Mike Corthell

Mike Corthell
Editor & Publisher at Fryeburg Free Press MEDIA

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The United States has Sailed into the Twilight Zone

From coast to coast, it didn’t matter what time zone you lived in on Thursday; on that day, Americans all entered the Twilight Zone, with the Supreme Court’s 5-4 upholding of Obamacare, and congressional Democrats’ walkout on the contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder.

Whether we emerge from this Twilight Zone period whole as a nation or spiral downward into deepening political and social madness remains to be seen.

Those two bizarre events together deepened the certainty that this coming November’s 2012 election is as pivotal as the election of 1860 that preceded the American Civil War.

Back then, the North and South split over sharply different visions of what the still-young country should be and how it should deal with its original sin of slavery.
This year, the nation is split by mutually exclusive visions of whether the United States will keep Constitutionally enshrined individual liberty and limited central government as its core principles. Or will the Constitution, in effect, be discarded and individual liberty be locked in the freedom-suffocating embrace of a socialist nanny federal government.

Chief Justice John Roberts’ strange, unexpected ruling that saved Obamacare in its Supreme Court test was right out of Alice in Wonderland.

Roberts claimed it’s constitutional for Obamacare to compel Americans to buy health insurance because the unconscionable, stiff federal penalty for not doing so is a “tax.”

But Obamacare’s backers, from Obama on down, have tried to deny it’s a tax all along. The Nancy Pelosi Congress would deny it passed a tax on Americans in Obamacare.

If it’s a tax only because the chief justice says it’s a tax, then that’s akin to taxation without representation, because the people didn’t elect Roberts. Only Congress, elected by the people, can enact a tax, and then only if it originates in the House of Representatives. Obamacare was introduced in the Senate, not the House; the text of the law doesn’t call the mandate a tax, so how can it be OK only because it’s a tax, according to Roberts?

By Roberts’ logic, the federal government can now compel Americans to do anything by “taxing” us for failure to do what we’re ordered to do by the government. Taxation without representation, or extortion by taxation, either way, it is tyranny, and it violates the principles the United States was founded upon.
Obamacare must be repealed also because its immense costs will suffocate the economy, its financial disincentives will deplete the nation’s supply of doctors and stifle medical innovation. Its tangle of bureaucratic roots will ensnare every family and destroy our ability to get the care that we want, not what bureaucratic paper-pushers want us to have.

On Thursday afternoon, the House voted 255-67 to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for persistent failure to turn over subpoenaed documents in a congressional investigation of the deadly Fast and Furious gunwalking debacle operated by Holder’s Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Holder’s crew let more than 2,000 guns get into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, and those guns wound up involved in the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans and the murder of U.S. Border Agent Brian Terry. The suspicion is that the guns were intentionally allowed into Mexico so they could later be tied to crimes and used by Holder and Obama politically to win more gun control laws inside the United States, on all Americans. Obama has told gun control leader Sarah Brady that he was working on gun control “under the radar.”

It was Terry’s death in December 2010 that prompted whistleblowers to reveal the operation. The mainstream media ignored the story for a year. Meanwhile, a group of bloggers, notably Mike Vanderboegh, David Codrea and Dave Workman, kept the revelations coming and spurred the congressional investigation by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, along with Sen. Chuck Grassley, that led to Thursday’s vote, which the mainstream media couldn’t ignore.

But only 17 Democrats in the House voted for contempt. Another 109, including the Congressional Black Caucus, walked out without voting.

The walkout came after a parade of sickening speeches that dismissed the investigation as a political witch hunt against Holder. They spun and danced around the facts of Fast and Furious, the deaths of Brian Terry and hundreds of Mexicans and the fact that the Mexican government was kept in the dark. They claimed President Obama’s 11th hour use of executive privilege as a reason to excuse Holder. They repeated the lie that Fast and Furious began under the Bush administration. They played the race card for Holder. It was an ugly scene as those 109 walked out on their duty, their country and simple justice.

For the local record, Democrat Rep. Marcy Kaptur was among those who did not vote; and Democrat Rep. Betty Sutton voted against contempt.

Republican Rep. Bob Latta, who represents Huron County, voted for contempt.

The criminal contempt of Congress declaration would go to the Justice Department next, but an aide to Holder already has said Justice won’t be investigating its own boss. That leaves civil court as the next step in trying to compel Holder to turn over the documents investigators want.

In all, it was an unspeakably sad week: A Chief Justice spouts nonsense and damages the Constitution that he’s sworn to protect, to foster a law that crushes individual liberty.
More than 100 Democrat members of Congress spin, duck and deny, rather than help to investigate allegations that the attorney general’s men, to further the president’s political agenda, illegally gave guns to savage criminals, who then predictably used them to kill hundreds of people, including an American law enforcement agent.

That’s all a great worry. But an even greater worry is that reaction to this news shows many in the voting public see nothing wrong with this picture. What that clash of vision means for our nation’s future is the greatest worry of all now.

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