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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

GOP: You're Doing it Wrong


On Tuesday the New York Times posted a list of prominent Republicans who had signed a legal brief supporting gay marriage.

Just a quick heads up, GOP: you’re doing it wrong. How you personally feel about gay marriage is irrelevant. Whether you whole-heartedly support it, wish to participate in it yourself, or think it could be the downfall of American society is – believe it or not – completely irrelevant.

Why? Because you claim to be conservative. You say you support smaller government. You claim that the inalienable rights enumerated in the Constitution were given by God, not government, and that the Bill of Rights exists pretty much for the sole purpose of keeping the federal government off your lawn.

How exactly does this apply? Simple.

It’s not in the federal government’s job description to define marriage. The minute we allow them to define it, we give them the power to regulate it. And giving them any increase in power or size flies in the face of conservative principles.

But here’s the real controversy:

There is no such thing as gay rights vs. heterosexual rights. In a constitutional republic there are only citizens’ rights. And the reality is that your rights in the United States as they stand today, whether you are gay or straight, are the same.

As a heterosexual woman, I did not have the unfettered right to marry anyone I wanted. I had to find someone who was not a close blood relative, who was over a certain age, who was not married to someone else, and who was male. Yes, just like every lesbian in America, I was barred from marrying another woman. The fact that I did not WANT to marry another woman is completely irrelevant, as it has NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on what my rights are.

So here’s your problem in a nutshell, GOP: if some of you push for legislating gay marriage into being, you’ll lose half of your base. If some of you push for legislating gay marriage out of being, you’ll lose half your base. So maybe you should do the conservative thing and push to get legislation out of marriage entirely. It’s the only position actually supported by the Constitution you claim to be representing.  

Monday, February 25, 2013

SIUE Thwarts Armed Robbers...With Text Warning System

This morning I was awakened by a text message at 2:30am. That isn't necessarily odd, as my husband is a baker and is occasionally (ok, more than occasionally) at work at that hour. But it wasn't my husband. It was the emergency text alert system from my school - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
SIUE, like much of the state of Illinois, is a gun-free zone. It's not even legal to store a weapon on campus, which essentially means that aside from campus police, no one is armed. Which is awesome, because that means we're all totally safe.
Except the text message I received this morning suggested otherwise in a big way.

A little after 1am today, according to Fox News, two suspects robbed a 20 year old male student in Cougar Village (an SIUE apartment complex) at gunpoint. Only one of the suspects was armed, but surprisingly enough, when none of the victims are armed, one is generally enough to do the trick.
The questions running through my mind were simple enough:
How exactly does an armed robber get into a "gun-free zone"? Doesn't he set off an alarm of some sort? Aren't there automatic sensors for that kind of thing? And if there aren't, how can any politician claim that a "gun-free zone" is anything other than a euphemism for a "conveniently disarmed victim zone"?
Whatever the case, the words "gun free" don't make me feel any safer as I head to class less than 12 hours after receiving that message. A .38 Special tucked discreetly into my bag, however... 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Demonization of Common Sense, the Criminalization of a Constitutional Right


So Republican Mike Leara had the stones to write a bill that makes it a Class D felony for Missouri State Legislators to propose legislation that outlaws the exercise of a Constitutional right.

So let me get this straight: the Constitution enumerates the natural right for man to defend himself against the ever-expanding oppressive control of government. The Constitution even says, very clearly, that said right “shall not be infringed.”

Now let’s take a look at the dictionary definition of the word “infringe”: to commit a breach or infraction of, to violate, to encroach upon. From the Latin infringere: to break or weaken.

All of that suggests that any alteration to the 2nd Amendment, any encroachment, any attempt to break or weaken the enumerated right therein, constitutes infringement. Which means that any law written with the express purpose of limiting 2nd Amendment rights is on its face unconstitutional.

What Missouri Democrats would like you to believe, however, is that their treasonous attempt to undermine your rights as outlined in the 2nd Amendment is somehow less newsworthy than the efforts of the guy who suggests that it might be criminal for an elected official to pervert and infringe the constitution to further a political narrative.

A quick review:
Republican Mike Leara says it should be a crime for legislators to violate the Constitution.
Missouri Democrats say it should be a crime for citizens to exercise a Constitutional right.

And we're supposed to believe that the Democrats are on the right side of this one?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The GOP That Rove Built


Everyone is talking about Karl Rove today. Which, incidentally, is exactly how Karl Rove likes it. The source of all the current angst is Rove’s new initiative, the Conservative Victory Project. The goal of the project is to weed out candidates from GOP primaries that are seen - by Rove and his group of high stakes donors – as too flawed to be electable in a general election.

It seems like a reasonable goal, right? To help the GOP find candidates who have a hope of winning? The problem is that what Rove advocates flies in the face of Conservative ideals. He’s essentially placing himself and his cohorts in a position to pick winners and losers without the help (or even the input) of the actual voters whose lives will be affected by the outcomes of the elections with which he meddles. But wait, didn’t conservatives HATE it when Obama picked Solyndra and the other green energy companies that went belly up? Didn’t we HATE it when our money was used to bail out GM and others? Why on earth would we allow someone within our own party to engineer elections when we don’t tolerate the engineering of corporate America?

There are those who defend Rove, saying that he is a brilliant analyst. I’m not going to argue with that. They say that over the last decade or so he has built the GOP. I’m not going to argue with that either. He is definitely one of the major architects of the GOP as we know it today. But the GOP that he built is hardly something worth defending. He built the GOP that gave us a Republican congress that outspent prior Democrat congresses. He built the GOP that gave us TARP, No Child Left Behind, and those idiotic light bulbs that we now know might cause cancer if you, you know, turn them on and stuff. He built the GOP that gave us McCain and Romney because they were “electable.” In other words, he built the GOP that laid out the red carpet for the Democrat landslide in 2008. When he was given the chance to make up for it, instead of helping the conservative resurgence in 2010 he fought against it – a move that probably helped Democrats keep the Senate and the White House in 2012.

The reality is that Rove is an elitist. He wants a class of political elites, and he wants desperately to be their puppetmaster. And he has done a very good job of convincing Americans – even some conservatives – that his class of political elites is somehow better than their Democrat alter egos. He has convinced them that the letter “R” next to the name matters more than principles of the candidate and that he is more qualified than any common voter to pass judgment on the electability of any given candidate.

In simpler terms, Rove fancies himself a kingmaker. The problem is that he posits to claim the title of kingmaker in a nation that set itself apart 237 years ago by throwing off the notion of monarchy. That in itself would be bad enough, but when you consider that the only king thus far that has been “made” by a man who claims his goal is to advance conservatism is President Barack Obama, it is clear that we have a problem. And that problem is Karl Rove.