Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Give little Johnnie an "A" for effort ...

... but an "F" for substantive thought. This plan will float about as a far as a turd in a punch bowl:

Just hours before White House rival Hillary Clinton unveiled her massive universal health care plan Monday, three hundred miles east of Des Moines, in Chicago, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards was making a dramatic promise of his own: As president, he would cut off health coverage to top government officials until his health care plan is passed into law.

"To show Congress just how serious I am, on the first day of my administration, I will submit legislation that ends health care coverage for the president, all members of Congress, and all senior political appointees in both branches of government on July 20th, 2009 - unless we have passed universal health care reform," Edwards said in a speech to the Laborers Leadership Convention.

Edwards, who was the first presidential candidate
to unveil the details of a proposed health care reform plan earlier this year, noted Clinton's plan shares many similarities with his. But Edwards suggested that the New York Democrat is too entrenched in the Washington "system" to successfully bring about reform.

"If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then I’m flattered," Edwards said. "But unless Sen. Clinton’s willing to acknowledge the truth about our broken government, and the cost of health care reform, I’m afraid flattery will get us nowhere"

"Actually bringing change starts with telling the truth," he added. "And the truth is: the system in Washington has been hijacked for the benefit of corporate profits and the very wealthiest."

You and what army, Johnnie?

Show of hands here, who thinks this will pass Congress? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Yeah, I don't think so either, but this is John Edwards, and he thinks he can do anything; Because he's smart enough, popular enough, and dammit, people like him.

Truth be told I've maintained the argument that no such reform will ever come to Congress that forces them to change their ways. We saw this with that joke of an ethics reform package (which now allows the congress to earmark and pork spend with virtually no observation by the people), and I have long argued with fellow conservatives that there is no way to put term limits in place unless the Congress moves forward on the issue.

See, states can't limit office holders. It's against the Constitution. They are federal officers, and states can't tell them how long they will serve. so, the only way to install term limits is via a constitutional amendment. There is one of two ways to do that. Congress can create one, pass it, and pass it onto the states for ratification (fat chance, trust me), or the States may call to convene a Constitutional Convention under Article V of the US Constitution.

here have been, by some accounts, 567 separate and distinct convention calls, (with south Dakota leading the pack at 27) and none of them have mustered the necessary 34 state majority. The closest that came to it was in 1912 when the 17th Amendment was approved and ratified, giving the citizens the right to choose their own senators rather than allow the respective state legislatures to do the job.

While the idea of convening a convention appeals to some, it doesn't to us for the simple reason that the scope of the amending process isn't clearly defined by Article V. We believe that Congress could not interfere in the endeavor for to do so would place the federal government in the midst of a State's rights issue. If the State's call for such a convention, then all the federal government should do is recognize that call, and choose the place and time of assembly. But in terms of scope, many law scholars question how far we would, or even could, go.

The drawback to such an act is the fact that, as the Framers did in Philadelphia in 1787, they constructed the new Constitution to replace the inadequate Articles of Confederation. Many said then, and a few legal scholars agree, that was not the mandate they went o Philadelphia for. they weren't there to {"rewrite" it, but rather to fix the problems. The Framers, in their wisdom, realized that the Articles could not simply be subjected to a quick fix, and that an overhaul of existing law was needed.

So what is in place to stop a new set of delegates from doing the same thing to the current Constitution? Nothing. As I said above, there are no guidelines for such a convention, and anything could be fiddled with without such provisions. (I don't know about readers, but I'm perfectly content with the Constitution as it is now, and like Justice Scalia, we prefer our Constitution "dead;" it says what it means, and means what it says, and is open to very little interpretation.

there is the problem with Congress, and little Johnnie's not getting around that. No way in Hell is congress going to vote away it's health care program. That would be like them voting away their vastly overpaid salaries, excessive vacations, or those 12 martini lunches with lobbyists. Like term limits, his dream is at an end. The only way these two things will occur is if we toss out every idiot in Congress, and make sure that the new blood that comes in has enough brains to curtail themselves. Until then, Johnnie's living a pipe dream, and we know we'll never see term limits in Congress in our lifetime.

Publius II


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