Why is Senator John Cornyn quoting a crypto-secessionist?
Senator John Cornyn started off his reading of his prepared statement at the confirmation hearing for Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination on Monday by sharing a bizarre non-sequitur of a quote. Something that had been said in the other opening statements, he remarked, reminded him of a quote that arrived in an e-mail he received:
“Liberty is not a cruise ship full of pampered passengers.
Liberty is a man-of-war, and we are all crew.”
After reading the quote, he then said, “I don’t know why I thought of that, given the nature of these hearings.”
We’re not sure why you thought of it either, Senator Cornyn. Especially because it’s a quote attributed to an anti-federal government, wanna-be secessionist/survivalist by the name of Kenneth Royce.
Royce for years was better known by his pseudonym, Boston T. Party. Boston or Royce, is the author of some high quality pieces of writing, most notably “Boston’s Gun Bible” which according to its summary at Amazon, “goes into great detail about the pros and cons of various defensive weaponry, equipment, and the philosohy behind their appropriate usage.”
Well, no harm or foul with that, one supposes – as long as that section apparently about “ATF sting operations” doesn’t encourage you to break the law…
But then there’s the whole issue with ‘Boston’s’ 2004 novel, ‘Molon Labe.’ The book imagines a libertarian takeover (via the ballot box) of the state of Wyoming (Royce helped found the Free State Wyoming Project), and the ‘Laissez Faire Party’s’ eventual confrontation with an out of control federal government. The book isn’t quite the ‘Turner Diaries’, which served as inspiration for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh – it certainly hasn’t had that book’s influence. But the book’s description notes that it’s “a fictional account of a real-world blueprint for a free state initiative focused on Wyoming.”
And part of Boston T. Party’s novel apparently gets caught up in the Wyoming Free Staters using stolen nuclear weapons to blackmail the feds and keep them at bay. Hope none of the survivalists that Royce influences follow up on that part of his ‘blueprint.’
Of course, we all have a right to free speech, and Royce can write what he wants – I’m not saying he’s a fire-breathing white supremacist militia honcho, just an outlier in this nation’s political thinking with an undesirable fantasy of how we ultimately restore ‘liberty’ to Americans.
I wasn’t sure if the Texas Republican knew the source of the quote – maybe it was just some turn of phrase from a constituent’s e-mail that he liked. But nope, up there on his Facebook page, he’s got the quote posted approvingly, attributed to Royce. It’s unwise for Senator Cornyn to normalize such fringe language and thinking into the mainstream he’s supposed to be occupying as a leading Senate Republican. I suppose Cornyn is feeling some heat given that his stewardship of the National Republican Senatorial Committee has been marred by prominent failures, backing establishment candidates who have been defeated in GOP state primaries by Tea Party-endorsed contenders. But the farther out on the fringe he goes for inspiration, the harder it will be for Cornyn and his compatriots to come back to the core of American values.