Thursday, November 08, 2018

Republicans Lose the House -- and More?

My first thought Tuesday night when the TV news folk started declaring Republicans had lost the House of Representatives was, "ObamaCare stays."

Remember, Republicans took control of the House after vowing in the 2010 election to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They maintained that vow in the elections of 2012 and 2014, and voted several times in those three Congresses to actually do it -- though with a Democratic Senate and President, that was as far as it would go. Then in 2016 Republicans added the Senate to their control, while a President was elected on the Republican ticket. And now there was nothing to stop the Republican Congress from acting on their principled promises.

Except themselves.

Oh, sure, as a candidate and President, Mr. Trump has never been able to express opposition to ObamaCare with any enthusiasm, except possibly to "replace" it with essentially the same thing with his name attached to it. But that doesn't excuse the Republican Congress' inability to even present to the American people and the President what they had been promising since its 2010 passage into law. They failed.

And now, as in 2006 election in preparation for which a Republican Congress and President made the historic Democratic free-spending look like thrift, the Republicans have deservedly lost their House majority.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Pastor Zip: Freedom's Just Another Word

[Note: Reblogged from my Pastor Zip's Blog, where this appeared last February 20.]

"Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose," Janis sang in Kris Kristofferson's Me and Bobby McGee. That's what immediately came to my mind when Twitter (yes, Pastor Zip has a Twitter account, but only because NetworkedBlogs, which for free automatically forwards my blog posts to my Facebook page, does -- or at least did -- the same with Twitter; so every couple of days there's an e-mail from Twitter) wanted me see CNN's tweet, "Florida student Emma Gonzalez to lawmakers and gun advocates: 'We call BS'."

The thing is, what may fit the context of a song from the end of the '60s is not a civic reality. Freedom actually means you have everything to gain. And freedom means, conversely, you also have everything to lose. Miss Gonzalez tells of what she has been learning in her AP Government class. Well, thousands of years ago (as my 8th grade social studies teacher Ms. Greenman used to say) in my (11th grade) AP American History class I learned that our Founding Fathers, after winning their rebellion against the British Crown and the King's Parliament, intentionally devised a national government that would have limited ability to infringe upon rights that they regarded as "unalienable." Which helped us to understand the Bill of Rights, which we first learned about in plain old 4th grade Civics.

Other news reports today, which happens to be the national holiday usually called "Presidents' Day" -- though legally it's the observance of George Washington's Birthday -- have noted protests by young students across the nation, demanding that the President and the Congress "do something" in the light of the latest school shooting. And if I'm reading Miss Gonzalez' address rightly, she's saying something that many advocates of "gun control" have been saying for years -- that the Second Amendment, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed," is outdated and ought to be set aside. And set aside now. If necessary, without the bother of actually amending the Constitution. In other words, to grant those two branches of the federal government powers that our governing authority says they do not have.

"Freedom's just another word for something more to lose..."