I’m reluctant even to link to this column at the Huffington Post, the title alone reveals how muddled some people’s thinking is. Bob Burnett allowed his name to be attached to a piece entitled “Disarming Republican Anarchists,” in which he declares that “Over the last five years, the Republican Party has veered to the far right and, in the process, been taken over by anarchists, Tea Party extremists who do not believe in centralized government.”
Never mind that this is the same Republican party that nominated John McCain and then Mitt Romney, two of the party’s most interventionist members. The very idea that anarchists would even loosely associate with the GOP, let alone take over, is patently absurd.
Burnett decries “inflammatory talk suggesting the federal government threatens individual freedom.” Because, after all, there’s no possible way in which the federal government would such a thing. He is terrified that 4% of the Senate, and 11% of the House, are in this anarchist wing. Assuming he’s correct (most certainly he’s not), I fail to grasp how such a tiny minority could be categorized as a “take over.”
Like so many others I was happy to see coverage of Rand Paul’s filibuster yesterday, against the morally repugnant appointment of torture-advocate and drone promoter, John Brennan. Five minutes before the start of the filibuster Lew Rockwell referred to the Washington establishment as a “marble wedding cake of death.” What followed over the next twelve hours certainly confirmed the dark marriage of the two parties, as an overwhelming majority of Democrats and Republicans waited on the Senate floor, hoping the junior senator from Kentucky would take his seat.
Ryan McMaken offered this analysis of the event, noting that for at least two reasons, it was a positive thing. In the first place it was a filibuster, and anything that gums up the works is almost always a net positive. Secondly, he argues, it “has been specifically used to oppose and discredit one of the worst abuses of the presidency in many years.” Specifically he meant the utterly reprehensible use of drone strikes abroad, as well as the claimed authority to use them against civilians far from any battlefield.
Radley Balko tweeted: “In an alternate universe, Sen. Obama just joined Sen. Paul’s filibuster against President McCain’s use of drones against U.S. citizens.” The Simple Voluntaryist asked whether Rand Paul would still have filibustered had Mitt Romney won the election. I’m less than optimistic that he would. However, it seems pretty clear that had the roles been reversed, and McCain was nominating some sociopath, the filibuster would have gone on much longer. This would be due to the Democrats’ steadfast concern for human rights, which has proven to be the most transparently partisan and wholly bankrupt effort, with few notable exceptions.
There’s a group trying to secure Kansas City as the site of the 2016 GOP convention. Gross.
These are certainly anecdotal, but should be cause for encouragement nonetheless.
Over the past two weeks I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in my Google Alerts for “nullification.” Where I was getting alerts several times a week, and often from smaller websites and blogs, I’m receiving regular notices, usually from higher-profile organizations. This is no doubt the result of a near-nationwide push against the president’s new gun control proposals, and is likely to taper off, but its impact on the general public’s awareness of the “rightful remedy” shouldn’t be discounted.
The second indicator is from a local TV news station. In an advertising montage of recent news stories, a reporter says something to the effect that a recent proposal in the house would prohibit the implementation of the program. This is likely a reference to a Missouri house bill to nullify the Affordable Care Act.
For those not familiar with the story, New Hampshire state rep. Cynthia Chase published an op-ed last month declaring the Free State Project the “greatest threat” to the Granite State. In response Tom Woods produced this short YouTube, in which he resolves to support the efforts in New Hampshire “just to drive this woman crazy.” For Woods, this has “become an end in itself.”
This past weekend, representatives of the Free State Project delivered flowers and a thank-you card to Rep. Chase, as a token of gratitude for all the free publicity she gave them. Undeniably, this is a case of someone not realizing the power of the Internet and the desire for freedom that is alive in so many. It’s like throwing water on a phosphorous fire; it only makes it burn hotter.