Define enumerated powers

The latest Mona Charen column as republished on the 28th of December 2010 in the Spokesman-Review (print edition) Spokane, Washington that concerned the limits of government, whether health care reform or even the question of “Net Neutrality.”  She would make perfect sense if she discussed all the history of federal over-reach no matter who pushed what agenda from what ever activist group.

For instance, wouldn’t federal over-reach encompass an opposition to abortion?  How about an opposition to gay marriage?  Or an opposition to stem-cell research?  Exactly where would any of the above come under the much celebrated limits to the commerce clause that a “Conservative” judge by the name of Hudson applied to people who shouldn’t be involuntarily forced to buy a commodity  on the market such as more affordable health insurance in which those who issue it can not deny coverage to people based on pre-existing conditions.

The question I have is, could people do without unaffordable health insurance in which those who issue it can deny them coverage for pre-existing conditions?  I guess it would depend state by state if a hospital would admit a patient without coverage, if a doctor’s office would admit a such a patient, or even  if a dentist would do so.  Normally, the expectations are that before you may get medical treatment you must have insurance.  Something that perhaps this federal judge over-looked?  So it seems to me that people are to a degree forced into an involuntary buying of a commodity such as health insurance on the market place in order to get good medical treatment.  Which begs the question of whether the “19 states” that sued to stop this “federal over-reach” on health care reform were merely opposed to “Obamacare”  or acting on the behalf of the insurance industry that didn’t want to face regulation of this magnitude under the commerce clause?  There is always another side to this, after all.  The GOP (and they were the driving force behind this) would just never care to admit to it .  “States’ rights” can cover a lot of ground, including government activism on the behalf of business interests.  Which is where I do believe that “undoing health care reform” is truly heading.

On the other hand, the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, what is done on the behalf of the people, would be the sort of state or federal activism that simply could never be stomached.  Oh yeah, that part of the U.S. Constitution never gets addressed all of the time.  No more than it would be acceptable to argue that the last clause of the first amendment, where people can bring a redress of grievances to government should apply to just anyone.  The commerce clause is what that federal judge chose to over-use in claiming that health care reform was “unconstitutional.”  But long before it was ever passed into law, people during the 2008 presidential primaries and even in the year before, had a grievance with the insurance industry and out of control spending on health care in general.  Literally, that it could bankrupt them because of the cost.  Literally, that the insurance industry could simply deny them the coverage they bought for any or no excuse what so ever.  The first amendment should not apply?  There was a legitimate grievance then, some two to three years ago.  That reason is still valid today.  Just don’t depend on Charen to actually get honest about it.  Or the radical judge by the name of Hudson to do so either.

When Charen went further to try to claim the commerce clause was the motivating factor behind civil rights laws…  Perhaps to some extent.  When it comes to jobs, and any factory, store, company or corporation that operates on an interstate level would have to face a degree of regulation from the federal government under the commerce clause anyway, and so, to a point, civil rights laws in the hiring of minorities and women  would indeed apply as a commercial regulatory act.  But again, why just burden the commerce clause as an unending method of expanding federal power  that must be curtailed at all costs when in fact the first amendment does allow for an increased amount of federal power?  Just ask any lobbyist who fronts for what ever special pleader with deep pockets; the first amendment will be the argument used when arguing for and against specific legislation.  The sole reason for an ever expanding role for government.  And of course, the GOP who are suing against the implementation of health care reform also employed the first amendment.  They had no problem desiring a federal role (Hudson being a federal judge after all) in trying to end a federal implementation of this law.  Seems to me that this is definitely an argument for hypocrisy much.  In any case, civil rights laws, along with much of the New Deal under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had less to do with the commerce clause and most to do with the first amendment.  Which means that Charen leaves out a lot that needs to be discussed as to what should be the limits of federal power and what people are going to demand from federal power!  The first amendment is open-ended by interpretation.  And that in itself may be the precise reason why Charen would never care to discuss it.  The first amendment should continue to be an open door to federal activism as long as “I” am the beneficiary.  But not if “that guy over there” is instead.  You just gotta love the pick and choose mentality behind any of Charen’s writings.

To end federal over-reach, one must employ federal over-reach.  This time from an activist court.

As for net neutrality that Charen suddenly and breezily attends to at the end of her column…  “Net neutrality” involves various competing business interests whether ISP suppliers, those who find certain advantages to the use of broadband, wi fi, etc. in order to take “unfair advantage” of competing interests.  NetFlix came up for discussion in a long ago Huckleberries on-line discussion where exactly this argument of “unfair advantage” was raised.

I say liberally in this case because the special pleaders with deep pockets are arguing on the behalf of net neutrality.  The internet consumers are another matter.  Who cares about them, anyway?  But suddenly the need to unhinge the “commerce clause” from any kind of internet regulation by the FCC and keep federal hands off of it, would also mean telling the deep-pocketed special pleaders  as Mitch McConnell did that the federal government should not be there for them.  The same special pleaders who don’t like “unfair competition” from the likes of NetFlix and who do want the FCC to “exceed its authority.”  2011 should be a truly interesting year indeed politically speaking.


One Response to “Define enumerated powers”

  1. Sherron Dowless Says:

    Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is fantastic, let alone the content!

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