Liberty Belle

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Why libertarians want another FDR

The Real Reason for FDR’s Popularity

As originally posted at by Mark Thornton


All presidents worry about their popularity. They try to bolster it through impassioned rhetoric, free stuff for influential voting blocs, new programs that cost billions, dramatic photo ops, and of course wars to unite the country behind their valiant leadership. In most all cases, they choose means of gaining popularity that come at the expense of liberty.

But what if a president took a different direction and sought popularity by expanding rather than reducing liberty? There is a model here they could follow but it is not one you have thought of.

It is Franklin D. Roosevelt. In his first 30 days, he did more to bring liberty to Americans than any president since Thomas Jefferson repealed the Alien and Sedition Acts.

Roosevelt was inaugurated on March 4, 1933. After dealing with the banking crisis and the budget during his first week on the job, on March 13 he called on Congress to repeal Prohibition. On March 23, he signed the Cullen-Harrison Act, which legalized the sale in the United States of beer with an alcohol content of 3.2 percent.

He wasted no time: he signed it one day after Congress passed it. He said with great élan, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.”

Only then, on March 16, did FDR begin to work on his New Deal agenda. Then he had the wind at his back. It was a dramatic beginning to the end of one of the greatest legal calamities in American history: the hated Prohibition embodied in the 18th Amendment, which had been in effect for 13 violent years.

Mini Revolutions

I’m temporarily living in a small Alabama town that’s still safe enough to allow my children to ride their bikes down the street unattended and to leave your door unlocked while you run to the store.  It’s quaint and seems untouched by the goings on in Washington, DC… and sometimes even Montgomery.  But of course, it’s not.  And conversations with the people you meet at the grocery store or the park reveal that.  People are angry.  Very angry.  Thankfully, they’re also becoming organized and that is starting to make a difference.

I’m not a whole-hearted Tea Partier.  I have my doubts about its long-term effectiveness, especially at a federal level if they continue to put all their efforts behind big-ticket races.  But I think their potential is almost unlimited when it comes to smaller, local offices.

Recently, our town had a street festival featuring music, crafts, vendors and of course, politicians running for office, busy greeting people and kissing babies.  I stopped to talk to one of the candidates who is running for a state house seat as he stood in the middle of the street handing out balloons.  Though my questions were asked with cynicism, the answers returned were thoughtful, sincere and refreshing.  Before too long, I realized I was talking to a real Tea Party candidate.  This guy was a true believer in the need to shrink government and his mannerisms were about as un-politician like as you can get.

But it got better.  As he told his story, it become clear that he had been the underdog in the primary, battling against a better-funded, establishment-picked candidate who hardly qualified to even be called a Republican.  But he’d won.  By a very large margin.

Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze”

The incomparable Glenn Beck unveiled his new website, The Blaze, a news information source that will focus on….. well, whatever Glenn deems to be important, I’m sure.  So far, only 4 of the top stories are about Glenn in some way, but I’m sure that number will go up.

The site reminds me of a scaled down version of Tucker Carlson’s, The Daily Caller, but without the pithy headlines.  If Glenn wants to compete with The Drudge Report, as I’m sure he does, he’s going to have to provide more content that’s less focused on him.

Democrat Healthcare Organizational Chart

I’d try to add commentary on this, but I can’t follow it well enough to do so.

ObamaCare Chart

Tea Parties in Alabama

It appears that the Tea Parties held in Alabama yesterday were a rousing success.  It’s reported by ABC News (and my friend and attendee Shirrell Roberts) that the Montgomery Tea Party held at noon on the Capital steps had about 1,000 people (*Update- Organzier Cindy Wright says attendance was closer to 2,500).  Great job, Matt Givens and Cindy Wright, in organzing and promoting this event!  This is what Shirrell said after the event-

It really fired me up just seeing common everyday folks give a rip about the direction this country is headed.  Sometimes it is easy to become cynical. Yesterday restored my faith in the people of this country.

Gingrich: Bush Started What Obama is Continuing

I swing back and forth between being happy and chagrined to see Republicans acting like Republicans again, but when I see a quote like this from Newt Gingrich, my first thought is “Say what?”

Gingrich thrashed Republicans for allowing increased spending during the Bush administration and for not doing enough to block President Barack Obama’s early initiatives.

“Remember, everything Obama’s doing, Bush started last year,” Gingrich said. “If you’re going to talk about big spending, the mistakes of the Bush administration last year are fully as bad as the mistakes of Obama’s first two, three months.”

Newt, we’re thrilled to have you on the right side, but you supported the TARP bailout.

Judge Overrides Parental Rights

World Net Daily is reporting that a North Carolina judge has ordered that three homeschooled children must start attending public school in the fall, despite the fact that the children test well above grade level and appear to be well-adjusted socially.

The parents are going through a divorce, and though the children have been homeschooled for the past four years and, according to the judge, “thrived” in that setting, the judge has ruled in accordance with the wishes of the father, who believes that it’s time for the children to return to the public school system.

Judicial Watch Puts “Joe the Plumber” in the News Again

The group, Judicial Watch, has filed charges on behalf of Joe Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, alleging that Ohio state officials conducted investigations into his past after his tête-à-tête with then Democratic Presidential nominee, Barack Obama.

MSNBC-According to a subsequent investigation by the Ohio Inspector General, on October 16, 2008, just four days after Mr. Wurzelbacher questioned Obama, Jones-Kelley, Williams and Thompson held a meeting and specifically discussed “Joe the Plumber.” Following the meeting the defendants authorized and instructed agency personnel to search confidential office databases to retrieve information about Mr. Wurzelbacher. All three defendants are believed to have been supporters of Obama’s presidential campaign.

Obama Taps Craig Fugate as New FEMA Chief

Though appointed by Republican Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, and continued his employment under Republican, Governor Charlie Crist, Craig Fugate, Florida’s top emergency manager has been named by Obama as his choice for FEMA director.


In October 2001, Fugate was appointed the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management by Gov. Bush. After the events of 9/11, the division was tasked with the role of managing the Federal Homeland Security funding and developing Florida’s Domestic Security Strategy with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The program has since been recognized as a model for other states.

HuffPo reports-

State Sovereignty Movement on the Rise

I believed, long before election day, that Barack Obama would be our next President, but I didn’t despair as many other Republicans did.  In fact, I often said that he would be the best thing that could happen to the Republican Party (providing, of course, that our country survives his socialist agenda), because I believe his presidency will provide the impetus we need to once again become the fiscally conservative party.

One thing I did not foresee, however, is how Obama would spur states into affirming the sovereignty guaranteed to them by the Tenth Amendment.  The recently passed “spendulous bill”, full of unfunded mandates that will ultimately demand funds from already beleaguered state budgets, has caused state governments across the nation to finally say, “Enough!”.

The Tenth Amendment states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

James Madison reiterated this ideology in The Federalist Papers:

The powers delegated to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, [such] as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.

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