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Giving up in Oklahoma

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Lawmakers who oppose the policies of Barack Obama have added their voices to a small chorus of voices on the right that have been confessing ideological impotence lately:

Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.

If this sounds familiar, it should. Not so long ago, Governor Rick Perry of Texas made noise about seceding from the union, and other, lower-ranking members of the executive branch of the government have displayed a similar ignorance for the role of debate in representative government, not to mention a disregard for the importance of the rule of law.

Aside from the fact that this latest idea is blatantly impractical, we are far, far from the point where it would be appropriate to raise the issue of armed insurrection at all, as I mentioned in a previous post when I contrasted the "oath takers" to the tea partiers (or at least the rank and file as far as my impression has been).

At least the tea partiers understand that America remains free enough that moral and political debate can preserve the freedom we have left and bring the government back around to its proper purpose of protecting individual rights. Many of them are wrong about particulars, but they at least appreciate the proper approach to political change in a nation founded on the principle -- apparently forgotten by the "oath-keepers" -- of consent of the governed, and in a nation of laws, and not men. The tea partiers offer their views for the consideration of others, and, from what I have heard, many are
actively seeking
the intellectual ammunition they need to better understand what went wrong with America and what they need to know to appeal to the best within their countrymen before the next election.

I will add, however, that the news story about this proposal for a state militia to oppose federal mandates claims that it has support from "[t]ea party movement leaders." If this is true, and these leaders represent a significant trend within that movement, this is very bad news.

-- CAV

8839412-5019387751166214232?l=gusvanhorn.blogspot.com

Cross-posted from Metablog

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Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.

Why do you have a problem with this? The second amendment is very clear on the right to form a "well regulated militia."

As for the Texas comments, I don't believe that he was even serious. That was obviously just political theater.

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Why do you have a problem with this? The second amendment is very clear on the right to form a "well regulated militia."
Well, the U.S. Constitution (and the second amendment) is not a standard for what is correct. So, the fact that the second amendment says something does not tell us it is right. So, we're left with an idea that is either not serious or is suggesting some type of Red State vs. Blue State violence. In today's context no friend of the U.S. would wish a civil war upon it.

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Well, the U.S. Constitution (and the second amendment) is not a standard for what is correct. So, the fact that the second amendment says something does not tell us it is right.

Really? Would standing by in the face of tyranny be a morally tenable position?

So, we're left with an idea that is either not serious or is suggesting some type of Red State vs. Blue State violence. In today's context no friend of the U.S. would wish a civil war upon it.

No one is advocating invading "Blue" states or vice versa, but resisting the federals. If unconstitutional federal mandates are enforced at gunpoint, when does armed resistance become appropriate? Before or after internment camps and the ovens?

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Really? Would standing by in the face of tyranny be a morally tenable position?

No one is advocating invading "Blue" states or vice versa, but resisting the federals. If unconstitutional federal mandates are enforced at gunpoint, when does armed resistance become appropriate? Before or after internment camps and the ovens?

The idea is not serious. As the article states, "even the proponents say they don't know how an armed force would be organized nor how a state-based militia could block federal mandates". Meanwhile, people are organizing in ways that have potential for change through peaceful means such as elections and lawsuits. If anyone is standing by while others undertake the real work of defending individual rights, it is the militia proponents.

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Well, the U.S. Constitution (and the second amendment) is not a standard for what is correct. So, the fact that the second amendment says something does not tell us it is right. So, we're left with an idea that is either not serious or is suggesting some type of Red State vs. Blue State violence. In today's context no friend of the U.S. would wish a civil war upon it.

How is it suggesting violence? The mere existence of a militia does not imply that the members intend to get violent. Similarly, just because I own a gun doesn't mean I intend to go kill someone. I own a gun for my own protection. Those citizens want to form a militia for their own protection. I don't see anything wrong with that.

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The idea is not serious. As the article states, "even the proponents say they don't know how an armed force would be organized nor how a state-based militia could block federal mandates". Meanwhile, people are organizing in ways that have potential for change through peaceful means such as elections and lawsuits. If anyone is standing by while others undertake the real work of defending individual rights, it is the militia proponents.

How are they undertaking the work to defend individual rights, exactly? If I suggest supporting Republican opposition on here by voting in new people, I'm told they are just as bad as the Marxists in power, so what then? Third party candidates have a snowball's chance to win a major election, and serve to split the vote giving the victory to the Dems.

The Militia thing may be political theater, but it serves to show the Feds that the states are fed up with their unconstitutional mandates. Massive non-compliance by the states would negate such and cause a constitutional crisis, bringing the matter to the immediate attention of the SCOTUS.

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If Oklahomans want to make a start, they should do so by putting their own house in order. Start dismantling state and local government programs, with public schools at the top of the agenda. They can also campaign for an opt-out of Medicaid to be compensated by a credit on Federal taxes for their citizens. The problem is not with our political parties, nor with complacency, nor with corruption. The problem is that a large proportion of people positively support a lot of the things in our political milieu.

On tax-day, I heard interviews with some tea-party folk protesting in Florida, and they were complaining about Obama reducing government spending on NASA! The fault is with what my neighbor and colleague and your neighbor and colleague want the government to do.

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How are they undertaking the work to defend individual rights, exactly?

It's an excellent question. As a preface to my answer, since the philosophical basis of this defense is often incorrect and confused in political circles, change on a level that would be satisfactory to us is going to take a long time. I think that's a given in any of these discussions. That said, I would not discount the public's opposition to ObamaCare and the ability of political efforts such as the tea party movement to effect at least some noteworthy change in the upcoming election cycles. To acknowledge the reality that the Republicans are bad is not to say that electing Republicans who pledge to repeal ObamaCare would not be an at least somewhat efficacious means of preventing the damage it would otherwise cause. I share in the frustration because I don't trust the Republicans to actually follow through on their promises, but then, that's why it is important to hold their feet to the fire politically as the tea party protesters are trying to do.

Meanwhile, the legal efforts in court should likewise not be discounted, as ObamaCare presents some new features, like regulating economic inactivity under the commerce clause, that SCOTUS might well invalidate. The availability of the courts to decide these matters is, I think, a crucial element in concluding that armed revolt is not (yet) appropriate.

I do not agree that the proposal to form a militia does not contemplate its use. Its proponents explicitly say that its purpose is to defend against current federal infringements, not future ones. That is a threat, not only to create the potential use of force, but to actualize it. That is true even though its proponents have no idea how it would actually achieve its stated objective.

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