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‘Rule of Rulers’ – Coburn: 2013, Most Unproductive, Damaging

Editor’s Note – The author of the following article in the Wall Street Journal, Tom Coburn, is a Republican Senator from Oklahoma and is most famous for his annual “Waste Book.” Along with his focus on government waste, fraud, and abuse, he highlights other major negative issues that happened in 2013 here.

SUA agrees with Coburn that 2013 is perhaps not only the least productive year in government in recent memory, but we add that it may also be the most damaging to America since 1913, the year of the Income Tax, the Federal Reserve, and changing the method for choosing Senators by popular vote. (Amendments 16 and 17)

Of these, it is the opinion of SUA that besides the Obama administration’s ‘rule of rulers’ tactics that circumvent the Constitution and Congress, and the ObamaCare lies and fraud, the next worse issue was the complete failure of Congress and its abysmal approval rating in 2013. However, it is disingenuous of the media to constantly group all in Congress as a monolithic bloc upon which the low approval rating is discussed or polled. Why?, because Congress has been reduced to a one man show – the Harry Reid Show.

Harry Reid wields his "Iron Fist" control over America's legislative needs. The "Rule of Rulers"!

Harry Reid wields his “Iron Fist” control over America’s legislative needs. The “Rule of Rulers”!

No matter your political stripe, Harry Reid surpasses Obama in singularly ruling America with an iron fist. If a more scientific poll were performed, one conducted on each house of Congress separately, and by the individual in both, the picture would be stark. The left can talk about the Tea Party Caucus as if it were an alien being, and blame the Republicans for everything because of them, but the actual troll at the bridge has been, and continues to be, Harry Reid.

Painting all of Congress with a broad brush is a favorite talking point of Obama, and his willing minions do not care that he includes his supporters in his invective words. They will say and do anything for their ideological goals and control freak nature – all at the peril of “We the People” and our Republic. By lumping them as one, they achieve success with their misconception, misinformation, and demagogic tactics to confuse you the American citizen into believing their tripe.

Please read on and comment below:

Tom Coburn: The Year Washington Fled Reality

‘Message discipline’ can win elections but is not a healthy way to run a country.

By Tom Coburn -WSJ Online

The past year may go down not only as the least productive ever in Washington but as one of the worst for the republic.

While the Senate debates the bipartisan budget plan, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a longtime deficit hawk, outlines his annual “Wastebook,” which points a critical finger at billions of dollars in questionable government spending, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

While the Senate debates the bipartisan budget plan, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a longtime deficit hawk, outlines his annual “Wastebook,” which points a critical finger at billions of dollars in questionable government spending, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

In both the executive branch and Congress, Americans witnessed an unwinding of the country’s founding principles and of their government’s most basic responsibilities.

The rule of law gave way to the rule of rulers. And the rule of reality—in which politicians are entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts, as Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan liked to say—gave way to some politicians’ belief that they were entitled to both their own opinions and their own facts. It’s no wonder the institutions of government barely function.

On health care, President Obama oversaw a disastrous and, sadly, dishonest launch of his signature achievement. The president gave an exception to employers, but not to individuals, without any legal basis, and made other adjustments according to his whim. Even more troubling was his message over the past three years that if you like your plan, you can keep it, and that if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. We now know that the administration was aware that these claims were false, yet Mr. Obama continued to make them, repeatedly.

In 2014, millions of Americans will likely discover that the president’s claim that the average family will save $2,500 on health insurance was equally disconnected from reality.

The president apologized in part for his statements, but his actions reveal the extent to which he has conformed to, rather than challenged, the political culture that as a presidential candidate he vowed to reform.

The culture that Mr. Obama campaigned against, the old kind of politics, teaches politicians that repetition and “message discipline”—never straying from using the same slogans and talking points—can create reality, regardless of the facts. Message discipline works if the goal is to win an election or achieve a short-term political goal. But saying that something is true doesn’t make it so. When a misleading message ultimately clashes with reality, the result is dissonance and conflict. In a republic, deception is destructive. Without truth there can be no trust. Without trust there can be no consent. And without consent we invite paralysis, if not chaos.

Taking unilateral, extralegal action—like delaying the employer mandate for a year when Mr. Obama realized the trouble it would cause for businesses—is part of a pattern for this administration. Immigration and border-security laws that might displease certain constituencies if enforced? Ignore the laws. Unhappy that a deep-water drilling moratorium was struck down in court? Reimpose it anyway. Internal Revenue Service agents using the power of the state to harass political enemies? Deny and then stonewall. Unhappy with the pace of Senate confirmations for nominees? Ignore the Constitution and appoint people anyway and claim that the Senate is not in session.

The Obama administration hardly has a monopoly on contributing to Washington’s dysfunction. Congress more than earned its 6% national approval rating, a historic low.

Congress’s most significant action this year was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to undo 200 years of precedent that requires a supermajority to change Senate rules. To speed the approval of executive appointments and judicial nominations, Sen. Reid resorted to raw political power, forcing a vote (52-48) that allows the Senate majority to change the rules whenever it wants. In a republic, if majorities can change laws or rules however they please, you’re on the road to life with no rules and no laws.

The supermajority safeguard that prevented senators from destroying the institution in which they serve is now largely gone. Gone also are members of the majority who understood the need to protect minority rights. There are no more Robert Byrds to quote Cicero, who said, “In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power.”

Instead, we have a majority leader who has appointed himself a Rules Committee of one. Referring to the right of the minority to offer changes to bills under consideration, Mr. Reid said: “The amendment days are over.” Like President Obama, Mr. Reid is great at message discipline but weak on the rule of law and reality. His narrative about Republican obstruction of appointees is a diversion from his own war against minority rights. Even before his wrecking of the supermajority tradition, Mr. Reid had already used Senate rules to cut off debate and prevent the minority from offering amendments 78 times—more than all other Senate majority leaders combined.

On the budget, Democrats and Republicans alike are celebrating the avoidance of another nihilistic government shutdown as a great victory. The choice to not commit mass political suicide may be a step toward sanity, but it isn’t reform. Solving the problem—fixing entitlements, reforming the tax code and consolidating the government’s $200 billion in duplicative spending—would be reform. Yet as my annual Wastebook report showed, even in this year of budget-sequestration anguish, the federal government still managed to fund the study of romance novels, provide military benefits to the Fort Hood shooter and even help the State Department buy itself Facebook FB +0.97% fans.

If Congress wants to get serious, and be taken seriously, it can start by doing its job. It can debate and pass individual appropriations bills—a task that Congress has not completed in eight years. And perhaps Congress can cut some of the stupidity in government spending. The House deserves some credit for trying—it passed four appropriations bills—but the Senate deserves none. Mr. Reid did not pass a single appropriations bill in 2013, thus shielding vulnerable members of his party from having to make tough votes.

How the nation’s leaders perform in Washington is a reflection of the country, and culture, they represent. Moral relativism and postmodern disregard of truth has been promoted by academia for decades; sometimes it seems that the best students of that thinking can be found in Washington. We live in a time when laws and rules are defined however the holders of power decree, and “messaging” is paramount, regardless how far the message is from reality.

The coming year presents an opportunity to Americans who hope for better. Despite Washington’s dysfunction, “We the People” still call the shots and can demand a course correction. In 2014, here’s a message worth considering: If you don’t like the rulers you have, you don’t have to keep them.

Mr. Coburn, a Republican, is a senator from Oklahoma.


Posted by on December 31, 2013. Filed under Breaking News, Politics-DC. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Responses to ‘Rule of Rulers’ – Coburn: 2013, Most Unproductive, Damaging

  1. StingraySFO

    Oklahoma has the distinction of the two most outspoken conservative Constitutionalist senators, along with the most supportive state legislators. When the feds say “you can’t do this, or that”, we do it anyway!
    The American citizens of Oklahoma’s voting districts are overwhelmingly conservative, with the exception of my own district which seems to be almost totally misinformed as I have discovered in my own efforts to unify associates, friends, and neighbors, even my own wife who watches TV all day and into the night. The lack of print media in my area is a major factor leaving most to go about their daily lives with an almost total lack of factual information, leaving many to question me when I mention ‘obamaCare’, as they DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT, NEVER HEARD ABOUT IT!
    How pathetic is that? These are people that go about their daily lives, attend their church functions, and help their neighbors, yet are so misinformed, or uninformed, that they have no idea of how serious the problems in America really are. Most still believe the Zimmerman case was all about a ‘neighborhood watch member’ gone amuck, that the ‘knockout game’ is nothing but ‘right wing’ hype, and that reverse racism doesn’t exist. They aren’t even aware of the numerous anti-Christian events occurring world wide. Few that I have met are military veterans, while many are retired government employees. A few business owners claim to be conservative, yet they come across as being defeatists, claiming they know about what’s going on but fail to see that anything can be done to change it.
    I attended a Conservative GOP meeting to see what is being done locally. Only seven people attended. The discussion lasted about 45 minutes, and was primarily only about selecting a few of those to organize a picnic. When I questioned them about a couple of prominent issues in the nation, they had never even heard of them. When I started to inform them, they adjourned the meeting!
    Is this the problem we’re facing across the nation? Are people so disengaged that they simply don’t want to be bothered?
    Are we at a point where only those of us that stand for our freedoms, we ‘threepers’, will be the sole means to restore America and our Constitutional Republic as a nation of laws, freedom, and justice for all?

    • Patriotgal

      StingraySFO I was born and raised in Oklahoma and still live here and I have found all the statements to be true you have said. I also dont not understand why most are not awake to what is taking place in our Rebublic. I want to be informed and so does my husband and we take the time to research alot of stuff. When I try and discuss this stuff alot of my family wont hear it but I do have family and friends that are awake. We must keep trying to explain whats happening and when it hits them between the ears then maybe they will take notice. I pray it wont be to late to do something.

      God Bless America
      God Bless Our Troops
      God Bless the Patriots

  2. Terry

    Bravo, Sen. Coburn! It’s not for nothing that Oklahoma is rated on the top 5 freedom loving states. Check it out

  3. MarkSBvu

    MG Vallely, Thanks for this article.
    Senator Coburn, Thanks for your efforts for our Nation. I agree with you 150%. (The extra 50% is some further effort I’d like to convince you to support and help lead.

    My rationale is this: I see the many issues you raise as being related by governance process (i.e., systemic) failures. I agree with Mark Levin that many National situations warrant Constitutional change – - i.e., “REAL CHANGE”, per Newt G. In this case some new Constitutional Amendments. They should be simply stated as was our original Bill of Rights and largely in support of more Citizen influence over Government, which should attract bipartisan support.
    What are the specifics you ask? A LINK to a fuller description is here: .

    But a few examples are these:
    To help: Congress prioritize its work more effectively.

    To help: Citizens be aware of all the Rules that are strangling
    our freedom and businesses and to hold government accountable to
    the Citizen.

    To help: reduce the complexity of understanding and time
    wasted for Citizens to prepare yearly IRS forms; cut the IRS
    to 1/10 its size; eliminate favoritism in tax loopholes; and
    create a tax system participated in by all Citizens.

    To help: Citizens and Congress weigh the projected costs for
    the many Programs that would never pass muster in a private

    To help: focus America on the growing competitiveness of the
    global environment.

    To help: the Citizen achieve equal weight with various lobbying
    groups and to act as an Ombudsman to help Citizens navigate
    the labyrinthine government corridors to make their views

    Senator, we need a reinvention of the governance process to return us to the concept of a Government truly of, by and for the People.

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