Anger and Divide Within the Republican Party
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Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center provides a peek at how just how ObamaCare can be stopped. Before continuing, keep this quote from Gandhi in mind:
40,000 British troops cannot force 300 million Indians to do what they will not do.
Power in numbers. If Americans don’t want ObamaCare, we don’t have to accept it. We have been conditioned that we must accept it, or that we must rely on the Supreme Court or Congress to save us, but what if the problem is the Supreme Court and Congress? What then? Micheal Boldin provides the answer:
Now that Heath Care legislation has passed, the obvious question for opponents is this: Now What? My answer is best summed up with just one word:
No, I don’t mean that you should go out and smoke away your anger and frustration. Instead, you should feel empowered. The best way to explain this is by telling the story of a disabled mother from Northern California.
Angel Raich has been permanently disabled since 1995. She has an inoperable brain tumor, a seizure disorder and other serious medical conditions. In 1997, her doctor felt that marijuana would be an effective medication.
Angel used homegrown marijuana, and she and her physician claim that it’s helped significantly. You may not agree with Angel’s choice, but it’s one made in accordance with California state law, which allows for such use. The federal government, however, has not shown much respect for state laws in recent decades, and chose to take action. After DEA agents seized and destroyed all six of her marijuana plants, she sued to stop them from doing so again.
The suit went all the way to the Supreme Court, and in Gonzales v Raich, Angel lost. The 2005 ruling made clear that the federal government did not recognize state laws authorizing the use of marijuana – in any situation.
The culprit here is the Commerce Clause, first defined in loose terms by Chief Justice John Marshall in the 1824 case of Gibbons v. Ogden. Justice Marshall is famous for his legislating from the bench and turning the defeat at the Philadelphia Convention of the nationalists, who believed in a strong central government with powers over the states, into a victory. Future Supreme Courts would take even more license with the Commerce Clause to grant Congress virtually unlimited powers – even under so-called conservative Chief Justices and conservative courts.
Mr. Boldin continues:
THE COMMERCE CLAUSE
The court ruled that control over a plant grown and consumed on one’s own property was authorized under the “Interstate Commerce Clause” of the Constitution. Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution empowers Congress to “regulate…commerce among the several states.” It has never been amended.
Like any legal document, if the words of the Constitution mean today what they meant at the moment it was signed, we must understand just what those words meant at the time of its ratification…
…With this in mind, the Supreme Court, which is not a set of nine infallible gods, ruled incorrectly. But rule, they did. Thus, all three federal branches agreed that State-level laws allowing marijuana were a no-go. In his dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas gave a stark warning:
“If the Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants for personal consumption…then Congress’ Article I powers…have no meaningful limits. Whether Congress aims at the possession of drugs, guns, or any number of other items, it may continue to appropria[te] state police powers under the guise of regulating commerce.”
If this is starting to make a bit of sense, it should. The Supreme Court ruling should have ended the matter, right? Even with the incorrect assumption held by most Americans that the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of the constitution it did not. More than half a million people are registered users of medical marijuana, with millions more unregistered. So who is the final arbiter of the constitution? The states are, as our founders clearly wished it to be. Remember the nationalists were thumped at the Philadelphia Convention, it was only Marshall’s legislating from the bench that began to form the illusion the Supreme Court was all-powerful. Mr. Boldin continues:
Even though she lost the case, Angel indicated she’d continue to use marijuana. At the time of the ruling, there were 10 states that had such laws. Not one of them has been repealed. Since then, another 4 states have passed similar laws, and many others are considering them, including South Dakota, Kansas, and New Hampshire…
…What’s been the result? The federal government will occasionally arrest some high-profile users, but taken in the perspective of the multitudes consuming the plant, the threat is quite low.
And, in mid-2009, recognizing a need for “efficient and rational use of its limited investigative and prosecutorial resources,” the Justice Department announced that it would back off the prosecution of medical marijuana patients even further.
Now it’s time to segway into the health-care arena. What, pray-tell, does the above have to do with ObamaCare? It’s the lesson, actually that, as Mr. Boldin states:
When enough states pass laws defying federal laws, and enough people actively defy them too, D.C. simply doesn’t have the manpower to arrest and prosecute all of us.
Many of us are relying on a political solution from Washington to solve our problems. Or perhaps we are putting our hope the Supreme Court will come to the rescue and not interpret the Commerce Clause in some novel way that will increase the power of Congress to control our lives to stunning new heights. For those who place their hopes in such entities I only have to say, good luck. Past experience dictates that such hopes are sure to be dashed, and even if a battle is won, the war will be lost until the people take action and not rely on the power of others to do the work they need to do. Never in history have people been rescued from tyranny by the very enablers of that tyranny, and the march to big government will always continue under both parties. It is only a matter of degree. As Dr. Larry Hunter points out in Who Lost Healthcare? (emphasis mine):
What do Harlem Globetrotters basketball, professional wrestling and American politics all have in common? They are FAKES…
…The sad thing is, most conservatives actually think American politics is a real contest between different visions and alternative practical courses for America. Au contraire. Politics in America today is between two Establishment political parties that need each other as foils—gotta’ have that “bad guy”—egged on by the mouth-radio carnies. The dirty little secret is most of the participants fundamentally agree on the need or the practical necessity of perpetuating and growing the welfare/warfare state. They differ only in degree, not kind.
The proof of this assertion is unambiguously clear: Government in the United States continues relentlessly to get bigger, more intrusive and oppressive no matter which political party is in control, no matter for how long. Yes, each party proceeds at a different pace and by different routes but they all herd us to the same destination nonetheless, confirming Thomas Jefferson’s observation that, “The natural tendency of things is for government to gain ground and for liberty to yield.”…
…The joke is on those Americans who actually believe a restoration of limited government, individual freedom and personal liberty are the objectives of either political party. The poor saps have spent their entire lives paying the full price of admission to cheer on the Washington Generals. How pathetic is that? Pitiful.
So, when the history of the government takeover of healthcare is written and the question asked, “Who lost healthcare?” the answer will be unambiguous: “Republicans, who failed to take a political risk and refused to employ every parliamentary device at their disposal to stop ObamaCare from being enacted into law.”
Conservatives, irate at the Democrats, will make heroes of Republicans for fighting the good fight rhetorically and overlook their unwillingness to act. They will flock to the polls and throw lots of Democrats out of office. Republicans will claim a mandate—but a mandate to do what, slow the boil?
So where do we go from here? Back to Michael Boldin and nullification:
This kind of activism – while it clearly carries personal risk – should be a real blueprint for people that have been consistently unable to find constitutional relief in Congress, the Executive, or the Courts.
Marijuana users: Love ‘em or hate ‘em, but show some respect for them, as many have suffered greatly for doing what they believe is right. People who believe strongly about other issues, like health care mandates, would do well to learn from them.
What should be done about federal control over health care? The same thing that should be done for every unconstitutional federal law, regulation, or mandate – Nullify Now!
If the politicians in Washington fail us (and there is already plenty of backtracking on promises of repeal) and the Supreme Court rules against the people, what then? By ignoring a perfectly good approach to taking back power from a tyrannical few in DC, we have only ourselves to blame. By putting our eggs in the federal basket and failing to pressure our state leaders to pass laws nullifying ObamaCare and coordinating with other states to do the same, we miss a real opportunity. An opportunity to send a message to Washington that, even if the Supreme Court sides with you and even when you back down from pledges to protect the people, we can still win. There are millions of us and only a few of you. We refuse to accept your tyranny and we do so without firing a single shot. All we have to do is ignore you, just like you ignored us.
Be sure to check out other posts at the Tenth Amendment Center that describe how legislation is shaping up, what local Sheriffs should do, how a state can react when Congress threatens to remove federal funds, and other items. Also, check out Nullification – Our Constitutional Option.
Remember, sometimes if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Relying on politicians and judges to save us is a perfect example of why this little pearl of wisdom is still good advice.