Republic falls into jeopardy

“A republic if you can keep it.”

Benjamin Franklin spoke those profound words after coming out of the final Continental Congress over 200 years ago when asked: “What kind of government did you form”?

I have had full confidence that our founders’ republic would survive forever, until recently. Up to now, I thought Mr. Franklin’s warning would be only a footnote in history. However, in light of Washington’s recent attacks on our civil rights as well as the current scandalous events, our republic is seriously threatened. Every day we learn about a new scandal.

First and foremost, is the NSA’s data mining of our telephone calls, emails, faxes, location and other information. Obama perfected the concept of data mining during the 2012 election. He has said that we must give up some of our privacy if we want security from Islamic terrorists. Wouldn’t he have been more honest if he had used the words “freedom” or “liberty”? However, he recently said that the terrorist war was over. He justified the actions of the NSA by claiming that they were covered under the Patriot Act, designed to enhance anti-terrorism investigations.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who wrote the 2001 law, recently said that the Patriot Act was limited to U.S. citizens contacting foreign suspected terrorists, but it was not to be used on average U.S. citizens.

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Critics of the act felt it could easily be expanded to monitor average citizens. This has actually happened, according to Edward Snowden, a controversial whistle-blower who recently left the independent contractor he worked for. The company was associated with the NSA. Snowden has defected from the United States and is currently a fugitive.

The Boston bombing should have been discovered if the NSA had paid attention to the Russians’ warnings instead of mining Americans’ data.

The second threat is the IRS’s activity in delaying conservative applications for 501-3c and 501-4c. tax designations (over three years for the targeted group, while the president’s half brother received his in just a few months). These delays scared off major donors from the applicants’ valuable donations lists just in time to limit decimation of information before the election, possibly helping Obama’s campaign and re-election.

IRS Director Douglas Shulman showed arrogance and contempt for the representatives during the congressional hearings. When asked about his 157 visits to the White House, Shulman flippantly remarked that he attended an Easter egg hunt at the White House. That attitude should have been sufficient reason for firing him. Have you noticed how the Obama regime punishes those who question illegal behavior, while rewarding the offenders?

Another interesting thing is the $54 million junkets and line dancing parties by the IRS, who were unable to produce receipts for the conference expenses. (Imagine being audited by the IRS and you couldn’t supply a receipt for a deduction you claimed; the IRS would apply a different standard to you, and it wouldn’t accept an “I’m sorry” excuse.) This behavior took place in spite of the economic hardships in the economy. Maybe these IRS employees should experience the difficulty of obtaining a job in Obama’s recession (everything isn’t George Bush’s fault).

Third, have you noticed the behavior of our president? He has stone-walled the Benghazi investigation by avoiding telling where he was during the terrorist attack, refusing to identify who told the military to stand down, and who made up the talking points.

To add insult to injury, he appointed Susan Rice (former U.N. ambassador) to his staff position of national security adviser, where Congress can’t interrogate her.

Obama’s action is flaunting his contempt for the American people.

The result of these scandals is that the government is either too large to control or Obama has no ability to manage his administration, or both. It appears that the inmates are in charge of the asylum. When tyrants threaten our freedoms and/or violate the Bill of Rights, attacking each one by one, our republic is in serious jeopardy.

Benjamin Franklin’s warning has become a prophecy. Our republic may not survive Obama, but to get rid of him is equally dangerous. We would then have to deal with our incompetent vice president, Joe Biden.

Dick Gustafson, a Republican, served two terms as an Eagle County commissioner.

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