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.

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teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 02/22/09 - 09:57 am
0
0
For those of you against the

For those of you against the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, take a stand, if you receive a tax cut from it, send it back. If you find yourself unemployed, don't draw past the original 26 weeks and certainly don't apply for help with your COBRA. If you're on social security, refuse the one-time $250 payment. And don't drive on those highways and bridges that get repaired as a result of the act. If you or your dependent are in college, don't apply for the $2500 credit for tuition. And most of all, if you or a family member are offered a job as a result of the Act, you certainly can't accept it, stand by your principles. By the way, it is snark.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 02/22/09 - 09:58 am
0
0
"DeMint's solution to the

"DeMint's solution to the financial crisis: Do nothing." By Satyam Khanna [Think Progress] 2009/02/18
http://thinkprogress.org/2009/02/18/demint-do-nothing/

TerryCSA
0
Points
TerryCSA 02/22/09 - 10:37 am
0
0
Iiiit's time the American

Iiiit's time the American people stand up and demand our government stop leading us into socialism. It's time for all true Patriots to speak up and demand our leaders start representing their constituients, not their special interests. We are losing our rights as afforded to us by the Constitution. Its time to get people off welfare, not put more people onto welfare. It's time for people to take responsibility for their own actions and not expect everyone else to pay for lack of judgement and responsibility. It's time to restore the Constitution to its original form and to prosecute these traitors in Washington DC for violations of the Constitution. Speak up people! Get your head out of the sand and stop putting your hands out begging for someone else to fund your extravagances. Stand up Patriots. Take to the streets. Let your voices be heard! We will not stand for socialism.

curly123053
4671
Points
curly123053 02/22/09 - 10:47 am
0
0
Now, you have the insurance

Now, you have the insurance companies telling doctors what treatments they can and cannot do on their own patients. Wait till you have the federal government doing the same ! That is the road we are traveling down. Guess we do need to take to the streets.....

TerryCSA
0
Points
TerryCSA 02/22/09 - 10:48 am
0
0
Left wing liberals talking

Left wing liberals talking points of how much Bush spent on Iraq shows how little they have to stand on and is to distract from the issues at hand. yes Bush spent billions on a war. Now just how much do you think Obama is going to spend on Afghanistan? War, no matter where it is, is not cheap. The current democrat controlled congress has hasspent $1.5 trillion, I repeat TRILLION in a matter of a few months to further their socialist agenda. $700B on bank bailouts for a situation that can be tied directly back to Democrats, $780B porkulus bill to fund 25 years of Dems pet projects. $75B to bail out homeowners who bought homes they could not afford and had no way of paying for them. It took Bush 7 years to spend billions. It only took the Dems 5 months to spend $1.5 trillion to lead this country down the road to socialism. $30 million dollars to Pelosi's pet project to save a salt water tit mouse! Wake up America! Stop being whinny little "gimme, gimme" irresponsible brats/ Grow up! This government is destroying the future for our children and granchildren. STOP THE MADNESS!

Chuchi
2
Points
Chuchi 02/22/09 - 10:48 am
0
0
I can't imagine signing my

I can't imagine signing my name to any bill, contract, agreement, whatever, without reading it through first. It would be incredibly irresponsible, especially if it were to spend someone else's money. I have noticed that several people are annoyed that billions have been spent in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. And bankers and businesses went through the first bailout like juice through a goose --- incidentally, does anybody actually know where that money went? The govt spent too much money and bloated the deficit, so the solution is: sign a bill without knowing what is in it, throw more money at the problem without actually knowing where said money is going and without any oversight as to how the money is spent, and bloat the deficit further. Apparently two wrongs make a right.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 02/22/09 - 10:55 am
0
0
Demint. A fine man who went

Demint. A fine man who went into congress a poor man and is now a multi-millionaire. I bet it was because he had a second job flipping burgers at night!

curly123053
4671
Points
curly123053 02/22/09 - 10:58 am
0
0
DeMint makes a lot more sense

DeMint makes a lot more sense than the other SC Senator called McGraham!

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 02/22/09 - 11:06 am
0
0
I think you might need to

I think you might need to recheck your information disssman.

Chuchi
2
Points
Chuchi 02/22/09 - 11:08 am
0
0
Unless I heard wrong from the

Unless I heard wrong from the news, the govt plans to pay for this gynormous spending bill by borrowing money from the Chinese and others. If they won't loan us enough cash the govt will simply inflate the currency. I remember years ago Jay Leno made a Doritos commercial where he munches some of the chips from a bag and says, "Go ahead and eat 'em --- we'll make more!" So go ahead and spend the money --- we'll print more!

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 02/22/09 - 11:08 am
0
0
teharper, providing for the

teharper, providing for the general welfare isn't the same as putting everyone on welfare. The American language seems to confuse so many people.

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 02/22/09 - 11:15 am
0
0
More lies from the Chronicle.
Unpublished

More lies from the Chronicle. http://www.factcheck.org/politics/doctors_orders.html

"No one was able to read the bill." Come on, you know that's not true.

Tujeez1
0
Points
Tujeez1 02/22/09 - 11:21 am
0
0
44mag, I don't know who you

44mag, I don't know who you are, but I like the way you think! It is my pleasure to inform you, that your have made the Tujeez morning greeting. Keep hammering those twits. Though they will NEVER come around, the taste of their own blood may get their attention!

Tujeez1
0
Points
Tujeez1 02/22/09 - 11:23 am
0
0
TerryCSA, good job, you're on

TerryCSA, good job, you're on the "waiting list". Keep up the good work!

Tujeez1
0
Points
Tujeez1 02/22/09 - 11:24 am
0
0
I am Incredibly Impressed!

I am Incredibly Impressed! JRHC and MWT have been beaten back to "NEARLY" one liners. There's trouble in Liberalville!

Grasshopper
7
Points
Grasshopper 02/22/09 - 11:26 am
0
0
WOW this package is not going

WOW this package is not going to work,, so now we are working on a new one.

Tujeez1
0
Points
Tujeez1 02/22/09 - 11:30 am
0
0
teharper......YAWN..........a

teharper......YAWN..........anything else? Nice sock puppet act there dashiel..yawn. You Cannot hold he breech. The Tide is In Our Favor! Now scurry back to your warm, moist hideaways, Liberal Cockroaches.

Tujeez1
0
Points
Tujeez1 02/22/09 - 11:32 am
0
0
You(and Obama) HAVE Awakened

You(and Obama) HAVE Awakened the Sleeping Giant! Thank God! Clamor some more!

gcap
290
Points
gcap 02/22/09 - 11:39 am
0
0
Reading these posts, one

Reading these posts, one never sees a word about the real problem. Our country no longer educates our children. So federal assistance for our population has risen from 15 to 40 percent. Look around the world at those who are educated and their lifestyles and those countries which do not educate their young. In the Arab world, some countries behead those who would educate females. In parts of Africa, where the military rules with fear, shoes are considered a luxury. Though not perfect, our current form of government offers hope for all. Yet politicians are stifling our population by not requiring a quality education. The result: more power to the politicians, less shoes for our citizens.

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 02/22/09 - 11:54 am
0
0
Everyone is on welfare????

Everyone is on welfare???? Welfare for family & children constitute only 2% of the federal budget for 2009. http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/year2009_0.html#usgs302

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 02/22/09 - 11:59 am
0
0
Harper: that was the closest

Harper: that was the closest thing I've seen yet to a DEM justifying the porkulus pkg with support. I still see no numbers of jobs created. However, I still would like it if you could tackle one question: Since Obama said this bill was necessary to avoid imminent catastrophe in our economy, since it was forced through so quickly it couldn't even be read, should not the effects of this so badly needed law be immediate and noticible? Why are we being told most of this "stimulation" will not happen till 2010? Because it was not an emergency. Because it will not stimuluate employment. Because you support a thief/strongman/Hitler who will resign/impeached far before 2012.

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 02/22/09 - 11:59 am
0
0
Tujeez- resort to name

Tujeez- resort to name calling and high fiving, how about an intelligent post?

UncleBill
6
Points
UncleBill 02/22/09 - 12:00 pm
0
0
Keep in mind, just because

Keep in mind, just because someone's views are to the left of yours doesn't make them a "left wing liberal". There is an awful lot of room between the extreme right and the middle. If you are at the far end of the spectrum on the right, that doesn't make everyone else liberals. Perspective please.

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 02/22/09 - 12:05 pm
0
0
Thanks Tujeez. Ask your mom

Thanks Tujeez. Ask your mom if you can come to our punch & judy. Go ahead and love me, I don't care.

Tujeez1
0
Points
Tujeez1 02/22/09 - 12:09 pm
0
0
A Whole Lotta Somebody's FELL

A Whole Lotta Somebody's FELL IN THE KOOLAIDE! Are We To BELIEVE They Are Sobering Up NOW?

Tujeez1
0
Points
Tujeez1 02/22/09 - 12:11 pm
0
0
30 Days.....That's Gotta Be

30 Days.....That's Gotta Be some Kinda RECORD HUH?

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 02/22/09 - 12:12 pm
0
0
To see jobs impact:

To see jobs impact: http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/estimated-job-effect and then click on your state. Or you may want to check out: http://www.recovery.gov/files/Initial%20Recovery%20Act%20Implementing%20...
Happy reading, ITDoc!

Tujeez1
0
Points
Tujeez1 02/22/09 - 12:15 pm
0
0
teharper, It has ALWAYS been

teharper, It has ALWAYS been TOUGH in the trenches! Welcome to the Fray! I see the meringue has blown off of you pie..... Maybe you should have driven a little slower with the wind in your hair?

curly123053
4671
Points
curly123053 02/22/09 - 12:15 pm
0
0
The FairTax would create more

The FairTax would create more jobs than any federal program alone. Dozens of businesses who went overseas to escape the unfair federal taxes have already committed to bringing their jobs back home when the FairTax becomes law. I think it is time to take a new fresh look at the advantages of the Fair Tax Amendment.

gcap
290
Points
gcap 02/22/09 - 12:35 pm
0
0
teharper, you think

teharper, you think government has the answer to all life's dilemmas. Your .gov websites give one side of any story -- the government's side. Do your homework and get all sides of a story. Develop opinions based upon a variety of facts. Fact is, though, government IS the problem. I don't suggest government sites for true facts.

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