Progressives & the Constitution

I’m always somewhat amused when those of the liberal/progressive persuasion express outrage that the Constitution is not being followed. What is progressivism if not a denial of the original intent of the Constitution and of the rule of law?

The progressive philosophy doesn’t recognize limitations on government power. The Constitution does. Article I, section 8, has a list of powers for the Congress that we call the enumerated powers. They are enumerated for a reason—they spell out specifically what Congress has authority to do, and if Congress passes legislation that is not covered by this enumeration [or any other specific powers mentioned elsewhere], it has acted unconstitutionally.

There is no authority for individual welfare, education, controlling commerce within a state, or hundreds of other things on which we currently spend money. We are so far out of bounds, and have exceeded our authority to such an extent, that it might look like a hopeless task to ever get it back under control.

Yet we must take steps in that direction.

The omnibus bill I mentioned in the previous post is almost entirely unconstitutional. It’s not just that it’s a budget buster or tainted with earmarks, although those are major issues as well, but what it seeks to do is invalid under the Constitution.

And of course there’s Obamacare. One part of it was struck down as unconstitutional earlier this week by a federal judge. Why? The judge apparently understands the constitutional limitations.

So when a progressive complains about infidelity to the Constitution, take that with the largest grain of salt you can find.