As the Democrats proceed to "seize the moment" and ram through the first phase of health care nationalization, some of us are pondering what this bodes for the future of the U.S. Constitution. If they get away with this, what other radical transformations to our nation may be enacted by thin majorities in years hence? How can we possibly maintain "domestic tranquility" if the Constitution is routinely flaunted? This is not just some far-off, abstract, academic question. When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked about constitutionality by a CNS News reporter a few weeks ago, she just laughed it off:
CNSNews.com: "Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?"
Pelosi: "Are you serious? Are you serious?"
To ridicule the notion that constitutional authority for such a monumental change in policy is even a valid question is evidence of a very narrow, partisan mind. When our government is led by such people, very bad things are likely to happen.
So what can we do about the steady erosion of our constitutional freedoms? Kevin Gutzman, co-author of the book Who Killed the Constitution? (see Oct. 23) thinks the only solution is to persuade the state legislatures to pass resolutions authorizing a constitutional convention, in effect going "over the head" of Congress. He was recently interviewed by radio host Mike Church, and you can listen to the whole thing. The subject was "Everything you ever wanted to know about constitutional conventions but were too afraid to ask," trying to make an otherwise dry subject more "sexy." On Kevin's Facebook page, I gave a thumbs-up to the idea, but one pro-Constitution person named Teri warned that a constitutional convention would backfire. My response to her:
... You are quite right that without an engaged public and responsive legislators, no piece of paper is going to matter. The American people may well be "ignorant of their heritage," in a blissful coma perhaps, but a constitutional convention could be precisely the civic "tonic" they need to wake up. It's true that what is left of our freedoms could be swept away under a new constitution, but if we don't take that risk, we'll never get back the freedoms we've already lost. As long as it's done the right way, so be it. Make the people face up to the choices, and the profound consequences thereof, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Unless Congress somehow sees the light real soon, there may be no alternative to a constitutional convention. At the very least, it's something that needs to be discussed.
Candid on Obamacare
Many conservatives are deeply suspicious at the Democrats' proposed health care "reforms," for good reason: neither President Obama nor Nancy Pelosi nor Harry Reid are being fully honest about what the likely consequences will be. The same goes for most, but not all liberal apologists for "Obamacare." As an example of one honest voice, John Cassidy offers "Some Vaguely Heretical Thoughts On Health-Care Reform" at newyorker.com. He admits that it will cost much more than it's advertised, but he feels that is a small price to pay for getting the bill passed. Good grief! Hat tip to "Mud Pit", where I posted the following comment, rebutting local lefty blogger "Zen":
The candid revelation by Mr. Cassidy is not that partisan politics is as important as policy goals in driving the health care bill, or that the cost projections may be over-optimistic, as Zen suggests, but rather that the Pelosi bill contradicts one of the central rationales given by Obama -- that it will cut health care costs. Obama is NOT "transforming the existing system of private insurance, which gave rise to many of the current problems, but ... extending it." Translation: it is NOT a real "reform."
Cassidy is very clear that the fiscal consequences will be dire, and there will be political hell to pay later on. To those like him (and Zen) who have long dreamt of nationalized health care, subterfuge and red ink are a small price to pay. But once the lies upon which the irreversible health care entitlement was enacted are exposed to all, resentment and social polarization will increase exponentially. You think the Tea Partiers are mad now? Just wait.
Jeff Frederick update
Outgoing Del. Jeff Frederick, who was ousted as head of Republican Party of Virginia in April, blames Governor Elect Bob McDonnell for his ill fortune. In fact, he all but said that he cast a write-in vote for another candidate! Sheesh. Such a spiteful attitude is yet another sign of Frederick's immaturity and unfitness to serve in a position of great responsibility. See Washington Post; via tooconservative.com. McDonnell was wise and astute to use his influence to get the party back on an even keel, as it would have been very hard for him to appeal to independent voters on the campaign trail otherwise. Indeed, he might not have won the election.
Victory party photos
Steve Kijak has a boatload of Election Day (and Night) photos on his blog, including one of me (uncharacteristically cheerful! ) along with Delegate Steve Landes and Carl Tate.