Category Archives: John McCain

It Is Time to Quit Being RINO Enablers

By Jerry McDaniel

Unless there is a change in direction, America is on a collision course with two ideologies, both dedicated to destroying the American way of life in any way they can. One is Islam; the other is socialism, operating under the American pseudonym “progressivism”. The final confrontation with Islam may not come before the Battle of Armageddon.  However, the confrontation with progressivism is here now. In just over seven weeks, we will be going to the polls to vote on the makeup of the 112th Congress. The outcome will determine the future of America for generations to come.

A vote for the Democrat candidate is an unequivocal vote for tyranny and despotism. A vote for the Republican candidate is not so clear-cut. The Democrat Party is made up almost entirely of progressives, while the Republican Party is a mixture of conservatives and progressives. The challenge for patriots in the upcoming election is to return control of Congress to Republicans and at the same time begin reforming the Republican Party. It has become painfully clear that the Republican Party cannot survive as the “big tent” party.  As we have pointed out in prior articles, big tents do not do well in major storms, and we are in the midst of a major political storm.

There are eight primaries coming up September 14. In virtually every case, the Republican Party is supporting the establishment candidate and going all out in its opposition to the conservative candidate. Whatever the outcome of these eight primaries, the decision for conservatives in November is whether they will vote as a principled patriot or as a RINO enabler. While the Republican Party has always been the home of conservatives, it is apparent they are not welcome in that home, except on Election Day.

Admittedly, there is a calculated risk in refusing to vote for a progressive Republican. At the same time that is the only way we are ever going to reform the Republican Party. As long as we keep “holding our nose” and voting for the “lesser of two evils” the Party establishment will continue to put up and support progressives, believing that most conservatives will put party above country and vote for the Republican candidate, no matter what. Until we make it clear that we will no longer abide by that theory, nothing will change.

The Republican Party is set to take over both houses of Congress in the November elections. Without the progressives, there may not be enough votes to override Presidential vetoes, but on the other hand, having progressive Republicans in Congress does not guarantee enough votes either. Republicans like Snowe and Collins can always be counted on to vote with the progressives. Those like Graham, McCain, Lugar and others of their ilk will vote progressive whenever they think they can get away with it, especially if they can “make a deal”.

If conservatives refuse to vote for progressive Republicans, the Republican Party will still likely take both houses, only with smaller majorities. More important, it will send a message to the Party that it cannot win without conservative support. That is the first step toward reform. If we do not reform the Party there is a likelihood that it will break apart on its own over the next few election cycles. If we are successful in reforming it, however, in 2010, 12, and 14 there is a chance of returning America to a Constitutional Republic.

It is not going to be easy being a conservative in districts and states where the only viable choices are between a progressive Democrat and a progressive Republican. That is a decision each of us has to make for ourselves. I am fortunate enough to have a fairly conservative candidate running for Congress in my district. However, Mark Kirk is the Republican candidate for Senate. I have struggled with this choice since the primary in February, and have decided that the Senate can do with one less progressive Republican undermining its efforts to get the country back on track. I have no idea at this point who I will vote for in November but it will not be for Mark Kirk or Alexi Giannoulias.

Who Enforces The Constitution?

By Jerry McDaniel

The number of people calling for Constitutional Amendments and Conventions seems to be growing along with America’s increasing dissatisfaction with Barack Obama and the direction his administration is taking the country. I have never quite understood the call for adding more amendments to the Constitution, but since so many of our fellow citizens seem to think that would solve our problems, why not give it a try.

We could start with an amendment listing what it is that we want the government to do for us, and then we could add one forbidding them to pass laws not related to those functions. How about one that says government cannot tax us except for what is necessary to carry out the functions listed? While we are at it, why not pass an amendment allowing us to keep firearms for the protection of our families and perhaps even allowing us to carry them when we go out in public? We could also pass an amendment forbidding government to interfere with our right to express our own mind when it comes to politics and religion. In fact, we could just tell the government our religious practices are none of its business. We could also pass an amendment that allows only Congress to make law, not the President, bureaucrats or judges.

My point is that calling for more constitutional amendments is like Mayor Daley of Chicago asking for more gun control laws to control crime. It is obvious that criminals who commit crimes with firearms are not particularly intimidated by laws against robbery, murder, assault and so on. So why would we expect them to be intimidated by more laws against guns. The same thing applies to adding more amendments to the constitution in the hope that they will in some way influence what government does. Adding another amendment to the Constitution is simply adding another law to regulate government to those already contained in the Constitution.

Any law is effective only when there is a very real likelihood that a penalty will be exacted for its violation. When the criminal knows there is little chance of their being punished for what they do, the fact that it is illegal will not prevent them from committing the crime. The same thing is true with members of government. The Constitution, along with its amendments is the law for government; therefore it applies mainly to politicians and government officials. The only penalty for its violation is removal from office, either through impeachment or through the ballot box. Expecting Congress to impeach its members for violating the Constitution is like deputizing Jesse James to apprehend train robbers or John Dillinger to arrest bank robbers.

The reason illegal immigration is the problem it is today is because those who are responsible for enforcing immigration law are not doing their job. Most thinking Americans realize that simply adding more laws will not correct the problem. The reason government’s violation of the Constitution is the problem it is, is because those responsible for enforcing it are not doing their job. Virtually every elected official who has been in office for any length of time is guilty of violating the Constitution. It is a crime to violate the Supreme Law of the Land, and yet, ninety to ninety-five percent of all incumbent politicians are returned to office by the voters to continue their criminal activities.

It is not the role of the Supreme Court or the Justice Department to enforce the Constitution any more than it is responsibility of drivers to enforce traffic laws. It is their duty to follow the law not to enforce it. When it comes to the enforcement of the Constitution, we, as voters, are the Prosecutor, Jury, Judge and Executioner. We are solely responsible for enforcing the rule of law on government. Until the American people realize and accept this fact, we can add all the amendments we want to the Constitution and it will make no difference. As long as we shirk our duty as the watchdogs of government, we have no right to expect someone else to do our work for us.

The voters of Arizona, while bemoaning the out-of-control problem with illegal immigration, again nominated John McCain as their candidate for Senate in the November elections. McCain has been one of the leading advocates for “comprehensive immigration reform” and amnesty for years. Illinois voters nominated progressive Mark Kirk as their candidate, again one of the most constitutionally criminal republicans on the ballot. Are we really sincere when we demand a return to Constitutional government and then go into the voting booth on Election Day and vote for a candidate that we know from experience, will not honor his oath of office and defend the Constitution?

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It’s Time To Retire Both Political Parties: Part II

The two-party system that has been in place for most of our existence as a nation has not served us well. For over a century, we have been moving inexorably toward the abyss of national socialism under the American pseudonym of “progressivism”. It has made little difference which political party has been in power. Under the Democrat Party, we move faster and under the Republican Party, we move slower, but always in the same direction. Now we find ourselves at the very brink of the abyss.

Most of us have been unaware of the perilous path down which our national leaders have been leading us. The election of Barack Obama and the introduction of one socialist policy after another by him and his progressive Democrat followers has brought the problem into sharp focus. For the first time in their life, millions of Americans are paying attention to the direction we are going and beginning to weigh the consequences. Anger and frustration has become the normal daily state of an ever-growing number of our people. The most frequently asked question is, what can we do to turn things around? How can we stop the seemingly unstoppable rush into socialism?

It is easy to blame, Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Durbin, et al. A little reflection, however, points to another mostly unrecognized culprit. As already pointed out, we have been moving in the same direction for more than a hundred years. There is not an official in government that has been in office for that length of time. Presidents, Senators and Congressmen come and go while the condition continues to worsen. It is not the people in power that causes our problem— although they are certainly culpable and need to be held accountable — the real problem is the system itself. We have allowed ourselves, over the years, to become subjects of the Republican or Democrat Parties.

The last two elections have shown just how tyrannical these parties have become.  Two examples stand out, the nomination of John McCain for President in ‘08, and in Illinois, the nomination of Mark Kirk for Senate in this election. If you need further proof, consider the bills that have been passed and signed during this Congress, against the will of the people. If you need still more proof consider the situation with illegal immigration, particularly in Arizona. Decisions are made by members of the Party establishment and millions of dollars are targeted at the voting public to get them to “rubber stamp” the Party’s decision. All too often it works, albeit often against the best interest of the Country.

We are always going to have political parties and I am not suggesting that we get rid of them. However, the Republican and Democrat Parties have become too powerful, have too much control over government at all levels, and have strayed too far from our founding principles, for us to allow the status quo to continue. Both parties must be stripped of their power for the good of the country and the survival of the Republic. If that suggestion seems too radical for some, consider that the founding documents are devoid of any reference or foundation principle to justify the prominence either Party has in the running of our government today.

The good news is that reforming our political system does not require an Amendment to the Constitution. Primary elections, winner-take-all outcomes, and the nominating processes, are all extra-constitutional and in some cases unconstitutional. Ostensibly, the political customs and traditions developed over the years are for the convenience of the voters. In reality, they are designed to secure the power of the respective political parties. The timing and order of primaries, the gerrymandering of Congressional Districts, the hurdles aspiring candidates are forced to go through and a host of others are all designed to provide job security to incumbents and protect the Party in power.

A relatively small number of major changes could correct our electoral system and bring it in line with the Constitution and intent of the Founders. A similar small number of changes in the way Washington does business would return us closer to the model of government left to us by the Founders.

Electoral Process

The tradition of primary elections has no basis in the Constitution. Primaries are completely and solely for the benefit of political parties for the purpose of deciding on a single candidate for each office to appear on the ballot in the general election. The winner take all policy adhered to by most states is also not required by the Constitution. The Constitution does not require a majority vote for the offices of Representative or Senator. However, the Constitution does not preclude the states from requiring a majority vote for those offices. For those states choosing a majority requirement, a second runoff election could be held among the top vote getters for each office, similar to the process prescribed in Article II for choosing a President and Vice President by Congress when there is no Electoral College majority.

If we followed the spirit and letter of the Constitution and applied the electoral model put forth in the election of a President, to other elective offices, it would simplify the election process and more than likely, result in better representation. While the Constitution allows the states to determine the manner in which electors are chosen or appointed, it also allows Congress to set the time of choosing electors and the day on which they shall vote. Article II, Section 1, clauses 16 and 17 reads,

“The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.”

Traditionally, the time for choosing Electors is a multi-step process, not sanctioned by the Constitution. Electors are first chosen in the primaries and advance to the party convention. The convention delegates then usually take the candidate with the highest number of Electoral College votes pledged to him or her in the primaries nationwide and declare that person to be their candidate for the general election. This step requires a percentage of the Electoral College candidates to change their pledge from the candidates for whom citizens voted, to the Party‘s ultimate selection. (Note: the name appearing on the primary ballot is the candidate running for office, but the real candidate is the Electoral College candidate pledged to vote for that candidate, not the candidate himself or herself.) This process is not only highly confusing to voters but is constitutionally suspect in its legality, if not downright unconstitutional.

A major factor in choosing Electoral College Candidates is the timing sequence of the various primaries, taking advantage of the “lemming” factor, the popularity of the candidates building on the outcomes of each succeeding primary. The wording of the Constitution clauses quoted above may allow each state to choose their electors on a different day. However, the normal understanding would be that all states should do so on the same day, just as the day on which they actually vote is required to be the same nationwide. The nation would be better served if the primary process were done away with and a general election day determined on which candidates for state, local, and Congressional offices, and Electoral College members were elected. If runoffs are required for various offices, those elections could take place on the same day the Electoral College meets to vote.

Summation: Under this process, a single “election day” would be held nationwide. Candidates for state and local offices would be elected as well as members of Congress and Electoral College members. Party affiliation would not appear on the ballots and would not be a factor in voting. The practice of substituting the names of candidates for President and Vice President for the Electoral College candidates would still be permitted as a service to the voters. Any required runoff elections may or may not be held in conjunction with the day the Electoral College votes.

This reform alone in our election process would remove much of the power from the two major parties and make it much easier for alternative parties to form and be counted.

To be continued in future posts…

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The 2010-2012 Revolution

America must repeat the Jefferson Revolution of 1800 if it is to survive

America is heading toward revolution. The time, type and nature of that revolution remain to be seen. Our Declaration of Independence expresses an undeniable truth drawn from thousands of years of humankind’s recorded history.

“…Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security….”

Near the end of his life, Jefferson revealed that the thoughts expressed in the Declaration were not original or new, but were intended to be an “expression of the American mind”. The American mind has not changed since these words were written. We are perhaps less tolerant of tyranny than most peoples of the world, and the spirit of liberty still lives in the hearts of every true American. Eventually we will reach the point where the American people will no longer tolerate the continual disregard of our Constitution and infringement on the liberties it protects. Just when that point is reached and what the remedy will be is still an unknown and unknowable factor.

The principles of socialism and the principles underlying our Constitution are mutually exclusive. The cost/benefit ratio between socialist promises and individual liberty must eventually be reckoned with. The level of anger among the American electorate has become palpable and continues to rise with every new outrage committed by the Obama administration. Anger alone is not enough, however, and if not properly channeled could prove to be counterproductive. What we need is a plan and a strategy that has a realistic chance of success.

Fortunately, the founders left us a plan and a model that works without bloodshed. The question is whether the level of dissatisfaction on the part of the people is widespread enough or intense enough to make it happen. Thomas Jefferson faced a crisis similar to our own in the early days of the republic, except on a smaller scale. What most Americans do not realize is that the majority of the Founders favored a strong central government with the states subjugated to its authority. It was only due to the resistance of the Anti-Federalists and the refusal of several states, particularly New York and Virginia to ratify the Constitution without the assurance that a Bill of Rights would be added that allowed the Constitution to be ratified.

Without the Bill of Rights, especially, the Tenth Amendment, it is doubtful the Republic could have survived its formative years with its liberties intact. The first test of the new Constitution came almost immediately after the new government took office, in the attempt to establish a national bank. Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of State, argued that the establishment of a national bank was not one of the enumerated powers given to Congress. Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of Treasury, argued contrary to his opposition to a Bill of Rights in Federalist No. 84, that any act not forbidden by the Constitution that contributed to the “welfare” of the union was permissible and therefore constitutional. Washington was undecided, but eventually signed the bill into law.

Soon afterwards, Hamilton and Vice President John Adams formed the Federalist Party for the purpose of strengthening the powers of the central government. Jefferson, as Secretary of State and later as Vice President and President of the Senate under President Adams, battled against the statist tendencies of the Federalist Party, culminating in what Jefferson referred to as “the revolution of 1800″ . Abuses of the Constitution under the Adams administration and the Federalist dominated Congress were so egregious that Adams was held to a single term and the Federalists lost control of Congress in the election of 1800.

Jefferson won the Presidency in 1800 and with the aid of a republican Congress was able to reverse most of the damage done by the Adams administration. Over the next 24 years, Republicans Jefferson, Madison and Monroe were able to reestablish the nation on a firm constitutional basis.  We need to replicate the Jefferson revolution in the elections of 2010 and 2012.

The task is doable, but it will not be easy. According to Rassmussen’s daily presidential tracking poll, between 45% to 48% of American voters still consistently believe Obama is doing a somewhat satisfactory job. In spite of the anger felt by Conservatives and the frequently expressed confidence that Democrats will be defeated at the polls in the next two elections, there is little room for error and no room for over confidence. Strong independent or third party candidates could easily split the Republican votes and give both houses of Congress and the White House back to the Democrats. If we are going to repeat Jefferson’s revolution at the polls there are four steps we must take.

1. The 2010 Primaries

For those states that have not yet had their primary, it is vital that voters familiarize themselves with the candidates and support and vote only for constitution conservatives. It is during the primaries that a real difference can be made. Illinois had its primary in February to make it easier for incumbents and harder for challengers to get their message out. As a result, we now have a choice between a progressive Republican and a progressive Democrat in the General election for the all-important Senate race. This increases the danger that conservatives will stay home in November or throw their vote away on an independent or third party candidate, “to make a statement”.

In states that have not yet had their primary it is equally important the Tea Parties and Patriot groups get behind a single candidate if possible. Otherwise, we run the risk of splitting the conservative vote and getting a progressive, establishment Republican in the general election. That, to a degree is what happened in Illinois.

2. The 2010 General Election

In the general election we have to play the hand we’ve been dealt. In many cases the choice will be between a progressive Republican (RINO) and a Democrat. As difficult as it might be for some of us, it’s important that we support and vote for the Republican. The task for Republicans in the next Congress is to hold the line on spending and unconstitutional legislation. To the extent possible we also have to rely on Congress to defund the progressive programs established by this Congress and repeal as many unconstitutional bills as possible.

One of the advantages—perhaps the only one—of party discipline in Congress is that if we can get enough conservatives in the House and Senate they can help keep the RINOs in line.  We can “cull the herd” during the 2012 primaries. Retaking Congress in 2010 is absolutely essential if we are going to have any hope of reining in Obama over the next two years until we can kick him out in 2012.

3. The 2012 Primaries

We will be going into the 2012 primary season with two years experience in organizing and motivating Patriot groups. We should be able to recognize conservative candidates better and not repeat some of the mistakes we made in 2010. We need to begin identifying potential candidates for 2012 immediately after the new Congress takes office, even if we believe we have elected a solid conservative to the office in 2010. Washington has a way of changing elected officials once they get in office. Congressmen and Senators who do not live up to their oath of office in 2011 should be challenged and defeated in the 2012 primary. It is important that we make it absolutely clear to those we elect this year, that if they do not honor their oath they will be replaced in 2012.

Conservative Republicans and independents must form a solid voting block against “moderate” Republican establishment candidates. 2012 is the “must win” election at every level. Our objective in ’10 and ’12 is to damage and demoralize the Democrat Party to the extent that it will be years before progressivism raises its ugly head again.

4. The 2012 General Election

2012 is “do or die”. If we fail to defeat Obama in 2012 there will be little chance for America to continue as a free republic. The Democrat Party will be fighting for its life. Voter fraud will be rampant. We can expect the “politics of personal destruction” to be the order of the day. It is important that all of us become more sophisticated in analyzing political propaganda and campaign rhetoric. Conservatives need to become so informed on the issues and so knowledgeable in the Constitution and our founding principles that we cannot be misled by slick sound bites and political spin. We cannot afford to end up with another McCain type candidate in the Presidential election. We need new people, not the same old ones with new faces.


If we succeed in repeating the successes that Thomas Jefferson and the republicans accomplished during the first six elections after 1800, we can then begin considering the organization of an alternative party. Should history repeat itself, as it often does, the Democrat Party will fade away with many of its members drifting over to the Republicans further corrupting that party. That is the time to establish a new party based on conservative, constitutional principles that can preserve out liberties for another couple of hundred years. If we don’t do it now our children and grandchildren will be forced to take up arms to restore their liberty or live in servitude. That cannot be allowed to happen.

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Beck or Brown?

C. Edmund Wright has an interesting article on American Thinker about Glen Beck’s keynote speech at the CPAC convention Saturday night.  His article and a lot of the comments following show that many in the Republican Party have not yet caught on to what all the uproar is about. They still think it is all about which Party is in charge.

It is probably true that most conservatives vote Republican in election after election. It is equally true that conservatives are getting tired of candidates who sound conservative on the campaign trail and then turn into progressive Republicans once they arrive in Washington. The contest for the future of America is not between Democrats and Republicans. The evidence is that either Party can embrace progressive policies so long as the price is right.  The real contest that will determine whether we continue as a Constitutional Republic or as an American version of a Democratic Socialist state is that between Constitution Conservatives and Progressives (American socialists) of whatever party.

Moderate Republicans and most so-called “fiscal conservatives” share the views of Progressive Republicans and “moderate” Democrats on most of the issues facing us today.  In normal times, that might be close enough for government work.  However, these are not normal times. We are engaged in a struggle for the soul of America, and progressives of every stripe must be defeated at every opportunity. McCains, Snows, and Specters can no longer be tolerated. Just a week or so ago conservatives were celebrating the “Massachusetts Miracle”, Scott Brown. Today Brown sided with four other Progressive Republicans to end the Republican filibuster on Obama’s “jobs bill”. This only goes to show that even conservatives can seriously misjudge a candidate in the midst of campaigning.

In Illinois, the majority progressive wing of the Republican establishment succeeded in pushing through the nomination of progressive Republican Mark Kirk for the U.S. Senate. While Kirk claims the label of “fiscal conservative”, there is little in his voting record as Congressman to indicate he is anything but a progressive (American socialist) Republican. Rather than strengthening the Republican forces in the Senate, he is more likely to weaken them.

This state of affairs creates a dilemma for constitution conservatives and conservative Republicans. As a constitution conservative Republican, I could never cast a vote for Kirk under any circumstances.  At the same time, I am undecided whether it is better to accept the enemy you know or the one who may be persuaded to sometimes support conservative principles for political expediency.  In the long run it probably makes little difference.

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Republican: A Party of Losers?

liberty-bellMany high profile Republicans are advising conservatives not to put up too much resistance to Judge Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court.  Their argument is that opposition to her appointment would further alienate Hispanic and other minority voters making future Republican gains more difficult.  Republicans taking this position demonstrate their inability to learn from past experience.

They are the same Republicans who gave us “moderate” John McCain as a presidential candidate in the last election.  They are also the ones who describe the Republican Party as the “party of the big tent”.  A more accurate label would be the “party of losers”.

Losing is something at which the Republicans have a lot of experience. They have been consistently doing it since the early twentieth century.  The few wins they have experienced have been short lived.  When they do win, they repeatedly fail to build on those victories, and the benefits they gain soon give way to the persistent counter-attacks of the Democratic Party.

Contrast the Republican’s experience at losing with the Democrat’s experience at winning and you get a completely different picture.  Franklin Roosevelt taught the Democrats how to win and they have been building on those wins ever since.  Decade after decade they have persistently advanced their agenda.  They never concede defeat.  Devastating losses, such as those delivered by Reagan and Gingrich are only temporary setbacks.  They always comeback stronger than before, never changing their goals or tactics.

Those who argue that negative criticism of the opposition is counterproductive have not been paying attention to the manifold successes of the Democratic Party, particularly over the past eight years.  Every decision or policy of George W. Bush was consistently criticized and every appointee was demonized.  These tactics drove the popularity of Bush to historical lows with little if any negative consequences to the Democratic Party.

The same techniques were used against Judge Bork, Justices Thomas, Roberts and Alito, as well as Attorneys General Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales and others, all without negative consequences to the Democrats. I am not suggesting that Republicans ought to use the same tactics.  I am suggesting that we need to forget about our fears of repercussions and the mistaken fantasy that we can win over minorities and independents by compromising our principles and accepting the premises behind the Democrat’s socialist programs.

The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor by President Obama presents an opportunity for the Republican Party to make some real headway in the struggle for the loyalty of the American people.  That is, if it has the courage and the smarts to take advantage of the opening we have been given.  Obama and Sotomayor share the same worldview and the same goals.  Both reject the Constitution they are sworn to protect and defend.

Neither understands the meaning of a constitutional government or the historical importance of the Constitution to the continuing liberty and indeed, the very existence of America.  The discussion of Sotomayor during the confirmation process gives the Republicans a rare three-month opportunity to educate the American people about the principles on which the most successful nation in history was built.

While most Americans do not fully appreciate the Constitution as it relates to their daily lives, almost all of them have a reverence for the “idea” of the Constitution.  By using the Sotomayor confirmation process as an opportunity to clearly inform the American people about the importance of constitutional and republican principles such as limited government, elimination of unnecessary taxes, and a strong national defense, we can set the stage for a “wipeout” of Democrats in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

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John McCain and the Bi-Partisan Myth

The most often stated qualification of John McCain as a Presidential candidate is his ability to reach across the aisle and solve problems in a bi-partisan manner.  This supposedly has great appeal to independent and moderate voters.  The evidence given for this is usually campaign finance reform and energy legislation co-sponsored by McCain and Democrats Russ Feingold and Joseph Lieberman.  Many if not most voters, weary of the Congressional wars of the past few years, seem to welcome this as a definite positive.

During the campaign, McCain has been preserving his ability to work in a bi-partisan way by studiously avoiding any specific criticism of Congress.  In attempting to identify the root causes of the financial crisis, for example, he blames “Wall Street” and “Washington”.  These broad terms are not sufficient, and only add to the animosity felt by many people against “the rich” and “government”.  Obviously, not everyone connected to Wall Street and not everyone in Washington is Corrupt.

Wall Street is simply a “label” used to designate our financial markets.  Only certain members of those markets are responsible for the current crisis, those who deal in sub-prime mortgages.  Among those, the most culpable are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Both of these institutions are government sponsored and operate subject to the guidance of Congress.  Both have been run primarily by members of one party for years, the Democrats.  This is a well documented historical fact that cannot be denied by anyone other than blatant partisans.

During the campaign, McCain often uses the politically safe, “Washington is broken” cliché to reinforce his “reformer” image.  At times he may even go so far as to implicate “Congress”.  However until this past Thursday, he has avoided mentioning any Congressional wrongdoers by name.  It could be that he is simply following the advice of Jesus to “Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitation”. (Luke 16:9)  In case he loses the election he, no doubt, wishes to return to the Senate and resume his role as the “maverick” with the ability to “reach across the aisle”.

This bi-partisan image may serve his needs in the Senate, but it is costing him the election.  If he wins it will be due to voters rejecting Barack Obama and not because of a strong desire for the leadership of John McCain and certainly not because of his bi-partisan image.  Throughout its history America has always had a fiercely partisan government.  That’s the way the Founders set it up, either intentionally or unintentionally.  It may be unpleasant to many, but it is necessary for our government to function as intended.

In studying the literature of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries there is no doubt the Founding Fathers would have preferred a non-partisan government.  They often warned against the dangers of “factions” or partisanship.  However they established a government that requires a partisan political system.

The system of checks and balances required by our Constitution is perhaps the single most important factor in our becoming the strongest, and one of the most enduring governments in history.  In the arena of elective politics it is our two party system that preserves the system of checks and balances that keeps the government functioning for all the people.  The partisanship of each party prevents, or at least, lessens the excesses of the other.  Our unique method of electing the Chief Executive through the Electoral College rather than a straight majority vote of the electorate preserves the two party system.

More than two strong political parties would transform our government into a de facto parliamentary system rather than a republican system.  Since the election of a President and Vice President requires the majority vote of the Electoral College a multi-party system would more often than not throw the election of the President into the House of Representatives, resulting in a Chief Executive elected by the Legislature rather than the people.

In America the balance of power has always been between government tyranny and individual liberty.  For the first hundred years individual liberty held sway.  During the twentieth century the pendulum of power moved decidedly to the side of government tyranny thanks to the socialist policies introduced during the reign of Franklin Roosevelt.  Pure democracies always lean toward tyranny, either through the tyranny of the majority, or more likely through a ruling class of aristocratic elites, which is why we were setup as a republic.

In our own history, the Democratic Party has always been the party of government tyranny, grounded in its ideological beginnings in the Federalist Party of Adams and Hamilton.  For a hundred and seventy years it was the party of slavery and segregation.  Although the organizational history of the Democratic Party is generally traced to the one founded by Jefferson, there is no doubt it is the ideological descendent of the Federalist Party founded by Alexander Hamilton.

Just as the Democratic Party of today shares the big government philosophy of the early Federalists, the Republican Party, particularly the conservative wing, shares the love of liberty and the Constitution, espoused by Jefferson’s republicanism.  You can think of the political life of America as a continuum with republicanism, liberty and constitutional government on one end and democracy, socialism and tyranny on the other.  We are today somewhere between the center and the socialist side of that continuum.  If America elects Obama in November, we will move dramatically closer to the socialist side, based on his campaign promises.

If by chance we elect the McCain-Palin ticket, we may have a chance to slow down the advancement of socialism.  The last thing we need however is a President working in a bi-partisan way with the socialist wing of the Democratic Party.  The contest between Democrats and Republicans is a contest of ideology and principles.  Bi-partisanship is based on compromise, and principles can never be compromised and survive.  In the instances where McCain has attempted to work with Democrats in the past, the result has always been a net loss for the American people and the Constitution.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have made it clear over the past two years they are never willing to compromise until they have been soundly defeated, and then they merely withdraw in order to regroup and try again.  It would be good if we did have a non-partisan government that always put the good of the country above the welfare of the party.  Until someone invents a new kind of politician however, that is not going to happen.  Until then we need a President and Republican Senators and Congressmen willing to stand on the side of republican principles, the people and the Constitution; and not be taken in by the myth of bi-partisanship.

The McCain-Obama Non-Debate

I watched the first hour of Tuesday night’s debate on TV and listened to the last half hour in my car.  In doing so, I missed the visual of the only three-seconds of “straight talk” in the entire debate.  That was when the moderator complained to someone who had evidently gotten between him and the teleprompter, “you’re blocking my script”.  Since I was listening and not watching, I don’t know who he was talking to, but I thought it was a good metaphor for the whole performance.

Few things in life are more boring than watching two politicians who have perfected the skill of talking for hours without expressing a single original thought, while attempting to mislead their listeners into believing they have been enlightened.  Several prominent words and phrases which I call “thought stoppers” were used during the debate.  These are words intended to relieve the listener of the burden of having to think about the facts underlying them and are usually a sure sign of deception.

The two that stand out most for me in terms of their irritability factor are “regulation”, a favorite of Obama, and “bipartisan”, a favorite of McCain.  These are only slightly less irritating than “eight years of failed Bush policies”, “let me be clear”, “my friends”, and “reaching across the aisle”.

Obama’s reference to McCain’s support of deregulation is outright subterfuge.  Democrats are trying frantically to blame Republicans for the crash in the housing market that eventually led to a global economic meltdown in order to deflect scrutiny of their own actions in the matter.  One way of doing this is to convince the American people that the economic crisis we are currently experiencing is due to deregulation of the financial markets.  This approach works well with the Democratic agenda and hopefully, in their view, keep voters from understanding the truth.

In terms of political philosophy, Democrats are always in favor of more regulations and Republicans are always in favor of less.  Neither approach would have prevented the financial collapse because the problem was not brought about by either too much or too little regulation.  That does not mean that regulations are not important, just that they are not relevant to the problem at hand.

A degree of regulations is both necessary and constitutional.  However, the courts and Congress have used the regulatory powers of Congress in ways that were never intended by the Constitution.  Government regulations have been used by power hungry politicians to expand the control of government over individuals, businesses and states since the founding of our nation.  Beginning with the Federalist Party of Adams and Hamilton and Continuing to the Democratic Party of Pelosi, Reid and Obama, there has been a continuous increase in the ability of government to regulate the economic prosperity of the country and the behavior of its citizens.

The constitutional basis offered by both Congress and the courts for this proliferation of government power and the corresponding decline in individual liberty is the “commerce clause” of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution which grants to Congress the power…“to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”

Since the introduction of the New Deal by Roosevelt, the application of the Commerce Clause has bee expanded to include any and all business activity.  Its meaning has also been changed by liberal politicians to include a congressional authority to manage as well as regulate.  Our current economic difficulties are not caused by over-regulation or under-regulation, but rather, by the attempts by Congress to manage the housing and financial markets to further a socialist agenda and the corruption that always follows in the wake of socialist actions.

The very nature of business makes the government intrinsically unqualified for its management.  It is this reality that causes the ultimate failure of all socialist economic systems.  The almost universal desire for power by most politicians makes them blind to this fact.  Consequently, we now find ourselves faced with the illogical political decision that the only solution for the financial crisis we find ourselves in is to expand the management authority of government.

The myth of government’s ability to manage the economy has been cultivated by the liberal, socialist movement to the point that we are on the verge of turning over to government the management of our energy needs, healthcare, education, and automobile manufacturing.  There is no reason to believe the results will be any different for these than it has been for the housing markets.

If we are to prevent the same fate befalling America that has befallen other socialist and communist nations, we need major reform of Congress and a return to constitutional government.  This will not be an easy task.  As Judge Robert Bork observed in a paper titled “The Scope of Congress’s Power to Regulate Commerce”;

“There is no possibility, today, of adhering completely to the original constitutional design. Such a daring plan would require overturning the New Deal, the Great Society, and almost all of the vast network of federal legislation and regulation put in place in the last two-thirds of the twentieth century. It appears that the American people would be overwhelmingly against such a change and no court would attempt to force it upon them.”

The word commerce, as defined by Webster and used by the founders referred only to the transporting, buying and selling of goods.  It certainly did not extend to the manufacturing or product design and marketing of manufactured items.  Furthermore, the power to regulate only applied to goods actually sold or intended for sale in interstate commerce.  It did not apply to goods or commercial activity that “might” find its way into interstate commerce.

Jon Roland of the Constitution Society in his treatise “Original Understanding of the Commerce Clause” wrote:

“As originally understood, interstate “commerce” did not include primary production, such as farming, hunting, fishing, or mining. It did not include services, securities, or communication. Nor did it include manufacturing, transport, retail sales, possession, use, or disposal of anything. It did not include anything that might have a “substantial effect” on commerce, or the operations of parties not directly related to the actual transfers of ownership and possession.”

Much has been written and said about the proper functions of government in regulating commerce.  None has been more concise than the principle expressed by Thomas Jefferson in his first Inaugural Address of 1801.  In his definition of good government, he listed a government,

“…which shall restrain men from injuring one another, [but] shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.”

The only legitimate regulation of commerce is that which is designed to protect the public from the avarice of greedy and unscrupulous men or from the intentional sale of hazardous products.

We got where we are today through the deliberate incrementalism of the socialist movement in America over the past century.  If we are to survive as a free nation, we must incrementally roll back the progress of socialism in our economy and in our society.  The best place to start is by the reform of Congress which has become the focal point of the socialist movement.  This cannot happen until voters break themselves of the custom of returning the same representatives to Congress each election, for selfish and unpatriotic reasons.

In my next post, I will share some thoughts on bi-partisanship.

Thomas Jefferson Advice to Sarah Palin

One fact on which everyone can agree is that our nation is in crisis. In fact, this election cycle has been a series of crises: The illegal immigration crisis, the healthcare crisis, the energy crisis, and most recently the housing and financial crises. The one crisis we do not read about in the mainstream media is the real one: the crisis in government.

At the bottom of all the crises we face as a nation there is a crisis of government that has given rise to all the rest. The American people have lost control of their government or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say we have surrendered our control at the ballot box in exchange for the empty promises of our favorite politicians. In the process we have given up a major portion of our liberties. Moreover, we seem poised to vote away those we have left in the coming election.

We have faced threats to our liberties many times in the past. Almost without exception these threats always come when we allow our elected representatives in Washington to set aside or ignore the restraints placed on government by the Constitution. Just this year alone Washington has obligated taxpayers to an additional $2 trillion in debt on top of the $10 trillion already owed. If we add the cost of unfunded mandates that total climbs to over $50 trillion.

Without some type of government reform, these debts will never be repaid. The numbers just do not add up. Our GDP has been running about $14 trillion annually. That will probably go down over the next year or two as we recover from our current financial difficulties. Our rate of spending is somewhere close to $500 billion more than we take in in revenue each year. Exact figures are impossible to obtain before they have been politically adjusted.

Any reform of government must start with a reform of Congress. That reform must involve a return to the Constitution. Congress has always been at odds with the Constitution because it limits it powers. Over the past few decades, thanks to the liberal takeover of our education system, too many Americans do not understand the concept of “limited government”. Therefore they allow Congress to expand the tentacles of government into every nook and cranny of our lives with impunity.

If we are to believe the consensus of mainstream media, the next Congress is going to be the most liberal one in memory. It is easy to despair of any possibility of meaningful reform of Congress in the next few years. Fortunately, the prospects are not as bleak as they seem. This is not the first time in history we have been faced with similar attempts to undermine our constitutional form of government.

The first and perhaps, the most serious effort was attempted by the Federalists, the first political party established by John Adams and Alexander Hamilton in the early years of our republic. In order to combat this effort Thomas Jefferson and James Madison formed an opposition party, the Democratic-Republican Party, referred to at the time simply as republicans.

In his memoirs Jefferson relates a conversation he had with President George Washington on October 1, 1792. During the conversation he shared with Washington his misgivings about Hamilton’s view of the Constitution.

“He [Washington] then expressed his concern at the difference which he found to subsist between the Secretary of the Treasury and myself, of which he said he had not been aware. He knew, indeed, that there was a marked difference in our political sentiments, but he had never suspected it had gone so far in producing a personal difference, and he wished he could be the mediator to put an end to it.”

“That he thought it important to preserve the check of my opinions in the administration, in order to keep things in their proper channel, and prevent them from going too far. That as to the idea of transforming this government into a monarchy, he did not believe there were ten men in the United States whose opinions were worth attention, who entertained such a thought.”

“I told him there were many more than he imagined. I recalled to his memory a dispute at his own table, a little before we left Philadelphia, between General Schuyler on one side and Pinckney and myself on the other, wherein the former maintained the position, that hereditary descent was as likely to produce good magistrates as election.”

“I told him, that though the people were sound, there were a numerous sect who had monarchy in contemplation; that the Secretary of the Treasury was one of these. That I had heard him say that this constitution was a shilly-shally thing, of mere milk and water, which could not last, and was only good as a step to something better. That when we reflected, that he had endeavored in the convention, to make an English constitution of it, and when failing in that, we saw all his measures tending to bring it to the same thing, it was natural for us to be jealous; and particularly, when we saw that these measures had established corruption in the legislature,…”

In a letter to Doctor Benjamin Rush dated January 16, 1811 Jefferson relates a dinner conversation at Monticello between John Adams and Alexander Hamilton concerning the English constitution.

“While he [Adams] was Vice-President, and I Secretary of State, I received a letter from President Washington, then at Mount Vernon, desiring me to call together the Heads of departments, and to invite Mr. Adams to join us (which, by the bye, was the only instance of that being done) in order to determine on some measure which required dispatch; and he desired me to act on it, as decided, without again recurring to him.”

“I invited them to dine with me, and after dinner, sitting at our wine, having settled our question, other conversation came on, in which a collision of opinion arose between Mr. Adams and Colonel Hamilton, on the merits of the British Constitution, Mr. Adams giving it as his opinion, that, if some of its defects and abuses were corrected, it would be the most perfect constitution of government ever devised by man. Hamilton, on the contrary, asserted, that with its existing vices, it was the most perfect model of government that could be formed; and that the correction of its vices would render it an impracticable government. And this you may be assured was the real line of difference between the political principles of these two gentlemen.”

In many ways the efforts of the early Federalists to transform our government into a Monarchy resembles the modern efforts by Democrats to transform it into a Democratic Socialist one. Since we are not a monarchy today, it is evident that something happened to thwart the designs of Hamilton, Adams, and the Federalist Party. In researching the constitutional duties of the Vice President, I ran across an interesting passage in a petition to the Virginia Legislature by Jefferson seeking permission to sell off some of his property by lottery in order to pay off debts.

It seems that they were suffering from a decline in real estate values at the time (sound familiar?) and the only way Jefferson felt he could get a fair price for the property was through a lottery which required legislative approval. In the petition, Jefferson offered a recap of his sixty plus years of public service to the young republic. In it we find this revealing and inspiring passage.

“If it were thought worth while to specify any particular services rendered, I would refer to the specification of them made by the legislature itself in their Farewell Address, on my retiring from the Presidency, February, 1809.”

“There is one, however, not therein specified, the most important in its consequences, of any transaction in any portion of my life; to wit, the head I personally made against the federal principles and proceedings, during the administration of Mr. Adams.”

“Their usurpations and violations of the constitution at that period, and their majority in both Houses of Congress, were so great, so decided, and so daring, that after combating their aggressions, inch by inch, without being able in the least to check their career, the republican leaders thought it would be best for them to give up their useless efforts there, go home, get into their respective legislatures, embody whatever of resistance they could be formed into, and if ineffectual, to perish there as in the last ditch.”

“All, therefore, retired, leaving Mr. Gallatin alone in the House of Representatives, and myself in the Senate, where I then presided as Vice-President. Remaining at our posts, and bidding defiance to the brow-beatings and insults by which they endeavored to drive us off also, we kept the mass of republicans in phalanx together, until the legislatures could be brought up to the charge; and nothing on earth is more certain, than that if myself particularly, placed by my office of Vice-President at the head of the republicans, had given way and withdrawn from my post, the republicans throughout the Union would have given up in despair, and the cause would have been lost for ever.”

“By holding on, we obtained time for the legislatures to come up with their weight; and those of Virginia and Kentucky particularly, but more especially the former, by their celebrated resolutions, saved the constitution, at its last gasp. No person who was not a witness of the scenes of that gloomy period, can form any idea of the afflicting persecutions and personal indignities we had to brook. They saved our country however.” (Emphasis Added)

This piece of history contradicts popular beliefs concerning Jefferson and the constitutional office, President of the Senate. Popular history has it that Jefferson neglected his duty of presiding over the Senate and spent his term in office in abstention at home at Monticello. I referred to this in my last blog post, “Sarah Palin as President of the Senate”. It seems I was incorrect and owe an apology to Mr. Jefferson.

It should also put to rest the statement by Joe Biden in last week’s Vice Presidential debate that the Vice President has no constitutional connection to the Legislative Branch of government. Which brings me to the purpose of this post. Our best chance of reforming Congress and thus reforming government is to elect the McCain-Palin ticket next month.

Governor Palin has expressed her willingness to fulfill her constitutional duties as President of the Senate, although she seemed somewhat tentative in her answer to this question during the debate; as though she was not sure of the constitutional grounds she was standing on. Her past record of reform in previous offices she has held gives credence to this hope, however.

If McCain wakes up and decides to run against Congress instead of against George Bush there is a chance he could win in a landslide since the approval rating for Congress is below ten percent. He also needs to put more emphasis on putting some tarnish on Obama’s media created image. “Nice guys finish last.”

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The End of Capitalism as We Know It?

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Congressional and Administration officials are meeting in Washington this weekend to administer what American socialists hope will be the final coup de grace to the American Capitalist system.  Participants in the Socialist movement have been working tirelessly generation after generation over the past hundred years to bring about this day.

Beginning with the “Trust Busting” of Theodore Roosevelt, the first “progressive” President, and the stock market collapse of 1929, a couple of decades later, socialist have made steady progress toward their Karl Marx inspired goal of destroying our capitalist system and building a socialist utopia on the rubble.

Socialist policies have all but destroyed our industrial base, our educational system, our healthcare system, our social structure, and are on the verge of destroying our economic system.  Each time government encroachment on the private sector creates a disaster, the solution offered is always more government involvement.  The current financial disaster is no exception.

The hallmark of the socialist movement is to create chaos and then point to their opposition and declare, “They did it!”  It seems to work more often than not.  The meltdown of our financial markets demonstrates this tactic with a clarity that cannot be denied.  An analysis of the development of the crisis shows without question that the root cause is socialist policies, not the capitalist system nor the policies of the Bush Administration.

There is widespread agreement among economists and politicians that sub-prime lending practices, prevalent among mortgage companies, is the primary culprit.  A number of circumstances converged during an election year that virtually guaranteed the collapse of major segments of the financial markets.  That they occurred during an election year made any sane thought-out remedies unattainable.  Facts, mixed with and distorted by political rhetoric, rendered an objective evaluation of the problems all but impossible.

The rapid rise in energy prices, soaring home values with the corresponding rise in real estate taxes, the vagaries of adjustable-rate mortgages, and the stagnation of lower and middle class incomes stretched family budgets to the point they could no longer be sustained.  Mortgage payments, the largest item in the average budget, simply had to be postponed or cut back in favor of survival.  All of these, when objectively judged by the facts, are revealed to be the result of socialist policies.

The populist view of history as promulgated by the Democratic Party, the mainstream media and even, somewhat, by the McCain camp, is that the crisis caused by sub-prime lending was brought about by corporate greed and “eight years of failed policies by the Bush Administration”. The truth is somewhat different.  An article in World Net Daily on September 20 is quite revealing in that it links to two articles written before Bush took office in 2001.  One is in the Los Angeles Times, the other The New York Times, neither of which are conservative publications.

Both articles were written to praise Bill Clinton during the final years of his Administration.  The first was an article in the Los Angeles Times dated May 31, 1999 titled “Minorities’ Home Ownership Booms Under Clinton But Still Lags Whites’”.  The opening paragraph begins with,

“It’s one of the hidden success stories of the Clinton era.  In the great housing boom of the 1990s, black and latino homeownership has surged to the highest level ever recorded.”

By itself, that would indeed be good news, but the article then goes on to explain the factors that gave rise to this phenomenon.  By indulging in an obligatory swipe at the Reagan-Bush administrations, the writer undermined what could have been the best alternative explanation, the booming economy.

“But the economy isn’t the whole story. As HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo says: ‘There have been points in the past when the economy has done well but minority homeownership has not increased proportionally.’ Case in point: Despite generally good times in the 1980s, homeownership among blacks and Latinos actually declined slightly, while rising slightly among whites.” He writes.

He then returns to his theme of praising the leadership of Bill Clinton.

“All of this suggests that Clinton’s efforts to increase minority access to loans and capital also have spurred this decade’s gains. Under Clinton, bank regulators have breathed the first real life into enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act, a 20-year-old statute meant to combat “redlining” by requiring banks to serve their low-income communities.”

“The administration also has sent a clear message by stiffening enforcement of the fair housing and fair lending laws. The bottom line: Between 1993 and 1997, home loans grew by 72% to blacks and by 45% to Latinos, far faster than the total growth rate.

“Lenders also have opened the door wider to minorities because of new initiatives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–the giant federally chartered corporations that play critical, if obscure, roles in the home finance system…”

“…In 1992, Congress mandated that Fannie and Freddie increase their purchases of mortgages for low-income and medium-income borrowers. …It [Fannie Mae] has aimed extensive advertising campaigns at minorities that explain how to buy a home and opened three dozen local offices to encourage lenders to serve these markets. Most importantly, Fannie Mae has agreed to buy more loans with very low down payments–or with mortgage payments that represent an unusually high percentage of a buyer’s income….”

“…But with discrimination in the banking system not yet eradicated, maintaining the momentum of the 1990s will also require a continuing nudge from Washington. One key is to defend the Community Reinvestment Act…The top priority may be to ask more of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The two companies are now required to devote 42% of their portfolios to loans for low- and moderate-income borrowers; HUD, which has the authority to set the targets, is poised to propose an increase this summer“….

The facts presented by Ronald Brownstein in this article are indisputable and clearly point to Congress and the Clinton Administration as the primary causes of the eventual mortgage market meltdown.  A later article in the New York Times dated September 30, 1999 was less slanted toward praise of Clinton and gives us a few additional insights.

“… [A new Fannie Mae program] will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets — including the New York metropolitan region — [it] will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

“…Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people

“…In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called sub-prime borrowers.

“…In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s.

“…said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

Keep in mind both of these articles were written well before George Bush moved into the White House.  No one can honestly deny that the problem was inherited by Bush from the Clinton administration.  It is also true that both Bush and McCain attempted to rein in the excessiveness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but were prevented from doing so by socialist Democrats and their socialist leaning Republican allies in Congress.

It is imperative that McCain and Palin focus on these facts over the next few weeks instead of going along with the MSM version in courting independents and “moderates”.  This will not help in changing the results of decisions made in Washington this weekend or the follow-up actions by Congress next week.  It may, however, wake up some of the American voters encouraging them to vote some of the socialists in Congress out of office and give us a chance to begin returning the government back into the constitutional republic it was intended to be.
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