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The Real Reason Mitt Romney Lost the Election. He looked too much like Obama.

By Dr. Harold Pease

In driving to and from Utah late July and spending a couple of weeks in what are known as “Mormon” communities, I expected to find Nevada and Utah littered with pro-Romney signs and didn’t. In fact, I was hard pressed to find any bumper stickers or yard signs favoring either major presidential candidate. There were Ron Paul signs, however. As a political scientist I have studied elections for many years so this omission was glaring. Why the lack of enthusiasm?

America, a right of center country, had no candidate right of center—hence no “real” choice. Except for the “handout” vote, that increased substantially during the Barack Obama Administration and of course went to him, the people were not that excited about either major candidate. They looked too much alike. The third and final debate, focused on foreign policy, clearly showed Mitt Romney as a white Barack Obama. For Romney the whole evening was, “I would have done the same thing, only better.” Both supported tougher sanctions against Iran. Both supported drone warfare in foreign lands without the permission of the invaded country and without even a hint of a trial to prove the quilt of the accused, even if American. Both believe that the President can start a war without a declaration of war by Congress as required in the Constitution and both believe that they can charge the expense of such to our children without approval of the House as is also constitutionally required. Finally, both drew their advisors from the same Wall Street special interest group, the Council on Foreign Relations.

On Civil Rights both supported the Patriot Reauthorization Act, Obama arguing that civil right violations were far more serious under President George W. Bush, because of his executive orders and Obama mentioned violations with respect to Guantanamo Bay, warrantless wire taping, and the suspension of habeas corpus. These candidate Obama promised to reverse “by a stroke of a pen,” when elected. Four years later he still has not done so.

But how much solace can we have from a President Romney on civil rights when he was asked if he was in favor of wiretapping mosques? His answer frightened civil libertarians and constitutionalists. He suggested not only wiretapping the mosques but also Islamic schools and play grounds if needed as well. “We (the government) need to know what is going on… Track them, follow them, and make sure that in every way we can we know what they are doing and where they are doing it. And if it means that we have to go into a mosque to wiretap, or a church, that’s exactly where we are going to go. And I hear from time to time people who say, now wait a second. We have civil liberties that we have to worry about.” Obviously, the violation of civil liberties was not a problem for the last two presidents, nor would it be for a President Romney. Romney, of course, would have no problem if his church or temple were wiretapped by the government.

On this same subject President Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act just last New Years Eve. A Bill that the left and right both believed gutted major sections of the Bill of Rights. A U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist, without witnesses, testimony, or defense, could now find himself kidnapped by his own government and shipped out of the country to Guantanamo Bay and held indefinitely without any protection from the Bill of Rights; all this on the say so of the military and president alone. When asked, in one of the Presidential debates, whether he would have signed the Act, candidate Romney answered, “Yes, I would have. And I do believe that it is appropriate,” this to the loud accompaniment of boo’s from the audience which understood that in this country that is never to happen.

A close examination of virtually every issue reveals the Obama / Romney likeness in statements made by each the last five years. Both extolled the virtues of Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury; and both favored retaining Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Both favored extending the payroll tax cut, the line item veto, and each planned to create new government funded jobs rebuilding Americas roads and bridges, a power never delegated by the Constitution to the federal government. Energy independence was a major goal of both, each extolling the virtues of wind, solar, and coal at one time or another. Both listed Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup as major funders. Both favored TARP and stimulus programs. Even on national health care there were far more similarities than differences. The biggest common denominator was their love of big government.

The Tea Party Patriots did what they could to make Americas’ core values: fiscal responsibility, limited constitutional government, and the free market fit for a Mitt Romney, but it was like putting a square peg in a round hole and Barack Obama, who has demonstrated over and over again that these values are not shared by him, remains in office. They chose a Tory, bypassing their own Patriots Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, or even Ron Paul, and have undermined the movement by doing so.

Most pundits of the election argue that the Republican Party, to survive, needs to get on board and look more like the Democratic Party. I disagree. The Republican Party already looks too much like the opposing party and instead needs to distinguish itself more from it. It cost them the election by having done too much of that already.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

Newt Gingrich Should Not Expect Tea Party Patriot Support

By Dr. Harold Pease

With Tea Party Patriot Presidential Candidates Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry out of the race and the Patriots running from Mitt Romney, can Newt Gingrich appeal to them? Despite his initial support for the movement, even speaking at a Tea Party rally in New York in 2009, where he threatened to fire big-spending legislators if they did not straighten up, his baggage says “never!!”

The core values of the Tea Party Patriot Movement are fiscal responsibility, limited Constitutional government and the free market. So how has Newt fared on Tea Party priorities? His past shows clearly a preference for bigger government in all problem solutions as has his predecessors’ both Republican and Democrat. Virtually all Gingrich solutions to the following problem areas are national—never county or state: education, welfare, homeland security, law enforcement, and energy. Of course, despite the rhetoric to fire big-spenders, each of the above must be funded. His vote to create the federal Department of Education is a case in point. Most in the profession of teaching are unable to identify anything for which the thousands of bureaucrats therein employed have accomplished. Most see it as wasteful spending and thus fiscally irresponsible. Nor has he recommended its abolition were he president.

Gingrich’s preference for international solutions over national ones is the same. He has consistently favored empowering “super governments” (those over our own) such as the UN, NAFTA and GATT and thus passed large portions of our national sovereignty to them. Of course, sovereignty transfers come with costly financial assistance obligations that most Tea Party Patriots see as not being fiscally responsible. Mr. Gingrich has consistently voted for foreign aid and supported federally funded loans to foreign governments through the Export-Import Bank. Moreover, Gingrich does these transfers with full knowledge of the loss of sovereignty to his own country. With respect to GATT he said, “We need to be honest about the fact that we are transferring from the United States at a practical level significant authority to a new organization…. This is not just another trade agreement…. It is a very big transfer of power” (“Newt Gingrich: The Establishment’s Conservative,” 27 Nov. 2009, New American). His 22-year-long membership in the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), an organization promoting sovereignty transfers from all nations to the United Nations, makes him out of step with most Tea Party supporters who see such as unconstitutional.

With respect to the second Tea Party Patriot core value of limited Constitutional government, Gingrich has to be rated with George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Most of what he has voted for in over twenty years in power, especially in an interventionist foreign policy, is no different and outside the U.S. Constitution. He may talk about limited government, but his vote is almost always for more government. He endorses federal involvement and spending in areas such as energy, education, labor, science, and the environment—all outside the U.S. Constitution. In a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Affairs in July 1995, he saw the U. S. Constitution as an obstruction in our interventionist foreign policy. He said, “The American challenge in leading the world is compounded by our Constitution. Under our [constitutional system]—either we’re going to have to rethink our Constitution, or we’re going to have to rethink our process of decision-making.” Of course it is an obstruction to our meddling in the affairs of other lands. For one thing the Constitution requires Congressional approval, even a declaration, before we go to war!!!

Finally, the third Tea Party core value, the free market. Gingrich’s support of bailouts demonstrates his belief that some entities are too big to fail. In the free market no business is “propped up” or “saved” by the taxpayer. Business failure results from inefficiency which opens the door for those who are more efficient. Moreover, Gingrich’s support of GATT, which brought this nation’s economic interests under the scrutiny and supervision of the World Trade Organization, severely damaged the free market.

Unfortunately, though one of the nation’s greatest debaters—thus the words sound right—Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich cannot make a valid case for having been in harmony with Tea Party Patriot core values and should not expect their support. If Patriots give it anyway they will be disappointed.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org

Republican Presidential Candidates Divide on Freedom Issue

By Dr. Harold Pease

The Republican Presidential Debate held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina finally brought to light a real divide, other than on Iran, between the candidates. The issue was The National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama December 31, 2011, with Ron Paul and Rick Santorum viewing it as a threat to civil liberty and unconstitutional and Mitt Romney decidedly supporting it. Neither Rick Perry nor Newt Gingrich was asked to give their view. I could find nothing in print revealing a position for either on the extremely controversial law. This is very unfortunate as Sections 1031 and 1032 authorize the military to arrest and indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without charge or trial—even on U.S. soil. Since either could be the one exercising this power we should know where they stand.

Popularly referred to as the “indefinite detention act” the new law authorizes the military to arrest citizens suspected of being terrorists on the say-so of the president or the military alone. No real proof needed. It voids the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 prohibiting the military any law enforcement authority on U.S. soil and voids much of the Bill of Rights as well. Americans now can be extradited to Guantanamo without benefit of trial, judge, or jury and held indefinitely—even tortured (see Section 1068). Activists on both the left and right vehemently oppose it, the one believing that it could eventually be twisted to apply to Occupy Wall Street participants and the other Tea Party participants. Each group has been referred to as terrorists by their enemies.

As mentioned the strongest support for The National Defense Authorization Act came from Mitt Romney. When asked if he would have signed the bill into law as had President Obama, Romney answered emphatically, “Yes, I would have.” He continued. “I do believe it is appropriate to have in our nation the capacity to detain people who are threats to this country, who are members of al Qaeda. Look, you have every right in this country to protest and to express your views on a wide range of issues, but you don’t have a right to join a group that has challenged America and has threatened killing Americans, has killed Americans, and has declared war against America. That’s treason. In this country we have a right to take those people and put them in jail.” That may be Governor, but only after they have been tried and convicted in accordance with the Bill of Rights with the assumption that they are innocent until proven guilty.

Romney recognized that such power exercised by one man could be abused “but I don’t think he (President Obama) will abuse this power, and if I were president I would not abuse this power,” he said. How naïve! This reminds me of the famous Richard Nixon statement with respect to his authorization to break into Watergate. “If the President does it, it is not a crime.” Therein lies the problem. President Obama may never abuse such power, nor may a “President” Romney, but somewhere down the line some president will have his enemies defined as terrorists and removed. The Constitution is written to protect us from that person. With opposition destroyed so would be liberty. No president should have such power. The Founding Fathers never allowed such trust in one person in the Constitution.

Such naivety is dangerous as is candidate Romney’s understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Both flaws should cast doubt on his ability to protect these documents and lead a free people. Moreover, on the subject of treason, which a civil trial would determine, the Constitution requires the “witness of two or more to an overt act;” clearly not the voice of just one man who could benefit personally by the action.

Fortunately to his credit, Rick Santorum chimed in. “A U.S. citizen who is detained as an enemy combatant should have the right to a lawyer and to appeal their case before a federal court.” Unfortunately, no other candidate was invited to respond to this important question, but it was obvious that Ron Paul was not going to be ignored on the subject. Although not asked, he was able to get into the debate that holding American citizens indefinitely is a breach of the U.S. judicial system. An Internet search revealed much public discourse from him, and only him, in opposition to this law.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

The Unelectable Presidential Candidate??

By Dr. Harold Pease

The day before the Iowa primary the Des Moines Register reported that 41% of Iowans still remained undecided with respect to their choice for president which strongly indicates that no one has yet “touched” a majority of the Republican Party—far from it! Nor did Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum together, each with 25% of the vote, capture even a simple majority. Third place went to Ron Paul with 22%, who was short only 4,000 votes from taking first place. So, it appears the Republicans are not enthused by anyone. This aside, let us look at the race from another perspective, what I call the negative index. Who was the most negatively targeted presidential candidate, but still had good numbers, perhaps the “real” winner?

To the question, “Who is least likely to win the Republican Party nomination and defeat President Barack Obama? The answer was, and is, always Congressman Ron Paul. “Ron Paul is OK but he is not electable.” Who said so! Virtually every radio or television commentator or pundit from MSNBC to Fox News has so said. The chorus includes virtually every columnist and major newspaper in the country as well. Probably no presidential candidate in our history has had more organized opposition. Whether you like Ron Paul or not the fact remains that despite the intensity of this opposition, over one in five Iowans voted for him. Moreover, a vast majority of the funding from Super PACs was targeted against Paul and Newt Gingrich. Newt tumbled to fourth place and Paul to third but one wonders what might have happened if Romney or Santorum had received similar negative—even hostile—coverage.

As a presidential candidate four years ago Paul was treated dismissively, ignored or undermined. Such is still so, supporters maintain, but his ranks increased and showed themselves to be exceptionally loyal none-the-less and less tolerant of this treatment. Still victories, like coming in second to Michele Bachmann by less than a hundred votes in the Iowa Straw Vote several months ago, were ignored by the establishment press. More recently others noticed that he received only 90 seconds out of an hour and a half debate several weeks ago and began to ask why. Such slights were subtle but numerous. Prior to the Caucus it was indeed difficult to find any favorable commentary by any major news source outside Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch on the Fox Business Channel.

Recently when polls showed the possibility of a Ron Paul victory in Iowa fellow candidates and political pundits collectively intensified their negative treatment, all accused him of being out of step with Republican foreign policy. One commentator went so far as to say that if Paul won the Iowa Caucus, the Caucus should not be treated as seriously in the future. Newt Gingrich took time to call Ron Paul “a dangerous man” in a speech attempting to explain his poor showing of only 13% in the Caucus, nine percentage points under that of Paul.

Why the almost universal opposition? Perhaps in part it comes from the Council on Foreign Relations, the most influential special interest group in the United States. It’s magazine Foreign Affairs, advertised as “the most influential periodical in print,” is considered direction for its over 2100 members and thousands more readers. What suggestions are published in this publication become U.S. foreign policy. The April 2011 edition housed an article “The Tea Party and American Foreign Policy: What Populism Means for Globalism” an article essentially defining The Tea Party movement as dangerous and a threat to world governance. In that article it acknowledged having to deal with the movement but concluded that, at the time it had two arms, one represented by Sara Palin, the other by Ron Paul. Of the two they felt that the “Palinites” could be molded properly in foreign policy, which they dominate regardless of which party comes to power, but under the “Paulites” they would have no voice thus he had to be resisted at all costs. In other words, they could not control Ron Paul. With a majority of the key media players being CFR members and falling in line, opposition to Presidential Candidate Paul is more understandable.

Whether one loves or hates Paul, probably no presidential candidate in our history has had more long term organized opposition than he and with such he still was able to garner 22% of the Iowa vote with no one receiving more than 3 percentage points higher than he. Given the negative index it is amazing that he is still a viable candidate (probably anyone else would have been crushed into nonexistence) and perhaps with such opposition factored in, the actual winner of the Iowa Caucus.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

The Tea Party GOP Presidential Debate

By Dr. Harold W. Pease

Concerned that the GOP presidential debates were not focusing upon issues close to the Tea Party Movement, more especially the candidates’ views on the U. S. Constitution, from which we have drifted in recent decades, and the Federal Reserve, a non-governmental private organization which determines the value of every dollar in our pocket, the movement teamed up with CNN for yet another debate, this one in Orlando, Florida on September 12. CNN commentator, Wolf Bitzer, narrated taking questions from the audience, the Internet, and from Tea Party groups assembled in parts scattered throughout the nation. All questions and questionnaires appeared to be pre-selected by CNN except for those of Mr. Bitzer, which were at least a third of those asked.

If these two areas were to be more thoroughly covered Tea Party members had to be sorely disappointed. With respect to the Federal Reserve created by Congress in 1913 allowing the Central Bankers to regulate the economy in order to prevent recessions and depressions in the future, the only question asked was with respect to auditing the Federal Reserve. All seemed at least luke-warm to doing so with Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann having the strongest positions toward doing so. These two alone were for returning the power to Congress as designated by the Constitution, and where it was before giving in to the bankers. Rick Santorum wanted the bankers to remain in control but spoke of returning to “an earlier version” of how it was run. Rick Perry was the most dubious on the subject calling it “treason” if “you are allowing the Federal Reserve to be used for political purposes…” but he was not for eliminating it. Mitt Romney made the strongest case for leaving it with the bankers, as “Congress cannot possibly do it.” It is very unlikely that we will get back to the Constitution on this issue from anyone other than Bachmann or Paul.

There were no specific questions on getting back to the Constitution itself. Bachmann used the word constitution twice as much as did anyone else with Paul second and Perry third. Most made no mention of such a need. Perry, however, had clarity on the 10th Amendment and spoke of it as state’s rights yet, as governor, he had no problem forcing, by executive order, the inoculation of young girls 12 years and older with a vaccine against cervical cancer without any attempt to go through the state legislature for approval. He now admits that it was wrong to do so without legislative authorization. Bachmann denied even state government the right to force such action with or without legislative approval.

All seemed opposed to Obamacare but only Bachmann on clear constitutional grounds. “No state has the constitutional right to force a person, as a condition of citizenship, to buy a product or service against their will. It’s unconstitutional whether it’s the state government (referring to Romneycare in Massachusetts) or whether the federal government. The only way to eradicate Obamacare is to pull it out by the root and branch, to fully repeal it…! Because 2012 is it!!!” She added amid great applause, “This is the election that is going to decide if we have socialized medicine or not!!” Romney and Newt Gingrich would end the “threat” by executive order exempting every state, which itself is a constitutionally questionable solution as executive orders are not to be legislative in nature. Bachmann reminded them that the president after them could again, by executive order, restore the unpopular legislation. Romney’s only reference to something being unconstitutional was with respect to Obamacare but he quickly followed that he “favored a health savings account,” which ironically, on the federal level is just as unconstitutional.

On illegal immigration none of them were convincing that they would end it. Perry, with the most practical real life experience with the issue, seemed willing to “put boots on the ground” as president because Constitutionally it was the federal governments first responsibility to protect its people but he as governor encouraged illegal immigration with tax-payer money to illegals for college expenses. Jon Huntsman gave driving permits to illegals in Utah. Romney and Bachmann opposed any money going to “those who broke the law” but neither stated constitutional reasons. Paul was not given opportunity to respond on this question nor was Herman Cain.

On the basis of the Tea Party Presidential Debate, which was to emphasize constitutional themes in dealing with the realities of our time, Bachmann and Paul were the clear winners with Perry a distant, but dubious third; Bachmann even promising to return the Constitution to the White House as her last comment. I could detect no reason to believe that the other five candidates for president would be any better than George W. Bush in getting us back to this document or even seriously reigning in the Federal Reserve. It is your liberty. Pass this along.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.