Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Government derives its power from the governed--A serious question about Obamacare

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending "America's game." The Army Navy Football Game in Philadelphia. (Go Navy! Beat Army!) It is an experience unlike any other. Despite the cold, despite the fact that our seats were in the top row of the top section of Lincoln Field, despite the fact that the game wasn't particularly spectacular, the atmosphere was remarkable. Never have I experienced such enthusiastic camaraderie and jubilance. And at the end of the hard fought game, winner and loser stood shoulder to shoulder in the tradition of the closing ceremony.

It was, in short, inspirational.

I also had the privilege of visiting Independence Hall. 9 a.m. in the cold drizzle of a grey Sunday morning, an articulate, well-informed tour guide took us through the two modest rooms (on the first floor) recounting the solemn and magnificent history of our founding. We stood in the room where the Declaration of Independence was conceived, looked at the thirteen tables, quill pens at the ready, Washington's rising sun chair facing the tables, as our guide told of the debates of the Constitutional Congress, the determination of our founders to develop a superior framework of government--the greatest government the world had yet to see.

We wandered over to the Liberty Bell and looking at the lovely, simple architectural, the grandeur of the 200 plus year old Independence Hall (90% of the original bricks still standing) I thought of the parallel between the building and the documents conceived there. Simple, yet grand. Lovely to look at yet, solid and unyielding.

The phrase: Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...rolled over and over in my mind. The rest of the day. On the flight home. Government derives power from the consent of the governed.

Why is it then that despite the fact that according to Monday's Rasmussen Report 56% of Americans oppose Obamacare, the Congress still plows ahead determinedly as though pursuing a mandate of the people. When the numbers are considered more closely we see that 46% of Americans STRONGLY oppose the bill, yet only 19% STRONGLY support it. These numbers seem the most relevant to me. Perhaps because I assume that those with strong opinions are usually those who are the most informed. That assumption may or may not be correct but no matter because any way you cut the numbers Americans don't want this plan. The polls are all remarkably consistent: The majority of Americans do not favor this bill. Yet, our elected officials don't care. They have said as much. Nancy Pelosi told reporters according to a story in Politico, "We would do almost anything if it meant we would pass health care for all Americans (by) the Christmas holidays."

Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

"We would do almost anything."

And what of the Constitutionality of the bill? That doesn't seem to matter either. Heritage Foundation, in a piece posted Thursday, December 10th reported the following interchange between Ms. Pelosi and a reporter: "Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?" Speaker Pelosi shook her head and before moving on to another question replied: "Are you serious? Are you serious?"
I believe there is nothing more serious than that question. Because I believe that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."
As our Founders did.
(Go Navy! photo courtesy of Pat Craner.)

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