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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44mag
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44mag 02/22/09 - 02:58 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!"

Good idea - Tom Daschel, Bill Richardson, the math wizard at Treasury. Then the governor of Mo. said we need to "use" the Constitution to accomplish our goals. In the words of one of the greats of conservative thought, this is a "target rich environment"! My brain's about to explode; if you fine folks will excuse me I've got to go help balance Missouri's budget.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 03:25 pm
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http://www.mcclatchydc.com/po

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/politics/story/62614.html Earmarks? What earmarks? What pork barrel projects?

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 03:31 pm
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The economic stimulus package

The economic stimulus package signed by Obama has $650 million to help replenish the converter box program and increase public outreach efforts concerning the digital television transition. $650MILLION MORE because less than 6% of Americans (obviously our best and brightest) didn't heed the YEARS of warnings to get a new TV or converter box. Even when the converters were subsidized. No one ever bought us a color TV, or cable box. Exactly how many jobs were created/saved by this $650 Mil? ZERO! American's have the right to Television?

LaTwon
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LaTwon 02/22/09 - 03:33 pm
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u have to understand the

u have to understand the creation of money and the war america has been at with a "central" bank since the late 1700's.
your income tax goes to pay interest to the robber barons.here is a short film that explains some of it. the speech at the end by JFK says it all. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USGSOViaulc&feature=related

jack
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jack 02/22/09 - 03:40 pm
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GGpap, you (and anyone else

GGpap, you (and anyone else who researches it) wil find the Jim DiMint's voting record is consitently conservative. If you are a die hard lib, you probab;y will not like his voting record.

jack
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jack 02/22/09 - 03:43 pm
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teHarper, exactly what WAs

teHarper, exactly what WAs DiMint's recod on the Iraqi war spending and millions "lost" (stolen)? Do you know or just running your liberal mouth?

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 03:44 pm
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I'm not unemployed. I'm not

I'm not unemployed. I'm not near foreclosure. I'm not without health insurance. I'm not in need of a $40 coupon to keep a TV alive. Am I supposed to believe that's all because I'm lucky or a certain race? Doesn't anything I do have an effect on my situation in life?

LaTwon
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LaTwon 02/22/09 - 03:50 pm
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I believe that banking

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
Thomas Jefferson

jack
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jack 02/22/09 - 03:50 pm
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Tujeez- resort to name

Tujeez- resort to name calling and high fiving, how about an intelligent post?
Posted by teharper428 on Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:59 AM....joke of the day when you talk about an intelligent post. I haven't seen one from you yet. As for DiMint on the issues try this:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Jim_DeMint

BTW, DiMint voted AGAINST TARP that the DIMs in Congress wrote (that guy(?) Barney Grank and Christoperh preferred customer Dodd) that allowed those CEOs to stela millions in bonuses.

Barb_NC
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Barb_NC 02/22/09 - 03:51 pm
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I'll see what this $2.60/day

I'll see what this $2.60/day will put back into the economy and HOW many JOBS it creates! How ABSURD!

Goooooo Senator DeMint! It's about time one of our leaders SPOKE WITH SANITY regarding this INSANE political climate!

LaTwon
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LaTwon 02/22/09 - 03:54 pm
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here u go jack. rummy says

here u go jack. rummy says 2.3 TRILLION stolen in the pentagon:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU4GdHLUHwU

jack
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jack 02/22/09 - 04:05 pm
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Midwest, DiMint one of the

Midwest, DiMint one of the very few responsible Senators (all but three RINOs) that voted against this gigantic political pay back porkulus bill. Exactly what is "irresponsible" about either the Senator or the article.? Specifics please.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 04:08 pm
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Jack? Specifics is a racist

Jack? Specifics is a racist term, didn't you know? It must be, because anyone who requests specifics from Obama or his supporters has been called a racist since he entered the campaign in 1964, or does it just seem that he campaigned that long?

jack
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jack 02/22/09 - 04:15 pm
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teHarper, those two web

teHarper, those two web sites, especially the BimbObama recovery.gov is not even good propaganda, let alone have any substance. Very little in specifics.

jack
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jack 02/22/09 - 04:20 pm
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Dashiel, the truth really

Dashiel, the truth really hurts you libs/Dims doesn't it? If not, DiMint's comments wouldn't get the knee jerks from you leftists. NO Republican Congress or President has used this much money ($800B) to pay off political debts and buy votes. Palin in 2012 (I see she snubbed BimbObama's dinner). Good for her!.

jack
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jack 02/22/09 - 04:25 pm
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"They don't care if you win

"They don't care if you win or lose, they just want you to keep playing the game," Loeper says..."
Posted by teharper428 on Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:53 AM....Y' mean like the political payback/vote buying bill the DIMs just shoved down our throats? Yep, the sheeple will keep coming to the table for more hand outs (until the producers quit producing and there ain't anything more to hand out 'cause BimbObama can't borrow any more).

lowellbrown
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lowellbrown 02/22/09 - 04:32 pm
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A month into the Obama

A month into the Obama administration and already the Chronicle acts like its trying to groom a vice-presidential candidate - from a state whose people are burdened by one of the worst economies in the nation. You even left out your daily anti-stimulus cartoon to gush over DeMint. Think he's going to help you derail a plan that's good for America? Is he your Messiah? Give it a rest, Chronicle.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 02/22/09 - 04:35 pm
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lb... Please give us some

lb... Please give us some positives about barry hussein, his plans/policies and his cabinet/administration. We await your response.

returnofthejedi
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returnofthejedi 02/22/09 - 04:49 pm
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LB you've proved in the past

LB you've proved in the past you are a flaming liberal, you just proved you are a flaming idiot. Give us wome specifics onjust how this stimulus plan is good for the country, yeah, thought so.

justmakescents
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justmakescents 02/22/09 - 04:57 pm
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Salt water tit mouse??? A tit

Salt water tit mouse??? A tit mouse is a bird. It's a salt water marsh rat (a rodant) that Nancy Polosi is concerned about. SAVE THE RATS. Throw the AMERICAN PEOPLE under the bus. Thanks Nancy.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 05:01 pm
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No matter what some

No matter what some Republicans say, the $789 billion economic stimulus package does not contain $30 million in "mouse money" to preserve the salt marsh mouse species in Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home district.This is the finding of politifact.com, a nonpartisan arm of The St. Petersburg Times. Democrats are equally skewered from time to time on politifact.com, with its creative Truth-O-Meter feature, and so Republicans can't whine about "the mainstream liberal media" in these There's No 'Pelosi Mouse' in the Economic Stimulus Package cases.** Because ITDoc is fair and balanced.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 05:18 pm
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A plan good for America would

A plan good for America would affect the 92+% that are employed. A plan good for America would help the 96% of homeowners who haven't ever received a foreclosure notice. Oh I forgot: those folks don't need help, for they are self reliant.

teharper428
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teharper428 02/22/09 - 05:25 pm
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Jack - I'm a political

Jack - I'm a political junkie, I could probably tell you more about bills before congress than I could the movies up for the Academy Award. DeMint voted for bush to invade Iraq in 2002 while still a US representative. As Senator he has voted yes for funding for the war in Iraq. In regard to the billions of dollars missing from Iraq, my point was, it was reported in 2004. Why didn't the republican majority of the house or senate call for an investigation?

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 05:37 pm
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Friday, October 11, 2002

Friday, October 11, 2002 Posted: 12:35 PM EDT WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a major victory for the White House, the Senate early Friday voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein refuses to give up weapons of mass destruction as required by U.N. resolutions.Hours earlier, the House approved an identical resolution, 296-133.The measure passed the Senate and House by wider margins than the 1991 resolution that empowered the current president's father to go to war to expel Iraq from Kuwait. That measure passed 250-183 in the House and 52-47 in the Senate.The Senate vote sharply divided Democrats, with 29 voting for the measure and 21 against. All Republicans except Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island voted for passage. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, attempted Thursday to mount a filibuster against the resolution but was cut off on a 75 to 25 vote.Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Missouri, said giving Bush the authority to attack Iraq could avert war by demonstrating the United States is willing to confront Saddam over his obligations to the United Nations.**Not "Bush's War", but war declared by America and duly approved by both houses of Congress.

missloula
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missloula 02/22/09 - 05:58 pm
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This statement "The

This statement "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" is astounding!

Just consider how many private medical decisions, by their votes, conservatives have inserted their noses in OUR (the peoples') tents.

Terri Shiavo and abortion come immediately to mind. The hipocricy that this points to is blatant. Yet you still want to tell us what to do if you don't agree with our private medical decisions. How is that any different?

You have no credibility left.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 06:00 pm
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When DEM and GOP quit blaming

When DEM and GOP quit blaming each other for past events, we will know it's the end of days.

KSL
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KSL 02/22/09 - 06:06 pm
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Obama's hypocrisy is what is

Obama's hypocrisy is what is so astounding to me. He talks about cutting waste and then supports that joke of a stimulus package.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 02/22/09 - 06:08 pm
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Just consider how many

Just consider how many private medical decisions, by their votes, conservatives have inserted their noses in OUR (the peoples') tents. Terri Shiavo and abortion come immediately to mind. The hipocricy that this points to is blatant. Posted by missloula on Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:58 PM Government has no role in making decisions about any citizens health treatment. Your two examples are excellent of wrongdoing in this respect. I'm sure you're not advocating "it's wrong but since they (cons) do it it's okay for us(libs)". Because that is the definition of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is so often overlooked in America today because it's the norm.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 02/22/09 - 06:09 pm
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So when will dims take

So when will dims take responsibility for what barry hussein is doing now?

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