American Elephants


There is a Growing Crisis in Our System: A Shifting In the Balance of Power. by The Elephant's Child

Jonathan Turley is socially liberal, but a very independent thinker and constitutional scholar.  He is a professor at the George Washington University Law School. Here he  is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee about the GOP lawsuit against the President. He believes it should go forward, and that it is important for it to do so.

“It is important to remember that people misconstrue the separation of powers regularly. It is not there to protect the institutional rights of the branches. It is there to protect individual liberty. It was created by the framers to prevent any branch from abrogating enough power to be a danger to liberty. It is not about you; it is about the people you represent.”

The video is fairly short and very worth your time.



The Tea Party Stands For Resistance to Unconstitutional Power by The Elephant's Child

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Charles Kessler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books, writes in the most recent issue:

    The original Tea Party was neither a political organization nor a populist movement. It was a one-night stand, an evening uprising. Nevertheless, the young John Adams judged it so intrepid and consequential as to mark “an epocha in history.”
The British government agreed.  Lord North warned the Commons that a turning point had been reached. “We are now to establish our authority.” he said,”or give it up entirely.” We all know how that turned out.
Both the old and the new Tea Party stand for resistance to unconstitutional power. In 1773 the Tea Partiers opposed the Tea Act, which violated their rights as Englishmen and as men. Their counterparts today fight against Obamacare, a much worse law. And they have enough orneriness left over to confront many other usurpations by the Obama Administration as well as several inherited from Bush II.
Modern liberalism can neither fathom nor tolerate the Tea Party. Liberals don’t believe in a right of revolution against liberalism. They consider progress as they define it to be irreversible. For example, here is Barack Obama at his most peremptory, calling in 2009 for nationalized health care. “I am not the first president to take up this cause,”he told Congress, “but I am determined to be the last.”

Liberals are just plain frightened by the Tea Party. They prefer to think of it as the dying gasp of conservatism, but fear it to be revolutionary in the Jacobin, man the barricades, sense. They are unaccustomed to conservatives who hold rallies, carry homemade signs, and  even say the Pledge of Allegiance, all together, in public.

Liberals take the threat of the tea party seriously enough that President Obama has sicced the IRS on any groups with ‘Tea Party’ or ‘Patriot’, or other alarming words in their application for tax-exempt status. The IRS was caught unlawfully discriminating against such groups, and an ongoing investigation is working to get to the bottom of it. When winning is everything, using government agencies for political purposes seems acceptable.

The president has shrugged it off as a non-issue in spite of public outrage, and is now proposing  new regulations to make it impossible for nonprofits to discuss anything the Obama Administration deems political — like speaking of the Constitution, issuing nonpartisan voter guides or mounting nonpartisan drives to register voters. The administration slipped in new rules and regulations clarifying what can be called “political activity.” The new regulations attempt to codify what Obama’s IRS had hoped to achieve with mere harassment. Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal notes:

What makes this targeting more obvious is that the Obama Treasury rule only applies to 501(c)(4) groups. The ultra-liberal League of Women Voters Education Fund is registered as a 501(c)(3)—one of those “charities” supposedly held to the strictest IRS standards on politicking. Yet it brags on its website that it holds “candidate debates and forums,” and that its “educational activities” include “understanding candidate views and ballot initiatives.”

The League will continue to be able to do its voter guides and registrations and candidate forums. Yet under this new rule, any conservative social-welfare organization that attempts to do the same will likely lose its tax-exempt status. Nor does the new rule apply the biggest spenders of all in politics—unions, which are registered as 501(c)(5)s. The only category muzzled is the one recently flooded by conservative groups that Democrats fear in the 2014 election.

You have perhaps noticed that liberals are trying to portray, with some success, the Tea Party, in particular, and Republicans in general, as in the midst of an internecine battle, sure to result in the demise of Republicanism entirely.

Republicanism is a big tent. The Tea Party, indignant and new at the game, wants to put on their armor and battle flags flying, go on the attack. Conservatives want to pick their battles and not lose track of the real goal. There are Moderates and Libertarians as well, and of course the Establishment.

And “there is the easiest path to electoral success which is simply for someone on the right to stake out a position just to the right of one’s Democratic opponent.” as Ace of Spades said today. We are all human and one person’s hot button in not necessarily anyone else’s.

The Tea Party, new at political infighting, tends to speak in maximalist and uncompromising terms, and the Establishment knows more about politicking than the Tea Party. Both sides need to recognize that their goals are the same, even as they differ on strategy. The Establishment needs to stop thinking of the Tea Party as the new kids on the block who don’t know how to behave, and the Tea Party needs to stop trying to primary every congressman or senator who disagrees with them on strategy.

There are arcane rules and ways of getting things done in Congress when you’re just one of the three parts of the government. The goal is to repeal ObamaCare and all it entails.

This is the first time we have had a President of the United States who simply does not take the oath of office seriously, and is inclined to think the Constitution is an obsolete document that can be ignored.  And there, as they say, is the rub.




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