Saving America: Time to hit the streets?

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Jim DeMint's gentlemanly air and refined tone belie a power and an urgency in his words.

The stately senator from South Carolina sees America's unique centuries-old system of freedom dying out.

And he thinks we may have to take to the streets to save it.

"I would think it's time to start thinking about peaceful demonstrations," he told us last week.

Seriously?

"Seriously.

"The power of the people is there. Freedom is in the people's hands right now, and it's about to slip through."

Of course, the recent "stimulus" debate is what's fresh on DeMint's mind. Despite DeMint's putting 15 aides on it overnight, no one in Washington was able to read the bill, which was the most expensive in American history -- as well as being perhaps the most irresponsible.

The worst since the adoption of the income tax, DeMint figures.

It's not just the amount of money involved, some $780 billion -- although that, alone, is corrosive enough to American freedom. "I've seen it happen inside government agencies: 'What can we do to get it spent?' It's the only way (the agencies can get money)," DeMint says. "I see that happen in Afghanistan and Iraq, where our aid programs are basically based on people being able to spend the money within a certain period of time so we can say we did something. And it just leads to a bunch of waste."

Perhaps even worse than the money is the strings that come with it. It's the growth of the federal government's reach and influence too. The "stimulus" bill has increased the federal role in, among other things, education -- and gets the government's nose fully in the tent of private medical decisions.

The slab has been poured underneath what some want to become nationalized health care.

"Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system," writes Betsy McCaughey, adjunct senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. "Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

"But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and 'guide' your doctor's decisions."

In short, rationing.

In truth, the leviathan that is the stimulus bill is just the most recent in a chain of actions by an aristocratic and arrogant Washington that is eroding our freedoms.

With our tacit permission.

"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism," American socialist Norman Thomas famously once said, "but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened."

DeMint sees it -- from a front-row seat in the U.S. Senate.

"We're being drawn in with a lot of promises -- and the fact that so many people are already dependent on the government and so few actually pay taxes," DeMint says.

Sadly, DeMint saw that dependence in full bloom -- in the faces of South Carolina leaders who tried to twist his arm to vote for the stimulus bill to get their own goodies.

"Just about everybody who came in my office, even the mayors from all over the state, they would usually say, 'DeMint, I agree with you -- this is a bad bill. But it's got this in here for us, and we want our piece.'"

Historically, the federal government has been about 18 percent of the gross domestic product. By next year, it could grow to nearly 40 percent, according to Newsweek .

"The late sociologist Seymour Lipset," writes National Review editor Rich Lowry, "wrote a brilliant book on why the U.S. didn't embrace socialism, called It Didn't Happen Here. In a few years, its conclusion might look premature."

DeMint is hopeful -- but not when he looks around Capitol Hill.

"I've become increasingly aware that the thoughtful, well-informed leaders are very few and far between in the Congress -- people who seem to be well-read and continuing to kind of grow their skills. It's become rhetorical and political ..."

Instead, DeMint is looking to the people -- where he still sees a "remnant" of freedom-loving still stirring.

Only a remnant?

"That's all it is," he concludes. "But that's all it takes.

"Freedom is in our hands; it always has been. We've entrusted it to people in Washington, and increasingly they have picked our pockets and pulled power from us. We're just going to have to take it back.

"The real shame of all this is, I feel Republicans had said that we were going to carry that banner of freedom -- and they completely betrayed that. And it's going to be hard to get it back."

But with all except three Republicans in Congress voting against the stimulus bill, perhaps getting that banner back has started. There are a few rising conservative stars on the national scene, including Reps. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Mike Pence of Indiana.

Still, DeMint says star power isn't what we need. "I think what we need to look for first is to find the principles that will bring us together. I'm not looking for a face right now."

One thing he is looking for is a strong governor or two.

States need to stop putting their hands out to the federal government and start pushing it away, DeMint figures -- and maybe start questioning some of the modern dogma that says the feds can prevent offshore drilling, or withhold gas tax money or inject themselves as much as they want in education, health care and other issues.

Don't hold your breath.

The sad fact is, the people who understand American freedom can't rely on their leaders anymore.

"Really, I think the hope right now is not in Congress to make the right decision, cause they're not," DeMint says. "It's just whether or not the American people are going to stand up and say enough is enough.

"People don't need to look to Washington. It's the people's government. And the people are going to have to take it back. They can do it with their voices and with their votes -- and they may have to do it with their legs. People are going to have to show that they're not going to take it anymore."

By "legs," he means what you think he does.

Demonstrations.

Noting the tactics of left-wing organizations such as Code Pink, which like to send handfuls of noisy people to a lawmaker's office, DeMint suggests such things do get the attention of congressmen and senators.

"I think some of these folks might think twice if they had several hundred people standing outside one of their state offices asking, 'What in the world are you thinking?' "

If that doesn't work, there's plenty of room on the boulevard.

Comments (173) Add comment
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Nammy
2
Points
Nammy 02/22/09 - 01:34 am
0
0
Whelp, we certainly have

Whelp, we certainly have plenty of peeps out of a job now to make a difference. That's for sure..............I'm ready when you are.......call me! (':

GGpap
528
Points
GGpap 02/22/09 - 01:57 am
0
0
"The stately senator from

"The stately senator from South Carolina sees America's unique centuries-old system of freedom dying out. And he thinks we may have to take to the streets to save it. I would think it's time to start thinking about peaceful demonstrations, he told us last week." I am not a DeMint supporter but on this point I am in FULL agreement (well, with the exception of the word "peaceful"). To my knowledge, peaceful demonstrations haven't had much affect on the decisions adopted by our political representatives. Therefore, before I become a convert to DeMint's position, I will make an effort to research his voting record to date, and I would ask others to do the same. Obviously, he is anti-stimulus, anti-tax, anti-healthcare, anti-democrat, anti, anti, anti... So, what does Sen. DeMint actually support? Remember, actions speak louder than words. GGpap

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 02/22/09 - 05:31 am
0
0
"I would think it's time to

"I would think it's time to start thinking about peaceful demonstrations," he told us last week...................Exactly !!!! I am ready also.................

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 02/22/09 - 05:43 am
0
0
What a joke DeMint is. Where

What a joke DeMint is. Where was his outrage with the billions of dollars missing in Iraq? http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,129489,00.html

44mag
0
Points
44mag 02/22/09 - 05:50 am
0
0
"anti, anti... So, what does

"anti, anti... So, what does Sen. DeMint actually support?"
Spoken like a true ward of the state. How about personal responsibility for starters.

"Remember, actions speak louder than words."
Reminds me of another great quote, "The pen is mightier than the sword."

Face it, you're a liberal. You want other people's money to pay your bills (on the bigger picture).

"What a joke DeMint is. Where was his outrage with the billions of dollars missing in Iraq? http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,129489,00.html" Is this another way of saying you're one of those that wants someone elses money? Don't be bashful about it, shout it from the rooftops, "I'm a liberal and I'm proud." Quit hiding behind other issues.

44mag
0
Points
44mag 02/22/09 - 05:53 am
0
0
"Billions missing in Iraq"!

"Billions missing in Iraq"! Soon the question will be, "Where'd all those trillions in America go?"

Riverman1
90638
Points
Riverman1 02/22/09 - 06:05 am
0
0
Bring it on, let's get ready

Bring it on, let's get ready to rumble. Tell them we don't need no stinkin fed money and control. I compare the socialist takeover of the U.S. to the French Revolution that ended in the Reign of Terror. Our protests will probably be in vain, but they will end up beheading each other before it's over. Ask the socialist, Robespierre. Ask the communist intellectuals the Red Guard stoned to death. When the excesses begin there is no end.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 02/22/09 - 06:16 am
0
0
One thing is true the fed

One thing is true the fed funding is a use or lose situation. I've noted Medical schools and Universities waste millions in fed funding. I can only imagine the "hidden" and "wasteful" spending in this "transparent-translucscent-opaque-black" bail out.

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 02/22/09 - 06:37 am
0
0
Good Lord, doesn't it [filtered word]

Good Lord, doesn't it [filtered word] you off that millions of dollars are unaccounted for in Iraq? or that CEO's of banks and other financial institutions used our tax dollars to give themselves millions of dollars of bonuses? I didn't know that was a liberal or conservative view. At least the Recovery and Reinvestment Act is attempting to help middle class Americans. Personally I don't need anyone else money, my husband and I have a comfortable life. And yes, I am a liberal and proud of it.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 02/22/09 - 06:41 am
0
0
The demonstrations in front

The demonstrations in front of socialist congressmen offices will lead to arrest. The difference is that the left wing press will either ignore the arrests so there will be no national outrage and pressure on the left wing congressman, or they'll deny an arrest ever took place so the Dem sheeple can chant "neo-con, neo-con" when the responsible press reports the outrage. More than 45% of voters have sold their right to any actual freedom in exchange for perceived security. Socialism is a fantasy that doesn't work for the people. It is something that is done to the people. At this point in our country's history, more than 45% of the voters are convinced that personal responsibility is too much effort and we should all belong to a collective controlled by a socialist federal government. I feel DeMint's idea was too late as of Nov 5, 2008.

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 02/22/09 - 07:03 am
0
0
teharp...what about the

teharp...what about the trillions that are going to be unaccounted for right here under your sheeple nose????????

I4PUTT
5
Points
I4PUTT 02/22/09 - 07:07 am
0
0
The proof is in the pudding.

The proof is in the pudding. If Socialism is so great, why don't politicians openly campaign for it???? It's past time that Americans took a stand. This empty suit who talks real pretty of a president should be enough to get us to our feet. To think that our congress men would actually agree to vote on the single largest spending bill in history offered up by this inept democratic congress should outrage all of us. Count me in. Vote out every sitting politician & let's start over.

HotFoot
17
Points
HotFoot 02/22/09 - 07:14 am
0
0
An irresponsible senator, an

An irresponsible senator, an irresponsible editorial, and a bunch of dangerously out-of-touch posters. Socialism, the Southern bugaboo. What a bunch of idiots.

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 02/22/09 - 07:28 am
0
0
You people are too much. How

You people are too much. How is helping Americans with middle class tax cuts; unemployment benefit extensions; help for the unemployed with their COBRA insurance; infrastructure, including high speed rail, clean and drinking water projects, broadband access and all the other stimulus spending considered socialism? Gee, maybe we should get rid of the Veteran's Administration's health care (single payer plan) or social security. Just think how our senior citizens would be surviving today without social security and instead had to be surviving with their tanked 401Ks.

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 02/22/09 - 07:29 am
0
0
whats the matter

whats the matter midwest....are you afraid?..(you should be)

Riverman1
90638
Points
Riverman1 02/22/09 - 07:31 am
0
0
MidWest, I wonder why those

MidWest, I wonder why those in the south would be so concerned with socialism while those in the north favor it? Smile.

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 02/22/09 - 07:33 am
0
0
Those in the north apparently

Those in the north apparently can see through the stupidity of the socialism scare.

Riverman1
90638
Points
Riverman1 02/22/09 - 07:35 am
0
0
TeHarper, so socialism is bad

TeHarper, so socialism is bad you agree?

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 02/22/09 - 07:41 am
0
0
Good plan midwest, let's act

Good plan midwest, let's act like we can't see the socialism behind the curtain. That will mean it's not there. Let's call it a bugaboo, that'll mean it doesn't exist. I think I've deciphered the Dem mind set.

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 02/22/09 - 07:47 am
0
0
lol...........

lol...........

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 02/22/09 - 07:51 am
0
0
Agreed, socialism is not a

Agreed, socialism is not a good thing. Broadly defined, socialism is "collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods." We are far from that model. Again, how is the Recovery and Reinvestment Act considered socialism? The Act is not turning over companies to its citizens. Are we socialists to have a system of public safety (police), fire protection (firemen) or public libraries, schools, national parks, highways or a military health care plan?

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 02/22/09 - 07:56 am
0
0
First, a South Carolina

First, a South Carolina Governor incites the trogs; next a South Caroloina Senator. Maybe it's time we fire on Ft. Sumter. Soon these good ol' freedom-lovers will be jockeying for appointments in Montgomery again as the Confederacy reconvenes. Backward Ever, Forward Never!

Riverman1
90638
Points
Riverman1 02/22/09 - 07:57 am
0
0
TeHarper, if it would only

TeHarper, if it would only stop with firemen and public libraries.

44mag
0
Points
44mag 02/22/09 - 08:00 am
0
0
Are we socialists to have a

Are we socialists to have a system of public safety (police), fire protection (firemen) or public libraries, schools, national parks, highways or a military health care plan?

The real question is where in the Constituition does the fed derive it's authority for these programs? Ooops, I forgot, it growed them! (Living document and all!)

44mag
0
Points
44mag 02/22/09 - 08:04 am
0
0
"Personally I don't need

"Personally I don't need anyone else money, my husband and I have a comfortable life. And yes, I am a liberal and proud of it."

Good, send me 1/2 your money and I'll make someone else comfortable. And they won't even need to work for it and that'll get me another vote.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 02/22/09 - 08:04 am
0
0
teharper, government by robin

teharper, government by robin hood is not the capitalist foundation this country was built on. Dress it up any way you wish, socialism will not work.

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 02/22/09 - 08:09 am
0
0
Let's tackle the editorial on

Let's tackle the editorial on the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology statements, it was started by executive order in 2004. http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/pdf/04-10024.pdf
So it is not a "new bureaucracy." In addition, the final bill has inserted the following: H.R. 1, conference report: (g) RULES OF CONSTRUCTION- (1) COVERAGE.-Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the Council to mandate coverage, reimbursement, or other policies for any public or private payer.
(2) REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.-None of the reports submitted under this section or recommendations made by the Council shall be construed as mandates or clinical guidelines for payment, coverage, or treatment.

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 02/22/09 - 08:14 am
0
0
44mag- I think we already do,

44mag- I think we already do, it's called income taxes. But you don't see me whining about it, I may disagree with where it is spent, i.e., unjustified war in Iraq. However, as a proud American I feel it is paying our "dues" for living in a great country.

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 02/22/09 - 08:24 am
0
0
"The real question is where

"The real question is where in the Constituition does the fed derive it's authority for these programs?" Could it be, Article 1 Section 8 - Powers of Congress:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 02/22/09 - 08:50 am
0
0
teharper, stop trying to

teharper, stop trying to confuse us with facts. Our mind is made up.

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