Monday, September 14, 2009


Representative Carol Shea-Porter (D-New Hampshire) was asked recently by a talk-radio caller about the constitutionality of the Democrats' government-run health care plan.

"I would point out to you that in the Constitution it also does not say the government can build roads or should build roads," said Shea-Porter. "It also doesn't say the government should make sure the drugs are safe. It doesn't say the government should look at airplanes to make sure they are safe to get on. It doesn't say we should have a police force in Manchester," she continued. "So, the Constitution did not cover everything."

Actually, it does.

To understand that it does requires a historical and sociological, as well as a political understanding of what the Constitution is and what it does.

In an interview on Chicago radio, President BO ("President" out of respect for the office; "BO" because his agenda stinks) stated that he sees the Constitution as flawed because it "...tells the government what it cannot do, but does not tell the government what it must do."

As a so-called "Constitutional" lawyer, President BO ("President" out of respect for the office; "BO" because his agenda stinks) should know better, but he either doesn't or he is so intent on his personal agenda that he is willing to put aside truth in its favor.

He actually got it right in the first part of his statement. The Constitution tells the government what it cannot do.

That's its whole purpose.

It gives six purposes for government, found in its Preamble: to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

Notice the verbs so carefully and deliberately used. (For those of you educated in the last ten years in government schools, a verb is a word in a complete sentence that expresses action or a state of being.)

Seeing that there could be some misunderstanding about its purpose and meaning, the Constitution was amended to include a Bill of Rights, its first ten amendments.

Amendment X says:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

The members of the federal government do not like this amendment. The states and the people love it.

Ignoring it, however, is like the referee of an NFL football game ignoring the rules in the middle of a game.

"No more forward passes! The rule book is a living breathing document that we have been empowered to change, and we're changing it right now!"

Since it does not appear in the Constitution, health care is not a federal issue. Like transportation, drug abuse, and many other matters, it is an issue that belongs to the people and the individual states.

OK...what about roads?

To be sure, Article 1; Section 8 of the Constitution does say that the federal government can take care of what are called the post roads -- those on which the mail travels -- but outside of that, states are responsible for their own highways, their own roads, their own county, local, state roads.

The Constitution does cover drug abuse...since it is not dealt with by the text of the Constitution, drug abuse is under the criminal justice issues that belong to the states.

In the end, Representative Carol Shea-Porter (D-New Hampshire) was wrong...completely wrong, and represents what is the basis for the out of control nature that has become our federal government.

It is a time to return to the rule book.

It is time to remember that we are a Constitutional society.

It is time to stand up and yell, "Liars!"

It is time to hold the slippery feet of our representatives to the blistering fire of the Constitution.

It is time to give them a lesson in government about "the consent of the governed."

The Washington Tea Party, and those around the country, were a good start.

Don't let up!

Keep the pressure on!

Let's get these clowns in line, or get them out of the circus that is our federal government!


Dan said...

"I would point out to you that in the Constitution it also does not say the government can build roads or should build roads".

Red Herring

Joe said...

Dan: Article I, Section 8 provides:

Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads

Joe said...

Dan: Actually, I appreciate you pointing that out...I had forgotten to include the article and section in my post. I have amended it accordingly.

TAO said...

"Promote the general welfare" sounds to me like you could drive a big ol' truck of healthcare reform through that part of the Constitution...

Its like building the interstate highway system, NOT AS A POST ROAD as you would argue but rather as part of the national defense program.

You could also very easily claim that it falls under 'regulate commerce with other nations' because as it stands right now our trade in not balanced or equal because healthcare costs are borne by the government in all other developed nations and here we have to sell our products with healthcare costs built into the price...

shoprat said...

If we went back to the Constitution it would upset a lot of people. The space program is constitutional (Fed is responsible to develop the frontier) but Social Security is not. I think we can go back and we should go back but we may have to do it incrementally.

Promote the general welfare is in the Preamble which states the purpose of the Constitution. The rest of the Constitution tells us how. Using that to justify the increased power of the Fed is like building a castle out of fog.

ablur said...

If one wishes to argue that healthcare is a right in modern society and is needed by everyone, then shouldn't we also make the food and water a right, or housing? These are far more fundamental and necessary then healthcare.
The founders looked on these things as personal responsibilities. The small things that can be dealt with among men. The government was for bigger matters that took nations and states to tackle. The constitution was never rendered to fulfill our basic needs. This was never intended to be a nanny state.

Let me remind you that you have a right to pursue happiness but not a right to catch it.

TAO said...

Ah, you have built a castle out of fog...

No where in our constitution does it say that we are provide for nation building or exporting our ideals throughout the world.

It establishes no crusade against some 'ism' either.

It would be nice to go back to a smaller, simpler government, society, and world...

But you cannot get there by demanding smaller government of one party and not the other.

Nor does it do your position any good when you support a party that has not made government smaller nor curb spending and just because 'you believe' they are the most likely only says, in light of the abundant proof otherwise, that your beliefs are not valid.

From my perspective obama is no more a socialist than bush was and I haven't heard anyone call bush a socialist...

I also believe that bush did as much damage to our fundamental beliefs as obama is doing...and it seems to me that both sides are heading in the same direction just from different sides....

Joe said...

Hey! TAO: Good to see your illogical ole self back!

"Promote." Any idea what that verb means?

Do you think it means "DO?"

Maybe you think it means: "ESTABLISH."

Might it mean something like: to advertise: make publicity for?

(Of course there's also the sense of "I got to promote my minimum wage employee to Second Vice President of the company.")

Maybe you could take a guess why I included the "carefully and deliberately used" phrase in my post.

Some things the government is supposed to supply: military protection; justice.

Other stuff the government is just supposed to encourage.

Which category do you thing health care falls in?

Talk with former president Eisenhower about the building of the Interstate Highway system for the common defense.

I could actually buy that argument.

Didn't say I do, said I could.

" a party that has not made government smaller..."

Which Party would that be? Republican? I don't support it. I certainly don't support the Democrat Party.

So you think I support which, now?

You weren't listening very well.

While I did not call Bush a socialist, I called some of what he did socialist. But President BO (President out of respect for the office; BO because his agenda stinks), IS a socialist. He hangs around with them (and always has) and espouses its dogma, while denying he is one.

I think you need to change your perspective.

TAO said...

Change my perspective to what Joe?

To seeing things the way you do?

To grumble all the time and then run out and vote republican?

To believe that Fox News actually reports the news while all the other channels spin the news?

When in fact I realize that Teddy Roosevelt was called a socialist in his day for his policies? To argue that FDR prolonged the depression with his programs and buy the garbage that WWII was the real reason the depression ended and then pretend that war is nothing more than a whole bunch of government spending and in the case of WWII that also meant centralized planning of the economy.....

Which all washes down to the point that maybe FDR didn't spend enough long enough.

Or maybe we could just turn over the supreme court to you and you could just pass judgement...

Nothing like a democracy of one!

Joe said...

TAO: "To seeing things the way you do?"

What a great idea!

FDR was pretty socialistic.

"Or maybe we could just turn over the supreme court to you and you could just pass judgement..."

See...another grand idea.

You're just full of them tonight.

Full of something, anyway.

TAO said...

I may be full of something tonight Joe, but you my dear man are full of the same thing on a daily basis...

Joe said...

TAO: At least I'm consistant.

Susannah said...

FDR was socialist in one respect & it was called The New Deal. WWII did bring our country out of the Depression. Bush & his Congress did spend too much, there shouldn't have been bailouts in Fall '08 or winter '09 or now. BHO IS a socialist, a communist, & bordering on Fascist.

See, gentlemen (TAO, Joe)? You're both right!