Sunday, January 17, 2010

Restoring Constitutional Credibility

Its been interesting observing the Massachusetts Senate race these past several days. Out of nowhere, Scott Brown has become not just a challenge to Martha Coakley but could actually win this race. Big shots from both parties have jumped into the fray. Even Obama was in Massachusetts today stumping for Coakley and Foxnews says that he has become her "point man".

Dems have begun circling the wagons to protect the president against the embarrassment of Coakley losing and are making arrangements to bypass the reconciliation process by sending the Senate health care bill directly to the House for them to vote on. This would sidestep the need for returning the reconciled bill to the Senate for further debate where a newly-elected Brown would be the deciding factor in a filibuster against the bill.

That all being said, something was blatantly familiar about how the Dems have been conducting their campaign against Brown. They have spent the majority of their time assuming that the people of Massachusetts WANT what they want and need to simply trust Obama and the Dems to do what's right. They attack Brown with innuendos and name-calling and villainous connections to far right wing groups in an attempt to stir the emotions of the voters against this man.

It wasn't until I saw Brown's response to these attacks that I finally understood what these Progressives/Liberals are doing and DID do in the 2008 election. Brown turned these attacks around by essentially telling everyone they can call him whatever they want but that he's there to debate the issues. Stone cold shut them down.

So what do the Dems do next...they bring in the "personality"...the man himself...Obama. In the same vein as his 2008 campaign he hopes that his sheer charisma and oratory skills will once again wow the voters into doing things his way.

Obama's losing the support of the people not because he is no longer charismatic or a good public speaker, but because the people are becoming aware of the issues and do not like what they see.

Back in the early 1900s, the king of the Progressive, Woodrow Wilson, tried to garner public support for the fledgling League of Nations. He went across country for months on a train making speeches to no avail. The League collapsed due in no small part to the lack of support by the United States public.

When it came time to try again in 1945 the very same people who backed Wilson had learned their lessons and simply bypassed the American public. Truman pushed the US right into the UN without so much as a single attempt to garner public support for it. He simply signed the treaty, the Senate ratified it and left the public to simply accept it.

As many Constitutionalists would argue today, the US involvement in the UN is completely unconstitutional. But that somehow never seems to stop the Progressives. They do what they want and laugh or deride anyone who questions the constitutionality of what they do. When Pelosi asks a reporter if he's joking when he questions the constitutionality of forcing Americans to buy health insurance or go to jail she's just doing what all good Progressives do.

Earlier today I was reminded of a story I had heard once a very long time ago about Davy Crockett...then, Congressman Davy Crockett. The gist of the story is that Congress was about to vote on a simple allocation of funds to help the widow of a veteran of the war of 1812. It was apparently a no-brainer. Everyone expected it to be a unanimous vote. Yet several congressmen took turns speaking eloquently to the reasons for allocating this small amount of money ($10,000) to this woman.

Finally, Crockett stood up and spoke. Rather than summarizing what he said, read it for yourself:

"Mr. Speaker – I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him. This government can owe no debts but for services rendered, and at a stipulated price. If it is a debt, how much is it? Has it been audited, and the amount due ascertained? If it is a debt, this is not the place to present it for payment, or to have its merits examined. If it is a debt, we owe more than we can ever hope to pay, for we owe the widow of every soldier who fought in the War of 1812 precisely the same amount. There is a woman in my neighborhood, the widow of as gallant a man as ever shouldered a musket. He fell in battle. She is as good in every respect as this lady, and is as poor. She is earning her daily bread by her daily labor; but if I were to introduce a bill to appropriate five or ten thousand dollars for her benefit, I should be laughed at, and my bill would not get five votes in this House. There are thousands of widows in the country just such as the one I have spoken of, but we never hear of any of these large debts to them. Sir, this is no debt. The government did not owe it to the deceased when he was alive; it could not contract it after he died. I do not wish to be rude, but I must be plain. Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much of our own money as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.

The full story contains far more amazing insights into the Constitutional war waging between Patriots and Progressives. You can go HERE to read it.

The revelation of this story transcends to today. Progressives/Liberals (whatever you want to call them) have increasingly played upon the emotions and heartstrings of Americans to the detriment of the Constitution.

Apply Colonel Crockett's speech to today. When that reporter asked Pelosi what Constitutional authority they have to force Americans to buy ANYTHING under threat of imprisonment we MUST not settle for her simply calling such a question a joke. They HAVE no authority. The only public support they have for it is our sense of kindness and charity towards those who live without health insurance.

The same can be said for something as universally accepted as helping the people of Haiti. Does Congress have the authority to send our money to help the people of Haiti (or any country, for that matter)? Hard question to answer for only one reason: no one with a heart would want to see these people suffer and anyone who would deny them US funds must certainly be the offspring of satan himself.

THAT is how the Progressives get us to give them the authority to bypass their Constitutional powers. That's how they did it in 1934 with Social Security. That's how they did it with Medicare and virtually every entitlement program we all know so well today.

No one denies the importance of caring for the less fortunate, but NOWHERE in the Constitution have we EVER delegated the responsibility for our own charitable obligations to Congress or anyone else.

Read the words of the man who inspired Crockett to say what he said on that day in Congress, a man by the name of Horatio Bunce:

"The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country...If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other."

Remember, lastly, what Crockett himself said on the floor of Congress: "I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it."

The men and women in Congress know their power to collect and disperse monies from one group of people for the benefit of another group of people does not come from the Constitution, which they swore to uphold, but from the ignorance of the people to know the powers WE have delegated TO them. They have stirred our emotions to the detriment of our own good.

Obama could succeed in stirring those emotions again in Massachusetts. If he does, then we must fight even harder to break those bonds and restore the dignity and respect we once had for our Constitution. If he fails, and we will know in two days if he has, then we must take Scott Brown's approach to every state and district in the country this November.

Call us what you will...we're here to debate the issues.


Shaunie Friday @ Up the Sunbeam said...

Excellent post John! I had never heard this story before--it certainly is a timely one and the words spoken that day could find their mark today if we had leaders who were willing to listen like the honorable men of that day did.

thekeeper said...

John, this is a Fantastic piece. Even your point about Scott Browns approach to the issues and not playing games is excellent, although I despise the neo con agenda of which there is no doubt he is one. Yet this was not the meat of your article, rather it was everything else. The references were inspiring and the commentary so full of truth. I do agree our Liberty candidates should express the same sentiment, they are there to debate the issues. Fantastic!