Archive for September, 2010

Weak Tea — The Pledge to America

September 24, 2010

I have just waded through the Pledge to America, as it appears at the Human Events Website (watermarked as a DRAFT)

It is 21 pages long in PDF format. I copied and pasted the text into my ancient version of Microsoft Word, and found the following when I clicked on “Properties”:

"Pledge" stats, according to MS Word

"Pledge" stats, according to MS Word

Twenty-six pages; 214 paragraphs; 7854 words… why does it have to be so big? If I may use a bit of a Tea Party metaphor, it reads like weak tea. I’m not happy to make this assessment, because a Congressman I respect immensely, Mike Pence, stood in front of a hardware store and spoke for the group in the introduction of the Pledge.

Brief disclosure: I know Mike Pence from his talk show days, when I was a frequent caller, and even got an autographed caricature of Mike, endorsed with the description, “Favorite caller to the Mike Pence Show.” Once, I even made a nervous, inept, in-studio guest appearance on his show, concerning the loss of a loved one to a drunk driver. He bought my lunch afterward, and we had a good conversation.

I have disagreed with Mike on specific issues since he first went to Congress, but I still believe he is, as he described himself described himself on his radio show, a “Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.” He is a consummate gentleman, besides all that, and I will bet his colleagues, supporters and opponents, have found him to be so. End of Disclosure

Now, it’s time to get to the point. Why did it take so many pages to say what needs to be said? One paragraph from the introduction to the document said 99% of what needed to be said on the subject:

“We pledge to honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent of those precepts that have been consistently ignored – particularly the Tenth Amendment, which grants that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

Wow, what an eloquent, unqualified, statement – solid and substantial as granite; as sufficient and self-sustaining as anything to come out of the mouths of Republicans in decades.

Any details that followed that statement of principle could have been specific goals for its implementation. I suggest the following:

We resolve to stop and reverse, with every means available to us, the measures of the federal government that violate this principle. We will speak and vote at every opportunity, to repeal laws that violate the Constitution, and we will vote and speak against any and all new legislation that violates the Constitution.

In addition to abolition and repeal, we will also speak for and vote to remove current funding and to oppose new funding for the acts and agencies of the federal government that violate the Constitution.

Because federal judicial fiat has been used so often to thwart or ignore the Constitution, we will offer and aggressively pursue articles of impeachment against any federal judge who advances such anti-Constitutional measures or decisions.

We offer these promises in the full knowledge that embedded special interests and the vast inertia of the expanding juggernaut of federal authority will oppose us at every turn.

We understand that we may fall out of favor with the media, the powerful, bureaucratic establishment and the entrenched, political leadership on all sides in Washington and in the states.

We have no fear of their disapproval, because they are wrong, and they have done their part to make the federal government so large and grasping over the last decades.

We trust in our Creator to stand with us to defend the inalienable rights He granted our ancestors and our posterity.

We trust in the citizens of the United States of America to support us as long as we abide by the Constitution, and to send us home if we break these pledges.

Ten sentences.

Nine paragraphs.

That’s all I really need to see in a statement of purpose.

The arithmetic, the legislative agenda, the economic and employment statistics, the alphabet soup of federal agencies… all of that is important, but it is subordinate to the principles. It does not belong in this document.

Mike – ahem, Congressman Pence – please appeal to your colleagues to distill and reduce the pledge to these essentials, and to make it clear that the details that follow will adhere to these principles.

If the Republicans are to have a future in this country; if, indeed, the legislative branch is not to become an irrelevant, impotent venue for meaningless Kabuki theater, like the Supreme Soviet of old, while the courts, the White House and the bureaucrats complete the destruction of this Constitutional Republic, this pledge and your adherence to it, is our only hope short of armed revolution.

Tennessee’s 8th, Continued — Ducking the Debates

September 20, 2010

A little local politics, again, from the arena of the 2010 election, in the race to replace retiring “Blue Dog,” John Tanner.  Do we swap him for another Democrat hack, a probable RINO, or a real Constitutional conservative? I sent this letter to the editor to the Jackson (TN) SUN, today (9/20/10), concerning the apparent difficulties of getting the candidates together for a debate. The Democrat is willing, an Independent conservative is able, but the Republican (RINO?) is — laying low.  Why? And, why not go ahead without him?

Here’s the letter to the editor:

To the Editor,

Over here in the northeast corner of the 8th Congressional District, I feel somewhat slighted as to the coverage of the Congressional Race.

Stephen Fincher is ducking opportunities to flesh out his views and demonstrate his ability to think on his feet. How? By refusing to debate the other candidates on the issues.

This is disturbing, because one’s views and one’s ability to defend them in public are qualities that make or break a successful lawmaker. Is Fincher afraid he lacks those qualities?

Yes, I’ve seen the Fincher signs, with the slogan, “Plow Congress!” What does this mean, exactly?

I’d like a little more detail on how Fincher proposes to fix the way Washington has turned its back on the Constitution over the past few decades. If he is unwilling to commit on any of that, well, that’s his choice, but it doesn’t make me want to vote for him just because there’s an “R” after his name.

Independent candidate Donn Janes has declared he is ready to debate the Democrat candidate, whether or not Mister “Plow Congress” wants to come out and play.

I really hope Donn Janes will get the chance to do so. Somebody needs to stand up for Constitutional principles, and if the Republican can’t or won’t, let Janes step into the vacuum and put his own views and principles on the line.

If WREG-TV can’t make it happen, perhaps the Jackson (TN) Sun will find some other venue. I sure hope so.

Tom Cox
Dickson County, TN