'Which part of the Constitution says you get to take over health care?'

A pointed, intelligent question asked by an individual belonging to one of the "fascist mobs" of "crazies" at a health care town hall sponsored by Representative Mark Warner:



Allah at Hot Air has some trenchant thoughts:

We've been down this road before but it's one thing to kick around arguments in the comments and another to watch a U.S. Senator be put on the spot. Warner's argument won't appeal to strict constructionists - he concedes that there's no health-care power, just like there's no education power - but from a practical standpoint he's right that this ship has already sailed. Through the Commerce Clause all things are possible, my friends.

There have been 220 years of court cases where the Constitution has been expanded, stretched, folded, and twisted to achieve some social or economic end. Of course, the Founders never intended that to happen - one reason Jefferson and others did not support it, especially the idea of a Supreme Court.

But the body of law that has been built up around the Commerce clause cannot easily be repealed without the entire rickety structure coming down around us. The law is a "thicket" as Thomas More said. How true. The branches intertwine, melding the good with the bad so that cutting through the morass would serve only to bring down those laws that are necessary along with those that are a problem.

No easy answers. But then, democracy is not supposed to be easy. All we can do is work to inform voters so that we end up electing politicians who appoint judges who are more enamored of upholding the law than in making it.





A pointed, intelligent question asked by an individual belonging to one of the "fascist mobs" of "crazies" at a health care town hall sponsored by Representative Mark Warner:



Allah at Hot Air has some trenchant thoughts:

We've been down this road before but it's one thing to kick around arguments in the comments and another to watch a U.S. Senator be put on the spot. Warner's argument won't appeal to strict constructionists - he concedes that there's no health-care power, just like there's no education power - but from a practical standpoint he's right that this ship has already sailed. Through the Commerce Clause all things are possible, my friends.

There have been 220 years of court cases where the Constitution has been expanded, stretched, folded, and twisted to achieve some social or economic end. Of course, the Founders never intended that to happen - one reason Jefferson and others did not support it, especially the idea of a Supreme Court.

But the body of law that has been built up around the Commerce clause cannot easily be repealed without the entire rickety structure coming down around us. The law is a "thicket" as Thomas More said. How true. The branches intertwine, melding the good with the bad so that cutting through the morass would serve only to bring down those laws that are necessary along with those that are a problem.

No easy answers. But then, democracy is not supposed to be easy. All we can do is work to inform voters so that we end up electing politicians who appoint judges who are more enamored of upholding the law than in making it.