Thursday, March 28, 2013

Why the second amendment doesn't matter in the gun laws debate.


 No matter what side of the gun control debate someone happens to be on, whether its gun control advocates like VP Joe Biden, Diane Feinstein, Mayor Bloomberg, the courageous Gabby Giffords and her husband, or those on the other side who want no gun control at all, they all have one thing in common -- they have no idea what the second amendment is really all about,  why it's there, what it means,  the original intent of the Framers when they wrote it, or even what the words in the amendment actually mean.   They think they know, but they don't..

Whether its gun control proponents, even those who want to see a ban on weapons like the AR-15, or those who oppose any and all gun restrictions, both sides bring up the second amendment all the time,  either claiming that such and such gun law doesn't violate an individual's "second amendment rights",  or the other side claiming that it does. 

 Whether its conservative Texas senator Ted Cruz, or his nemesis on gun control Diane Feinstein all of them seem to agree or accept that the second amendment is guaranteeing an individual right to own a gun. They are  all completely wrong including journalists writing about the gun debate, who, as usual have no idea what they are writing about and are too lazy to find out.

 Perhaps Senator Cruz and Senator Feinstein, and everyone else on both sides of the gun control issue would be surprised to learn that in the first 224 years of the existence of the second amendment, the constitution it's part of, and the Supreme Court the constitution created, in every case, every Supreme Court in those 224 years without exception, when having to rule on whether the second amendment conferred an individual right to own a gun,  the majority ruled it did not. In every case. For 224 years.

The only Supreme Court to rule otherwise is the present court, or more precisely, the five so called conservative members of the court,  the court which gave us Citizens United which said a corporation is a person,  who much to the consternation of many  true conservative judges, overturned 224 years of Supreme Court precedent which said the second amendment had nothing to do with an individual right to own a gun and last year ruled that it did.

To lay claim to the charge that the ruling was probably the most corrupt and dishonest since the Dred Scott decision in 1859 is the fact that Justice Sam Alito, in his 5-4 majority opinion, invoked, not the constitution of the United States or the second amendment itself,  but Blackstone's Rights of Englishmen, a document not only not the constitution, but a document not even American in origin which was written 100 years before the United States was created.

Imagine the hue and cry of conservatives in and out of congress if five liberal justices had ruled the same way and based their decison on something other than the constitution. Conservatives in and out of congress would be screaming for the justices impeachment since conservatives are always complaining about "activist" judges who find rights in the constitution that aren't there. Which is exactly what the five current conservative Supreme Court justices did in their decision.

The reason every  Supreme Court in 224 years ruled that the second amendment had nothing to do with an individual right to own a gun, is because there is absolute proof beyond the slightest doubt, that the purpose of the second amendment, the intent of those who created it,   its very reason for existence, had nothing to do with someone's right to own a gun. And the true meaning of  the words in the second amendment, for those who understand the words,  reflect that.

While there is a mountain of proof that the second amendment's existence and purpose had nothing to do with an individual right to own a gun, and the true meaning of the amendment was not to confer any such right, you only have to know two facts about the second amendment to understand that.

First, the word "arms" does not mean guns.It didnt mean guns to the Framers who wrote the amendment in 1789, it  didnt mean guns in 789, it didn't mean guns in 1969 and it doesn't mean guns today.  It has never meant guns.  In fact the creation of the word "arms" predates the invention of the gun by more than 1,000 years and given that the amendment was carefully written and rewritten seven times ( and all seven versions can be seen in the Library of Congress) it is proof they chose their words carefully to make sure the amendment meant exactly what they intended.

The very word "arms" is derived from the word "army", which, as everyone knows, is an organized group of people whose purpose is to fight a war and engage in battle.Armies carry arms.

No one with even a passing understanding of the English language doesn't understand and agree,  when it is pointed out,  that there is a world of difference between "arms control" and "gun control". "Arms control" deals with weapons of war most often weapons possessed by governments and their proliferation. These "arms" include everything from fighter jets to chemical and biological weapons, to missiles, to bombs. "Arms control" has nothing to do with  individuals and their guns.

Similarly everyone knows there is a world of difference between a "gun dealer" and an  "arms dealer". You can't buy a Smith and Wesson, a Glock or a shotgun from an arms dealer. He would laugh at you. Conversely you can't buy what an arms dealer sells -- rocket propelled grenades, Katyusha rockets, rocket launchers, surface to air missiles, IED's,  and yes assault rifles and machine guns, at a gun store. . Arms dealers sell weapons of war, gun dealers sell guns. There is a world of difference.

And finally, the "arms race" between the United States and Soviet Union from the 1950's through the fall of Communism in the 80's, as everyone knows had nothing to do with which country had more people with guns in their closets. The "arms race" had to do with who had more nuclear warheds and  the ICBM's and long range bombers to deliver them..

Do not think for one second that those who wrote and ratified "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal"  or "we the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect Union" did not understand the difference between the word "guns" and "arms".The Framers understood the word "arms"  to mean exactly what it's always meant and means even today -- weapons and implements of war. Which is why it was chosen.

In 1789 when the Framers created the second amendment, "arms"   of course included muskets. But to the Framers it also meant cannon, cannon balls, powder, rockets, bayonets, even warships and forts. Because the whole point of the second amendment was to give individual states the constitutional right to raise and maintain their own well trained or "well regulated", armies and to have whatever weapons of war they wished.  Because the whole purpose of the second amendment was to enable the maintaing of state militias  who would be able to stand toe to toe with a federal army if it became "necessary for the security of a free state",  to protect the states from the possibility of a future president turned dictator trying to use a federal army to enforce his will.

This is crucial to understanding the purpose and meaning of the infringement clause and to understand why Justice Scalia, seeming to understand the constitutional mistake they made and the Pandora's Box they opened, immediately tried to backtrack on their decision by saying the right granted in the second amendment was not limitless. He could not have been more wrong. The amendment specifically states it is limitless and  in fact the amendment would be useless if it weren't limitless. The whole point of the amendment was to give the states the capacity to stand up to a federal army with the same weapons the federal army had.  For the states to be limited in what weapons -- "arms" they could have would make the whole purpose of the second amendment useless. But Scalia knew the chaos that would ensue if you applied that right, not to a state government, but to individuals.
If anyone has any doubt that the true meaning of the second amendment is to allow states to have whatever weapons of war they wished,  look at the National Guard today, the state military force that the "well regulated militia" which is the subject of the second amendment has morphed into.

Tank battalions from the Alabama National Guard fought in Iraq. So did  state National Guard units from just about every state in the Union. George W. Bush was a member of the Texas Air National Guard, which has it's own F-15 fighters which Bush and other members of the Guard were trained to fly. The "arms"  possessed by state National Guard units  is a direct result of the second amendment right of the states to have their own armies and all weapons of war they wish. And they do.

In order for the current conservative members of the court to make its constitutionally dishonest decision they had to abandon the cornerstone of conservative jurisprudence, the principle each of them at one time or another embraced as essential,  which is the principle of Original Intent which states that where the clear intent of the framers is clear it is that intent that is to be applied.

This is why former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Warren Burger, a conservative appointed by Richard Nixon said in 1990 that the idea that the second amendment had anything to do with an individual right to own a gun "is the subject of the biggest fraud -- I repeat the word fraud -- ever perpetrated by an interest group ( the NRA) on the American people in my lifetime".

And more recently, conservative judge Harvie Wilkinson III of the 4th Circuit US Court of Appeals in criticizing the Supreme Court's Heller decision that the second amendment applied to individuals said, " I prefer Fox News to CNN and the Washington Examiner to the Washington Post, but the decision of the majority read an ambiguous constitutional provision as creating a substantive right that the Court had never acknowledged in the more than two hundred years since the amendment’s enactment. The majority then used that same right to strike down a law passed by elected officials acting, rightly or wrongly, to preserve the safety of the citizenry.”

The only other thing one needs to know to understand the second amendment is what the words " the right to bear arms" really means and what those words meant to the Framers.

The words do not mean the right to use a gun as most people wrongly assume. It does not mean the right to use a gun to hunt, or to target shoot or to have a gun for  your own personal self-defense or to protect your livestock. Having a gun for those purposes was so basic to life in 1789 that to think the Framers spent three weeks debating it is preposterous. The term "to bear arms" as used and understood by the Framers in 1789 is a term that had a very specific meaning because the term "to bear arms" had only one true meaning in 1789. "To bear arms" meant to go to war.

 The little known fact which explodes most people's assumptions about the second amendment along with the current  Supreme Court ruling is that the original debate among the Framers that created the second amendmet was transcribed by a  stenographer in the room while the debate was taking place, transcribed  sometimes verbatim. It is a virtual certainty that most people who pontificate about the second amendment are not even aware this transcript exists much less having read it. And reading it settles once and for all what the intent of the amendment was and is. Because the idea of an individual right to own a gun is not even discussed.

The second amendment came into being when a representative from North Carolina stood up and offered a proposition that all  at the constitutional convention agreed with. The proposition was "the existence of a federal army is a threat to liberty".

The question was then put to the Framers at the convention of what to do about it. The first suggestion was an amendment which would ban the federal government from even having a standing army. This was deemed impractical and unsafe. The next proposition was to allow the government to raise an army but only on an ad hoc basis contingent on a 3/4 vote of congress. That was also rejected as being impractical. The solution finally agreed upon after three weeks of debate was to allow the states to have their own well drilled, well trained standing armies -- state militias with a clear command and control structure as opposed to the Minute Man type militias that existed in 1775.  So a well trained, "well regulated" militia armed with whatever weapons of war the state wished, militias that could go toe to toe with a federal army if needed,  was the solution decided upon and which became the second amendment, a states right to have an army and weapons of war and to go to war on their own behalf if neccessary. Those states having their own armies or militias, armed with weapons of war is why the Civil War lasted four years.

During the entire three week debate that created  the second amendment individual gun ownership was never even brought up. Which is why Chief Justice Warren Burger called the idea that the second amendment applied to an individual right to own a gun "the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people in my lifetime".

 Ultimately the reason why the second amendment doesn't matter in the current gun control debate is because  gun laws have always been a matter for local governments, not just states, but individual towns, cities, or villages. And what was suggested here some months ago,  that states and localities completely ignore last year's Supreme Court ruling and enact whatever gun laws they wish is just what is happening.Gun laws that work in Montana make no sense in New York. And vice versa. It is and always has been a local matter. And it is not likely, given Scalia's statement that the second amendment is not "limitless", that the Supreme Court would overturn any gun law on second amendment grounds.

New York enacted the toughest gun laws in the country and Colorado followed suit with their own new tough laws. On the other end of the spectrum, South Carolina is considering a law that will not require any gun permits at all, especially to carry concealed weapons.

And that's the way its been for 225 years -- gun laws not rights have always been decided by individual states and local governments. In the 1880's Wyatt Earp banned guns completely from Tombstone, Arizona and no one ever complained he violated their constitutional rights.

Its up to each individual locality to decide for themselves what gun laws work for them. The second amendment has nothing to do with it and never did. The federal government, if it so chooses could ban or regulate the sale of any weapon they wished to private individuals since it has jurisdiction over interstate commerce. And none of that would be unconstitutional.

In the end, with all the bombast and evocation of the second amendment on both sides, it won't affect gun laws anywhere. Legislatures and how they vote will be what matters. Justice Scalia's backtracking on the court ruling by saying the second amendment is not unlimited when in fact it specifically says it is unlimited indicates the court will uphold as constitutional almost any gun law or regulation a state or town or village wants to impose.

The rest is up to them.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Anniversary of Iraq war is also anniversary of news media's massive failures..

When trying to assemble a collection of the news media's finest moments, other than Edward R. Murrow's standing up to Joe McCarthy, Walter Cronkite's broadcast calling Vietnam a stalemate and a war we couldn't win, and Woodward and Bernstein's historic Watergate reporting, the news media over the last 15 years, especially in times when it's needed most, doesn't have much to be proud of.

Over the last 15 years, beginning with the All Monica All the Time coverage by the cable networks of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, self-serving news coverage which gave the Republican majority the belief there was hay to be made in impeaching Clinton, there has been a lot for the news media to be ashamed of. And none more devastating then their collective abdication of responsibility, incompetence and spineless, fearful reporting in the promoting and selling of Bush administration lies when it came to the run up to the war in Iraq.

That George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice and others in the Bush administration told outright, bald faced unequivocal lies both to the American public and privately to members of congress to gather support for the war in Iraq is now a part of history and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. Senator Bill Nelson, a former astronaut revealed two years ago, that in a private meeting with civilian administration defense department officials, he had been told that Saddam Hussein had drones capable of hitting the east coast of the United States with a chemical attack. That was not only an outright lie, but there was in fact an Air Force intelligence assessment of Sadaam's drones and that intelligence report stated they were made of wood, did not have a range of more than 300 miles and had no capacity to launch any kind of missile. We also know Dick Cheney lied to House Majority Leader Dick Armey to get him to change his opposition to the Iraq invasion, telling him Sadaam had developed miniaturization technology that could result in a nuclear suitcase bomb.

That the news media never questioned a word anyone from the Bush administration said, never demanded proof, never even asked for it, never considered there could be two sides, and ignored all the credible evidence that flew in the face of the Bush-Cheney lie machine is also now a part of history. And is why, even today, the worst collection of journalists, especially on cable news, that the country has ever had continues to deserve our contempt.

Leading the charge of journalistic incompetence and malfeasance was the New York Times who were duped by Dick Cheney worse than a first year journalist for a high school newspaper but have nothing but their own low journalistic standards to blame.

As everyone knows by now, Dick Cheney's office, through Scooter Libby, fed the gullible and ambitious Judith Miller, a reporter for the Times, a series of false "facts" that she swallowed like a trained seal, and with the thumbs up from her equally journalistically irresponsible Washington Bureau chief Jill Abramson (who incredibly was promoted and is now the Executive editor of the Times) wrote articles about Sadaam's WMD that were published on the front pages of the NY Times, all of which turned out to be false and published by the Times without a shred of proof.

Cheney and Bush then used the Times front page spoon fed reporting as if it were the product of the Times independent reporting which confirmed their claims and used that to bolster the case for war. Without a word of protest from the Times. This was not only a massive failure on the part of Miller and on the Times editors but journalistic incompetence and malfeasance.

Anyone who has ever seen All the President's Men, knows that at the Washington Post during the Watergate investigation, Ben Bradlee's journalistic standards required that Woodward and Bernstein get corroboration from three independent sources before the Washington Post would publish a Watergate story. The New York Times published front page stories asserting the existence of WMD by Sadaam Hussein, written by Miller, spoon fed to her by Dick Cheney justifying the case for the first preemptive war in American history without trying to get a single independent source to corroborate what Miller was being told.

On the contrary, there were sources who plainly contradicted what Cheney and Bush were pushing, no less a credible source than Hans Blix, the UN weapons inspector who had spent time in Iraq and was absolutely convinced that Sadaam did not have any biological or chemical weapons and no capability at all to make a nuclear weapon.

Republican conservatives at the time mocked Blix, dismissed him, and ridiculed him while the NY Times, and cable news' Wolf Blitzer at CNN and others stood around with their hands in their pockets and behaved like sycophants, afraid, as they always are, to speak out or present contrary information if they think they might pay a price. It was during an interview with Blitzer on CNN that Condoleeza Rice told Blitzer "we can't afford to see the smoking gun turn into a mushroom cloud". Blitzer let the statement stand without even an iota of skepticism or demanding any proof.

Then of course there were the radio stations in Texas and other Red states who, taking a leaf from the Nazi propaganda effort, organized the mass burning of Dixie Chicks CD's because of their public statements against the war, statements which gave massive heartburn to their propaganda swallowing listeners who believed every lie the Bush Adminstration told, including Cheney's lie to a VFW gathering in which he said " there is absolutely no doubt that Sadaam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction". When Cheney made that statement he did not have one single peice of intelligence from any intelligence agency that would have allowed him to make that statement.

Yet even today, MSNBC's Chris Jansing either out of sheer ignorance, dishonesty, or perhaps unable to come to terms with her own complicity in the lies she helped disseminate,  talked about how "faulty intelligence led to the war in Iraq" when today  it is well known that no intelligence ever gave the Bush administration a shred of proof that Sadaam had WMD and in fact even warned the White House about statements it was making because there was no evidence of WMD in Iraq

In a recent interview on MSNBC marking the anniversary of the Iraq invasion, congresswoman and Iraq war vet Tammy Duckworth said that she wished there had been a more reasoned and a more honest discussion about going to war in Iraq before the invasion (hard to do when Red State war mongers who belonged to the coalition of the willing to hold the coats of those who had to fight were burning Dixie Chicks CD's and convulsing like Holy Rollers over going to war). But the primary reason there was not an honest discussion and a reasoned debate over going to war was completely the fault of the news media, those at MSNBC, Fox, CNN, the New York Times and those who followed their leads.

Those media outlets made it impossible to have an honest discussion about going to war, an honest discussion about the "evidence" and more to the point, the lack of it. They dutifully kept their mouths shut except to cheerlead for the war, followed the Bush administration lead and refused to question or raise a doubt while the Republican and conservative cheerleaders for the war were branding anyone who opposed the war or even questioned it as "unpatriotic".

And those who quivered the most, who were most afraid of that label and who buckled under were the news media, people Wolf Blitzer at CNN who got real tough with Anthony Weiner over a photo of him in his underwear but was an administration puppy dog when it came to the lead up to the war in Iraq. Management at MSNBC, wasn't much better, and then there was of course, Judith Miller and the New York Times.

Maybe the worst of it is, after all the lies they reported as facts have now been proved to be just that,  and is a matter of history,  and how mainstream journalism was complicit in shaping dishonest policy and dispensing propaganda, when it comes to mainstream journalism and the lack of competence and integrity with which they do their jobs, nothing has changed.

 Happy anniversary.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The top 21 conservative contributions to America.

Now that the CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference is in full swing it seemed like a good idea to review the contributions made by conservatism to America , the American way of life, and American values as defined by the Founders. So as a public service to those who may speakl at CPAC and want to remind those gathered there of how valuable conservatism has been,  here are the top 20 conservative contributions to America, those that have had the most impact on the country and life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

1. They opposed independence from Great Britain and the revolution in 1776.

 Conservatives in the colonies at the time were known as Tories. They were completely against the Revolution and independence from Great Britain. In fact most of them thought those crazy radical liberals like Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, Adams, Paine and the others in New York,Pennsylvania and Boston were going to ruin everything and many of them defected to the British.

2. They created and insisted on the institution of slavery and the total subjugation of Africans kidnapped and brought to America against their will be made part of the Constitution.

3. They started and fought a Civil War in which over 600,000 were killed,  hoping to destroy the country so they could keep the institution of slavery.

4. For more than 100 years after the Civil War including following the Civil Rights Act of 1964, conservatives, especially southern conservatives, did everything in their power to deprive African Americans of their rights, including lynchings, beatings, burning crosses on the lawns of African-Americans, and having the police beat them with clubs.

5. Conservatives opposed women's right to vote.

6. Conservatives were responsible for Prohibition, the constitutional amendment that outlawed alcohol and is credited with turning organized crime into an enterprise bigger than U.S. Steel and made Al Capone a star.

7. Conservatives vigorously opposed the Equal Rights Amendment which  guaranteed women's equality in all areas of life.  Their argument against the amendment was that if the Equal Rights Amendment passed women would have to use the same public rest rooms as men ( no kidding).

 8. Conservatives believed global warming is a myth and since 1968 have opposed all legislation protecting the environment including the emission of greenhouse gases and mocked as "tree huggers" those trying to clean it up.

 9. A conservative president and administration were responsible for what became known as Watergate, the worst abuse of power,   undermining and disregarding of the constitution and American liberty and constitutional rights in American history. Every member of the Nixon administration went to prison including the Director of the FBI, two attorneys general, two White House chiefs of staff, two White House counsels and most of their subordinates.

10. In 1981 President Ronald Reagan, conservatism's biggest hero, is the one who gave Sadaam Hussein his chemical and biological weapons including anthrax starter kits.

 11. In 1981 the Reagan Administration voted for a UN resolution condemning Israel for sending fighter jets into Iraq and destroying Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor.

 12. In 1982 Reagan, called by conservatives The Great Communicator, communicated nothing when Saddam used his chemical weapons against his own people and killed 60,000 civilians.

 13. In 1998 the conservative Republican majority in congress impeached President Bill Clinton, only the second time in American history a president had been impeached, and used Clinton's dalliance with Monica Lewinsky and lying about it as the reason. At the same time the House voted to impeach Clinton, conservative Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was found to be cheating on his own wife with his own administrative assistant. He was replaced by conservative Robert Livingston who resigned  two day later when it was revealed he also had been cheating on his wife. It was also revealed during the impeachment proceedings that conservative Republican Henry Hyde, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach Clinton, had not only been cheating on his wife he also had cheated on the woman he was cheating with,  telling her he wasn't married.

14. In 2001, a newly elected conservative president, George W. Bush decided the Clinton administration had been wrong in treating terrorism and Al-Qaeda as the biggest threats to U.S. national security, demoted Richard Clarke, head of White House anti-terrorism, dismissed terrorism as a threat, ignored frantic warnings by George Tenant at CIA that intelligence showed the country was about to be hit with a terrorist attack, was told on August 6, 2001 that Al-Qaeda was going to hijack U.S. airliners as part of the attack and did absolutely nothing. In addition, the assistant director of the FBI testified that then attorney general in John Ashcroft, had told him early on in the administration that he didn't want to hear any more about terrorism.

15. The same conservative president and a conservative dominated congress lied the country into a war in Iraq by falsely claiming that Sadaam had a nuclear weapons capability even though they knew he didn't. They also cut taxes at the same time they took the country to war,  blowing a $1 trillion hole in the balanced budget and zero deficit they inherited.

16. The Bush Administration and a conservative congress  passed economic policies in 2002 that led the country into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

17. In 2009 conservtives fought tooth and nail against health care reform. At a Republican presidential debate in 2012, the conservative audience cheered the idea of letting someone without health insurance die.

 18. While complaing that healthcare reform was government interference in to the private lives of Americans,  conservative dominated states passed laws forcing women to have vaginal ultrasounds and witnessing them before they could have an abortion.

 19. In Texas, in 2010, patriotic conservatives on the Texas school board voted to dump Thomas Jefferson from Texas school curriculum on political philosophy because of Jefferson's vocal and well documented contempt for the Christian church which made it impossible for them to teach that the country was founded on Christian values.Conservatives decided Jefferson had to go.

 20. In 2012, while trying to pass laws to prevent or restrict abortion, conservatives also tried to  pass laws opposing contraception which, in case they didn't seem to know can make abortion unnecessary.

21. In 2013, conservative members of congress who identify themselves as Right to Life have opposed a ban on privately owned assault weapons.

With CPAC now in its second day, conservative speakers should feel free to use any or all of these conservative contributions as talking points to illustrate what can be accomplished in the future.

In David Brinkley's recent biography of Walter Cronkite, Brinkley writes about how Cronkite when covering the 1964 presidential elections privately viewed the conservatism of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and his supporters as being closer to fascism then democracy. It's not hard to understand why.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Ryan budget: fiscal conservatives or fiscal fakes?

The hypocrisy of Republicans and tea party conservatives and their representatives in Congress when it comes to deficit reduction has now hit new lows especially with Paul Ryan's absurd budget which is based on the repeal of Obamacare, something worth doing but only if it's replaced with a public option and nothing that will happen with the present make up of congress.

This exercise in futility is brought to you by the same representatives in Congress who in the name of fiscal conservatism and deficit reduction were prepared to allow the United States to default on its debt for the first time in its history, an unconstitutional act that could have been labeled treason had Obama or the Democrats had the backbone or political savvy to do so. Had they called their bluff there wouldn't even be a sequester now.

Republicans and Tea Party conservatives have embraced the sequester which as everyone knows by now was a foolish compromise by Obama who didn't know how to stand up to Republicans on the debt ceiling and so made an offer he expected the Republicans to refuse . They didn't.

Knowing he has outgamed Obama which Republicans always seem to do, John Boehner has said he will entertain no other solutions to reducing the deficit that includes more revenue, even if increasing revenue doesn't mean higher tax rates only closing corporate loopholes. The point isn't deficit reduction, it's gamesmanship.

In the end, as the Ryan budget which is predicated on the repeal of Obamacare shows, these are not really fiscal conservatives, but fiscal fakes and have been since the days of the Bush administration when it was solely Republican policies that caused all the problems in the first place. Ryan himself has admitted his budget isn't a serious one that could ever be adopted, but a political statement. Ryan acknowledges his party lost the election but asks, " are we supposed to give up our principles because we lost the election? Are we supposed to stop believing in what we believe in"? The answer is no, youre supposed to acknowledge that the majority of the country rejected your princples and do not believe in what you believe in so stop trying to cram it down everyone's throat.

What Ryan nor anyone else in the Republican party want to acknowledge is that the Republicans inherited a balanced budget and a zero deficit from Bill Clinton in 2001 but it didnt take long for them to destroy it. The first $1 trillion hole Republicans blew in the balanced budget and what originally caused the deficit, was the decison by a Republican dominated goverment that for the first time in American history took the country to war and cut taxes at the same time. Republicans wanted the war but didnt want to have to pay for it. And they didnt. Ideology first because they always want to cut taxes, and fiscal responsiblity last.

What is at issue for Republicans now  is not how to solve a problem, something they have proved incapable of doing, but how to use the sequester to further Republican and conservative ideology, an ideology that has been nothing but a disaster for the United States in every aspect of life since the beginning of the Republic whenever Republicans or conservatives have had the votes to implement their ideology. It has been the defeat of conservatism from the time of the Revolution to the present that has allowed the United States to get where it is. Unfortunately there are few liberals and Democrats who know how to hoist conservatives on their own petard and instead have been relying on conservatives to do or say something stupid which Democrats can then turn into victories.

As for the sequester and so called deficit reduction and cutting spending, the proof of Tea Party and Republican hypocrisy is that the states that  most Tea Party conservatives represent like Idaho, Kansas,  and others receive much more in federal money then they pay out in federal income taxes. Its federal tax money from more prosperous states like New York,Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and California, that for the most part go to finance the federal programs and subsidies in these so called conservative Red states.

Conversely, states like New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and California, get far less back from the federal government then they pay in federal income taxes.

So here is the solution for the Tea Party Republican conservatives in Congress who want to cut spending without producing additional revenue and who want to claim they are not liars and hypocrites: sign a pledge and sponsor bills that make it federal law that no state can accept one dollar more in federal money that exceeds the amount in federal taxes their states send to the federal government less their share of defense and non- discretionary spending. Not a dime more. For anything.

Then, if these Red states don't like the reduction in services -- money for health, education, infrastructure or law enforcement --  because of the cut in the revenue they receive from the federal government, let them raise taxes in their own states to pay for it. Or do without them.

The money the federal government can save by not giving these conservative states any federal money after taking out their share for national defense and other non-discretionary spending,can go directly to deficit reduction.

Any Republican representative who wont make such a pledge or sponsor or vote for such a bill should be branded a liar and a hypocrite, along with the constituents and members of the Tea Party in the states and districts they represent.

Democrats should try and introduce such a deficit reduction bill, then use it against any Republican who wont support it. That might put an end to the gamesmanship involved in conservative budget policies that are more about "do what we say, not what we do".