“Shut Up!” On Steroids

I never predict. I just look out the window and see what is visible – but not yet seen.” –Peter Drucker

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick decided to join Joe Klein and up the ante on the current campaign of “Shut Up!” described by Professor Klavan by alleging that Republicans’ opposition to President Obama’s agenda “is almost at the level of sedition.”

Of course, when explaining his remarks after the forum, Patrick said the following:

“I think that the number of people in the Grand Old Party who seem to be absolutely committed to saying ‘no,’ whenever he says ‘yes,’ no matter what it is, even if it’s an idea that they came up with, is just extraordinary,” the governor told reporters after the forum.

And about the “sedition” remark?

“That was a rhetorical flourish,” Patrick said.

Now, normally, I would take this as evidence of why he is in politics rather than private practice, those who can vs. those who can’t, and whatnot, but this isn’t the first time we have heard a prominent Democrat suggesting criminal penalties for Constitutionally protected opposition.  Once is an anomaly, twice is a trend.  It doesn’t surprise me.  The Left has been telling those who oppose them to “Shut Up!” for years, first with their own voices, then with the voices of their “experts”, and now that their “authority” is called into question for spouting increasingly inane defenses and justifications, they had to up the ante.

When Joe Klein offered up his insightful analysis which raised the spectre of sedition for people who dare criticise a President who speaks without knowledge and apologizes without cause, I was willing to shrug it off.  Merely another idiot demonstrating how a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  When a sitting governor starts saying it, I had to analyze it.  And the analysis says that this is the latest round of “Shut Up!”, the step of intimidation when the rabble refuse to be cowed by those who fancy themselves the intellectual betters of those to be silenced, and in Patrick’s case, it is all the more shameful, as he is an attorney and should, by training, choose his words carefully.  Such a use of the word would rest outside of the grounds of proper conduct, and be immediately objected to in Court.

But more importantly, we cannot discount the reasoning for the use of the word and the prevarication about the actual act.  Both Klein and Patrick talked about those evil opposition voices almost being seditious.  It isn’t true, of course, as sedition, like most legal terms, has a precise meaning.  From West’s Encyclopedia of American Law:

Sedition is the crime of revolting or inciting revolt against government. However, because of the broad protection of free speech under the First Amendment, prosecutions for sedition are rare. Nevertheless, sedition remains a crime in the United States under 18 U.S.C.A. § 2384 (1948), a federal statute that punishes seditious conspiracy, and 18 U.S.C.A. § 2385 (1948), which outlaws advocating the overthrow of the federal government by force. Generally, a person may be punished for sedition only when he or she makes statements that create a clear and present danger to rights that the government may lawfully protect (Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47, 39 S. Ct. 247, 63 L. Ed. 470 [1919]).

Thus, legal speaking, one commits sedition when one advocates the overthrow of the federal government by force.  As hard as Joe Klein may wish it to be true, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin have never said anything that would rise to the technical level of sedition, and no matter how much congressional Republicans refuse to lend their names to bad Democratic legislation so that the guilty parties can point to the desired collaboration and cry “Bipartisanship!”, it simply doesn’t meet the technical definition of sedition.  And why the emphasis on the technical definition of sedition?  Because such a law cannot easily be reconciled with either the First Amendment or our history.  “Congress shall make no law…” is indeed a pretty high hurdle, and I’m inclined to believe the proponents of that prohibition meant it.  It should also be noted that our nation’s charter was clear about the right to overthrow a government which had overstepped its bounds:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

In almost every sedition case prosecuted in recent memory, a successful conviction comes only with overt acts in furtherance against the United States of America.  That last little bit is important too, because both Klein and Patrick have raised their howling alarms with reference to resistance to the President and his policies, not the overthrow of the United States government.  Again, this isn’t surprising, as most leftists are more authoritarian than they would like to admit (it is hard to impose Utopia when there is an opposition with which you must share power), and they clearly have pinned all their dreams on the cypher masquerading as a leader, and they are willing to do and say anything to maintain his fading prestige.

Of course, this holds a challenge for us, as well.  We can’t let the clumsy smear go unanswered.  And when people who have no excuse to say something so demonstrably false, it is up to us to speak up, and do our best to instill the speakers with a sense of shame that they obviously lack.  After Governor Patrick’s remarks, I can now say that I’m even less impressed with the quality of public servant that the Harvard Law School is foisting upon us these days.  First a President of Law Review that apparently wrote no article for the publication, and now a former Assistant Attorney General who uses falsehoods as “rhetorical flourishes”.

I think the Dems should show a great deal more caution, lest they end up reaping what they sow.

I think I can see November from my house.

Crossposted at Taxes, Stupidity, and Death.


GOP To Launch New Project: “America Speaking Out”

They plan to announce the new project, America Speaking Out, which is being compared to the GOP’s 1994 “Contract With America”, at  a 10:30  press conference,  Tuesday morning.

The Hill reports:

House GOP leaders have planned a high-profile event at Washington D.C.’s Newseum Tuesday morning to launch the start of their “America Speaking Out” project.

Chief Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is in charge of the initiative to result in the release of a set of policy items that Republicans would pursue if they won back control of the House in November.

According to officials involved in the effort, “America Speaking Out” will focus on gathering feedback from Americans on what items that lawmakers should be focusing on in the future.

GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) said on Monday “it’s part of a process of engaging Americans.”

Without offering additional details, Pence noted that the project was not a product of the National Republican Congressional Committee: “’America Speaking Out’ is not a project of the political” campaign arm, Pence said. Any questions will be answered at the presser.

Participants will include America Speaking Out Chairman & Chief Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), America Speaking Out Vice Chairman Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH), Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA)
Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN), Republican Conference Vice Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and
Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI).


#1 on their agenda should be REPEAL AND REPLACE.

63% Favor Repeal of National Health Care Plan


CNN covered the America Speaking Out project, yesterday in the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer:


Awesome Video: U Of AZ Professor Heartily Booed During Commencement Speech For Panning AZ Immigration Law

And this isn’t one of those deals where you have to strain your ears to hear it.  This is loud, and lusty, raucous booing – you’re gonna love it!

The speaker, Sandra Soto is an associate professor in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and she was not shy about voicing her opinion of   Arizona’s new immigration law:

I think had Professor Soto used her “critical thinking skills” she might have reconsidered  bringing up a controversial and divisive subject at commencement.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit, who notes, 71% of Arizona voters now support the immigration law.


Lol. Allahpundit called the video: “palate-cleansing fun for the whole family”. What a card.


Joe Sestak, the Inartful Dodger

On Meet The Press Yesterday, when pressed by David Gregory, to name the job he was offered by the White House in exchange for quitting his Senate race against Arlen Specter, (there’s been speculation that it was Sec. of the Navy), Sestak dodged:

“Anything that goes beyond that, is for others to talk about”…

But how are we supposed to talk about something he won’t tell us????

The man has accused the White House of a serious breech of federal law…

Title 18, Chapter 11, Section 211 of the United States Code~ “Whoever solicits or receives … any….thing of value, in consideration of the promise of support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”) – I just can’t help but think that maybe an independent investigation is in order.

….But he refuses to elaborate, now that people are asking questions about the specifics. This man wants to be the next Senator from Pennsylvania, but he’s unwilling to be a whistle-blower on the criminal corruption he says he witnessed coming out of the Executive Branch?

Darrel Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, has called for a Special Prosecutor to look into the matter, (which is being stonewalled by Eric Holder).

He’s also threatening to file an ethics complaint against Sestak unless he reveals who in the White House offered him the job.

“I’m not sure what the truth is, I’m not sure what his full statement would be,” Issa said of Sestak. “Practically everyone that interviews him comes back with the same thing: he can’t be allowed to make an allegation against the White House and then say enough is said. It doesn’t work that way. Either he’s lying, or covering up felonies for political purposes.

But the cool thing about it is –  no matter who’s lying…it’s a lose lose for Democrats.

Now, here’s the very latest from NY Democrat Rep. Anthony Wiener — who has taken a break from his Glenn Beck advertising witch hunt to worry out loud about the refusal of Team Obama to practice the transparency they so loudly preach.


Obama’s America Must Fall

Unless we boot the Dem Socialists out of office in ’10 and ’12, and begin a slow and painful restoration back to an exceptional America with free and open markets,  we are doomed to a fate once considered relegated to the ash-heap of history.

As Arthur C. Brooks said in his Washington Post oped, yesterday:

This is not the culture war of the 1990s. It is not a fight over guns, gays or abortion. Those old battles have been eclipsed by a new struggle between two competing visions of the country’s future. In one, America will continue to be an exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise — limited government, a reliance on entrepreneurship and rewards determined by market forces. In the other, America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, a managed economy and large-scale income redistribution. These visions are not reconcilable. We must choose.

In his piece, today,  at NRO, Andrew McCarthy explains his feelings of melancholy over the country, feelings, I know, most Americans paying attention, share:

The House Divided:

…for the first time in our history, we have a president who would be much more comfortable sitting in a room with Bill Ayers than sitting in a room with me. We have a governing class that is too often comfortable with anti-American radicals, with rogue and dysfunctional governments that blame America for their problems, and with Muslim Brotherhood ideologues who abhor individual liberty, capitalism, freedom of conscience, and, in general, Western enlightenment. To this president and his government, I am the problem. Americans who champion life, liberty, and limited government are not just the loyal opposition; they are deemed potential terrorists, and are derided with considerably more intensity than the actual terrorists. Arizona — for criminalizing criminal activity, for defending its sovereignty and protecting its citizens’ lives and property — is slandered as a human-rights violator.

And here is the excruciating part: As the Calderón spectacle demonstrates, these sentiments are not fringe sentiments.

To be sure, they are not held by the majority. To be elected, candidate Obama had to run as a post-partisan moderate, a pragmatic centrist who would not be constrained by ideology. Two camps well knew that this was nonsense: those few of us on the right who bothered to study Obama’s record, and those on the Alinskyite left who understood the campaign to be merely a charade necessary to grab the reins of power.

It was the second camp we saw standing and cheering for Calderón in Congress on Thursday. They used him as a vehicle to condemn Arizona.

This second camp, Obama’s transformative Left, had the numbers to give a thunderous ovation in the People’s House because a lot of people agree with them. If I had to guess — after its two generations of marching through our institutions, controlling the academy, and scripting the legacy media — I’d put it at one in five, or maybe even four, Americans. That’s enough to form a country the size of France or Germany.

There were times during the height of Obamania when it felt like much more than that. How many people have awakened to what is going on? Because we can’t defeat this without massive numbers. The Dem Socialists in power are drunk with it, are entrenched,  and they will do anything to keep it.  You can bank on that.


The latest Rasmussen poll shows Obama with a 44% approval rating.  Why so high? I understand that’s low for a President only in his second year of governing, (and with a largely supportive media), but at this point, why would anyone but his Alinsky Dem Socialist base of 20 -25% approve of what he’s doing? How much more evidence do people need that he’s a disaster for this country?


Mike at Cold Fury commenting on the same McCarthy piece, believes there will be an awakening:

And on that frabjous day of awakening, we must not peck and nibble around the edges of their authoritarian edifice; we need to pull their incrementally-erected Barad-Dur down completely, until not one brick of it is left standing upon another. Half measures will not suffice; they will only prolong the agony. Only by destroying root and branch the oligarchy-by-bureaucrat laboriously cobbled together by Progressivists since the turn of the last century can the former glory of our Constitutional republic be truly and fully restored.

Still MORE from Patrick O’Hannigan at The American Spectator, who finds Progressive attacks on the  resistance, reminiscent of  Goldilocks and the Three Bears:

Progressives who say “this porridge is too hot” think the Tea Party is tainted by racism, beholden to special interests, and committed to nothing nobler than saying no.

Progressives who say “this porridge is too cold” think the Tea Party movement incubates anti-government sentiment, different in degree but not in kind from what motivated Tim McVeigh to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma City back when the only tea party anyone talked about involved overtaxed subjects of King George III dumping Earl Gray and Oolong into Boston Harbor. For the moment, these Goldilocks are content to paint the Tea Party as calculating and cynical, but they hope for the sake of their own moral superiority that a Tea Party rally will someday, somewhere turn violent.

The third progressive reaction to the Tea Party movement (“this porridge is just right”) is less common but funnier than the other two.

Rather than dwell on the frightening implications of having Goldilocks confront bitter gun-clinging Father Bear or narrow-minded and annoyingly fecund Mother Bear, some progressives stake their collective hopes on the Tea Party movement as Baby Bear, because what is small and stupid does not have to be feared.

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal pointed to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell as holding this point of view, because Rendell apparently thinks that there is no Tea Party movement, just a motley collection of media-savvy citizens for whom “taxed enough already” is an excuse to march on the offices of politicians burdened by the thankless task of representing their inferiors. Pundit Michael Kinsley appears to agree with Governor Rendell. But as John Hayward observed tartly, “The entrenched political elite would be much better off if their fantasies of surly voters driven by personal animosity toward President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi were true.” Unfortunately for that point of view, the Tea Party movement is powerful “precisely because it’s not shallow.”

And it is precisely because the tea party movement wields such power, that the Dem Socialists have attacked it so relentlessly. It may be the Country’s only hope.

See also American Power’s:

Marx, Keynes, Pelosi

They blend together…