A Tea-O-Con Case Study – Incumbent Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s Legacy of Likability, Photo Ops, and Anti-Liberty Legislation
With the recent ouster of Bob Bennett, it seems many incumbent Republicans are scrambling and cranking up the spin-machine in an attempt to jump aboard the recent “Liberty/Tea Party” freight-train. I like to call these folks Tea-o-Cons; Neo-Conservatives who leverage true-blue American libertarian rhetoric to get elected, then once they are in power they actually legislate against liberty and libertarian values. It’s the old “bait & switch” scam and they are essentially Neo-Conservative wolves in Sheep’s clothing.On July 12th, 2003, Rep. Ron Paul gave a speech to Congress where he described the Neo-Conservatives (“neo-cons” for short) as former leftists (he calls them former-Trotsky-ites) and their beliefs:1) Permanent revolution; violent as well as intellectual2) Re-drawing the middle east through force3) Pre-emptive war to achieve desired ends4) The ends justify the means5) No opposition to the Welfare state6) Strongly endorse American empire7) Lying is necessary for the state to survive8) Believe a power Federal government is a benefit9) Pertinent acts about how a society should be run should be decided by the elite and withheld from those who don’t have the “courage” to deal with it10) Neutrality in foreign affairs is ill-advised. Force should not be limited to the defense of our country11) They dislike and despise libertarians12) Attacks on civil liberties are necessary13) Unconditionally support IsraelIn essence, Neo-Cons are pro-war, anti-liberty, anti-accountability, deceptive, and pro-Zionist. Tea-O-Cons are simply Neo-Conservative wolves in Tea Party sheep’s clothing. Since I am running for the same office currently held by former Democrat, now Republican Jason Chaffetz, I thought I’d apply a Tea-O-Con analysis toward his legislative legacy. Now, those who’ve seen incumbent Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-3) on The Colbert Nation being soundly defeated in leg wrestling (which is even funnier given he was a kicker for BYU) or doing photo-ops with a goat know that Mr. Chaffetz is very likable. I am in no way whatsoever contesting Mr. Chaffetz’s affability. And to be totally fair, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, has never claimed to be libertarian or to be a staunch defender of the Constitution or Bill of Rights, as far as I know.In addition to being likable, Chaffetz is very media savvy, having a background in marketing. It’s interesting that Chaffetz issued a warning on his Twitter account that communicates on many levels:”If any one person(s) tries to co-opt it, the Tea Party will lose its identity and effectiveness.”Whether this is an admonishment of his fellow Neo-Cons’ strategy to blatantly take over the movement or if it is his attempt to establish credibility with legit, grassroots Tea Party people (or both) isn’t important. What is important is that Chaffetz is well aware of the need to appear like he’s pro-Tea Party to distract from his clear Neo-Conservative voting record.I suppose that is ultimately why I decided to run to represent Utah’s 3rd Congressional district. I believe that our country was founded upon rugged libertarian values that were ultimately codified in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights and we need to look past all the photo-ops and publicity stunts to see if Utah’s 3rd district congressional representative has repeatedly voted against the liberties enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights or not. Unfortunately it seems, that despite Mr. Chaffetz’s rhetoric and affability, his legislative record has been decidedly anti-liberty, pro-war, and even anti-accountability.”[R]especting the right of individuals to be wrong, as long as they do not interfere with the rights of others, is one of the pillars of a free society.”- Rep. Ron Paul, from the forward of Judge Andrew P. Napolitano’s ‘Lies The Government Told You’INCUMBENT REP. JASON CHAFFETZ’S ANTI-LIBERTY LEGACY-Rep. Chaffetz voted for ‘HR 4061: Cybersecurity Act of 2009’. Even more egregious than the approval to spend $503 million taxpayer dollars is the fact that Chaffetz’s vote gave broad over-reaching power to the President to “declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network” (from section 18). This has the potential to destroy the livelihood of countless struggling small business owners that depend on the internet to put food on the table for their families, not to mention it will very well stop the free-flow of information and ideas at the whim of the President.-Freedom of contract is a bedrock of libertarianism and laissez faire economics. The freedom to contract says that people are free to enter into any agreement with each other without any government restrictions, and as such the state should only get involved if one party breaks the contract. Perhaps the most important agreement in all human affairs is the marriage contract; the agreement made between two people devoting their lives to each other. Government simply does not have the authority to define, license or restrict this contract. Despite this, the incumbent Representative Jason Chaffetz cosponsored H.J. Res 37, a constitutional amendment that would mandate that same-sex couples be excluded from the right to marry everywhere in the United States.Even if the state had the authority to dictate such agreements, it is still an abrogation of the 10th Amendment and would affect Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire since they’ve approved same sex marriage. H.J. Res 37 would also prevent same-sex couples from attaining the same legal status as married couples by an arrangement having a name other than marriage. This just seems cruel that those same sex couples that don’t even want to use the word marriage still cannot be treated equally before the law.- FACT: Rep. Jason Chaffetz just voted to increase TAX penalties for gun manufacturers. Let me repeat that so it fully sinks in: Incumbent Rep. Jason Chaffetz just voted to further increase TAX penalties on firearms manufacturers. Utahn Gun Rights and Liberty Advocates need to wake up and fast. Chaffetz voted to pass H.R. 5552: The Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Act of 2010 (along with incumbent Reps. Matheson and Bishop).Frankly, I can’t think of anything more un-American and stomach churning than this. This bill does a number of things that are a direct affront to liberty, foremost it adds complexity to an already overbearing tax code by changing the existing due and payable date, which will only serve to increase tax penalty receipts (here’s the code http://vlex.com/vid/sec-mode-time-collection-19210230. If this isn’t complicated, then I don’t know what is). Second, a vote for this bill supports and refines the notion that somehow firearms manufacturers are responsible for how criminals use firearms. Mr. Chaffetz, how are gun manufacturers responsible for “CRIMINAL RESTITUTION”? Third, in addition to increased complexity, it actually increases the tax penalty on entrepreneurs (gun manufacturers) which is bad enough in this economy, but it will undoubtedly lead to higher prices for consumers who simply wish to defend themselves and their families while exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. Fourth, this bill supports the funding of government intervention in the economy, aka employment “incentives”. Where in the Constitution are employment incentives mentioned?A vote for this bill is a vote to increase tax receipts and tax code complexity and it works against entrepreneurs (gun manufacturers) and consumers all while funding government intervention in the economy.-While I applaud Mr. Chaffetz’s vote to not renew the Patriot Act (which unfortunately was renewed anyway), I am quite upset by Mr. Chaffetz’s attempt to weaken the requirement within the USA PATRIOT Amendments Act of 2009 (H.R. 3845) that mandates that the government must have a written statement (national security letter) of specific facts that show that the records sought after pertain to actual suspected spies or terrorists, to better protect the Fourth Amendment privacy of U.S. persons that have no ties to foreign intelligence. The amendment that Mr. Chaffetz presented failed on a voice vote but unfortunately a “manager’s amendment” created to address concerns raised by the Obama Administration did pass giving both Chaffetz and the Obama administration what they both wanted, weakened USA PATRIOT Act reform.- Why is Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a representative from Utah’s 3rd district, trying to overturn action by the D.C. City Council that would allow medical marijuana usage in the nation’s capital with H. J. Res. 93? Is he D.C.’s representative or Utah’s? In a larger sense, Chaffetz doesn’t seem to understand that, per the U.S. Constitution, to outlaw a mind-altering substance, you need a constitutional amendment. It has been done before, and when Prohibition failed, the amendment was repealed. Beyond being anti-liberty, the War on Drugs is unconstitutional and incredibly wasteful. But Mr. Chaffetz clearly isn’t interested in either liberty, fiscal responsibility, or the Constitution here.INCUMBENT REP. JASON CHAFFETZ’S PRO-WAR LEGACY – Utah’s City Weekly even awarded Mr. Chaffetz the “Best War Hypocrite” award. From their 2010 “Best of” edition (please note, I don’t approve of their abrasive ad hominems):”We hoped Rep. Jason Chaffetz, media whore though he may be, could fashion himself into a contrarian, principled Republican. He now seems every bit as slimy and untrustworthy as the rest of Congress. In November, he said, ‘Mr. President, it’s time to bring our troops home’ from Afghanistan, a war that has cost $3.6 billion per month and killed more than 1,000 American soldiers. Just three months later, he voted against a resolution that would direct the president to do exactly that. His pro-war vote came less than a week after attending the funeral of Carlos A. Aragon, 19, or Orem, and just before attending the funeral of Nigel K. Olsen, 21, of Salem, both of whom died in Afghanistan.”The resolution that Mr. Chaffetz chose to vote against was H.Con.Res.248. It seems he did even worse than that though, he said one thing, then voted the exact opposite. His vote has only promoted war and wasteful spending.Jason Chaffetz voted for co-sponsoring ‘HR 2194: Expanding Economic War with Iran’. I think Rep. Ron Paul said it best when he described this bill thus “We need to see all this for what it is: Propaganda to speed us to war against Iran for the benefit of special interests.””Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction… The chain reaction of evil-hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars-must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”- Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength To Love, 1963.INCUMBENT REP. JASON CHAFFETZ’S ANTI-IMMIGRATION LEGACY”Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” – Emma Lazarus, Statue of LibertyEvery single one of the Founding Fathers were immigrants. The problem of illegal immigrants is a very real one that requires solutions that respect the dignity of those that have come here only seeking a better life, not “tent cities”.-Representative Chaffetz cosponsored “The Birthright Citizenship Act” H.R. 1868, which will remove the guarantee that makes you a naturalized American citizen by virtue of simply being born in the USA. H.R. 1868 is in the tradition of the old German Heimatland ‘jus sanguinis’ model of citizenship based upon “proper” bloodline, race, or language. I like the long standing American tradition that guarantees every individual born here can be born free.
Kind regards,Jake Shannon Libertarian for U.S. Congress Utah’s 3rd Congressional District
For more information visit http://www.jakeshannonforcongress.com.