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"The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." - John Philpot Curran


Jim Robinson Was Right

Jim Robinson is the founder of the conservative Republican forum FreeRepublic.com. He started the website during the days of the Clinton administration in an effort "to roll back decades of governmental largesse, to root out political fraud and corruption, and to champion causes which further conservatism in America."

This devotion to conservative principles meant that Democrats weren't the only objects of ridicule; liberal and moderate Republicans were fair game as well. In fact, in the months leading up to the 2000 presidential campaign season, Robinson was rather vocal about his disapproval of George W. Bush. On October 23, 1999, he posted the following:
    Bush loves China and he's very forgiving of Clinton. He desperately wants the press to lay off GW, so he's promoting for a kinder, more compassionate campaign and a less critical press. If anyone thinks that Father (and powerful supporters) won't have an influence on Son, you're crazy. Don't you ever wonder how and why the politically inexperienced, bad boy, G W Bush, got himself born again, rehabilitated and groomed to become governor of Texas? Not to mention front-runner in the Presidential race? What experience did/does he have for either position? A Bush presidency will be very dangerous for America.
In a follow-up post, he said, "Bush II is simply another term for Bush I. No thanks. Been there, done that."

Yes, for a time, Jim Robinson seemed devoted to his site's mission statement. He wasn't afraid to take shots at anyone—be they Democrat or Republican—who threatened the integrity of our constitutional republic.

Like most "conservatives," however, Robinson eventually resigned himself to the fact that he would have to support the lesser of two evils in order to spare the country another Democratic presidency. He soon became a fierce supporter of George W. Bush, and forum members who didn't follow suit were criticized severely.

Then came 9/11 and the ensuing war with Iraq.

Free Republic's mission changed from championing the Constitution to furthering the Bush Doctrine:
    Free Republic has been rallying in support of our President and the war effort since shortly after the terrorist attack on America on September 11, 2001. Later, as the inevitable war against Iraq drew closer, more and more of the "useful idiots" of the left began crawling out of the woodwork organizing so-called "anti-war" protests. FReepers are working to ensure that these communist organized (See: INTERNATIONAL A.N.S.W.E.R.) demonstrations do not go unanswered. Patriotic Americans are countering these misguided terrorist supporting leftist groups wherever and whenever they show up. Join or form a Free Republic Chapter, grab your signs, unfurl the flag, and prepare to support your country!
The one-time "Premier Conservative News Forum" became a vehemently pro-Bush, pro-war, pro-government mouthpiece for the GOP, and many forum members who refused to toe the party line were banned from participating. Such was the state of not-so-Free Republic for the last few years.

But even for the most delusional, reality has a way of setting in.

Washington spent more and more of our tax dollars. The size and scope of government continued to grow. The lies that got us into war began to be exposed. And the future of Free Republic seemed in doubt.

It now appears Robinson's main concern is that the McCain-Feingold Act (a.k.a., Campaign Finance Reform) may have an adverse effect on his precious website. In a March 23 post, Robinson issued this emergency drill:
    Now hear this:

    Thanks to John McCain, Free Republic will shut down tomorrow at high noon for 30 days. No non government approved electioneering messages may be transmitted over the internet for the 30 days immediately preceding a primary election.

    That is all.
The "shock factor" of that post is obviously designed to drive home the point that websites engaging in political speech may become (if they haven't already) targets of a government crack-down under McCain-Feingold. Naturally, his frustration is directed at Senator John McCain, the liberal tantrum-thrower vying for the GOP's nomination in the 2008 presidential race.

It's too bad Robinson is so blinded by party loyalty that he can't bring himself to criticize the man who actually signed Campaign Finance Reform into law. I guess doing so would be a violation of Free Republic's new mission statement.

Huge spending increases, bigger and more intrusive government, perpetual war, an end to free speech... Jim Robinson may not realize it, but he was right all along. A Bush presidency has proven to be very dangerous for America.

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