Posts Tagged ‘tea party


2012 Election Results From a Conservative Libertarian in Arizona

The dust isn’t 100% settled but I’ll go ahead and say it – congratulations to Barack Obama for his 2012 American Presidential win. Unfortunately, I can’t go so far as to say congratulations to Obama for winning as I can say congratulations to the Republicans for losing it. The GOP lost this race on their own terms and I unfortunately they seemingly didn’t learn from 2008 with John McCain.

The results are fairly similar between 2008 and 2012. In 2008 Obama won 362 electorial votes with McCain winning 176 (69,456,897 vs 59,934,814popular votes – 52.9% vs 45.7%, link). In 2012 Obama won 303 electorial votes with Romney winning 206 (54,744,018 vs 53,685,409 popular votes – 49.7% vs 48.8%, link). A 3.2% decrease for Obama and a 3.1% increase for the GOP is a pretty trivial number in my opinion as it swings this much every year.

EDIT: According to the final results Barack H. Obama received 332 electorial votes and Willard Mitt Romney received 206 electorial votes (65,899,625 vs 60,928,981 popular, 51.02% vs 47.18%, link). Furthermore Gary Johnson received 1,275,821 popular (0.99%), Jill Stein with 469,500 (0.36%), and other with 580,631 (0.45%). This reinforces my claim that the GOP lost fair-and-square – that if all people who voted for 3rd parties voted with the GOP that Obama still would have won the election.

For the past two years the GOP has nominated a moderate Conservative – for all intensive purposes in my mind, a Socialist-lite. As Jed Babbin said in an article written in in 2008 of John Mcain, “In nuclear physics, every subatomic particle has an opposite. When they collide, they combine to produce another particle that resembles neither. McCain is the political antimatter that collides with conservatism and produces ‘liberal republicanism'” (link). McCain has a fair Conservative scorecard from places like ACU but in reality he is just not a strong Conservative and certainly not a steadfast conservative who will stick by his guns hell or highwater. McCain couldn’t support lower taxes in 2001 and in 2008 he went soft on illegal immigration.

Fast forward four years and the GOP again nominated a bastion of Conservatism birthed into Mitt Romney. stated early in 2012 it was said by Conor Murphy, “[i]f Republicans wish to elect a conservative to the White House, then they would do well to avoid nominating the poster child of big-government Republicanism, Mitt Romney” (link). The biggest selling point of the GOP 2012 contender was “I’m not Barack Obama.” Of course, please forget that Romney supported TARP bailouts, signed anti-gun legislation, grandfathered Romneycare which was the design for Obamacare, prefer to keep the TSA, signed on Agenda-21 friendly legislation, and want to make the PATRIOT Act permanent – all items that are selling points not of a Conservative but rather of a big-government Socialist.

Arguably in recent history since the Reagan Revolution the Republican Party has shifted, not more to the right… but rather to the left – see Bob Dole, George W. Bush and John McCain. Likewise the Democratic Party has shifted to the left – see Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. So in reality the entire political spectrum is shifting left and moves further away from truly representing us those on the right.
It should be painfully obvious at this juncture that because of this shift to the left the GOP is splitting and has been for some time. Those of us on the right want to remain on the right. We do not wish to comprimise and shift left with the GOP. I believe a fairly large faction of GOP and independents want to see the GOP shift right but it seems that the powers to be at the GOP prefer to move left to try to pander to the middle-ground independents and Blue-Dog Democrats.
If you watched the GOP debates you would be hard pressed to see many fundamental differences btween most of the candidates – save Ron Paul and Gary Johnson – than Barack Obama. All of them generally supported spying/detaining citizens under the PATRIOT Act or the NDAA, support bailouts, support spending money which they don’t have (Democrats want to spend it on “social programs,” while Republicans want to spend it on “safety”), support progressive taxation, support pre-emptive wars without Congressional declaration, support the war on drugs, support the Federal Reserve manipulating our currency, and last but not least they both do not support creating a viable plan that will reduce the debt.
I admit, I am happy that Obama won. America may not survive in one piece as she stands now but maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. Let me explain. Any time a President sits the opposing party becomes the watch-dog opposition. They watch their every move and complain and bitch to try to stop them. For many of us in America today Obama is the most Left-winged President we’ve had. Because of this we’ve become more watchful and aware fo what our politicians are doing. In some sense, we’ve held them more accountable and made them squirm. Beginning in 2007-2008 the Tea Party and the Ron Paul rEVOLution gained immense popularity. These became the watch-dog groups to which many Americans now subscribe to. Since Obama has a second term such groups will be in overdrive watching his every move. Hopefully the people who are concerned about America will realize that they must watch and they must act. If they act then they have the chance to push America back to the right side of the political spectrum.
I know that some people will argue that it would have been better to chance the 2012 election and let Romney sit but I say that it would have hurt America’s chance to push the GOP back to the right. As it stands now the GOP has two elections that it lost due to them not picking someone Conservative enough. For 2016 they now have the chance to continue on their path and probably lose another election or swing back to the right and pick up the disenfranchized people on the right – forget the no-man’s land in the middle of the political spectrum as those people will probably willy-nilly decide on what direction they want to vote at the last minute – it’s hard to pander to such a group so why is the gOP trying? Maybe there is even a chance that if those middle-moderates see the GOP return to a principled stance of small-government and true fiscal responsibility (not a fiscal responsibility that says no big spending to social programs but a big fat yes to abhorent military spending) that they will be more appealing to vote for. As of now the GOP, even to me who leans Right, seems like a desperate greyhound dog trying to catch a mechanical rabbit on a track and it’s too ignorant to know that it never will catch it… and that isn’t a pretty sight to many voters. At least the Democratic party seems to stand up and say with conviction that it will do everything that it can to make the world more fair and to create their Utopia.
Or maybe Obama will destroy America. Maybe he will drive us straight into the ground of blasé Socialism. It is my hope that if it comes to that then there will be enough of us willing to fight for a new revival – a new America that our Founding Father’s would be proud of where individualism reigns instead of collectivism.
It is my hopes that because people are more involved with politics today than I’ve ever seen they start to realize that We The People need to keep our politicians in check. The power of laws needs to be returned to the Congress, to where we can voice our opinions of where we want to take this country every two years in the House and every 4 in the Senate. We can’t sit around and say that “my Congressperson is doing great” and then turn around and say that Congress is doing a horrible job – this makes no sense. We need to make the Congress do it’s job – they need to threaten impeachment when it is warranted and question the Executive branch when it supercedes its power with items such as Executive Orders. Then when the President wants to appoint a puppet in the Supreme Court, the Congress needs to stand up and block that nomination in favor of someone who will judge blindly and without partisanship. But as of now, the Congress generally sits around and does nothing except ceede their power elsewhere and certainly never challenges the Executive branch.
In any case, I can only see the second term of Obama as being a good thing for us in the long run. Make no mistake about it, I’m not excited about how the next four years will be for us… if we even have another four years. However, I think that if we want to truly prosper then Obama part two is the best thing that could have happened to us.

Thank you for the NO: Stay Strong

In the midst of all this media hype of the debt apocalypse with it’s Twittering moron followers to thank the people who are trying to bring accountability to Washington by making Washington live within it’s own financial means. This entire debt ceiling debate has been enlightening – both of the political parties and of the uneducated American public.

For nearly the dawn of our country we have had a two party system. In recent times – Republicans versus Democrats. With the election of 2010, we had a shift in the candidates with the movement of the political ideology of the Tea Party. Now, the Tea Party isn’t really a party at all, it is more of an outcry against RINOs/Neo-cons and a desire to return to classical Republicanism. It is this group who was voted into power by demand that Washington downsize. To me this signals that the public is tired of the Washington gravy train and has spoken via votes to stop that train. This political phase shift, especially in the House, has caused the GOP to re-evaluate their platform.

For every election that I can remember people have complained about politicians campaigning whilst riding a magic carpet of promises of which they would not or could not keep when elected. So here we have these “Tea Party” candidates faced with an important vote – to vote to expand Washington or to downsize it. Unlike most groups, this group has chosen to uphold their campaign promise even if it means their demise in the coming election. For that alone, you are my heroes! You have been elected to represent and you are doing just that despite the public outcry for your heads.

But really, the public is all about the gravy train when it comes to their feeding cycle at the Washington trough. It reminds me of war in that many people are eager to go to war so long as it doesn’t affect them. Much of the media and many others (including the President) have whipped up a crazy scenario to drive home fear of the American household – doom and gloom. To me it seems like they are all saying one thing, “Give us more money or you will be unprotected and starve.” It seems to smack in the face of what our government is and what it should be. Our government is not our daddy and certainly not our daddy that gives us allowance. So why is it that we are all sitting around biting our nails that our government will “shut down”? What ever happened to the Power of the People? Or, the People running society and being the muscle of America (hello, Rosie the Riveter)?

While this does not pertain to a physical safety issue I find this quote to be ever so true today. Benjamin Franklin said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Likewise, I think those who are willing to allow our government to give up their duty to maintain a positive fiscal policy deserve neither liberty, safety, or the gift of living in America. America isn’t about jockeying for a handout – corporate or individual – it is about living the American dream that if you put in hard work you will reap the benefits. I am not quite sure that is the case any more.

I hear a lot of crying from people about our AAA rating being ruined if we don’t increase the debt limit. I call horseshit. If you haven’t noticed everything is rising in price – check the commodities and see for yourself. We have a bad addiction to debt and sooner or later we must pay the piper. What then? We print more money to pay it off? Yes, that will be our government’s answer. Inflation will be the real ruin of our credit rating, not us refusing to be more fiscally responsible and to hold our government more responsible.

So in conclusion, thank you to those members of the House for standing strong while your own party badgers you, the mainstream media badgers you, the Democrats badgers you, the President badgers you, and the uneducated Americans badger you. I support you.

Thanks to the following Representatives for voting NO on S. 627.
Justin Amash (Mich.)
Michele Bachmann (Minn.)
Chip Cravaack (Minn.)
Jason Chaffetz (Utah)
Scott Desjarlais (Tenn.)
Tom Graves (Ga.)
Tim Huelskamp (Kans.)
Steve King (Iowa)
Tim Johnson (Ill.)
Tom McClintock (Calif.)
Mick Mulvaney (S.C.)
Ron Paul (Texas)
Connie Mack (Fla.)
Jim Jordan (Ohio)
Tim Scott (S.C.)
Paul Broun (Ga.)
Tom Latham (Iowa)
Jeff Duncan (S.C.)
Trey Gowdy (S.C.)
Steve Southerland (Fla.)
Joe Walsh (Ill.)
Joe Wilson (S.C.)


The Return of the Balanced Budget Amendment

“The balanced budget amendment has good aspects, but it is simply not good enough in dealing with fundamental constitutional change for our country.” And thus with that 23-word statement in 1997, Democrat Sen. Robert Torricelli of New Jersey sunk conservative spirits. No longer did the U.S. Senate have the two-thirds it needed to enshrine a fundamental principle of governing into the highest law of the land: that politicians should pay for what they spend.

Controversial, I know. Pfft.

Due to Democrat Torricelli’s jellyfish backbone, the 1997 Balanced Budget Amendment fell one vote short of hitting the needed threshold, which was the same margin of failure as just one year before. And liberals couldnt have been happier. Their penchant for obligating the taxpayers of tomorrow to pay for the spending binges of today remained unbroken.

Not that the dissenting senators worded their objections that way. Nope. To Vermont’s incorrigible leftist Sen. Patrick Leahy, inserting a mechanism into the Constitution that would enable our government’s books to mirror the realities American businesses and families face daily was “bumper sticker politics” and “sloganeering.” The way toward rectifying Uncle Sam’s balance sheet was, according to Leahy, “political courage,” not tinkering with the Constitution. Thirty-three of Leahy’s Democratic colleagues agreed.

Mind-Boggling Debt

Of course, by “political courage,” Leahy didnt mean reforming our insolvent entitlement systems or abolishing many of the improvident, senseless, and unconstitutional government bureaucracies and programs in existence. Nah. He meant tax increases on the rich. You know the drill, people.

Prescience, however, is not a valued commodity in Washington, D.C., as lawmakers pursue policies that are in the best interest of their reelection, not of the republic.

When the balanced budget amendment failed in 1997, the federal deficit stood at just $22 billion and the national debt hovered around 5.5 trillion — meager compared with today’s obscene figures, where we have a deficit topping $1.6 trillion this year alone accompanied by a mind-boggling debt of $14 trillion and growing.

To put our debt in perspective, Kobe Bryant makes $25 million playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Any guesses on how many seasons Kobe would have to play in order to pay off today’s national debt? How about a whopping 560,000. That’s chilling, and quite frankly, incomprehensible.

Heck, we’ve run deficits in 54 of the last 60 years, as the National Taxpayer Union points out. That’s a figure that would make Keynes himself blink.

Ironically, Leahy was on the right track when he spoke of the need for political courage. This country desperately needs it, but it must manifest itself in the form of politicians who will defend the property rights of all Americans as opposed to the current lawmaking that treats this nation’s treasury as a personal ATM card.

The brute political courage we need is for politicians to plug Congress’s desire to ransack the appropriations process to engineer winners and losers in the marketplace and thus perpetuate a class of constituents whose inspiration to vote is driven by keeping the government gravy train on a track straight to their bank accounts.

Thanks to the midterm elections, the time for real political courage is now: The balanced budget amendment is making a comeback thanks to one veteran and one freshman senator.

“The people are calling for it. They are clamoring for it. They’re demanding it,” said newly elected Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who has 19 of his colleagues, including Jim DeMint and Rand Paul, rallying in support of his balanced budget amendment. “The American people overwhelmingly demand it, and if members of Congress value their jobs, they are going to vote for it,” he told Human Events in an exclusive interview.

Lee’s a Tea Party faithful who believes his job boils down to this bare-bones task: produce a government in the original mold of the Constitution, which is to say, one whose legislative reach is restricted and clearly defined. In other words, a federal government that looks absolutely nothing like what we have today.

Opportune Time Needed

Lee is so intent on getting a vote on his balanced budget amendment that he’s ready to filibuster the vote on whether or not to raise the debt ceiling as a tactical move.

“I can tell you that there are a lot of people who will not even consider it [a vote on the debt limit] without a balanced budget amendment first being proposed by Congress,” he said emphatically.

That’s certainly one approach — to hold the Senate hostage until real, austere statutory spending limits are adopted.

Utah’s senior Sen. Orrin Hatch doesnt see it that way. He’s looking for a vote on his balanced budget amendment too, but at a time believed to be the most opportune for passage. He hasn’t set firm timetables or made any strict demands.

“You have to have a bipartisan vote. You have to have a President that does care, and you have to have a setting in time where people can’t do anything but vote for it,” Hatch explained. “Right now, I don’t think we have that.”

If youre keeping score, the two senators from Utah both have competing balanced budget amendments floating around the Senate. In some ways, these jockeying amendments are a reflection of the Tea Party being a big kid on the block within the GOP.

Hatch, though, has been in the Senate for more than three decades, and is confident that he can get a balanced budget amendment through, which is why he’s taking a softer tone and insisting on waiting for the best moment to accomplish that.

And there’s something to be said for Hatch’s, well, “political,” approach. He’s shepherded the balanced budget amendment since 1982, when it was approved in the Senate, but torpedoed in the House by then-Speaker Tip O’Neill. And, as noted above, Hatch came painstakingly close twice in the Senate, both in 1996 and 1997.

“It’s every bit as difficult now, but it’s important that we bring it up and that we make all the strides we can,” he said.

The long-serving senator has 32 co-sponsors for his bill, including Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who is the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee.

When it comes down to it, both Hatch and Lee’s amendments have the same goal: ending profligate spending. In fact, as Nobel Laureate James Buchanan said, “The balanced budget norm is ultimately based on the acceptance of the classic principles of public finance, meaning that politicians shouldn’t spend more than they are willing to generate in tax revenues, except during periods of extreme and temporary emergency.”

Courts Involved

There are notable differences between the balanced budget amendments of Hatch and Lee, which we lay out in detail in the accompanying chart. While Mike Lee would restrict government spending to 18% of the gross domestic product (GDP), Hatch’s limits the figure to 20%. The 40-year average of tax receipts to GDP is around 18%, and Hatch knows this to be the case, but, to quote him, “If you get it too low, then you lose any chance with the Democrats.” And that, right there, encapsulates the internal friction the GOP will face with this budding Tea Party caucus going head-to-head with those who are willing to work with Democrats to deliver a final product.

But there’s more: Hatch’s proposal allows a simple majority vote to waive the balanced budget requirement when there’s a declaration of war or a designated military conflict, whereas Lee’s amendment provides no such exception. His threshold is much higher — a two-thirds vote.

When aren’t we in a military conflict? Lee quips.

There are also differences in the enforcement mechanism. Lee would grant standing in federal court to members of Congress if flagrant violations of the amendment occur. Hatch doesnt want the courts anywhere near enforcement, believing that public pressure placed on politicians instead provides the best form of accountability. Plus, “Who wants the courts doing it?” asked Hatch, alluding to their predilection toward activism.

Lee himself acknowledges that court intervention would be rare, but that the mere possibility that it could occur would add some additional incentive to Congress to make sure that it stays within their restrictions.

So far, so good.

But procedurally, how would our gargantuan budget ever get balanced? We’re dealing with trillions of dollars here, after all, a highly complex web of arithmetic. Congress must make a good-faith effort, say Hatch and Lee, to use the best possible projections of spending and receipts. Even with the accurate projections, economic conditions change throughout the year that may inhibit the Feds’ budget from being balanced, such as underestimating costs, which happens more frequently than not these days. If such a scenario plays out, and a fiscal year does end with a deficit, such spending cuts can be incorporated into the next fiscal year’s budget and make up the difference on the back end. Under both plans, by the way, two-thirds of Congress would be needed to raise taxes, so it would be more likely than not that the budget would be balanced by spending cuts, not tax increases.

Hey, were all game for that.

Naturally, getting a balanced budget amendment adopted as part of the Constitution will not be an easy feat. And not because of the numerical hurdles and multiple steps needed to get any amendment through the Constitution (the process should be difficult). It’s because Democrats will kick and scream over the severe cuts to spending that would ensue after the adoption of a balanced budget amendment.

Heck, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his left-wing posse went apoplectic at a proposed spending reduction of $61 billion over the next seven months, calling it “extreme” and “draconian.” Just $61 billion. Thats it. To realize just how absurd such objections were, $61 billion is only a one-third of the money needed to cover the interest payments for U.S. bondholders this year alone.

Imagine when formal debate begins on the need to cut trillions in spending to rein in our deficit? Democrats may cut off their right arms in protest.

“This is exhibit A for why we need a balanced budget amendment,” responded Lee. “Politicians have reached the conclusion that they are the bad guys unless they say ‘yes’ to more spending, and it’s in light of that aspect of human nature that particularly tends to affect politicians, and that’s why we need a constitutional amendment.”

Unified GOP Caucus

“If this is going to get passed in the next two years,” says Hatch, “President Obama will have to step to the plate. Ultimately you’ll need presidential leadership because everybody knows that you’re not going to get spending under control until we take on entitlements as well. You cannot do it without presidential leadership.”

Remider: There’s always new presidential leadership come 2012. Well, we hope so anyway.

In the end, expect the GOP to have a unified caucus on a merger of the Hatch and Lee balanced budget amendments. It’s hard enough (almost impossible) to get one through when Democrats are in control of the Senate and the presidency, so the Republicans will need a unified front like they’ve had in the past.

A balanced budget amendment restricts the power of lawmakers, and that’s why the left despises it, and will work vigorously to defeat it. Get ready.

In the end, it is exactly what the Constitution needs. And esteemed economist Milton Friedman identified why two decades ago.

Said Friedman: “The amendment is very much in the spirit of the first 10 amendments — the Bill of Rights. Their purpose was to limit the government in order to free the people. Similarly, the purpose of the balanced-budget-and-tax-limitation amendment is to limit the government in order to free the people — this time from excessive taxation.”

If we cannot cut the Welfare State under these distressing economic conditions, then we’ll never do it. Now’s the time.


Tea party ally Paladino wins GOP nod for NY gov

Original HERE.

NEW YORK — Political novice and tea party ally Carl Paladino has beaten the Republican designee in the race for the party’s nomination for New York governor.

Paladino rode a wave of voter anger on his way to defeating former Congressman Rick Lazio. It’s another blow to the GOP in a heavily Democratic state.

Paladino, a millionaire Buffalo developer, will now take on the popular and well-financed Democratic attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, in November.

Paladino lost to Lazio at the state GOP convention but then petitioned his way to the primary by securing 30,000 Republican signatures statewide.

Also in New York, embattled Rep. Charles Rangel easily fended off five challengers in the Democratic primary, including Adam Clayton Powell IV, a New York assemblyman and son of the legendary Harlem figure Rangel defeated in 1970.

With 59 precincts reporting, Rangel had captured over 50 percent of the vote, while Powell had about 25 percent.
The 80-year-old Rangel has been tainted by ethics charges and is likely to face trial in the House in November. He has vigorously fought back and has urged his constituents to stand with him.


Tea Party Spells KKK, Rights Leader Says

Original here.

A civil rights activist and former congressman equated the Tea Party with the Ku Klux Klan today as he blasted a conservative rally planned in Washington, D.C., this weekend.

The Rev. Walter Fauntroy, the non-voting delegate who represented the District of Columbia from 1971 to 1991, called on African-Americans to organize a “new coalition of conscience” to rebut the rally scheduled for Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial featuring Fox News pundit Glenn Beck and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

“We are going to take on the barbarism of war, the decadence of racism, and the scourge of poverty, that the Ku Klux — I meant to say the Tea Party,” Fauntroy told a news conference today at the National Press Club. “You all forgive me, but I — you have to use them interchangeably.”

Fauntroy attempted to explain the comparison to white supremacists by saying that organizers behind the “Restoring Honor” rally are the same people who cut audio cables from a sound system the night before the historic March on Washington and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

“The same people who cut the cables on the night before the march, that we paid $66,000 for a sound system, they cut it,” Fauntroy said. “Now from Fox News and elsewhere, they are seeking to turn the world back.”

Fauntroy, who is credited as one of the chief organizers of the March on Washington, remembers Aug. 28, 1963, as the “most important date of the 20th century.”

The “Restoring Honor” rally, organized by the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, coincides with the anniversary of the historic March on Washington and the “I Have a Dream” speech. Organizers have said the conflicting date was a coincidence and not a deliberate display of disrespect.

Fauntroy said right-wing conservatives have “declared war on the civil rights movement of the 1960s” that brought together a Coalition of Conscience for a march on jobs and freedom in 1963. He called for a new Coalition of Conscience rally on the Mall in August 2012.

“I don’t want you to think I’m angry,” Fauntroy said. “[But] when this right-wing conservative exclusionary group comes to highjack our movement, we have got to respond. And I’m looking forward to that Coalition of Conscience, in defense of jobs and freedom for women.”

Targeting a Billboard Campaign

Fauntroy is the pastor emeritus of New Bethel Baptist Church in Washington. He’s also a founding member and early chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. He also ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 1972 and 1976, although he only competed in the D.C. primary, winning in 1972 and losing to Jimmy Carter in 1976.

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice — composed of African-America leaders in religion, civil rights, law, medicine and women’s health — addressed at today’s news conference what it called “baseless and inflammatory assertions” about reproductive health services in black communities.

The coalition says a growing billboard campaign targeting black women sparked outrage among the African-American leaders for claiming that black children are an “endangered species” because of high rates of unintended pregnancies, teen births, HIV-AIDS infections and abortions.

“[The campaign] jeopardizes the health of women who use these services, insults the intelligence and guidance of African-Americans and is offensive to women who make conscious, moral decisions about pregnancy,” the Rev. Carlton Veazey, coalition president, said.

“Right-to-life and other right-wing organizations started this irresponsible and offensive campaign to make inroads into African-American communities to promote their own agenda and ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

The Rev. Timothy McDonald, pastor of the First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta, said it is imperative that black communities not allow “the radical religious right to try to rewrite history and redefine history and redefine the freedom movement.

“To use this weekend when we remember that great March on Washington in 1963 as a pretense to give credence to their cause and their agenda is insulting,” McDonald said. “Some of us were there. We were there. And we walked the walk and talked the talk and we will not sit idly by and allow any — in the name of Dr. King — to become historical distractions.”


In Mich., A ‘Tea Party’ Is Denied Spot On Ballot

Original here.

A state election board in Michigan has refused to certify a new political party called The Tea Party for the November election ballot. But the push to block ballot access for this Tea Party came from members of the Tea Party movement in Michigan. They allege the whole thing was part of a plan hatched by Democrats.

It is one of several places around the country this year where potential third-party movements are looking to capture votes of discontented independents.

The petitions contained nearly 60,000 signatures — far more than the required 38,000. Except nobody affiliated with the Tea Party movement in the state had even heard of the plan to field a slate of candidates under the Tea Party name in November.

Splitting The Vote

Ken Mitts of Kalamazoo says a new political party is not something that real Tea Partiers want.

“What it does is it splits the Republican Party and it gives the Democrats more control over what’s going on,” Mitts said. “What we want to do is support candidates who follow the Constitution.”

Stories emerged raising questions about who was behind the petitions to get the Tea Party party on the ballot. There were accusations of political mischief-making in order to confuse voters and siphon votes from Republicans in close state legislative and congressional races. Then, over the weekend, an official with the Democratic Party’s Oakland County branch in suburban Detroit resigned his post after it was learned that he had recruited candidates to run under the Tea Party banner. But both the Michigan and the Oakland County Democratic parties deny any connection to the Tea Party party.

Challenge To Petition

Against this backdrop, the Board of State Canvassers convened Monday to decide the validity of the new party’s petition, and to hear a formal challenge.

“The fact that the petitions were not submitted to the secretary of state before circulation to get approval of petitions, the fact that several of the candidates were nominated and didn’t even know there was a convention — some of the candidates aren’t even residents of Michigan — and the fact that some of the candidates aren’t even the age of majority shows that this is just an [artifice] and a hoax, and it’s meant to bring more disdain for the political process,” said attorney John Pirich, who represents what he called the real Tea Party movement.

Tea Party activists from across the state spoke at the hearing, arguing that their movement had been hijacked.

“None of you would help your child cheat on an exam, and I’m sure none of you would let your family and friends participate in a Ponzi scheme,” said activist Dianne Ruhlandt. “Doing the right thing in the political world should not be any different than doing the the right thing in our homes and at work.”

Along Party Lines

On the other side, attorney Michael Hodges represented the group trying to get onto the ballot. He was the only person at the hearing to speak in support of the petition. He said the group had earned its spot on the ballot legally.

“No one has complained about the sufficiency of the signatures, and no one filed a challenge to the signatures,” Hodges said.

But the Board of State Canvassers also looked at potential technical violations regarding the petition. The name of the party wasn’t set in the required 24-point type, and on some petitions the word “The” before the words “Tea Party” was absent.

There are four members on the board: two Democrats and two Republicans who split along party lines. Because a majority is needed, the so-called Tea Party party was denied a spot on the ballot.

But an appeal will be filed within days, and the state Supreme Court is expected to get the case within weeks.

Ballot access controversies are hardly new. Attempts to field spoiler, minor-party candidates have a long history. But this year there may be added incentive because of voter discontent with both major parties.

Richard Winger, who publishes a newsletter called Ballot-Access News, says independent voters are worth watching closely.

“When times are bad, people are more interested in getting outside their normal habits,” he said.

And, Winger says, Michigan’s Tea Party controversy aside, it could be the best year for independent candidates and third parties in many decades.


What the Founders Thought of Protest

What the founders thought of protest: Today’s activism would surprise many of the nation’s first leaders. (original here)

Protests may be as American as apple pie, but the founding fathers had little appetite for them.

Though they themselves were activists during the Revolution, many of the nation’s first leaders believed that people should limit their activism to the ballot box.

Yet they played no small role in setting the stage for modern-day activism.

They protected free speech and people’s right to assemble in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson went a step further, saying that people have the obligation to oppose a government that strays from its true purpose.

“We have a republic that was established on a foundation that is activist,” historian Joseph J. Ellis said. Continue reading ‘What the Founders Thought of Protest’


"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth... For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it." - Patrick Henry

"Politicians and diapers both need to be changed, and for the same reason." - Anonymous

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it." - William Penn

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country" - Hermann Goering

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do this I keep on doing." - Romans 7:18-19

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain