A well-drawn amendment would be akin to the protections in the Bill of Rights against government intervention in certain activities such as religion, press, speech, petitioning and assembly. It would lay down markers indicating what the feds may not do.
This amendment could draw strong support from Democrats and might even be negotiable with the Obama administration. Democrats are not anxious to be labeled as the party of socialism, and Republicans, who know the stimulus package will pass anyway, are looking for a way to, at minimum, influence it. Sitting on the sidelines and voting no is not the way to win friends and influence people.
If moderate Democrats and the administration prove truculent or overly limited in what they will accept, the Free Enterprise Amendment gives the Republican Party a place to stand in a filibuster. To filibuster merely to reduce the size of the stimulus or to influence the mix of the tax cuts or the specifics of the spending would not appeal to an America in shellshock over the depression. But a strong stand -- refusing to allow the stimulus package to come up for a vote -- in order to make sure that our economy remains private and that socialism does not come inside the Trojan horse makes a great deal of sense and will be seen by the American people as a wise use of power by the Republicans. Rather than asking the Republicans why they won't pass the stimulus package, they will ask Obama why he does not accede to so acceptable an amendment.
And the amendment, once passed, will be worth its weight in stopping bureaucrats from crossing lines that should not be crossed. One can easily see the day when prosecutions for violations of this amendment become commonplace.