James Clymer: That Hope Which Springs Eternal

by James N. Clymer
Chairman, Constitution Party National Committee

“A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast”

These poignant lines from Casey at the Bat speak to the emotions that those of us who follow and cheer our favorite baseball team have experienced countless times. Philadelphia Phillies fans have a reputation for being among the most fervent in professional sports. They can be churlish and cruel, yet they will be loyal to a fault; they exude emotion and expectation yet understand practicality.

What most people don’t understand is what made them that way. Growing up rooting for a team that a few short years ago became the only team in major professional sports to have lost 10,000 games in its franchise history develops a sports character that a Yankee, braves or Red Sox fan could never understand!

Politics has many parallels with baseball. Those who develop team loyalty see everything through the tinted glasses of their team. So if they are Republican, the GOP can do no wrong and the Democrats can do no right and vice versa.

Take the vitriol heaped on Barack Obama by most Republicans. He evokes more emotion among the so-called Republican Right than any president in my memory. He is described by many as the most leftist president in history.

On the other hand, I’ve attended gatherings on more than one occasion during the Bush presidency where loyalist Republicans declared Bush to be the “most conservative president in our lifetime”, in “the last fifty years” or in “the last hundred years.” I guess you get to pick the absurdity.

Now don’t get me wrong. I believe the current occupant of the oval office is a Constitutional miscreant of immense proportions. He displays greater infidelity to the Constitution than any president since at least FDR. His lack of fidelity started with his refusal to show that he meets the Constitutional qualifications to be president. They are, after all, quite simple. One must be at least 35 years of age, shall have lived at least fourteen years in these United States and shall be a natural born citizen. Why would one spend what has been estimated to exceed a million dollars to keep secret the long form birth certificate that would settle this question once and for all? But I digress.

In fact, George W. Bush showed nearly as much disdain for the Constitution as does Obama. For all the outbursts about Obama trampling on the Constitution and turning us into a socialist state, I wonder what they were smoking while the Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress for four years of the Bush II presidency. Bush’s alleged contemptuous remark that the Constitution is nothing but a “g*d d*mn” piece of paper”, was not merely a blasphemous statement; it exemplified an attitude and a policy.

I challenge anyone to name one major fiscal, individual liberty or foreign relations policy area where there is a significant ideological difference between the practice of Bush II and Obama. Remember, I’m not comparing the degree to which the policy is taken but rather the ideological justification for the policy.

In the cover story of the December 6, 2010 issue of The New American, Charles Scaliger presents a compelling case for how Obama, despite campaign hype to the contrary, continued the war policies of Bush in both Iraq and Afghanistan, continued the course set by Bush in relations with Russia and in calling for an expansion of NATO, along with ever greater accommodations with the United Nations.

In fiscal matters, Republicans have suddenly discovered a verbal commitment to fiscal restraint and constitutional limitations on the power of the federal government, blasting Obama for his socialized medicine capers and stimulus package bailouts. But where were they when Bush was doing the same sorts of things now done by Obama? After all, it was Bush who pushed through the first stimulus package, a $700 billion dollar bank bailout. As soon as Obama got into office, he started pushing for the second one to compound the disaster but it was not significantly less “unconstitutional” or “socialistic” than the one presided over by Bush.

Scaliger notes that overall federal spending has increased about ten percent per year during the first two years of the Obama administration which is about the same annual increases that occurred during the administration of George W. Bush.

Obamacare, the gargantuan intrusion of the federal government into the healthcare decisions of every American citizen, is presented as the proof case for Obama’s desire to lead us into socialism. Without disputing the truth of that intent, let’s look objectively at what Bush did in the federal healthcare arena with his massive overhaul of Medicare at an estimated cost of $7 trillion, called “the greatest expansion of America’s welfare state in forty years” by CBS legal correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg.

It was George W. Bush who disdained the privacy rights of individuals that the federal government is supposed to protect under the Fourth Amendment by pushing through the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security along with its progeny of new intrusions on the privacy of American citizens. Although candidate Obama decried these violations of the Constitution, once assuming the office of the presidency, he has continued these policies and has authorized even more draconian policies such as installation of new backscatter body imaging machines that electronically undress passengers who merely want to exercise their right to travel. Those who refuse to have the naked features of their bodies viewed by strangers must face an enhanced groping “patdown” that would constitute a felonious sexual assault if done by anyone other than a government agent in a non-medical circumstance.

So Republicans have gained a substantial majority in the House of Representatives. The pundits are buzzing about the opportunities this new crop of Republicans will have and hope again springs eternal that sanity will be restored in Washington. But if the past is prologue, just as there was no joy in Mudville because mighty Casey had struck out, those pinning their hopes on Republican promises will see their hopes dashed once again. There are already emerging signs that the GOP really only wants to be a better caretaker of the welfare state than the Democrats. I have no confidence that it has any intention of derailing the train to socialism.

6 thoughts on “James Clymer: That Hope Which Springs Eternal

  1. NewFederalist

    Perhaps Mr. Clymer got an advanced copy of Mr. Hinckle’s recent email or vice versa! Bravo to both in any event.

  2. Mark Seidenberg

    Jim Clymer states that the Philadelphia Phillies lost 10,000 games, but he grow up rooting for them anyway.

    When I was growing up, I did not go to Veterans Stadium. I went to Pan Pacific Park to root for
    the Hollywood Stars. Later, when I was an under
    graduate student at San Francisco State and the
    University of San Francisco, I was rooting for the
    San Francisco Giants.

    Now I am rooting for the Anaheim Angels, since I am the Chairman of the Orange County Central Committee of the American Independent Party.

    Like Philadephia loss of the Athletics, California AIP departed the Constitution Party, the American Independent Party on June 27, 2008,
    affliated with the America’s Independent Party.
    and backed the ticket of Dr. Alan Keyes for President and Dr. Wiley Drake, Sr. for Vice President.

    Now we have a new race for President in 2012,
    the AIP and the Constitution Party might agree
    on the same pick if it is not Dr, Don “Everything
    is a Fake” Grundmann, the Chairman, Constitution
    Party of California with his 163 electors. The number of electors at last count in the AIP was

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman,
    American Independent Party

    the electors in California will pick 55 electors

  3. Cody Quirk

    Like Philadephia loss of the Athletics, California AIP departed the Constitution Party, the American Independent Party on June 27, 2008,
    affliated with the America’s Independent Party.
    and backed the ticket of Dr. Alan Keyes for President and Dr. Wiley Drake, Sr. for Vice President.

    = The meeting’s legality still open to question, however.

  4. langa

    Those of us who grew up in the ’80s, watching the Braves lose 100 games every year, certainly understand a thing or two about rooting for an underdog. It is true, however, that many of the “fair weather fans”, who jumped on the Braves bandwagon in the ’90s, do not understand this.

  5. Kimberly Wilder

    Silly, whimsical, fairly unpolitical comments:

    James Clymer,

    I take it you are not a poet!

    Casey at the Bat is a hysterical, satirical, poem of hyperbole.

    To say that any line of it is poignant, is just…

    Well, it makes me think that you take baseball too seriously, or poetry to lightly.


    But, I do commend you for bringing attention to poetry. And, for using some rhetoric in politics that adds to people’s cultural understanding and amusement.

    -Kimberly Wilder
    poet and frequent reciter of Casey at The Bat

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