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IS IT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OR JUST G.W. BUSH?

Chuck Baldwin
Sep. 30, 2005

The Republican Party professes to stand for less government and more freedom. It claims to be a conservative party. However, ever since assuming control of the entire federal government, it has revealed itself to be something entirely different.

For example, since the White House and both houses of Congress have been under Republican Party domination, the federal government has increased federal expenditures and deficits to levels never before seen. Beyond that, individual liberties have come under federal assault in ways that would make even old King George seem tame.

The latest example of the Republican Party's seeming insatiable desire to eviscerate constitutional liberties is the announcement by President Bush that he seeks to federalize domestic emergencies. According to The Washington Times, "President Bush yesterday [September 26] sought to federalize hurricane-relief efforts, removing governors from the decision-making process."

The Times reports that Bush is seeking to change federal law to create "a new, direct line of authority that would allow the president to place the Pentagon in charge of responding to natural disasters, terrorist attacks and outbreaks of disease."

According to the Times report, President Bush wants to shift power and authority to deal with domestic emergencies from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and give it to the Department of Defense (DoD).

However, as the Times notes, "[S]tabilizing a crisis might require federal troops to arrest looters and perform other law-enforcement duties, which would violate the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. The law was passed in the wake of the Civil War and Reconstruction to prevent the use of federal troops from policing elections in former Confederate states.

"The White House wants Congress to consider amending Posse Comitatus in order to grant the Pentagon greater powers."

Before the American people allow their congressmen to yield to the president's thirst for greater and greater federal expansion into the affairs of states and local communities, however, they need to realize that the end result of this power-grab will only prove to be an unmitigated disaster for liberty! In fact, it would literally undo the American experiment and turn our country into a monarchy at worst or an oligarchy at best.

Military personnel are not trained (and should not be) for domestic law-enforcement. They cannot worry about Mirandizing suspects or waiting for search warrants. Their concern is not about the right of Habeas Corpus or the laws against searches and seizures. To them is committed the waging of war. They are trained to kill and destroy. Do we really want to send soldiers and Marines into our own streets and neighborhoods with their guns turned on American citizens? God forbid!

The reason freedom has survived more than 200 years of history is due to the American people's lawful access to firearms and to the preservation of our republican form of government. It appears that President Bush is determined to undo the latter. And if the way in which the Republican Party quickly passed an egregiously flawed Patriot Act is any indicator, the GOP seems poised to support Bush in this quest, also.

The Republican Party needs to do some serious introspection. Are these despotic machinations the personal foibles of a fumbling Chief Executive or are they the innate desires of the entire party? The GOP's recent love affair with burgeoning government and shrinking liberties makes it necessary for every lover of freedom to seriously ponder that question.

Chuck Baldwin


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