In a now famous admission of disregard for our nation’s founding document, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), when asked where in the Constitution could be found authorization for the healthcare overhaul, asked in return, “Are you serious? Are you serious?” She then spun on her heel and moved on down the corridor. Representative Phil Hare (D-Ill.) conveyed similar constitutional sangfroid when he said, “I don’t really worry about the Constitution on this, to be honest.” Well, points for candor if not for constitutionalism.
On May 1 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during his commencement address to the University of Michigan, President Barack Obama made the following suggestion to the assembled graduates, families, and friends:
The second way to keep our democracy healthy is to maintain a basic level of civility in our public debate. These arguments we're having over government and health care and war and taxes are serious arguments. They should arouse people's passions, and it's important for everyone to join in the debate, with all the rigor that a free people require.
But we cannot expect to solve our problems if all we do is tear each other down. You can disagree with a certain policy without demonizing the person who espouses it. You can question someone's views and their judgment without questioning their motives or their patriotism. Throwing around phrases like "socialist" and "Soviet-style takeover;" "fascist" and "right-wing nut" may grab headlines, but it also has the effect of comparing our government, or our political opponents, to authoritarian, and even murderous regimes.
John McManus, publisher for The New American magazine and President of the John Birch Society, launched a speakers tour on Sunday April 5, entitled “Stealing the American Dream: How Illegal Immigration Affects You.” On the nationwide speakers tour, McManus targets a variety of issues related to illegal immigration, including its effects on taxes, jobs, health care, border security, voter fraud, and national debt.
Tea Party groups around the country are facing an all too familiar attack: racism. The evidence presented is highly circumstantial. A disproportionately large percentage of Tea Party members appear to be older white Americans. Tea Party spokesmen have opposed granting the District of Columbia voting representation in Congress.
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, in part: “No person ... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” That would seem to be crystal clear, yet Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) seem unable to understand it.