One hesitates to weigh in on this mud-slinging for fear of getting muddy oneself. But neither should commentary on Republican and tea-party reaction to Sunday’s House vote be left to the suddenly self-righteous Democratic left: After all, it’s their appalling disregard for democratic principles and processes that gave rise to the weekend’s demonstrations and outbursts....The symbolism of the Democratic left’s hostility to the “tea baggers” should not go unnoticed. The tea party movement’s roots are in the American Revolution. These ordinary Americans are protesting the Washington ”Establishment” — which presently is the Democratic juggernaut – much as American Patriots were protesting the oppressive British Establishment that was “eating out their substance” with “a long train of abuses and usurpations.” The Democratic left should think long and hard about those parallels. The times they are a-changin’.
“Constitutional change occurs because Americans persuade each other about the best meaning of constitutional text and principle in their own time. These debates and political struggles help generate Americans’ investment in the Constitution as their Constitution and they create a platform for the possibility – but not the certainty of its redemption in history.”
Americans today are not bound to meekly accept the most far-ranging assertions of congressional power based on large extrapolations from Supreme Court cases that themselves come from a short period (the late 1930s and early 1940s) when the Court was more supine and submissive to claims about centralized power than was any other Supreme Court before or after in our history. American citizens, in the political process and in their personal lives, will ultimately have the final word on the Constitution.
A large and permanent majority of the American people immediately accepted Social Security as a constitutional solution to poverty among the elderly and to massive unemployment (since Social Security would open up jobs by encouraging people to retire sooner). The American people have not accepted Obamacare as a constitutional solution to health insurance problems. If the American believe that there is a “crisis” about the high cost of health insurance, then the American people can also believe that the solution is not to punish people for refusing to buy overpriced insurance that they don’t want. The American people can reject the notion that our Constitution should be contorted and distorted to accommodate such a destructive and intrusive scheme.
It is eminently within the authority of We the People to act politically on our constitutional beliefs that the congressional power to regulate interstate commerce does not extend to forcing people to buy a product which Congress has forbidden to be sold across state lines; that the power to regulate interstate commerce is not the power to compel a person to participate in instrastate commerce; and the that power to levy income or excise taxes does not include the power to impose punishment in the form of punitive taxes on persons who choose not to buy something–or who choose whether to wear hats and when to sleep.
So, it could happen. But, we will need what Roosevelt had back in the Thirties: years in office, a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, veto-proof majorities in Congress, a conservative majority in the Supreme Court, etc. In other words, we need realignment combined with philosophical confidence. It can happen, but it won't happen because the GOP works toward another 50% + 1 style political coalition.
Uninsured Triangle residents said Monday that they eagerly await the overhaul of the nation's health care system.
"It's just going to be like Christmas," said DeCarlo Flythe, who lost health coverage for his family when he was laid off almost three years ago. "It's going to be great. You know, no worries (about) the bills. We are going to go ahead and pay our co-pay and be alright."