Come join the Revolution, Matt

After my piece here last week defending Shawn Nelson and the noble profession of defense attorney, I was criticized on Red County by Matt Cunningham, who runs that Web site. I could respond point by point, but there’s no use in doing that.

Instead, I’ve just been thinking how sorry I am that he, and so many over at Red County, are not joining what I call the Third Conservative Revolution. There’s still time, boys, to jump on board.

The First Conservative Revolution was, of course, Barry Goldwater’s run in 1964 against the ogre LBJ. Barry campaigned for sharply cutting government and restoring the Constitution.

I still remembering voting for Barry in my 4th grade class when I was nine, in those mock elections schools have. I was reflecting my parents’ views, of course. My late mother once told me how much her father, my grandfather, loathed FDR and his socialist New Deal. So I guess conservatism is in my blood.

The Second Conservative Revolution was the Reagan Revolution. I was in the U.S. Army for the first part, but by 1982 I had been honorably discharged and was in Washington, D.C. First I was assistant editor of “Conservative Digest,” then editor of “The American Sentinal,” then editorial page editor at “The Washinton Times” – all conservative publications. We worked to win the Cold War, sharply cut government and restore the Constitution.

To quote Wordsworth: “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!”

I’ll bet that’s the feeling the youngsters are getting nowadays as they back Ron Paul.

Alas, both previous revolutions were hampered by conservatives, including me, supporting a strong military during the Cold War. It was hard to cut budgets and deficits with defense spending so high.

But then the Berlin Wall fell and there was no reason for any conservative to oppose large defense cuts. During the Cold War, tradeoffs were made: “Back a strong military and we’ll fund your favorite domestic programs.” That no longer was needed.

Unfortunately, Reagan didn’t have a third term. Instead, we got George H.W. Bush, who promised, “Read my lips! No new Taxes!” – then, once in office, raised taxes. The economy crashed and we got Clinton.

In 1996, Republicans nominated Bob Dole, whom conservatives long had dubbed “the tax collector for the welfare state” for his obsession with raising taxes, such as the the “waitress tax” that took money from the gals’ tips. What a cad. Clinton won again.

In both 1992 and 1996, Pat Buchanan raised a stir in the GOP primaries, even winning the New Hampshire primary in 1996 with his calls for large cuts in spending and taxing, and for bring American troops home. It was a kind of proto-Ron Paul Revolution.

In 2000, Republicans nominated George W. Bush, with his promise of a “humble” foreign policy and limited government. Well, like his father, he gave us the opposite of what he solemnly pledged. Enough said on that.

Obama promised “Change you can believe in,” but we got no change from Bush.

So no wonder people are upset, especially young folks who are doing the dying in the pointless Bush-Obama wars and will spend the rest of their lives paying off the Bush-Obama war debts, domestic debts, and bailout debts.

Enter the Third Conservative Revolution. It’s a combination of the Ron Paul Revolution of recent years and the recent Tea Party excitement.

There’s always an affection between the very young and the very old. That’s why the avuncular Ron Paul, at 75, is a hit with the kids. He’s also authentic, as the existentialists used to say. There’s no guile in him. WYSYWIG – what you see is what you get. Unlike most Republican supporters of the Bush-Obama wars, who never served in the military — such as Dick “Five Deferments” Cheney — Ron Paul was a flight surgeon in U.S. Air Force.

So, it’s not surprising that, at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, Ron Paul won a straw poll, with 31% of the vote. In second place, at 22%, was the socialist Mitt Romney, whose Mittcare has proved a complete disaster in Massachusetts, but is the model for the Obamacare that Republicans now oppose (rightly).

Ron Paul is the future of the Republican Party — if it wants a future. More important, his ideas are surging just when we need them to saved America from Bush-Obama socialism.

Which brings me to Shawn Nelson’s candidacy for O.C. Supervisor. It’s also part of this Third Conservative Revolution. He’s an authentic, tested conservative who has voted against waste and dumb programs while on the city council in Fullerton. He’s endorsed by the man he wants to succeed, former supervisor and new Assemblyman Chris Norby, who also has a strong record of voting against waste and protecting taxpayers.

The next four years on the Board of Supervisors are going to be the most trying since the bankruptcy 15 years ago. It could even be worse, as back then the state and national economies were in a strong recovery and could pull O.C. out of its problems. Today, the federal and state economies are not recovering, precisely because Ron Paul’s policies – sound money, tax cuts, spending cuts, restoring the Constitution – are not being heeded.

I’ll leave the last words to The Bard, in this YouTube of “The Times They Are A’Changin’.” It’s good advice for anybody not yet ready to “lend your hand” to the Ron Paul Revolution and the Shawn Nelson campaign:

There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

John Seiler, an editorial writer with The Orange County Register for 19 years, is a reporter and analyst for His email: [email protected].

Hit-and-run blog against Shawn Nelson

The Web site of Orange County’s Republican Party, Red County, put up a hit piece written by Thomas Anthony Gordon, replete with bad grammar and worse logic. He’s attacking Fullerton Councilman (and former Mayor) Shawn Nelson, who is running for O.C. supervisor. Nelson’s “offense”: he’s a partner at a firm with a criminal defense department.

Gordon writes (my corrections in brackets): “A State Legislature[,] which has made California one of the most business unfriendly states in the Nation, has taken it upon themselves [he means ‘itself’] to reduce spending by releasing criminals back into our communities. Some theorize that this is to instill fear into taxpayers and have them sign off on tax increases to feed the bloated beast.”

Well, one big reason spending is so high is that the prison guards’ union is so cozy with Red County candidates (Republicans), as well as Blue County candidates (Democrats), producing tax-devouring high salaries and benefits for the guards. How about privatizing prisons to cut costs?

Gordon’s next sentence: “Another reason would be the attorneys, who usually start out on our city councils, move on to elected county offices, then to state assembly and senate seats[,] while telling us all they are the public safety candidate[s].”

The syntax is twisted like a pretzel. But I think he’s trying to say that attorneys like to let criminals run loose; the attorneys get elected to political offices; and from those positions the attorneys start loosing dangerous criminals on the public.

A couple of paragraphs later, Gordon fake concedes, “Now, I understand that even murderers, drug dealers, cybersquatters and NAMBLA promoters are entitled to legal representation. But we don’t have to like it.”

Gordon mixes up a lot here, trying to tar Shawn with warehouse of smear, especially murderers and the disgusting NAMBLA criminals.

But by “drug dealers,” does he mean, say, your local medical marijuana dispensary that gives your grandma the medicine she needs to keep her food down while she’s battling cancer? Although Prop. 215 legalized medical marijuana in state law, federal law still holds it illegal.

Gordon’s direct attack on Nelson: “Shawn Nelson is running to replace Chris Norby on the OC Board of Supervisors. He’s [the possessive is unclear, but he means Nelson] a guy who[m] I consider[ed] to be a strong anti[-]tax and anti[-]crime kind of guy. Until today.

“I was looking at the website for Rizio and Nelson when I came upon this nugget: [‘]this law (early release) will create new challenges for criminal defense lawyers, who will surely paint their clients’ cases in the most positive light possible. For that, you need experienced attorneys who can give you the strongest defense possible. Contact Rizio and Nelson if you need help[’].”

Gordon didn’t consistently bold-face the quoted part, so I put the whole thing in quotes (my single quotes).

Of course, if you read the offending sentence, all it says is: The law is more complicated now. We’re experienced attorneys. We can help you.

But Gordon ends: “And in my opinion, it’s impossible to say your [he means ‘you’re’] tough on crime, while doing everything you can get them [he seems to mean criminals] back onto our streets, to terrorize us another day. But that’s only my opinion.”

In other words: Guilty until proven guilty! The police and prosecutors are always right!

Remember Mike Carona?

But Orange County is the last place where we should give blind faith to police and prosecutors and cast aspersions on the attorneys who defend our liberties.

I suppose it’s understandable that Gordon didn’t mention former Sheriff Mike Carona, given the latter’s deep ties to Red County honchos, who repeatedly endorsed Carona and kept defending him. But just a year ago, a federal jury convicted Carona of witness tampering.

(By the way, Mr. Gordon, was it wrong for Carona to hire a top defense attorney, Brian Sun, to lead his legal team?)

Under Carona’s corrupt watch, in 2006 an inmate was killed at Theo Lacy jail. According this story from April 8, 2008: “A grand jury transcript released Monday describes an Orange County jail in disarray, with deputies watching television, playing video games and taking naps while inmates were allowed to use brutality and intimidation to keep order in the cellblocks.”

Before Carona, Sheriff Brad Gates was notorious for cronyism, especially giving conceal-carry gun permits to his donors (and almost nobody else) while keeping secret files on opponents. He held the job for an incredible 24 years, twice as long as FDR was president.

A 1987 report noted: “Despite a sworn declaration by Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates that he ‘has not created or maintained files’ on former election opponent George Wright, audiotapes of a 1981 college classroom lecture by Wright ended up in the sheriff’s investigative files, it was learned Thursday.”

The current sheriff, Sandra Hutchens, is obsessed with keeping guns out of the hands of honest citizens by denying them conceal-carry permits – even though studies by scholar John Lott and others prove that crime drops when honest citizens are better armed and can fend off criminals. And then there’s the Second Amendment right “to keep and bear arms,” which her policies violate.

Moreover, as Steven Greenhut details in his recent book, “Plunder! How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Naiton,” state law now seals the records on any investigation into police abuse. The law was enacted a decade ago by a Democratic governor, Gray Davis, and a Democratic state Legislature that deftly stole the “law and order” issue from Republicans.

Red Staters like Gordon don’t realize that the future of the GOP (if it has one) doesn’t lie with government unions – including police and fire unions – but with Tea Party Patriots, Ron Paul Revolution activists and others sick and tired of governments ordering this once-free people around.

With lawless lawmen – and lawwomen – the need for defense attorneys is clear. If the government falsely accuses you of a crime – and uses its immense powers and tax dollars to prosecute you – who you gonna call? A defense attorney.

Patriot John Adams for the Defense

In our American system, let’s remember, an accused person is innocent until proven guilty. And that person can only be convicted after a trial in front of a jury of his peers. One of the charges our forefathers leveled against George III, in the Declaration of Independence, was: “For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury.”

Indeed, one of our greatest revolutionary Founders was John Adams. Like the others, he risked his neck to bring America liberty. Yet he first came to popular attention after the Boston Massacre of 1770, in which British imperial soldiers killed five Americans, an outrage that helped spark the revolution Adams would end up advancing. But Adams believed in justice, including the right of any person to a decent criminal defense. So he defended the British soldiers. Six were acquitted, two were found guilty of manslaughter.

During the trial, Adams actually was elected to Massachusetts’ colonial legislature. His fellow Americans recognized his bravery and integrity. There was no Thomas Anthony Gordon to write: “And in my opinion, it’s impossible to say your tough on crime, while doing everything you can get them back onto our streets, to terrorize us another day. But that’s only my opinion.”

If Adams had been shunned, his political career ended, he never would have become a hero during the Revolution, helping Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and the other patriots win our independence. Without defense attorney John Adams, their cause might have been lost, the whole lot of patriots hanged by “law ’n order” King George III. Lost also would have been our independence and our liberties.

Shawn Nelson, I submit, is a John Adams for our day.

John Seiler, an editorial writer with The Orange County Register for 19 years, currently is a reporter and analyst for His email: [email protected].