Rules? How quaint

This is how “representative” our governments now are: apparently you no longer have to actually, you know, LIVE in the district you’re running to represent:

Democrat Jon Ossoff dismissed concerns Tuesday over the fact that he doesn’t live in the Georgia congressional district in which he’s running for a House seat.

“I grew up in this district; I grew up in this community — it’s my home. My family is still there,” Ossoff said during an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”

If having family in a district is enough to be a candidate, most people would have plenty of options to run.  That’s not how it works, though.  And no, I don’t care that he’s “10 minutes up the road,” and just living there to “support his girlfriend in medical school.”

At least Hillary Clinton had the decency to move to New York and pretend to become a New Yorker before running for the Senate.  (I’m pretty sure she’d have never achieved that in Arkansas.)

Either a rule is enforced, or it’s not a rule.   This is yet another example of how we are no longer a nation of laws.  And that’s not going to end well for anybody, no matter what short-term advantages someone thinks they see.

On a related note, it’s nice to see people reminding Congress they have to live with the laws they pass.  And on this particular issue, it’s about time the rules were applied. Vigorously.

So when — or do — we get a reply?

A substantial number of Americans were in shocked disbelief when the FBI Director declined to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton over what appears to be complete and flagrant disregard of national information security protocols.

So many were shocked, in fact, that a petition requesting such charges be filed anyway reached the requisite 100,000 signatures within the first 24 hours of going live at the White House petitions website — far faster than the 60 days permitted for such petitions to reach the threshold for a response. (It’s worth noting the vast majority of these online petitions fail to reach the response threshold at all.)

As of today, a week later, there has been no official response from the White House, even though the petition quickly met the specified terms of engagement, showing the issue to be a pressing concern for the public. Given that the President is actively campaigning with Hillary at this point, it’s probably too much to hope for that he would overrule the FBI and Justice Department’s derelictions of duty.

By the rules of the petition site, the President has 60 days to respond (this would be by September 5th). But the fact the White House is not quickly acknowledging the expressed opinions of now more than 224,000 Americans — on a nationally contentious issue — underscores yet again how the voices of the people are ignored whenever they become inconvenient. It will be interesting — and instructive — to see if they bother to respond at all before the election. In the mean time, I would encourage any readers here to add their name if they have not already done so.

Your silence is deafeningly informative in this case, Mr. President.

Getting Trump’d

I will reiterate: I am not a fan of Trump.  While he has successfully latched onto already existing justifiable anger over the nation’s insecure borders and porous immigration process, in the long run I think his personal association with the issue may prove to do more harm than good.  That said, this commentary is perhaps the best explanation out there for why so many Americans are seeing something they like in The Donald.  Excerpt:

What Republicans are trying to figure out is not so much how to handle Trump as how to handle his supporters. Ignore or confront? Mock or treat seriously? Insult or persuade? The men and women in the uppermost ranks of the party, who have stood by Trump in the past as he gave them his endorsements and cash, are inclined to condescend to a large portion of the Republican base, to treat base voters’ concerns as unserious, nativist, racist, sexist, anachronistic, or nuts, to apologize for the “crazies” who fail to understand why America can build small cities in Iraq and Afghanistan but not a wall along the southern border, who do not have the education or skills or means to cope when factories move south or abroad, who stare incomprehensibly at the television screen when the media fail to see a “motive” for the Chattanooga shooting, who voted for Perot in ’92 and Buchanan in ’96 and Sarah Palin in ’08 and joined the Tea Party to fight death panels in ’09…

What the radical middle has seen in recent years has not given them reason to be confident in our government, our political system, our legion of politicians clambering up the professional ladder office to office. Two inconclusive wars, a financial crisis, recession, and weak recovery, government failure from Katrina to the TSA to the launch of Obamacare to the federal background check system, an unelected and unaccountable managerial bureaucracy that targets grassroots organizations and makes law through diktat, race riots and Ebola and judicial overreach. And through it all, as constant as the northern star, a myopic drive on the part of leaders in both parties to enact a “comprehensive immigration reform” that would incentivize illegal immigration and increase legal immigration despite public opposition.

The writer notes the GOP is a hybrid of two distinctly different groups: upper-crust elites whose status and wealth isolate them from the socially destructive policies they often support (like so-called “free trade”), and the blue-collar working class — the people George Bailey reminded Mr. Potter “do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community.”  (As someone who identifies with this ‘rabble,’ I can attest they’re also often sentimental about classic movies…)

What all this really comes down to is that this ‘radical middle’ is experiencing a rare moment of clarity, where they realize their interests diverge sharply from the agendas of the self-appointed mandarin class sitting atop the GOP.  So they are looking for alternatives.  That is a good thing.

What isn’t good is that we’ve been here before, and the GOP has a playbook for such crises.  It’s even hinted at near the end of the otherwise fine commentary excerpted above: the boogeyman of a Democratic victory.  Every time a Perot or a Buchanan arises to speak to the unrepresented grievances of what used to be known simply as “the middle class,” the GOP darkly warns that a split in the party will result in “the other side” (i.e. Hillary) winning.  As though there are actually two sides between the established political parties.  What this discontented electorate needs to ask in response to such entreaties is “so what?  What, exactly, would be different about an administration of GOP elites than one of Democrats?”  That card has been played in many elections, and yet Roe v. Wade has yet to be restricted, let alone overturned, immigration “reform” in the 1980s resulted in a second, even larger wave of illegal entries, Federal spending (and power) remains out of control with the national debt 18 times what it was 35 years ago, and now a Supreme Court with a GOP-appointed Chief Justice suddenly discovers the Founders would have been OK with gay marriage or with the Federal Government managing your health insurance.

It’s a classic abusive relationship, where the mandarins tell the plebes “just come back to me and it will all get better.”  Only it never does.  The GOP of the last 20-30 years is just as complicit in the damage done to our nation as the Democrats; maybe more so, because at least the Democrats tell you up front most of the time they’re out to “fundamentally transform America.”

The only “fundamental transformation” we in the ‘radical middle’ want is a return of accountability with some treasonous heads on platters, a return to the rule of law and strict adherence to the written Constitution, and restoration of the ethic of personal responsibility and self-sufficiency.  I don’t see either party offering that, except in vague partisan terms aimed at the other team in the quest for voters they fully intend to ignore after election day.

That’s probably because our political class, regardless of party, doesn’t really believe in any of what I just mentioned above.

So why do we vote for ANY of these parasites?

A prime example

…of why I ceased supporting the GOP several years ago (2004 was the final break, to be exact).  As an organized political force, they are no better for America than the Democrats.  In fact, they are often worse because they still try to hide behind the facade of standing for something different.  Case in point (and remember, this man was the GOP vice-presidential nominee in 2012):

Chief Obamatrade proponent House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) admitted during Congressional testimony on Wednesday evening that despite tons of claims from him and other Obamatrade supporters to the contrary, the process is highly secretive.

He also made a gaffe in his House Rules Committee testimony on par with former Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) push to pass Obamacare, in which she infamously said: “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

It’s declassified and made public once it’s agreed to,” Ryan said of Obamatrade in Rules Committee testimony on Wednesday during questioning from Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)

In other words, let your betters in D.C. decide your future, and then you get to find out what it is.  What, you thought the people still had a say in the laws that govern their lives?

Still think we live in a functioning representative republic?  Among the many provisions I’d like to see in an America 2.0 (which I’ll get around to compiling one of these days) is a minimum 45-day public posting of ANY legislation before Congress votes on it.  If they can’t be bothered to read stuff before passing it, at least let the citizens who give a &^%$ do it.  Waiting until another election to express your displeasure at bad legislation doesn’t work anymore.  Best to make them feel the heat BEFORE they sign us up to bad laws and worse policy.  Like the bailouts.  Or the “Freedom Act.”  Or Obamacare.  Or this…