Front Page
NMJ Search
Editorials
Commentary
Archive
NMJ Radio
Constitutional Literacy
Islamofascism
Progressivism
Books
NMJ Shop
Links, Etc...
Facebook
Twitter
Site Information
About Us
Contact Us
  US Senate
  US House
  Anti-Google






Archive Email Author

About Betsy McCaughey
Betsy McCaughey, PhD, is a constitutional scholar with a PhD from Columbia University, a patient advocate and health policy expert, and a former Lt. Governor of New York state. In 1993 she read the 1,362-page Clinton health bill, warned the nation what it said, and made history. Today she is doing it again. With a PhD in Constitutional History, she can actually tell us what the Obama health law says. In 2009 medical excellence and freedom came under assault again, and McCaughey put her skills to work. She was the first to uncover the health provisions slipped into the February, 2009 stimulus bill. Members of Congress were stunned to learn the stimulus bill could limit care for seniors and dictate your doctor’s decisions. Betsy McCaughey is the author of over three hundred scholarly and popular articles, and three books, including a history of the US Constitution. Betsy McCaughey has taught at Vassar College and Columbia University, and she produced prize-winning studies while at two think tanks, the Manhattan Institute and later the Hudson Institute. http://betsymccaughey.com
Social Bookmarking
Print this page.
Democrats Are Know-Nothings
About the Constitution

Betsy McCaughey
September 26, 2013
Displaying their ignorance of the US Constitution, Democrat bigwigs are excoriating Republican members of the House of Representatives for attaching a condition -- no Obamacare -- to a stopgap bill to fund the government when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called it "extortion". Sen. Steny Hoyer labeled it "hostage-taking". Representative Nancy Pelosi termed it "legislative arson".

In truth, what the House Republicans are doing is not blackmail. It's checks and balances in action. Congress has always had the power to attach almost any condition -- including repealing or changing a law -- to appropriations. The framers wrote the Constitution that way for good reason.

The nation's first plan of government, the Articles of Confederation, had no president. When the framers gathered in 1787 to write a second, more effective plan, they reluctantly created the presidency. Reluctantly, because the founders worried that a president would accumulate power and spend flagrantly as they had seen the despotic kings of Europe do.

To prevent that, the founders created checks and balances. In the words of James Madison, the Constitution's chief architect, each branch of government is "effectually checked and restrained by the others."

Congress was given power over the purse -- the power to appropriate money and to borrow it or raise it through taxes, because locating the power in Congress would force the president to constantly negotiate with Congress.

Fast-forward 226 years to last Friday. President Obama called Speaker of the House John Boehner to say, "he will not negotiate" with Congress on raising the US government's borrowing authority. The president, who claims to be a constitutional scholar, needs a refresher course.

The same day, Obama whipped up a crowd at a Ford plant, complaining that by attaching conditions to the appropriations bill, House Republicans are "trying to mess with me." Yes, they are, Mr. President, though Madison expressed it with more elegance and precision.

"An elective despotism is not the government we fought for," Madison wrote in Federalist 58.

A president with the power to borrow and spend at will would be just that.

Sadly, large numbers of Americans are at risk of being bamboozled by the Democrats' inflammatory accusations and warnings of a government shutdown.

One reason is that, shockingly, only one-third of Americans can identify the three branches of government (according to a Pew Foundation poll). That's how gravely our civics education has failed.

Secondly, the president's party is fanning fears of a shutdown, something no one wants. But let's be clear, the military would continue to operate, doctors and nurses would still come to work at federal hospitals, air traffic controllers and other emergency personnel would be on the job, and everyone would eventually get paid. If you're planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park, you might be inconvenienced.

Compare that to what's at stake: preserving the Constitution. The health reform the president is insisting on implementing is a distorted, mangled, half-baked version of what Congress enacted in 2010. It is no longer the Affordable Care Act. The president is illegally picking and choosing what parts to keep. Gone is the employer mandate, the cap on out-of-pocket expenses, income verification for subsidy recipients and over half the deadlines in the law. These changes are not just illegal. They shift billions of dollars in costs onto taxpayers, cheat seriously ill patients and leave employees in the lurch, all in a devious attempt to patch up an unworkable law.

Madison anticipated this threat to freedom, as well. In Federalist 62, he warned that it will be pointless for Americans to elect a Congress, if their elected lawmakers in turn enact laws "too voluminous to be read," or if these laws then "undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow." That's Obamacare.

On this week's Saturday radio address, Obama again confronted House Republicans, demanding that they fund the government, no questions asked. Obama claimed, "the most basic constitutional duty Congress has is passing a budget."

Wrong again, Mr. President. Congress' most basic duty is to protect and defend the Constitution, and withholding the money is the chief way to do it.








The BasicsProject.org informational and educational pamphlet series is now available for Kindle and iPad. Click here to find out more...

The New Media Journal and BasicsProject.org are not funded by outside sources. We exist exclusively on donations from our readers and contributors.
Please make a sustaining donation today.







Opinions expressed by contributing writers are expressly their own and may or may not represent the opinions of NewMediaJournal.us, its editorial staff, board or organization.  Reprint inquiries should be directed to the author of the article. Contact the editor for a link request to NewMediaJournal.us.  NewMediaJournal.us is not affiliated with any mainstream media organizations.  NewMediaJournal.us is not supported by any political organization.  Responsibility for the accuracy of cited content is expressly that of the contributing author. All original content offered by NewMediaJournal.us is copyrighted. NewMediaJournal.us supports BasicsProject.org and its goal: the liberation of the American voter from partisan politics and special interests in government through the primary-source, fact-based education of the American people.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to:http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The Media Journal.us © 1998-2014    Content Copyright © Individual authors
Powered by ExpressionEngine 1.70 and M3Server