Alexander's Essay – October 29,
"In questions of power, then, let
no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him
down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
Never before has there been more evidence of outright
contempt for our Constitution than under the current
liberal hegemony presiding over the executive and legislative
branches of our federal government.
The protagonist of this Leftist regime
is, of course, Barack Hussein Obama, who promised his
constituents, "This is our moment, this is our
time to turn the page on the policies of the past, to
offer a new direction. We are fundamentally transforming
the United States of America. And generations from now,
we will be able to look back and tell our children that
this was our time" [emphasis added].
Obama proclaimed, "Everywhere we
look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy
calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act --
to lay a new foundation for growth."
In his inaugural speech, Obama declared,
"The question we ask today is not whether our government
is too big or too small, but whether it works,"
signaling his rejection of the old paradigm, which pitted
the conservative position, "government is the problem,"
against the liberal position, "government is the
Thus, by virtue of his election to the
presidency nearly one year ago, he believes he has the
authority to establish a new paradigm to "fundamentally
transform" our nation by creating "a new foundation."
However, if we are a nation of laws
with a national government limited by our Constitution,
and, indeed, we are, then Obama has no legal authority
to "transform" our government.
Those who laid our constitutional foundation
were very clear about its limits on government.
Our Constitution's principle author,
James Madison, wrote, "The powers delegated by
the proposed Constitution to the federal government
are few and defined [and] will be exercised principally
on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and
Concerning the legislature's authority,
Thomas Jefferson asserted: "[G]iving [Congress]
a distinct and independent power to do any act they
please which may be good for the Union, would render
all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power
completely useless. It would reduce the whole [Constitution]
to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with
power to do whatever would be for the good of the United
States; and as sole judges of the good or evil, it would
be also a power to do whatever evil they please. Certainly,
no such universal power was meant to be given them.
[The Constitution] was intended to lace them up straightly
within the enumerated powers and those without which,
as means, these powers could not be carried into effect."
Madison added, "If Congress can
do whatever in their discretion can be done by money,
and will promote the General Welfare, the Government
is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers,
but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."
But too many among us have become so
fixated on the superficial parameters of today's political
debates rather than demand an answer to that most essential
question: What is the constitutional authority for Obama's
proposals now being debated in Congress?
For example, amid all the acrimony over
Obama's transformation of health care, the debate should
not be centered on which plan is better, but whether
constitutional authority exists for any of the plans
Unfortunately, such inquiry is scarce,
and hardly noted.
Last week, however, three leading Democrats
in Congress were asked during news conferences to cite
the constitutional authority for their healthcare proposals.
To a one, they responded with answers that betrayed
unmitigated arrogance and a disdain for our Constitution
second to none in our nation's noble history.
"Are you serious? Are you serious?"
replied House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when asked specifically
about the constitutional authority for Obama's health
care proposal. Pelosi's spokesman later clarified, "You
can put this on the record: That is not a serious question.
That is not a serious question." (Apparently, there
was an echo in the chamber.)
Democrat House Majority Leader Steny
Hoyer attempted to answer the question by demonstrating
his illimitable ignorance on the subject: "Well,
in promoting the general welfare the Constitution obviously
gives broad authority to Congress to effect [a mandate
that individuals must buy health insurance]. The end
that we're trying to effect is to make health care affordable,
so I think clearly this is within our constitutional
Perhaps Hoyer should take a basic civics
course on the "General Welfare" clause in
Article 1, Section 8, as written by James Madison. On
the limitations of the Constitution, Madison wrote:
"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article
of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress
of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of
Finally, Democrat Patrick Leahy, Chairman
of the Senate Judiciary Committee (where Rule of Law
once prevailed), responded to the question of constitutional
authority by insisting, "We have plenty of authority.
... I mean, there's no question there's authority. Nobody
questions that. Where do we have the authority to set
speed limits on an interstate highway? The federal government
does that on federal highways." (No, actually,
the states set speed limits, and only misinterpretation
of the Commerce Clause by judicial activists could be
construed to give the federal government such authority.)
As for Obama, his publicist, Robert
Gibbs, claimed, "I won't be confused as a constitutional
scholar, but I don't believe there's a lot of -- I don't
believe there's a lot of case law that would demonstrate
the veracity of [questions about constitutional authority]."
For sure, nobody will confuse Gibbs
with a scholar of any stripe. And, we would remind Gibbs
that when the Clintonistas attempted to nationalize
healthcare (18 percent of the U.S. economy) back in
1994, the bi-partisan Congressional Budget Office issued
this piece of analysis: "The government has never
required people to buy any good or service as a condition
of lawful residence in the United States. An individual
mandate ... would impose a duty on individuals as members
of society [and] require people to purchase a specific
service that would be heavily regulated by the federal
Remarkably, neither Obama's bête
noire, Fox News, nor any nationally syndicated conservative
column, devoted air time or print to these egregiously
To be sure, there are a few Republicans
who have questioned Obama's authority. Utah Republican
Sen. Orrin Hatch proposed an amendment requiring swift
judicial review of the health care folly if it is ultimately
passed into law. Not surprisingly, Democrat Sen. Max
Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, refused
to take up Hatch's amendment, insisting that it was
a matter for the Judiciary Committee -- the very committee
chaired by the aforementioned Senator Patrick "We
have plenty of authority" Leahy.
In order to divine the real source the
Left claims as its authority for "fundamentally
transforming the United States of America," consider
this congressional inquiry from last March.
Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann dared
ask Obama's tax cheat Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner,
"What provision in the Constitution could you point
to gives authority for the actions that have been taken
by the Treasury since March of '08?"
Geithner responded, "Oh, well,
the -- the Congress legislated in the Emergency Economic
Stabilization Act a range of very important new authorities."
Bachmann tried again: "Sir, in
the Constitution. What in the Constitution could you
point to gives authority to the Treasury for the extraordinary
actions that have been taken?"
Geithner's response: "Every action
that the Treasury and the Fed and the FDIC is -- is
-- has been using authority granted by this body --
by this body, the Congress."
The "authority granted by this
body, the Congress."
In every successive Congress since 1995,
conservative Arizona Republican Rep. John Shadegg has
sponsored the Enumerated Powers Act (HR 1359), which
requires that "Each Act of Congress shall contain
a concise and definite statement of the constitutional
authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion
of that Act."
The measure continues to fail, however,
because of a dirty little secret: There is no legitimate
constitutional authority for almost 70 percent of current
federal government programs, and, thus, no authority
for the collection of taxes to fund such activities.
Though Obama swore to "preserve,
protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,"
and every member of Congress has pledged "to support
and defend the Constitution of the United States against
all enemies, foreign and domestic," and "bear
true faith and allegiance to the same," Democrats,
and too many Republicans, have forsaken their sacred
In doing so, they have inflicted grievous
injury upon our Constitution, thereby placing our Essential
Liberty in eminent peril.
In May 1775, at the onset of the hostilities
that gave rise to our Declaration of Independence and
Constitution, the Second Continental Congress adopted
a resolution calling on the states to prepare for rebellion.
In its preamble, John Adams advised his countrymen to
sever all oaths of allegiance to the Crown.
Since that time, generations of American
Patriots have honored their oaths, shed their blood,
given their lives -- but not to the crown of any man
or a partisan sect. Instead, these sacrifices have been
made to support and defend our Constitution and the
Rule of Law it established.
Put simply, there is no authority for
a "constitutional rewrite" by Barack Hussein
Obama, nor Nancy Pelosi, nor Steny Hoyer, nor any like-minded
revisionists. Such contempt for our Constitution, such
willful violation of their sacred oaths is a disgrace
to the selfless dignity of generations of Patriots before
At present, we have a gang of outlaws
at the helms of the executive and legislative branches.
Under such despots, we are being unlawfully taxed without
lawful representation. Sound familiar?
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
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