Tag Archives: Constitution

Yes, we ARE serious!

As I write this post, we are probably no more than 24 hours away from the government taking yet another move to further control its citizens and deny individuals the freedom to do as they wish. By all reports, what little resistance the Republicans could muster in the Senate has largely melted away, and for Christmas, the United States of America will take a large step towards government control over its health care system. For Progressives and other Leftists, despite their public protestations, this is as close to their dream as they have been able to come in the one hundred plus years of the Progressive/Socialist/Communist movement.

In the laundry list of repugnant items that are in the health care bills is the individual mandate. Out of all of the items within these bills, this is the one item that does the most damage to individual liberty. For those of you living under a rock, the individual mandate portion of these bills will make it illegal to NOT have health insurance that meets the criteria that will be determined by the Federal government.  That means that the government will now make the service of a private company mandatory to own/purchase in order to be a citizen in good standing of the United States of America. This, to put it mildly, is unprecedented (and no, Liberals, car insurance is NOT the same).

To any serious student of the Constitution, and of our country’s history, there is little evidence upon which one could argue that Progressivism is aligned with the Constitution. In fact, it is hostile to any instrument which places restrictions on the state (read that the government). As our current President has lamented, the Constitution is a list of “negative rights”. It defines what the Federal government cannot do, not what it should do. As such, the Constitution is despised by collectivists of all stripes, since it shackles the very thing they rely on to force others to bend to their will.

This explains the incredulousness of Nancy Pelosi recently when she was asked where in the Constitution is the authority given to mandate that the government force people to buy a particular good or service, in this case health insurance. Her reply to the question: “Are you serious?” In so many words, this is the answer given by every Senator or Congressman that has been asked the same question. The dirty little secret in all this is that, not only is it NOT in the Constitution, they do not care that it isn’t there.

One of the biggest lies that has been promulgated by the Progressive movement is that of the “living Constitution.” Being a product of the public education system in the United States, I was fed the lie throughout my education that the Constitution has to be able to change and grow with the times. Luckily, I had some matter left between my ears after my sentence, er, education, so I was able to deduce for myself that the living Constitution thingy was a load of Leftist poo.

Luckily, the Left has felt so sure of itself over this past year that it has abandoned many of the smokescreens and double-speak that it has used for years to cover up their true intentions. So, instead of feeding us some line about constitutionality and compassion and lawyers (apparently, Mary Landrieu did not get the memo), Ms. Pelosi felt she could reveal her true derision for the Constitution.

As we approach 2010, and an election year, it is important for all those who love liberty and respect the true, original intent of the Constitution to continue keeping score. We must deliver a message that is so clear and so unmistakable, so as to be noticed by even Ms. Pelosi.  Yes, we ARE serious…now answer the question!

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Filed under Conservatism, Constitution, Health Care, Politics

Whither AIG ?

More words have probably been written about the situation with AIG in the past 96 hours then can possibly be read. So I am not going to dwell too much on the issues that got us to this point. However, I think that what is happening (even as I write this) in Washington, in our name, needs to be brought to the surface.

Like most people, I find it extremely difficult to swallow that the executives at AIG that caused the problems with the company got the types of bonuses that they did. Most of us will never see that kind of money, even if we become super-successful in our lines of work. However, after hearing Ed Liddy yesterday talk about his rationale, I can understand the decision. Leaders, no matter what size organization they run, are often given the choice of the lesser of two evils. I have no reason to doubt his explanation as to why he didn’t do more to abrogate the compensation contracts of the executives in that particular division.

The larger issue here is how our government is responding to the AIG mess. I, for one, have been quite embarrassed by the behavior of our politicians, especially in Congress. It goes through both sides of the aisle – from quips about the “Japanese” way to shrugging off death threats, our so-called leaders are acting out of emotion. Quite frankly, acting on emotion is what got us here is the first place.

Then there is the constitutionality of the whole matter. I am not a lawyer, and I did not attend law school. But I do know something about our Constitution. What is being lost here, in the rush to “do something”, is that the Congress is treading on very slippery ground. The framers of our Constitution specifically prohibited the Congress from passing what are called Bills (or Acts) of Attainder (see here and here. These usually seek to enact laws that punish or impose some other type of “pain” on a specific group or class of people. The Constitution also prohibits Congress from passing Ex Post Facto laws, or laws that are retroactive to a certain date or action (Article I, section 9, clause 3).

So, I ask the question…does not what our Congress is contemplating today not fit into this definition? Not only is law it is seeking to pass argeted at certain people, it is also being contemplated after the fact. The whole point of having this prohibition in the Constitution is to keep the government from using its ability to write laws as a weapon against the people. As stupid as the idea is of the folks at AIG taking these bonuses, Congress is “doubling down” on the stupid bet by contemplating passing laws to tax or other wise confiscate the bonuses from these executives (as well as others). All to cover their you-know-whats for specifically allowing it in the first place. I could go on and on about this topic, but I am sure you get the point.

At risk of sounding fatalistic, I would tell you to call and email your representatives…but it isn’t going to do any good. They are going to do what they want, Constitution be damned (just as an aside…when do you think was the last time any of them read it?). I am going to, but I also like jousting with windmills. You may even agree with what Congress is doing today. If you do, just ask yourself what happens when the “them” that Congress is going after becomes you? Once the door is opened, what is to stop government from using its power to putatively punish you? One of the points of the rule of law is to protect all of us from the fickle tides of emotion. When our government stops paying attention to the highest law of the land, the rule of law erodes. Once the rule of law begins eroding, all of us become subject to the ebbs and flows of emotion.

Part of the result of the American Revolution was the institutionalization of the rule of law; that no one person, no matter the office, is above it. When emotion replaces reason and the rule of law, you get not the American Revolution, but the French Revolution.

(Here is another great article about the bonuses by Johan Goldberg of the National Review.)

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Filed under Constitution, Economy, Freedom, Politics