The PJ Tatler

You Know What's Weird? Despite the Election, Liberty is Having a Pretty Good Week.

Obama was re-elected and the media are so in love with him their odes to him make Shakespeare’s sonnets read like the phone book. The media are completely uninterested in holding the Obama government accountable for anything. They’re uninterested in the truth. The Democrats are pushing the fiscal cliff to solidify their political position, and they may succeed. Got it, noted, it’s all among the furniture of the universe we’re living in now.

But while there are reasons to despair at the state of the nation and the rank dishonesty, entitlement mentality and blatant hypocrisy of the left, the other side is not winning things right now as they might have expected. They’re losing battles in their own back yards.

Let’s begin in Illinois, where a federal appeals court this week paved the way for concealed handgun carry. Specifically, the court found that the state’s ban on concealed carry is unconstitutional. In that finding the court upholds the Second Amendment guaranteeing the fundamental right to bear arms along with the natural right of self-defense. If Illinois does the sensible thing and creates robust concealed carry law, it can expect its rampant crime rate to go down as has happened in other states that have enacted concealed carry. Citizens will benefit by being more secure, and will need less government intervention in their lives.

Let’s move over to Tennessee, where Gov. Bill Haslam has decided not have his state create a state health insurance exchange as required by ObamaCare. The decision brings to 25 the number of states that have rejected the Democrats’ big government, one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare reform, which empowers government but does not actually reform healthcare. Tennessee’s opting out sets the stage for more states to follow, and tilts the map: Just 15 states have opted in, while 25 have opted out. The way the law was written, the opting out may prevent some of the most abusive parts of the law from coming into power, at least until the federal government creates the exchanges. Federalism is getting a new lease on life, thanks to the ObamaCare overreach. State leverage plus the religious conscience lawsuits still progressing may end up wrecking ObamaCare outright.

Speaking of tilting the map, Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state this week. The home of the heavily unionized and sclerotic auto industry now recognizes the individual worker’s right to freedom of assembly and property. Unions can no longer skim workers’ paychecks against their will. They cannot force anyone to join unions. Unions will now have to go back to earning their members rather than just taking them and their beliefs and wishes for granted. Workers also tend to be paid more, and there tend to be more jobs available, in right-to-work states.

We learned some bad news on the liberty front today, but the fact that we learned it is good news. I’m referring to the news that Attorney General Eric Holder approved a vast means of scooping up and storing all Americans’ recorded dealings with government. The disclosure of the effort may, contrary to what I wrote earlier about there being nothing we can do about it, force it to be changed or scrapped. Even the most arrogant in power sometimes have to bend when facts force them to, as Ambassador Susan Rice’s withdrawal from consideration to head the State Department confirms. But at least that chance to stop the program exists now. Before today, during the half a year when the program was still in the dark, that chance didn’t exist.

I’m not being a Polyanna here. The country is still in a mess and the entitlement mentality is growing to the point that it’s almost irresistible. Our fiscal situation is terrifying. The tragedy trolls seize on every opportunity to curb our liberties, whether in the name of “the children” or to stop some evil that most men and women wouldn’t perpetrate in the first place. But liberty has won a few battles in places where statists reign this week. They try to stop liberty’s signal, but they can’t. That’s not nothing.