by Paul R. Hollrah –
Almost everyone, with the possible exception of those in Obama’s low-information voter base, is aware that Mitch McConnell (R-KY) currently serves as minority leader of the U.S. Senate, that Cong. John Boehner (R-OH) is the current Speaker of the House, and that Eric Cantor (R-VA) is the House majority leader. However, searching our memories, how many total appearances have these three men made on the major TV netwprks… ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, or Fox News… in the six month period since the 113th Congress was seated?
We can’t be sure of the exact number of appearances, but we do know that they’re quite rare. Eric Cantor, who should be before the TV cameras every day, promoting the Republican agenda, hasn’t been seen in months. If he were kidnapped and held hostage it is unlikely that anyone outside his immediate family would notice his absence. The point is that, at a time when the Democratic Party is more vulnerable to annihilation than at any time in history, the Republican Party is more devoid of leadership than ever before.
At the very least, Republicans have three major issues to use against Democrats, any one of which is potentially devastating: the IRS scandals, the Obamacare “train wreck,” and the Supreme Court’s decision on the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
First, the IRS scandals. The Articles of Impeachment adopted by the House Judiciary Committee on July 27, 1974, accused Richard Nixon of high crimes and misdemeanors. The articles read, in part, as follows:
Article II(1): He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.
Yes, Richard Nixon attempted to use the IRS as a political tool against his enemies, but, unlike Barack Obama, he was unsuccessful in doing so. All he succeeded in doing was to get himself impeached for having “endeavored” to use the IRS as a political weapon. Obama, on the other hand, actually used the IRS to silence his opposition while running for reelection in 2012.
Obama’s articles of impeachment might read: “He has, acting personally and/or through his subordinates and agents, caused the Internal Revenue Service to obstruct the 1st Amendment rights of citizens, in violation of their constitutional right to free speech and freedom of assembly, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, discriminatory investigations to be initiated or conducted based on the political ideology of targeted citizens.
Meanwhile, the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, under the tepid leadership of Cong. Darrel Issa (R-CA), summons IRS officials to testify under oath, and then sits silently by while IRS people lie to them and to the American people. Of the twenty-three Republicans on the committee, only two… Cong. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Cong. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)… have shown any real passion for identifying and punishing wrongdoers within the IRS.
Not once has any Republican member of the committee informed the public that, during the 2012 election cycle, the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) made contributions of just over $571,800 to congressional candidates: some $547,800 of it to Democrats and only $24,000 to Republicans. Of the seventeen Democrats on the Oversight committee, sixteen received NTEU contributions totaling $30,500, while only one of the twenty-three Republicans on the committee received a $2,500 NTEU contribution.
If they had any courage at all, Republicans would be shouting from the rooftops, asking why IRS agents are even allowed to belong to a union and making it clear to all fair-minded Americans that the NTEU is almost exclusively a Democrat Party playpen. Is it any wonder that the IRS would target conservative, Republican-leaning interest groups for harassment?
Then, of course, there’s Obamacare… the greatest boondoggle in history.
Obama entered the Oval office promising that he would insure 20-30 million previously uninsured residents, reduce the cost of healthcare for everyone, increase the quality of healthcare for everyone, and do it all without increasing the number of doctors, nurses, and hospitals.
So how has all of that worked out for the people? The Wall Street Journal reports that, across the country, employers are trying to keep their workforce at less than 50 full time employees while placing as many full time workers as possible on part time status, trying every possible way to avoid being punished by the Affordable Care Act. In some cases, cashiers and burger flippers at a local McDonalds restaurant work for just 20 hours a week, and then, voting with their feet, head to a nearby Burger King or Wendy’s restaurant to work another 20 hours.
As the Journal editorializes, “Welcome to the strange new world of small-business hiring under ObamaCare.” The so-called Affordable Care Act requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to offer health insurance plans to employees who work more than 30 hours a week. By hiring a 50th worker the firm pays a penalty of $2,000 for each uncovered worker beyond 30 employees. Even those in Obama’s low-information voter base are smart enough to understand the sheer stupidity of the Obama plan.
Finally, in one of its most controversial decisions of the 2013 session, the Supreme Court ruled that Section 4 of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 was unconstitutional. That section of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) required nine southern states… and only nine southern states… to seek federal approval before amending their election statutes.
While the VRA attacked voting practices in the southern states that were clearly designed and implemented by Democrats to keep blacks from voting, the 1965 law was so racially-motivated that it totally ignored massive vote fraud by Democrats elsewhere in the country. If liberals are so insistent that the VRA be reauthorized, because nearly all of the nine states covered by the act have become reliable red states and deserve to be punished, Republicans should accommodate them… but with a few additional twists that Democrats would oppose at their own peril.
For example, because there is so much fraud in voter registration, Republicans should introduce an expanded Voting Rights Act requiring that voter registration must be done only in person, and at the county or township courthouse of the political subdivision in which the voter resides. The Voting Rights Act should require that each new registrant should be required to swear that he/she is a citizen, provide a Social Security number, and provide proof of residence (drivers license, utility bills, property deed, apartment lease, etc.) when registering to vote.
The Act should require that all voters present either an official voter registration card or a photo ID upon entering a polling place at each election.
The Voting Rights Act should mandate a national voter registration database with all unique names associated with a Social Security number. The law should require that state and county voter rolls be purged annually of felons, deceased persons, and those who have changed their place of residence. And just as those changing their place of residence leave a forwarding address with their local post office, the new Voting Rights Act should require that registered voters also transfer their voter registration by written document. Such registration portability should be required whether the move is from state to state or from precinct to precinct.
The Voting Rights Act should require that voting must be done in person, only on the day of the election, and only in the precinct of residence. Absentee ballots must be received no later than ten days prior to each election, and election officials must have absentee ballots tallied no later than the day and hour that polls close on Election Day.
And finally, the Voting Rights Act must provide fines and mandatory prison sentences for any person who would resort to fraud, violence, or intimidation in any election in which a candidate for federal office appears on the ballot.
Prohibited acts would include: a) voting in the name of another person, b) voting more than once in the same election, c) voting in the name of a dead or fictitious person, d) voting in more than one state or political subdivision in the same election, e) voting without benefit of U.S. citizenship, f) tampering with voting devices, g) interfering with, intimidating, or causing injury to the person or property of any person peaceably engaged in the political process, or h) causing any other person to do any of the foregoing.
All of these recommendations meet the test of fairness and inclusion because they apply equally to all. And while they are certain to receive strong opposition from Democrats, they are issues that are more than ripe for exploitation by Republicans.
Unfortunately, it requires leadership to tackle issues such as these. If we were to ask where we might find Republican leaders with the passion for traditional American values and the rule of law to lead our fight… we would be forced to ask, “What Republican Leaders?” It’s time we demanded that Republican elected officials either lead, follow, or get out of the way. | July 12, 2013