Both Political Parties’ Establishments Don’t Get It

Donald Trump’s election to the presidency was as clear a clarion call as there could be that “business as usual” was no longer acceptable to the voters. The GOP Establishment seems to be utterly deaf to the message.

We’ve seen this reality play out from Trump’s first announcement of his candidacy right through to the present day.

During the election primaries, none of his opponents thought he had a slightest chance of actually winning the nomination, an incredulousness shared by the party machine. They mocked and belittled him, refusing to take him seriously. They were utterly stunned when he went on to actually win that primary.

But did that win alert the GOP that something profoundly different was going on this time around? Nope.

Many of Trump’s former opponents refused to endorse his candidacy, a few even threatening to endorse his opponent, Clinton. The GOP’s candidates for other offices continued to run on the promise to “repeal and replace Obamacare” in their own campaigns, repetition of a 7-year-old party campaign theme. But clearly, most of them didn’t take Trump’s campaign seriously, either.

How do we know this? Because when the most shocking and unexpected event took place, and Trump actually won the General Election, nobody was prepared to actually move forward and fulfill the promises they’d campaigned on for many years.

Having secured both chambers of Congress and the White House, was the GOP now prepared with a “shovel ready” plan to actually live up to and fulfill that years-old campaign promise of getting rid of Obamacare?

Not even close. They had absolutely nothing, because, as a party, they’d banked on the idea that Trump had absolutely no chance of actually winning the election.

In scientific parlance, this is what’s called “stupid”.

Compounding the problem, that stupidity continues, with no sign of abating. The “Never-Trumpers” are still in full roar, glorying in their “moral superiority”, reminiscent of Nero fiddling while Rome burned, utterly oblivious to the voices of that plebian mass in fly-over country that elected Trump. Elitist snobbery personified.

On the other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton’s defeat was sending the same message to the Democrat Party, with the same result: deafness and denial.

When the campaign season opened the Establishment Democrats deemed Clinton the ordained candidate, and no other “mainstream” Democrat even threw their hat into the ring.

And then along came Bernie Sanders, the Democrat equivalent of Trump, an “outsider” who wasn’t even a member of the Democrat Party, having been elected throughout his career in the House and Senate as an “Independent” who only caucused with the Democrats.

To the consternation of the Establishment Democrats, Sanders’s candidacy put the coronation of Clinton in serious jeopardy, to the point that party officials conspired with Clinton campaign people to cheat Sanders out of any chance of winning that party’s nomination. Needless to say, the Sanders supporters were outraged by this when it became publicly known.

Once Clinton had secured the nomination, the DNC and her campaign apparatus evidently felt so confident of her chances of winning, and so scornful of Trump, that they decided to concentrate their campaign on the coastal urban centers and special-interest coalitions that in reality were already in the tank for her, utterly and completely ignoring everyone in “fly-over country”, as well as the masses of people who were ardent and now-outraged Sanders supporters, essentially wasting their time, energy, and resources.

Then the unthinkable happened. Trump actually won.

The result? A Democrat party in complete disarray and dissension, to the point of being in a shambles. A schism over what the meaning of such an unexpected and catastrophic loss means.

The Clintonistas are welded to the idea – really just an excuse – that it was “the Russians” and Comey at fault, unwilling to accept that Clinton was a terrible candidate who ran an incompetent campaign.

The Establishment, with a very few exceptions, can’t seem to decide whether their message to the electorate was too far to the left, not far enough to the left, too married to “corporate” interests, or what.

The very few who seem to get it have said that their party needs to take a serious look at the direction they’ve taken and the policies they’re promoting, and that it could be that the emphasis on social engineering – letting men use the same bathrooms as little girls, amnesty for illegal aliens, and the like – taking priority over bread-and-butter concerns about jobs and the economy may just be a very big mistake. The far-left culture-war policies that play so well in the coastal blue regions and some other major urban areas don’t go over at all well in areas outside of those enclaves.

Unfortunately for the Democrat party, if they want to be relevant on a national scale moving into the future, those voices really are being lost in the wilderness.

I think voters are clearly signaling to their respective parties that the old “Establishment” way of doing business isn’t going to cut it anymore. In the case of the GOP, that means they’ll no longer accept empty campaign promises that aren’t followed up with serious and concerted effort to actually implement the promised policies if elected. For Democrats, it means dropping the obsession with Social Justice and class warfare, and directing attention to matters that are of more concern to average everyday Americans.

Will anyone in either party “Establishment” pay any attention?

I don’t think Trump is the causative agent of any of this. The success of his primary campaign, and Clinton’s failure to beat him in the general election, are merely symptomatic of a greater dissatisfaction in the body politic, and the results of the last election – from primaries to general election – were the overt expression of that exasperation.

What’s truly interesting is how both parties are suffering at the same time from the same kind of malaise and disaffection. How this will play out at the polls is anyone’s guess.

Or in the streets.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

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Impeachment Hysteria Versus Reality

 

Our family is very politically aware (and fortunately for us and family comity, all conservatives), and as everyone with a pulse knows, virtually from Inauguration Day there have been calls for President Trump’s impeachment. The hysteria seems to be reaching a crescendo recently, dominating news coverage, and as a result I received an email the other day from one of the younger members of our clan, a Millennial:

“Hello there!

“What do you think the odds are of Trump getting impeached? That’s all I see in my news feed now!

“Brett R.”

To answer Brett’s question, I think the odds of that are pretty much zero. First of all, you’ve got to understand that the “news” feed is all pretty much just biased – and I mean to a point I’ve never before seen in my lifetime – agenda-driven rubbish.

But to the actual legalities, there has to be actual “cause” for impeachment. Per the Constitution, that means “high crimes or misdemeanors”. So, what actual “crimes” or “misdemeanors” has Trump actually committed? None that I can think of.

Then there’s political reality. Impeachment takes place in the House, and conviction takes place in the Senate and requires a 2/3 vote of the Senators to do so and remove him from office. Both the House and the Senate are controlled by the GOP. So, what are the odds of ANY of that actually happening?

Precedent. Only two sitting Presidents have ever been impeached: Andrew Johnson and “Quick-Zipper Bill” Clinton. Neither was convicted. Johnson’s impeachment was purely politically motivated, based on his Reconstruction policies, and his conviction was one vote shy. Clinton actually had committed a crime – perjury – and yet wasn’t convicted in the Senate. So, particularly in light of Pantsuit Hillary’s federal felonious actions with her email rig and the failure to indict HER, I can’t see any way an actual impeachment takes place.

Another political reality. I think impeaching Trump would actually BENEFIT him. We saw the same dynamic when Billy-Bubba was impeached: his popularity actually increased. I think the same dynamic would inure to Trump. There’s a VERY large percentage of people in this country that are simply fed up with the SOP of how both major parties have been conducting business over the last few decades. Trump’s election is the embodiment of that frustration. Impeaching him… the consequences of that could be beyond imagination.

All these impeachment noises are being made by left-wing radicals spouting moronic sound bites for public consumption; people like Maxine Waters and “Nancy the Red” Pelosi. It’s become Dem/socialist SOP to act like silly, spoiled children. And all the while they’re doing it they’re losing actual political power all across the country with the exception of a few blue coastal states like Commiefornia and Taxachussetts.

I see this as simply political Kabuki from the American socialists. Think about it. If Trump’s impeached and convicted, that doesn’t roll back the election clock and make the Pantsuit Lady President. Mike Pence becomes President! They know that as well as I do. And that would be about the worst thing that could happen to them and their agenda, because he’s as clean as a whistle, and a great conservative. It would absolutely CRUSH their political aspirations. The whole point of this impeachment drivel is to try to keep Trump off balance, and to delegitimize him in order to try to weaken him. An actual impeachment would be a huge strategic error on their part.

Like I said, I think the chances are pretty much zero.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

Are Unicorns Real?

I’m feelin’ the Bern…!

 

Everyone who knows me, or my writings, knows I’m about as conservative as it gets. When I became eligible to vote in 1970, I immediately registered as a Republican. Between then and now, though I’ve on occasion voted for “third-party” candidates, I’ve never voted for a Dem/socialist. In fact, in the entire panoply of Democrat politicians, I’ve only ever been aware of two I’d have considered actually voting for prior to today: Zell Miller and Jim Webb.

Going one step further, when the GOP nominated John McCain as their candidate in 2008, I was so disgusted with that result that I quit the GOP and re-registered as “Decline To State” (DTS), California’s equivalent of “Independent”. I even resigned my Life Membership in the NRA over their decision to endorse McCain. That’s how strongly I feel about actual traditional American conservative values and principles; McCain was certainly NO conservative.

So in light of all of that, what’s happened to make me cast my vote today for “the Bern”, Bernie Sanders, self-avowed socialist candidate for the Democrat presidential nomination?

A unique and unlikely confluence of events.

First, California’s goofy and Byzantine election laws permit DTS voters to simply choose at the polling place whether or not they want to vote in any particular party’s presidential primary, and those laws leave it up to the parties to determine for themselves whether or not they’ll allow DTS voters to vote in their primary. This year, the Democrats have chosen to allow DTSers to do so, and the Republicans have chosen not to do so.

Further, as of now that’s actually pretty irrelevant as to the GOP, since Donald Trump has already won enough primary victories to secure the GOP nod, and his opponents have withdrawn from the race. That’s a done deal. So even if it were possible to vote in the GOP primary, why would I even bother?

IMAG0126

My hand doing the formerly unthinkable

However, there’s much to be gained by participating in the Democrat primary!

If the Bern were to somehow, magically, secure the Democrat nomination, that would almost certainly guarantee a November defeat for that repugnant party. And, of course, there’s that “other” candidate, Her Royal Arrogance Hillary Clinton. I so thoroughly despise her that it’s almost impossible to pass up the opportunity to throw a few banana peels in the path of her haughty march to the Dem convention in Philly in July. Maybe one of those banana peels could be a Sanders win in California. How could I possibly pass that up?

And so… I did it. I actually cast a vote for a self-avowed socialist Democrat. It didn’t feel as weird as I thought it would, and the hand I used to cast my vote didn’t fall off my wrist or develop blisters, much to my surprise.unicorns

So consider this: if I could cast this vote, is it really out of the realm of possibility to think that someplace on this big planet there is actually a herd of unicorns prancing around?

 

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal: http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/153159/)

Homo sapiens democratus horribilis

My knowledge and experience as an eminent bio-political socio-anthropologist has enabled me to identify, and name, a previously unrecognized sub-species of human beings (Homo sapiens). I have named this sub-species Homo sapiens democratus horribilis.

This sub-species can be identified by the presence of several distinctive traits:

1.  The inability to apply logic, reason, and/or common sense to practical political problems and issues.

2.  The inability to consider the actual historical record.

3.  The inability to acknowledge the reality of human nature, and consider its effect while seeking real solutions to problems.

4.  The propensity to apply wishful thinking to the task of problem-solving while ignoring real-world practical solutions.

Democratus horribilis have an extreme tendency toward self-destruction, particularly as applied to any social institution in which they find themselves that may have well-established social mores, customs, and traditions. Once recognized, they should be quickly removed from any position which may empower them to have influence over such institutions, or control over individual members of that society.

This has been a public service announcement.

PSA

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

 

Hey, “Climate Change” Nazis! Here I Am. Arrest Me.

climate change hysteria

You may or may not have read that recently sixteen state attorneys-general, including Commiefornia’s own Kamala Harris, as well as US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch, have threatened to prosecute those who “deny” the “climate change” hysteria that’s become gospel to the radical Left.

Well, let me make it perfectly clear: I absolutely reject the “climate change” hysteria and dogma that these fanatics are trying to foist on the entire planet. This planet’s been around for about 4.5 billion years; the climate’s been “changing” for every one of those years; and absolutely nothing that mankind can do will stop that from continuing… ever!

In fact, if the climate ever WERE to stop changing, life on the planet would never evolve. That change is the driver of evolution; it’s one of the reasons why dinosaurs aren’t the prevalent life forms here, and why we’re not dodging woolly mammoths and saber-toothed cats on our daily commute (though most likely we’d have never even developed). As I’ve written before, 10,000 years ago, a blink of the eye in geological time, the North American continent was completely covered with permanent pack ice over a thousand feet thick all the way down to what is now Central California.

On top of all that, even if it were possible to “stop” the climate from changing, which it’s not, why would that necessarily be a GOOD thing? Who’s to say that NOW is the “perfect” climate? Why wouldn’t the changed climate a few hundred years from now be even better, if that were to happen? Do those hysterics have some kind of crystal ball or something? So exactly who are the REAL “deniers” on this subject?

So there. That’s my “denial”. Come on and arrest me. I dare you.

But here’s the most disturbing aspect of this whole initiative. Unable to enact their radical marching commiesBig Government agenda legitimately in this country, these jack-booted thugs want to ignore the First Amendment and criminalize free speech and legitimate dissent by prosecuting those who disagree with them under RICO and various other statutes.

This reminds me of the fate of Galileo. In the late 16th Century, the “official” science of the time, as promulgated by the Catholic Church, held that the Earth was the center of the Universe. However, Galileo published works promoting the Copernican view that this planet revolved around the Sun. Ultimately, for promoting what turned out to be the correct scientific fact of the matter, Galileo was tried by the Church and convicted of heresy.

Sound familiar?

Now here we are, in the 21st Century, and history is repeating itself. As Yogi Berra noted, it’s like déjà vu all over again.

This is beyond outrageous. It’s beyond being un-American. This is flat-out tyranny.

green nazisT

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(This column was also published today in my local newspaper: http://www.signalscv.com/section/35/article/151491/)

 

OMG! My Feelings Are Hurt! Kill the First Amendment!

We’ve all heard the buzzwords, the new encyclical of the Left. If they can’t respond to logical rebuttals to their policy proposals and hysterical pronouncements – which they can’t, because subscribing to Leftist doctrine requires a complete suspension of logical thinking and any realistic understanding of basic human nature – then their only alternative is to try to completely shut down the debate.

gore bloviatorWe’ve heard it ad nauseum, starting with Al Gore’s polemic on “global warming” as presented in his Power-Point-cum-Movie “An Inconvenient Truth”: the assertion that “the debate is over…”.

Of course, if nothing else, the basic flaw in that statement is clearly obvious: here we are, twenty years later, still actually debating the “undebateable”.

But lately we’ve gone from the ridiculous to the sublime. So let’s have some fun and look at a sampling of the latest buzzwords rambling down the pike, as well as in the opinion columns of your local Leftist PR sheet, AKA “newspaper”.

“Microaggression”. Totally cool word, meaning that something you said made someone somewhere feel that they weren’t appreciated in the way they themselves thought they should be. If you think that same-sex marriage isn’t the best thing since self-rising bread, well… that’s a microagression against LGBTSMwhatevercomesnext people! You need to be at least silenced, if not punished and banished, or at least “shamed”!

Which, of course, brings us to our next gem, “shaming”. If you violate Leftist doctrine, as defined at this point in time (and always subject to whatever latest trend comes roaring down the Pike) and can’t be sued or prosecuted for actually violating a real law, well, then… you must be singled out for hyperbolic and (usually) hysterical personal attacks in order to “shame” you into complying with the latest fad in Leftist Political Correctness!

“Dog whistle” enjoys not only convenience, but greatness, if you’re on the Left. It’s really a catch-all, dog whistlebecause it signifies that whatever someone who’s not on the Leftist plantation says that might not conform to the “approved” doctrine of the moment – for example, “tax reform” – can always be labeled as actually meaning something else (usually much to the proposer’s surprise). “Tax reform” was labeled as being a “coded racial appeal” in outlets such as Salon (Salon article) and Kos (KOS article), as well as by established commentators like Bill Moyers (Moyers).

This is obviously a tactic based on the interpreter’s incredibly amazing ability to read other peoples’ minds, Carnackvery much along the lines of Johnny Carson’s “Carnack” character. And it’s extremely useful, because if your conservative opponent hasn’t actually said what you want him to mean, well… that’s no longer a problem, is it?

“Voter ID”. That seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? When I first registered to vote I was given a voter ID card which identified me as a legally registered voter, and I had to show it to the poll watchers whenever I showed up to actually cast a vote. I even still have it!

Alas, “voter ID” has turned into a “dog whistle” for “minority vote suppression”. I don’t know how that happened. Everyone has to show some legitimate form of ID to get a book from the library, drive a car, get on an airplane, cash a check, file for disability or welfare benefits, cross an international border (unless you’re an “undocumented immigrant”, formerly known as “illegal alien”), and a whole bunch of other things. Presumably, minorities – AKA “people of color” – aren’t any more inconvenienced by getting ID cards than anyone else. So how come it’s only “minorities” – AKA the Leftists’ presumed voter “base” – that can’t perform such a simple task? Anyone with half an ounce of intellectual consistency would realize that the Leftists are the real “racists” in this equation for advancing the preposterous idea that simply because someone is “of color” they can’t do the same tasks as everyone else. I mean, c’mon… isn’t that the very basis of racism?

“Free speech zone”. An absolutely hilarious concept. If you’re a student on a college campus and you’re thDAAPCM1D“exposed” to thought, speech, or ideas that make you feel “uncomfortable” or “threatened” or are “microagressions” (meaning “conservative” ideas), well… no problem!

All you have to do is report the “transgressor” to a counselor or other college official and they’ll make sure that the “offenders” and their repugnant and “intolerant” ideas are banished to a “free speech zone”, which is usually an area about the size of a Smart Car hidden behind the furthest reaches of the back parking lot.

Which brings us to the definition of “Tolerance”, but… n-a-a-a-ah. You get the idea.

©Brian Baker 2015

(I wrote this essay on Father’s Day of 2015, based on a conversation I had at the party at John and Stacy’s house, with prodding from Cynewulf and Buck [a couple of old on-line buddies]. My sincere thanks to all of you for helping me to coalesce my thoughts on the subject)

(Published on 6/26/2015 in The Signal: http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/139001/)

Obama Caesar: The Runaway Presidency

ripcon 4

 

In my last essay I discussed the arrogance and lawlessness of the Obama administration and its bureaucrats, practiced on a scale unprecedented in American history. Now I’d like to address the ramifications, and what they might mean for the country.

Speaker of the House John Boehner is spearheading an effort by that chamber of Congress to sue Obama in federal court for exceeding his constitutional authority as President. Some – notably Sarah Palin – are calling for Obama’s impeachment. I think both approaches are doomed to failure at this point in time.

Both approaches require lengthy legal processes, and we’re less than four months away from the mid-term elections. As such, I believe they’re distractions that are red meat for parts of the “base”, but will prove ultimately futile, and may even be politically counterproductive in the GOP’s efforts to secure a majority in the Senate.

Any impeachment process that starts now would go nowhere, as when the current 113th Congress is replaced by the 114th in January, if Obama hasn’t already been convicted by the Senate – an impossibility as the Senate is currently controlled by loyal Democrats – the process wouldn’t carry over to the new Congress, and would have to start all over again.

A similar problem attaches to any lawsuit, in addition to which the courts are very leery of getting involved in matters of separation of powers jurisdictional issues. Further, the House may have a major problem establishing “standing”, or defining an actual tort damage, as they retain the power to address Obama’s excesses through their exclusive constitutional power of the governmental purse strings, whether or not they want to use it.

Let’s assume for this discussion that the GOP retains the House and takes control of the Senate. Then what?

At that point Obama would be the lamest of ducks, and there would be nothing at all to restrain him from indulging his imperial proclivities to their fullest extent; Obama Caesar.Obama Caesar If he’s ignored the Congress and the Constitution up to this point – and he has, blatantly – there would be no reason for him to hold back at all anymore.

Impeachment then does become a distinct possibility. But we should never forget about Obama’s anti-impeachment insurance policy: Joe Biden. Can you imagine HIM as President? Talk about hopping from the frying pan into the fire!

But there are also other avenues to explore. Attorney-General Holder is still under a contempt citation; he should be impeached. Lois Lerner of IRS scandal fame can and should be prosecuted. The Benghazi scandal should be aggressively pursued. Heads should roll over the scandalous and corrupt actions that have taken place within the Veterans Administration resulting in the deaths of vets. A GOP-controlled Congress can use the power of the purse strings to defund the EPA’s excesses (and they should).

Obama should be so mired in his scandals that his already dismal approval ratings plummet even further. Public opinion is the one sure way, at least at this point in history, to hobble a runaway presidency and will have the added benefit of tarring the Dem/socialist candidate hoping to succeed him in the 2016 presidential election.

A GOP-controlled Senate will also then have the power to prevent Obama from appointing activist leftist judges to the federal court system, maybe one of the most important reasons for the GOP to take the Senate in November.

What happens if the Dem/socialists retain a Senate majority, you ask?

Buckle up, because we’re looking at a potential catastrophe for the next two years as that lamest of ducks will have no restraints at all to keep him from indulging himself to the fullest extent, free from worrying about suffering any real repercussions at all, because his Dem/socialist abettors and enablers in the Senate will continue to insulate him from the consequences of his actions, just as they’ve already been doing for years.

I’m not overstating when I say that I’m not sure the country can survive that eventuality. I hope we don’t have to find out.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2014

 

(This column was also published in my local newspaper today. http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/124472/)

Arrogance, Personified

Take a look at this man’s face.

koskinen

Is this Monte Burns from “The Simpsons”?

 

This is John Koskinen, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), arguably the most powerful and feared bureaucracy in the Federal Government.

Who does he remind you of? Doesn’t he bring to mind the character of Mr. Burns in the long-running TV series The Simpsons? Sure does to me. And like that character, he has the ability to destroy people’s lives through the wanton exercise of raw, sheer power, in his case via his agency’s ability to direct the force of government against individuals and organizations.

The only check against such naked power is the Congress.

We all know about the scandal surrounding the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative organizations for harassment, and the efforts by the House of Representatives to get to the bottom of that mess. And those acts took place before Koskinen’s assumption of the reins of that agency.

But when he took over the agency six months ago he vowed to be proactive “in restoring public trust” to that institution (businessweek.com/news/2014-01-07).

So… how’s he doing?

I think the latest development sums it up pretty well. It seems the IRS has “lost” several years’ worth of emails that Lois Lerner – the miscreant at the center of this whole fiasco – sent out to her minions, emails that anyone with half a brain realizes could prove to be very incriminating, not only to her but to others farther up the political food chain. Quite possibly as high as the Oval Office itself.

Bear in mind, this is the exact same agency that won’t accept YOUR excuse that you lost your receipts for some tax deduction you claimed.

And how has Koskinen reacted when asked about these “lost” emails by Darryl Issa’s House committee members?

With absolutely smug sanctimony, contempt, arrogance, and a rigid refusal to even offer any kind of apology for the malfeasance of his agency. Way to go in “restoring public trust” in the IRS, John-Boy!

This, my friends, is what the face of arrogance looks like.

When Nixon was President the Watergate scandal took center stage. Members of the House from both parties set aside partisanship to ensure the rule of law prevailed. Nixon resigned, and several members of his staff – including Attorney-General John Mitchell – went to prison for acts that were utterly benign compared to the level of outright corruption we’re seeing from this administration.

The ongoing IRS mess; Operation Fast & Furious; the Benghazi affair; the NSA spying on civilians; the illegal “rewriting” of laws, such as all the Obamacare extensions and exceptions; the imperial imposition of “rules”, such as through the EPA, that far exceed presidential authority; the failure of the Justice Department and the FBI to pursue action based on political considerations; the outright refusal to enforce immigration law and border security; the Veterans’ Administration letting vets die on secret “waiting lists”; the list goes on and on and on. This President and his minions have absolutely no regard for the rule of law that I can see. The level of corruption in this administration is simply staggering and unprecedented.

Koskinen’s is only the latest face in a Rogue’s Gallery of arrogance, personified.

Further, this corruption of our system is being willfully abetted by the Democrat members of Congress who are facilitating the destruction by not only standing idle, but actively supporting the administration’s efforts. I’m talking about people like Harry Reid, Elijah Cummings, Nancy Pelosi, and far too many others to name.

Jonathan Turley is a well-known professor of law at George Washington University Law School with a self-described “socially liberal agenda”, often seen on various news shows as a commentator and expert analyst, and has had many of his works published. On his own blog he’s written a couple of essays that are well on point. In one, “How Nixon Won Watergate”, which was also published in USA Today (how-nixon-won-Watergate) he states, “…the painful fact is that Barack Obama is the president that Nixon always wanted to be”. He expands on that topic in his essay “A Question of Power: The Imperial Presidency”, which was also published last month in American Legion Magazine (the imperial presidency), in which he writes, “The shift of power to the presidency certainly did not start with President Barack Obama. To the contrary, this trend has been gaining ground for decades. But it has accelerated under Obama, who has succeeded to a degree that would have made Richard Nixon blush.”

If Nixon would be blushing, Obama and his acolytes have exceeded all bounds. The scandals pile up so fast you need wings to stay above them. It’s absolutely dizzying.

 

©Brian Baker 2014

 

(6/30/2014: My local newspaper published an edited version of this essay today:  http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/122832/)

 

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

CommissarObama copyYou’ve really got to hand it to Commissar Obama. When it comes to going all in on his socialist agenda, he’s certainly wasting no time at all now that he never has to face the electorate again.

The latest example is the hysteria over the tragic shootings at the elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. There are several illustrative elements I think are worth considering. First, how is this incident any different from the one that took place in Aurora, Colorado in a movie theater during the premiere of the latest “Batman” movie (and of which I wrote a few essays ago)? Why didn’t that massacre, with a much higher body count, lead to these panicked Chicken Little gun control efforts from our socialist brethren?

I’ll tell you exactly why: that shooting took place only a month or two before the next national election, and the socialists know that gun control is an election-killer for them, whereas this event happened as absolutely far as possible from the next election, so they’re banking on the electorate’s short attention span in making this the most opportune time possible for them to try to realize their dream of imposing Draconian gun restrictions.

Then there’s the added benefit to Comrade Obama of using this event, and its headline-grabbing nature, to distract everyone from the very real and immediate problem that is facing this country, and his arrogance and ineptitude in dealing with it, namely our looming fiscal insolvency. It’s a classic case of presidential sleight-of-hand: “Hey, look! We need to save the kids and ban guns! Don’t pay any attention to what my other hand’s doing!”

It’s pure, sheer political cynicism, chicanery and hypocrisy of the first order.

Speaking of hypocrisy and chicanery, whatever happened to the investigation into “Operation Fast And Furious”, in which Eric Holder and the BATF ran thousands of full-auto assault weapons into Mexico in an effort to gin up a fraudulent case that American gun laws were too lax, resulting in the deaths of over 300 Mexican citizens and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry?

Anyway, here are some points to consider. The Aurora and Sandy Hook shootings both took place in venues which are already under stringent gun restrictions. In fact, Connecticut already has an “assault weapon” ban in place ( Link ), as does Denver ( Link ), of which Aurora is a suburb and under its jurisdiction, under Municipal Code 38-130. So, in light of that, how would any new federal laws have prevented these killings? They wouldn’t have, plain and simple, as both shooters were already violating “assault weapon” bans.

I hear a lot blather about how the Second Amendment was written in the 18th Century and therefore only covers the technology of the time, i.e. flintlocks. Using that rationale, I guess the First Amendment right of free speech only covers hand-operated movable-type printing presses, then, and not the internet, TV, radio, movies, computers, automated printing presses, or telephones of any kind.

The blather continues with the usual nonsense that the Amendment only covers members of the active duty military and National Guard because it mentions a “well-regulated militia”. Here’s the complete text:

“Amendment II

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

MinutemanAnd what is the “militia”? It is the body of the whole populace of able-bodied law-abiding citizens, as defined by the Founders in their contemporary writings and encoded by Title 10 US Code, Section 311. And, as mentioned in the Amendment, this is an issue of “a free state”; it doesn’t mention deer hunting anywhere. It’s about freedom from government tyranny, a condition assured by an armed populace capable of resisting oppression.

This is a country founded on the principle of equality, with no “privileged classes”, and the cops and soldiers are just citizens like everybody else. EVERY citizen has an equal right to equal weaponry. If the cops and soldiers can have them, so can any other law-abiding citizen.

Otherwise, we don’t have an “equal society”; we have a ruling class – the “privileged” – and a subject class – all the rest of us.

Thanks, but I think I’ll pass. I’m not anyone’s “subject”. I’m a free man, and citizen with full rights.

© Brian Baker 2013

Socialist Anti-Gun Vultures Swoop!

vulture

We’ve all heard about the tragic and horrible killings at an elementary school in Connecticut carried out by a nutjob who also killed his mother, all the killings carried out using guns he stole from her. It turns out he’d actually tried to legally buy at least one gun prior to the event and was turned down by the appropriate authorities.

As predictably as the sun rising in the east, the “usual suspects” in the gun-banning crowd swoopno guns onto the still-warm corpses with opportunistic shrieks of glee at their good fortune in finding another excuse to try to somehow stop madmen from carrying out their deranged acts, evidently under the illusion that curtailing gun rights is a magic panacea for insanity.

Democrat Senators Joe Lieberman, Diane Feinstein, Chuckie Schumer (of course) and Dick Durbin, as well as New York Mayor Michael “Big Gulp” Bloomberg, have already taken the lead in exploiting this mess to advance their leftist/socialist agenda of banning guns, Feinstein vowing to introduce her same old, tired “assault weapon ban” yet again when the Senate reconvenes next year.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the fact-checker. It turns out that “mass shootings” aren’t exactly the rising phenomenon those zealots claim they are. In fact, according to criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston’s Northeastern University, who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, and Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, there has been no increase in these incidents, and in fact “while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s.” ( Link )

Democrats have avoided gun control like the plague in recent years because they know it’s a political loser for them. I won’t go into all the stats; suffice it to say that the anti-gun sentiment in the country that peaked in about the 1970s has completely reversed itself in the last couple of decades. I think the only reasons these socialists are trying again now are twofold:thCA1J3QJR first, this is an especially terrible event, as it involved little kids. They’re hoping for an emotional backlash. And secondly, it’s a couple of years until the next election, and they’re banking on the electorate having a short memory. Of course, they’ve made that particular miscalculation with great regularity in the past. But then, the socialists definitely aren’t the brightest bulbs in the chandelier.

Another thing to bear in mind: the killer tried to buy a gun, and the current system worked. He was prevented from doing so, and had to steal the guns he used. So… what law, exactly, do the gun-haters think is going to “solve” this problem? Logically, the only thing that could work would be for all the guns in the country to magically vanish. How would that be accomplished?

ripcon 2Any law banning gun ownership is already deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the Heller and McDonald cases. Further, just a week ago 7th District Court Justice Posner held that Illinois’s total ban on public gun carry was also unconstitutional.

We’ve also had quite a bit of experience on the efficacy of bans in general. If “bans” were effective, we wouldn’t have a drug problem in this country, nor would there be any illegal aliens. How’s that been working out?

Let’s also not forget the mass murderer in Norway, Anders Breivik, who last year killed 77 people during his rampage, using a bomb to kill 8 and guns to kill 69 more, most of them young teens. Compared to this country Norway has very strict gun laws, and yet…

I think it’s funny – as in “hypocritical” – how so many on the Left are using this event as a vehicle to advance their gun control agenda while at the same time they’ve remained absolutely mute on Obama’s and Holder’s Operation Fast & Furious, the gun-running scheme which resulted in the deaths of over 300 Mexican citizens and one US Border Patrol agent named Brian Terry. That operation was very possibly conceived to gin up a case for arguing that our domestic gun laws were too lax, a political exercise in every way, and it backfired when they lost control of it. Where was the outrage then?

I guess “outrage” is very selective in nature.

© Brian Baker 2012