Posts filed under ‘Politics’

Health Care Reform: Does the Constitution Even Matter?

The anger between those who bought the campaign push that health care reform must happen NOW, at any cost, and those who preferred a more measured approach to make sure that change is effective, affordable and not over-reaching, has been building for the better part of a year. That anger was finally unleashed last week in the wake of President Obama signing his Health Care Reform bill into law, despite majority opposition to it. There is no disputing that this bill was unpopular, though some of the opposition consisted of those who thought it didn’t go far enough.

Many of us, young or old, cannot remember a time in history when a President acted in such blatant disregard of the will of the people and the Constitution he is sworn to uphold, like it or not. I’m no Constitutional scholar, but even those who supported this legislation don’t deny that nowhere in the Constitution is government given the authority to regulate health care. With 14 states now (and growing) suing the federal government on these grounds, it seems the Obama administration has devised a way to defend themselves under the “commerce clause.” Pretty sneaky.

The Constitution has been under attack for quite some time from those who believe it should “change to reflect the times.” Therefore, the President’s dismissal of it does not offend some in this country. But, have we really advanced as a people beyond the knowledge and wisdom of our predecessors? Those “old farts” who wrote the Constitution could not possibly have foreseen the challenges we would face as a nation today, right? As if history doesn’t repeat itself.

Quite the contrary, the Founders knew exactly what they were doing. As has been written, “there is nothing new under the sun,” and despite the advancement of technology, medicine, communication, travel, etc., at our core, people are the same. The world around us may have changed, but we have not. Sorry, but we are no more enlightened than we were 200+ years ago. Our struggles, needs, wants and dreams have not changed since the beginning of time.

What has and will always be changing are our values and priorities. These are things that are not innate, but are shaped by the ever-changing social landscape. They will always swing back and forth like a pendulum, growing and shrinking in auto-correction mode. In their wisdom, the Framers of the Constitution did not seek to cement their own values and priorities into the document, and designed it to make it difficult for future generations to do so as well. They provided a structure for government not to be able to exercise control over our lives for the “public good,” but to guarantee and protect only that which is intrinsic to all: our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.

Unlike morality, which is defined as the distinction between right and wrong, and is legislated all the time, values are personal and not shared by all. The beauty of capitalism (also under attack), the social and economic system embraced by our Founders, is that it allows those values to be addressed as the need arises. The higher the value or priority, the greater the competition. The greater the competition, the less cost to all and greater the service. Simple economics. I contend that it wasn’t capitalism, but massive government intervention that led to today’s crisis. In health care and elsewhere. There were better options for providing truly effective reform.

There has never been a more brilliant document written than the Constitution of the United States. It is up to each and every one of us, and those that we elect to protect it from being trampled upon and reshaped at will. The good news is, this fast descent into socialism has awakened the masses…

Despite attempts by the main stream media and liberals to de-normalize the Tea Party movement as a a group of haters, bigots, racists, homophobes, etc., regular folks like you and me continue to show up, exercising our right to peacefully protest. Are there some wackos out there who will show up with their ugly signs and hateful rhetoric? Sure, just as there are at any liberal rally held in America. Are they the norm at a Tea Party rally? It appears the average attender is moms like me – fed up with the encroachment of government into the lives of their families and bankrupting their children’s futures. But, I shall see for myself tomorrow, when I attend the Tea Party rally scheduled to take place on the steps of the Capitol building here in Denver at 4pm. And guess what? Not only am I going with other moms like me, but, I’m bringing Reagan to show her what democracy in action looks like. May she never forget it.

The Tea Party Express is coming your way. Are you on board?

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March 30, 2010 at 9:28 pm 7 comments

Who Is Really Against Health Care Reform?

The conservative approach to health care reform is a systematic one. Let’s fix the things we know are broken, not throw the baby out with the bathwater and start over with an unknown quantity that is untested, unfunded and unproven anywhere to be better than the system we have.

Continue Reading September 24, 2009 at 11:05 am 2 comments

Shooting the Messenger: Was Obama’s Speech Dead Upon Arrival?

2512086374_5da1610fc9As much as I’d like to talk about Jon Gosselin’s appearance on ABC News Primetime: Family Secrets last night, I’m withholding that commentary to discuss what an even more important Dad had to say yesterday.

*Gasp!* More significant than what the most villainous soon-to-be-ex-husband in reality TV decided to get off his chest in complete prime-time-soap-opera-victimhood fashion? Yes, I know. Hard to believe. But, there are more important things going on in the world than the daily tabloid spectacle of Jon and Kate Gosselin’s messy divorce. Though, even I have been known to get caught up in all the marital drama. But, I digress.

I don’t know to who, but it may come as a surprise to someone that the president spoke to our nation’s youth in school classrooms yesterday live via C-SPAN and the White House website.

With all the controversy surrounding the accompanying lesson plans that were to be handed out to classrooms yesterday, many became suspicious of what the speech itself might contain in addition to the education message that was announced. It’s hard to imagine that the president, or his speechwriters and advisers, would be so bold as to put anything political in a speech to school children at a time when he needs to pull the country together to pass his extremely polarizing political agenda. And whether that is what people believed would happen or they just weren’t willing to have their children addressed by a man they so vehemently disagree with, one thing is for sure: the message became overshadowed by the messenger.

I read the president’s speech with an open mind on Monday night. Admittedly, I was half expecting there to be something in there I would disagree with. But, I found nothing. Instead, I thought the speech was inspiring and highly motivational. I imagined myself as a 16-year-old kid listening to this speech and being moved by the historical magnitude of it all. What was the theme? That if I work hard enough, I can achieve anything in this country. That nothing stands between me and my dreams except my willingness to pursue them, regardless of how rich or poor I am. Hardly liberal indoctrination.

So, I was surprised that instead of being pleased with this message, or at least relieved, there still remained many hold-outs who didn’t want their kids to receive it.

After posting on Facebook that I gave the speech an “A+,” I heard from several friends that they weren’t buying it from Obama. I scratched my head for a bit and then… it suddenly made sense. This reaction just confirms what I supposed in my previous post, that the level of distrust for this president has become an overriding factor in the people’s acceptance of any move he makes. If you don’t trust the messenger, you will likely reject the message.

Before he even got to “hello,” it seems the president’s speech may have been dead upon arrival in the minds of many who equate approval of the message with approval of the man and his agenda.

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September 9, 2009 at 2:34 am 8 comments

The Donkey in the Room

While I may not have a dog in this fight (my toddler is in “pre-preschool”), after reading all the hullabaloo, I can’t help but have an opinion. Not on whether the President should or should not speak to school children in the classroom about education, but about why people should find it so surprising that it has caused such controversy. When has education and the government’s role ever not been a hot topic?

It wasn’t so long ago (1991) that George H. W. Bush was receiving the same exact criticism for wanting to talk to students about studying hard, avoiding drugs and turning in troublemakers. Then House Majority Leader, Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) said, “The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students.” Sound familiar?

The government’s only role in the educational system should be to make sure that every child has access to the best education possible. Just as we accept that there is separation of church and state, it is also accepted that there should be separation of classroom and state. So when parents were able to see some of the lesson plans that the Department of Education had prepared for school children that included asking the children “what they can do to help the president,” and “how might he inspire them?” as well as a brief history about President Obama, there became cause for concern that a line was being crossed.

These questions may seem rather innocuous, designed merely to get the students involved and excited about being addressed by the president and what he has to say to them, but, for parents who don’t support the president (read agenda) and openly discuss these issues at home with their children, might their kids be confused by the conflicting messages? The school seems to support the president and be saying that I should too, but my parents don’t. Please don’t confuse respect for the office with supporting the president. All Americans should respect the office, but support is a matter of free will, and should never be compelled.

The donkey in the room here is President Obama’s rapidly dropping poll numbers (approval ratings now below 50%) and what they represent. As distrust for President G. W. Bush and the war on terror grew, his poll numbers dropped. As distrust for President H. W. Bush grew after his reversal on his pledge for no new taxes, his poll numbers dropped. Reagan: Iran-Contra. Carter: Iran hostage crisis. Nixon: Watergate. Could a growing distrust of this president, in the midst of an extremely polarized political climate over health care reform, explain some parents’ skepticism?

After receiving numerous complaints, the White House has changed or removed all discussion about President Obama or a child’s implied support thereof from the lesson plans, and focused the discussion completely on the student and how he/she can make the most of their education. I for one, applaud them for listening and reacting so quickly. And, if she were of school age, I would have no problem sending Reagan to school that day to hear the President’s speech and take part in the discussion since it’s revision. But, is it now too late to regain other parents’ possibly diminished trust in the plan?

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September 5, 2009 at 1:18 am 12 comments

A half-hatched role-reversal takes flight on a wing and a prayer.

Life is a misadventure mixed with mayhem.





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