Monday, August 2, 2010

The Federal Government Can Do Anything

Seldom does the totalitarian face of raw, naked power show its contempt for the citizens of the United States of America so openly. Watch this clip of Rep. Pete Stark as he answers a question from a constituent. There are some reasonable answers to her question but he appears not even to be aware of the debates carried on by constitutional law experts and philosophers as to the different schools of constitutional interpretation. And there are political ways to answer this question by appealing to democracy.

But he is either ignorant of the issues or he just plain chooses to answer in the way he does. His words should send a shiver up the spine of any descendant of those Englishmen who wrung the Magna Carta out of King John on June 15, 1215.

HT Michelle Malkin

It is beyond ridiculous to see this kind of politician as a "Progressive" when he is trying to take the country back to the 12th century when kings ruled with no constitutional check on their power. King Barack I and his merry court feels free to ignore the constitution; I think we already knew that. Did he not arrogantly administer a tongue lashing to the Supreme Court in his State of the Union address?

But for a Democrat to sit in a town hall meeting and show this level of contempt for the serfs is astounding. If this attitude does not provoke an electoral backlash then I don't know what would.


Andrew said...

As much as I find his comments bewildering, I find the woman's questions equally as shocking. When I go to the hospital I have a legal right to be seen and treated, but I don't think the staff who choose to be there and are paid for their services, are slaves. It's just absurd.

Does this woman not feel like she has a right to protection by the police? Is the act of calling 911 an act of initiating slavery?

Peter W. Dunn said...

Andrew: The woman's statements are perfectly coherent. There is a saying French, The rights of one end where the rights of another begin. You can't have a right to health care for it would force another to care for you. That is why constitutional rights in the US are negative rights: they say, this is what the government can't do to you, but not what the government must do to or for the individual. There is therefore no right to welfare, health care, education, or any such services that government often provides, only rights to freedom from government interventions against free speech, the bearing of arms, practice of religion, etc.

Craig Carter said...

Peter is right to distinguish between negative freedoms (not to be unjustly arrested for example) and positive freedoms or rights (to health care for example).

Political liberalism (in the classical 19th century sense rather than the mid-20th century usurpation of that term to mean socialist) is what the West has been built on and what is unique to the civilization created by the influence of Christianity in the West. Liberalism means that individuals (and families and churches and other civic organizations) have liberty to determine their own lives and the Government exists by the consent of the governed.

To make health care into a human right means somebody has to enforce that right and see that you receive it. When you assert a whole bunch of "rights" you have to give the government increasingly large amounts of power in order to enforce those rights.

The "Government" has no money of its own; it cannot generate wealth like businesses do. So it has to take money from one group in order to give it to another group. The more "rights" there are, the more money the government needs - until it needs pretty much all the money private individuals and businesses produce and then you get social breakdown and poverty like Greece today.

In socialism, the government makes slaves of us all. Why do some people vote socialist? Because they think it is better to be a slave with food and shelter and health care than to be free and reliant on self, family and community.

The issue is one of basic political philosophy and this is just one issue. This woman is concerned that the Congress has just nationalized (in stages, but the key moves have now been made) one sixth of the US economy. That is no trivial matter.