Ignorance of Our Constitution is No Excuse + More

Posted on Mon 03/29/2010 by


Robert Gibbs

Maybe if Gibbs was reading the Constitution instead of a pop-up Star Wars book...


The Foundation

“If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws – the first growing out of the last.” –Alexander Hamilton


“The day after the House approved the health care bill, a reporter asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs about the lawsuits some states were threatening against the legislation on the grounds that the provision forcing all Americans to buy health insurance was unconstitutional. ‘I think there’s pretty longstanding precedent on the constitutionality of this,’ Gibbs said, without offering any substantive explanation. Later in the briefing, another reporter pressed Gibbs on the question. ‘You say there’s established law, established precedent,’ said the reporter. ‘On what? What is it? What is the established precedent?’ ‘On the regulation of interstate commerce,’ said Gibbs. The reporter then asked how the mandate in question was part of interstate commerce. ‘Well, that’s — I think, again — look, I’m not a lawyer, right,’ said Gibbs. ‘And neither am I,’ said the reporter. … Gibbs, of course, has every right to profess ignorance of the Constitution. Who knows, in this instance, he might be telling the truth.   …    But he has no right to denigrate the ability of other Americans to understand the Constitution, and it is fatuous for him to suggest only lawyers can. … Surely, a teacher, a doctor, a mechanic, a network news anchor and perhaps even a member of Congress can understand the words of the 10th Amendment as well as any lawyer can. It says: ‘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.’ If the Constitution has not delegated to the federal government the power to force Americans to buy health insurance, then Congress and the president do not have that power. Period.” –CNSNews.com editor in chief Terence Jeffrey


“Once a nation under a Constitution that restricted government intrusion, we now want government to provide for our ‘needs’ by calling them ‘rights.’ We now ask government to prop up failing businesses, make student loans, guarantee mortgages, build and maintain public housing, financially support state education from preschool though graduate school, fund private research, provide disaster relief and aid, pay ‘volunteers’ and on and on. Many in our nation happily submit to this bargain. They consider the Big Three entitlements — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — ‘rights,’ their absence unimaginable in a modern ‘caring’ society. It is out of the question to expect people, families and communities to plan for retirement. It is beyond reason to expect medical care, like any other commodity, to follow the laws of supply and demand — for prices and choices to allocate resources and for competition to drive down prices and improve quality. It is simply too much to expect the compassion, morality and spirituality of humankind to aid those unable to care for themselves.” –columnist Larry Elder


“The Care therefore of every man’s Soul belongs unto himself, and is to be left unto himself. But what if he neglect the Care of his Soul? I answer, What if he neglects the Care of his Health, or of his Estate, which things are nearlier related to the Government of the Magistrate than the other? Will the magistrate provide by an express Law, That such an one shall not become poor or sick? Laws provide, as much as is possible, that the Goods and Health of Subjects be not injured by the Fraud and Violence of others; they do not guard them from the Negligence or Ill-husbandry of the Possessors themselves.” –English philosopher and political theorist John Locke (1632-1704)

The Gipper

“One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. … Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it.” —Ronald Reagan

Opinion in Brief

“The corrupt manner in which this massive legislation was rammed through Congress, without any of the committee hearings or extended debates that most landmark legislation has had, has provided a roadmap for pushing through more such sweeping legislation in utter defiance of what the public wants. Too many critics of the Obama administration have assumed that its arrogant disregard of the voting public will spell political suicide for Congressional Democrats and for the President himself. But that is far from certain. True, President Obama’s approval numbers in the polls have fallen below 50 percent, and that of Congress is down around 10 percent. But nobody votes for Congress as a whole, and the President will not be on the ballot until 2012. They say that, in politics, overnight is a lifetime. Just last month, it was said that the election of Scott Brown to the Senate from Massachusetts doomed the health care bill. Now some of the same people are saying that passing the health care bill will doom the administration and the Democrats’ control of Congress. As an old song said, ‘It ain’t necessarily so.'” –economist Thomas Sowell

Political Futures

“The very day the president smugly and exuberantly (for him) signed this bill into law, the other shoe dropped. Certain Republican leaders expressed their resignation to the fact that this bill is now the law of the land and that full repeal might not be feasible. The Huffington Post reported that the ‘entire slate of Republican senatorial candidates’ appear poised to run on a full repeal platform. But the main one coordinating their election strategy — National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn, R-Texas — had already begun ‘softening the message.’ What? I couldn’t believe what I was reading. … Cornyn explained that ‘there is noncontroversial stuff here, like the pre-existing conditions exclusion and those sorts of things.’ Noncontroversial? You mean he considers a provision that will completely change the character of insurance companies from private businesses to public utilities a little detail? Seriously — what the heck is in the water in Washington? I can’t take this insanity. What the normally excellent Sen. Cornyn needs to understand is that this entire bill needs to be scrapped. War-weary Republicans need to get over this battered spouse syndrome and quit tolerating and sublimating the abuse. Enough is enough. … Now is not the time for the weak of heart, the complacent, the sycophants or the career politicians who believe collegiality is the highest virtue. Now is the time for principled, bold, peaceful revolution. Full repeal — nothing less; replace, reform! Now.” –columnist David Limbaugh

For the Record

“Bernie Madoff took money from people who thought he’d invested it, gave some to others who thought it was a partial return on their earlier investments and kept much for himself. That’s called a Ponzi scheme, and his $50 billion fraud was called the biggest ever. But it wasn’t the biggest. Social Security and Medicare are much bigger ones. These are trillion-dollar scams. Medicare has a $36 trillion unfunded liability. Social Security’s is $8 trillion. There’s no money to keep those promises. But Congress isn’t investigating this scam. Congress runs it. That FICA money you thought government had saved for your retirement is gone. There’s nothing left but IOUs backed by nothing. Your money was spent not only on current retirees but on wars, welfare, corporate bailouts, earmarks and all the other stuff Congress wants. For years, this was possible because the FICA tax brought in surpluses that allowed government to pay retirees more than they contributed and still help buy those other things. Those days are gone. … Our forefathers would be appalled. After the American Revolution, when the new government was debating how to pay its bills, George Washington said this about a national debt: ‘We should avoid ungenerously throwing upon posterity … the burden we ourselves ought to bear.’ Well, we sure are dumping my generation’s debt onto posterity. I wish we had more politicians like George Washington.” –columnist John Stossel

S.S. Train Wreck Cartoon


“Since arriving in Canada I’ve been accused of thought crimes, threatened with criminal prosecution for speeches I hadn’t yet given, and denounced on the floor of the Parliament (which was nice because that one was on my ‘bucket list’). Posters advertising my speech have been officially banned, while posters denouncing me are plastered all over the University of Ottawa campus. Elected officials have been prohibited from attending my speeches. Also, the local clothing stores are fresh out of brown shirts. Welcome to Canada! The provost of the University of Ottawa … wrote to me — widely disseminating his letter to at least a half-dozen intermediaries before it reached me — in advance of my visit in order to recommend that I familiarize myself with Canada’s criminal laws regarding hate speech. This marks the first time I’ve ever gotten hate mail for something I might do in the future. Apparently Canadian law forbids ‘promoting hatred against any identifiable group,’ which the provost, Francois A. Houle advised me, ‘would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges.’ … While it was a relief to know that it is still permissible in Canada to promote hatred against unidentifiable groups, upon reading Francois’ letter, I suddenly realized that I had just been the victim of a hate crime! And it was committed by Francois A. Houle (French for ‘Frank A. Hole’). … I’m sure Canada’s Human Rights Commission will get to the bottom of Francois’ strange warning to me, inasmuch as I will be filing a complaint with that august body…. If a university official’s letter accusing a speaker of having a proclivity to commit speech crimes before she’s given the speech — which then leads to Facebook postings demanding that Ann Coulter be hurt, a massive riot and a police-ordered cancellation of the speech — is not hate speech, then there is no such thing as hate speech. Either Francois goes to jail or the Human Rights Commission is a hoax and a fraud.” –columnist Ann Coulter

Reader Comments

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Editor’s Note: You can sign the Declaration here. Note to signers: The Patriot Declaration is not a petition. It is a “Declaration of Cause and Necessity” and stands on its own as an resolution of intent for all who sign it, as due notice for those who would abandon their oath to “Support and Defend the Constitution” and abuse their office to the detriment of individual liberty and states rights.

“Thank you so much for your steadfast, clear-minded defense of the Constitution. Your recent Patriot Declaration is wisely worded and cleverly crafted — I know it is effective because simply forwarding it to friends and family, with no personal editorial, has caused contention and rife along fundamental philosophical lines. This is the conversation we need to be having, and The Patriot Declaration is a banner I believe in and can carry.” –Orlando, Florida

Editor’s Note: We have received an urgent request from Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Division School of Infantry for 7,300 Shields of Strength for young Marines graduating the School of Infantry, the first 1,900 of whom will graduate in April. We must raise $9,125 to fill this request. This is a ministry of Patriot Foundation Trust and not part of The Patriot Post‘s annual fund. Tax deductible donations may be sent by to “Patriot Foundation Trust” and on the memo line, please put “Operation Shield of Strength.” Mail to: PO Box 507, Chattanooga, TN 37401.

The Last Word

“As the night follows the day, the VAT cometh. With the passage of Obamacare, creating a vast new middle-class entitlement, a national sales tax of the kind near-universal in Europe is inevitable. … As Obama has repeatedly insisted, the real money is in health care costs — which are now locked in place by the new Obamacare mandates. That’s where the value-added tax comes in. For the politician, it has the virtue of expediency: People are used to sales taxes, and this one produces a river of revenue. Every 1 percent of VAT would yield up to $1 trillion a decade (depending on what you exclude — if you exempt food, for example, the yield would be more like $900 billion). It’s the ultimate cash cow. Obama will need it. By introducing universal health care, he has pulled off the largest expansion of the welfare state in four decades. And the most expensive. Which is why all of the European Union has the VAT. Huge VATs. Germany: 19 percent. France and Italy: 20 percent. Most of Scandinavia: 25 percent. American liberals have long complained that ours is the only advanced industrial country without universal health care. Well, now we shall have it. And as we approach European levels of entitlements, we will need European levels of taxation.” –columnist Charles Krauthammer

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