Sometimes I think I could not hold a lower opinion of the functioning of government and the competency of our elected officials. Then, I see things like these videos. At best these videos demonstrate an extreme stupidity and lack of concern for the fundamental values of a rule of law society and a constitutionally constructed government. At worst they demonstrate the undercurrent of tyranny and self-anointedness that the Constitution was explicitly adopted to constrain.
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) cites the non-existent “good and welfare clause” as giving Congress the power to mandate the purchase of health insurance:
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) explains how Congress makes up the rules as it goes along:
Rep. Phil Hare (D-IL) says that he doesn’t “worry about the Constitution” and whether or not it conveys the power to enact an individual mandate.
All of the above representatives took an oath to uphold the Constitution. This dereliction of duty ultimately comes from outcome-based reasoning about a mostly procedural document.
To clarify: Many people have a vision of the Constitution that centers around the idea that any interpretation of the Constitution that does not allow/prohibit X (health care, outlawing guns, a right to work, etc.) is automatically flawed. This outcome-centered reasoning is one of the true symptoms of the theistic theory of the state: “All things flow from the state and all things that should be done should be done by the state. To believe that the state should not do something is to believe that the thing should not be done. The purpose of the Constitution is to facilitate good things to flow from the state.”
And, finally, for a less tragic (at least for our system of supposedly constitutionally constrained government) but funnier incident, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) worries that too many troops on Guam will cause the island to “capsize.” Really.
My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.