Sunday, July 08, 2012
Hold him up and …Spur!
The Ultimate Conundrum
By Stephen L. Wilmeth
I have felt it. I have seen it. In the pecans groves, I finally rationalized in my mind what the analogy was that properly described it.
It is like a young horse that is being forced to do something he doesn’t understand, but the constraints imposed on him disallow him to find his way out of his dilemma. He is expected to do everything right, but he is given no latitude to do anything. He is spurred ruthlessly, but, at the same time he is being held up … unfeeling hands are trying to drag the bit out the back of his mouth and up through his head.
His confusion elevates, and, yet, no rational alternative is presented. His mind shuts down and he seeks mental and physical relief. He explodes …
Irrelevance of Congress
Those of us who live on the Mexican border don’t look at Congress with any more contempt than our ancestors did when those Texas kinfolks were left exposed to the cruelty of cross border conflict following the Mexican American War.
Our relationship with them is much like trying to get a quick update on an evening storm. Our little corner of the world is hidden behind the derriere of the weather chick who is giving a brief summary of national weather. Just about the time she is going to step aside to expose a glimpse of our storm update, she has to cut to a commercial. We remain hidden from view. We are entrenched at the back of the line.
If Darrell Issa and I had gone to school together, chances are we’d get along. We may or may not get to be close friends depending on Mr. Issa’s view of second and short, Savage .99 rifles, and swelled fork saddles, but I would surmise our politics would hold us clinging to some degree of kinship.
The problem I have with Mr. Issa, though, is the outcome we all witness in too many congressional actions. We hear bold discourse, and, then … we are repeatedly left unfulfilled. How many nights did we hear Mr. Issa telling us how he was going to get to the bottom of the ‘Fast and Furious’ debacle?
What he orchestrated with the Contempt of Congress vote is to shuffle the whole discussion to the sidelines until after the election. It is now a non-issue, and we will never hear the truth of the intent to use the whole affair to attack our Second Amendment rights.
Thank you very much, Congressman Issa, and thank you, Congress.
Legislating from the Bench
June 28, 2012 will go down as one of the low points in our longing to be in touch with the Supreme Court. Yes, we were all simply deflated over the Obama Care ruling.
Each and every person I made contact with who was trying to hold his or her business together that day at 103° was simply limp, and … it wasn’t just the heat.
Maybe Justice Roberts was sincere in demonstrating apolitical unity of the Court, but he proved something much grander. We must now fear the Court on the basis of two developments. First, we fear the liberal propensity of legislating from the bench.
Second, we now have a Chief Justice who is so self-inflicted with the need to demonstrate political inertness he has no grasp of the difference in theoretical or real world results. Roberts seems to have no memory that when you shift gears you still have to hold onto the steering wheel.
That started earlier in the week when the Chief Justice sided against Arizona in the matter of that state’s 1070 judgment. Arizona must feel much like those same Texas counterparts of so many years ago when Washington leadership decided by intent and action that they had generated enough world contempt in their expeditionary conquest of Mexico. They took the high road appearance by halting further prosecution of the conflict. Americans on the border were left standing in a hailstorm. Those citizens were vilified and accused of risking an international incident if they protected themselves. They were dead if they didn’t.
Arizona has no choice but to feel similarly.
The highest court in our land supported the Administration’s assault on the sovereignty of our 48th state. We are all mindful of the tedium Washington must regard in our existence, but when words in our Constitution say, “No State shall, without the consent of Congress … engage in War … unless actually invaded ...” shouldn’t they mean what they say?
We support your efforts, and, furthermore, we admire your fortitude! There are many of us out here equally mystified over the actions of Chief Justice Roberts this week.
Shut up and take it
It appears two mandates were flung at us. The first Roberts’ vote effectively set the stage for Arizona to stand down without any assurance of federal protection of the border. The second vote cast doubt on the breadth of federal manhandling of the Commerce Clause, but expanded the horizons on the expansion of taxing us on any matter that hastens a special interest agenda.
Living on the border creates a much different perspective of Washington’s reaction to our world. My mind drifts back to the analogy of that young horse. We are compelled to perform without hesitation, but we are disallowed to do anything that offends any special interest mission.
Arizona faces the same dilemma my state faces on border issues … logjams of polarizing politics at the federal level. What we observe is rhetoric, but what is manifested is the mandate to shut up and accept the consequences.
The Obama administration no longer maintains a veiled suggestion of hidden intentions. Equally alarming is the evolution of the Roberts’ led Court that demonstrates such unimpeachable inertness that our hopes and needs don’t appear to exist in Washington.
The realization is that if we, the electorate, don’t take control of what we can affect on a local level there is no assurance of altering this free fall.
There are signs of push back. The first is the awakening of state and local governments that are trying to act.
Arizona has led the charge from the standpoint of state legislation and governorship priorities and intentions. Folks like the lady titans, Jan Brewer and Sylvia Allen, have joined with fellow elected state leaders and taken a stand. No ordinary person seeks such exposure to public conflict, but that is where they find themselves.
New Mexico has joined Arizona in a defensive stance, but only at a local level. New Mexico’s state legislature still exists in the 1912 paradigm of corruption spelled with a capital C. Their Roundhouse ranks exist in a displaced universe that has no concern of pending cataclysm on the border. After all, they are the crew intent on selling New Mexico driver’s licenses to illegals of the world to stimulate visitation to the Land of Enchantment!
The Arizona mentality in New Mexico is coming from local government. Border and the near border counties are leading the way. Last week a number of those counties met in Silver City to discuss the formation of a coalition of counties to stand united against federal absolutism. Their approach is patterned after a group calling itself the Council of Border Conservation Districts (Council).
The Council, made up of conservation districts from Catron, Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Luna, and Sierra Counties, was formed in defense of federal border land plans that would elevate restrictions on another ⅔ of a million acres of border landscape. The land schemes were all conceptualized and promulgated without any legislative courtesies extended to local planning.
The Council participants finally said, “No … you (federal government) will no longer run roughshod over us without our input.”
Truth is in the outcome
The outcome of the fights the Council endured was extremely important. Every participant would agree battles and skirmishes may have been won, but there is no notion the successes were absolute. The land agency and nongovernmental organization agendas to coerce the land schemes remain fully in place and committed for advancement.
What has changed, though, is the realization of what it took to achieve those conditional victories. Any success that stems from standing exposed and alone in the defense of such an assault is very powerful. There is a realization and a sense of independence, strength, and hope.
The ultimate injustice, though, is the antagonism that such efforts have generated from federal leadership. That can only be fixed one way. November is supremely important … or there is unfathomable risk to each and every one of us.
Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “A word about committed leadership Congressman Issa … if George Patton had been the chair of your committee … either he or Eric Holder may not have walked away. Where are you, General, when we need original American fortitude?”