"...Are you serious?"
Those are three simple words that form one simple question. And the question has led us to this moment in time.
Recall in October of 2009, when then-Speaker of the U.S House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi was asked about the formulation of the Obamacare bill, and she asked that very question of a reporter. “Madam Speaker,” a reporter from CNSNews.com said to her, “where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”
Ms. Pelosi seemed surprised. Her indignant “are you serious?” response was followed with a slight bit of nervous laughter, as she then repeated herself. “Yes,” the reporter answered Ms. Pelosi, “yes I am."
Pelosi’s Press Secretary Nadeam Elshami stated that the reporter’s inquiry was “not a serious question,” Pelosi shook her head in disbelief, and they both moved on to address another reporter, completely ignoring the question about “constitutionality.”
And after ignoring concerns about constitutionality for over three years, Democrats are now watching the Administration of their party Leader, Barack Obama, struggling to answer serious questions before the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. The left’s disregard for the limitations of government has been apparent for decades – President Obama himself was on record years before his election lamenting that the Constitution only stipulates what the government cannot do to you, instead of specifying what the government should do for you.
But now a moment of truth is staring all Americans in the face, as the Supreme Court will soon determine if the government can force you to buy something, along with determining whether or not the distinction between “citizen” and “non citizen” (as in Arizona’s illegal immigration law) matters any longer. As President Obama’s former Pastor Jeremiah Wright once famously said, “America’s chickens… are comin’ home to roost..”
The fact is that when Presidents and members of Congress dismiss the Constitution as Mr. Obama and his party have, the only thing standing between the individual citizen and the raw, brutal force of governmental power is the Supreme Court itself. The American founders understood some things about the history of the world, as it existed leading up to our nation’s birth, and they recognized the natural human tendency of those in power to control and ultimately brutalize those beneath them. This is why our Constitution stipulates that we are governed by three co-equal branches of government (not just one or two), and why those branches intentionally create a “check and balance” between each other.
So what if the Supreme Court says that Barack Obama is wrong? What if the Justices collectively determine that our government cannot force the individual citizen to buy something, and that the distinction between being a citizen and an illegal immigrant is real? The Democrats would prefer a Supreme Court stacked with Obama appointees, who would then presumably approve of everything that Obama wants, but (thankfully) they haven’t achieved this yet.
If Democrats must campaign for the final months of this year’s election against a backdrop of Obama failures at the Supreme Court, we may see a well-financed P.R. assault against the Supreme Court Justices themselves. History provides a lesson about this matter, becausePresident Obama is not the first White House occupant to desire more power than the Constitution allows.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, angered when the Supreme Court overturned some of his “new deal” (read “big government”) programs that he believed were unquestionably necessary to save the country, famously began maligning the Justices of the Supreme Court, publicly labeling them as the “9 Old Men.” Additionally, as a means of overcoming the “separation of powers” obstacle, he proposed to “reform” the old, antiquated Supreme Court system by adding up to six new justices – justices that would all be selected and appointed by himself.
Thankfully FDR didn’t get his way. The Congress rejected his court reform legislative proposal (the checks-and-balances phenomenon worked again), and the American people took a dim view of Roosevelt trying to circumvent the Constitution.
But that was the America of 1937. Today, it’s not difficult to imagine that President Obama could curry the favor of millions of Americans, if he chose to campaign against the Justices who may vote to overturn his all-important “Obamacare” law.
Who would stand with Obama in a campaign of Supreme Court bashing? Start with the entire AFL-CIO. Then add the entire “occupy” movement, and the burgeoning “99% Spring” uprising, and eventually one could include all the prevailing powers of the Democrat Party.
Put them all together, and you’ve got a critical mass of Americans who neither care nor understand a wit about history, “limited government,” the U.S Constitution, or the Separation of Powers. They want “stuff” – “free” healthcare, education, or whatever – and they want raw power in Washington to deliver that stuff to citizen and non-citizen alike, and by whatever means.
So is America serious about a constitutional government? Many of us are far more serious about receiving “things” from our government than the idea of a constitutional republic.
Depending on how the high court rules this summer, we may see Democrats campaigning on an agenda of “constitutional and judicial reform” before November arrives.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.