“[T]he present Constitution is the standard to which we are to cling. Under its banners, bona fide must we combat our political foes — rejecting all changes but through the channel itself provides for amendments.” –Alexander Hamilton
A Serious Question
We have known for many years that Democrats view the Constitution as an obstacle to their goals, not as something to be revered or upheld — despite their repeated oaths to do just that. And as Mark Alexander warned last week, our Constitution is on life support.
More evidence of the trauma inflicted by our elected “representatives” surfaced this week when CNSNews.com asked the only truly relevant question in the health care debate: Where in the Constitution is the authority to mandate that Americans buy health insurance?
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) was befuddled and deflected:
CNSNews.com: Where, in your opinion, does the Constitution give specific authority for Congress to give an individual mandate for health insurance?
Leahy: We have plenty of authority. Are you saying there is no authority?
CNSNews.com: I’m asking-
Leahy: Why would you say there is no authority? I mean, there’s no question there’s authority, nobody questions that.
While Leahy’s answer is both defensive and outrageously arrogant, in a sense, he’s right: Not enough voters question the constitutional authority for anything Congress does. Even Republicans too often simply declare, “Me too, only a little less,” instead of abiding by the Constitution.
The interviewer persisted, however, and again asked the question. Leahy dodged, saying, “Where do we have the authority to set speed limits on an interstate highway? The federal government does that on federal highways.” He then walked away.
So to get this straight, Leahy defended Congress’ unconstitutional attempt to take over one sixth of the U.S. economy by citing another unconstitutional law that was justly repealed 14 years ago.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) answered the question by saying, “Well, in promoting the general welfare the Constitution obviously gives broad authority to Congress to effect [a mandate that individuals must buy health insurance]. The end that we’re trying to effect is to make health care affordable, so I think clearly this is within our constitutional responsibility.”
On the contrary, in 1994, the Congressional Budget Office reported that a mandate forcing Americans to buy insurance would be an “unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.”
According to Hoyer and his accomplices, however, the General Welfare Clause in the Constitution empowers Congress not only to “promote the general Welfare,” but to provide it, demand it and enforce it.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the worst offender. “Madam Speaker,” CNSNews.com asked, “where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?” Her brief reply spoke volumes about the Left’s contempt for the Constitution and the Rule of Law: “Are you serious? Are you serious?” She then ignored the question and moved on to the next one. Her spokesman later added, “You can put this on the record: That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.”
Even in light of the current recession, we live in a day of unprecedented prosperity and, as a result, we have become complacent. Unfortunately, the likes of Leahy, Hoyer and Pelosi, who mock the Constitution instead of keeping their oaths, have almost completely robbed us of the “Blessings of Liberty” which our Founding Fathers pledged “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” to defend.
Though questions concerning constitutional authority are finally being asked inside the Beltway, they have been asked with ever-louder voices across the nation since Ronald Reagan reinvigorated that debate. Of course, since the last election, the national debate chorus has become much more unified.
For example, in The Patriot’s home state of Tennessee (which Al Gore claims as “home” but which gave its electoral votes to Bush, twice, and then to McCain), there is a 10th Amendment battle underway, and not a minute too soon.
State Republicans are organizing a state sovereignty campaign in opposition to the federal government’s abuse of states’ rights. This week, a legislative committee approved a motion to invite representatives from the legislatures of the other 49 states to join a “working group … to enumerate the abuses of authority by the federal government and to seek repeal of its assumption of powers.”
Can you say, “Constitutional Convention”?
Predictably, Obama’s state cadre of Democrat sycophants are huffing and puffing. State Democrat Chairman Chip Forrester says, “It’s unfortunate that Republican members of the state Legislature have jumped on this crazy train. This is nothing short of lunacy. The Tea Party organizers and their ultra-right wing cronies began this ridiculous issue to disrupt civil debate about how to move this state and nation forward. I hope they are not suggesting we fight another Civil War.”
No, we should give the Convention a chance before taking up arms. And if it comes to the latter, I suggest Mr. Forrester say goodbye to the sun and slither down a very deep hole.