The Great Disappearing Act

Congress passed another stopgap continuing resolution so the government can continue to function. This needs to end sometime, and our deficit problem must be met head-on. That, of course, will require some tough choices on spending, but it won’t be easy to get Democrats to agree to those cuts.

Just last week, Harry Reid bemoaned how the proposed cuts would end a very valuable program for cowboy poetry. Let me repeat that: a very valuable program for cowboy poetry. I decided I should repeat it because you might have thought you read it wrong. No, he was serious.

I’m trying to recall which provision in the Constitution allows taxpayer money to be used for cowboy poetry. If you find it, please let me know.

So the fiscal issue is a major concern. Will Congress be able to tackle it, or will stubborn resistance to cuts lead to a government shutdown? Someone needs to face reality.

There are also social issues on the docket. For instance, Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood, which is the foremost proponent of abortion-on-demand in the country. Again, where does the Constitution authorize taxpayer money to take the lives of innocent children? Is the Congress going to be able to find common ground here?

The “great disappearing act” is going to make those issues troublesome as well.

At least we have a president who is fully engaged with the most pressing issues of the day:

He was known as “Senator Present” in the Illinois Senate when he voted “present” a multitude of times. It appears we now have “President Present.” Of course, when I consider what he would promote if he truly were engaged, it makes me thankful that he has decided to be a non-entity.

Despotism vs. the Constitution

Even though the Senate, by a strictly partisan vote, refused to pass Obamacare repeal, the initial steps in that direction have been taken. More steps will follow. This can be frustrating to those who want to see sweeping change immediately, but rarely does anything change that quickly. This is a long-term commitment, but its progress can be measured, bit by bit:

I remember the arrogance with which it was proclaimed as a “big deal.” Well, now that big deal isn’t on quite as steady ground. Two federal judges have declared it unconstitutional, and really, it doesn’t take a law degree to grasp just how fundamentally it violates the Constitution. In fact, some people with law degrees are positively clueless when it comes to judging constitutionality:

The passage of Obamacare was no more than a power play. The president had the numbers in Congress, so he pushed it through regardless of the will of the majority in the nation—and there’s no way he can say he didn’t realize how much resistance there was to his healthcare plan. In effect, he simply made it happen in the face of strong opposition. There’s a definition for that type of political leader:

Despotic rulers are not the sole possession of Third World countries and Islamic kingdoms. It’s time we recognize what we are experiencing here.

The Promised Land of Restored Constitutionalism

As almost anyone who pays any attention to politics probably knows by now, the lawsuit against Obamacare by twenty-six states received a favorable ruling yesterday. Federal District Court Judge Roger Vinson concluded that the law was a violation of the Constitution since it mandated that people buy health insurance.

Judge Vinson


Vinson went further than the Virginia judge who ruled against the law a number of weeks ago. Instead of declaring that only one part of the law was unconstitutional, he noted that you cannot sever that one part from the whole: since that one part was so foundational to the statute, the entire law is unconstitutional. That makes eminent sense.

Already the law’s backers are challenging the ruling. The Obama administration calls the decision “judicial activism.” How ironic. Obama stretches constitutional provisions beyond recognition, while Judge Vinson calls us back to original intent, and Vinson is the activist? There’s an academic term for that: baloney.

While this is an important milestone in the drive to overturn Obamacare, it isn’t the last word. It will be appealed through the system until it arrives on the steps of the Supreme Court, and there’s still no telling how the Court will rule.

Meanwhile, Sen. Jim DeMint has prepared an Obamacare repeal bill for the Senate, following on the House’s vote for repeal earlier. At last report, DeMint had all forty-seven Republican senators on board. That’s almost unheard of, considering who some of those senators are. All it will take is for four Democrats to come over to the Republicans’ side and this could be sent to the president’s desk. Yes, it will be vetoed if that occurs, but the sense of the entire Congress will be clear and Obama will be the lone obstruction. In a nation where more than 50% of the electorate (particularly among those who are most likely to vote) wants it repealed, he will suffer politically for his stubborn resistance to constitutional limitations.

Most of what Obama has proposed is unconstitutional; beyond that, none of it has ever worked for anyone else, so why believe it will work here?

There’s a lot that needs to be reversed after the past two years. The Promised Land of restored constitutionalism is not yet in view, but one gets a feeling we’re at least marching in the right direction.

Obamacare's Fate

The House vote to repeal Obamacare was the fulfillment of a pledge to the electorate. Thus far, Republicans have kept their promise. Even though Harry Reid has said he will not allow any debate on the measure in the Senate, Republican leaders in that body are saying they have ways to make it happen. Again, it appears they are remaining faithful to the platform on which they ran in November.

It is possible that a few Democrat senators, particularly those who feel vulnerable in the upcoming 2012 elections, may jump ship and join with the Republicans if they can force a vote. If that happens, it will then all be on the president’s shoulders if he vetoes the bill. It will be him versus the Congress, making it clear to the American people that he is the obstacle to true reform. He may not like being in that position.

The “third” opinion may come from the courts. There are now 26 states combined together in one lawsuit to overturn the healthcare law, making the case that it is unconstitutional. That means that more than half the states don’t want it. This may be the quickest and most efficient route for its demise.

Forcing anyone to buy health insurance is so far removed from constitutional authority that, in a better political world, there shouldn’t even be a debate about it. But we live in this world instead, so we will have to be patient and wait for this to run its course.

Repealing Obamacare

Finally. Debate began yesterday in the House of Representatives over a bill that would repeal Obamacare. Republicans ran on this message for the November elections, so they are holding true to their promise. They are doing what their constituents required of them:

The monster has not yet been fully implemented, so now is a perfect time to kill it [oops, I ventured into dangerous dialogue territory—please, don’t anyone take that too seriously. Remember, Sarah Palin is to blame for everything, not me.]

Democrats are declaring that this would be a big mistake because repeal would raise the deficit, while keeping it would reduce the deficit. Proof? Why, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says so. Yes, as long as it is constrained to use the phony numbers given to it by Democrat leaders. There’s a principle at work here:

It is true, though, that Republicans are going to have to be in this struggle for the long haul. Repeal is not going to occur soon:

Harry Reid has already promised that if the House passes the repeal bill, he won’t allow it to come to a vote in the Senate. If only all the Senate seats had been up for that last election instead of just one-third. I do believe in the Founders’ provision to stagger the Senate elections for the sake of stability, but sometimes it would be nice to have wholesale “repeal” of most of these senators:

But at least one thing will change. In light of last week’s call for civility, we can be sure that a new tone will be set in these debates, right? Right?

Sometimes, a public repentance isn’t what it appears to be. We’ll see.

Pelosi vs. Reality

There are times when a statement by a politician is so far from reality that it takes a while to be able to come up with a response other than laughter.

For instance, in case you missed it, Nancy Pelosi, defending her four years as House Speaker made this astounding claim:

“Deficit reduction has been a high priority for us. It is our mantra, pay-as-you-go.”

When I first heard her say this, I thought perhaps I had misunderstood, but it becomes more ludicrous each time the soundbite is played. Here are the facts:

When the Pelosi Democrats took control of Congress on January 4, 2007, the national debt stood at $8,670,596,242,973.04. The last day of the 111th Congress and Pelosi’s Speakership on December 22, 2010 the national debt was $13,858,529,371,601.09 – a roughly $5.2 trillion increase in just four years. Furthermore, the year over year federal deficit has roughly quadrupled during Pelosi’s four years as speaker, from $342 billion in fiscal year 2007 to an estimated $1.6 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2010.

She also claims that the Democrats were “all about market-oriented solutions” and that the reason the unemployment rate is so high is due to [are you ready for this?] the policies of George W. Bush. There just doesn’t seem to be any statute of limitations on this blame game. Businesses, however, know why things have been so bad:


Pelosi’s comments beg the question: does she really believe what she is saying? Option one: she does believe it, thereby showing how blind a person can become when wedded to a false ideology. What the apostle Paul said with respect to people being blind to the Gospel message can have application here as well:

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case  the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. [2 Corinthians 4:3-3]

In this case, she is blinded from seeing the truth because she already has a predetermined philosophy that keeps her in the darkness.

Option 2: she doesn’t really believe what she is saying but hopes to mislead the public and return to power in two years. 

I’m not really sure which option is the case, but if the first, she is out of touch with reality—and if the second, her character disqualifies her from public service.

There are always those who will be fooled, either because they are enmeshed in false ideas—or for other reasons:

That part of the electorate can always be counted on to remain faithful to whatever policies “progressive” leadership enacts. Others, though, are becoming more skeptical:

In fact, the number of skeptics is growing and becoming quite vocal, as witnessed by the events of the past two years and the election results:

May true enlightenment continue, and may the veil that blinds the people be pulled aside.

Watch the Back Door

Now that the House is Republican, probably no radical legislation is going to succeed. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that there are other ways an administration can try to achieve its agenda. We have to be alert to those possibilities:

Last week, some alert observers noticed that the end-of-life provision [a.k.a., death panels] that had to be excised from Obamacare because of the uproar created over the government determining whether or not someone would be allowed to receive treatment, reared its head again on the administrative side, bypassing the Congress.

Once again, Obama officials had to back down, but this is only a temporary change, I’m sure. It will reappear, primarily because the man at the top believes he should have his way regardless of the obstacles:

The largest obstacle he has to overcome, of course, is the Constitution itself, but I don’t think he cares that much about it:

If he doesn’t take the Constitution seriously, we have to provide the balance. Are we too late?

It’s true that we are in dire straits, but the situation is not hopeless. I continue to believe that hope exists.