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Left-wing political mythology holds that President Bush referred to the U.S. Constitution as nothing but "a goddamned piece of paper" in 2005. Bush allegedly said this in frustration over constitutional issues with the Patriot Act. Though it is very unlikely Bush ever spoke those words, many left-wingers still believe he did say them, even though the unreliable anti-Bush website that originally made the allegations, Capitol Hill Blue, has removed the story from their database.
While it's not the least bit surprising that lefty sources would invent an anti-Bush story, it occurs to me that Congress and the Executive branch almost always treat the Constitution as nothing but a g-d piece of paper. They treat it as a nuisance, or they ignore it altogether. This is a pretty shabby way to treat the supreme law of the land, the law both Congress and the President are sworn to uphold. Rather than uphold the Constitution, our federal government invents specious justifications to get around it.
On the ObamaCare health insurance mandate, which forces all Americans to buy health insurance from a private company, our scoundrels in Congress ludicrously cite the General Welfare clause (see here what the Founders actually meant) or the Commerce clause (whichs has NEVER been used before to force a person to purchase a product from a private company). They completely distort the meaning and intentions of those portions of the Constitution. To add insult to injury, when 16 states (so far) announced their intentions to sue the federal government over the unprecedented insurance mandate, the White House responded by calling it a political stunt. Now, I don't know what the outcome of those lawsuits will be, but referring to constitutional issues as a "stunt" is greatly troubling, especially from a President who is a former Constitutional law professor. I can't help but wonder what he was teaching his students.
Republicans don't get off the hook here by any means. They may be concerned about the Constitution now, finally, but they haven't been so very concerned with it in the past either. Conservative columnist Walter Williams wrote an article called Ruled By Scoundrels, which points out that many of the most outrageous, constitutionally-questionable intrusions of the federal government DIDN'T come from the Democrats:
The March 10 issue of Human Events carried a special report on the 10 most outrageous government programs. Their 18 judges included conservative/libertarians such as former Rep. Dick Armey, R-Texas, former Delaware Gov. Pete Dupont, Mark Levin, president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, and David Boaz, Cato Institute's vice president.
The Legal Services Corp. headed the list, followed closely by the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act and the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931. Rounding out the list were: Americorps, Endangered Species Act, No Child Left Behind Act, Amtrak, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards, Title X Family Planning Act, and the provision of welfare payments to non-citizens and illegal aliens.
Human Events, a conservative, Republican-leaning publication, unlike Democrats who protect scoundrels in their party, wasn't reluctant to list the presidents who sponsored or supported these outrageous government programs. Most of the programs were born during Republican administrations. Herbert Hoover was in office when the Davis-Bacon Act was written in 1931. Richard Nixon presided over the births of the Legal Services Corp. (1974), the Endangered Species Act (1973), Amtrak (1971) and the Title X Family Planning Act (1970). Gerald Ford sponsored CAFE standards (1975), and George W. Bush signed off on the No Child Left Behind Act (2002).
If we have two political parties ignoring the Constitution, why do we even have a Constitution ? What good is it ? If it can be ignored at will, it IS nothing but a goddamned piece of paper.
Walter Williams included the following in his article:
Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., has introduced the Enumerated Powers Act several times. It would require each act of Congress to contain a concise and definite statement of the specific constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that act or else the bill could not go forward. Shadegg's Enumerated Powers Act (HR 175) went down to three crushing defeats.
Can we ask for more compelling evidence of Congress's contempt for our Constitution, or do you think our congressmen are simply reflecting the constitutional contempt of the people?
Why do you suppose Congress would repeatedly vote against a bill that required constitutional authority for it's actions ???????
It wouldn't be because Congress doesn't want ANYTHING to limit it's power, would it ? And if Congress can do anything it wants, we really don't have a Constitution at all, do we ? It IS just a goddamned piece of paper. Sure, maybe the Supreme Court will strike down a law here or there once in a while, but we also have Presidents and Congresses trying to install activist judges who will rule THEIR way, who will change the meaning of the Constitution according to political ideologically rather than proper application of constitutional principles. The left-wingers are professionals at that game.
A final word of warning....
"Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny." - Thomas Jefferson