Tag Archives: harry reid

Catholic Social Teaching and the 10th Amendment vs. ObamaCare

From the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution:

The 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.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of the lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”

God has not willed to reserve to himself all exercise of power. He entrusts to every creature the functions it is capable of performing, according to the capacities of its own nature. This mode of governance ought to be followed in social life. The way God acts in governing the world, which bears witness to such great regard for human freedom, should inspire the wisdom of those who govern human communities. They should behave as ministers of divine providence.

The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.

This is an unusual topic for me to blog about; I don’t normally cover religious topics for a variety of reasons. Still, as I have watched the debate over ObamaCare unfold, I have noted with interest that the Catholic bishops in the United States have opposed socialized medicine only insofar as it would expand federal funding to abortion coverage. Their single issue opposition to ObamaCare has led to the perception that its funding of abortion is the only way it contradicts Catholic social teaching.

But that’s not the case. Tea Party activists have opposed ObamaCare on the grounds that it violates the Tenth Amendment, which plainly says that the powers not reserved to the federal government or prohibited to the states should be reserved to the states or to the people. Catholic social teaching is similar in that it invokes the principle of subsidiarity, explained by the Catechism in the quote above. In essence, both the Tenth Amendment and the Catholic principle of subsidiarity are identical. Both make the case that a massive collectivist takeover of health care is not only unnecessary, but improper insofar as it “can threaten personal freedom and initiative.”

You’re reading that right: Both the United States Constitution and the Catechism of the Catholic Church repudiate collectivism and demand subsidiarity to preserve human freedom. On this issue, our founding fathers who wrote of our God-given liberty would be in lockstep with every pope since at least Pope Leo XIII.

Why point this out? It’s not just a “fun fact.” The bishops have opposed ObamaCare because it does, in fact, expand federal funding of abortion. But what if it hadn’t? Had the Stupak amendment been preserved, the U.S. bishops were prepared to support the bill — despite its clear violation of the principle of subsidiarity. Certainly the right to life and the preservation of human dignity are the paramount concerns, the very foundation, of Catholic social teaching. But the principle of subsidiarity has again and again been expounded upon by the papal teaching authority. It is no small matter.

The U.S. bishops were in a unique position, as both Americans and Catholic bishops, to connect the Catholic principle of subsidiarity to our constitutional principles. They had an opportunity to tell American Catholics that opposing ObamaCare is both a patriotic and religious duty. They utterly failed to do so. They missed an opportunity to boldly reaffirm a mostly forgotten principle of Catholic social teaching, to affirm the link between the Catholic and American commitments to human freedom, and to once again take up the Catholic Church’s historic leadership in the fight against global socialism.

Only the bishops can know why they have chosen not to take this opportunity. All we can do, as ordinary Catholics, is encourage them to elucidate this principle and its connection to American constitutional principles. In the meantime, as ordinary Catholics we can tell our fellow American Catholics, and all of our fellow Americans, what the Church teaches about God’s model of governance versus the collectivist model proposed by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

If You’re Reading This, You Are the Resistance

ObamaCare has passed, to the sound of thunderous applause from the socialists who are trampling upon the principles that have been the foundation of our country since its inception. This monstrosity, deemed “health care reform” by its statist champions, is the largest government takeover of the American economy in our history and the first time that government has ever tried to unconstitutionally force Americans to buy goods and services.

Our next step must be to rally in support of the courageous state attorneys general throughout this country who will challenge the constitutionality of the individual mandate. We everyday Americans must also fight, through the Republican Party, to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with constitutional, market-based solutions to Americans’ health care problems. If we hope to roll back this blow to our constitutional republic, it is imperative that we elect Republicans to the House and Senate this November, and that we start working now to defeat Barack Obama in 2012.

It is also imperative that we recognize that this fight for our country is far from over. They will not stop at ObamaCare. They will fight for their so-called “climate change” legislation, which is really an ecosocialist plot to pass the biggest tax increase in American history and plunge our economy into the worst crisis it has ever faced. They will fight for amnesty for illegal aliens, so that their dreams of a permanent majority — now jeopardized by their overt radicalism — can finally be realized in the only way possible, through theft and fraud. They will fight for countless changes, great and small, that will undermine the liberal democratic principles upon which our republic was built.

We must fight them every step of the way. And the only way we can fight them is to elect common sense conservative Republicans to the House and Senate this year, and to work to find the right candidate to make Barack Obama a one term president.

In pursuit of these goals, in the coming days From the Rust Belt will welcome new contributors. These contributors are individuals who believe in the mission of this blog, to advance conservative principles — that is, constitutional principles — and to promote political leaders within the Republican Party who adhere to those principles. They will work with me, and with you, to fight to take back the Republican Party, to take back Ohio, and to take back America for the people of this country and the fundamental principles of our republic. We know that we are the resistance. We also know that we cannot win this fight alone.

If you’re reading this, you are the resistance. Every single man, woman, and child in this country must wake up and recognize what Barack Obama and his socialists in Congress are doing and fight them every step of the way. Every American must engage in a second Velvet Revolution to halt the forward march of Karl Marx’s ghost. You, and I, and every other American must take to the streets in peaceful protest. You, and I, and every other American must pound the pavement for candidates who will restore our republic. You, and I, and every other American must vote in primary and general elections at every level of government for candidates who will fight this fight with us every step of the way.

You are the resistance. America is depending on you. Look at everything she has done for you. Do what you can now for her, so that your children and grandchildren don’t wake up in an America in which the American Dream is nothing more than a dream, buried deep in the minds of enslaved and asleep citizens lulled into their slumber by the empty promises of big government.

We’re Here, We’re Queer… We’re Conservative

I have had to come out twice in my life. The first time I came out, I told friends and family that I’m gay — that I’m attracted to other men, and that eventually I want to find the right man and spend the rest of my life with him. My second coming out has been more recent, as I have told the very friends and family who were supportive and accepting of my sexual orientation that I am a conservative Republican. Some have been just as supportive and accepting as they were before; others, less so.

The new challenge facing me is to be a conservative and a member of the Republican Party as an openly gay American. So far, the handful of College Republicans I’ve come out to, the faces of conservatism for me on a day to day basis, have been accepting. But events at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) demonstrate that there is, unfortunately, another side to the story. There are those who think gay conservatives should be excluded from the effort to take back America. Enter the now infamous Ryan Sorba:

It should be noted, although it rarely has been by the mainstream media, that Sorba’s anti-gay rant was preceded by a very different speech by Alexander McCobin, co-founder and president of Students for Liberty:

I prefer to believe that McCobin speaks for the majority of today’s young conservatives. Ryan Sorba’s ignorant hatred aside, last weekend was a good weekend to be a gay conservative. Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney, came out in favor of repealing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy banning gays and lesbians from serving in the military. GOProud had a booth at CPAC. Alexander McCobin spoke in favor of gay participation at CPAC, and when Ryan Sorba stood up to have his Kanye West moment he was booed off stage. All good news.

I think for me, though, the best news was maybe a little less significant. It was seeing several of my fellow College Republicans who attended CPAC speaking out against Sorba through Facebook and other social networking and new media. It was seeing, for example, fellow Ohio University College Republican and blogging colleague Jesse Hathaway (Athens Runaway) take on Sorba’s idiocy via his blog. The Cheneys opposing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Great. But the people I’ll be working with at the grassroots level to get conservatives elected this November speaking out to say there’s a place for me in this movement? Far better.

Now that we’ve got the touchy-feely fluffy goodness out of the way, a message to Ryan Sorba and all who think like him:

We’re here. We’re queer. We’re conservative. Get used to it.

I believe in a government that respects the limitations upon its power set by our Constitution. I believe that men like George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of our founding fathers knew better how government should work than a leftist law professor and community organizer who lied, manipulated, and intimidated his way into the presidency. I believe in a liberal democracy in which people live freely to pursue their own happiness, not the brave new world being foisted on us by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid.

I believe that the best way to grow our economy is to shrink our government. Those taxes they want to collect to dole out pork projects to their benefactors certainly haven’t done the job. Taking even more of the American worker’s money to take over health care and energy certainly aren’t good answers to our problems either. If we want to stimulate our economy, the best way to do that is to put our citizens’ own money back in their own hands. Cut taxes. Cut spending. Reduce the deficit. Let the market reward the responsible and punish the irresponsible.

I also believe that we are at war with an enemy that hates us because we love liberty, an enemy that knows no borders and has from time to time infiltrated our own. As a gay American, I know the very real threat posed by Islamic terrorists. Just look at the terrorism perpetrated against gays and lesbians by the Islamic “Republic” of Iran. I believe we need leadership that recognizes this war as a war, rather than a president who wants to bury his head in the sand and pretend we can go back to those heady times when the last Democrat president treated terrorists as common criminals.

My message to Ryan Sorba and his ilk? Like it or not, I’m here — and so are other gay conservatives just like me. We’re here because, frankly, where else would we go? Over to the Democrats, who give gays and lesbians a wink and a nod during campaign season and forget all about us — or actively work against us — when it comes time to actually govern? Should we go to the Democrats, even though we believe their policies are destroying the fabric of our constitutional government, wrecking our economy, and endangering our national security?

Maybe Ryan Sorba would like us to head over to the Democrat Party. I believe most conservatives, especially most younger conservatives, would strongly disagree with him. But more importantly, I believe that the path to freedom, prosperity, and security for gays and lesbians lies within the conservative movement and the Republican Party. How could I go anywhere else? So, Mr. Sorba, I’m sticking around. Should we cross paths at any point in the future, I guess there’s only one thing left for me to say to you: Bring it. I love it.

Generations Y and Z, This is Your Wake-Up Call

The Democratic Party is waging an intergenerational war. Their primary targets? Those of us who are 35 years old and younger. The question is: Are we going to fight or are we going to surrender?

Socialists, by definition, are the enemies of youth. The Marxist imperative — “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” — exhorts socialists to enslave the young, requiring our hard work and then taking what we earn from our work and giving it to older generations.

Who will pay for insolvent entitlements for the elderly like Social Security and Medicare? We will. Those well over the age of 35 initiated the government takeover of health care, but we will benefit the least from it while paying the most for it (h/t The Two Malcontents). Those over the age of 35 are engaging in massive deficit spending primarily for their own benefit, but we will bear the responsibility of paying that debt back. Congressmen and senators who are far older than 35 are planning to implement the largest tax increase in American history in the dubious pursuit of curbing carbon emissions, but citizens under 35 will pay those taxes and suffer through the job loss created by such stifling taxation.

Democrats at the state and local levels won’t balance their budgets by cutting spending. So what do they do instead? In Pittsburgh, they tax your college tuition to pay pensions, insisting that providing income for the retired is more important than your education. You can bet that a similar tax is coming to a college town near you. Meanwhile, in California, college tuition is going up 32% because of the ineptitude of liberal Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democratic legislature. Here in Ohio, at my own Ohio University, I’m looking forward to a 3.5% tuition increase next year because of fiscal irresponsibility on the part of Gov. Ted Strickland and OU administrators.

People from our generation turned out in record numbers to elect Barack Obama last year and give Democrats huge majorities in both chambers of Congress. Maybe you were one of them. I was, and I’m smart enough to regret it today because I see them using their power to subjugate my future to the insatiable hunger of the state. How many Pittsburgh students do you think helped elect Democratic Mayor Luke Ravenstahl? How many UC students helped elect the legislators responsible for their 32% tuition increase? How many OU students hit the ballot box for Ted Strickland?

If you were duped like I was duped, it’s a forgivable offense. The genius of socialism is that it exploits youthful inexperience and idealism to its own advantage. Socialists make utopian promises of hope and change, of slowing the rise of the oceans and healing the planet, but they never explain to the young people they’re busy mesmerizing that these promises come at a cost. The cost is your freedom and prosperity, yours specifically.

If you were duped, you’re forgiven. But the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. I began this post asking a very simple question: Will we fight or will we surrender? If we turn our heads and ignore the political process next year and in 2012, we surrender. If we get all wrapped up in fads and third parties that aren’t electorally viable, if we declare ourselves Anarchists or Greens or Libertarians, we surrender. If we go back to the ballot box and cast votes for the same Democrats who are waging intergenerational war against us, we surrender.

I, for one, am going to fight. If you want to fight, if you’re not willing to give up your freedom and prosperity in exchange for empty utopian promises, then you should join me. The alternative, the only alternative, is the only existing political opposition — and that is the Republican Party. It’s at a crossroads right now, a time of soul-searching and getting back to basics. Those of us who are under 35 have a historic opportunity to participate, to push for a libertarian Republican Party with a live and let live agenda consistent with our generation’s principles. We can either participate or we can withraw. But remember, withdrawal is surrender and your future, yours, is at stake.

Don’t surrender. Fight. Join the Republican resistance and demand freedom and prosperity for Generations Y and Z. This is your wake-up call.

UPDATE: Eric Dondero has graciously decided to feature this post on his blog, Libertarian Republican. Go check it out, leave some comments, and tell your Generation Y and Z friends.

UPDATE II: Now cross-posted to RedState.

Defeat is Only for the Defeated

Cloture. It’s a word that’s leading to despair in some circles, following the Senate vote last night in which all 60 Democrats voted for and all 40 Republicans voted against proceeding to a simple majority vote on ObamaCare. We’re doomed, some are saying. They’re saying that America, like Western Europe, is now destined for a permanent shift toward socialism — so that even conservatives will become pseudo-socialists who know that it is politically untenable to take on big government. The sky is falling, they say, and we have proven to Benjamin Franklin that we cannot keep a republic.

Well, Chicken Little, I’ve got just one thing to say to you: Defeat is only for the defeated. And I’m not defeated. Why are you?

Sure, the bill has now passed both chambers of Congress. It’s likely that it will eventually make it to the president’s desk for his signature, but it would be a serious mistake to give up now when there’s still work to be done in trying to kill the bill while the House and Senate are trying to reconcile it. But even if ObamaCare becomes law, Democrats have built their own defeat into the very fabric of the legislation. It will not take effect until 2014, which means that we still have time to repeal it.

There are others who agree with me that now is not the time for defeatism, like Allahpundit (Hot Air) and Dan Riehl (Riehl World View). The guys at Hillbuzz — Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton, remember — are reminding us that it should be our mission to get rid of all 60 of these senators, starting with the list provided by Moe Lane at RedState. And the guys at Hillbuzz are in a fighting mood, as is Far Right Democrat. So are Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. You should be too.

Unrepealable? Really, with 61% of the public on our side? I just can’t accept that. This is not a victory for Democrats, not really. As RedState and GayPatriot are pointing out, this is political suicide. They’ve given us the ammunition to fight them, and win, in the next two election cycles. If we play it smart and if we fight hard, we will win, and we will repeal this.

But I think it’s really The Anchoress who is striking the right note, by reminding us that the Democrats have chosen a truly inauspicious time to try to make opponents of this bill — 2/3 of Americans, remember — feel defeated.

We are now wrapping up the season of Advent, on the verge of celebrating Christmas. This is the time of year when we are reminded that faith and hope are not just nice sentiments, wishful thinking, or idealistic naivete. Faith and hope are gifts from our God, the God who made us to be free. Real hope, true change, is reserved to the Lord who is the Author of Hope, to the One who sent his angels to a few shepherds in a field thousands of years ago to declare that he was making all things new. He is still declaring it to us, here and now, millennia later, as we finish Advent and prepare for Christmas. Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

This is the time to fight, to pray fervently, and to trust that God had a plan when he led the founders of our nation to realize that he had created man for freedom. This is the time to hope, and to hope radically in the face of despair, that the Spirit of God will inspire us to boldly speak the truth about what is going on in America and to believe, with all of our hearts, that the truth will set us free. We believe. We hope.

111 Congresses Later, Senate Puts Liberty on a Ventilator

I don’t usually write about the socialist takeover of 1/6 of our economy sorry, health care reform, because it makes me so angry that I can’t usually form rational thoughts on the subject. It was the issue that made me realize voting for Barack Obama last year was the biggest mistake I’ve made in my life (and I’ve made some whoppers).

But I can’t let this moment, the moment that the United States Senate put liberty on a ventilator, pass without some comment.

Dan Perrin (RedState) notes that not a fired up right, nor overwhelming public opinion, nor even the anger of Democrats’ liberal base could stop this bill from passing the Senate. Of course this surprises no one at this point. Haven’t the Obama administration and the congressional leadership proven time and time again that they couldn’t care less about what anyone else thinks about what they’re doing?

The kicker is that Harry Reid got to 60 votes for a bill that taxpayers don’t want by bribing senators with taxpayer money. Most have already heard about the $300 million in Medicaid funding that Reid secured for Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, but today she’s looking like your average street corner whore. Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson is the new high-priced callgirl, securing for Nebraska complete exemption for having to pay anything for Medicaid. Taxpayers in the other 49 states will now have to foot the bill.

Americans for Tax Reform has a list of the new taxes that ObamaCare will impose, including taxes that will hit those making less than $250,000 a year even though President Obama promised that no such taxation would occur. Presumably we can now expect the president to veto this bill. But don’t hold your breath. (By the way, Riehl World View’s favorite new tax is the 10% excise tax on tanning services. It’s replacing the “botax” on cosmetic surgery, and one wonders if this was due to the objections of Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, et al., who certainly need such surgery. In any event, my favorite new tax is the individual mandate surtax that Candidate Obama opposed).

Hillbuzz thinks that we need to start screaming and yelling at our congressmen and senators, in person. I will certainly be giving Charlie Wilson, Sherrod Brown, and George Voinovich an earful.

Little Miss Attila says, quite bluntly: “Fuck Ben Nelson.” Me too, but better than that: Fuck the whole damn government.

But, and this is important, it ain’t over ’till it’s over. Once the votes are in and the Senate version of ObamaCare passes, it will have to be reconciled with the House version and both chambers will have to vote for the final bill. The House version has a public option while the Senate version does not, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus might side with Howard Dean and the nutroots who want the bill killed.

Abortion is still proving contentious as well, because the Senate version is not as stringent as the House version in prohibiting federal funding for abortion coverage. Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak, the author of the House version’s abortion restrictions, finds the Senate version “unacceptable.” Should the final bill prove to be just as unacceptable, it’s possible that there will be enough pro-life Democrats in the House to defeat the final version of ObamaCare.

Call. Your. Congressman.

My predictions if the bill passes? Glad you asked:

  • A Republican House for the 112th Congress;
  • A Republican majority in both chambers for the 113th Congress (if, in fact, this doesn’t happen next year);
  • And Sarah Palin sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2013.

That may, in fact, be the only silver lining in all of this — that Democrats might seal their own defeat with this bill, and that it might happen in time to repeal the monstrosity. At least we hope.

Reid Ups the Ante

To use an appropriate gambling analogy, Senate Majority Leader upped the ante today when he not only refused to apologize for equating opponents of “health care reform” with opponents of abolition, integration, and women’s suffrage — he actually stood by the remarks.

“At pivotal points in American history, the tactics of distortion and delay have certainly been present,” Reid said. “They’ve certainly been used to stop progress. That’s what we’re talking about here. That’s what’s happening here. It’s very clear. That’s the point I made — no more, no less. Anyone who willingly distorts my comments is only proving my point.”

There’s no distortion going on here. Reid explicitly equated Republicans with those who opposed abolition, integration, and women’s suffrage. Meanwhile, Republicans were the ones who abolished slavery, secured women’s suffrage, and favored integration. It was Reid’s own party in the south that seceded from the Union and caused the Civil War to preserve slavery. It was Reid’s party that prevented women’s suffrage from becoming a constitutional amendment when it was first introduced by a Republican in 1878. And it was Reid’s party that fought racial integration.

But more importantly, this tale is not over. It was Reid and Senate Democrats who elected West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, an ex-Klansman, the president pro tempore of the Senate. They placed a man known to have been a member of America’s most infamous white supremacist terrorist organization third in line to succeed America’s first black president. That’s not a distortion, Sen. Reid. That’s what we in the — oh, how should I put this? — reality-based community like to call a fact.

Well, don’t you know about the Byrd? Well, everybody knows that the Byrd is the word!

Chairman Steele wants Senate Democrats to strip Reid of his leadership position if he doesn’t apologize. Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the Democratic Conference Secretary, has made it clear that they have no more intention of doing that than of stripping Robert Byrd of his leadership position for once belonging to a racist hate group. But if Senate Democrats won’t strip Reid of his leadership position, then Nevada voters — who oppose health care reform and therefore must be racists — can and should do it. They should elect Danny Tarkanian to the U.S. Senate.

They Wanna Talk History? Let’s Talk History

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid “took his GOP-blasting rhetoric to a new level” yesterday, according to Fox News. Reid compared Republican opponents of the monstrosity known as “health care reform” to abolition, racial integration, and women’s suffrage opponents:

“Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, ‘slow down, stop everything, let’s start over.’ If you think you’ve heard these excuses before, you’re right,” Reid said Monday. “When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said ‘slow down, it’s too early, things aren’t bad enough.'”

He continued: “When women spoke up for the right to speak up, they wanted to vote, some insisted they simply, slow down, there will be a better day to do that, today isn’t quite right.

“When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today.”

There are many angles from which to attack Reid’s outlandish remarks. Republicans could, for example, point out that Democrats have consistently gone ape every time abortion has been compared to the Holocaust or President Obama has been compared to Hitler, Stalin, or Mao. Now their Senate Majority Leader is turning around and comparing Republicans to those who opposed abolition, racial integration, and women’s suffrage.

Republicans could also point out that we were told the historic election of a black president meant that we were moving toward a post-racial America. Meanwhile, the leaders of the Democratic Party have increasingly exploited America’s racial divisions and sought to portray their political opponents as racists.

But I think the best way to approach this is to point out the obvious, as the Fox News reporters have and as Michelle Malkin (among others) has. The obvious is that Sen. Reid was right: There were those who opposed abolition, racial integration, and women’s suffrage. And they were Democrats. Yes, the best way to approach Sen. Reid’s idiocy is to give him — and the rest of the country — a refresher lesson in American history and the history of the Democratic Party.

Much more beneath the fold…

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