Posts Tagged ‘Federalism’

Mitt Romney’s Sorry Excuse for Romneycare

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Helping Obama Socialize America

Mitt Romney has repeatedly insisted that the Tenth Amendment and the principles of federalism forgive Romneycare.  Many question this assertion, but to date, Romney has dodged and evaded it.  While the media continues to talk about contraception, Rush Limbaugh, and every evasion they can imagine, but none have asked Romney any question in opposition to this premise.  I want to know when the media will finally get around to vetting this, but it seems they have bought the lie that since Romneycare happened at the state level, it’s somehow different.  That’s not the case, and it never will be, but for the willing media that simply refuses to address this issue. In order to make this plain, I am going to explain once more why Romneycare is not excused and may not be forgiven on the basis of federalism.

The principle of federalism exists because of the way in which our nation was formed.  Our constitution is best compared to a contract in partnership among the several states.  In this sense, the states are superior to the Federal government they created, in precisely the same way that the individual retains sovereignty even after entering into a partnership.  A contract of marriage is another similar concept.  On the grounds of the marriage compact, one spouse does not gain the authority to coerce the other to an action.  When such things occur, there’s generally a dissolution of a partnership or a divorce in marriage.  Of course, the Civil War set a precedent in this regard with respect to the states, but the principle is sound even if our observance of it has not always been the most faithful.

What Mitt Romney argues with respect to his health insurance reform plan in Massachusetts(hereafter: Romneycare) is that the state of Massachusetts is eligible to do to individuals that which the Federal government may not.  The problems with this argument are many, but let us focus on just a few.  First, the Tenth Amendment doesn’t offer protections solely to the states, but also to the people.  In fact, one could also argue that  the Ninth Amendment, also applies. Here are the Ninth and Tenth Amendments:

  • Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

These are important parts of our Constitution, and while many of our children will study the First, Second, Fourth, and Fifth, sadly, the others are frequently neglected.  The Ninth simply states that just because a right wasn’t specifically addressed in the  Constitution does not mean it does not exist.  In effect, citizens could rightly claim all manner of other rights under the auspices of the Ninth, and they have.  The Tenth is considered to be a strong pro-federalism Amendment, reserving power over all matters not specifically mentioned to the States, or to the people.  What this means is that the Federal Government cannot come along and create whatever laws it wants, without respect to the sovereignty of the individual states, or to the individual people residing in them.

To be perfectly frank about this, if we applied the Tenth amendment more strictly, as should have been the case, many Federal laws now in existence would be tossed out as violations.  That said, what Romney claims is that the State can do to individuals that which is forbidden to the Federal Government.  Again we return to the Civil War as a precedent, but we needn’t go that far. We need only go back to the 1960s, when Kennedy sent the Feds to enforce the rights of individual citizens against the State government in Alabama, led by Governor George Wallace.  Notice that the Tenth Amendment had no application there, since the rights being protected were recognized by the Federal Government, and disparaged by the State.

Here starts the trouble.  Romney argues that unlike the Federal Government, that must abide by a commerce clause that forbids the Federal Government from interfering in intrastate commerce, by enumerating interstate commerce alone, the state of Massachusetts is under no such restriction, and in fact is merely exercising its authority over intrastate commerce.  Romney, his shills and his supporters all claim that this is just like automobile insurance.   Most states in the United States mandate some form of auto insurance, but this is a deception too.  The states may not compel anything beyond liability insurance.  They cannot force drivers to purchase collision insurance, comprehensive insurance, road hazard insurance, or anything of the sort.  They may only compel the purchase of liability insurance(and most states permit a liability bond of self-insurance,) and only because the vehicles to be operated are to be operated on the  public roadways.  On your private property, the state has no such authority.  Therefore, the authority of the state to compel the purchase of insurance(or posting of bond) is contingent upon your use of the public roadways, but their ability to compel is limited to liability insurance.

Once you understand this, the argument of Mitt Romney evaporates.  The mandate in Romneycare compels the individual to purchase insurance that he may never use, but most importantly, insurance to cover his own injury or loss.  This is the equivalent of forcing you to insure your lawn-mower against losses that only you might incur(damage, theft, etc,)  or insuring your car against yourself with a sledgehammer in your driveway.  The State cannot compel the purchase of such insurance, and the reason is simple:  The government has no interest in it, and thus no standing.  The claim of Romney and other statists is that the state does have an interest, by virtue of the fact that you might show up and demand healthcare irrespective of your ability to pay.

This is a result of the legal requirement by the Federal Government that an emergency room cannot turn persons away for lack of ability to pay. Effectively, what Romney and those like him argue is that because the hospitals may be coerced to take non-paying patients, that this then gives the state the authority to compel all to insurance.  This is like arguing that because some people commit robberies, we ought to be compelled to purchase pre-paid legal services, one and all, or that because some people may be bitten by rattlesnakes, we all ought to carry around a snake-bit kit, and redistribute the costs on a uniform basis.

This is absurd, and in fact, this is the root of the Romneycare scam, and what you have is really the result of an unjust law that requires some people to provide services to others irrespective of their ability to pay.  Imagine somebody walking into the grocery store and filling their cart or basket and then walking out without paying on the basis that everybody needs to eat.  Of course, we’ve short-circuited this too through the foodstamps program. In truth, with medical care, we’ve short-circuited this with Medicaid and Medicare, and much of the unpaid medical bills are generated by people who find themselves uncovered by situation.  All of it is really socialism, writ large, and Mitt Romney’s attempt to pretend otherwise is a shame, but the fact that the mainstream media permits him to evade the subject with talk of federalism and “states’ rights” is a damnable scandal.

The Push to Destroy Your Liberties

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Still Relevant

We have discussed a number of very serious issues here, but some things simply cannot be repeated often enough.  Among the subjects we’ve visited and re-visited is the matter of our Constitution, and how it is being systematically undermined.  Part of the reason the statists get away with this is because they work in secret, putting a public face on their activities that never reveals what they’re really trying to accomplish while trying to sucker us into going along.  Many Americans have fallen for this approach because the fact is that they’re ignorant.  I mean  that quite literally:  They simply don’t know the subject matter, and so are easily misinformed about it.

The subject of how they’ve become misinformed is a question for another day, but it’s time to address the subject matter in detail.  Many Americans have been led to believe  that our system of an electoral college to select a President is bad, because it defeats direct democracy.  The question isn’t whether that’s true – it is – but whether that is a good thing for our nation.  Don’t be fooled by those who pitch to you the notion of eliminating the electoral college, or subverting it.  The electoral college has been and remains a vital force in protecting the long-term health and stability of the nation.

There are several projects out there, most of them being pushed or coordinated by Soros flunkies and shills, who seek to eliminate the electoral college, or to essentially neuter its effectiveness.  This is because the electoral college serves an important function in restraining the capricious will and whimsy of the great body of the electorate.  It’s one of the most important checks and balances in that lovely list of them that had made our Constitution durable.  In our Constitution, there are checks on the Congress, on the President, and even on the judicial branch.  There were also to be checks on our political power.  You might wonder why the framers of the Constitution would do this, but what you must know is that despite the fact that technology changes, the underlying human nature that avails itself of technology never does.  The framers knew this.  They knew that Democracy is merely an angry mob waiting to happen, and that no nation could survive wild gyrations in the battle between competing angry mobs.  Their grand idea was to eliminate the power of angry mobs by muting them and taking away some of their ability to overwhelm orderly changes in government and its institutions.

The electoral college works to stabilize a vast nation with diverse interests by seeing to it that no grossly unbalanced regional interest can hold sway over the nation.  It also places a final line of defense in place against usurpation.  In 2008, that line of defense failed, but not because the system had broken.  Instead, it was only because the people in the system are so corrupt.  No law and no system of laws can prevail so long as corruption runs free within it.  The electoral college permits that a person can win the presidency without securing the plurality of the popular vote if the candidate can win support of a majority of the electors.  Remember, under our system, your vote at the polls in a presidential election is not really binding on an elector.

This is particularly important when you remember that you could theoretically build a majority of the electorate with just the top ten most populace states like California, Texas, New York, Florida, and so on, while overlooking the interests of the less-populated but much more numerous states.  This would create a condition in which a President so-elected would have no inclination to serve the interests of these smaller states, despite the fact that they are much more numerous.  In a popular election, a President might win in 49 states by a narrow margin, but in a single state by a large margin, and win the election, so that the will of the people of 49 states was ignored on behalf of the will of the people of one state.   Remember, ours is a federal system, meaning that despite our tendency these days to think of Washington DC first, the states are really intended to be the seat of most governmental authority and power.  Some will make the specious claim that we are one nation, and as such, should vote as a single electorate rather than a collection of aggregated electorates, but this ignores what the framers sought to insure:  Stable self-governance.

Here are a couple quotes from delegates to the Constitutional Convention that explain their thinking:

“The extent of the country renders it impossible, that the people can have the requisite capacity to judge of the respective pretensions of the candidates.” — Delegate Mason, July 17, 1787

“The people are uninformed, and would be misled by a few designing men.” — Delegate Gerry, July 19, 1787.

One can’t help but look to the fools now occupying Wall Street and realize that Gerry was correct. More importantly, however, this mechanism was put in place to ensure that the Federal government would uphold its duty to the states, specified in Article IV, Section 4, wherein it says:

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican form of Government…”

Obviously, they were not speaking of the Republican Party, which did not exist at the time, but rather the concept of a republic, as I have discussed elsewhere. In the coming months, there will be a number of challenged to our Constitutional form of government, and you ought to be intellectually armed to confront them.  Understanding how the electoral college helps preserve our way of life along with our system of government is key to restoring this nation.  Just as a century ago, progressives looked for new ways to subvert this Republic, and managed to enact at least two amendments destructive of it(16th and 17th,) now they are back in force to finish the job.  It’s fitting, then, that our current President is like the the one who took office in March 1913, and who held the American people and the Constitution in a contempt rivaled only by our current president: Woodrow Wilson.  Learn your history, and learn the meaning of your constitution. Teach its brilliant underpinnings to your children and grandchildren.  It’s the only hope we have of preserving it.

The Question of Federalism and Abortion

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Are These Truths Self-Evident?

On Friday, I brought you the story of Herman Cain’s confusing stance on abortion.  Some of you disagreed with my position on this, citing the notion of federalism as the “out.”  I’m sorry to say that I can’t help but disagree with anybody who tries to evade this issue by pointing to federalism as their escape mechanism.  Federalism is certainly an important principle in our constitutional republic that has been denigrated and dismissed too easily by statists, but in this instance, it’s a concept out of place by virtue of the question at hand.  By the application of federalism that some of you have advanced, I’m confused as to how you see any federal role anywhere in safeguarding any liberty of any American at any time under any circumstances.  Frankly, it’s an absurd claim, and it’s time we debunk it right here, and right now.

Our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, sets forth the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of its citizens as the great pursuit and ultimate object of our government.  Our framers were so concerned that they decided to enshrine certain rights within the Constitution in specific language in what was ultimately adopted as our Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to our federal constitution.  I would like it very much if one of the advocates of federalism would explain to me how it is that our federal government protects the freedom of speech, the press, religion, the right to keep and bear arms, and the right to individual due process if the rights in question are subjected to any level of government outside the federal sphere.  Explain to me why it is that we have need of a federal murder statute, if murder is a crime to be handled by the states.  Explain why we have any protections of any sort, including voters’ rights, that supersede local or state laws in many, many instances.

The argument of federalism really has no place in this argument if you believe there is a right to life, and that life begins at conception.  If there is a right to life, that life gets all the same protections of law from the federal all the way down to the individual, otherwise, why bother with the concept of rights at the federal level at all?  Do not suggest to me that you do not want rights enforced at the local level of government by federal observance of these fundamental rights, else how do you support the rulings of the court that have held that the gun laws of Chicago are too restrictive of the right to keep and bear arms, and are a de facto prohibition.  In this case, most of you cry out for the protection of your rights by the federal establishment.  How do you now suggest that federal authority has no effective reach, in the case of abortion?  This is a preposterous dichotomy that does not withstand even momentary consideration.

There were a few who rightly suggested that this is about when “person-hood” begins, and this is the more effective argument.  If one becomes a “person” under the law only at birth, then no form of abortion can be restricted on any grounds.  To effect this discontinuity, however, you would have to define the legal standard of “person-hood” as beginning at conception.  My point to you is that whether you agree with abortion or not, it’s perfectly useless for the debate to focus on any other object but this one.  If abortion is to be illegal, it must be specified that rights commence not at birth, but at conception.  To obfuscate the matter by putting it off to an issue of federalism has already failed miserably: How many state laws restricting abortion have been overturned by the federal judiciary on the basis that a woman’s right to abort falls under the federal protection of some elusive and illusory right to privacy not mentioned in the constitution?

If the question of abortion is to be attacked in a sincere way, it must be confronted on the issue of when rights commence.  Our constitution is silent on the matter, however, our Declaration of Independence speaks to the matter:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Now, armed with that piece, again consider this one:

“…the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them…”

Once more, if the laws of nature are the point of reference, what does nature tell us about when life commences? A human being becomes an individual at conception, with his own unique genetic code, and from that moment forth, it’s dictated by nature.

You can argue about this indefinitely, but my point to you is that our founders understood that nature dictates the rights of all mankind, and that government exists only to guarantee those rights. They held that God was the author of nature, and in that sense, all rights are therefore God-given, but in any case, as a matter of pure logic, the rights of individuals must be an a priori prerequisite to existence as a person.  If that is the case, the only argument to have is this one.  What I’m saying to you is that this business about Federalism with respect to individual rights negates the entire purpose of the federal government.  If the federal government has no place in the matter of the guarantee of individual rights, then there can be no legitimate purpose to the federal government in any sense.  Again, referencing the Declaration of Independence:

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…”

In this single line is the sole legitimate purpose of our federal government, and indeed any government.  Those of you who would suppose yourselves conservative or libertarian ought to know this well.  To then argue that the abortion debate can be dispensed with by simply passing it off to a lower level of government under the aegis of federalism is to ignore what is the entire purpose of any government, and I simply won’t hear of it.  Not on this site.