Speaker of the House Embraces Unconstitutional Government

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

You can add Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to the list of leaders in Washington who are far too ignorant (or contemptuous of our Constitution) to be allowed to continue leading our country.

A couple of days ago I wrote about House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and his ignorance about his own government in which he serves, from a CNS News article:

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that the individual health insurance mandates included in every health reform bill, which require Americans to have insurance, were “like paying taxes.” He added that Congress has “broad authority” to force Americans to purchase other things as well, so long as it was trying to promote “the general welfare.”

(Sigh)

Now CNS News informs us Speaker Pelosi is at least as ignorant (or contemptuous):

The exchange with Speaker Pelosi on Thursday occurred as follows:

CNSNews.com: “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”

Pelosi: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

CNSNews.com: “Yes, yes I am.”

Pelosi then shook her head before taking a question from another reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, then told CNSNews.com that asking the speaker of the House where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandated that individual Americans buy health insurance as not a “serious question.”

“You can put this on the record,” said Elshami. “That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.”

Because they don’t need constitutional authority, right?

Pelosi and Elshami have it exactly backwards: this was a darn serious question, but not even an attempt at a serious answer.

In fact, when confronted with the stark fact that they have absolutely no constitutional authority whatsoever for this socialist scheme, they had no answer whatsoever.

They had no answer because there is no authority in the U.S. Constitution which allows government to do this.

Contrary to liberal fantasies, the U.S. Constitution is not merely a list of things the federal government can’t do…with everything not listed being up for grabs.

Ours is a limited constitution, one of enumerated powers. In other words, if it isn’t listed in the powers enumerated in Article 1 Section 8, the federal government has no authority to do it.

The Tenth Amendment further clarifies the limited authority of the federal government:

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.

Why did the founders limit the federal government to a few specified powers? Because they knew all too well that the more powerful a government becomes, the larger its scope, the more oppressive and tyrannical it can and likely will become.

As we have seen our leaders ignore the Constitution for the past 70 years, we have seen the proof of their wisdom as government meddles in more and more areas of our lives, and our freedoms walk out the door.

These guys remind me of disobedient children. You can tell them, “Don’t do this,” and a few minutes later you catch them doing exactly what you told them not to do. You ask, “Didn’t I tell you not to do that?” They often respond with some variant of, “Well, I had to blah blah bah, and then he blah blah blah…” And unsaid but implied is, “Yeah, I know you said not to do that, but that doesn’t apply to me because I didn’t want it to.”

I listed these statements from the founders of the United States, the men who fought for our independence and set up our government, just a couple of days ago. But from some of the comments received (you’d swear from a few of them that there was a computer glitch and not a single one of those statements from the founders about the constitution appeared on the commenter’s screens), and the continued unconstitutional attitude of leaders like Pelosi), apparently more repetition is needed for the truth to sink in.

The Constitution says, “Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, &c., provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States”. I suppose the meaning of this clause to be, that Congress may collect taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare, in those cases wherein the Constitution empowers them to act for the general welfare. To suppose that it was meant to give them a distinct substantive power, to do any act which might tend to the general welfare, is to render all the enumerations useless, and to make their powers unlimited. – Thomas Jefferson

Our tenet ever was…that Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated, and that, as it was never meant that they should provide for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money. – Thomas Jefferson

They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please…Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect. – Thomas Jefferson

Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated. – Thomas Jefferson

[Congressional jurisdiction of power] is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.” – James Madison

If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions. – James Madison

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined . . . to be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.” – James Madison

With respect to the two words ‘ general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. – James Madison

We must confine ourselves to the powers described in the Constitution, and the moment we pass it, we take an arbitrary stride towards a despotic Government. – James Jackson, First Congress

A wise and frugal government … shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson

The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If `Thou shalt not covet’ and `Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free. – John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitutions 1787

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents. – James Madison

Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. – James Madison

If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress. … Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America. – James Madison

And again, some insight from the founders on why we have, rather than a “make-it-up-as-you-go” government, we have a written and fixed constitution that can only be changed with difficulty through the amendment process:

[The purpose of a written constitution is] to bind up the several branches of government by certain laws, which, when they transgress, their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to surrender those rights. – Thomas Jefferson

Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction. – Thomas Jefferson

I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that is not the guide in expounding it, there may be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful exercise of its powers. If the meaning of the text be sought in the changeable meaning of the words composing it, it is evident that the shape and attributes of the Government must partake of the changes to which the words and phrases of all living languages are constantly subject. What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense. – James Madison

[T]he Constitution ought to be the standard of construction for the laws, and that wherever there is an evident opposition, the laws ought to give place to the Constitution. But this doctrine is not deducible from any circumstance peculiar to the plan of convention, but from the general theory of a limited Constitution. – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 81, 1788

As I recommended for Hoyer, the people of Pelosi’s district have a clear mandate to remove this woman from office.  Further, Americans around the country may want to seriously consider sending a campaign contribution to who ever opposes her next year.

If our leaders refuse to abide by the U.S. Constitution, as they swore an oath to do, and the American people will not hold them accountable for such crimes, we might as well forget all pretense right now of being a free people.

If that is the way we want to live, then we are no longer a free republic.  We are a nation not of law but of the whim of the mob.  May God have mercy on the United States of America.

10 Responses to “Speaker of the House Embraces Unconstitutional Government”

  1. Disdain for the Constitution is part and parcel to being a liberal Democrat, so I am not surprised by Pelosi's dismissal of an important and fundamental question. When was the last time that a Democrat has taken a stand for the Constitutional principles of limited government and enumerated powers? The only defense of a person that votes for Democrats is ignorance, an embarrassingly poor defense for someone that calls himself an American.

  2. I applaud your article wholeheartedly. Our country is in serious trouble and has been for a while now. People simply do not know the principles our government was founded on and sadly they do not care as long as they feel they are getting something “free” from the government. Our leaders are either ignorant as well or diabolical in their actions. I teach 6th grade social studies and I teach my students about John Locke, natural rights, the principles of property and the true intent of our founding fathers. They read and discuss quotes from the founders as well as compare and contrast them to the words of our current government officials. It is eye opening.

    Oh yes, and Bush trampled the Constitution as well with our unconstitutional war in Iraq. It was Cheney who said in a PBS Frontline interview that “It is time for us to become a nation of men, and not laws.” Horrifying! Both democrats and republicans are to blame, as well the public school curriculum that leaves out the basic principles our government was founded on, and a one sided propagandizing media.

  3. Our invasion of Iraq was not unconstitutional, illegal, or uncalled for. It was entirely necessary, called for and long overdue after 8 years of piddling and diddling by Bill Clinton and leaving the job undone by George H.W. Bush.

  4. Hmmm…double standards. It's okay for a Republican to violate the constitution, but not a Democrat. I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I understand and believe in the principles our government is founded on and will not sacrifice principle for party. I don't care who you are, you can not violate the constitution no matter how necessary or noble you believe the cause is. Remember, the President does not have the power to declare war, i.e. commit troops overseas; only Congress holds that power.

    The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes for war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature. The Executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war. -James Madison

  5. No double standards here. By your standard, pretty much every military conflict since World War II ended has been illegal, which would involve both Democrat and Republican presidents.

    If you want to tighten up the power to declare war and get it back squarely within Constitutional grounds, I'm with you.

    But lets not, ah, have a double standard and when it comes to that evil George Bush, suddenly get all righteous and indignant.

    Especially with a war which merely finished the one started by George H.W. Bush which was started with the blessing of congress.

    Meanwhile, the Constitution is crystal clear that a government health care system is not authorized in Article 1 Section 8, or under the Tenth Amendment.

    It is not only folly to advocate such a repeatedly-failed idea, but obviously illegal to implement.

    The people must hold our representatives accountable for their actions and their oaths, before further usurpations of the Constitution become commonly accepted.

  6. It seems your tone is still one of shouting loud about our Constitution when it comes to one party and not another. I am indignant about ANY and ALL politicians that believe they are above the Constitution and choose to disregard it. The Constitution is the law of the land and our elected officials swear an oath to abiding by it and protecting it. Bush trampled the Constitution and you can be certain Obama will continue the trend. Now, believe me, I know Bush was not the only one nor the first to trample it, I'm just saying that he is not off the hook just because he was a Republican and was “tough” on Iraq.

    I agree with you that welfare and a universal government healthcare system is a violation of the Constitution. It will rob people of their liberty, property, and possibly their life if implemented. I am not for it and neither would our founding fathers be for such a thing.

    I did not “suddenly get all righteous and indignant” about George Bush. I feel this way about ALL elected officials that place themselves and their own agenda over our Constitution and the individual rights of Americans.

  7. It seems your tone is still one of shouting loud about our Constitution when it comes to one party and not another. I am indignant about ANY and ALL politicians that believe they are above the Constitution and choose to disregard it. The Constitution is the law of the land and our elected officials swear an oath to abiding by it and protecting it. Bush trampled the Constitution and you can be certain Obama will continue the trend. Now, believe me, I know Bush was not the only one nor the first to trample it, I'm just saying that he is not off the hook just because he was a Republican and was “tough” on Iraq.

    I agree with you that welfare and a universal government healthcare system is a violation of the Constitution. It will rob people of their liberty, property, and possibly their life if implemented. I am not for it and neither would our founding fathers be for such a thing.

    I did not “suddenly get all righteous and indignant” about George Bush. I feel this way about ALL elected officials that place themselves and their own agenda over our Constitution and the individual rights of Americans.