On Tolerating Law that is Not Obligatory on the Legislature
The promise of what was to be our form of government, and how it would rest on several pillars of lucid and just arrangements between itself and the People, should never be broken. But it has been.
Part of the Promise was this.
"The House of Representatives . . . can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. . . . If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America, a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it. ....If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty." (James Madison Federalist Papers #57)
The insult to the People with the passing the Affordable Care Act by Congressmen who admit to not having read, much less understood the legislation is too much to bear. To additionally realize that they themselves are exempt from this legislation is the greatest affront. Their casual voting and lack of regard for the ramifications of this bill, with all the rationing of care and regulation lay upon the People, most likely assisted its passage.
Here is where the old document, the Constitution, could take a deep breath. It could come alive and be the living document so often talked about, just long enough to allow its amendment. Then it can return to its hibernation.
This country looks the other way when such promises as Madison made are violated. In a Presidential campaign, the subject is not even broached. Who would oppose such a common sense amendment that would bind the legislators to their own legislation?
Progressives delight in any fissure that can be created in the Constitution that demonstrates its fragility. This violation of the Madison promise is really knocking a support pin out of the mechanism. Though never clearly defined in the Constitution, it certainly was an implied, agreed upon and mostly unspoken requirement of the new government. It was fundamental to the Revolution itself.
With the Electoral College likely to be scrutinized once again, and with the continued sponsorship of peculiar international treaties, such as gun laws, that would supposedly trump our constitutional rights, our guard must be up. Our guard on our Constitution must remain up and firm. Slippages and fissures of the past decades must be repaired even if it requires an amendment. It is fundamental to the United States of America that legislators not pass for royalty, that law be universally applied amongst populace and Congressmen alike.