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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Tujeez1
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Tujeez1 02/22/09 - 12:43 pm
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The FAIR TAX would take power

The FAIR TAX would take power away from the "Central Government"..........The Democrats are in charge...........Three Words.......NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

sjgraci
2
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sjgraci 02/22/09 - 12:48 pm
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DeMint is no gentleman. He is

DeMint is no gentleman. He is insane, and so is the Chronicle.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 02/22/09 - 12:51 pm
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Welfare by any means - is

Welfare by any means - is still welfare.

teharper428
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teharper428 02/22/09 - 12:53 pm
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And who do you listen to

And who do you listen to gcap? "...There's a simple reason why they (the "experts") missed the coming carnage, says David Loeper, the CEO of Wealthcare Capital Management in Richmond, Va., and author of "Stop the Investing Rip-off: How to Avoid Being a Victim and Make More Money," due out in June.

The "experts" have conflicts of interest. Mutual funds, hedge funds and brokerages want to keep you at the table so that they can continue to earn fees from your nest egg. "They don't care if you win or lose, they just want you to keep playing the game," Loeper says..."

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 02/22/09 - 12:56 pm
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barry hussein promises to

barry hussein promises to bring home troops - then promises 17,000 will be put in Afghanistan. *** pbho promises there will be no lobbyists -- how many are there now, 20? *** pbho promises there will be transparency -- then passes/signs bills with no observation. *** pbho says can't spend our way out of oil crisis - but promises to spend our way out of economic crisis. *** pbho promises the best cabinet/administration - then appoints liars, thieves, racists, tax cheats who don't pay their taxes, socialists, etc., etc. *** pbho tells US citizens they must turn down thermostat - then turns his to 82. *** pbho tells the citizens they must conserve - then flies all over the place with no regard to the cost. *** This is just a few but what should we have expected when he showed his true socialist/marxist Chicago thug mentality before he was elected and the blind and gullible followers continue to make excuses. Hang on because it's going to be one heck of a ride.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 12:59 pm
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Our current lifestyle was

Our current lifestyle was built upon the backs of hard working people. Not one building, road, TV, computer or anything else is produced by others. Let's eliminate all the trappings, all communications, all cars, all welfare. See who succeeds and who dies. Now tell me someone DESERVES to live off the public tit.

dashiel
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dashiel 02/22/09 - 01:01 pm
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DeMint's vigorous public

DeMint's vigorous public opposition looks a lot like political grandstanding. Maybe because it follows the GOP racking up the largest national debt in history? Yassum, I knows all 'bout financial collapses.

Chuchi
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Chuchi 02/22/09 - 01:02 pm
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I think someone mentioned

I think someone mentioned earlier here that it is untrue that no one was able to read this bill. Well, you could read the bill if you had over a week to do it. You could read "Don Quixote de la Mancha" by Cervantes quicker than this bill, it's so huge. (I imagine it would be easier to translate the Spanish in Cervantes' novel than some of the legalese in this bill.) The Senate and House didn't give anyone that much time before a vote was demanded. I suppose that's why 11 House Democrats voted NO, although I think one guy has since changed his mind.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 01:04 pm
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Let's make every single road

Let's make every single road in America a toll road. We'll need millions of toll collectors so it will create jobs. It will raise countless trillions so we don't need to rob the self sufficient. It will discourage unneeded travel, which will make cars last longer with less maintenance. Being able to use roads for free is just not American (in 2009 America anyway).

Chuchi
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Chuchi 02/22/09 - 01:05 pm
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I don't think it's good

I don't think it's good strategy to create more debt to conquer existing debt. Just my opinion.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 01:07 pm
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Chuchi: as a speed reader, it

Chuchi: as a speed reader, it took me over 4 hours to read the bill. I am SURE our Congresspeople are all smarter than I, right? I've read accounts from Congresspeople who had 15 staff reading all night and couldn't get through it. Let's rush spending $1 trillion dollars, but let's overlook Obama still owes Chicago $1.7 million for his election night party. The Obama team says "they are reviewing the bill for the party carefully as a sign of fiscal responsibility". So when it's Obama money, they're careful as can be.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 01:09 pm
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"The GOP racking up the

"The GOP racking up the largest debt in national history." Obama has racked up more debt in 30 days than Bush did in 8 YEARS! That boy can spend other's money fast, but he doesn't spend his own without reviewing line by line. HYPOCRITES 09 iz in da houz.

KSL
105542
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KSL 02/22/09 - 01:13 pm
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Churchi, just so you will

Churchi, just so you will know, it was grouse who said it.

Tujeez1
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Tujeez1 02/22/09 - 01:33 pm
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teharper, In post fifty(on

teharper, In post fifty(on the previous page) you asked..."Everyone is on Welfare???" Yes most everyone is on the public dole teharper.That's what pundits mean when they use the word "Welfare". 40% of the population(probably more) don't pay taxes to the government, who's job it is to oversee all of the rights and priviledges of the Whole Nation's Populace. I'd say that the government "taking care" of all of us, puts us ALL on the Public Dole. "Some" of us, just happen to "pay our own way" by working and paying taxes back into the system, that acts(supposedly) on our behalf.

44mag
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44mag 02/22/09 - 01:42 pm
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".......the taste of their

".......the taste of their own blood may get their attention!"

Probably not the most appropriate comment to someone called "44mag"!

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 02/22/09 - 01:43 pm
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barry hussein is a great

barry hussein is a great campaigner but has NO clue about how to do the job. He's never stayed at one job long enough to realize what it takes to do a GOOD job. As it was said before the election, 'give him enough time and the real 'o' will show through and prove he is totally clueless'. How long was it? *** less that 2 weeks*** You can take the thug out of Chicago but you can't take the thug out of barry hussein. He continues to prove he's a thug with his continuing intimidation and threatening of the people of this country.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 01:50 pm
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Richard M. Nixon won election

Richard M. Nixon won election in 1972 by a real landslide and was gone in less than 2 years. When enough investigations are started, when enough evidence finally quits being ignored, when 2011 arrives to find us exactly where we are today, I firmly believe history will repeat itself.

mad_max
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mad_max 02/22/09 - 01:56 pm
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And how much out of the state

And how much out of the state budgets for welfare. I don't care if it is .002 percent. It should be 0 percent. The framers in the Constitition never intended for the government to take money from some people and give it to others. The framers of Socialist governments may intend that, but not ours (until a month ago). Assistance should only be for those physically or mentally incapable of working. And as for the ones who are currently drawing welfare and pumping babies out everytime some little thug taps them on the head, well not one extra penny. If someone on welfare has a baby they should not give them one extra dime. They should withhold the hospital bill out of their "check" and if they can't take care of the baby the baby should be taken by the state and the money to support the baby should be taken out of mommy's welfare check. She will just have to give up her cable TV and weekly appointment at the nail salon. Assistance should be limited to 1 year no matter what. Hunger is a great motivator to get off of you fat rear end and take that job flipping burgers. Any conviction on drug, alcohol, or any felony charges while on welfare should terminate payments immediately.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 02:24 pm
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18 years 18 years/she got one

18 years 18 years/she got one of your kids got you for 18 years/
i know somebody payin child support for one of his kids/his baby mommas car and crib is bigger than his/you will see him on t v any given sunday/win the super bowl and drive off in a hyundai/she was supposed to buy your shorty tyco with your money/she went to the doctor got lypo with your money/she walkin around lookin like Michael with your money/should have got that insured gieco for your money money/if u aint no punk holla we want pre nupt/(Everyone)we want pre nupt yeah/
its something that u need to have/'cause when she leaves your [filtered word] shes gonna leave with half/18 years 18 years and on her 18th birthday he found out it wasnt his/so stick by his side
i know the dudes ballin and yeah thats nice/and they gone keep callin and tryin but u stay right girl/and when you get on he leave your [filtered word] for a white girl. Kanye West, Gold Digger.

KSL
105542
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KSL 02/22/09 - 02:25 pm
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I like your optimism, ITDoc.

I like your optimism, ITDoc. I wish someone would nose around and find out where all of Obama's campaign contributions came from. Maybe when some of those Palestinian refugees (for which 20 million in stimulus money is for) start killing American citizens, O will lose his popularity rating right quick.

KSL
105542
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KSL 02/22/09 - 02:28 pm
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mad max, pay no attention to

mad max, pay no attention to teharp's stat. Plenty of other budget items have welfare type money in them. We all know a huge percentage of the Federal budget is direct wealth transfer.

dashiel
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dashiel 02/22/09 - 02:28 pm
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Now let's all get out our

Now let's all get out our Fair Tax books and put ourselves to sleep. If y'all don't mind me, I will start talking about tort reform. I still see some of you have not put your heads down...

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 02:32 pm
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"Fair Tax"? Joke. Any tax

"Fair Tax"? Joke. Any tax plan that does not eliminate exemptions and rebates is no improvement from our current system. Tort Reform? In a liberal government, I don't believe it's a high enough priority. Just like China's human rights offenses. Clinton says human rights aren't as important as working with China as an economic partner. Still think this administration has it's priorities straight?

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 02/22/09 - 02:32 pm
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Why not talk about all the

Why not talk about all the pork that we'll all be paying?

44mag
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44mag 02/22/09 - 02:38 pm
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On CSPAN this morning the

On CSPAN this morning the governor (D) of Missouri was touting the benefits of the stimulus bill. First on the list re-building a bridge, second balance the state budget! Maybe I'm not the sharpest tack in the box but something just doesn't quite make sense with that statement?

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 02:42 pm
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I've seen some people

I've seen some people attempting to answer my question of two weeks ago about specifics in the porkulus. Light rail: there is 9 billion for light rail in this bill. 8 bil goes to the line between LA and Vegas. Wasn't in the House bill at all. Where'd this come from? Reid D-Nev is Senate Majority Leader. Pork Pork Pork. How many jobs will be created by extending unemployment bennies? How many people will be able to afford the "help" with COBRA when losing their jobs? How does putting $3bil in the hands of ACORN (you have to read between the lines carefully, look for "community block grants" in the bill) create/save jobs? When .12 on the dollar (source CBO) actually goes to job creation and saving, why is it stimulus? Cuz that gets those sheep frenzied in support, that's why.

PCinSC
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PCinSC 02/22/09 - 02:50 pm
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"Somebody needs to stand up

"Somebody needs to stand up and say, 'When you win the election, [you pick the nominees.] Until then, shut up! Just shut up! Just go away! Bury yourselves in your rat holes and don't come out until you win an election.'" ......time to heed the words of Rush Limbaugh that spewed out if his mouth July 5, 2006.... the Democrats are in charge now, after 20+ years of Republican policies. it's their turn.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 02/22/09 - 02:50 pm
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The blind and gullible

The blind and gullible followers of barry hussein will continue to be blind and gullible. As stated by one of the avid followers; 'anything with information and facts doesn't interest them'.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 02:55 pm
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PC: That method worked not in

PC: That method worked not in 2001 nor 2005. Denied.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 02:57 pm
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Rush Limbaugh is

Rush Limbaugh is ENTERTAINMENT. Entertainment by the way, I choose of which not to partake. I cannot expect those followers of O to understand difference between entertainment and news. See also 2008 Presidential Election.

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