Monday, 19 April 2010

Pelosi and the Pillars of Change

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) once famously chided a reporter who asked where in the Constitution Congress was authorized to mandate health insurance coverage with the disdainful response, “Are you serious?”

The record of Pelosi’s patronage of the unconstitutional expansion of government and habitual disregard for clear constitutional endowments of power is clear. Nowhere more so than in her undaunted efforts to use cowardly parliamentary procedures to pass a healthcare bill and deliver it to her audacious leader, President Barack Obama, for his signature. 

Within days, Pelosi and her congressional colleagues also presented the President with legislation that does for education what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act did for healthcare. The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act killed two constitutional birds with one absolutist stone. It tied up the loose ends of the healthcare overhaul, and it nationalized the student-loan industry, as well. 

Both of these “reforms” are frighteningly consistent with the “Manifest of the Communist Party” written by Karl Marx and Frederich Engels and published by the Communist League in 1848. In the Ten Points promulgated in that tract, the authors call for the “centralization of credit in the hands of the State” and “a heavy progressive or graduated income tax.” The two recent laws enacted by President Obama and Congress further both of these evil ends and accelerate our country’s descent into collectivism. 

This one-two combination landed by Obama and his congressional co-conspirators on the body of the Constitution is but the latest flurry of attacks on the vitality of our Republic’s founding document. Remarkably, Speaker Pelosi is not only not ashamed of being an accessory to this crime, but she crows about her hand in erecting two of the three fundamental pillars of Obama’s promised plan for remaking America. “We have passed two of the three pillars in the historic healthcare and education reform and are working towards a clean energy and climate agenda in Congress,” Pelosi said in her remarks to the California Democratic Party state convention in Los Angeles on Saturday. 

As anyone familiar with Article I of the Constitution knows, Congress is not authorized therein to legislate in any of the three areas covered by President Obama’s pillars. The powers granted Congress by the Constitution are very limited and are designed to place fetters on the natural tendency of man to exceed the powers given him when he is in possession of even a little authority. 

It may be helpful to compare the three pillars of President Obama’s “reform” of America with three recognized pillars upon which our constitutional Republic is built. 

First, there is the pillar of popular sovereignty. As the Father of the Constitution, James Madison, expressed in The Federalist, “If we resort for a criterion to the different principles on which different forms of government are established, we may define a republic to be, or at least may bestow that name on, a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior.” 

We, the People, are the ultimate sovereigns in this state. We have endowed our representatives with a very limited, enumerated mantle of powers. Any effort to break the tether may be rightfully rebuked by the citizens of this Republic, especially by those determined to be worthy heirs of the Republic bequeathed us by our Founding Fathers. 

The second pillar upon which our country is built is the separation of powers. As President after President (from both parties) legislate via the executive fiats known as executive orders and signing statements, they are attempting to accumulate all power into a single pair of hands. This dangerous concentration was known by our wise Founders to be the very definition of tyranny. One cannot possess the executive and legislative powers without exercising absolute authority over citizens. This is not the arrangement established by the Constitution. 

The third and final pillar supporting our form of government is federalism. American federalism is defined as the co-existence of sovereign states and a national government. The states are not mere minions of the federal government, rather they are sovereigns unto themselves, and the barricades protecting their independence must be regarded as inviolable. 

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution clearly protects the power of the states from encroachment by the national government. “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.” That is a simple, straightforward, and unassailable assertion of the rights of states to govern themselves, with the exception of a few, enumerated areas as delegated to the national government elsewhere in the Constitution. 

Since the beginning of his administration, President Obama has advanced the cause of casting our Constitution as an irrelevant relic from a bygone era. That document, and the men who framed it, could have had no reliable insight into the problems faced by a 21st-century multicultural nation that hardly resembles the 18th-century milieu in which that old document was designed to regulate. 

President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and their colleagues in both parties must be convinced that the American people will not suffer the temple of republicanism built by our Founding Fathers on the solid foundation of the pillars of popular sovereignty, separation of powers, and state sovereignty to be demolished and replaced by a collectivist empire propped up on the purposely precarious pillars of “reform” as laid out in the Obama blueprint for “change.”





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