Thoughts On The Gosar Incident
I have seen Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) speak in person a few times. He
seemed a likable enough fellow and he said the right things that made me think
he's one of us. He gets it. I heard him speak about the affordable care act and
the need to repeal it. I have heard him say we need to fix what's wrong with the
healthcare system, but I didn't hear him say replace Obamacare. I heard him say
that he disagreed with the Supreme Court ruling, but we could still repeal it,
there's still time.
I have heard him talk about illegal immigration, border security, over
taxation, corruption, programs and federal employees that waste of taxpayers’
hard-earned money and the importance of family in the American landscape. I
admit that he had me pretty well convinced that he was on the side of the
constitutional conservative. Heck I would've loved to sit down and had a beer
with the guy. He seemed like a pleasant fellow. (On a side note, I make it a
point never to sit down and have a beer with a progressive because they fill me
with the urge to waste good beer by pouring it over their head to see if
anything can penetrate. Logic sure doesn't).
When I heard that he was going to appear at Michele Bachmann's town hall that
was to be broadcast on live stream June 28th, 2012, the day Supreme Court handed
down its ruling on Obamacare I was pretty excited. Unite In Action president
and National 912 project co-chair Stephani Scruggs, and Unite In Action director
of legal affairs KrisAnne Hall were set to participate in this event so there
was no way I was going to miss it. I was hoping Allen West would stop by because
I love hearing that man speak.
Several other Congress members appeared prior to representative Gosar, but
when he finally got his turn thing started off pretty well. Imagine my surprise
when I heard the words come from his lips, " be careful what you tread here
folks, because if all you do is stand just for the Constitution and nothing
less, you will lose."
When I heard this I thought to myself, hold on a
second it's not supposed to be about whether or not I think I can win, but
whether or not I think this is right or wrong and if what I'm about to vote on
in any way impinges on the Constitution, there is no way as a conservative I
could vote for it. Frame your argument correctly, and be very clear in debate,
how and why you feel it impinges on the Constitution. Stand your ground on
principles win or lose.
One must wonder if he was aware of what group of people he was speaking to.
I was further stunned when Rusty Humphries asked representative Gosar "why
would they lose if they stood for the Constitution, is it too far to go?" he
replied "not everybody believes in the Constitution. You have 50% of the
people..." Rusty Humphries interrupts "you think 50% of the people don't believe
in the Constitution?" Gosar replies " they don't."
This one just made my jaw drop I couldn't believe it. I know more than 50% of
the population doesn't understand the Constitution and most of that 50% of never
even bothered to read it. In my travels I have run into plenty of people who
couldn't quote a single line from the Constitution or the first 10 amendments.
Many of them couldn't even tell me how many amendments there were at the time of
the drafting of the Constitution. Not even the incorrect answer 10. (Only 10
were ratified. The rest went bye-bye).
At this point I was thinking to myself, that's not what he meant to say. It
must've been something else. I've heard this guy speak before. I was certain he
was playing for the same team. He could not possibly have meant because 50%
of the people don't believe in the Constitution, its okay for Congress to pass
laws that violate the Constitution just a little bit. Maybe just 50% of the way.
No, he couldn't have meant that, I must've heard that wrong.
At that point KrisAnne Hall began explain how you have to put the
Constitution first, you can’t compromise on the Constitution and that part
of the problem in Congress is that too many of them thought that it was okay
pass rules and laws that violate the Constitution. There's more to it than that.
Watch the video yourself.
Stephani Scruggs enumerated several issues including the violations of the
1st Amendment, 9th amendment and 10th amendment, going so far as to say we
are slaves because those things have been taken from us and that we no longer had
our own personal sovereignty and control our own lives.
So I thought to myself well, maybe that is what he meant, that it is okay to
pass laws that chip away at the Constitution, after all 50% of the people don't
believe in it anyway. No, this can't be. I watched the rest of the town Hall
thinking to myself, I wish representative Gosar had been clearer.
And then a few days later I re-watched the video. Over and over again. And
when I saw him roll his eyes and shake his head as KrisAnne Hall was saying you
cannot compromise the Constitution, I wondered if my first impressions of him
had been incorrect and that my reaction to the video was more spot on. That
maybe the congressman felt since we can't get things through unless we
compromise the constitution a little bit, it's okay, we can compromise a little.
After all we've got to get that oh so precious bipartisan support. Say it isn’t
Maybe he misspoke. Maybe that's not what he intended.
But it sure sounded to
me that he was more concerned about winning and losing than he was about
standing on constitutional principles and being unwilling to surrender when it
comes to the Constitution. Each and every time a bill is written, sent to
committee, debated, amended or voted on, every member of Congress, be it the
House or the Senate, should ask themselves does this in any way compromise the
United States Constitution, its amendments, or the liberties and freedom of the
American people? If it does, then no matter what's in it, no matter what
benefits or security it may provide, those who have sworn to uphold the
Constitution cannot pass/vote for it. You certainly can't vote for it and call
yourself a conservative.
I know there is going to be a lot of people who will say, " he a good guy you
just misunderstood what he meant." But here's one thing I've learned about
people who are under pressure, and trust me politicians always feel under
pressure when they're publicly speaking in front of voters, they tend to speak
with really in their hearts and minds. Do I know for certain what is in his
heart or his mind? No, no one does but him. But what I do know is, principles
matter, everything else is just Jell-O.
As a politician or candidate, I can love everything about you, we can agree
99% of the time, but when it comes to accepting anything that it impinges on the
rights and liberties of the citizens of the United States, we part ways and
there is no reconciliation.
There's something that happens to even some of the best of our elected
officials once they get the Washington DC. It's slow, but it's insidious. Few
are able to resist it, especially when there for long periods of time or if not
strong enough of will and courage to ward off this disease. Some call it
"Potomac Fever" that need to go along to get along and be accepted and gain
support so you're not sabotaged in your next election or left out of the plum
committees. This becomes the priority. If you don't play the game, you can count
on your colleagues to help the press eviscerate you and your career as a public
servant will be over. Too many of the trappings that come with the position are
like a drug that they cannot live without.
Where have all the true statesman gone?
Jay Devereaux is an Information Technology Consultant and small business owner that like so many of us, did not really pay a lot of attention to what was going on in Washington DC until ideas like Cap & Trade and T.A.R.P. The idea of the Federal Government bailing out bankers and Wall Street firms with taxpayer dollars was the last straw. Followed closely by the first stimulus package, Jay like so many was yelling at his television similar to Rick Santelli’s now famous rant, when his family cried “ENOUGH! Do something about it or shut up!” In late 2009 Jay was invited to join the Board of Directors for UIA
and manages to organizations various websites and social networking