It is no surprise that gas prices are soaring again this week, with all the squadrons of motor coaches that trekked across the country to deposit partisans for and against the Federal take-over of the medical profession at the Supreme Court Building. The unpopular Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act remains the signature achievement of Barack Hussein Obama, to which his name has been lent in perpetual brand identity.
Obamacare can be credited with one positive outcome; heretofore the progressive shredding of our Constitution has been in whisper mode. The chainsaw that is the PPACA rousted citizens out of a century-long slumber, giving birth to the Tea Party, a more potent antidote against the Left than neo-conservatism ever could be.
All Americans who fear a Hunger Games-style dystopia should read and understand the Constitution. The Founding Fathers did not need to read George Orwell or Suzanne Collins to understand suffocating despotism – they were regularly and directly fleeced of property and liberty by inbred British overlord King George III.
The Left claim that they, too, dig constitutional rights, but whose constitution they’re talking about I’m not so sure. They favor make-believe constitutional rights, like the right to snap a pre-born baby’s spine in her mother’s birth canal, or the right to receive a federally-subsidized cell phone with 250 minutes per month.
With the Nine Robed Ones hemming and hawing this week on whether to preserve our nation’s liberty for posterity or flush our Enlightenment charter down the toilet for good, I’ve compiled a list of dumb things liberals say about the constitution. Yours, free.
1. “But the government requires car insurance!” This argument by analogy fumbles a critical constitutional distinction. As best observed by constitutional scrivener James Madison, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” So liberals are half right: yes, state governments can and do require car insurance. Indeed, they can mandate health insurance, too (see generally, Romneycare). And New York can require each of its citizens to buy a Yankees t-shirt. But the Federal government must operate within a finite list of constitutional powers (see generally, the Tenth Amendment), and doling out free appendectomies, psychoanalysis and contraceptives happens not to be on that list.
2. “Wait, the general welfare clause of the Constitution lets the federal government set up all kinds of welfare programs, like free health care for everyone!” The General Welfare Clause (Art. I, Sec. 8 ) appears in the preamble to a cover a list of specifically enumerated powers. If your mom gave you ten bucks to pick up milk, bread and carrots at Giant Eagle but you bought a ferret instead, you might be susceptible to the Left’s logic on this one.
3. “Under the Commerce Clause, Congress has broad power to regulate all commercial activity.” A progressive U.S. Supreme Court peopled with Franklin Delano Roosevelt cronies deserves credit for turning our Constitution inside-out with its Commerce Clause decisions, most notably Wickard v. Filburn (1942) which signaled the end of state sovereignty by upholding a law preventing an Ohio farmer from growing wheat for his own consumption. The actual Commerce Clause equates trade among the States with that of foreign Nations and Indian Tribes. Congress has absolute authority to prevent Pennsylvania from levying an import duty on New Jersey blueberries and zero authority to subsidize Chevy Volts and require citizens to buy rationed medical services from government cooperatives.
4. Responding to Justice Scalia’s comment at oral arguments yesterday, The New York Times editorialized that “Congress has no interest in requiring broccoli purchases because the failure to buy broccoli does not push that cost onto others in the system.” I don’t know where to begin with this. Not even the sovereignty-ending Wickard case compels citizens to enter into commerce against their will. If pushing “costs onto others” becomes the new constitutional standard, can we push the costs of our grotesquely expensive welfare state solely onto the registered Democrats who gave it to us?
5. I saved the dumbest for last. Liberals, especially those whose day-jobs are law professors, excuse the Federal leviathan with the line that “it’s a living Constitution and should change with the times.” Well, that’s cheating. If Liberals wish to create a federal Santa Claus that gives each citizen a solar panel bicycle and free teeth-whitening for life, the how-to manual on amending the Constitution can be found in its Article V.