Hold His Feet to the Fire? Please

Republicans have all but acknowledged that Mitt Romney is not a conservative, and that he is no different in substance than Barack Obama, and they have settled. Some, those still in denial, steadfastly hold on to his rhetoric, but most have accepted that their nominee is so zealous for political power that he has no qualms about playing either a progressive or conservative, so long as he wins an election. It seems then, that Romney will change his rhetorical tone just as quickly as he’ll spray tan for Univision on Wednesday, and scrub it all off for 60 Minutes on Sunday.

In a near-textbook case of denial, many on the Right have acknowledged all of this, but insist that voting for him is still the “lesser of two evils,” and what’s really important is “defeating Obama.” Their answer is to simply hold “Mitt Romney’s feet to the fire” once Obama’s gone.

But what is “holding his feet to the fire,” what does it look like (aside from the obvious connotation with torture, repression, and despotism)?

More to the point, how do activists hold a president’s feet to the fire? After all, he has the power to drone us all to death with the stroke of pen, and make us buy stuff, even if we don’t want to. I’ve given this some thought and have concluded that it can’t be done; you’d have to be living in some bizarro-world to think otherwise.

For instance, if they (the Republicans, Tea Partiers, and anyone else planning to vote Empty Suit 2012) think they’re going to hold his feet to the fire, why don’t they hold Obama’s feet to the fire now, what’s stopping them?

Oh, but you see, Obama’s too much of an ideologue, he’s too immersed in his Marxist-Socialist-Leninist ways, he can’t be persuaded to change his ways, they’d reply.



Smash the Etch-A-Sketch, Nullify Obamacare!

This past weekend Mitt Romney said that “there are a number of things that I like in [Obamacare] that I’m going to put in place.” Such a revelation is yet another example of why relying on federal politicians -particularly of the Republican persuasion – to restore human liberty is foolish.

Throughout the primary season Romney assured Republican voters that he was against the Affordable Care Act and, if he was elected president, would put an end to it. In June of 2011 he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that “if I’m president I will repeal Obamacare.” (The entire clip is full of gems, and worth watching, if you have the stomach for such things). He continued this promise throughout the debates, and used it a number of times to parry attacks from Rick Santorum on the issue.

That he’s now reversing his rhetoric should come as no surprise. Such flip-flopping is standard fare with Mitt Romney, as virtually everyone is aware; his YouTube collections of contradictory statements and backpedaling are impressive, if not comical for their sheer numbers. Now, this is not to say that other politicians don’t also have similar montages, plenty do, but what’s striking about Romney’s are that some go on for twenty minutes.

No doubt some conservatives and right-leaning independents are surprised and disappointed by this shift,


A Fork in the Revolutionary Road

[This essay was first published on the author’s personal blog]

Mitt Romney was officially made the GOP’s nominee last week and now the Ron Paul revolution is over. After nearly thirty years in public office the good doctor is gracefully retiring from politics, and while it’s not following a term in the oval office, he’s no-less started what may be the greatest mental brushfire in American history. And now with millions of people inspired by the message of liberty, the obvious question is “what’s next” for the remnant?

A number of writers and activists have weighed in on this topic and below is a collection of these valuable essays and commentaries with some of my own thoughts for the Paulbots and revolutionaries.

Justin Raimondo, editorial director of the indispensable Antiwar.com, had this to say regarding the true nature of the republican party and their rules:

As for the rules governing the political process – they can be changed at a moment’s notice, and bent any which way, in order to facilitate this seizure. Ron Paul’s supporters in the GOP learned that the hard way, as the Romneyites used their control of the party bureaucracy at the state and national levels to retroactively change the rules in order to unseat duly elected Paul delegates. In Maine, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Oregon, Oklahoma, and elsewhere, the party bosses have disenfranchised Paul voters – closing down party caucuses, rejecting as delegates anyone under 50, and calling the cops when all else failed.

This description of how the convention was governed – and the primaries leading up to it – is precisely how the state works in general. It’s evil and corrupting, and ultimately founded upon violence and coercion. The GOP’s rules are in essence no different from the “Pirate’s code,” which is “more what you call guidelines than actual rules,” to borrow from the famous movie line.


Name Calling and “Tenther Nullification Nonsense” in Arizona

AzBlueMeanie claims in the article Neoconfederate insurrectionists in Arizona Legislature revive discredited ‘nullification’ theory that:

All elected officials in Arizona take the following oath of office:

“I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Arizona, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and defend them against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office of __________ according to the best of my ability, so help me God.”

And yet the Arizona legislature is populated by Neoconfederate insurrectionists who have violated their oath of office and are actively engaged in acts of domestic insurrection against the United States government.

Let’s get this straight now… AzBluemeanie believes that a state elected official who stands up against what he or she perceives to be a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution has “violated their oath of office and are actively engaged in acts of domestic insurrection against the United States government”. That is a pretty bold statement to make with no evidence to back it up. Nice job!

Let us bring some credentials into the discussion.


Judges? We Don’t Need No Stinking Judges

In response to my latest column I received an e-mail from Bill Walker, co-founder of the Friends of the Article V Convention. The text of the e-mail was also posted as a comment on the original post.

My point with this post isn’t to burn bridges or start some feud between organizations that have similar goals in mind, namely restricting federal power. But I do think it’s important to understand both what we’re up against and where each organization comes from. So, with that in mind, allow me to expand on a few points by addressing Mr. Walker’s comments.

He writes: “[Joel Poindexter] provides no proof where any judge has ever ruled the states have such authority [to use nullification].”

This assumes that the states need approval from the Feds before they can nullify the Feds, and as the title of this post states, “we don’t need no stinking [judges].” And to that point, let me first suggest that if any judge with any clout ever ruled that a state can nullify an unconstitutional “law,” as determined by that state, we’d likely be in far better shape. Any judge who would side with a state on this issue isn’t likely to acquiesce to federal overreach in the first place, and since judges are appointed to the bench by politicians, we’d have to assume this judge had a similar outlook on federalism.

It’s because judges aren’t overturning unlawful “laws” that nullification is even necessary, so who needs them? That’s sort of the point of nullification; it essentially removes the Feds from the equation, since by the time a state has decided to nullify something, the Feds must have failed somewhere in the process. Whether it’s a legislature with an overly broad interpretation of the commerce clause, an executive who decides to write his own laws or a court without the moral fiber to strike down one of the former, nullification is the answer.


Time to Take Down TSA – For Real

“Time to Take Down TSA” was the Heritage Foundation’s headline. The author, James Carafano, was commenting on a recent study he coauthored for the D.C.-based think-tank. But in typical establishment, inside-the-beltway fashion, his prescription for the Transportation Security Administration would take down nothing. Nor would it restore to the states a constitutional level of federal aviation oversight – which is zero.

Just like politicians who throw buzzwords like “reform” around to pander to constituents, these groups who advocate “rethinking” the TSA have nothing profound to contribute to the discourse. Under such a plan, which involved “redefining” the TSA’s role, no fundamental change would take place in transportation security.

What Carafano and the Heritage Foundation call for is changing the role of the TSA from providing “security” directly, to “making aviation security policy and regulations.” He goes on to suggest that: “Screening responsibility would devolve to the airports, whose security operations would be supervised by a federal security director.”

This is really no different than the various federal agencies charged with waging the war on drugs shifting their focus from direct action to merely writing policy and regulations. In the same way that airports would be responsible to implement the government’s central plan, drug enforcement would be turned over to semi-private agencies which, under the direct supervision of the feds, would continue the very same assault on our civil liberties. At least the current system allows the tyranny and incompetence to be directly associated with government, whereas a more “privatized” system would tend to shift the blame away from the feds and onto others.


Religious Nullification – Part I – HHS Mandate

For the better part of a year, I have personally wanted to start a series on the religious history of Nullification, both in America and worldwide, even before the beginning of America and in some cases before the existence of Christianity. The recent showdown over the US Bishops and the Obama administration over the HHS mandate regarding abortion and contraceptive funding in health insurance plans has opened up that door with a modern day example.

While the Catholic Church has been the most visible player on this issue, Orthodox Christian, Protestant and Jewish leaders have voiced their solidarity with the Catholic Bishops in their opposition to the HHS mandate.  There were also examples in my research of Muslim leaders joining in interfaith protests against the mandate, and brief mentions in the media of Muslim organizations joining in, but I personally found little on Muslims generally supporting or opposing the mandate.

While perhaps not every Tenther is opposed to abortion and contraception, to force religious employers, or even non-religious employers whose personal convictions forbid one from paying for things that conflict with their conscience, is a clear violation of the First Amendment, and unjust in general.

One’s religion is much more than what one does for an hour or two on Sunday, Saturday or any other day of the week. Most religions have rules governing not just how their adherents worship, but also how they carry themselves in day to day life. And in some cases, the violation of some of those rules results in de facto and/or public excommunication from that religion.


Missouri House Votes to Nullify Obamacare in its Entirety

On April 19, 2012, HB:1534 passed the Missouri House with a vote of 108 to 44! The bill “Declares the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as unauthorized by the United States Constitution and creates criminal penalties for persons enforcing or attempting to enforce the act”

But the good news doesn’t stop there. Inside reports tell us that when the absent Representatives who have committed to vote “yes” are able to do so, HB1534 should have a veto-proof majority.

This is a major step beyond what a number of states around the country – including Missouri – have been doing previously, rejecting just the mandate portion of the federal act.

(To see how your Missouri Representative voted, please see the following link: Ayes and Noes of 1534. If they voted “No”, you may wish to let them know your concern by sending them a polite message. Use the following link to look up your Missouri Representative.)

Additionally, it’s important to notice that when HB1534 was “perfected” in the Missouri House several days ago (with a vote of 109 to 49) – there weren’t any amendments offered. This also is encouraging, as it means that the preferred language, consisting of a Jeffersonian style nullification of Obamacare (along with the arrest of federal officials who attempt to enforce Obamacare), was retained in the bill.


Missouri House Moving Forward on State Sovereignty Legislation

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” – The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

As the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states, the Tenth Amendment serves to define federal power as that which is specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States – and no more! The United States Supreme Court even went so far as to rule in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states. But lately, the states are increasingly being treated as agents of the federal government, with many federal mandates standing in direct violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

But under HCR:7, the members of the Missouri House of Representatives “hereby claims sovereignty for the State of Missouri under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution shall serve as a notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally-delegated powers; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copy of this resolution for the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate of each state’s legislature of the United States of America, and each member of the Missouri Congressional delegation.


Missouri House Committee Votes to Nullify Obamacare

Missouri’s HB:1534, also known as the Federal Health Care Reform Law, declares the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as unauthorized by the United States Constitution. Furthermore, language utilized in the bill creates criminal penalties for persons enforcing or attempting to enforce the act…

According to Article 1 of the Missouri Constitution, the purpose of the government is to protect the rights and property of the people, and that neither other states nor the general government has the right to regulate their internal affairs. So it seems pretty clear that Missouri Government isn’t supposed to allow tyranny to proceed unchecked, but should be working to protect its citizens from the abuses of Big Government. Because of this, passionate supporters of HB:1534 spoke at a recent hearing not only about the unconstitutionality of the Federal Health Care Reform Law, but that Missouri citizens shouldn’t be required to accept health care that includes provisions that they are morally or religiously opposed to. Additionally, there was the thought that people should be free to opt out of certain services and providers. Testifying for the bill were Representative Bahr; James Coyne, Mid-Missouri Patriots; Ron Calzone, Missouri First; and Missouri Right to Life.

However, those who opposed HB:1534 noted that access to affordable health care is vital to people living with certain diseases, such as AIDS and HIV. And rather than encourage individual responsibility, such opposition believed that robust Governmental measures are necessary in order to protect life and prevent the further transmission of dangerous diseases. Testifying against the bill was Gretchen Waddell of the Missouri AIDS Task Force.

Meanwhile, others like Dave Roland of the Freedom Center of Missouri, noted that when the United States Constitution was ratified, several states demanded that certain rights be protected, such as a state’s ability to reject certain federal actions.

As a result, the Committee on General Laws voted “do pass” by a vote of 5 to 4 on March 29, 2012.