republican position going into 2012. It goes from damaged goods (Newt Gingrich) to a “blank slate” (Tim Pawlenty). But time is on their side. One would never guess that the country is actually experiencing a renaissance of creative governance with Bob McDonnell in Virginia, Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, Rick Perry in Texas and even Nikki Haley in South Carolina. Two issues: First, in politics, dinosaurs rule and The Tea Party has been commandeered by the likes of Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich, refried agent provocateurs from the Clinton age (visualize that: before Pokémon, before Kurt Cobain, before Y2K, 9/11 and the 21st century) – it will be nothing but a red neck howl if it continues following that cue and in short order will be “. . . in with the dust and gone with the wind.” The anti-government tenor in Congress today resonates much like the old Gingrich; Gingrich, the sequel, starring himself. At the time it seemed inspired essentially as personal invective against a President who lived below the usual threshold of adulthood. But Gingrich has outdone him. Worth repeating is the Chicago Tribune’s John Kass’s comment on Gingrich: “Is that the Constitution in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

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Rick Perry 1, Obama 0

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bernie Quigley will be a featured speaker at Nullify Now! New Hampshire. Get tickets and info here – http://www.nullifynow.com/newhampshire/ – or by calling 888-71-TICKETS

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. . . states rights, states rights, states rights . . . !
– Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, at the first Tea Party event on April 15, 2009

To put it simply, the most astonishing thing that has happened these past two years is that the states have suddenly seen, as if through a glass darkly, that they do not have to do what the federal government tells them to do. Consider the consequences. The idea seemed incomprehensible when it was first presented up here in northern New England five years ago. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s truly shocked comment when she was told she couldn’t just do anything she wanted was, “Are you serious? Are you serious?” Today, the Supreme Court faces state sovereignty challenges which promise to shake the nation.

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The New Dominion: NH state rep calls for ‘State Defense Force’

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bernie Quigley will be a featured speaker at Nullify Now! New Hampshire. Get tickets and info here – http://www.nullifynow.com/newhampshire/ – or by calling 888-71-TICKETS

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State Rep. Daniel Itse of Fremont, NH, wants to create a volunteer “permanent state defense force,” separate from the New Hampshire National Guard, to assist with disaster relief and “defend the state against invasion.” The legislation would require NH Gov. John Lynch to establish a state guard comprising an undetermined number of volunteers who sign up for one-year stints. It would have an “inactive reserve” made up of all able-bodied adult state residents, with exemptions for conscientious objectors, state and federal officials, and others.

Itse might be considered the founding father of the Tea Party movement as it was Itse who proposed in February, 2009, that the state of New Hampshire need not comply with federal legislation, citing Thomas Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolutions. Within days, 37 states followed his initiative. This has brought a seismic shift in American outlook, from one of global conquest via economy, military, IPad, Google or Bono, to one which might be called a sense of regional dominion.

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A new age of Jackson: History without violence

For The Hill on 1/27/11

Since New Hampshire state rep Dan Itse brought his challenge to Obamacare citing Thomas Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolutions in February 2009, we have been seeing a new age of Jefferson. Judge Andrew Napolitano now plays prime time “fighting for freedom” five nights a week; Virginia Delegate Jim LeMunyon proposes a Repeal Amendment; a 26-state challenge to the federal government moves to the Supreme Court and best practices conferences for governors today feature Thomas Woods’, “Nullification.” But the turning ahead may best belong to Andrew Jackson. It was the rustic warrior from Tennessee who first fired up the common folk west of the New River and laid their claim to governance. He is much misunderstood and occasionally maligned, but Jackson might well be considered the spirit father of the current red state uprising.

The Idaho Reporter reports that Republicans intend to introduce a plan to “use an obscure 18th century doctrine” to nullify the federal (Obamacare) law in a House committee and are working to gain the blessing of Gov. Butch Otter. They might pick up a copy of H.W. Brands’ “Andrew Jackson: His Life and times” for background. Because what is at the core is dominance: The world naturally divides by temperament, head and heart, city and country, in a binary way. The heart today is red (Sarah Palin), the head is blue (Barack Obama). Jackson opposed nullification and championed a free republic that might be considered a model for red state interests more pragmatic than Jefferson’s. But it was Jackson who put the fire in the belly of the heartland; a fire felt in the red states today and a fire that potentially will never go out.

Jackson might be considered the founding father of the Southern and western temperament, which have morphed to the red states today. I’ve been writing about state sovereignty up here for five years and was among the first to propose the Kentucky Resolutions in New Hampshire and Vermont to oppose George W. Bush projects, especially the war on Iraq. Cited Jefferson, but inspired by Jackson.

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State bankruptcy and a heartland home-grown solution

The New York Times reports today that policy makers are working behind the scenes to come up with a way to let states declare bankruptcy and get out from under crushing debts, including the pensions they have promised to retired public workers: “Unlike cities, the states are barred from seeking protection in federal bankruptcy court. Any effort to change that status would have to clear high constitutional hurdles because the states are considered sovereign.”

But states are finding their own ways to save money. Last fall, the Nebraska Campaign for Liberty distributed copies of Tom Woods’ book Nullification to 44 of the 49 members of their legislature. They followed up with discussion with some other senators about the kind of things they’d like to see done and provided some “model legislation”—courtesy of the Tenth Amendment Center.

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Rick Perry’s “Fed Up!” An Eagle Scout’s guide to states rights

If Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, gets up here any time soon and I have a feeling he will, he might take a look at Henry’s James classic, “The Bostonians.” He might find us today much as James found us then in 1886; feminists, utopians, New England Hindus, mesmerists and socialists, and feel some kinship to the more stalwart Confederate cousin, Basil Ransom of Mississippi, who eat his peas with a Bowie knife. But Perry, Eagle Scout, Texas rancher, C-130 Air Force pilot and governor longer and any in Texas history, is no Confederate. In fact, in his guide to states’ right, “Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington,” he writes that it was the South’s unwillingness to give up a way of life inexcusably based on the abominable practice of slavery that persuaded Congress to pass the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which compelled citizens of northern states to act against their conscience and help return escaped former slaves into bondage.

“Thus,” he writes, “while the southern states seceded in the name of ‘states’ rights,’ in many ways it was the northern states whose sovereignty was violated in the run-up to the Civil War.”

This book is one of the best things to emerge from the Tea Party movement and Perry is just the man to be doing the explaining. In time, it could be that all of this, including Sarah Palin’s carrying the flag these two years, was just prepping and plowing the fields to prepare for Rick Perry’s arrival on the national scene.

We are seeing an astonishing change of outlook in our times. Just one year ago Nadeam Elshami, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s aid, said questioning the Constitutionality of Obamacare was “ . . . not a serious question.” This week Judge Henry Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia said it is.

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Mr. Kafka goes to Washington: TSA’s groping is torture

The TSA’s Kafkaesque groin groping and full-porn scanning, championed by Obama’s lackluster Cheney, Joe Biden, enters the realm of dominance, intimidation and sexual threat and knowledge that goes to the core of total government control: totalitarianism.

It is the sickly sister to torture; Drusilla, the undead – torture without the physical pain but with the humiliation and psychological disturbance and depersonalization and total dominance that is the essence of torture. It is the work of a government lost and disoriented like that in Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony”; a government sensing in a panic that its time in history is passing and it has lost control.

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