Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Capt. Riddle's Insurgent Tea Party Strategy For 2012

“We are in a culture war!”

That's the battle cry, and it sums up an insurgent Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Party strategy that is gaining momentum across a central Texas landscape where the battle lines are already drawn and well defined, the troops mustered, their ranks growing, and clear cut strategies and tactics are voiced without fear.

At a regular meeting of the insurgent group last night, Wes Riddle of the Central Texas Tea Party challenged his audience to take on the establishment Republican party operatives who are satisfied to grab new precincts and get out the vote – and not much more.

This insurgent wing of the conservative community meets the last Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. in an a la carte dinner theater in downtown Belton, “The Beltonian.”

There are 300 members, active and as pugnacious and ready as Captain James Kirk, commanding, of the voyages of the Star Ship Enterprise, for a good fight.

The motto: “Don't Tread On Me”

He called for Tea Partiers to get involved, produce and direct campaigns, write speeches, make ads, establish phone banks, attend Executive Committee meetings – and snatch the slick and buttoned-down business of campaign management out of the hands of the professionals.

The object: Get rid of President Barack Obama and make the U.S. Senate resemble “what we now have in Austin.”

Mr. Riddle is talking conservative, a coalition that will include everyone from the moderate GOP member to the hard shell John Birch Society activist. Mr. Riddle is a West Point grad, an Army officer, and he's got a sheepskin in history from Oxford University.

It's a big tent. They're looking for converts.

The rallying point: “If it comes to it, we must be prepared to nullify Obamacare within the State of Texas.”

True story. In fact, there is a an all-day seminar scheduled to discuss just that in Austin, April 16, at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, 1900 University Ave. - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We're talking 10th Amendment, here. The ancient and honorable Jeffersonian concept that finally put the U.S. Constitution over against the divisive and hostile influence of the Patrick Henry faction who fought ratification, the clique that decried a central government with the potential of grabbing and controlling too much power against the will of the states and their population.

T.J. & Co. had a remedy for that.

If it doesn't fit, you don't follow the new law, Mr. Jefferson and his colleague James Madison preached. Then they got that 10th Amendment ratified and it's worked very well, indeed, considering.

Remember the Brady Law? Seven sheriffs and the NRA fought that to a standstill at the U.S. Supreme Court on the basis of the 10th Amendment guarantee that if it's not in the U.S. Constitution, the states will reserve the power for themselves. There is a 2nd Amendment guarantee that the right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed,” so, they reasoned, there is no need for a new federal law that requires County Sheriff's departments to database the names of handgun owners and turn them over the to the U.S. government.

Case closed.

As Mr. Franklin said just moments after he signed the U.S. Constitution at Framer's Hall, Philadelphia, “It's a republic, if we can keep it.”

This scene is all about the Citizen United program that wrested the power of corporate political advertising away from the Federal Election Commission. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed that if a corporation is to be treated as equal to any person, then that entity has the right to the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech.

But it's the old-fashioned type of American activism that motivates this crowd. You don't have so much of a guarantee of a right of free speech, but a God-given responsibility to speak up for yourself. If you don't, the argument goes, then no one else can do it for you.

And if you do not speak up, the motivating factor of fear dictates, the enemy in that culture war will persuade “Americans to walk themselves down the road to serfdom.”

Questions and answers, a little debate and a background briefing on the way things are between the Tea Party and the Central Texas Conservatives – read, Republican Party – and a film called “Battle For America.”
Here's a film well worth giving your attention for the 80-some-odd minutes it runs - if for no other reason than to see one prominent politician after another, including former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, insist gleefully and with all the hilarity they can muster that it is simply necessary to pass legislation to find out what in the world it means.
This thing of reading the bills before you vote on them is a no go. They are written in incomprehensible fashion by the Congressional staff, saith Rep. Pelosi, Conyers, et. al.

While you watch, you can drink a beer or have a glass or wine, some finger food, or a country club locker room hamburger in the broad-butt, big-shouldered comfort of loge theater seating.

Yeah, that's the Beltonian Theater.

The film is a straightforward piece of work that starts with a bang when President Barack Hussein Obama is quoted in a glib sound byte saying that the U.S. Constitution of a fatally flawed instrument, a product of a colonial society in which, for instance, African-Americans were not part of the polity that made up mainstream society.

Truly, they were slaves, but they aren't any more, and people want to stand up and say it without fear of reprisal or political backlash. You see, many white men and women were slaves, too. But they had a much more polite term for that category - "indentured servitude," they called it. A person's services and liberty could be bought and sold, traded and inherited, regardless of your ethnicity or racial characteristics.

One is tempted – almost – to tear up and remember the “Saturday Evening Post” cover picture by Norman Rockwell, the one that depicts a common man wearing work clothes, standing up and speaking at a town council meeting way back when in some obscure New England village.

Yeah. It's like that.

G'head. Let it flow, feel the feelings, live it down. It's only life its own self, as our celebrated Texas sports writer, Mr. Dan Jenkins of Cowtown, once scribbled long ago, in a land far, far away called The Southwest Conference.

- free markets
- Constitutionally limited government
- fiscal responsibility
- secure borders

No Mosaic stone tablets inscribed by the fiery finger of the Almighty, here. This is a people's revolution, not a wag the dog nation of sheep who are willing to accept a “living document” in place of that old rugged cross, the U.S. Constitution.

The rallying point amidst what is described as government shutdowns, near riots, and “union thugs” plugging the streets of state capitals is to institute a second wave following the record turnout of conservative voters in 2010.

The idea, according to Wes Riddle's insurgent strategy, is to complete the Reagan legacy - “Redress an imbalance of power between federal and state governments.”

So mote it be.

And, good morning, Mr. Hancock, old smuggler, wherever you may be.

- The Legendary

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