Gandhi is famous for saying, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” We’ve long been past the ignoring stage and it’s becoming clear that the statist opposition is no longer laughing. Just wait until thousands more liberty-loving activists are here – the fun is only just beginning!
Foster’s, the state’s most conservative newspaper this side of the Union Leader, blasts the libertarian anarchist members of the Free State Project for working “clandestinely” to “take over the legislative workings here in New Hampshire:”
It goes without saying that the stated intent of the FSP is to be political and to influence legislation. … And among the questions de rigueur that reporters now ask is whether a candidate is a Free Stater … and not always does the Free Stater want the affiliation known.
This is just one example that strikes at the core of the problem with the Free State Project — its attempt to stay under the radar screen and to work clandestinely in some fashion.
Whether individual voters are persuaded to the cause of liberty and justice for all as Free Staters represent the notion is not so much our concern. That they should do it openly and honestly is.
I’ve always believed that this state will not seriously consider an income tax as an alternative to our burdensome and regressive property tax until it is championed by a Republican governor, our version of Nixon Goes to China. This year’s gubernatorial campaign reinforced that belief.
Perhaps today marks the first step in that direction. The editors at the staunchly Republican Foster’s Daily Democrat today expressed the hope that “some day, somewhere, somehow somebody would come up with some better way.”
For the time being, both Democrats and Republicans seem unwilling to pursue that crusade. But for what it is worth, we will plant the seed to be potentially harvested at a later date.
Both Democrats and Republicans who will fill the next session of the Legislature seem to understand the fragile nature of the economy. For that reason and for fear of touching New Hampshire’s third rail of politics, any income tax proposal will remain in a coma for now.
But mark these words, the issue will one day be revived and done so in earnest. As today’s baby boomers move more and more into retirement — many on fixed incomes due to recent recessions — the numbers of those Granite Staters suffering under the property tax will grow. When that happens, we expect talk of an income tax to return in earnest. And when this happens, it will not be easily dismissed by “the pledge.”
Fosters, the state’s most conservative newspaper this side of the Union Leader, jumps on the bandwagon and lays all the blame for big Democratic gains on state House Speaker Bill O’Brien:
To our way of thinking, the Speaker has abused the trust placed in him by his fellow legislators when they elected him to the leadership post. His efforts to run roughshod over the legislative process contributed significantly to Tuesday’s pendulum swing which saw Democrats able to retaliate by reclaiming the House and shrinking the number of Republicans in the N.H. Senate (13-11 as of this writing). We also believe O’Brien’s behavior contributed to the losses of Republican Congressmen Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta, as well as boosting Maggie Hassan’s victory margin over Republican Ovide Lamontagne.
In essence, on Tuesday New Hampshire voters got sweet revenge, in part, for being subjected to a state legislature — specifically the House — that too often lost focus on what matters — jobs and the economy.
As indicated above, when House Republicans meet to consider their leadership choices for the next legislative session they will do so as the minority party — and for that they can largely thank Bill O’Brien.
Foster’s, the state’s most conservative newspaper this side of the Union Leader, has added its voice to those lambasting House Speaker Bill O’Brien for barring Concord Monitor reporters from a State House press briefing.
Many a politician farther up the food chain than O’Brien has tried to muffle the press. Perhaps the most prominent politician to learn his lesson the hard way was President Richard M. Nixon, forced from office thanks to Deep Throat and writers Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
But beyond O’Brien’s Nixonian-like arrogance is a more troubling notion — that he alone somehow has the right to decide if a newspaper is doing its job.
On the one hand, O’Brien’s behavior on Friday should not be surprising after the long string of abuses he has heaped on fellow lawmakers. … But truth be told, we can yet find no one who thought O’Brien would go off the deep end as he did on Friday.
O’Brien has failed to measure up to the responsibilities given him as state representative and Speaker. … God forbid that House membership should even momentarily think of returning him to the Speaker’s chair.
Foster’s reports that GOP gubernatorial candidate Kevin Smith greeted a “modest crowd” at the Dover Public Library on Monday night. Smith chose his words carefully when he referred to the town hall-style campaign event as an ”intimate setting.” Three voters attended the event.
House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt’s feelings were hurt when Gov. Lynch took on House members who believe the state shouldn’t have any responsibility for public education. “That’s absurd,” declared the Governor.
Bettencourt responded by dashing off a letter to Lynch criticizing his “negative comments.” Foster’s, the state’s most conservative newspaper this side of the Union Leader, agreed with Lynch, writing, “[I]t is absolutely, without question, absurd.” The paper concluded with some dismissive advice for Bettencourt: Got a problem? Write it down.
Given the tax structure in the state of New Hampshire and the mandates heaped on local school districts by past legislatures, it is absolutely, without question, absurd that Bettencourt and the rest of the Legislature should be allowed to go their merry way unencumbered by the need to help fund local education budgets.
As always, if the House Majority Leader Bettencourt would like to take exception to this newspaper’s use of the word “absurd” he can send his editorial response to firstname.lastname@example.org — 750 words or less. We will gladly accept his public scolding.
Foster’s, the state’s most conservative newspaper this side of the Union Leader, opposes repeal of same-sex marriage. Those favoring repeal, says today’s editorial, have failed to make the case that harm is being done to society.
There may yet be a case for overturning gay marriage. But as yet Foster’s has not heard it. Gay marriage, where it has been allowed to stand, shows no signs of degrading civil society.
The bottom line is that, for gay marriage opponents, the ship has sailed. Public opinion, especially among the young generation — tomorrow’s decision-makers — has turned in favor of gay marriage. It is also making headway with those of middle age. This means, without evidence to the contrary, society will continue to be more accepting of a broader definition of marriage — which is as it should be given the evidence at hand.
Foster’s, the state’s most conservative newspaper this side of the Union Leader, predicts House Republicans will pay a price for their “attempt to drive government into the chasm of the absurd.”
Instead of concentrating on the economy as promised time and again, they have shifted their focus to social issues which were barely — if at all — on the radar screen for voters before the 2010 elections.
Sweeping deregulation of guns, the wholesale elimination of professional licensing, gay marriage, abortion, the Magna Carta, forcing youngsters to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance … this list goes on.
What the Republicans in the House don’t seem to understand is they represent a broader electorate than just the right-wing faithful. And come November, it they don’t accept the fact, House Speaker Bill O’Brien, Majority Leader Bettencourt and others will be thrown out on their ears.
The editors at Foster’s Daily Democrat, a self-described staunch Republican-leaning newspaper, take note of the “trouncing” Republican House candidates received in two special elections and conclude, “Republicans are doing something wrong.”
Gun rights, abortion, and voter I.D. are just a few examples of where Republican legislative desires missed the mark.
Had the Republican legislature stuck to the issues that concerned voters when they went to the polls last year — jobs and the economy — the GOP would not find itself in such dire electoral straights.
Frankly, we believe in some cases we were snookered. But based on Tuesday’s election results, it appears we are not alone.
Next year’s legislative agenda, says Foster’s, will determine whether Republicans can revive voter confidence or will return to minority status in November, 2012.