State House Rep. JR Hoell (R-Dunbarton) posted a quote on his Facebook page, which was attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville: “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”
It’s frequently heard in the right-wing echo chamber. Maine Gov. Paul LePage included the same quote in a January 14, 2012 radio address.
Tocqueville never said it, explains Claremont McKenna College political scientist John Pitney:
It is bogus: Tocqueville wrote no such thing. The spurious quotation has circulated for years, with many attributing it to Scottish historian Alexander Tytler (sometimes misspelled as “Tyler”), but he didn’t write it, either.
“The misquote disparages fundamentals of democracy,” writes University of Maine political scientist Amy Fried:
According to this faux quote, citizens not only should not be receiving money from the public coffers, but the action is quite wrong.
Yet it’s quite clear from the U.S. Constitution that monies are to be collected by government and distributed in order to serve the people and their needs.
Now, to be sure, there were far fewer government programs in the U.S. when Tocqueville visited than there are today. But government was involved in a variety of projects. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton had pressed for a policy on manufactures and, in Tocqueville’s time, there was a large-scale infrastructure effort involving canals for trade and transportation.
Those weren’t bribes and neither is spending for health care and other public purposes today, for the government exists to serve the people and the common good, as determined via representative democracy.
Members of the state’s Republican Party establishment are making the rounds encouraging (begging) Scott Brown to run for Jeanne Shaheen’s U.S. Senate seat.
Former party chair Fergus Cullen told National Journal, “There’s no question the establishment here is rolling out the welcome mat for him.”
"I think there’s no question Senator Brown would be welcomed," party chair Jennifer Horn told Patch. “I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from Republicans around the state. He really has been warmly welcomed and I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback about him as he’s been out and about.”
But as the party establishment rolls out the welcome mat, some grassroots activists are working to change the locks.
One gun rights group is planning a protest next week “to remind ‘BLOOMBERG-Endorsed Scott Brown’ … that his ANTI-GUN policies have no place in NH politics.”
The “Anti-Bloomberg Party for Scott Brown!" is being organized by the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition, a group that bills itself as the state’s “only no-compromise gun rights organization.”
“The NHGOP is still pushing an anti-gun, moderate politician,” writes NHFC secretary and state Rep. JR Hoell (R-Dunbarton).
"Considering that Scott Brown has, or can raise, the biggest amount, does not mean he can BUY an office in DC through the state of NH," Hoell continues. "The NHGOP does not need to support [encourage???] him."
The protest is being held next Thursday at the Hunt Memorial Building in Nashua. “Come dressed in Blaze Orange,” the invitation reads.
Rep. JR Hoell compares TSA screeners to Nazis: http://t.co/mlEe6YUoBk— Peter Sullivan (@CitizenSullivan) December 10, 2013
@CitizenSullivan @miscellanyblue Well? If the shoe fits……— THE REAL TEAPARTY™ (@NHTeaParties) December 10, 2013
In a brutal editorial, the editors of the Nashua Telegraph belittle the political fortunes of the state’s GOP and dismiss their best-known candidate for the Senate:
It is a sad commentary on the state of the New Hampshire Republican Party that they have no candidate for governor and their best-known candidate to challenge a sitting U.S. Senator is a man who succeeded in making a mockery of his own political career before voters mercifully removed him from office more than a dozen years ago. […]
It wouldn’t be a surprise if [Bob Smith] turns tail and runs from New Hampshire the minute he figures out that campaign donors are not going to throw money at his feet at the mere mention of his name.
If he does, the Republican Party in New Hampshire will be better off for it.
U.S. Senate candidate Karen Testerman has a plan to retire the national debt “very easily in the very, very near future.” All we have to do, she says, is “implement drilling, fracking and the [Keystone] pipeline:”
We could retire the national debt very easily in the very, very near future if we would implement drilling, fracking and the pipeline. Very, very easily….
Saudi Arabia right now produces, is it 11 billion gallons a year? Right now in the United States … one of our places actually produces 10 billion, and by 2020 it’s up to 12 or 14.
If we become the supplier for petroleum around the world, we retire our debt and we would be very, very successful.
Recorded December 7, 2013. You can hear the full interview on GraniteGrok.
Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown recently denied ever having 2016 presidential aspirations. During a recent foray across the border to Londonderry, he told Patch, “I don’t think I ever said I was thinking about running for president.” Oh, really? Not ever?
Boston Herald, August 18, 2013:
Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown told the Herald he is looking at a possible 2016 presidential bid today as he hit a well-worn stomping ground for Oval Office hopefuls – the Iowa State Fair.
“I want to get an indication of whether there’s even an interest, in Massachusetts and throughout the country, if there’s room for a bi-partisan problem solver,” said Brown, who has been meeting with top Republicans nationally and last week hosted a Fenway event for Republican National Committee members. Brown indicated he isn’t close to deciding whether he will run. “It’s 2013, I think it’s premature, but I am curious. There’s a lot of good name recognition in the Dakotas and here – that’s pretty good.”
The prospect of [former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith] running for Senate in New Hampshire gives urgency to the establishment — We need to find someone else and we need to find someone fast.
— Fergus Cullen, former state GOP chair
In writing about Pope Francis, blogger (and Rockabilly Hall of Fame member) Randy Haspel compares the pontiff’s message with that of conservative politicians — including a former New Hampshire Speaker of the House:
Americans of a certain political bent have rejected the pope’s message as leftist propaganda. Famous Christian thinker Sarah Palin reared her ugly head to declare the pope was far too liberal. Other politicians have had so many running commentaries that differ with the pontiff, I thought it might be fun to compare some quotes: […]
"It is vital that government leaders take heed and broaden their horizons, working to ensure that all citizens have dignified work, education, and health care." — Pope Francis
"And what is Obamacare? It is a law as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 that allowed slave owners to come to New Hampshire and seize African Americans and use the federal courts to take them back to … slave states." — New Hampshire state representative Bill O’Brien
Someday, the TSA will be seen for what they are: brownshirts…
— State House Rep. JR Hoell (R-Dunbarton), comparing TSA workers to Nazi storm troopers
Yesterday, New Hampshire GOP chair Jennifer Horn called on Gov. Hassan to state her position on a gas tax increase. “A devastating gas tax hike during a recession is bad policy,” she said.
The Great Recession ended in June, 2009.
Writing in Real Clear Politics, Sean Trende looks at an issue he describes as “probably the most troubling indicator for Democrats right now,” the electoral drop-off in Democratic votes this year compared to the 2012 general election.
Trende analyzed 170 elections held this year for state and federal offices around the country. He calculated that the vote received by Democratic candidates trailed Pres. Obama’s vote in the same district by an average of 5.9 percentage points.
The five New Hampshire House special elections held this year showed a similar drop-off in the Democratic vote. In four of the five special elections, Democratic candidates received a smaller share of the vote than Pres. Obama received in 2012. Only Democrat Latha Mangipudi, who bested Pete Silva in Nashua Ward 8, outperformed the president.
The average drop-off for Democratic candidates in the New Hampshire special elections was 7.3 points. In two of the races, Hillsborough District 31 and Sullivan District 4, the Democratic vote trailed Pres. Obama’s vote by a whopping 16 points.
"What does this mean for 2014?" asks Trende:
Possibly nothing. There is a lot of football left to be played, the president’s job approval rating could rally significantly, the Democrats could become enthused, and drop-off could become a non-issue. But if that doesn’t happen, Democrats have a real headache coming on.
Today’s Union Leader weighs in on the Stilettogate controversy involving state House Reps. Peter Sullivan (D-Manchester) and Marilinda Garcia (R-Salem). “It was disappointing,” the editor writes, “that so many Republicans chose to play the victim card here:”
Knowing Sullivan’s history, we took his Kardashian comparison to mean that he thought Garcia was an intellectual lightweight, as he said, not that she was trampy, which he did not say. Sexism is a serious allegation, and although plausible in this case, it is debatable. Politics is cheapened by those who leap to label political opponents as sexists or racists or bigots on the flimsiest of evidence, and we were not about to do so here.
It was disappointing that so many Republicans chose to play the victim card here. (If there is one word that we would never think of to describe Marilinda Garcia, it is “victim.”) It is a tenet of conservatism that the accusatory tactics of the left are tarnishing American politics. They should be eschewed, not copied.