Sen. DeMint: An “Intervention” is needed in Georgia

Thursday, March 26th, 2009 11:44 am by Neal

Are you following the progress of the Orwellian “GIVE/SERVE Act’s” stampeding through Congress? This legislation is bad news, and the Republican sheep are a big part of the happy herd. We think “Republican” is a synonym for “stupid and gullible.” Michelle Malkin’s column today has some of the details:

Volunteerism is a wonderful thing, which is why millions of Americans do it every day without a cent of taxpayer money. But the volunteerism packages on the Hill are less about promoting effective charity than about creating make-work, permanent bureaucracies, and left-wing slush funds. …

Especially troublesome to parents’ groups concerned about compulsory volunteerism requirements is a provision in the House version, directing Congress to explore “whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.”

Those who have watched AmeriCorps from its inception are all-too-familiar with how government voluntarism programs have been used for propaganda and political purposes. AmeriCorps “volunteers” have been put to work lobbying against the voter-approved three-strikes anti-crime initiative in California and protesting Republican political events while working for the already heavily-tax-subsidized liberal advocacy group ACORN. …

Taxpayers GIVE their money to SERVE a big government agenda under the guise of helping their fellow man. It’s charity at the point of a gun.

Senator DeMint is one of handful of Republicans that seem to understand what is at stake. Here is his floor speech, and we’ve included a few excerpts below. While we would never expect Democrats to understand this (or to care), when are the Republicans going to learn that government compassion is not compassion, and mandatory voluntarism isn’t volunteering? The passage of this bill by the Senate is proof positive that the current crop of Senate Republicans do not have the Right Stuff when it comes to protecting liberty and freedom. We cannot depend on this bunch to fight the tide that is washing us out into a sea of soft tyranny. They are, in fact, rowing us out to more quickly meet our doom while they whistle and smile approvingly to their Democrat captains.

Thanks, Michelle, for the video and transcript.



This bill is everything wrong with how Congress sees the world. Government will make service organizations less effective, less responsive, and less personal. When the French historian de Tocqueville came to the United States not long after we were founded, one of the things that amazed him about our country that was so different from France was that in his home country when there was a problem, people would say: Someone ought to do it and government should do it; but in America we were different. When someone saw a problem, they went and got a friend and formed a small group and solved the problem themselves. Much of that was motivated by religious convictions that our place in this world is not only to help ourselves but to love and help those around us. That was key.

Jefferson called it little democracies, when he saw these little groups all around America voluntarily doing things to solve problems and make communities better. Burke called them little platoons. Most people who understand America know that those voluntary groups are what made our country great and what sustain us even today. Civil society binds communities, not by its fruits, but by its motives–charity, donations, giving without thought of getting anything in return. This is the selfless sacrifice that happens throughout America today. This is what works.

What does not work is what we are doing right here. The big difference is private service organizations exist for the people who receive the aid. Government service organizations exist for the people who give it–in this case, for the people who are paid to do it. You cannot pay people to volunteer and expect the organization to remain focused on its mission. Charity is a private, moral impulse, not a government program.

Projects that do not work in a civil society get cut. Organizers who lose or abuse funds are dismissed. It is voluntary. So everyone is invested in its success. We know the large groups throughout America, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the United Way, the Salvation Army, the YMCA, Catholic Charities, fraternal orders, groups such as Kiwanis, Rotary, Knights of Columbus. These are large organizations, but they work because they are locally controlled.

Smaller groups, local arts councils and community theatres, PTAs, youth sports leagues, the animal rescues, the book clubs, crisis pregnancy centers, soup kitchens, food and other clothes drives that go on, church service groups, they are everywhere.

Those are the little platoons, the little democracies that make this country work. For us to presume, in the Congress, that somehow we are going to reach out into all these groups and make it work better is pretty presumptuous based on our history.

But I think we need to come to a point as a government that we recognize we cannot do everything. That is why we take the oath to the Constitution to defend and protect the very limited form of Government. This Congress, this Government, does not need to start or expand an organization to a quarter million people, when we are paying people to do work that we decided needs to be done and take those decisions out of the hands of millions of Americans who look around every day and see what they can do to make their families, their communities, and their country a better place to live.

These are not Government decisions. We need to focus on what we were set up to do and do it much better than we are doing, instead of every week coming in here, bringing our good intentions and our compassion and every problem we see across the country we say something needs to be done. Then we say: The Government needs to do it.

That is the fatal flaw of the Congress today, is we forget that sacred oath of office that says: We will protect and defend the Constitution which says this Federal Government has a very limited function. And those functions that are not prescribed in the Constitution are left to individuals and to the States.

Sadly, both of Georgia’s Senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, voted for this monstrosity. We had hoped Saxby at least had an epiphany after his recent, narrow victory, but it appears he’s right back to his bad habits. These two — bless their hearts — just don’t get it, and we think Georgia deserves better.

Senators, just what the hell are you thinking? Only a Community Organizer in Chief could support such a huge intrusion of Federal control over our private institutions of Civil Society. Do you not realize that with Federal money comes Federal institutions, bureaucracies, and control? Are you both just suckers for any random bill with a feel-good-sounding name? What do you think of Sen. DeMint’s comments? You two have been played the fool by the Community Organizer in Chief. You bought this thing hook, line, and sinker. This bill is nothing more than a power grab by radical, leftist community-organizer groups like ACORN to get control of the private, and truly voluntary institutions that make our civil society the envy of the world. Sen. DeMint said, “This is a huge well-intended mistake we are making”, and he’s correct: the road to hell is paved with good intention, but Georgia’s two Senators seem to have never learned that lesson.

Senator’s Isakson and Chambliss: since you two aren’t bright enough to figure this kind of thing out on your own, and since you continue to get spanked like a Frat boy by President Obama, would you please — please! — just vote like Senator DeMint from now on? Perhaps South Carolina can save Georgia. We can only hope.

Let them know what you think by clicking on their names below:

Johnny Isakson

Saxby Chambliss

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