A Piece of My Mind

I didn’t watch the evening news the day the Supreme Court ruled on Obamacare.  I held my tongue as every single person on Facebook suddenly became a constitutional scholar.  I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to have to share how I really feel before a vein pops or something.  Here comes my 2 cents worth.

Allow me to put on my history teacher hat.  When our present system of federal government was designed by the framers of the Constitution in 1787, they were still trying to settle the representation issue.  Under the Articles of Confederation (a smaller government with fewer taxes that failed miserably) each state got one vote.  There were 13 states and any measure required a 2/3 majority vote.  There was only one branch of government, Congress, and even if they could pass something there was no executive to carry it out.  Without the power to tax, the brand new American government was already in debt from fighting the Revolutionary War and had no means of income whatsoever.

The Constitution created a two-house legislature.  All states are equally represented in the Senate with each state electing 2 senators (originally those senators were selected by each governor).  In the House of Representatives, representation is based on population.  The smallest states each have one, California has something like 42.  In order for any bill to pass the same version has to get a majority vote in both houses of Congress.  No law comes to the president’s desk without having been approved by both houses of our bicameral legislature.  The president can either sign the bill into law or veto.  The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2010.  Before we post any more pictures of Obama lighting fire to the Constitution, wiping his butt with it, et. al. let’s not forget the other 535 elected officials that first wrote, debated, amended and then voted on the issue.

The process of judicial review allows the Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of laws that are already in effect.  The Affordable Care Act (frequently referred to as Obamacare) was affirmed by the highest court in our land as constitutional.  All three branches of our government – executive, legislative, judicial – are together responsible for the continued existence of this law.  Yet there is a witch hunt in progress of the single individual that “destroyed” the Constitution.  Is that what we’ve come to?  “Figures don’t lie, liberals do.”  Newsflash conservative Christians, Republicans are politicians.  You could tell Nixon was lying when his lips were moving.  Look up Gingrich’s ex-wives or John Edward’s mistress and talk to me about lying.  My point is that politics is dirty business.  Spend a lifetime handling it and you will get your hands dirty.

There are Democrats, Republicans, and a host of smaller political parties and independents.  We classify politicians as either conservative, liberal or moderate.  There are no good guys and bad guys folks, just guys (no offense ladies).  Most issues are not black and white but a million shades of grey.  The “us vs. them” mentality is the worst problem in the political process today.  Each vote in Congress is strictly down party lines.  And what happens?  Both sides blame the other side for the problem.

President Andrew Jackson; refer to your 20 dollar bill.  When the Supreme Court ruled in Worcester vs. Georgia, he said “Justice Marshall made this decision, now let’s see him enforce it.”  He then proceeded to carry out the Indian Removal Act, resulting in the infamous Trail of Tears, after the Supreme Court ruled against it.  There’s a guy that trashed the Constitution.  Congress, the President and the Supreme Court have passed/upheld a program that many Americans disagree with.  That does not mean they don’t understand or have violated the Constitution.  It is not a failure of the democratic process when you don’t get what you want.

Campaign contributions have been pouring in for both candidates since the Court’s ruling.  It looks now (which could change) as if this may be the deciding issue in November’s election.  It would be condescending for me to ask something simple like “let’s all play nice.”  I do wish we could play fair; we need a little bit of common sense and restraint before speaking our mind.  We say things we know not to be true in our criticism of our political opponents.  The process of writing and debating legislation is on-going; between passing this present law and the nation crumbling into oblivion it’s not like we can’t continue to fix the process as we go forward whoever is in office.

The president is one person.  We have 535 members of Congress and a Supreme Court, with a system of checks and balances built in.  In this information age nothing goes unnoticed.  At the very least, how about a little less over reaction?

If they will vote to force people to buy insurance, they will vote to force you to do whatever they please, regardless of how destructive it is to our democracy and our freedoms.   -Charlie Daniels, full story here

They will vote to force you to do whatever they please, because, you know, none of them were elected nor wish to be re-elected.  Especially House reps who only serve a two year term.

UPDATE: Here is a case-in-point, illustrating that you can’t fight lies with lies. (Less rant and more appeal to common sense and good judgement)

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