Its the Constitution Stupid

Two hundred and twenty two years ago the Framers gave us the Constitution as the “Supreme Law of the Land” and the “Owners Manual” for the American Government.  Two Hundred and Twenty years ago, politicians began violating the Constitution and judges began subtly changing its requirements to empower the central government in ways the Founders never intended.

For the first hundred years or so, political violations and judicial changes were relatively benign and passively tolerated by the American people.  The mild response of the people to these alterations in government only encouraged politicians and judges to continue their devious revision of our founding principles.

By the late twentieth century, the Constitution came to be all but ignored by the political class in their quest for ever-increasing power.  Its importance was deemphasized in academia at all levels and consequently, generations were educated with little if any knowledge of the principles on which our government was originally based or the history of its political apostasy.

The result is that few of our elected representatives today posses even a rudimentary understanding of the Constitution and even less respect for its authority.  This is not just conjecture on my part.  Recently a CNS News reporter began asking various members of Congress, regarding the individual mandate in the health care bill now under consideration, to “point out specifically where the Constitution authorizes Congress to force Americans to buy health insurance”.  The answers he has been getting are astounding and should generate fury in the heart of any American.

Typical of the knowledge of and attitude toward the Constitution is summed up in the response of Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in the video* below.

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Senator Mark Warner, (D-Va.) says that anyone making the claim that the health care bill is unconstitutional is “making a spurious argument”.

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These are just two of the more typical answers.  Some displayed even more ignorance of the Constitution.  For example, when the question was put to Nancy Pelosi, her response was “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

Perhaps the most shocking response came from our own Illinois Democratic Senator Roland Burris who responded to the same question with this incoherent response.

“Well, that’s under certainly the laws of the — protect the health, welfare of the country,” said Burris. “That’s under the Constitution. We’re not even dealing with any constitutionality here. Should we move in that direction? What does the Constitution say? To provide for the health, welfare and the defense of the country.”

Disturbingly, such a stalwart Senator as Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) displays a shallowness of understanding of fundamental constitutional principles with this response.

“Well, keep in mind the general welfare clause hasn’t been used for years, except through the Commerce Clause –Article I, Section 8,” said Hatch. “And, frankly, the Commerce Clause affects, quote, ‘activities,’ unquote. And, you know, the government telling you, you have to buy health insurance — mandating that you have to buy health insurance — is not an activity. That’s telling you, you got to do something you don’t want to do.”

Why is all this important?  For two reasons. First, our Constitution is the only thing standing between total tyranny and us.  Second, every member of Congress takes an oath of allegiance to the Constitution before taking office and repeats it each time they are reelected.  That oath says,

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

To me, uttering these 73 words with no intention of honoring them, and little or no understanding of what they are referring to is as much or more detrimental to the welfare of our country than voting on a 2,000 page bill without reading it.

*Videos courtesy of CNS News
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