• It’s Past Time to Pass the Enumerated Powers Act

     

    It’s well past time to finally enact the Enumerated Powers Act (H.R. 1359, S. 3159). What is it? Well, in a nutshell, Arizona Republican Congressman John Shadegg has been introducing this legislation since 1995 (unsuccessfully with both Rs and Ds in charge), which would require members of congress who offer bills to cite the Constitutional authority to enact the proposed legislation. While certainly not a cure-all, it would certainly put the Constitution in the forefront of member’s minds—where it belongs.

     

    More recently Senator Tom Coburn, Republican from Oklahoma, introduced the Senate version of the bill. Although the bill hasn’t found much success in either Republican or Democrat congresses, aside from both the Senate and House bill sponsors, all of the co-sponsors are Republicans with zero Democrat support.

     

    Judging by how Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branch progressives have been shredding our Constitution over at least the past century, America is, sadly, desperately in need of this legislation. If the authority to enact any bill is not among the Constitution’s enumerated powers then the bill may not proceed without parliamentary procedure.

     

    From the disregard shown the Constitution by so many members of congress, not to mention the Executive and Judicial branches, one would never know that each of these members takes an oath, solemnly promising the American people to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution—not any person or political party—against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to that magnificent document.

     

    How many members can claim fidelity to their oath, or to even having truly read or understood the words, or certainly to taking those words into their hearts—how many times have they “cheated” on the Constitution? How many times have our elected and appointed leaders checked into some cheap motel room with some sleazy legislation, while their loyal Constitution remains faithfully at home trying to care for individual liberty.

     

    “Could you please tell me where in the Constitution you get the authority to force Americans to purchase health insurance?” Precious few in the media sometimes ask of some congressmen and senators, who sprout a dear-in-the-headlights expressions and then with nothing substantive to say reply, “Are you serious? Come on; are you really serious?”

     

    Well, Senator, Congresswoman yes we are serious. This isn’t some far out whacko question. To ask our elected representatives to provide us with the Constitutional citation for the authority to enact a particular edict, when our Founders went far to limit the government by restricting it to only specific enumerated powers, seems quite reasonable indeed. In fact, it’s too bad that wasn’t made an original requirement; I suppose they didn’t feel it would be necessary.

     

    In my job as a police officer I also swear an oath. And before I take any police action I must go through my mental “law” rolodex, which incidentally, includes the Constitution, in order to be sure I have the authority to take a specific action. Later in court you can be sure the defense will challenge what I’ve done and will require me to cite my authority for the actions I took, and certainly smite me if I lacked it. Just think of what society would look like if the police acted like congress does routinely, constantly flouting authority and disregarding rules, and assuming some “inherent” general powers, which change with the officer’s mood or agenda.

     

    Defense attorney: “Officer, what gave you the authority to take my client into custody?”

     

    Officer: “Are you serious, Counselor? No, really…come on; are you really serious?”

     

    Don’t think that would fly? No, me either. The officer must cite his authority. “I had the authority to arrest your client based on his statements, following my advising him of his Miranda rights, admitting to punching Ronald McDonald in the nose.” If I, a common patrol officer must cite my authority to act when it affects one person, surely it would be appropriate for a U.S. Congress member to be held to a similar standard when enacting legislation affecting hundreds of millions of people.

     

    It would seem that our elected officials have been passing legislation with blatant disregard for its enumerated Constitutional limitations, they never question the limits of their authority, which many of them seem to feel are inherent and infinite, so they don’t see why the people they’re supposed to serve should question it—or them—either. One wonders how they can ever use the phrase limited government with a straight face.

     

    The Founders wrote and the several states ratified the U.S. Constitution not simply to have a piece of pretty parchment to put under glass; they intended for us to care for it so it would care for us. We can no longer allow those who represent us to shout their reverence for the document, while simultaneously disregarding its principles in practice.  

     

  • Being Nasty won’t Help the Political Left.

     

    It’s stunning that we’ve arrived at a day in America where our republic’s most highly placed political leaders actually view their fellow Americans, citizens who simply oppose their political views, with abject contempt, and express it overtly and publicly. Those who dare to advocate for an America that reflects the constitutional republic originally created by our Founders are treated to scathing derision by their own elected representatives.

     

    These leaders are attempting to invert the exceptional nation our Founders built, while at the same time claiming to revere those founders and the constitution and country they created. Essentially the current administration’s leadership, when pressed, claims to revere Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin, while at the same time reviling those Americans who espouse an affinity for those founding patriots’ political perspectives.

     

    How can this be? If the current administration truly reveres our Founders and the Constitution, within which they framed self-government, wouldn’t they logically also be sympathetic to those who still follow and venerate the Founders? Sadly, too many current administration figures express, rather than affinity for Madison or Monroe, camaraderie with Marx and Mao.

     

    I understand having opposing political arguments: they don’t agree with me, I don’t agree with them; fine, now let’s go watch the game and drain a pint or two. But today we have elected officials who deride average Americans, some of them their own constituents who’ve become energized and have begun to actively participate in the political process, some for the first times in their lives.

     

    We have an American President who campaigned on bipartisanship but who allows, and at times seems to tacitly and overtly encourage his party’s leaders, including the Speaker of the House, to disparage, not elected political opponents, but ordinary Americans. For example using condescending terms such as “astroturf,” when referring to the most genuine grassroots political movement to manifest in years. This grassroots movement—tea parties, town halls, etc.—is the type of action the left has always claimed to admire so greatly, but, it would seem, only if the roots sprout on the left side of the political lawn.

     

    How can any American trust political leaders who show such utter disdain for those who sincerely oppose their progressively ambitious, if not radically socialist, agenda? The President has even quipped that his opponents “stay out of the way” while he and his, “mop up their mess.” The President pokes jabs at politically energized citizens as, “tea-baggers,” a crude term having no place in a U.S. Presidents’ terminology regarding Americans he represents.

     

    Many of these so-called “tea-baggers,” were, if not outright supporters of the president, were at least willing to give him a chance and even the benefit of the doubt. Being chided, derided, and marginalized by their president will not earn him any future benefit of the doubt. Our new president said he wishes to bring civility back to the political dialogue. Then, what’s stopping him?

  • Government Gains Equals Liberty’s Loss

     

    Every government action has an equal and opposite liberty reaction. Okay, perhaps not every action, but I’m trying to make a point here. Every time government grows liberty shrinks. People don’t seem to spend much time thinking about this concept. Too often people are willing to cede their liberties in favor of increasing government rules if they perceive that particular rule as a “good idea.” When this happens, people disregard the loss of liberty they’ve either acceded to, or may even have voted for themselves. What they fail to realize is the very same concept used to infringe on the liberties they care little about can be used to infringe on liberties about which they care a great deal.

     

    The one thing government needs, when it can’t, or perhaps can’t find a way to, use direct force, is some kind of leverage over the people. One favorite form of leverage has been to use environmental issues—both exaggerated valid concerns as well as fabricated concerns such as the 1970’s Ice Age scam and the current manmade Climate Change (the term replacing global warming, as it seems the globe has recently decided to cool for a bit) “crisis.” Our government has used the environment, to one degree or another to usurp people’s property rights and abridge other liberties for decades. Now it seems the United Nations will do the same thing globally if it can get away with it.

     

    Why do they, the Socialist-, Collectivist-, Marxist-leaning in our government, do this? Well, it would be much harder to steal our liberty, “just ‘cause.” They need to get compliance from a certain percentage of us, so on occasion we’ll even vote our own liberty away, piece by piece, until the United States of America becomes unrecognizable from the country our Founders created.

     

    What else is used to usurp liberty? Big government types like to create “public burdens.” This was actually simple to do. First they create an entitlement for those in society deemed “victims,” such as Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc. Then they usurp citizens’ rights for “watchdogging” tax money they’ve confiscated from you and then redistributed to those deemed more worthy than you of the fruits of your labor. These laws are called nanny laws i.e. helmet and seatbelt type laws.

     

    The current governing political party is rapidly attempting to bludgeon the American people by creating the most massive public burden to date, the so-called Healthcare Reform Bill. We can only imagine the liberty grab headed our way should this monstrosity become law. Whether or not you support this bill, ask yourself, does buying seven years worth of product, but paying ten years worth of money for it seem like a good deal—even for its supporters. If this portion alone, within the 1,990 pages, isn’t evidence of ideological madness I don’t know what is.

     

    And one more thing; why do Obamacare proponents fall so silent when someone on the other side mentions tort reform, interstate insurance policy purchases, or things such as expanding health savings accounts. These seem like common sense reforms that could be enacted quickly and in a bipartisan manner. The far left’s silence when these reforms are suggested is eerie. Very few on the left even try to debate or argue these suggestions, they just seem to let them pass in conversation until they becomes political vapor, disappearing into the cloud of the next point.

     

    This points up very clearly that for some politicians, especially those on the far left, whom it so happens currently holds government’s reigns, it’s not about reform, it’s about power.