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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Post Election Reactions, Part 1

D o w n s i z e r - D i s p a t c h November 4th, 2008

Quote of the Day: "Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right." Source: "Minority Report" (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997 [1956]), p. 222

Subject: A state of permanent preparedness for impeachment

It's Election Day. What should we say about it? We're tempted to declare it a day of mourning, but instead, we're going to argue that today is the day to adopt a state of permanent preparedness for impeachment.

As of yet, neither a Democrat nor a Republican has been elected President. That outcome will be revealed later today. But before that happens, we should commit ourselves to closely monitor the actions of the new President, and to be ready to call for his impeachment, should that become warranted.

We should be prepared to do this regardless of partisan loyalties.

What warrants impeachment? Different people will have different standards. We plan to maintain a running "bill of impeachment," listing broken laws, Constitutional violations, and abuses of power. It will be up to you to agree or disagree with the items we choose to list, and to decide whether or not any one item or group of items justifies impeachment.

It's possible, given your level of sensitivity, that the new President could do something on his first day that would immediately warrant impeachment in your eyes, or that he will never do enough bad things to justify such an action.

The call will be yours.

Some people reasonably object that impeachment is too vulnerable to partisan ax grinding. There are also many things for which a president could be impeached of which the impeachers themselves will be guilty. It is precisely these concerns that prevented us from advocating the impeachment of President Bush. But . . .

We have come to believe, after long consideration, that this was a mistake on our part. President Bush should have been impeached. In our view, he richly deserved it, as have many previous presidents, both Democrat and Republican.

The Founders provided impeachment as one of many checks on government power. In doing so they were painfully aware of the dangers of faction, or what we call partisanship. They must also have known that no president would ever be impeached by a saintly Congress. But they provided for the impeachment power anyway. We think we know why . . .

Unchecked government power is so toxic that it must be limited by every means available. Impeachment is one tool for doing so, even when it is tainted by partisanship and hypocrisy.

Which is better, to allow a president to run wild, or to check his criminality through impeachment, even if the impeachers are hypocrites with partisan motives? We would choose the latter outcome.

But there is one other factor to consider. The mere threat of impeachment could itself regulate presidential actions, long before formal impeachment proceedings became necessary. This is especially true if the President and Congress begin hearing a growing cry for impeachment from a large number of citizens.

Calling for impeachment, when each of us feels it is justified, could serve as a powerful warning to both the President and Congress.

As of today, there is no "bill of indictment" for an impeachment proceeding. No such list can even be compiled for the new president until after January 20, 2009. But what we can do today is warn Congress that we intend to be vigilant this time. Toward that end . . .

We've created a permanent impeachment campaign, where we will list, if necessary, any potentially impeachable offenses by the incoming president. In the meantime, the message-to-Congress for this campaign reads as follows . . .

"I'm serving notice that I'll be watching the actions of the incoming president very closely. Should he break laws, violate the Constitution, or abuse his power, I'll be urging you, early and often, to start impeachment proceedings."

If you like the idea of maintaining a "permanent state of impeachment preparedness" then use our Educate the Powerful System to send this message to Congress.

If you feel that President Bush should have been impeached, then you could, if you wish, use your personal comments to state this opinion, and any supporting justifications you care to mention.

This is the most appropriate action we can suggest on Election Day.

Thank you for being a member of the growing Downsize DC army.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

My comments: Sounds like a good idea, but I don't think we'll be needing this provision in the next 4 years. I really hope I'm right.

The Heritage Foundation November 5th 2008

Dear Christopher,

We conservatives have our work cut out for us to hold back the liberal tide, and The Heritage Foundation is prepared to fight back.

Help Heritage Fight Back Against the Resurgent Left. Donate Now.Liberals have expanded their control of the Congress, and they have won control of the White House too.

The Left is sure to claim a mandate to impose its radical agenda on America—from the economy to energy to the war on terror, from the Supreme Court to taxes, health care and education.

If we are to fight back against the liberal onslaught, we need your support today. Our goal is to raise $80,000 towards this effort by November 15.

Help Heritage fight to defend conservative principles and advance conservative ideas with your gift today.

Triumphant liberals have already spelled out their plans:

  • On the campaign trail, liberals called for tax increases, massive new government health care programs, drastic new environmental controls and more.
  • Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts said, “we'll have to raise taxes ultimately” as a result of liberal spending increases. He also wants to cut defense spending by a quarter.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she supports re-imposing the Fairness Doctrine—an onerous regulation that could silence conservatives on talk radio.
  • Liberals of all stripes have pledged to enact the Employee Free Choice Act, a handout to big labor that eliminates the secret ballot in unionization elections.

The Heritage Foundation is ready to stand up to this challenge. We will not stray from our mission to fight for the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

We are ready to fight back against the liberals and advance our conservative principles. We will build on our 35-year record of success—from welfare reform to missile defense to tax cuts—and help get America back on track.

But we need your help if we are to raise $80,000 by November 15 to make this possible. Will you stand with us?

Make a contribution to help Heritage counter the liberal threat.

In Washington, there are no permanent victories and no permanent defeats. We must remain firmly committed to our principles in both good times and in bad. That’s why your help is so important.

Now more than ever, we are grateful for your support for our conservative principles and ideals. Without the support of conservatives like you, none of what we do would be possible.


Ed Feulner Signature

Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D.

My comments: Honestly, I won't be donating, and not even for lack of money. If I donate any money to a political cause in the next 4 years, it'll probably be to DownsizeDC.

MoveOn.Org November 5th, 2008

Dear Christopher,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Last night, together, we made history.

In the sun and the rain, from Virginia to Nevada, from New York to New Mexico, you knocked on doors, made phone calls and registered people who'd never voted in their lives. And you helped elect President Barack Obama.

So once again—thank you. Thank you for bringing our country back.

Tomorrow, we'll start on the next phase of this journey. But today, let's celebrate this moment. We've created a "Hope Wall"—a place where you can see what this victory means to other MoveOn members, and share your own thoughts and photos. Take a second right now to share your joy with the rest of us!

Here's one comment that pretty much sums it up:

I am so proud to be an American.—Edna B., Boynton Beach, Florida

Remember back in 2001 and 2002, when so many of you joined MoveOn? When President Bush had an 80% approval rating, when you held candles to stop a war the media was cheering on, when there were few politicians with the courage to stand up for the truth? Back then, a victory like this seemed impossible.

But yesterday you proved that nothing is impossible. If we stand up together and if we fight together and if we believe together, we can change the course of history.

Today, a new day has dawned in America.

Thank you for making it happen.

–Eli, Aaron, Adam G., Adam R., Aisling, Andrea, Anna, Ben, Carrie, Daniel, Dave, Erik, Ilyse, Joan, Justin, Karin, Laura, Lenore, Marika, Matt, Michael, Neil, Nick, Nita, Noah, Patrick, Patrick S., Perrin, Peter, Randall, Ray, Sam, Stephen, Tanya, and Wes

P.S. MoveOn members did a truly heroic amount of work on this campaign. Check out what you accomplished at It's amazing.

P.P.S. If the links above don't come through, click here for the Hope Wall:

Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 4.2 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. This email was sent to Christopher D. Osborn on November 5, 2008.

My comments: Uhh... you're welcome! ... ? Again, I actually voted for Bob Barr and would probably NEVER donate or volunteer for That said, I am glad of their victory in helping to elect Barack H. Obama.

D o w n s i z e r - D i s p a t c h November 6th, 2008

Quote of the Day: "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." -- William Shakespeare

Subject: Not your usual post-election commentary

The media describes every election as historic, the most important in a generation, etc. When the voting is done they tell us a new era has dawned, that things will change, that nothing will ever be the same, blah, blah, blah.

One aspect of these claims is true, this time. It is both historic and meaningful that the United States has elected its first African-American president. We applaud and celebrate this. We think the significance of this event transcends mere symbolism. Otherwise, the election was what all other elections have been . . .

" . . . a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Can we support this harsh assessment? Consider . . .

The election thoroughly repudiated the Republican Party. They lost the White House in a landslide, and got clobbered in Congressional races. We might assume from this, if elections really produced change, that many Republican policies of the last eight years will be reversed. We predict that almost none of them will be.

The Republicans were responsible for . . .

* Enacting the largest new entitlement in decades -- the prescription drug program
* Passing social engineering schemes like "No Child Left Behind"
* Starting an un-provoked war
* Gutting constitutional liberties
* Running-up vast deficits

Will the Democrats reverse any of these actions? Sadly, we think the answer is "No." What, then, was the point of the election?

Was it merely to punish the Republicans while leaving their sins uncorrected? Was the purpose to give the Democrats permission to pursue all of their own pet projects for social engineering, and to spend, spend, spend to their hearts content?

Undoubtedly this last item is the message Democratic politicians will claim they heard. After all, they received a mandate, and if the mandate was not to pursue their dreams then the word has no meaning.

Of course, some voters can say, "Don't blame me, I voted Libertarian . . . or for the Constitution Party . . . or the Greens." Didn't these voters, at least, send a clear message about what they want?

We think not.

What does the average person assume when he or she sees third party candidates listed in his newspaper with tiny vote percentages next to their names? We think he or she assumes that . . .

"Those are fringe candidates with fringe ideas that no one supports. Therefore, I need not consider what they have to say."

The system is rigged against third parties. This guarantees low vote totals for those parties. It also guarantees that the ideas those parties represent will always be viewed as marginal.

Third parties don't promote ideas, they marginalize them!

Oh yes, we know all about the exceptions, like the Socialists and the Progressives, both of whom had ideas adopted by the major parties. But please notice, those ideas made the politicians, and even tax-funded intellectuals in the school system, MORE POWERFUL. That's the real reason those ideas were adopted; it wasn't because the Socialists and the Progressives managed to score a few points on Election Day.

So what does voting for partisan candidates actually accomplish? What does it communicate? As far as we can tell the answer is nothing, except that . . .

It gives the victims of the con game -- the American people -- an illusion of control. But we have no control -- no say so.

Voting in the partisan electoral contest merely gives sanction to the con-artists who constantly victimize us. That's the role of the voter, to sanction what the politicians do. That's it. It's like Emma Goldman said, "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."

Is this the way you want things to be?

The ways of the future do not lie in the ways of the past. The ways of the past involved hoping the new boss would be different than the old boss. But many decades have come and gone, and the new boss has always been the same as the old boss. We should abandon the old ways and adopt new ways.

The way to a better future lies in withdrawing our consent and issuing direct orders to our supposed public servants. Votes send confusing signals. But plain talk is rarely misunderstood.

The new way involves building a new social force with the power to make public servants miserable. Withdraw consent. Issue orders. Make the public servant submit.

The politicians are busy right now convincing themselves that the public wants top-down, centralized, Democratic social engineering. Who can disabuse them of this notion? After all, the votes have been cast. The people have spoken.

Only YOU can disabuse the politicians of their self-serving interpretations of inarticulate votes. The Republicans were repudiated. Therefore, the things the Republicans did must also be repudiated. This should be the mandate for the new Congress. Fortunately, we have a vehicle for doing just that . . .

Ron Paul's "American Freedom Agenda Act" would repeal a good chunk of the bad things the Republicans did. Use our Educate the Powerful system to ask your elected representatives to pass this bill.

Use your personal comments to tell your elected representatives that the Republicans were repudiated, therefore the things the Republicans did must also be repudiated.

And stay tuned for new steps in a new direction, starting next week.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

D o w n s i z e r - D i s p a t c h
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My comments: I don't like their cinicism on voting, but I still like their strategy. It doesn't matter who's in charge, asl long as they know whatWe The People want and that their position in power will be jeapordised if they don't do what We say. Some day I'll have money and be able to support them financially.

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