An Extra-Constitutional Government: Part 1

Do you, or did you ever, play board games like Monopoly? They are a lot of fun, buying and selling property, charging rent, seeing who makes the most money…until people stop playing by the rules.

 Ever play with someone who charges rent to some players but not to others, or refuses to follow the directions on the little cards, or a banker that distributes the money incorrectly and unfairly…on purpose? What happens when players collude, conspire, and band together against others who are playing fairly? Or build houses and hotels without paying the right price for them, with impunity?

In other words, what happens when people stop following the rules? Well, some follow suit and also start ignoring the rules, others get annoyed and walk away, while still others attempt to continue playing by the rules…but the game isn’t much fun anymore, is it? Things become pretty chaotic and break down pretty quickly after that. There’s a pretty simple word for this behavior: cheating.  

It sucks.

That, dear readers, is what is happening in our country. The Constitution is our set of laws, or rules, and the people who have sworn to protect and uphold it, who are supposed to govern by it, are doing just the opposite: they are twisting its meaning and intention, taking it out of context, and in the worst of cases ignoring it altogether and making up their own rules to suit their own agendas.

In this three-part series, I will provide examples of how each of the three branches of the Federal Government is governing extra-constitutionally (read: cheating.) Since we’re right on the verge of Election Day, and since so many Congressional seats are up for grabs, I think I’ll start with the Legislative Branch…

It would make your head spin to know how many Unconstitutional laws and Congress has passed and agencies they have created, simply by claiming that they fall under the umbrella of the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution. To refer to just a few:

  • They created the Federal Reserve Bank (the Fed) and delegated to it the power to control interest rates, print money, and in a sense, control the availability and access to U.S. currency.
  • They created the Interstate Highway System, forcing states to depend on Federal funds to maintain it.
  • They banned Tobacco commercials on national TV stations.
  • They created the Environmental Protection Agency, to regulate, among other things, environmental outputs of industry.
  • Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and TARP. See my discussion here.
  • Other Federal bailout programs (Government Motors, anyone?)
  • Of course, let’s not forget the Granddaddy of them all, “Obamacare”.

These major pieces of legislation are whoppers for a Federal Government supposedly limited in scope by our Founding Fathers and the Constitution, but since they vehemently insist that they have the right to pass these bills because of the infamous Interstate Commerce Clause, my curiosity got the best of me. I decided to look up this amazing Constitutional clause that gives Congress nearly unlimited power! I said to myself, it must surely take up at least a dozen pages in the Constitution! Well folks, here is that fascinating piece. Drumroll, please…

The Congress shall have Power…

”To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”

Did you blink? You might have missed it if you did. Yep, that’s the whole “Interstate Commerce Clause.” That’s it. The Constitution names other powers granted to Congress, but in relation to commerce, that’s all of it. It’s easy to see how this means that Congress has the power to control our money, our private affairs, and our lives…NOT.   

The spirit in which these rules were written was obvious: that Congress was supposed to “regulate” inasmuch as it made commerce easier and more profitable between States. “Regulate” never meant “force”, “control”, “create”, or “nationalize.” However, these rules were twisted and ignored to suit the agendas of key people whose interests would be served by passing unconstitutional legislation.

So, regarding Obamacare, the Mack Daddy of unconstitutional, how did our Legislative Branch react when asked questions about the bill or confronted with the fact that they were cheating?

Nancy Pelosi: “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.”

In other words, sign here, then I’ll let you read the contract. Huh? What kind of fools do you take us for?

Our Madame Speaker also wrote, “The Constitution gives Congress broad power  to regulate activities that have an effect on interstate commerce. Congress has used this authority to regulate many aspects of American life, from labor relations to education to health care to agricultural production. Since virtually every aspect of the heath care system has an effect on interstate commerce, the power of Congress to regulate health care is essentially unlimited.

I think the Founders would have keeled over (again) had they read that statement. Ms. Pelosi is applying the “Interstate Commerce Clause” to a bill that forces Americans to engage in commerce, forces them to pay for services they don’t need, and forces doctors to provide services at a government –mandated price. It impedes commerce by forcing businesses to buy government health insurance or pay a heavy penalty, and forces Americans to provide funds for services they may be against, such as abortions and services to illegal aliens. Finally, it violates the 10th Amendment by forcing the States to be subject to the Federal Government, instead of the other way around.

Speaking of the 10th Amendment, another popular argument I hear in defense of all this cheating, is that “…Just because it isn’t stated outright in the Constitution, that it doesn’t mean the Federal Government can’t do it!”  Lisa Murkowski, the sore loser from Alaska who couldn’t accept her defeat in the Republican Senatorial primaries and is now running as a write-in candidate, said to Rachel Maddow that “thinking something is unconstitutional because it’s not in the Constitution is not ‘mainstream.’”

I’ve got news for Ms. Murkowski: we don’t govern by what is “mainstream.” That’s called mob rule. It’s also stupid. And for those of you wondering, here’s the text of the 10th Amendment:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

So, um, yes…if it’s not in there, the Federal Government can’t do it!! Jeez!

And just to be sure they weren’t leaving anything out, the Founders threw in another amendment in the Bill of Rights that is conveniently ignored over and over when Congress is passing bills under the guise of the “Interstate Commerce Clause.”

It’s the 9th Amendment, and in a shout-out to En Vogue:  “And it goes a little somethin’ like this (Hit It!)”:

“The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

So, all that stuff about forcing us to buy health insurance because they have the power to regulate commerce? Amendment 9 trumps that. Oops.

But they don’t care. Because they’re cheaters. Which is why we have to fire them.

There’s one last thing, though. Since they’re cheaters, firing them won’t be easy. Already in Nevada thousands of people have shown up to vote at the polls, only to find that their ballot has already been cast for Harry Reid. Honest mistake, you say? How come no ballots have been cast mistakenly for Sharon Angle?

In Florida, South Carolina, New York, and other States, absentee ballots to the military were sent out late, which means that military voters won’t get their votes cast in time (guess which way the military tends to vote…)

In Cook County Illinois, ballots were delivered to prisons, even though that’s against the Illinois Constitution (guess which way convicts are likely to vote…)  And oh yes, over two thousand military absentee ballots have been rejected because they were postmarked too late.  Doesn’t the election actually happen next week?

In Alaska, a list of write-in candidates was given to voters at the polls (including Murkowski’s), even though that constitutes campaigning at a polling spot. Alaska’s Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling that it was unconstitutional.

So get out there and vote, because in this political war, everybody counts. The cheating is slowly breaking down the system, but with determination we can take the country back.

Stay tuned for part two: legislating from the bench…

About Rosa Barron

I’m a first generation American whose parents came to the USA from Nicaragua. Educated partially in the USA and partially in Nicaragua, I’ve lived all over the USA and traveled all over Latin America for work. My formal training is in Environmental and Biological Engineering from Cornell University, and I also have an MBA from the University of Florida. When I married my wonderful Idahoan husband, the need for me to work disappeared and I moved permanently to the USA, where we live now, currently in California. I raise our kids, manage our investments, and learn more every day about this wonderful country in which I had the good fortune to be born.
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