Don’t Hide From The Cameras

200px-Illuminatus1stedWell, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks for those of us that use the moniker “libertarian.” While the news of Prism was shocking, it’s really not that shocking if you’re culturally aware.

Nick Gillespie, the Fonzie of the libertarian movement, has an article today in The Daily Beast(!) lamenting how the public is okay with Big Brother as long as he is of the right party affiliation. Again, not that shocking.

In January 2006, Pew Research asked whether it was OK to collect info on “people suspected of involvement with terrorism by secretly listening in on telephone calls and reading emails between some people in the United States and other countries, without first getting court approval to do so.” A slim majority of all respondents—51 percent—said yes while 47 percent said no.

The partisan breakdown, however, was vastly different, with 75 percent of Republicans finding it acceptable and just 23 percent dissenting. When it came the Democrats, only 37 percent of Democrats signed off on NSA snooping, with a whopping 61 percent saying screw off.

Fast-forward to June 2013, when a Democrat occupies the Oval Office after an easy reelection and his party controls the Senate. Pew asked respondents whether it’s OK that the NSA “has been getting secret court orders to track telephone calls of millions of Americans in an effort to investigate terrorism.” This time around, it’s Democrats who overwhelmingly support collecting collecting yottabytes and exabytes of metadata on us all, with 64 percent saying they are totally fine with NSA surveillance programs and a measly 34 percent disagreeing. Among Republicans, enthusiasm for eye-in-the-sky surveillance has taken a major hit, with only 52 percent agreeing and 47 percent saying no.

Too true, but we can’t dismiss partisanship out of hand. Principles should be the utmost, but when you vote for a president, the trust issue has to play a role, or at least, it should. While George W. Bush was very much a big-government Republican, I didn’t have much fear that he would monitor my phone conversations unless I started hanging out with Hezbollah…nor did I fear that he would use the IRS to punish his political enemies. Didn’t seem like that kind of guy. With Obama and/or Hillary, I knew such actions were possible if not probable. In fact, Hillary already has a rap-sheet full of such nefarious activities.

Nevertheless, Gillespie is correct that we are put too much trust in “our guys” over staying true to our principles even when we run the show. However, I think the lack of outrage on a grand scale over Prism and the IRS targeting is cultural in nature. We’ve been trained to believe that this was going on all along. George Orwell introduced the possibility…since then we’ve been inundated with movies like The Truman Show, Minority Report, The Bourne series…and going back a ways, the masterpiece work of Francis Ford Coppola, The Conversation. Couple this with non-stop cable documentaries on Area 51, UFO conspiracies and the like and you have a public that receives the recent news with a knowing shrug.

So Gillespie says we need to be more principled and less partisan. Yes, but I would also advise folks to call the government’s bluff, whether it’s a bluff or not. At this point in the game, we’re not where Winston Smith was. Right now, you should show yourself to the cameras. Let them see what you do and think. Put a sign up that says “Lindsey Graham, Come Out of the Closet!” or “Wacko Birds of the World, Unite!” Let them know where you stand and let them come after you. When that happens, expose them. Look, I gave Mitt Romney $300 in 2012. It’s already established that if I ever need a lung-transplant or something like that under Obamacare, it’s not happening. Knowing that, I might as well spend what freedom I have left being defiant against tyranny.

Rage Against The Machine: Benghazi Edition

I kept with the news of the Benghazi hearings today whenever I got the chance. I got enough to get a pit in my stomach and some veins throbbing on my temples. I can’t decide if I’m angered more by what happened or by what isn’t going to happen. President Obama and Hillary Clinton will not be harmed by this as far as I can tell. Worst case scenario is some of their aides will resign and everybody will just move on. Hillary will run in 2016 with most of the public blissfully unaware of what Benghazi is. I always knew she was a nasty person, but today I found out she might very well be evil.

Maybe we’ve been through this before. Maybe people in the 60’s and 70’s felt this helpless under LBJ and/or Nixon, but from everything I’ve read, it sure seems like the public was much more aware of things back then, even if a majority of the public was blasé. I dunno. Very emotional and hard to make comparisons when I wasn’t there, but the feeling that we’ve lost this country to a government that has devolved into a Putin-style autocracy is hard to get past. I hope something can crack my cynicism and give me some hope.

A Fun Conspiracy Theory to Get The New Year Started

JumpConclusionsSo Hillary Clinton hasn’t been seen in public in weeks and went from having a concussion to now having a blood-clot as a result of said concussion. Naturally, many of us are dubious about these claims in light of the fact that she’s due to testify on her role in the Benghazi scandal. After all, Hillary’s honesty over the past 20 years has been, shall we say, less than stellar. Fold that into the Obama cult and it’s not a huge jump to make on my “Jump to Conclusions” mat.

That being said, let’s take the conspiracy theory to an even more ridiculous level. Let’s say that Hillary’s maladies are indeed real and become so bad that she is unable to run for President in 2016. That would mean the field would be wide open giving Obama his chance to repeal the 22nd Amendment, allowing him to run again in 2016. However, because there are no term limits, a desperate and revenge-minded Bill Clinton decides to run for the presidency…hell, maybe as the Republican candidate!

Absurd? Yes…maybe. Anyway, should it turn out that America is just a reality show produced by some alien race, just let it be known you heard it here first.

The Libya Scandal Unbound

Mitt Romney made the right play in the last debate with President Obama which centered on foreign policy. While many like myself and even the cool cucumber Charles Krauthammer would have loved to see Romney go at Obama with a Louisville Slugger on the Libya debacle, it would have taken the debate into the tall weeds. As I’ve said many times, candidates running for president actually deserve our sympathy because they have to spend so much time – most of it in the home stretch – convincing really stupid people to vote for them. Maybe that’s a little harsh but what you have to remember about “undecided” voters is that they have no real ideology. They never spend their time doing any deep thinking, of giving much consideration to things outside of their domestic bubble. Romney’s message of “we’ll be a strong nation (i.e. safe) abroad by being a strong nation domestically (i.e. economically)” was a stroke of genius considering who he has to win over in the final days. A broad, macro approach to foreign policy appeals to moderate or undecided voters who he can put him over the top on November 6th.

That being said, us political wonks know that what has happened in Libya is a “big f-ing deal” to quote our Vice President who isn’t just an idiot, he’s an unfeeling and callous individual. I’m the type of person that speaks my mind and occasional bends the rules of decorum, but asking a dead-soldier’s father about his son’s balls is the height of social ignorance and utterly contemptible. You see, to Obama, Biden and Hillary, we aren’t even real human beings, we’re like game pieces, but not in a game of kings like Chess or even Risk. I’m afraid we’re all playing Sorry.

Be that as it may, all the evidence and ass-covering of the past weeks points to only one conclusion. President Obama left our people in Libya defenseless. The only question left is why? Was it a purely political decision? an avoidance of a possibly failed military mission before an election? Certainly the ghost of Jimmy Carter’s ill-fated rescue attempt of the Iranian hostages is still with us. But even if that’s so, it’s maddening to think that Obama and his inner circle would think that something like this could stay a secret.

Bill Clinton On The Loose

Dick Morris thinks Bill Clinton wants Obama to lose the election. Normally I take Morris’ predictions and theories with a grain of salt but I think he may be right this time. Here’s why:

1) Clinton wants back in the White House. A six-year old can gather that. However, Edward Klein claims Bill wanted Hillary to challenge Obama this year saying he wasn’t sure he’d live long enough to wait another four years. Gossip, yes, but believable.

2) Clinton defends Romney on his time at Bain Capital.

3) Today, Clinton calls for extending the Bush Tax Cuts (temporarily).

4) Clinton’s goal is getting Hillary (and thus him) in the White House. Since the ship has sailed on option #1, it makes sense that the best play for Billary is to face Romney in 2016 rather than run for the office after an 8 year Obama/Democrat Party fiasco. Bill knows as well as any Tea Partier what a second Obama term will bring.

Either way, Hillary Clinton is running in 2016. How do I know? Because she’s said she won’t run. Simple. Easy.

UPDATE: Great minds think alike. Michael Walsh at NRO.