Monday, March 15, 2010
Eventually, the truth will out. For years people like me have emphasized the fact that the true crisis America faces today has to do with the abandonment of the moral premises on which the nation is founded. What looks like a welter of different issues (a financial meltdown, the cost of health care, declining results in education, etc.) turns out to be an array of consequences arising from the collapse of institutions (like the family) and characteristics (like responsible banking practices re loans and investments) that reflect and depend on maintaining the basic moral fiber of the society. Though many people acknowledge the common sense truth of what we say, they continue to tolerate media and political figures who pretend to address "the issues" while ignoring or belittling the pervasive disintegration of mores that gives rise to or exacerbates them.
In the same vein when, out of respect for the clearly worded requirements of the U.S. Constitution, people like me seek an authoritative determination about Obama's eligibility for the Office of President of the United States, these same media and political figures savagely ridicule and dismiss the matter. They again pretend that it is merely a distraction from really important or "winning" issues the fight over the government's takeover of the health sector or the mad borrowing and spending that is bankrupting the nation's future.
But the battle against the Obama faction's health takeover bid now turns on the issue of abortion ("Democrats still are face [sic] resistance in their own party from anti-abortion lawmakers worried about how and whether insurance plans should pay for abortions.") And the success of Nancy Pelosi's desperate push to force it through despite any and all opposition may depend on a legislative power play conceived with the utmost contempt for the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution requires that both Houses of Congress approve a bill before it is sent to the President for signature. Using the so-called Slaughter rule the Obama faction party bosses may simply declare heath takeover legislation approved though the two Houses never take a vote on the same bill. In effect, this discards the bicameral legislative structure established by the Constitution. What's left in its place is a legislative shell game that allows the Obama faction's party bosses to pass off as laws bills never constitutionally approved by the elected representatives of the people.
Such a precedent turns the legislative process into an insubstantial charade. Like the Roman Senate under Augustus Caesar, the U.S. Congress will become nothing more than a shadow play, an empty illusion of representative government. Meanwhile, beyond the grasp of the people, the substance of so-called laws would be determined with little regard for their consent.
This evisceration of the legislative power of the Congress would not be possible if the people had not been corrupted to believe that the requirements of the Constitution can be neglected or ignored to suit the whims of transitory electoral majorities. The decrepit mentality that ignores the Constitution's word on what it takes for an individual to become President now transforms into the arrogant presumption that casts aside its word on what it takes for a bill to become a law. Its authority, once merely disdained may now be openly discarded.
The first disdain for Constitutional authority cloaked itself with the appearance of respect for the authority of the people over elections. ("The election is over," they said. The people have had their say. The Constitutional provision has been overtaken by events.") Now the arrogance of power reveals what was always its true intention: to undermine and cast aside the people's authority over the law.
Once that has been achieved, all that remains is to shrug off the constraints upon executive power implied by the people's authority over the law. Then the despotism will be complete. Then the tyranny will be self-evident. Then America's brief experiment in liberty and justice for all (not just the favored few) will clearly be at an end.
Are the American people ready yet to heed the voices that have long warned them of the danger? Are they ready yet to see beyond the burning trees and deal with those who mean to burn the forest down?
Posted by Alan Keyes at 12:10 AM