Conservatives Drawn to the Dark Side

by: the Common Constitutionalist

 

Have you ever felt alone? Not like, on a desert island alone; just the feeling that you are in such a philosophical minority that your segregated from the rest of society.

Well, that’s how I’m beginning to feel. I know that is not the case, but with every passing month I see one ally after another fall, or at least lean toward the Dark Side. I’m speaking metaphysically of course.

christie-obama-odd-coupleMaybe I set my sights too high or maybe I’m just being unreasonable. I liken the situation we find ourselves in to the Matrix movie; the first one in particular. In the movie practically everyone is living in a great mirage and even if given the choice to free themselves from the program, they choose not to. There are a relative few who broke out of the matrix to fight the system and try to free the minds of others. In the first of the trilogy, one of the freedom fighters betrays the others. As payment for this betrayal, the overlords promise to return him to the mirage of the matrix, thus freeing him from the suffering of reality. He claimed he was simply tired of fighting the good fight.

Well, as I stated, it appears that not a month goes by where another freedom fighter seems to either give up the fight or begin the slow walk of compromise to the Dark Side.

Not that Christie was a conservative in the first place and whatever his reason, in 2012 Chris Christie sold us out with his famous post Sandy invite an overly affectionate salutation of Obama. Personally, I believe it was that he felt snubbed by Romney for not choosing him as his running mate. Whatever conservative leanings he did have, have all but vanished.

Then about a month ago, the great Hispanic hope of the conservative movement and potential presidential hopeful, sold out to the lefts idea of immigration reform. Some would say it was smart and pragmatic, given the times we live in. I say it was a sellout, pure and simple.

Now in just the past few days, one of my favorite constitutional conservatives has shocked me. I’ve held up Rand Paul as one of a very few constitutionalists in our government I could count on to say and do the right thing consistently.

I was disappointed in his vote for John Kerry as Secretary of State. I held out hope that he would redeem himself when he and others filibustered Obama’s nomination for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. Hagel was a Republican, but a liberal RINO in every sense of the word. I was stunned when after two successful filibusters; Rand Paul changed his vote to confirm Hagel.

He first appeared on Fox news to explain why:

So he filibustered just to get additional information on Hagel and when he knew he would not receive it, rather than just vote his conscience, he voted to confirm. He claimed he voted for Kerry, “despite not agreeing with a single thing Kerry believes”. Huh?

Paul explained he did so due to constitutional deference to the President. Indeed, the president may nominate anyone he likes to such posts and the Senate’s job is “Advice and Consent” of the nominee.

The senator said that he takes the position that, “The president is afforded a lot of leeway in his selection”. He’s right; the president could select Charles Manson if he is so inclined. The Constitution does however, in no way state that the Senate is merely a rubber stamp. If that were the case why would they bother with it? Hello! Robert Bork?!

Article II. Section. 2. Of the United States Constitution, in part reads: “… and he (the president) shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for…”

I know it’s a silly and outdated notion, but are we not supposed to follow the law, which is the Constitution? Ridiculous! And if we are even the slightest bit confused, regarding the federalist papersmeaning of said document should we not look to the original intent of the founders who wrote and advocated for the Constitution? Seems logical.

Well, the Federalist Papers were the commercials of the day. They were written to explain the document and compel people to support it.

Federalist 76 – The Appointment Power of the Executive – explains the Advice and Consent clause.

The author of Federalist 76 was Alexander Hamilton. He wrote, “to what purpose then require the cooperation of the Senate? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the president, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters…” “The Senate… In the business of appointments, will be a considerable and salutary restraint upon the conduct of that magistrate.”

It is therefore evident to me that the Senate is supposed to play an important role in the process of confirmation, and not as I said, be a rubberstamp.

Another thing that bothered me was Paul’s statement that he will stick with his party (Republicans) if the party will stick together. I don’t care for that lemming mentality and it was wholly unexpected coming from Rand Paul.

When asked whether he thought Chuck Hagel would be a good Secretary of Defense, Rand said he didn’t know. Then why vote to confirm him?!

I haven’t given up on Rand Paul, but I do know that compromise begets more compromise until one is unable to walk it back. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen to the Senator.

Congress to the People: Do as we Say…

I was going to write about debates. I still may, but I received an email complaining about how Congress exempts itself from the laws it passes. I thought, that can’t be? They wouldn’t do anything that dastardly. Just kidding. Of course they could and would.

Politico writes, “Congress has a long, checkered history of failing to apply to
itself, the laws it passes effecting everybody else. For years, key laws — including the “Americans With Disabilities Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act”— didn’t apply to Congress.”

James Madison in Federalist Paper 57 states, “I will add, as a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.”

That’s a hot one!

Here are just a few.

Discrimination:
A new report from Congress’s Office of Compliance, regarding the 1964 Civil Rights Act, notes that Congress has never applied the provision to itself. That’s awesome. Not a single instance of discrimination since 1964? Must be some sort of record.

Healthcare:
Congress is exempted from Obamacare. The spin is that Congress isn’t specifically exempt. No, of course not. They wouldn’t write it in plain english like that. A House spokesman says, “Members of Congress are subject to the legislation’s mandate to have insurance, and the plans available to them must meet the same minimum benefit standards that other insurance plans will have to meet. “All plans would have to follow those requirements by 2019”. Because of their Cadillac healthcare plans, they already meet the minimum requirements and are, defacto, exempt. Because it isn’t actually spelled out, they can naturally deny their exemption.

Insider Trading:
From an article I wrote a month or so ago, we know they are exempt from current insider trading laws.

OSHA:
Unlike every other employer in the country, Congress is exempt from Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) regulations. What a deal.

Repayment of Student Loans:
Many Congressional staffers have their student’s loans forgiven.
Here is what I pulled directly off Congressman Dennis Ross’s (12th District, Florida) official website. He is, I guess, trying to disprove the claim.

“Fact – It is wrong to say congressional staffers, do not pay student loans back. There are student loan repayment programs that may be offered to eligible House and Senate staffers, but those programs have annual and lifetime caps. It’s possible that some congressional staffers will not have to repay their student loans, but that depends on how much they owe and how long they remain on staff. It is also worth pointing out that a similar program exists for executive branch employees; so congressional staffers aren’t the only ones receiving this benefit. All of the programs were created to help recruit and retain qualified employees. We don’t take any position on the merits of the programs. But it’s simply not true that they exempt anyone from repaying their student loans.”

Notice he parsed his words by saying, “exempt anyone.” You can’t make this stuff up. That statement was his proof? In the first sentence, he says there is no program. The next few, well, there kind of is. The last sentence, he admits there is, but other people do it too, so you can’t just be mad at us.

As an aside, I have all but given up on these supposed fact-checking sites. Both Snopes & Factcheck.org claim this student loan thing was a myth, when it is truly a fact. My guess is, like politicians, they can claim something is a myth if doesn’t apply 100% across the board.

There are probably 100’s more examples of congressional malfeasance, but this is a start. I’m sure Madison has been turning over in his grave for a century or more.

The email I received ended with this:
Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.”

I would change the amendment to read, “Every branch & entity of government”.