March 21, 2010

While Awaiting The Results…

…of the ObamaCare vote, which at this point seems to be one of the few things that stand between what America was founded and then succeeded as, and its tragic transformation into a socialist state, I ran across this article by Robert F. Turner.

As a scholar who has studied and revered the Constitution for more than four decades, watching the behavior of our Congress in recent years has been all too often a depressing experience. One wonders whether some legislators have even bothered to read the Constitution, or if the problem is they simply don’t care about the oath they took to support it.

While doing research for my doctoral dissertation many years ago, I had the pleasure of reading extensively from the Annals of Congress, notes from Cabinet meetings of early presidents, and a great deal of other historical material while seeking to understand portions of our Constitution. In the process, I found myself marveling both at how remarkably well-read the Framers were - encountering frequent references to the writings of Locke, Montesquieu, Blackstone, Vattel, and other prominent 17th- and 18th-century thinkers - and also at the high principles repeatedly expressed by members of both political branches of our government when novel issues surfaced.

The pedigree of people we elect to Congress has evidently changed.

Sadly, the latest parliamentary shenanigans in the House, to pretend that the Senate health care bill has already been signed into law so that the (non)law can be “amended” immediately to secure enough House votes for passage, is but par for the course. It is no better than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s attempt to use Congress’ rule-making power to deny future Congresses their constitutional right to repeal or amend a previous law by majority vote. Section 3403 of the bill passed by the Senate provides: “It shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.” The Constitution can’t be changed by statute, and it certainly can’t be changed by amending House or Senate rules.

Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution sets forth detailed requirements for the making or amending of a law, specifying that “Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary” shall be presented to and approved by the president (or enacted over his veto) - so as to prevent unprincipled legislators from bypassing the procedural necessities by the kind of semantical chicanery currently being contemplated by House leaders.

Mr. Turner finishes the column in spot-on fashion.

At some point, if we are to have any chance of preserving our magnificent Constitution, the American people are going to have to start saying “no” and holding legislators accountable at the polls for violating their oaths of office. The senators and representatives we elect were intended to be servants of the people, not a special class of aristocrats empowered to rule our lives while remaining aloof from the very laws they enact. Writing in Federalist No. 57, James Madison assured the American people that one of the checks against legislative abuse of power was that Congress could “make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.” One can only wonder what the Obamacare vote would be if it applied to members of Congress and their staffs.

After nearly four decades of watching our elected representatives flout their solemn duty and evade the burdens they impose upon the rest of us, I have finally concluded that the time has come to start voting against incumbents who behave as if they are the rulers rather than the servants of the American people.

Me, I’d vote ‘em all out, Left, Right and Independent and elect all Senators and Representatives from among candidates who have never held political office before and impose term limits — one single 6 year term, thus eliminating any ambitions for reelection, leaving them focused solely on their duties as representatives of the will of their constituents, the folks who put them in office.

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5 Responses to “While Awaiting The Results…”

  1. Stefan Tewani Says:

    Let the debate begin!

  2. The Gray Monk Says:

    Well, now you have the Bill…

    The costs will now begin to spiral ever upwards eating funds that have previously gone to defence, road building, education and other “services”.Good luck.

  3. Seth Says:

    Stefan –

    What debate? There was no debate, just the ignoring of any and all dissent by Obama and the Democrats. There was nothing bi-partisan about any of it, either: Every single Republican voted against the travesty (the entire deal was both unconstitutional and also went against the wishes of the vast majority of Americans, FOR WHOM THESE POLITICIANS SUPPOSEDLY WORK, so expect to see a major demographic change in both the House and the Senate after the November midterm elections) along with 34 Democrats.

    Gray Monk –

    Yeah, we’re in for it. :-(

  4. Always On Watch Says:

    This administration is shredding our Constitution.

    And, today, BHO hits the road again to “sell” ObamaCare, already signed into law.

    Meanwhile, WE THE PEOPLE are hopping mad.

    Big trouble coming in the streets? Could be.

  5. Seth Says:

    AOW –

    It’s completely unbelievable that so many naive, stupid or just plain America- (and our Constitutional system of government) hating voters even allowed Obama to get into the White House to begin with.

    It took one revolution to attain the freedom granted us by the Constitution, if it takes another one to regain what the Obama/Pelosi/Reid kollektive has stolen from us via lies, corrupt practices and bluntly ignoring what the majority of Americans want — this if the GOP’ers cannot, will not or do not manage a some serious repeals — then so be it. Perhaps the tree of liberty will soon need to be refreshed…

    If this happens, perhaps we’ll be wise enough afterward to then elect non-politicians to serve mandated single terms in Congress, politics not having been intended by our founders to be a career field, demand that they adhere to the letter of the Constitution and maybe, just maybe get more Americans to do as Jefferson suggested and look over the shoulders of those we send to Washington to see that they are doing the bidding of The People, and not themselves.

    What we are seeing now is a series of gross infractions of the Constitution in an attempt to alter the entire charactar of the United States.