As our freedoms and liberties have been chipped away in the last few years, how many times have you wanted to ask a politician why? Why are you doing this? Why are you destroying our country? How can you justify trashing the Constitution in order to advance your particular agenda?
A reporter finally – finally! – asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a version of this simple and logical question.
CNSNews.com: “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”
Pelosi: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
CNSNews.com: “Yes, yes I am.”
Pelosi then shook her head before taking a question from another reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, then told CNSNews.com that asking the speaker of the House where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandate that individual Americans buy health insurance was not a “serious question.”
“You can put this on the record,” said Elshami. “That is not a serious question.”
Yes, Madam Speaker, it is a serious question. In fact, it is probably the most serious question anyone could ever ask. The reason you’re flustered, Nancy dear, is because you know exactly what the answer is … namely, NONE. There is no authority in the Constitution to require people to buy health insurance.
CNSNews asked Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy a similar question, and Mr. Leahy was similarly flummoxed. Both Pelosi and Leahy finally fell back upon the ol’ Commerce Clause (designed to keep states from charging each other tariffs) to justify their agenda.
I am frequently brought to task by (presumably liberal) readers who question my quaint theories that the federal government should adhere strictly to the constitutional limitations set by our Founding Fathers. I’ll get scolded for my free-market (and therefore cruel and inhumane) stance on unconstitutional policies. For example, how could I be so heartless as to deny government-sponsored health care to poor people?
Liberals, apparently, just plain don’t agree with the Constitution. (“Liberal” in this case isn’t restricted to Democrats; I know a whole lot of Republicans who think similarly.) Do they believe the Constitution is a “living document” whose restrictions can be tweaked or abandoned at whim? Or would they prefer to do away with the Constitution altogether? Who knows?
I know why politicians ignore the founding documents; they want power and money. But what about the average person on the street? How can they justify massive spending on patently unconstitutional agendas? Why do they think it’s fair for everyone to pay for their particular program when it contradicts the Constitution? What is their reasoning and/or logic? I’m not being facetious here; I honestly want to know.
Our Founding Fathers were extremely exacting and precise in the wording of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They placed extraordinary limitations on government so it would not blossom into a monstrous entity, sucking liberty from the people and taxing us to death. At least, that’s how the constitutionalists and libertarians in this country see history.
Our government, both Republican and Democrat, has been moving away from constitutional restraint for over a century (arguably, longer than that). But the movement has been accelerating in recent years, culminating in the insanity put forth in the current administration. Some states are beginning to boycott unconstitutional federal laws. The “states’ rights” movement has been gaining momentum recently, possibly because the violations of constitutional limitations have become so flagrant and brazen that people are beginning to catch on.
It’s pretty funny, when you think about it. Politicians will stand there in public with their hand on a Bible (like they ever read it, right?) and SWEAR to protect and defend the Constitution. Ha. The moment they’re in office, they do everything possible to tear it down or ignore it.
Remember the old story about the frog in the pot of water? Historically, the government has turned up the heat on the frog (us) so gradually that politicians got away with a lot of what they wanted. But in this administration, we have the unusual convergence of three major components: a liberal president, a liberal Congress and a liberal press. Suddenly it’s magic. All the constitutional restrictions that have bugged liberals for years can be torn down to the enthusiastic cheering of the “progressive” citizens. Hooray!
And for just about the first time, people are noticing. And protesting. The water is too hot. Our country is polarizing.
So what’s the justification? Do liberals interpret the Constitution and Bill of Rights differently than the rest of us? Where do they think the Founding Fathers went wrong? With what part of our original documents do they disagree?
Our founding documents are very clear about what defines “rights” and where they came from (hint: NOT the government). So how can progressives claim that everything from health care to housing to gay marriage to abortion to a living wage to education to public transportation is a “right”?
As I wrote before, we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit (not the achievement) of happiness. We do not have the “right” to health care, to an education or to mortgage relief. These are things we need to do ourselves, using our own ingenuity, resources, abilities, and (for the less fortunate) charity and compassion.
In other words, we do not have the “right” to take from others to benefit ourselves.
But progressives disagree with this, and I want to know why. Honestly, I do. So I’d like to invite liberal readers to (politely!) tell me how they can justify laws, regulations, rules and other government actions that (in my opinion) flagrantly violate the Constitution and Bill of Rights. What’s wrong with the Constitution? Why do you want to change it? Or, to paraphrase CNS News, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact [fill in the blank with your favorite agenda]?
Write and tell me why you think the Constitution is limited or flawed. Keep your answers as short as possible, and I’ll report them in next week’s column.