It appears that it is time for us to take a look at what the two seminal decisions by the Supreme Court of the USA mean to conservatives. This week, SCOTUS smacked us twice in the face with decisions that we didn’t think we would ever see from the judicial branch of our government. For those of us watching, we were confident that neither the Arizona illegal immigration case could be declared unconstitutional nor the Affordable Care Act mandatory purchase issue be declared constitutional.
However, the Arizona law to protect citizens from illegal immigration was sliced and diced down to such a degree that there isn’t much that can be done with it, or so it appears. Today, we get a double whammy with the decision upholding the mandatory clause of the Affordable Care Act as constitutional with a second doubling down by the fact that the decisive vote came from our own Justice Roberts, the one supreme justice that we have always been able to count on!
However, if you read the Roberts and Alito dissenting brief on the Arizona Immigration Law and the Roberts majority opinion on the Affordable Care Act, you will see that there is vast room for these issues to be decided in Congress. With the Arizona law, about all that is left is the ability to check for immigration papers. Otherwise, the citizens there are at the mercy of the Federal government to actually take action. We are quite certain that won’t happen with the current administration. With the Obamacare, it really comes down to whether or not the mandate is a tax or a requirement. The door was left open for discussion in SCOTUS decision.
Roberts and Alito Arizona Immigration Law dissenting opinion
Full text of SCOTUS Affordable Care Act ruling
What these decisions tell us is that these two issues have been thrown full-face into the political arena. So, it is up to us to do two things in the next four months:
What are your thoughts?
We suspected there was no respect for the courts either, including the U.S. Supreme Court. What happened Tuesday gives proof to that.
On Tuesday of last week we had another primary here in Virginia and again the Tea Party, while trying valiantly, was not able to throw any of the established candidates off of the ticket for the 2012 election. There are many reasons for this and others have touched on them, but the one I want to focus in on is the inability for the Tea Parties and their members to come together and endorse a single candidate to run for office against the the established candidates.
I have heard a lot of the excuses as to why this is from the Tea Party leadership in this state. Many seem to understand the problem and are willing to work to solve it, but even from them I hear the same issues that are raised time and time again about the Tea Parties endorsing candidates in the primaries. I want to address these issues one by one and express my opinion on each of them.
One of the problems that I hear expressed from those I talk to, is that their members have told them that they do not want to become like the parties. I can understand that, I find the way the parties act chasing after power and position, instead of standing up for principles unappealing also. The secret to not falling into that trap, is to focus on principles and not power. Make it your goal to endorse the principled candidates in the race, or to not endorse at all. There is nothing in the rule books that says if you are going to endorse you have to pick a candidate in every race. Sometimes you can say more and make a bigger statement by not endorsing than endorsing. This also lends even more weight to the endorsements that you make. The value of your endorsement is even further enhanced when you do not endorse someone that you endorsed in the past, if they do not live up to your principles. In conclusion the solution to not becoming like the parties, is to have a different goal then the parties. Seek your principles, not power when looking at candidates.
Another issue that I have heard raised about endorsing candidates by the Tea Parties, is that some members of their group are uncomfortable with going into that arena. That is fine, not everyone feels comfortable with things that others are okay with. For example there is a sticker campaign that is being promoted, where Tea Party members will be placing sticker on car's and other places to promote the Tea Party. I am not comfortable with that for several reasons, but mainly because I see that as a trespass on the private property of others, so I will not participate in that campaign. We all have things that we are comfortable with, and things we are not comfortable with. The issue for the Tea Party groups is to give their members as many different ways to be involved as possible. Why put one very effective way to be involved, in the closet, because other feel uncomfortable with it? I suggest that instead you give those that want to endorse and work for principled candidates an opportunity to do so.
It has also been mentioned that the Tea Party groups are afraid that if they move towards endorsing that it will cause factions in the groups. I think this issue is overrated, if our voices are heard, and our concerns addressed. We are adults. We can put aside the differences we might have and work towards our common goals. Besides which, what is the option? Either we work together to achieve a common goal, or we continue to fail and never move the ball forward. The solution is to make sure that any endorsements that are made are decided upon in such a manner that the voices of all those that want to be heard, are heard, and everything should be open and transparent in nature. You meet those criteria, and most rational people will accept the results, even if they lose.
The real crutch of the matter is that until the various Tea Parties start working together and start picking their candidate, prior to any primary or caucus held by they major parties, we are not going to make a change in this state. Even our legislative agenda, which we have been very successful at, will start to suffer, if it has not suffered already. If you were a party candidate and incumbent, would you put your neck on the line for a piece of controversial legislation, if the group supporting it had shown that they could not remove you or others like you from office? Of course not that would be stupid. But if they started seeing their fellow incumbents falling from their high perch, one by one, they will be knocking on your door to support your legislation. A good example of this is Senator Hatch in Utah. He has seen several high placed colleagues from that state fall, and he has moved towards the Tea Party positions on issues. Also when you put a candidate into office, and it is clear that they might not be their without your support, they are more willing to carry that bitter water for you. But here in Virginia we have not changed the seating of one single seat in the 2010 election or since.
Some might at this point be saying why am I raising these issues? It is simple. I know the only way to make major changes in this state is to change the leadership in this state. We have problems with the State leadership here in Richmond. Some might refuse to see it, but it exists and it needs to be addressed. Our government is not as transparent or open as it should be (tinyurl.com/7byapo4).
I also know that those who represent us in Congress do not stand for fiscal conservative principles, limited government or the Constitution. Instead they seek power, while giving a wink and a nod to those ideals. The real truth of the matter is that we need to come together to replace those who say they are representing us, with people who truly represent what we believe. The government that Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and most importantly in this case, Patrick Henry, gave us, is in this instance of a Bill of Rights. A government that exists to protect our rights, and not to trample on them in order to make us servants of the state.
I have been working on this since 2009, trying to bring a solution to these problems here in this state. But I am just one person and I can not do it alone. I am willing to work with anyone or any group to implement the best solution I have found to this problem. A vetting solution like no other from a national group like no other. One that does not want to take over and infiltrate the Tea Parties, but instead wants the Tea Party to take over and infiltrate them.
The citizen led and executed vetting process developed by iCaucus is the best that currently exists. It has been proven to find the superior candidates (tinyurl.com/cvjbc4l) so that the Tea Parties can focus their energy on them. It is a system that does not just take in the consideration of the members of the Tea Parties, but it requires their participation. They do not and can not, endorse candidates, without the support and participation of those whom the candidate will be representing. It is your voice that makes the final decision. They just help you get the information necessary to make that informed decision and then help you express it.
Do not discount the value in a concerted effort. If the Tea Parties in this state had come together behind one principled and conservative candidate in the Senate primary, the focused energy that was spent on three candidates could have taken a 35% loss to an over 50% percent win. But we were not focused and we are not unified, so our energy was diffused and weakened. And if we had taken that focused laser like energy and tied it to a slate of candidates, we might have achieved even more then we could imagine. But that chance for 2012 has been lost. After November we need to be ready to make a difference in 2013 and to do that we need to be united in our endorsement of candidates.
If you agree with me on this and want to work with me on this, check out iCaucus(www.icaucus.org) and then contact me. Together we can change the political leadership in this Commonwealth.
These hearty, hard-working and independent people, Republicans usually, and probably conservative ones at that, voted 'liberal' on three out of four ballot proposals. What's up with that?
Here are the proposals that were on the June 12, 2012 North Dakota ballot:
Measure 1: Allows state legislators to be appointed to other government offices with a compensation stipulation.This issue was not considered political and it passed 60% to 40%.
Measure 2: Eliminates property taxes as a source of state revenue and replace it with state tax revenue (oil money).This was a conservative issue, for sure... cut taxes anyplace, anytime. It FAILED, and it failed big time: 76% to 24%.
Measure 3: North Dakota Religious Freedom Amendment /a person's right to act or refuse due to a religious belief may not be burdened by the government unless the government proves it has a "compelling interest" in regulating behavior.Surely ND would join other states in refusing to have 'Obamacare' tell them what must be included in their citizens' health insurance. Surely, this would pass... wouldn't it? Well, no. It FAILED 64% to 36%.
Measure 4: Allows the University of North Dakota to discontinue use of the 'Fighting Sioux' nickname and logo by approving Senate Bill 2370, a law that repealed an earlier mandate requiring the use of the nickname. A 'No' vote keeps the nickname.The Spirit Lake Sioux tribe might be happy with that, but what about the alumni, the sport fans, how it has always been? Would these independent people allow the NCAA tell them what name and logo they could not use? Would they bow to Political Correctness? They voted YES: 68% to 32%.
Should the conservatives worry and the liberals crow? The liberals may be celebrating, but maybe the conservatives in the rest of the country should take a lesson from the voters of North Dakota.
Measure 2 would have eliminated property taxes and put all of the power in the hands of the state. Maybe that's not such a good idea, after all.
Measure 3 possibly did show a bias against Catholics in this mostly Protestant state. Or, maybe, the voters worried about having to accommodate those who practice Islam and desire Sharia Law. Did this have anything to do with the vote: NORTH DAKOTA: Somali MUSLIM accused of murdering family of four?
Measure 4 should probably have never been an issue. Should the ND Congress ever have told the University of North Dakota what name and logo to use? The voters said 'No' by voting 'Yes'.
The Weekly Standard has a good article about this: Conservatism, North Dakota Style by Joseph Bottum
Ballot information from Ballot*Pedia.
One of our iCaucus members explains how he set up a community meeting titled 'The Road to Independence' in Clarkston, MI.
What Can You Do?
So many of our friends, neighbors and relatives are still asleep and have little idea what is coming. Few understand the implications of continually printing money with no real backing and aren’t aware of the resulting devaluation it causes. If you have ever asked yourself, “What can I do to wake people up?”, please continue reading and you will have the answer. You will be empowered to help others, which in turn will help you develop new, lasting relationships.
In this regard, I recently hosted an event in Independence Township, Michigan which I named, “The Road to Independence”. The purpose of writing this blog is to share the experience and let you know how easy it is to arrange such a forum in your area.
My April 21st event featured Chris Duane, the Silver Shield, as our guest speaker. I was delighted to have over thirty people participate. The group was diverse; attendees included a 14 year-old boy, a physician, a few business owners, a researcher, a teacher, a retired couple, a parking valet, and others. One thing was common among them though: they all came to hear what steps they should be taking to prepare themselves for the quickly approaching economic and social change tidal wave. The meeting ran over two hours, and I had trouble ending the session because they all had so many great questions and comments to make. So, how was I able to do something like this to help so many others?
It started one morning when I realized I had to do something to share the knowledge I had acquired over the last year or so from reading books and visiting sites including The Sons of Liberty Academy. I thought the best way to reach out would be to host a meeting and try to attract everyday people in my community. There are many people who have a sense that something is wrong, but either can’t figure it out themselves or don’t have time to do their own research. I wanted to provide a forum to discuss the issues.
First, I needed a “theme” and someone to be the discussion leader. While I did not know Chris personally, I followed his work and decided to ask if he would be interested in presenting. To my surprise, he was able to fit this into his crowded schedule. Once I had a speaker and a date (about 6 weeks in the future), I had to find a place to have the meeting and a way to get people to attend.
I settled on having the session at a local country club, primarily because they had the space and could also serve coffee and some light food. It turned out to be a great choice, except that they really wanted us to end our meeting on time so they could set up for a wedding party that evening!
The next step was to talk with friends to see who might want to help with the publicity and other details. I decided to advertise the meeting in a few ways: by posting the event on my neighborhood Facebook page and my personal blog, and by printing up 300 flyers for distribution. The one-page flyers described the event’s purpose, location, time, etc., and asked people to register via email to get their free ticket. The flyers were handed out as follows: (1) my immediate neighborhood; (2) the next neighborhood over; (3) the neighborhood around the country club; and we provided handouts to a local coin shop. As March turned into April and the response rate was less than I wanted, I let people know they would receive a small gift if they registered a friend. At that point Chris offered to post the meeting on his site for a few days. This significantly picked up the number of planned attendees across Michigan.
The day before the event, I sent a reminder email to those who had registered. On April 21st, my wife and I arrived early to check the arrangements and begin checking people in. The room was very full. The questions for Chris started even before noon, our “official” start time. People were fully engaged in the discussion. When it was over, eight of the 30+ attendees wanted to get together for a second meeting, which is now being planned for the summer.
All in all, I felt great that I had helped to bring people together for a chance to network with others, discuss their concerns, and find answers to many of their questions. If this leads to additional meetings, I will have succeeded beyond my goal. Based on my experience, I hope that you will consider doing something like this in your area.
You can see more posts about this forum at Auditdir's Blog. What a great way to reach out to people who are not part of our usual tea party or conservative groups!
THANK YOU, AUDITDIR, FOR DOING THIS AND ALLOWING IT TO BE POSTED IN THE ICAUCUS BLOG.
Send request to: