The Enablers

 

In the age old tradition of dinner before dalliance, John McCain and Lindsay Graham were treated to a quiet date night with Barack Obama last Wednesday, which is more foreplay than the rest of us get from the President as he proceeds to consummate his intentions on America in more ways than even Dr. Ruth can count.  “I’m assuming the president wants to talk seriously about the issues of the day,” cooed Senator Graham, innocently batting his rhetorical eyelashes with the preposterous addendum that, “I’m encouraged by the president’s outreach [and] I hope it bears fruit.”   Yes yes, and if only King Leonidas had announced his encouragement at the outreach of Xerxes toward Sparta, all that unpleasantness at Thermopylae might have been avoided too.  

It bears reminding the contrast between the deference Senators McCain and Graham afford a President who is arguably the most hostile toward individual rights in recent history, and the scorn they heap on the heads of those who dare to question the persistent amassing of executive power.  Graham’s hopeful encouragement for fruit-bearing outreach from the President quickly gave way to scorn and the ridicule of Republicans who mounted an effective opposition to the President:  

To my Republican colleagues, I don’t remember any of you coming down here suggesting that President Bush was going to kill anybody with a drone, do you?  They had a drone program back then, all of a sudden this drone program has gotten every Republican so spun up.  What are we up to here?

Answer:  President Bush wasn’t on record as hostile toward the Constitution and lamenting that it didn’t go far enough in enabling redistributive remedies.  President Bush didn’t unilaterally declare the Senate in recess in order to make unconstitutional recess appointments, and then proceed to ignore a Court of Appeals ruling that found his actions unconstitutional.  President Bush didn’t negate federal immigration law via executive fiat, nor announce his intention of going around the people’s representatives when they declined to enact pet provisions of his political agenda.  What we have, Senator, in case you haven’t noticed, is an executive who is at war with the Constitution and the individual.  What we are up to here, is the drawing of lines beyond which the President is not allowed to go.  I know, I know, Jeb Bush said he doesn’t want to draw lines in the sand, but a few of us recognize and celebrate the indispensable courage of those who drew such lines in 1776, and recognize that without similar fortitude today, what is left of our freedom will be compromised out of existence by those whose idea of success is to merely hop when the opposition says to jump.  

Not to be outdone, John McCain (Maverick-AZ), said:

We’ve done, I think, a disservice to a lot of Americans by making them believe that somehow they’re in danger from their government.

Well, Senator, what conclusions would you prefer Americans to draw from a government whose Department of Homeland Security releases illegal aliens into the general population in advance of budgetary sequestration, but somehow finds the money to purchase over 2,700 Mine Resistant Armored Protection vehicles for domestic use in addition to some 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition?  Speaking of which, what are we to make of United States Senators who negotiate comprehensive immigration reform with a President who opens prison cells and releases criminal illegals into our midst?   I submit that it’s the federal government that has gone “maverick,” and the senator who has gone native.

To turn the Senator’s statement around for a moment, does the government believe it is somehow in danger from its citizens?  Why all the ammo and armor for domestic agencies?  Who among us is comfortable with Department of Education SWAT teams?  Who among us, on the left or the right, is comfortable with the Federal Aviation Administration’s forecast of as many as 30,000 aerial drones spying down on Americans by the year 2020?  Why, according to the Washington Times, is Homeland Security, “…dolling out millions in cash grants to encourage small-town cops to buy drones, whether they serve a purpose or not?”   Do we have a government or does the government have us?   Human nature, after all, remains unchanged and the propensity of some to expand their sphere of control over others is as alive today as it was when the Bill of Rights was penned.  

All the same, having failed to attain the appropriate level of sneer, Senator McCain went on the following day to lament that, “…it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone.”  The hypocrisy is breathtaking given the danger that awaits anyone who dares stand between between Senators McCain or Graham and the nearest microphone.  But notice please the yawning chasm between “wacko birds” on one hand, and being, “encouraged by the president’s outreach” on the other.  It’s a repeating phenomena wherein the nominal opposition employs its harshest language not against the statist, but rather against their own side, and the routine is getting old.  

On the specifics, Senator Paul’s question was simple and straightforward, and could have been easily answered by the Attorney General had he chosen to do so.  Asked if the Constitution permitted the President to kill Americans, on American soil, who do not pose an imminent threat, Eric Holder chose instead to be coy. “As members of this administration have previously indicated, the US government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so,” wrote the Attorney General, thereby addressing the plausibility of such action, rather than the legality.  That answer, coming from an administration that continues to usurp power and authority from the other branches of government, as well as states and individuals, generated more fog than light.  

It was this fog that Senator Paul sought to pierce, in the process galvanizing conservatives and libertarians behind such core principles as the freedom of the individual against the assertions of the state. With previous administrations, the issue might never have arisen.  From this administration, however, the issue struck a chord that resonated across party lines.  Suddenly, the much vaunted “big tent,” seemed indeed to become bigger as one man, standing in defiance of the state, was soon joined by others in the Senate and across the country.  There are limits to state power, the Senator said, as he began illuminating those limits and reminding those in power that in America it is the people who remain sovereign, not the government.

That it was this inspiring demonstration of Constitutional fidelity that prompted two dyspeptic men, who appear joined at the microphone, to register unseemly and ugly assaults against Rand Paul and those who assisted him speaks to another problem, — namely, the tendency of weak-kneed Republicans to enable the worst instincts and behavior of the left.  With his approval polls drooping, the President needed to make a bi-partisan gesture of some sort toward Republicans to serve as cover when, inevitably, he refuses to suppress his redistributive appetites.  Senators McCain and Graham enabled him in that endeavor, and even went so far as to relieve him of the burden of attacking other Republicans who make disquieting noises about liberty and the Constitution.   That must have been one hell of a dinner.

John McCain’s military service is appropriately lauded.  His honor under the duress of captivity was exemplary and heroic, and will serve as a text book example of valor and service.  But from the McCain Feingold Act’s encroachments on the 1st Amendment, to his steadfast refusal to take the fight to a collectivist community organizer from Chicago which gave us the continuing disaster that is the Obama Presidency, to his consistent habit of chopping the legs off of those on his side of the aisle, one is left with the inevitable conclusion that the time has come to hand the banner of freedom over to those who are actually willing and able to advance it.  It’s time for the Senator to go home.  Hopefully, he will be kind enough to take his sorority sister from South Carolina with him.  

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MothershipGreg

    Do you remember the way it was before the war on terror? Back in the Nineties, everyone was worried about militias and survivalists, who lived in what were invariably described as “compounds,” and not in the Kennedys-at-Hyannisport sense. And every so often one of these compound-dwellers would find himself besieged by a great tide of federal alphabet soup, agents from the DEA, ATF, FBI, and maybe even RRB. There was a guy called Randy Weaver who lost his wife, son, and dog to the guns of federal agents, was charged and acquitted in the murder of a deputy marshal, and wound up getting a multi-million-dollar settlement from the Department of Justice. Before he zipped his lips on grounds of self-incrimination, the man who wounded Weaver and killed his wife, an FBI agent called Lon Horiuchi, testified that he opened fire because he thought the Weavers were about to fire on a surveillance helicopter. When you consider the resources brought to bear against a nobody like Randy Weaver for no rational purpose, is it really so “far-fetched” to foresee the Department of Justice deploying drones to the Ruby Ridges and Wacos of the 2020s?

    • #31
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    @ChrisCampion
    Dave Carter

    John McCain’s military service is appropriately lauded.  His honor under the duress of captivity was exemplary and heroic, and will serve as a text book example of valor and service.  But from the McCain Feingold Act’s encroachments on the 1st Amendment, to his steadfast refusal to take the fight to a collectivist community organizer from Chicago which gave us the continuing disaster that is the Obama Presidency, to his consistent habit of chopping the legs off of those on his side of the aisle, one is left with the inevitable conclusion that the time has come to hand the banner of freedom over to those who are actually willing and able to advance it.  It’s time for the Senator to go home.  Hopefully, he will be kind enough to take his sorority sister from South Carolina with him.   · · 1 hour ago

    Perfect.

    • #32
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    @GloriaHurd

    Do you have plans to publish your posts?  I would like to distribute them to people as far as my purse will reach.  Perfect format – short stories, chock-a-block with common sense, and your words, as well as love of country, resonate. 

    I truly enjoy your tales of the colors, sights, and sounds of our country.  It’s as if I’m sitting at a lunch counter, taking the measure of interstate drivers, and feeling the pulse of people you meet.  Here’a a late comment on your visit home to family, and your descriptive coming-of-age stories.  It brought a smile and recollections of the many I loved, who cherished me, and are no longer here.  I grew up on a dairy farm in New England  with brothers, and a large extended family.  The snow sometimes reached the roof of the kitchen L of our large farmhouse.  You would not be any more happy there than I would be where you grew to be a man.  Even so, I sense, nay, I know that we shared a way of life all the same.

    How would your alter ego pronounce Lewzeeeeannh?

    • #33
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    @Pseudodionysius

    Do you remember the way it was before the “war on terror”? Back in the Nineties, everyone was worried about militias and survivalists, who lived in what were invariably described as “compounds,” and not in the Kennedys-at-Hyannis sense. And, every so often, one of these compound-dwellers would find himself besieged by a great tide of federal alphabet soup, agents from the DEA, ATF, FBI and maybe even RRB. There was a guy named Randy Weaver, who lost his wife, son and dog to the guns of federal agents, was charged and acquitted in the murder of a deputy marshal and wound up getting a multimillion dollar settlement from the Department of Justice. Before he zipped his lips on grounds of self-incrimination, the man who wounded Weaver and killed his wife, an FBI agent named Lon Horiuchi, testified that he opened fire because he thought the Weavers were about to fire on a surveillance helicopter. When you consider the resources brought to bear against a nobody like Randy Weaver for no rational purpose, is it really so “far-fetched” to foresee the Department of Justice deploying drones to the Ruby Ridges and Wacos of the 2020s?

    Steynamite.

    • #34
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    @BarbaraKidder
    Mothership_Greg: The sneering coming out of the venerable punditocracy at the moment is something to behold.  Bill Kristol:

     Is patting Rand Paul on the back for his fearmongering a plausible path to the presidency for Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz? Is embracing kookiness a winning strategy for the Republican party? We doubt it.

    David Frum:

    Executive assassinations, hyperinflation leading to populist dictatorships, ordinary Americans protecting themselves by launching insurgencies against the state – these are themes of Rand Paul’s politics, now endorsed by his Republican Senate colleagues. Out of what doom-haunted imagination are such dark fantasies born? The Republican party used to be the party more serious about defending America. Now it provides a home to those more doubtful that America is worth defending.

    Maybe Graham and McCain can change parties to No Labels™? · 0 minutes ago

    When I read the following quote from Sen. Rand Paul’s book, ‘The Tea Party Goes to Washington’, I get a clearer picture of why these two senators (McCain and Graham) are so incensed with Paul.

    “The Tea Party is now a threat to the old Republican guard precisely because its stated principles prevent it from being brought into the neoconservative fold.”

    • #35
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    @KCRob
    Robert E. Lee: A problem with McCain and his ilk is they don’t live in the same world we do.  …. · 1 hour ago

    Exactly. I commented to someone that never has the disconnect between the governed and those we choose to govern us been so vast. These people, both sides, really have no idea what’s going on in the real world. I don’t know if they really have no idea of life out here… or if they really just don’t care. Or if they just don’t like us.

    • #36
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    @RobertELee
    KCRob

    These people, both sides, really have no idea what’s going on in the real world. I don’t know if they really have no idea of life out here… or if they really just don’t care. Or if they just don’t like us. · 25 minutes ago

    All three.

    • #37
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    @BarbaraKidder
    KCRob

    Robert E. Lee: A problem with McCain and his ilk is they don’t live in the same world we do.  …. · 1 hour ago

    Exactly. I commented to someone that never has the disconnect between the governed and those we choose to govern us been so vast. These people, both sides, really have no idea what’s going on in the real world. I don’t know if they really have no idea of life out here… or if they really just don’t care. Or if they just don’t like us. · 18 minutes ago

    I believe that the overwhelming sentiment that our elected officials share is the desire to STAY in office, whatever it takes,  and this trumps all other influences.

    • #38
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    @MothershipGreg
    Karen: Graham and McCain are very nearly the only grownups that remain in the GOP. 

    Do you consider it grown up to rail against a “massive cover-up” regarding what occurred in Benghazi, but then to sneer at those who do not trust the current administration to use Predator drones responsibly? Do adults consider Moammar Qaddafi to be an “interesting man” while hanging out with him at his compound, and then several years later, come out outspokenly in support of our “kinetic military action” leading to Daffy’s demise?  Should I still be wearing diapers because I consider statements such as

    “Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war.”

    to be idiotic and un-American?

    • #39
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    @CuriousJohn

    Those two goofs should know (better in that) they shouldn’t say a thing until they can say:

    “the president wants to talk seriously about the issues of the day,”  … , “the president’s outreach bears fruit.”  

    instead of

    I’m assuming the president wants to talk seriously about the issues of the day,”  …. , “I’m encouraged by the president’s outreach [and] I hope it bears fruit.”  

     

    • #40
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    @BarbaraKidder
    CuriousJohn: Those two goofs should know (better in that) they shouldn’t say a thing until they can say:

    “the president wants to talk seriously about the issues of the day,”  … , “the president’s outreach bears fruit.”  

    instead of

    “I’m assumingthe president wants to talk seriously about the issues of the day,”  …. , “I’m encouraged bythe president’s outreach[and] I hopeit bears fruit.”  

      · 11 minutes ago

    …”and, by the way, that was an awfully good dinner that we were lucky enough to share with the President.”

    • #41
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    @Kervinlee
    I live near a big county hospital. Last Dec., an inmate was being transported from the county lockup and managed to break free when the deputy opened the wagon doors. The Sheriff’s dept. looked around for him for an hour or so, and couldn’t find him, so called in the city cops for assistance. The cops showed up full-force, blocking my street, and you should have seen all the sweet military gear they had. Big semi (or fully auto?) automatic rifles, 12 gauge pump shotguns, pistols, body armor, armored cars, and a battalions’ worth of boys in blue. They could have mown down every citizen for blocks around, if they were of mind to, and nobody would have been able to stop them. A truly awesome display of military force. Thanks to Federal money, local police departments around the country are able to arm-up more and more in military style. Now they will take your guns as a “sensible” solution to crime and violence. Sensible for whom? For the free citizen seeking to defend himself against assault from crime and tyranny? Sensible for tyrants only.Oh, and, the escaped county inmate got clean away.
    • #42
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    @PatrickinAlbuquerque

    “To my Republican colleagues, I don’t remember any of you coming down here suggesting that President Bush was going to kill anybody with a drone, do you?”

    We dang well shoulda gone down there on many occasions during W’s terms.

    • #43
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    @TiredPappy

    I think it’s about time that McCain and Graham started focusing their efforts on a new career path that involves minnows and night crawlers.

    • #44
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    @DaveCarter
    Gloria Hurd: Do you have plans to publish your posts?  I would like to distribute them to people as far as my purse will reach.  Perfect format – short stories, chock-a-block with common sense, and your words, as well as love of country, resonate. 

    How would your alter ego pronounce Lewzeeeeannh? · 14 hours ago

    Gloria, thank you so much!!  You’re too kind.  Yes, I’ve started work on a book which will include various posts including travel pieces I wrote many years ago while traveling around the world in uniform.  It’s amazing how vividly the memory recalls various places, people and events.  The process promises to be a lot of fun, and I hope it will make for a good read.  

    About the pronunciation of Lewzeeeanauh by Alphonse Fonenot;  he calls it “home.”  

    • #45
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    @CrowsNest
    Mothership_Greg: The sneering coming out of the venerable punditocracy at the moment is something to behold…..[snip]

    Andy McCarthy was also disappointing in his response:

    In the ongoing conflict, the enemy does not have fortifications inside our territory that would enable its operatives to keep the police at bay. As long as we catch them in time, our enemies can be safely taken into custody….

    But that may not always be the case. We could have enemies with much greater capabilities, enemies including traitorous Americans. The fact that we do not appear to need lethal military force in the homeland in this conflict does not mean we will never need it.

    Let’s make a deal, shall we Andy? If there comes a time where an enemy is building fortifications within our borders and this sort of action is necessary, we grant the Executive the power to use his war-making powers and to act with prerogative where the law is silent to win that war, rather than routinizing that case or seeming to grant the Executive sweeping authority to disregard due process.

    This is, after all, the administration that gave the UN more deference than our own Congress_when_deciding_to_act_in Libya.

    • #46
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    @Karen

    Graham and McCain are very nearly the only grownups that remain in the GOP. People are getting so upset that they dare point out the inconsistencies of conservatives that champion Paul’s publicity stunt based on an improbable scenario, but were silent when Bush expanded the reach of intelligence gathering on American citizens. No one thought the Doom Boom would come back to bite us? I’m much more concerned about the power granted to NSA and Homeland Security than drones. So Paul stood up to the Obama White House. That’s what we’re cheering about? Big deal. We talk a lot on Ricochet about principles and core beliefs, but the first glimpse of something shiny in the form of political theater, we’re willing to contradict ourselves. Well, it’s par for the course, frankly. If people believe that this stunt is progress for the conservative movement, the GOP deserves to be a permanent minority. It truly is the stupid party.

    • #47
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    @PaulFB

    Dave,

    Thank you kindly for taking the time to put into words, the thoughts so many of us have but don’t seem to be able to express.  You continue to serve us with your well thoughtout posts, and we do very much appreciate your effort.  Please never stop.

    As to the mess our beloved Country is now in, only the awakening of the silent majority, so to speak, will enable OUR Country to return to the path which made it so great.  I’m proud to call myself an American, and, to have served my Country, oh so many, many years ago. 

    • #48
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    @JohnFitzgerald

    If only Senator McCain and Senator Graham had as much vigor in their opposition to President Obama’s agenda.  For both of these gentlemen, nothing seems to invigorate them as much as opposing their political party on tax cuts and immigration.  I do not know what the endgame for them is-to win praise from a progressive press (redundant I know) or become heroes of causes in their own mind.  

    I recognize that both Senators care very much about this issue (or appear to), but the way they went about expressing it, was bizarre.

    • #49
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    @Ontos

    Barbara Kidder:”I believe that the overwhelming sentiment that our elected officials share is the desire to STAY in office, whatever it takes, and this trumps all other influences.”I do not see that. To stay in office Both Graham & McCain should act more conservative and less big government. That would be safer. McCain does not appear to me to be very bright or have a strong character. ( I know what heroics he is supposed to have done as a POW.) He fell for the campaign restrictions, he got into bed with EMK over and over, and he has this feckless view of what’s proper in the Senate. He seems very small. Lindsey G is just a lawyer without any other thinking skill.

    • #50
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    @BarbaraKidder
    John Fitzgerald: If only Senator McCain and Senator Graham had as much vigor in their opposition to President Obama’s agenda.  For both of these gentlemen, nothing seems to invigorate them as much as opposing their political party on tax cuts and immigration.  I do not know what the endgame for them is-to win praise from a progressive press (redundant I know) or become heroes of causes in their own mind.  

    I recognize that both Senators care very much about this issue (or appear to), but the way they went about expressing it, was bizarre. · 2 hours ago

    My husband and I used to enjoy flyfishing together, and nothing was more satisfying than to climb stealthily  down a riverbank and  wade in as far as was safe, to be able to cast to a large trout, feeding below the surface!

    If, when we were executing this plan, so dear to our hearts, some folks in canoes paddled by, we would feel mighty indignant, almost as though we owned that stretch of water, as ridiculous as we knew that to be!

    Whatever their reasons, we can’t underestimate the element of pride and entitlement that was likely involved here.

    • #51
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    @DavidRoss

    Very well said, David!  It’s beyond time for McCain and his RINO Senate buddies to pass on the torch to a new generation.  We’d all do far worse than have a member of that new generation be Sen Rand Paul…..

    • #52
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