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Archive for October 4th, 2018

THE HIGHLANDS TEA PARTY RECOMMENDATION ON FLORIDA CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

2018 BALLOT CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

Proposed constitutional amendments on the November ballot originate from three specific sources: the Florida Legislature, the citizens of Florida, and the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC).
Regardless of how a measure makes it to the ballot, all amendments require a 60 percent voting majority to pass. Additionally, each source establishes different hurdles before an amendment can reach the ballot.
 In the legislature, 60 percent of the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate must agree to put the proposed amendment on the ballot. This year, the Florida Legislature passed three Amendments (1, 2, and 5) to the ballot.

The Florida Constitution also has a mechanism for a citizen initiative petition. Floridians can place proposed amendments on the ballot by gaining at least 766,200 signatures from 14 of the State’s 27 congressional districts (the requirement is eight percent of the total number of votes cast in the last presidential election). Two measures made it to the ballot in this method: Amendments 3 and 4.

The final source of ballot initiatives comes courtesy of a group unique to the State of Florida – the Constitution Revision Commission. The CRC meets every 20 years to examine Florida’s Constitution and propose amendments. The 37-member commission spends roughly a year identifying crucial issues across the state. These issues make their way to the ballot via a committee process similar to the method in which the legislature operates. This year, the CRC proposed eight ballot initiatives (Amendments 6 through 13). However, as opposed to other methods, the CRC is not required to have single-subject amendments. Consequently, the Commission chose to combine several initiatives into “bundled” amendments.
This is unacceptable, it becomes a means for legislators to slip in unacceptable legislation that they could not or know would not get through the state legislature. This comment has been validated by Members of the State legislator.
The term for commingling unrelated subjects within a proposed bill or amendment is “Log rolling.”  Combining unpopular provisions with a popular one in the hopes that the voters will not notice and vote for the popular part automatically including the unpopular one.
To stop “log Rolling:, courts have adopted single-subject review. If an Amendment encompasses more that one subject or purpose, it will likely be struck from the ballot or Found to be unconstitutional.
The bottom line is that, as a voter, we have the right to be presented with proposals whose language, purpose and scope is clear. 

Amendments 6-13 originate from the Constitution Revision Commission.

The Highlands Tea Party recommends a NO vote on all submission by the Constitutional revision Commission The reason for this decision is a factor called “log rolling” It will be explained at the final comments.

Amendment 6 is a good example of “log Rolling”: THTP RECOMMENDS A NO Vote

  • Positive – many citizens would like to see felons who have paid their dues be able to vote again, even the THTP would,
  • Negative – Second totally unassociated with original intent of amendment change in retirement age for justices moved to 75 years.
  • Negative – Third totally unrelated bill on victims’ rights to attend trials and parole hearings. Has nothing to do with Felons who paid their dues getting to vote.

These we feel are legislative items and should not be put into the constitution.

6 Rights of Crime Victims; Judges  – THTP RECOMMENDS A NO VOTE

Proposal
This amendment bundles three separate measures into one. The first would cement into the constitution a series of rights for people who are the victims of crimes. It’s part of a national campaign led by victims’ rights advocates who are pushing similar measures in other states. Among its guarantees is the right for victims to attend trials or any other public proceedings and to testify at pretrial release, sentencing or parole hearings. The second measure would raise the retirement age for judges from 70 to 75 but require them to step down immediately upon reaching that age rather than allowing them to complete their terms. And the third measure would forbid courts from deferring to a state agency’s interpretation when considering a challenge to a law or rule if the Legislature hasn’t spoken directly to the precise issue at hand. It’s a legal principle that courts have been following for years. It’s known as the “Chevron defense,” after a 1984 U.S. Supreme Court case involving the oil company.
Pro and Con
The victims’ rights movement was born out of the idea that courts have swung too far toward protecting the rights of criminal defendants and that victims deserve to have a stronger voice in the prosecution of their perpetrators. But some legal scholars and defense attorneys argue that giving victims a greater role in criminal proceedings turns them into emotional rather than legal proceedings — the modern day equivalent of public hangings — that interfere with the rights of defendants to fair trials. The strongest argument in favor of the changes to judicial retirement ages is that it would ultimately avoid situations where multiple judges on a single court have to step down at the same time — as will be the case when the terms of three Florida Supreme Court justices expire simultaneously. And critics of the Chevron defense have long argued that it has increased the power of unelected bureaucrats, while defenders argue that agencies have technical expertise in the fields they are regulating and thus are best suited to interpret laws and make policy decisions when there isn’t explicit legislative direction.
Political Context
The victims’ right measure was a priority for Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson. Scott publicly embraced the idea a few weeks after the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. Meanwhile, many conservative legal scholars and free-market evangelists — including, most prominently, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch — have been itching to overturn the Chevron defense for years, claiming that it has contributed to the expansion of an innovation squelching “administrative state.” And the commission, perhaps wary of sinking the whole package in controversy, wrote the amendment so that the judicial retirement changes won’t take effect until July 1 of next year — meaning it won’t have any effect on the looming Florida Supreme Court battle, in which Justices Barbara Pariente, Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince will have to retire on the same day in January that term limits force Scott out of the governor’s mansion.

Amendment 7 has three unrelated items:  THTP RECOMMENDS A NO VOTE

  • Positive – ensure death benefits are paid out to first responder’s and members of the Florida National Guard who are accidentally or illegally killed on the job Negative – Second proposals has to do with the University system – Totally unrelated,
  • Negative – Third has to do with establishing Florida College system within the constitution – Totally unrelated
    The last two should be done through regular legislative sessions, not put in the Constitution.
  1. 7  First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities
Proposal
This proposed amendment collapses three vaguely related ideas into one. One measure would ensure death benefits are paid out to first responders and members of the Florida National Guard who are accidentally or illegally killed on the job and orders the state to waive “certain educational expenses” for their children who pursue career certificates or higher education. Another would make it harder for universities to impose or raise fees on students by requiring at least nine votes to do so from a university’s board of trustees and at least 12 votes from the Board of Governors. The third would establish the Florida College System within the constitution alongside K-12 and State University System.
Pro and Con
Everybody supports first responders and the military. But while making it harder for universities to raise fees should help with college affordability, it will also limit the schools’ ability to raise money and invest in things like new facilities and faculty recruitment. And establishing the state college system in the constitution affirms that each college should be governed by a local district board of trustees and provides for statewide oversight by the state Board of Education as provided by Florida statutes. College advocates say the measure is designed to cement the current system of governance in place similar to the constitutional governance authority given the K-12 and the State University System.
Political Context
The university fee restriction is another nod to Scott, who has battled with colleges and universities for years over tuition and fees and who has pressed a package of anti-tax constitutional amendments this year to coincide with his run for Senate. The death benefits for first responders and National Guard members were included to get it all passed.

Amendment 8 has three unrelated items:  THTP RECOMMENDS A NO VOTE

  • Positive- requiring that civics lessons be taught in public schools
  • Negative – Exempting state-created charter schools from any oversight by the local school board.

    8   School Board Term Limits and Duties; Public Schools

Proposal
This is the amendment that will draw the most passion and fury, pairing two broadly popular ideas with one very controversial and partisan idea. The popular ideas: Imposing eight-year term limits on members of county school boards and requiring that civics lessons be taught in public schools. The controversial element: Exempting state-created charter schools from any oversight by the local school board.
Pro and Con
Voters seem to love term limits, but they come with consequences. While they promise more turnover and inject fresh blood into public office, they also lead to reduced competition in elections and shift power to unelected, but more knowledgeable, administrators and lobbyists. And while most may approve of teaching kids civics, each new instructional mandate from the state leads to a cut somewhere else because schools have only so much time and money. As far as the  main debate: The practical effect of the amendment would allow the state to create a new entity that could approve new charter schools even over opposition from locals. Proponents, who have accused school districts of dogmatic opposition to charters, say charters add more competition, innovation and choice for parents. Opponents say it’s the latest step in an attempt to undermine public schools and privatize K-12 education.
Political Context
Getting this amendment onto the ballot is a big win for House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who has successfully advanced a sweeping, and incendiary, package of K-12 changes over the past two years. But it is also broadly supported by the rest of Florida’s GOP leaders, who have embraced the school-choice movement since Jeb Bush was governor. The campaign to pass the amendment is likely to draw significant financial support from the charter-school industry. But it will also face intense opposition from public school teachers and local school leaders. The 60% threshold will be tough.

Amendment 9 has two totally unrelated items,  THTP RECOMMENDS A NO VOTE

 Neither one of them should be in the Constitution. Banning offshore drilling for 20 years could create major issues in the future if we were to have a war and require more need for oil. This is an item that can be regulated by the legislative action. Remember what it requires to get and amendment rescinded, there are five separate avenues for amending the state’s constitution all of which eventually require acceptance in a referendum vote by 60-percent of the electorate.  This is something they have not been able to pass in the legislature, are trying to push it through on amendment.
  • Negative– a drilling ban, both to guard against spills and to help in the broader movement to wean society’s addiction to fossil fuels
  • Negative Banning e-cigarettes in the workplace

    9  Prohibits Off shore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Workplaces

Proposal
Probably the oddest pairing on the ballot, this amendment bans offshore oil and gas drilling in Florida’s territorial waters — and vaping at indoor workplaces.
Pro and Con
Environmentalists have been lobbying for years for a drilling ban, both to guard against spills and to help in the broader movement to wean society’s addiction to fossil fuels. The oiland- gas drilling industry argues that fuel development is an important economic driver and that banning offshore drilling increases the country’s reliance on oil from other countries. Meanwhile, a 2002 constitutional amendment already bans smoking in Florida workplaces; supporters of adding e-cigarettes, which weren’t around when the original amendment passed, say it’s a logical extension to protect against second-hand contaminants.
Political Context
Though the oil and gas industry opposes this amendment, it’s unclear whether they’ll invest much money fighting what is likely to be a popular measure. This is an about-face for Florida GOP leaders, who have repeatedly refused to enact an oil-drilling ban over the years. But having it on the ballot gives Scott something green to tout to general election voters.

Amendment 10 has four totally unrelated items   THTP RECOMMENDS NO VOTE

 This is something they have not been able to pass in the legislature, are trying to push it through on amendment. Don’t allow them to pull this stuff pass it in the legislature, if you can’t it indicates the people don’t want it!
  • Negative– What is the big deal with changing the Session start date?
  • Negative We already have a state Department of Veterans affairs, why does it have to be “cemented” into the Constitution?
  • Negative: – Florida does not need a “Counterterrorism” office we have the FBI, CIA and Federal Government to deal with Terrorism & Counterterrorism, we do not need more costly bureaucracy in Florida

    10 State and Local Government Structure and Operation

Proposal
A general government grab bag that collapses four issues into one, this amendment also pairs a few benign changes with a controversial change. It would establish a counterterrorism office within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It cements into the constitution a state Department of Veterans’ Affairs. It fixes in place the Legislature’s recent practice of beginning sessions in even-numbered years in January, rather than March. And the controversial part: It would force every county to make its sheriff, tax collector, property appraiser, supervisor of elections or clerk of courts positions elected offices, rather than appointed ones.
Pro and Con
There’s not really any opposition to the counterterrorism, veterans affairs or session start date changes. But there is plenty of opposition to the fourth provision in Miami-Dade County, where all of those county officer positions are appointed by the mayor rather than elected by the public. There are also a handful of other charter counties that have made some of those positions, such as clerk of the courts, into appointed jobs. Locals say the amendment undermines the principle of home rule; supporters of the changes argue elected officials would be more responsive to the public.
Political Context
This amendment is ultimately about the sheriff’s job in Miami-Dade County, which is the only one of Florida’s 67 counties where the top cop is appointed rather than elected. Some Miami politicians are upset that voters outside of Miami will decide how Miami chooses its sheriff.

Amendment 11 A Three for one totally unrelated items,   THTP RECOMMENDS NO VOTE

It was 1952, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the remaining alien land laws in the case of Sei Fujii v. California, determining that forbidding aliens from owning land was a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause!
  • Positive – Repeal a 92-yearold provision in the constitution barring immigrants who aren’t eligible for citizenship from owning property See comment above;
  • Negative Allow lawmakers to make some changes to criminal laws retroactive for criminals sentenced under stricter guidelines. You go with what you got at the time it was the law. If they feel this is necessary, do it through proper legislation, not by slipping it into a Constitutional Amendment! The NRA is backing this for selfish reason, unfortunately it would not just help the very few people convicted under the stand your ground rule, it would help other more serious criminals.
  • NegativeErase a constitutional amendment ordering the construction of a high-speed train that voters had already voted to repeal. Is it really necessary this is just house cleaning

    11 Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provisions; Criminal Statutes

    Proposal
    This three-for-one amendment would repeal a 92-yearold provision in the constitution barring immigrants who aren’t eligible for citizenship from owning property, allow lawmakers to make some changes to criminal laws retroactive and erase a constitutional amendment ordering the construction of a high-speed train that voters had already voted to repeal.

Pro and Con
Florida was one of a number of states that adopted Alien Land Laws in the 1910s and 1920s — part of an effort to prevent Asian immigrants from owning property. Critics say it is a racist and antiquated relic, though Florida voters have rejected previous attempts to repeal it. Supporters of the criminal-law change say it would ensure that prisoners punished under older, stricter laws could have their sentences revised when the Legislature makes legal changes like eliminating mandatory minimum sentences. Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment ordering the construction of a bullet train between Orlando and Tampa in 2000, then voted for an amendment repealing that amendment in 2004. Nobody ever bothered to remove the actual words from the constitution, though.
Political Context
Asian-American groups, such as the Organization for Chinese Americans, have been pushing states to repeal alien land laws for years. The Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association calls it the “last vestige of racism” in the Florida constitution. Meanwhile, some of the strongest support for allowing lawmakers to make criminal changes retroactive has come from gun-rights groups such as the NRA-aligned Unified Sportsmen of Florida. The push appears to stem from the hope that it might ensure that an NRA backed law the Legislature passed last year — which made it clear that prosecutors, not defendants, must meet the burden of proof in pretrial Stand Your Ground hearings — can be applied retroactively.

Amendment 12  GOOD  AMENDMENT        THTP RECOMMENDS YES VOTE

This is something they have not been able to pass in the legislature, this would go a long way toward cleaning up our State Government, and shutting down special interest who go after these people after they leave office, and hire them for big dollars to be Lobbyist…
  • Positive – Would prevent the governor, Cabinet members, agency heads, state lawmakers and local elected officials from getting paid to lobby their former colleagues for six years after they leave office
  • Positive  Would impose a similar ban forbidding justices and judges from lobbying the Legislature or executive branch for six years
  • Positive Requires stricter ethical standards for all public officers and public employees that must, at minimum, forbid them from abusing their positions in order to benefit themselves, their spouses, their children, their employer or their businesses.

    12  Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers

Proposal
This amendment would prevent the governor, Cabinet members, agency heads, state lawmakers and local elected officials from getting paid to lobby their former colleagues for six years after they leave office. It would impose a similar ban forbidding justices and judges from lobbying the Legislature or executive branch for six years. It also requires stricter ethical standards for all public officers and public employees that must, at minimum, forbid them from abusing their positions in order to benefit themselves, their spouses, their children, their employer or their businesses.
Pro and Con
Most everybody at least publicly favors stronger ethics laws. But there is an argument that imposing restrictions on what public officials can do for a living after they leave office can deter otherwise strong candidates from pursuing public service at all.

Political Context
This amendment was a top priority for Corcoran, who failed to get a similar package of reforms through the Florida Senate. At one point, it looked like Corcoran might share the ballot with the proposed amendment by running for governor, but he recently opted not to run after concluding he couldn’t win.

Amendment 13  NOT A CONSTITUTIONAL ITEM  Should be dealt with in the legislature  THTP RECOMMENDS NO VOTE

Regardless of the claims of either side activist or the race tracks, this is a legislative item to be hammered out in the House and senate, if the required support is there, it will be eliminate, if not it will continue.  This is another politically explosive issue but shoving it into the Constitution is not the proper solution!

13 Ends Dog Racing

Proposal
The proposal would outlaw greyhound racing in Florida by Dec. 31, 2020, though it would allow tracks to continue other pari-mutuel offerings such as card rooms and simulcast betting on dog races in other states.
Pro and Con
Animal-rights activists have been lobbying the Legislature for years to end dog racing, arguing that animals are treated inhumanely. The tracks counter that activists have made misleading claims and that they support thousands of jobs.
Political Context
Lawmakers have been wrestling for a long time about what to do about greyhound racing. But they remain paralyzed on the issue because every time a racing bill begins to advance, it collapses amid competing amendments pushed by a hornet’s nest of gambling interests. Getting this onto the ballot — assuming it survives a promised legal challenge from the Florida Greyhound Association — is also a win for greyhoundracing opponent Attorney General Pam Bondi, who can’t seek re-election because of term limits.

Amendments 1-5 originate from citizens or the Legislature. 

  1. Home ExemptionTHTP RECOMMENDS NO VOTE
    The change would save Homeowners a couple Hundred dollars, but cost counties about $645 million in the first year of exemption, counties like Highlands are already strapped for dollars which would mean a cut back or increase in service cost.
 The proposal, which passed the Republican-controlled Legislature on a largely party-line vote, would exempt the portion of a home’s value between $100,000 and $125,000 from all non-school property taxes.

2 Non-Homestead Tax Cap:  RECOMMEND YES VOTE

     IF NOT CAPPED, THE STATE COULD LITERALLY TAX YOU OFF YOU ON-HOMESTEAD PROPERTY.
The bipartisan measure would make permanent a Save Our Homes-like tax cap for non-homestead property that prevents taxable values from growing more than 10% a year; if voters don’t approve, the non-homestead cap would expire in 2019. Proposals 1 and 2 combined would save taxpayers — but cost cities, counties and other local governments — more than $1.3 billion a year. State lawmakers are trumpeting the amendments as evidence of their commitment to tax cuts, although local government leaders note that legislators are forcing cities and counties — rather than the state itself — to deal with the fallout that will come in the form of cutting more services or raising tax rates.

3 Casinos  – RECOMMENDS A YES VOTE

WE DO NOT WANT FLORIDA TURNED INTO A LAS VEGAS, WE ALSO DON’T WANT THE TYPE OF CRIME THAT COMES WITH GAMING INDUSTRY AT THAT LEVEL
The result of a petition drive bankrolled by Disney and the Seminole Tribe, the proposal would prevent the construction of a casino anywhere in Florida unless first approved by voters in a statewide referendum. The overarching goal of the amendment is to prevent the construction of any Las Vegas-style destination resort casinos, which both Disney and the tribe view as competition.

Amendment 4  –   This is your choice YES or NO

I will not speak for the Tea party on this one. I personally do not see why an individual who has paid his dues for his crime of the level they are referencing should not be able to get his voting rights back. Ask yourself this question: If the individual was not penalized for life in his sentence why should he lose that right to vote for life?  Take the racism thing out of it as indicated in the proposal’

4  Ex-Felon Voting 

The proposal, which arose from a petition drive backed by Democratic-leaning activist groups, would automatically restore voting rights of felons once they have completed their sentences, except for those convicted of murder or sexual offenses. Because a disproportionate number of ex-felons are black, and because black voters are overwhelmingly Democratic, the campaign has enthusiastic support from Democratic leaning groups — and so far subtle opposition from Republican-leaning organizations.

5  Tax Hurdle  – THTP RECOMMENDS YES VOTE

  Super-majority Vote Required to impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees

Gov. Rick Scott lobbied this measure through the Legislature just ahead of his U.S. Senate run. It would make it harder for future Legislatures to raise or impose taxes by requiring them to do so by a two-thirds vote, rather than a simple majority. Expect Scott to continually cite the amendment on the campaign trail, which he hopes will help defuse criticism that the state’s overall spending grew to historic levels during his tenure as governor

FINAL COMMENT –  PLEASE READ

The Bundling, a technique that has been used before, is controversial. Critics have charged that the way ideas were linked was politically motivated, to “Log-roll” less popular ideas to more favorable ones to succeed, But the chair of the commission’s powerful Style and Drafting Committee Brecht Heuchan, a Scott appointee, has contended the groupings will make it easier for voters to read and save time.

This is a false assumption, the majority of voters will not take the time to read the complete package of amendments as published on the internet, they are only going to look at the brief summary on the ballot, it will not reflect the other items tucked underneath And quite often are not mention in the ballot summary because of the limitation of letters they can use…

This is slight of hand by the Constitutional Amendment Committee! Another simple fact; Voters are in a hurry to get in and out of the Poll!
We had legislators tell us “log rolling” is this is a fact and is done.

Researched and compiled by 8 members of The Highlands Tea Party

Dale Pflug, Lester Lob, John Nelson, Bob Gilmore, Dick Fankhauser, Tina Altic, Jeanne Parzygnat, John Larsen

John Nelson  – Chairman
Bob Gilmore  – Vice Chairman

 

Paul tells us in Eph. 6:13ff, we need to put on the full armor of God to withstand the evil day, to stand firm, stand our ground.

Open letter to Christians and “Christian” Pastors

Are we part of the church militant or the church impotent? Until Jesus returns, aren’t we supposed to spread the Gospel and oppose evil? When we clearly see good vs. evil, what do we do? Do we seek “middle ground”, agree to disagree, compromise, or remain neutral, i.e.. “luke warm”? Are we ready to get off the sidelines and into the battle?

Paul tells us in Eph. 6:13ff, we need to put on the full armor of God to withstand the evil day, to stand firm, stand our ground. Buckle up with the belt of truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness, fit our feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. When we fit our feet, it’s not so we can run away fast. It is so that we can wade into battle with a firm foundation and understanding. Take up the shield of faith to extinguish the darts and arrows of the evil one. (Those would be the lies and deceptions of the evil one and his minions.) Put on the helmet of salvation, use our heads. Grab hold of the sword of the spirit, the word of God. Shine the light of truth on the darkness and into the shadows of the realm of evil.

Jesus confronts Peter about his faith in Matt. 16:18. Peter confesses Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus acknowledges Peter’s faith as coming from the Father and says on that Rock of faith He will build His church. And the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. Well, what does this imply? Simply that the church should be on offense and the powers of Hell on defense. And that if we, as the church choose to fight, we will win. It’s Joshua time. What do we choose? “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” Burke.

Here are some random thoughts to consider.

How is unfounded, vicious character assassination any different from murdering the unborn?

If we allow evil to go unchallenged, do we not also condone it? If we don’t take a stand against evil, do we enable evil?

God tells us through His prophet Ezekiel, that the watchmen, the shepherds, the spiritual leaders must warn the people or be held responsible for the death of the people. If the people choose not to listen, that’s different. But if we don’t warn them, it’s on us.

Would we forsake the truth to retain the tithe? (I know, harsh, but real.) Are we afraid of offending evil? Do we care more about our church than the souls in our church? If we know the truth and don’t speak it, is that like a lie?

Who will take a stand and when? If not us, then who? If not now, then when?

Danny Krueger, CCCP

(Christian Conservative Constitutional Patriot)

American Thinker – Obama’s America on Display

Obama’s America on Display at Kavanaugh Hearings

President Trump has been in an uphill battle to reverse Obama’s efforts to “fundamentally transform” America.  Trump’s successes in the past 20 months in erasing the damage of the Obama’s eight years are well documented.  But he has a long way to go based on what we saw in the Kavanaugh hearings.
Trump’s biggest challenge is to push back Obama’s primary legacy of identity politics, which is destroying the fabric of our nation.  Neighbors, family members and old friends have been split apart, by design.  Obama polarized America according to race, ethnic background, sex, sexual orientation, and politics.

Like a deadly cancer, the Obama legacy has metastasized into widespread hatred among Americans that was on display at the Kavanaugh hearings.  Obama’s primary legacy is dangerously malignant and more toxic than ever, fueled by cynical and destructive politicians, the Alinsky Rules for Radicals, and billions of dollars from the evil George Soros.

Statements from the hearings and the left-wing mobs and commentators attempting to disrupt the proceedings tell the story.  “Call your senators and tell them to vote no for Kavanaugh – the future of our country deserves more than a privileged white boy.”  Were you able to catch the code words?  “Privileged.”  “White boy.”

Hawaii Democrat Mazie Hirono made headlines when she told all men to “shut up and step up and do the right thing for a change.”  In other words, men rarely do the right thing.  Men, did you get it?

Democrat Senator Cory Booker used his “Spartacus moment” to suggest that Kavanaugh was guilty of “racial profiling.”  Racial profiling, presumably against minorities.  Get it?

“Women deserve to be angry all of the time,” said talk show host Andy Richter.  “This country’s government is an abuser.  We live in the most shameful of times.”  Yes, of course, the Trump government is an abuser of women.  Now armed leftists, some with funding from George Soros, are calling for mass violence if Kavanaugh is confirmed.

Here’s one certain to win over a lot of Americans: “The Antifa Website Calls for ‘Slaughter‘ of ‘Fascistic Border Patrol Dogs and Their Bosses.”

In short, the Kavanaugh nomination reveals the obvious: we no longer have a viable two-party system in which both parties embrace our current Constitution-based system, share the same set of core values and fairness, and agree on certain standards of ethical conduct regardless of who wins an election.

This all sums up the primary legacy of one Barack Hussein Obama.  You’ll remember he’s the one who appointed to the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor, who famously suggested that a “wise Latina” on the bench would come to more just decisions than a white male.  Did you get the code words there?  Some Republicans in a show of good faith actually voted for her.

Go back to July 2009, when Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested outside his home in what was clearly a misunderstanding between him and the police.  Obama, just a few months in office, immediately politicized it.

I don’t know … what role race played in that.  But I think it’s fair to say … the Cambridge police acted stupidly[.] … We know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.

Did you get all of that?  Police acted stupidly.  A long history of black Americans and Latinos stopped by police acting “disproportionately.”

After Trayvon Martin was killed after attacking a partially black Latino who happened to have a “white” name, George Zimmerman, Obama quickly jumped in, noting that if he had a son, he would look like Martin, a black hoodie-wearing 17-year-old.  Get it?  I’m black.  The kid is black.  He must be innocent.  The support Trayvon movement led to the formation of “Black Lives Matter,” an incendiary project funded by George Soros that brags that it is now global network with more than 40 chapters.

When Michael Brown was shot dead after assaulting a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, a large fuss was made over the racial composition of the police department.  Obama wasn’t going to let this crisis go to waste.

The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time.  As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials.

The Department of Justice subsequently found no civil rights violations in the case.  But the damage was done. Obama had already identified with Michael Brown, showing “compassion” for his – as it turned out – so-called family.

And who can forget Freddie Gray, Jr., a 25-year-old black man who was arrested by Baltimore police for possessing an illegal knife?  While in a police van, Gray fell into a coma and died.  Obama wasted no time getting involved.  “This has been going on for a long time.  This is not new, and we shouldn’t pretend that it’s new.”  Get it?  Black people getting killed by police has been going on for a long time.  Riots followed.  Homicides with a preponderance of black victims spiked.  Ultimately, the six Baltimore police officers involved (three of them black men and one black woman) were all found not guilty or charges were dropped.  But again, the damage had been done.  Obama’s DOJ reluctantly announced it would not bring federal charges against the officers.

It isn’t just race that Obama has used to divide us.  The Obama legacy is also about sexual politics.  Remember when Obama ordered all U.S. public schools to allow students to access opposite-sex restrooms in a move that escalates the national fight over LGBT rights?  That escalated battles at the statewide level.  Michelle Obama has also been part of the effort.  After leaving the White House, she said, “Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton, voted against their [sic] own voice.”

Over 60 million Americans saw through this.  Trump was elected president.  But the Obama damage was obvious.  At the end of Obama’s presidency, just 27 percent saw the U.S. as more united, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll conducted after the 2016 election.  Far more – 44 percent – said it was more divided.  USA Today has just reported that a third of American voters think a civil war is coming.

The Kavanaugh hearings were a major opportunity for the left.  Former House speaker Newt Gingrich blasted the Democrats for behaving:

… in an evil way unworthy of the United States.  This has been the most despicable behavior by a major party in modern history.  This is a deliberate, vicious, character assassination – hurt the guy’s daughters, hurt his mother, hurt his wife, hurt his reputation – they didn’t care[.]

Writer Patricia McCarthy called the Kavanaugh hearings:

… [t]he historical low point in American politics – and make no mistake: this was all about politics, not Kavanaugh.  If there was any doubt before, there is no longer: the American left today is malevolent.  The Democratic Party has demonstrated for all to see just how soulless it has become.  The Democrats on the committee disgraced themselves.  The two youngsters, Harris and Booker, are callow, shallow, rude, and power-mad.  We have seen what they are made of: pure narcissism.

But for Obama, they are the future of his America.  New York University professor Jonathan Haidt notes that “diversity, immigration and multiculturalism are right at the heart of the problem in Western democracies[.] … Identity politics is like throwing sand in the gears … a world in which factions are based on race and ethnicity, rather than economic interests, that’s the worst possible world.”

Obama is not stupid.  He knows this.  It’s his road map.

The Obama legacy of hatred among identity groups is a viral cancer in our society.  It pits race, ethnic, and religious groups against each other.  It pits women against men.  It is pitting gays and others who claim LGBTQ victimhood against heterosexuals.  As this disease further metastasizes, our country faces an even more seriously divided future.  It is pushing us toward tribalism, balkanization, and potentially, dissolution.  The hatred of Trump by the left is deep.  He is a forceful barrier to their destructive aims.  We can’t afford to lose him.  But the question is whether even Trump can put the Obama legacy into remission and prevent the left from ripping our country further apart.

Frank Hawkins is a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, Associated Press foreign correspondent, international businessman, senior newspaper company executive, founder and owner of several marketing companies, and published novelist.  He currently lives in retirement in North Carolina.

Image credit: Adapted from official White House photo by Pete Souza.

Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/10/obamas_america_on_display_at_kavanaugh_hearings.html#ixzz5Syti3vMm
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