At a town hall meeting in Hayward, California, a constituent asked of ObamaCare, "If this legislation is constitutional, what limitations are there on the federal government's ability to tell us how to run our private lives?" California Democrat Congressman Pete Stark's answer was disturbing… "I think that there are very few constitutional limits that would prevent the federal government from rules that could affect your private life."
The questioner responded by asking even more emphatically about the individual mandate to buy insurance and the "right" to health care, "If Congress can do this, what can't they do?" Stark's answer sums up a fundamental view of government that is squarely opposed to that of our Founders: "The federal government… uh… yes… can do most anything in this country."
The men who fought, bled and died to bequeath Essential Liberty to this nation are turning over in their graves but Stark is right. Congress has become so powerful and has trampled on our Constitution, the states and the people for so long that its power is limited only by the number of votes a piece of legislation garners. Judicial despots rule by diktat and the executive wields far-reaching power via bureaucratic fiat.
But hope is not lost.
US District Judge Henry Hudson declined Monday to dismiss the state of Virginia's legal challenge against ObamaCare. Virginia is arguing that the individual insurance mandate is unconstitutional and, therefore, the federal government has no power to levy a tax or penalty for failing to buy insurance. Old Dominion is one of 33 states that have begun legal and legislative challenges to ObamaCare.
Hudson thinks the question is worth pursuing: "Never before has the Commerce Clause and associated Necessary and Proper Clause been extended this far," he wrote. The question, then, is "whether or not Congress has the power to regulate -- and tax -- a citizen's decision not to participate in interstate commerce." Arguments are set for Oct. 18 -- just two weeks before the November elections.
The day after Hudson's ruling, Missouri voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition C, which aims to opt the state out of the insurance purchase mandate and resulting penalties. More than 71 percent said "Show Me" where the Constitution authorizes such power. Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma voters will consider similar measures in November. Missouri went for McCain by 0.1 percent in 2008. Of course, the victory is symbolic because federal law trumps state law, but the symbolism is important ~ unless you're a network news producer. Wednesday's evening news on all three networks ignored the story.
This fight isn't about health care. It's about unfettered government power trampling on individual liberty. Come November, many in Washington will hear that message loud and clear.
"If Congress can do whatever 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 rare exceptions."
~ James Madison
James Madison saw this coming more than 200 years ago. Modern Americans haven't figured it out yet. Modern Americans have presided over the destruction of the Constitution. They don't deserve freedom.