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Thursday, 8 November 2012

GOP Trilemma: Compromise, Stand Firm, Go to the Right

This interesting video sums up, better than many words and in-depth analyses, why Obama won. This has truly become a client state. I like the following definition of client state, applied to Scotland:
Keep spending more and more money on more and more voters, and you've built a client state. Those in receipt of the largesse will want it to continue. One day the money will no longer be there to spend (see technical note from Liam Byrne for details), but by that point you will have engineered a situation where any modulation of public spending will cause pain to such a large proportion of the electorate that the chances of the Conservatives winning a straight fight will be much reduced.
Although I am not American, I am very, very sad that Romney did not win the election.

I had got to like him, a Christian, obviously good, warm and gentle person. I liked the way he spoke during the presidential debates, firm but always polite, compared to the impersonal and arrogant Obama.

I can easily believe what popular radio talk show host and political commentator Rush Limbaugh said of him, that “Mitt Romney is one of the best people, human beings I’ve ever met.”

Limbaugh also said:
None of it makes any sense! Mitt Romney and his wife and his family are the essence of decency. He's the essence of achievement. Mitt Romney's life is a testament to what's possible in this country. Mitt Romney is the nicest guy anybody would ever run into. Mitt Romney is charitable. He wouldn't hurt a fly. He doesn't hate. He's not discriminatory in any way, shape, manner, or form.
This is about Romney as a person. But the reasons why I would have voted for him, if I had been American, are obviously political and I've blogged extensively about them before the election, from the economy to abortion, from Marxism to the presidential debates, from totalitarianism to the Benghazi attack.

Romney's policies were not perfect, but infinitely better than Obama's. Barack Hussein is also someone who has been very shady about his life as well as mendacious about his politics, which makes it unwise to trust him as President of the world's most powerful country.

Exactly because I am European, I've considered the US as something to look to for upholding the western and Christian values that are being eroded so rapidly in my continent.

I'm seriously saddened now to see that the US is going the European way too. But I am still hopeful: this is not the last election, and things may happen before the next that might change America's current political and economical course towards socialism, big government, welfare state, poverty and loss of moral compass.

Looking at the election results, there has clearly been a shift much more pronouncedly to the political left in US voting patterns, strongly determined by minority votes like blacks and Latinos, groups that probably made the difference about who of the two candidates got elected.

Some commentators, on the BBC for instance, said that the Republicans must acknowledge the democraphic change produced by the much higher percentage of Latinos in several states and, if they want to woo these voters, should make changes to their policies, prominently on immigration.

We have to remember this: "As Doug Ross has pointed out, Obama is – among many other things – the lawless president: the first one to sue states for enforcing laws Congress had passed".

The state in question is Arizona, and the law is the immigration law:
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that one key part of the Arizona immigration law, known as Senate Bill 1070, is constitutional, paving the way for it to go into effect. Three other portions were deemed unconstitutional in a 5-3 opinion.

The part ruled constitutional is among the most controversial of the law's provisions. It requires an officer to make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there's reasonable suspicion that person is in the country illegally.

The three parts ruled unconstitutional make it a state crime for an immigrant not to be carrying papers, allow for warrant-less arrest in some situations and forbid an illegal immigrant from working in Arizona.

The long-awaited decision was a partial victory for Gov. Jan Brewer and for President Barack Obama, who sued the state of Arizona to keep the law from taking effect. By striking down the portions they did, justices said states could not overstep the federal government's immigration-enforcement authority. But by upholding the portion it did, the court said it was proper for states to partner with the federal government in immigration enforcement.
This may help explain why Latinos tend to vote for Obama. But should the Republican Party make concessions of this sort and risk going against the Constitution? Is this just a small compromise, or is it damaging what America, since its foundation, really is and stands for?

On immigration, Obama was accused by Bush administration counsel John Yoo of executive overreach:
President Obama’s claim that he can refuse to deport 800,000 aliens here in the country illegally illustrates the unprecedented stretching of the Constitution and the rule of law. He is laying claim to presidential power that goes even beyond that claimed by the Bush administration, in which I served. There is a world of difference in refusing to enforce laws that violate the Constitution (Bush) and refusing to enforce laws because of disagreements over policy (Obama).

Under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, the president has the duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This provision was included to make sure that the president could not simply choose, as the British King had, to cancel legislation simply because he disagreed with it. President Obama cannot refuse to carry out a congressional statute simply because he thinks it advances the wrong policy. To do so violates the very core of his constitutional duties.

There are two exceptions, neither of which applies here. The first is that “the Laws” includes the Constitution. The president can and should refuse to execute congressional statutes that violate the Constitution, because the Constitution is the highest form of law. We in the Bush administration argued that the president could refuse to execute laws that infringed on the executive’s constitutional powers, particularly when it came to national security — otherwise, a Congress that had a different view of foreign policy could order the military to refuse to carry out the president’s orders as Commander-in-Chief, for example. When presidents such as Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, and FDR said that they would not enforce a law, they did so when the law violated their executive powers under the Constitution or the individual rights of citizens.

The president’s right to refuse to enforce unconstitutional legislation, of course, does not apply here. No one can claim with a straight face that the immigration laws here violate the Constitution.

The second exception is prosecutorial discretion, which is the idea that because of limited resources the executive cannot pursue every violation of federal law. The Justice Department must choose priorities and prosecute cases that are the most important, have the greatest impact, deter the most, and so on. But prosecutorial discretion is not being used in good faith here: A president cannot claim discretion honestly to say that he will not enforce an entire law - especially where, as here, the executive branch is enforcing the rest of immigration law.

Imagine the precedent this claim would create. President Romney could lower tax rates simply by saying he will not use enforcement resources to prosecute anyone who refuses to pay capital-gains tax. He could repeal Obamacare simply by refusing to fine or prosecute anyone who violates it.

So what we have here is a president who is refusing to carry out federal law simply because he disagrees with Congress’s policy choices. That is an exercise of executive power that even the most stalwart defenders of an energetic executive — not to mention the Framers — cannot support.
On the other side of the debate, there are those who say that Romney was not conservative enough. Romney was chosen as Republican candidate because he covered a kind of moderate middle ground in the GOP, in the hope that this would appeal to middle America's voters come Election Day.

Some commentators now say that a more consistent conservative approach would have been the way forward.

British political journalist Melanie Phillips is one of them:
Britain and the Europeans love Obama because they think he will end American exceptionalism and turn the US into a pale shadow of themselves. What they don’t realise is that, all but lobotomised by consumerist rights, state dependency, victim culture, sentimentality, post-religion, post-nationalism and post-Holocaust and Empire guilt, Britain and Europe are themselves fast going down the civilisational tubes.

Romney lost because he refused to provide an alternative to any of this for fear of being labelled a warmonger, flint-heart or social reactionary. He refused to engage with any of the issues that made this Presidential election so truly momentous. Up against the bullying of the totalitarian left, he ran for cover. He played safe, and as a result only advertised his own weakness and dishonesty. Well, voters can smell inconsistency from a mile away; they call it untrustworthiness, and they are right.
Rush Limbaugh is another:
“If there’s one option that hasn’t been tried in a long time, it’s called conservatism with a capital C,” he said. “This was not a conservative campaign.”
This is the trilemma facing the GOP: compromise, stand firm, or go the full length and be more consistent in its conservative principles.

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