Mike DeVine recently commented on Redstate (about the gun-control debate) that "The real issue is whether the DC police charge [David] Gregory with the crime he committed on national TV [displaying a rifle magazine]. If not, its just another nail in in the coffin of what used to be the Rule of Law in America." I couldn't agree more. The Rule of Law has become Rule by the President.
Conduct a thought experiment.
Compare life today to that of 1000 or so years ago. In some ways, it isn't so different. We Americans have managed to cede back to our King many of those guarantees of freedom that were fought for, hard and at great cost, by our ancestors. The "Rule of Law in America" is rapidly being observed only when convenient for the "Ruling Class." King Barack tries to rule by decree, and in some cases he is successful. His nobles, now called "Democrats," do his bidding, and he does what's necessary to keep them mollified and often happy. The opposition Republicans remain loyal, perhaps because they aren't mistreated as badly as they might be if they came right out against the King, and perhaps because it's been so long since they really had to fight against anything that they've forgotten how to do it.
Meanwhile, we peasants, aka "the country class," are distracted by shiny objects offered to us by the Nobility of the Alphabet Press--CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC--with News Corporation presumed to be different, but not by much. They do so by parceling out titillating tidbits of trivia to give us "something" to get excited about, while still not giving us enough solid information to really understand the big picture. "Something" happened at Benghazi, but three months later we still aren't sure what, although we know it's bad or it's innocuous, depending on the channel. Same for "Fast and Furious." The same even for the Fiscal Cliff, Fiscal Crisis, whatever we want to call it. Yes, it's important, but there isn't any substantive discussion about it--what it is, why it is, what it means for the future--anywhere in the news beyond Fox, partly because it really is complex and therefore requires a lot of detail to treat properly, but mostly because it's so much easier to treat it as a shiny object, the issue of the year-end, and devote time to what he-said and she-said about it.
Same for mass murders committed with guns, while serial murders committed by repeat offenders are ignored, apparently because continuous murders committed one-at-a-time just aren't as interesting to report as those where we can be shown dozens of grieving mourners for dozens of young and not-so-young victims, all gathered together in candlelight vigils attended by the pompous priests of the Ruling Class, who intone self-righteously about the sins of the killer (almost always already dead) and his obvious insanity, about the sins of society (almost always the ultimate villain) and how obsessed we are with our "gun culture," and who promise fatuously to "do something about this tragedy to make sure it doesn't happen again." The King tells us that we must put politics aside and get something done (restrictions on Second Amendment rights), even though politics is the method we rightly use to come to reasoned agreement when issues are contentious. His words sound like code for "Just do it my way and nobody will get hurt." The press prattles on about the need for a conversation to come up with a solution to the threat of mass murder, but the only words they will abide by concern gun ownership restrictions and nothing else. They don't want a conversation, they want a monologue, delivered by them.
Then it happens again, and when suggestions are made that might actually have positive results, if they don't include further restrictions on gun ownership and individual rights, those ideas are called "stupid," "foolish," and dozens of similar epithets, even when those same ideas had previously been promulgated by the King's nobles in moments of lucidity. But I digress. See how easy it is to get sidetracked by the shiny objects?
The King likes to deal in facts. Well, here are the facts:
The King and his government have too much power, and that fact is prima facie truth. That truth is proven by the fact that so many otherwise powerful people who know better are willing to kowtow to the King, because they KNOW he can destroy their good life if he puts his mind to do so. For example, why else would gun manufacturers donate money to Dianne Feinstein's Senate campaign, or Ford Motor Company executives donate to the re-election of President Obama? The downside of being on the wrong side terrifies them. And they know he can also tilt the playing field to HELP them if he wants to. That all testifies to a too-powerful government.
It's proven by the willing acceptance of bad policy at all levels of government by people who are receiving what they think are benefits from that government, willing acceptance that will eventually result in either the enslavement or impoverishment, or both, of their offspring by their indebtedness to the government or others, or by the destruction of the value of their currency by inflation, or by their slide into ignorance as a result of a sub-par education, particularly in history, delivered by that government through an "education" bureaucracy that's dedicated to serving itself and its work force rather than to actually educating our people. Acceptance because it's too big to fight.
Our public education system has become a self-perpetuating bureaucracy, completely ill-suited for its stated goal of public education, but perfectly suited for indoctrination of masses of children into ways of "right-thinking." In fact, they are indirectly being taught magical thinking, that the government can fulfill all their needs with little help from themselves, and worse, that such an idea is good and desirable.
It's proven by the fact that there is no reasonable way that the promises of this government can be met with the resources it has available. Too much of the wealth of the country is being consumed by the government itself. To hide that fact, we are constantly distracted by the shiny object of "the 1% who don't pay their fair share." In fact, nobody knows what a "fair share" is, but by golly it doesn't apply to me, although it does to thee. These are symptoms of a government that's not only too powerful, but just plain too BIG. It's very bigness makes it unaffordable.
Less than half the population cannot support more than half the population in the style they would like to live, especially if those supporting the others are told they must do so with half their resources tied behind their backs and that the rest must eventually be given to the government. It WAS possible at one time, but that was because the demands of the many were constrained by a palpable reality, and not hidden by a governmental veil across our eyes.
Especially the way the two halves are divided today. Consider that in earlier, more prosperous years, less than half DID support more than half. The supporting half was working fathers; less frequently it was working mothers. An intact family made it possible for those fathers and mothers to support themselves, their spouses, and their children. They also often provided partial support for their own parents, and sometimes they helped out extended family members and friends as well. There was a close relationship to those supported, and this enhanced the effectiveness of this unofficial "redistribution of wealth." The incentive for the giving ones was to be as generous as possible because they were helping loved ones; the incentive for those receiving was to ask for the least possible, because they were imposing on loved ones.
Today, wealth is being redistributed via an official, governmental bureaucracy. To a much greater degree than before, both the father and the mother (when both are present, which is much less frequent nowadays) work to support themselves and their family, which tends to be smaller, and they're still as generous as they can be. But more and more of their income is being demanded by the government in taxes, reducing their ability to help people and causes they know, and the reason is given that their prosperity needs to be shared with others. It was already being shared, but now it also is to be shared with strangers, chosen by the government to receive support from people they neither know nor care about. The fewer are still supporting the more numerous, but they no longer know them personally. Breadwinners are still supporting their own families and helping friends and neighbors as much as they can, but now they're also essentially facing demands for support from strangers across town and across the country, and those demands come first, as tax bills. Incentives have been turned on their heads. Taxpayers have every incentive to pay as little in taxes as possible, but welfare recipients have every incentive to take as much from government as possible. And as the votes of the takers seem to be more powerful than the votes of the providers, the situation is one of being behind the power curve. The forces within the system aren't in equilibrium, and they are pushing it in a worse direction rather than a better one.
Nothing can be done to fix this state of affairs. Nothing. At least, not until the majority of the voting public understands it, and that won't happen until the working press decides to step up to its Constitutional responsibility to report, fully and accurately, on the reality of life in the United States. That may not mean ignoring the shiny objects, but it would certainly mean reporting that they ARE shiny objects, distractions of a sort, and not often the most important things going on today. And it would also mean they would be reporting WHY those shiny objects are being shown to us--what they are hiding behind them, and what their full import is.
Our Constitutional protections are already almost gone, insofar as protections FROM the government are concerned, and those are the primary reasons the Constitution was written in the first place. Much is made at times of the importance of the Magna Carta, and it was important, of course, although it's nowhere near as important to our freedom as is the Constitution, but they share an important concept--the only way to control the power of a government is to place MORE power somewhere else. The Constitution places the power in a diverse group, the PEOPLE, with the expectation they'd be farsighted enough to keep the government at heel. That expectation seems lost, even though King Barack is displeased that the Constitution is one that consists primarily of "negative rights." He rightly sees that the power of the government is restrained by restrictions the Constitution imposes. He also knows that he can ignore those restrictions until something stops him. That would normally have been the last election, but we apparently chose to re-elect him, leaving us with only the two "co-equal" branches of government to stop him, or failing that, the states.
Seen that way, the House has a duty to prevent as much Kingly mischief as it possibly can. The Supreme Court can't be counted on to read and interpret the English language without bias. The Senate is composed of vassals of the King, so the option of impeachment is not available. Beyond that, our House of Lords has given no indication it wants to do anything other than serve the King, rather than the people. If our House of Commons fails us, we have nowhere else to turn, and no one to blame but slightly over 50% of the voting population and those who chose to sit the last election out, and the so-called unbiased media for shirking its duty when called upon. That's part of our Constitutional crisis, because the press is the only private institution expressly protected by the Constitution from government interference.
King Barack is a different kind of President.
Whatever one wants to call King Barack, he is NOT a Democrat and he's certainly not a Republican. As Mark Belling noted the other day, President William J. Clinton may not have been a good man in some ways, but he did have one thing in common with the rest of us--his idea of a successful Presidency for himself was to leave a prosperous country behind when he exited the White House. He is proud that the budget was in surplus when he left office. He was happy to take full credit for entitlement changes made in conjunction with the Republican House, such as welfare reform.
Barack Obama seems oblivious to proven rules of economics that could be used to repair the country's finances and put us back on the road to prosperity. While calling for cooperation and compromise to address national problems, he can't bring himself to say "yes" to a Republican idea, even if it was first put forward by one of his Democrat colleagues. When he comes close to an agreement, he suddenly remembers additional demands that kill the impending deal. He's done so time and again (apparently including on 12/31/12). Furthermore, everything he says is intended to advance his personal agenda. He gives no credit to Republicans for good intentions and personal behavior. If he can cut down a Republican, he figures that elevates Democrats, and in the world of public relations, he's right.
It's clear that he has no interest in avoiding the "fiscal cliff" if it means giving up ANY of his demands. Although he claims that his top priority is to make sure that middle-class Americans don't receive a large tax hike because of it, his true top priority is obviously to make sure that at least the top two percent of American taxpayers DO receive one. In fact, it's clear from his ebullient demeanor in some appearances that things are progressing exactly as he wants them to. His return from vacation in Hawaii was 100% for show. He came back to speak, to pontificate, to posture, to preen. He didn't come back with any plan to show to John Boehner and say, "See, John, we CAN solve this problem without adding $6 trillion more to the national debt in the next four years, and here is how we'll do it." A President who was interested in finding a solution would have been working on this well-known problem for months, laying out his own blueprint for success, and consulting with Congress. Instead, he's done nothing and he came back purely for publicity reasons and to make sure nothing substantial was accomplished before year-end.
It's also clear that HIS criteria for a successful Presidency does not include consideration of the prosperity or stability of the country, nor of its people. His primary goal is indeed, as he said, to "fundamentally transform the United States of America." Whether he means well in that goal is almost irrelevant. The ways in which he is transforming America are antithetical to the principles of a country thought to be "of the people, by the people, and for the people," as they change it to a country controlled by the bureaucracy, paid for by the working people, and operated for the benefit of the governmental ruling class. In this goal, we should all be wishing he would fail.
This dichotomy of objectives explains as well just why he has been such a mystery to some of the chattering sub-class of workers called the press. If one doesn't understand that he has a fundamentally different set of goals and criteria for success than any of his predecessors, one is of course confused by his actions. Accept that his goals are different, and they become easy to understand. Why they're different isn't particularly important, except that "why" also explains how he has advanced so quickly from community organizer to President without actually possessing or accruing any of the skills necessary to be a truly good President.
There you have the facts.
Call them opinions if you will, but there is evidence to support all of them. The above also contains the rudiments of a plan for the salvation of our Republic. First, to remain a credible alternative to the Democrats, the House Republicans have to figure out a way to remain true to our values without allowing King Barack to drag the country into fiscal insanity. He's an expert at presenting them with dilemmas. "Raise taxes or go over the 'fiscal cliff,' because I'm not going to agree to anything less." Both choices are bad, but they have to choose one. When they do, they need to explain their choice, clearly and believably.
Second, Republicans and conservatives have to figure out a way to get their case to the public, a way that the public can understand and accept. We were right on all the issues during the last election, but the public wasn't convinced, partly because we didn't try to convince them, and partly because when we did try, they couldn't hear us. Public announcements on the steps of the Capitol won't cut it any more. They must figure out a way to get the so-called unbiased media to report it fairly, or at least completely. This seldom happens now. That message must also be consistent. No digressions; no personal stories; no opportunities for an innocent comment to be turned into a "war on women."
One tactical adjustment worth considering would require a change of priorities and/or more money: new, topical political advertising needs to be rolled out all the time, not just before elections. The Republican Party should this very day be broadcasting public statements explaining just what the heck they're doing about the "fiscal cliff," and why. They must start countering the Democrats' misleading accusations that everything bad is the fault of Republicans while everything good comes from the Democrats. They can't count on cable news interviews or the free press to get the job done.
Third, nominate articulate, competent, committed, passionate conservatives to run for office. They can make the conservative case a lot better than any old-line politician can, and better than Mitt Romney did, simply because they know it in their hearts AND they know the importance of making their case to people who are open to understanding it. Whenever possible, they should explain not only their position, but WHY their position is the right one, a much more convincing way to make a convert.
Fourth, Republicans must figure out some way to counteract the union manpower juggernaut, particularly the SEIU. The playing field is NOT level, and they have to make it level.
Fifth, and, at a more fundamental level, conservatives must acquire control of more of the so-called unbiased media. A first step in that direction is to quit supporting the liberal media in any way. That means cancel your subscriptions to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, etc., and quit donating to liberal causes like PBS and NPR. Subscribe to conservative magazines and newspapers. For publications and outlets that fall in between, let them know you pay attention to what they say and expect them to report the news COMPLETELY--that will take care of the "fair and balanced" part without anybody actually having to decide what is "fair" or what is "balanced."
A second step will be for the more affluent conservatives to become more involved in the media aspect of politics. Koch brothers--BUY MEDIA OUTLETS! Mega-million dollar contributions aren't the most effective use of your donations. In doing so, make sure your new toy is itself reporting the news COMPLETELY. A policy statement approved by a source considered unbiased by the public is far more likely to be accepted than one approved by what's considered a partisan source. Why do you think the left puts so much effort into demonizing, ridiculing, and marginalizing Fox News? They know that if they can convince the public that Fox is conservatively partisan, the public will discount what they see and hear there, even if a lot of the public DOES see and hear it.
Sixth, recognize that the game has changed. King Barack doesn't consider us his opponents who might win next time, he considers us enemies to be defeated permanently. We need the same outlook. Recognize that this has become an existential battle for the Republic. If the next President is Hillary Clinton or Chris Van Holland, our children will face a bleak future, at least bleak compared to a future living in a free enterprise driven economy. Otherwise, fascism is the precise term for where we're heading.
Finally, a suggestion to conservative writers of all kinds:
We need fewer books but more pamphlets. We need fewer essays but more interviews in the so-called unbiased media of all kinds. And (note to self), we need shorter essays rather than longer ones. The people we're trying to reach don't believe they have time to read our books and find our blogs, but they do find time to watch the alphabet news and perhaps read a short pamphlet or internet page that covers just a single issue in the war against fascism. We have to figure out a way to get our arguments into their minds, and shorter arguments make that easier.