Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Constitution. A Novel Idea.

Cato's Roger Pilon has an encouraging article in the Wall Street Journal today, "Congress Rediscovers the Constitution." It is also a fine little primer Progressivism, how we lost the rule of law in America, and how we can get it back.

The Republicans will begin the 112th Congress with a salutary gesture which should become a tradition: they will read the entire Constitution on the House floor. Hurrah! But it gets better. They have introduced a new procedural rule "requiring members to cite the specific constitutional authority for any bill they introduce."

What is interesting is Barney Frank's dismissive response to this requirement. "It's an air kiss they're blowing to the tea party." Well, he's got one thing right. Bringing our government back under the rule of the Constitution is certainly the heart of what the Tea Party movement has been demanding. There is nothing in that that is "extreme" or "racist" or any of the other things that liberal Democrats like Frank have said characterizes the Tea Party movement.

But his quip also reveals what utter contempt he has for the Constitution in particular and for limited government in general. Given that, I am not going too far in calling him a revolutionary and a traitor.

We heard the same things from Speaker Nancy Pelosi when the San Francisco liberal controlled the House. When asked where in the Constitution she found the authority to require people to buy health insurance, she responded with incredulity, "Are you serious? Are you serious?"

Perhaps you remember Illinois Congressman Phil "I-don't-worry-about-the-Constitution" Hare (D-obviously) from my post "Political Evil This Way Comes."

Speaking of traitors, in laying that charge I am picking up from where I left off in an earlier post, "We Are Engaged in a Great Civil War." That comes with a reading list and a list of helpful websites.

Today's Journal also has a related and hope inspiring (yup, we got hope! and maybe change too!) editorial, "Rules for Smaller Government," that explains some new House rules that will make it harder for this Congress to tax and spend, replacing rules from previous Congresses that made it harder to cut taxes and easier to spend freely.

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