Arizona & Utah: Significance?

Ted Cruz 4I had to go to bed last night before any results came in from the Utah caucuses. I awoke this morning to an incomplete accounting of those results, but Cruz has won in a blowout, currently at 69% of the vote, while Trump came in slightly behind Kasich at only 14%. Cruz gets all 40 Utah delegates.

Arizona went for Trump, but once again, despite all the talk of a race being “over,” he was unable to break the 50% mark, getting about 47%. Kasich, in what is supposedly a three-man race (if you really think he’s still in it), came in fourth, behind early votes for Rubio.

Early voting is the big culprit this year. Cruz lost Louisiana only because so many voted early, later regretting their support for Trump after his debate-stage antics. If you recall, Cruz won the vote in Louisiana among those who waited for the actual day of the primary.

Trump probably would have won Arizona anyway, but once more the early voting, I believe, was a factor in the spread of victory, with Cruz coming in a distant second at 24%. Most of Rubio’s voters would have switched to Cruz without that early-voting process.

The other factor that has worked against Cruz is the stubbornness of candidates who refuse to leave the race when it is obvious they can’t win. Rubio staying in as long as he did led to Cruz losing two states he probably would have won—North Carolina and Missouri. Kasich’s woebegone campaign took enough votes in Illinois that Cruz fell short there as well.

I continue to believe that if this had been a true two-man race from South Carolina on, the delegate count now would be extremely tight between Trump and Cruz.

The Cruz campaign is looking to a win in Wisconsin next. It’s time—no, past time—for Governor Scott Walker to come out publicly on Cruz’s side. His support could be crucial for a Cruz victory.

So how is the media going to play last night’s results? Look for an increasing theme that touts Trump’s eventual nomination, focusing on Arizona primarily. Cruz’s Utah triumph, far more smashing than anything Trump has won, will be largely ignored as an anomaly.

No, this is not over, despite what the media will tell you. The upcoming primaries are still crucial as to how this all will play out.

Punishing Arizona

The media naturally focused on the Supreme Court’s decision on the Arizona illegal immigration law, but apparently it’s missing the other story: the abandonment of Arizona by the federal government. From what I’ve read, none of the network morning programs—not Today or Good Morning America, or whatever CBS has currently—even mentioned the astounding change announced by the Department of Homeland Security. I haven’t yet heard a report on how the evening news shows handled it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they downplayed it as well. It’s what they do.

Consider: the federal government no longer will work with state and local law enforcement in Arizona on the illegal immigrant problem. If state or local law enforcement wants to check on the immigration status of someone being held for any other crime, the federal government will not respond to their request for information. As I said yesterday, it’s as if Arizona is the criminal in the eyes of the Obama administration. Of course, that should not startle anyone familiar with this administration’s approach to enforcing laws it doesn’t like:

It’s kind of like this:

They say immigration enforcement is a federal job, not that of the states, yet they don’t help the states being overwhelmed by a flood of illegal immigration. How can they have it both ways? Oh, that’s right, lawyers are in charge:

Given the attitude displayed by Obama’s DOJ and DHS, they might as well act as tour guides:

At least then they might be doing something useful.

The Court, Arizona, & the Constitution: The Obama Response

The Supreme Court yesterday, in a much-anticipated ruling, upheld the central feature of the Arizona illegal immigration law that has been the center of controversy for the last few years. Yes, the Court did strike down other features of the law, but they were minor in comparison to the provision that allows police to check the immigration status of citizens who happen to be stopped under suspicion of breaking a law. Although the Obama administration, spearheaded by Eric Holder of the Department of Justice [it still has the name, but not the substance of the name] has branded the law racist, the phoniness of that charge was laid bare in this decision. Why? The Court ruled unanimously in favor of that so-called controversial provision—both liberals and conservatives on the Court declared it valid, which, in a sane world, would put to rest the idea that racism was behind the law.

In my view, the entire law should have been upheld, and Justice Scalia wrote a stinging dissent making that very point. He stated that the law didn’t create anything new, but simply mirrored federal laws that were not being carried out by the federal government, thereby forcing the state of Arizona to try to make up the difference. States have a right to defend themselves. The three most conservative justices all agreed on this.

So what did the Obama administration do immediately upon hearing of the Court’s decision? The Department of Homeland Security [another agency that is quickly becoming an oxymoron] suspended its cooperative agreement with Arizona for border security. In effect, it has said the state is now on its own in protecting its borders and dealing with illegal immigration. Further, it has published a phone number for Arizona citizens to call to report on police attempting to do their duty. Obama and his people have decided that Arizona is the criminal and must be punished. The federal government will do even less of its job in the future. It will refuse to execute the law of the land.

This is almost breathtaking, if you really stop to consider what’s happening at the highest levels of our government. In a series of actions and/or inactions, the president has trampled the entire concept of separation of powers and has taken it upon himself to be the government, purposely ignoring the constitutional limitations of his office and relegating the legislative and judicial branches to irrelevance. Here are examples of what he has done lately:

  • He has adamantly refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, duly passed by Congress, and has declared his approval of same-sex marriage.
  • He has unilaterally suspended the rules on how to handle illegal immigrants aged 16-30 and substituted his own agenda, again without any congressional act to authorize it.
  • He has misused the right of executive privilege to shield himself and his attorney general from potentially embarrassing information in documents needed by a congressional committee investigating Fast and Furious.
  • Fast and Furious itself was an out-of-control operation by the Justice Department that led to hundreds of deaths with guns deliberately passed to organized crime in Mexico.
  • Now, with the denial of help for Arizona in policing illegal immigration, the president once again has violated his own oath of office, which says that he pledges to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution and the laws passed under its authority.

And it’s all politics. Hispanics, on the whole, seem to be in favor of his “new” rules for illegal immigrants, despite the damage this does to the rule of law. He has solidified their votes for November. His “evolving” view on same-sex marriage mollified a segment of society that has money to burn in the upcoming election. He now has greater access to those funds.

With this man, everything is political. But why should anyone be surprised? He was weaned on corrupt Chicago politics. He never was a genuine hope and change kind of guy; it was all political theater that worked amazingly well in the wake of a disillusioned electorate that, without thinking rationally, just wanted to take out its angst on Republicans. Few listened to the voices that were warning of the true nature of the candidate. I only hope eyes have now been opened and ears are more willing to hear.

America doesn’t crown monarchs, and when a president tries to act like one, the voters can let him know they won’t abide such arrogance. At least the voters who aren’t on the public dole won’t abide it. Are there still enough of those to make a difference?

Santorum’s Rapid Rise

It’s turning into a tidal wave, particularly in the Midwest. What am I talking about? The rapid rise of Rick Santorum in the polls. All you have to do is watch the faces and hear the incredulity in the voices of cable news hosts to know that something is happening that was more than a little unexpected.

A series of new polls coming out of Michigan show Santorum leading Romney anywhere from four points to fifteen. Not a single one favors Romney at this time. Then there is the shocker out of Ohio, a Rasmussen poll showing Santorum with a 42-24 advantage. Even Arizona, where the Santorum forces decided not to waste money because it is a winner-take-all primary like Florida’s, and polls showed Romney with a big lead, now sits at Romney 38%, Santorum 31%. It appears GOP voters continue to have a hard time coming to grips with a Romney candidacy.

Commentators have begun searching for weaknesses in Santorum. They think they’ve found them on social issues. They believe voters will eventually be turned off by his lack of support for contraception and his opposition to gay marriage. First, if we’ve come to the point where opposition to homosexuals demanding marriage is a losing proposition, we’re beyond the pale as a country anyway. I appreciate Santorum standing firm on that one. If that’s a losing position, it’s also a principled and honorable one. Second, Santorum has no plans to make Americans accept his views on contraception. Even those of us who don’t agree with his stance completely on that one know what his aim is—to reduce sexual immorality and enhance the status of marriage and family. As long as he frames these positions carefully and positively, he can win with them.

The biggest problem remaining for Santorum appears to be Newt Gingrich. He hasn’t yet come to the realization that his opportunity has passed him by. He’s even less desirable for Republican voters than Romney.

He used to lecture Santorum to drop out of the race so as not to split the conservative vote. It’s time for Newt to take his own advice.

The Tucson Tragedy

When we celebrated our one-year-old grandson’s birthday in Tucson on December 29, I went to the nearest grocery store to buy the ice cream. It was a Safeway store located in a shopping center on the corner of Ina and Oracle. On Saturday, that very store was in the news as the scene for a most horrific shooting. As I have watched the coverage the past couple of days, I can visualize from my own experience the very spot where one young man carried out his sinful deed. Less than two weeks ago, I was there.

The object of his ire apparently was his congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. He succeeded in shooting her in the head, yet even though the bullet went through her brain, she remains alive in an intensive care unit. Doctors are cautiously optimistic, but any recovery will be slow. In the process, the shooter, later identified as Jared Loughner, killed six people outright, one being federal judge John Roll; a total of twenty were injured by his bullets. Fortunately, he was captured on the spot and is now in custody.

Almost immediately, information on Loughner surfaced. I’ve seen his You Tube screeds. If you’ve seen them, you know they are largely chaotic in nature with a logic that sometimes defies definition. Without doubt, they are the product of a troubled mind.

He is an atheist—that much is clear. Beyond that, it’s difficult to find much consistency in his belief “system,” if that’s the proper term for it. On the one hand, he writes about reading the Constitution and believes in holding gold rather than fiat money. Yet he’s not a “conservative.” Two of his favorite books are The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. His atheism separates him from traditional morality based on God’s law. One of his high school acquaintances remembers him as someone who was “left wing, quite liberal” politically. Another called him a “hater,” adding, “He was a goth-type. He was more of an outcast.”

In other words, he is in no way connected, philosophically or in practice, with modern conservatism or the Tea Party movement.

That has not stopped some extremists from using this tragedy for their own political purposes. Leftist bloggers have already blamed Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and any opposition to the Obama agenda for Loughner’s actions.

I was watching the Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, in his news conference Saturday evening when I was bowled over by his editorializing. I’d never heard of Sheriff Dupnik previously; I had no idea of his political leanings, but he didn’t leave a nationwide audience in the dark for long.

He immediately rushed to judgment, placing the blame for the shootings on what he called “vitriolic” comments from talk radio [code for Rush Limbaugh et. al.]. He then proceeded to trash his own state of Arizona, labeling it the most bigoted state in the nation [presumably for its strong stance against illegal immigration]. This man was supposed to be giving an update on the day’s proceedings; instead, he chose to unleash what I would consider to be “vitriol” of the lowest caliber.

Yesterday, in an interview with Fox News, Dupnik followed up his initial comments by declaring that Loughner’s actions were the result of an atmosphere created when “one party is trying to do something to make this country a better country and the other party is trying to block them.” For Dupnik, the party trying to make things better is the Democrats and the party trying to block them is the Republicans.

Can this man be trusted to be involved in an honest investigation of the facts?

The one thing the sheriff said that was true is that the political discourse has become heated. He didn’t help the situation, however; all he did was fan the flames with false accusations. The New Testament book of James provides this instruction:

But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

Let’s allow the righteousness of God to come to the forefront at this time.

Time for Another Constitutional Discussion

Amid all the talk of racial profiling and unfairness over the Arizona illegal immigration bill, I don’t think anyone I’ve read has brought up the other—real—racial profiling and unfairness that emanates from it. It took a couple of cartoonists to make the point very well.

A nice twist, right? Here’s another one:

Who are the real lawbreakers? Some would have us believe they are the law enforcement officers rather than those who are knowingly violating the immigration laws.

Then there’s this from the U.S. Constitution, something else I hadn’t stopped to consider until I read it recently in an article. Article III, Sec. 2, clause 2 says:

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction.

Now, if I understand that correctly, any case that involves a state cannot be tried in a lower federal court; rather, it must go directly to the Supreme Court. Yet Attorney General Holder didn’t take his lawsuit to the Supreme Court. Therefore, what he is doing appears to be unconstitutional.

And what about Article I, Section 10 of that same Constitution, where we find these words:

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, … engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Couldn’t we say that a state such as Arizona has been invaded? There are sections along the border where citizens are warned not to go because it is too dangerous due to the drug “industry” associated with illegal immigration. If invasion is too strong a term for some, why not refer to it as an imminent danger that requires immediate action?

I haven’t heard yet a discussion of these two constitutional provisions with respect to this issue, but it’s time to have that discussion. The biggest problem, of course, is that we’re dealing with an administration that has no respect or concern for constitutional provisions.

Getting that discussion started, though, would be highly beneficial.

Immigration Logic & Presidential Priorities

So, predictably, a judge appointed by Bill Clinton has struck down the key part of Arizona’s illegal immigration bill. Law enforcement officers cannot, under her decision, ask for residency status when someone is questioned for another crime. This type of logic is being used by nearly everyone on the open borders side of this issue:

Interestingly, even though the judge ruled as she did, and the law cannot currently go into effect [an appeal by Arizona has been filed], protests yesterday filled the streets, resulting in dozens of arrests. Peaceful citizens residents? Does anyone recall anybody being arrested at a Tea Party rally? Of course not.

The hypocrisy of the movement is symbolized by the president of Mexico:

Yes, that would be tragic, right?

Meanwhile, most Americans approve of what Arizona has done, which is a problem for the president:

It could have political ramifications for him:

So, with this problem boiling over and other issues on his plate, what does our president decide is the most significant thing he can do?

Well, you know, the polls show that women are souring on his presidency. He has to take care of that, doesn’t he? What could possibly be more important?