Don’t Tread on Me by Ira Schwartz

Ira Schwartz
January 21, 2010 Posted by Ira Schwartz ira@hollywoodrepublican.net

It always amazes me how a particular image or phrase can always stir up such strong emotions in people: “Remember the Alamo”; the songs “God Bless America” and “The Star Spangled Banner”; or the images of the Marines hoisting the American flag over Mt. Suribachi and the NYC firefighters raising the flag above the debris of the World Trade Center. Imagery is everything to us humans and often evokes some of the strongest emotional responses.
One image that is as much a part of our history as any of those I mentioned above is a flag with a coiled rattlesnake in the center with this warning boldly printed underneath, “DON’T TREAD ON ME”. That flag become Massachusetts battle cry and eventually all the colonies as the then fledgling United States fought for its freedom against the thundering juggernaut that was the British Empire.
Since the Revolution, that flag has been flown many times as both a symbol of American patriotism and as a symbol of disagreement with the government. It appears it is time to fly it again; in the very state it was first introduced…Massachusetts. It appears a new revolution has started and the first shot was fired by the people when they elected Republican Scott Brown to the Senate. It truly was “a Shot Heard Round the World”.
It appears the results of this single election have caused more aftershocks in the political arena than any other event in recent history. First of all Brown is the first Republican to occupy that seat in 46 years and in one night managed to stop the Democratic juggernaut dead in its tracks. It has panicked the Democrats who are now frantically scrambling about trying to limit the damage wherever they can. WHDH-TV reported that Senate Majority Leader Reid tried to contact the new senator but was unsuccessful. I would have loved to have been a “fly on the wall” in Reid’s office when Browns people refused to put him through.
So what does this all mean right now? First of all this upset win has shaken the Democrats to the very core. So much so it prompted Virginia Democrat Jim Webb to tell Pelosi and Reid he would not go along with trying to ram the Health Care Bill through. Saying, “I believe the most appropriate way to move forward is to have Senate-elect Brown seated before we have any more votes on this issue.” You can bet more will follow.
Even the White House has decided to drop back five yards and punt. President Obama, in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, said that he wants the Democratic controlled congress to “coalesce” around parts of insurance reform that Republicans might embrace. He continued, “I would advise that we try and move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that the people agree on.” That is the first time any Democrat ever mentioned what the “people” want in reference to healthcare.
Whether Pelosi and Reid like it or not Healthcare will now be placed on hold and will have to be completely reworked if the White House has any hopes of it getting passed. Most feel it won’t see the light of day in 2010. Also the American Clean Air and Security Act (Climate Change Bill) is now in jeopardy as well as the highly controversial Cyber Security Bill. Slowly the Democratic agenda is crumbling before their eyes.
Will the American people firing this salvo across the White House’s bow wake them up? Maybe not but at least this has gotten their attention and made a lot of Democrats very nervous. With the Democratic “magic 60” broken it is going to be much harder for them to get anything done unless they begin bi-partisan negotiations. Republicans need to understand that this is only the beginning with a long, hard road ahead. But it is an opportunity and one that should not be mishandled or allowed to slip away. The American people have spoken in a very loud and simple voice, “Don’t Tread on Me.” It would be advisable for those in public office to listen this time or they could find themselves on the outside looking in come November.
For those of you that forgot you’re high school history a link to the flag is listed below.
http://www.foundingfathers.info/stories/gadsden.html#history
© 2010 by Ira Schwartz. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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4 Responses to Don’t Tread on Me by Ira Schwartz

  1. Billy Dean on January 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    This is how its suppose to work, the constitution set this up. If the leaders don't listen to the people, they are peacefully removed from power.

    The problem is the huge dependency that the government has set up between it and the people. That is real power. If we become dependent for our health care from the government it's all over for years.

    I'm so proud of the people of Massachusetts. They have seen what has been going on and reacted.

    We just have to keep it going across the rest of the country!!

  2. Craig Covello on January 22, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    As usual, well said Ira. You may remember the movie "Thelma and Louise", in which two women drove their 1964 Ford Thunderbird off a cliff. Fast-forward to 2010 and it looked like history was about to repeat itself with Pelosi and Reid driving health care off a cliff. Lucky for us, the car ran out of gas. Question: Is Harry playing Thelma or Louise?

  3. KK on January 22, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Enjoyed the article. Listening to Obama today preaching to his choir in Ohio,he still can't accept the voters voice. He is still proclaiming at the top of his lungs that the rejection of Obamacare is due to the Republicans scaring the public. I think that Thunderbird may well plunge off the cliff yet.

  4. Anonymous on January 24, 2010 at 9:01 am

    There are the twisted and tortured interpretation of the constitution and “ism.” There is the difference between rules/laws and the concept of “right and wrong.” And then there is the lack of the body politic and the electorate to “really get it.”

    The problem is not capitalism; it is the unethical application of its principles. The problem is not conservatism; it is the moderation, corruption and destruction of its core values. The problem is not liberalism; it is the pursuit of egocentric control through Machiavellian social reform, draconian laws, the denouncement and repudiation of original principles of free competition and self regulating markets. The problem is not progressivism; it is the unconscionable pursuit of, the end justifies the means modality, at any cost, of promised better conditions in government and society. Mises framed it “ The flowering of human society depends on two factors; the intellectual power of outstanding men to conceive sound, social and economic theories and the ability of these or other men to make these ideologies palatable to the majority.”

    The problem is not the constitution; it is the interpretation of it. And then there was the McCain/Feingold decision. The Supreme Court of the United States renders decisions, pontificates morals, establishes temporary rules that we live by, or strikes down issues of jurisprudence considered not constitutional. There are reversals of precedent. Slavery was constitutional at one time, remember Dred Scott. There was a time when racially mixed marriages were not allowed. These rules that we must live by are often not unanimous, are not untainted by politics, and are presented to the nation as a majority opinion, some 5 to 4, clearly framing the political Achilles’ heel of our highest court. If there are four justices in the minority might not we take reasonable pause? There can be no legitimate assumption that we are looking at a determination of “right” and “wrong.” And while the Supreme Court is the court of last resort, it is not an instrument of infallible truth. Jury nullification, the power of conscience, is a defense against adjudicated error. This issue was addressed, in a very narrow and tangential sense, in the Nuremberg Trials. Does anyone see remarkable judicial giants more often locked in as puppets in political chicanery? Do not the opinions favor the conservative/liberal beliefs (biases) of the court depending primarily on the majority political temperament?

    The electorate and the politicians who “work for us” have learned little or nothing. Not withstanding the cry for a return to core values the Republicans show their disdain for the electorate, who refuse to toss them with term limits, by the continuation of business as usual such as the heavily subsidized December Santa Barbara Retreat (LAT 1/24/10) complete with an elitist gift bag worth $299 each. And we wonder why there is a “Tea party.” With the expose of the corruption of the ObamaCare effort we can not longer hide behind “we just didn’t know.” This was the road to the Holocaust.

    The current January 2010 health care bill must not be resurrected. But politicians must come together for health care reform. Each issue would be better served in a separate bill. The concerns are tort reform, elimination of Medicare/Medicaid waste, fraud and corruption, coverage of preexisting conditions, free access to health insurance to all and across state lines, federal partnership in catastrophic health conditions, and national coverage for the truly indigent sick and lame but not the lazy.

    Health care is not a right but it can be a gift from a noble nation to the needy. If we can give aid and comfort to those impacted by the Haiti 2010 earthquake, the Samoan tsunami 2009, the Indian Ocean tsunami 2004, including but not excluding others, all the way back to the Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949, we can certainly give aid and comfort to our own. America is committed to always give a hand up and never a handout.

    We forget that freedom is not free.

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