I threw this out there earlier, back when people were speculating on the nature of Glenn Beck’s promised revelation that he said would take down the entire power structure, and now here we are again: “Was Justice Roberts Intimidated Into Voting for ‘ObamaCare’? Senator Mike Lee Presents the Evidence”:
On the Glenn Beck radio program Tuesday, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) explained why he believes Roberts was intimidated into changing his vote late in the process, as laid out in his new book Why John Roberts Was Wrong About Healthcare.
Lee’s argument is not based on the NSA or its monitoring of the nation’s communication. Rather, Lee said, there are indications that Roberts originally intended to vote against the act, but that a public “campaign of intimidation” made him change his mind.
First, the senator claimed “the opinion was written in a way to suggest he switched his vote,” and that the dissenting opinion reads like it was originally written as the majority. He added that several news outlets reported that Roberts did change his vote, based on insider information.
Not only that, he said, but the court performed an unusual feat of “legal gymnastics” in upholding the legislation, particularly with regard to whether the fines incurred are or are not taxes. They had to re-write sections of the the bill not once, but twice.
Lee continued to say that he has “no evidence” that Roberts was being blackmailed, but said that doesn’t mean Roberts wasn’t under any kind of “direct pressure.”
But even if he wasn’t, Lee reminded the Obama administration and Democratic lawmakers were open in their warnings to the court, “denigrating the authority of the house,” and saying the Supreme Court would become irrelevant if it failed to uphold ObamaCare.
The argument that Roberts changed his vote has been made in the past, but is certainly lent additional credibility when a U.S. senator writes a book making the case.
Oh, the RINOs and the left will squeal and sneer and dismiss Lee, a TEA Party favorite, as a fringe crackpot. But so what?
This is the country we live in, and a government that will use the IRS and the NSA and the EPA et al., to try to gain election victories, create dislocation, ruin businesses, and do harm to its political rivals — all while insulated by a fraternal legislative branch that won’t perform anything other than cursory and symbolic investigations, shielding the ruling class status quo — wouldn’t hesitate for a moment, I don’t think, to “nudge” a SCOTUS justice into upholding the “signature legislation” of an “historic” president.
Which doesn’t have to mean they have pics of him with Jimmy Swaggert sitting on his face. They just needed to know where to press.
Obama is the culmination of leftist politics: arrogant, uninformed, vengeful, insular, detached, narcissistic, and born from a stew of economic, social, and academic falsehoods and misconceptions that all but guaranteed, once he’d firmed up, that he’d rise through the ranks of the identity politicking left, then fuck up everything that makes a constitutional republic a bastion of liberty. Probably intentionally, too.
And we’ll all have to pay the price for not having opened up our eyes to the man and not to what we dreamed he represented.
Or, perhaps I’ll write it this way: we all should have hoped he failed.
I can’t be the only one who finds it ironic that RINOs with mushpits for souls simultaneously dismiss and denigrate conservatives while working feverishly to usurp and co-opt the “conservative” label for themselves.
What could have been. But, you know, what would our liberal friends say were we to suggest Palin is anything more than a deluded, self-serving populist snowbilly? I mean, as it stands, we may disagree politically with the liberal opinion shapers, but there’s no denying their educated pedigree.
It simply isn’t done. We’re some of the good ones, you see. Which means we’ll get to be eaten last.
Gerald Walpin, NRO:
Among all the unanswered questions about the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative organizations, one is most crucial: Who ordered this extreme scrutiny?
Amazingly, IRS inspector general J. Russell George, responsible for the investigation asking those questions about the IRS, has testified that he did not obtain that information.
Details of that testimony are interesting. Representative Tom Graves (R., Ga.) asked, “Have you asked the individuals who ordered them to use this extra scrutiny to punish, or penalize, or postpone, or deny?” George turns around to confer with his assistant. Just the fact that the inspector general had to confer to know the answer to this crucial question is amazing. George’s assistant says something to him that is not recorded, but one can see the assistant shaking his head back and forth. Then George responds publicly to the question, saying, “During our audit, Congressman, we did pose that question and no one would acknowledge who, if anyone, provided that direction.”
Anyone who knows anything about the rights and responsibilities of an inspector general has to be shaking his head in disbelief at George’s explanation. First, every employee of the government has the responsibility to cooperate with and provide information to an IG concerning his work.
Second, George was particularly careful to limit his answer to the “audit phase.” Every IG has two procedures to obtain information. One is audit procedure, to which IG George referred. That’s generally limited to accounting analysis, to determine whether there may be reason to open an investigation. Once there is reason — and there clearly was reason here, given the obviously illegal conduct — the IG opens an investigation, in which investigators, not auditors, pose the questions, the department employees are placed under oath, and, as a federal court has approved, informed that “failure to answer completely and truthfully may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal.” The question is why George’s office didn’t do this immediately.
From my personal experience as an IG of another agency, I suspect the answer. I do not blame IG George personally, as he is a career civil servant who depends on a steady salary and, thereafter, a pension.
But I learned, through being fired by the Obama administration, that performing one’s responsibilities as one should, and potentially adversely affecting the administration’s image, is not the way to keep one’s job. (Fortunately, I was not dependent on my federal IG salary.)
That reality was made apparent to me — and, through what happened to me, to all IGs — when I supported my staff of longtime dedicated civil servants, who had recommended taking action against one Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player who had misused, for personal purposes, about $750,000 of an AmeriCorps grant intended for underprivileged young people. What I did not then know was that he was a friend and supporter of President Obama — a fact that caused the proverbial you-know-what to hit the fan.
Without detailing all that happened, the bottom line was that I started to receive pressure to drop the case against Mr. Johnson. When I declined to repudiate my staff’s work, the guillotine fell: I was summarily telephoned that if I did not resign in one hour, I would be fired. And I was, along with my special assistant, John Park. The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote of my firing: “The evidence suggests that [President Obama’s] White House fired a public official who refused to roll over to protect a Presidential crony.”
This administration’s treatment of IGs is not conducive to active, independent, and objective inspectors general, and explains at least in part why key questions about the IRS still have not been asked or investigated.
Yes, but by all accounts Obama’s a terrific father. When he’s not playing golf or traveling to fund-raise. So we can forgive him his few little differences in policy opinion, can’t we? Isn’t that what we civil, practical, pragmatic and very public people do, refuse to condemn Good Men simply because they show a bit of loyalty to some buddies?
As an aside: I still believe, very very very seriously, that one of the reasons we don’t have a special investigator in the IRS case is that establishment Republicans, either by commission or intentional omission, were just as instrumental in the targeting of TEA Party groups as were the progressives.
And they don’t want that coming to light.
The rest is merely theater.
Our federal government is corrupt to its core. And yet the Bushies are now arguing that to protest it — to call for a limited government, because we can see how the massive Leviathan is both unwieldy and sinister — is anti-conservative, such disrespect for government showing an unhealthy refusal to grant deference to the importance of our electoral system.
There isn’t a single fucking things the statists, be they big government pols or activist judges, won’t politicize — often through what should to everyone be the most transparent of crocodile tears.
I suppose I could comment more on this, but why bother?
These are evil, self-serving, power-hungry pigs demanding you give them more to keep their slop trough overflowing. In a way, listening to statist politicians is like watching an episode of “Hardcore Pawn”: someone comes in, drops a worthless piece of shit trinket on the counter, asks way too much for it, then — when rebuffed — demands the shop take their valueless garbage and “give” them “their” money.
It’s entitlement narcissism. And it’s frightening to recognize that a large part of our political class believes just as that-type pawn customer does — that they are owed, that the citizenry is their personal ATM, and that we need to give them what’s theirs or else we’re to blame for their poverty and bad decision making.
(that last being the spot on my screen where the lugee hit.)
In case you hadn’t already heard, the Supreme Court by a vote of 7-2 struck down an Arizona voter proposition that had required that potential voters augment their federal motor voter forms with proof that they have the legal right to vote — be it by showing a copy of a license, a passport, a social security card, or any other similar kind of documentation. The people of Arizona, who are enjoined by SCOTUS from being able to police their own borders — that authority, the Court ruled, being vested solely at the federal level, with the federal government having at its discretion the right to ignore federal immigration laws entirely — were likewise (and as a consequence of the former) having their votes canceled out by fraudulent votes from ineligible voters, many of them illegals. So they determined by ballot initiative to protect the integrity of their voting system within the state, something Justices Scalia, Roberts, and Kennedy — along with the left liberals — now say they cannot do.
This despite what is a clear history of the separation of state and federal authority over election responsibilities, with the states, as a condition for ratifying the Constitution, retaining for themselves the right to determine who is eligible to vote (within the bounds of civil rights and citizenship concerns). This is precisely why we have Constitutional amendments post-slavery and with respect to women’s suffrage: the states had to ratify by 2/3 those changes.
The upshot is, the Court, incorporating a “conservative” textualist and a “conservative” federalist (along with whatever the hell it is Anthony Kennedy might be) among the majority opinion, has essentially removed the state buffer from federal election jurisdiction, a move that completely inverts the intent of the framers (and ratifiers), who viewed the states’ sovereignty as a necessary and profoundly important (and moral) check on the power of an always insatiable centralizing impulse.
And just like that, together with Wickard and Kelo and Raich and a ruling in favor of federal jurisdiction over immigration policy, it has enshrined precedent that corrupts the integrity of a constitutional republic. In fact, it neuters it entirely, changing it into something else entirely.
Or, to put it another way, the “conservative” SCOTUS has now concluded that of course the government can write health care plans for private companies, force those private companies to sell them, fix the prices of those plans, and force Americans to purchase them under penalty of a “tax” on not doing what they were told; it has ruled that states who joined the union only after insisting upon a Bill of Rights that included the 9th and 10th amendments as a protection against potential and inevitable attempts at federal overreach have no legal right nor recourse to protect their own borders and thereby protect the property and franchise of their legal citizens, that concern, per SCOTUS ruling, falling entirely to the Executive in the swamp city of Washington DC, leaving the fate of border state residents to a man who has already shown he will use his agencies to punish those who don’t toe the progressive / establishment line (be it through the EPA, HHS, Interior, or most obviously the IRS), and who understands that the way to turn reliably red states blue is to take away their ability to tamp down on the voter fraud that comes by way of illegal immigration, itself a crime that the President and his Justice Department, along with DHS, don’t feel compelled to pursue or prosecute; it has concluded that though states can’t really protect their own sovereignty, their enforcement officers can collect DNA as a condition of arrest — a procedure they determined wasn’t unduly intrusive — all this taking place in the context of a law enforcement milieu in which officers cannot ask about citizenship status.
All of which is proof that we no longer live in the country of our founding. And the people who have changed it are politicians and jurists at the federal level whose power and wealth grows as a direct result of their willingness to repudiate intent — and of a public’s willingness to abide a linguistic incoherence that I’ve demonstrated time and again moves us inexorably leftward. And is designed to do just that.
It’s all over but for the shouting. Lie back and think of England. And King George. Because that’s where we are now, anyway. Only the wigs have changed.
update: not everyone agrees with me. (h/t jls, who doesn’t agree with me, either).
J Christian Adams notes that the left got only one of 5 things it wanted. So it’s batting .200, while election integrity proponents are batting .800 (his scoring). To which I reply, how is it a win for election integrity opponents when they lost 20% of election integrity?
Adams has it backwards. This isn’t a win. It’s part of losing more slowly. Does Adams not think progressive activist groups will have access to federal forms? Does he not think they’ll be making sure certain voting blocs are provided those forms through their institutions and front groups? Does he not realize that states run by Democrats will scuttle any state forms — that Colorado, for instance, has undergone a logistical and political shift thanks to rulings like these? Adams is saying it’s a win so long as red states stay red and are at all interested in voter integrity. But once states go blue, they are gone. Forever.
All of which is irrelevant. I’m not interested in who won the politics of the battle. I’m interested in what this opens up constitutionally for new attacks on state sovereignty.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m “confused and bewildered” having never litigated a case involving voter fraud (although Landmark Legal participated in this case, and it’s my understanding that Levin came down on the side of the minority, as well).
Or maybe I just don’t see “only lost a little this time” as a big win to celebrate. Other than through the lens of some sort of republican fatalism.
Under the article linked in the previous post, wherein a moronic state college professor calls for rescinding the 2nd Amendment — that is, the repeal of what is a natural right by those the framers and founders were determined to make sure could not take that right away — sits a comment that I addressed there but that I’ll address here as well, given this site’s commitment to language and intent.
Writes the commente, who is taking issue with the quip that we should maybe do away with the First Amendment, too (and who strangely seems to share the author’s last name),
[...] The first amendment hasn’t caused anywhere near as many deaths as the second amendment. As Dr. Oberg said in the article, the constitution is a living document, which can and should be changed when the situation calls for such change. I believe Thirty-Thousand Plus gun deaths is a pretty sufficient reason to move for change.
To which I replied,
The Constitution is not a “living document,” Adam. Texts don’t “live.” They are a collection of intended (if we’re talking about language) signs imbued with meaning by those who produced them. They are a communicative means to an end — namely, fixing meaning or distributing it over time and distance, using code and convention to aid in the interpretation [required in a second order system of reference] . In the case of our Constitution, corporate intent plays out in the process of ratification. To make the claim that the document is living is to make the claim that it is unstable and that therefore law is open to the whim of temporary majorities who pretend to extract from the document meaning that it never had. It is the rejection of the text of the Framers and the ratifiers and the embrace of a fraud, whereby just because THEY can create new texts from the fixed text by way of their own intentions, proponents of the “living Constitution” try to convince you that they are allowing the Constitution to grow and breathe. They aren’t. They are granting themselves power and privileging their own intent using methods that are linguistically incoherent. If you wish to change the Constitution, go ahead and try to repeal the 2nd Amendment. But don’t pretend it doesn’t mean what it means, or that there doesn’t exist an abundance of evidence to suggest exactly the intent behind the 2nd Amendment, which exists to protect a natural right FROM the government.
One of the reasons I left academy is that it has been overrun by leftist thinking. And that makes it a bastion of anti-intellectualism and dogma, not a place to think or consider — lest what you end up believing and considering matches the hivemind’s approved conclusions.
Imbeciles like this professor, passing off sophistry as argument, are a dime a dozen — and commenters like Adam, sadly, are assured that they are subtle, sophisticated, rigorous thinkers just so long as they parrot the approved narrative rather than thinking through problems for themselves, and agree to view the shallow and the tenuous as deep and solid.
Like nearly all the left takes hold of, the academy — in many ways — has degenerated into a sham and a scam. And its priests are either perverse or mere puppets, dancing along on strings they are too un-self-aware to feel tugging them to and fro.
Reader Phil from Hawaii emails the following in answer to those anti-Second Amendment activists and / or grieving parents being used by those same activists. Powerful stuff that he’s kindly allowed me to repost here:
I hear the voices of all murdered children. It is a joyful noise: they laugh and sing; safe at the footstool of the Lord.
I hear the voices of all parents of murdered children. They wail, they rage; lost in an abyss of grief. And no amount of teddy bears, no hugs, no laws can heal them. They are forever broken.
I hear myself. I rage, I weep: for all parents of murdered children; for my wife; for me. My 27 year old stepson, Michael Edward Young and, my 8 year old first grandchild, Joshua Allen Young were murdered in 1995 in Tempe, AZ. Abiding pain says it could have been just yesterday.
And I hear the drone of politicians. They weep in public, claiming others murdered children as their own. These children are not theirs, they are ours, are mine. For them to claim otherwise is pandering at its worst; is vile; is despicable. To then prey on the vulnerabilities of such overwrought parents in effort to metastasize a political agenda is even worse. To say they feel my pain is incomprehensible: my pain is my pain only. It isn’t even my wife’s pain; she has her own to bear.
Guns did not murder my boys. Crack-heads with guns obtained illegally under existing law murdered my boys. No new laws will change this fact. Making criminals of law abiding citizens will not change this fact; will not prevent future occurrences of such crimes by criminals; will only encourage more such crimes.
Sometimes, the price of freedom is most steep. But personal tragedy, no matter how excruciatingly painful and enduring, is never justification to trash our Constitution. We are a nation ruled by law as delineated in our Constitution. To abrogate our Constitution for one is to abrogate our Constitution for all; is to render us as a nation ruled by law - into one ruled by whim of tyrannical men and women. The Second Amendment does not give us the right to keep and bear arms; this is an inalienable right. The Second Amendment merely proscribes governments from trampling this inalienable right.
Even though the price of freedom sometimes is most steep – always – the cost of its alternative is steeper. So I do not decry the Second Amendment; do not seek edicts to mangle its intent. Even if I wanted to infringe it - to do so in the name of Mike and Josh – would dishonor them.
Yes, I am forever broken; yet unbowed. I choose liberty over tyranny. I choose to honor my murdered children. And, I implore you to do the same. Vote no on criminalizing honest citizens. Vote no on giving free reign to existing criminals.
Liberty isn’t cheap, but it is consistently under assault from the cheap emotionalism that demands we surrender it for promises of government-provided security.
There’s a reason the 2nd Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights. The only “rethinking” (which always means, in the end, abolition) we need do about it is that the numerous controls placed on it over the years have given both criminals and government agents.
(thanks to Blake for the link to the fascist academic in the pussy suit)
Seems he’s warming to (or rather, he’s more willing to bluntly express) the “losing more slowly,” “ruling class vs. the rest of us” tropes made so popular here on the fringes, where the unhelpful psychopathic smear merchants — out to question the integrity of honorable men whose realism was the brave stance in the face of GOP losses, as compared with easy reactionary anti-Obama, possibly racist positions taken by uncouth True Believers and Purists — have been “nudged” ever since they spoke out in the wake of Obama’s first victory.
Funny how so many of them — and I’m not including Levin, who has been here with us all along, but is only recently making noises about the death of the GOP — have gradually come around, isn’t it? From Good Man bromides to lately uncovering all the base and despicable actions of which leftists are not only capable, but willing? And yet we early adopters — Purists and filthy True Believers — remain on the fringes, a painful reminder to them, I suppose, of their own poorly-considered earlier positioning with respect to the Marxist cabal in power.
Audio below the fold.
And if the GOP wishes to remain viable, they’ll learn that and put the screws to all the limited government types who scare off the dependents, who we’ll never sell on liberty and self-sufficiency, those being but worn-out tropes of an American mythos that, like Reaganism, we need to put behind us.
– Is my rough paraphrase of the epitaph for the Republican Party that pandering hacks like Jeb Bush and the rest of the establicans are on a daily basis writing and then working to polish up so that it’s good and ready to be chiseled into the tombstone.