Pulling the Plug on our Constitution

The Patriot PostBy Mark Alexander · Thursday, March 18, 2010 "If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people ... must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify." --Federalist No. 331 Our Constitution is on life support2, and House Democrats are about to pull the plug.

Leaders of the Democrat Party ("Progressives" as they call themselves, Leftists as we call them) have been unable to garner popular or even Democrat Party support for their plan to socialize our health care system. Fortunately, Republicans are united in their opposition to this one issue.

Barack Hussein Obama3, titular head of the Demos, proclaimed, "I want some courage. I want us to do the right thing."

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi concludes, "Nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill."

She is proposing to overtly circumvent our Constitution by way of the "Slaughter Solution." Rep. Louise Slaughter, chairman of the House Rules Committee, proposes to pass legislation using the "self-executing rule," which will allow the House to accept the already-passed Senate health care bill by presumption alone, thus negating a formal up-or-down vote by House members.

Pelosi confessed, "I like it because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill."

Unfortunately, there is precedent in invoking the "self-executing rule" -- by Republicans, no less -- concerning "mundane" legislation agreed to by House leaders of both parties. Unconstitutional as these precedents are, there is nothing "mundane" about ObamaCare.

"Slaughter" and "self-executing" may describe both the process and the electoral future of many Democrats in the House.

Most of the Leftist-controlled political and popular debate about the Democrat proposal to turn over to the central government control of more than 17 percent of the U.S. economy, is focused on one question or another -- what will it cost or save, who will pay and who won't, who will be covered and for what, will there be enough physicians to support this in 10 years, will federal funds be used for abortion, can our economy afford another trillion dollar boondoggle, does it really address the entitlement cost tsunami we're facing, ad infinitum.

These might be interesting topics for debate, but none are germane.

The only relevant debate must begin with First Principles4, our Constitution and Rule of Law.

Does our Constitution allow the Executive and Legislative branches to collaborate to confer authority upon the federal government over, in this case, so-called "health care reform"?

Those who laid the Foundation of our Constitution were crystal clear about its enumeration of both the authority and limits upon the central government.

James Madison, our Constitution's primary author, wrote, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined [and] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce."

Madison continued, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."

(And regarding all those "exemptions" and "exceptions" for members of Congress, I draw your attention to James Madison's words in Federalist No. 57: "If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty.")

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