Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Will Congress will become more respectful of the Constitution?

Do you remember when during a press conference, Nancy Peolsi was asked where the Constitution authorized Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance? She dismissed the question by saying, “Are you serious?” and then took another question.

The House will no longer be so dismissive of the Constitution. The first order of business in the House when it convenes today will be a reading aloud of the Constitution. A new house rule will require that each bill filed in the House cite its specific constitutional authority.

The reading of the Constitution and the requirement that a bill site its constitutional authority may be symbolic and may not change liberal behavior. I am sure many bills will site what has become the very elastic “commerce clause” or “general welfare clause.” Nevertheless I think this is a good move. Symbolism can be important.

Saying the Pledge of Allegiance may be simple symbolism and may not necessarily make one a better American, but in some way I think it does. Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance may cause one to pause and contemplate the loyalty they owe this nation and the meaning of being an American.

For the non-believer, public prayer may be simple symbolism but public prayer brings solemnity to an occasion and often expresses a spirit of a grateful heart. Public prayer may even be beneficial for the non-believer.

Marriage is often dismissed by people who are shacking up as mere symbolism. People will ask, why do we need a piece of paper to show our love for each other? While marriage is a legal bonding it is also a pledge of fidelity and a public statement of intentions. I think it is important. I think it changes behavior.

While the reading of the Constitution may seem like a time-waster to some, I applaud it. Congress needs to remember that their oath of office means smomething. They need to be reminded that there are supposed to be limits on their authority. Maybe citing the constitutional authority for a bill, when a member of Congress drafts a bill, will cause that member to think twice before proposing a major government expansion. Maybe Congress will become more respectful of the Constitution.

Maybe, when the question that was asked of Nancy Pelosi is again asked in the future it will not be dismissed as a ridiculous question unworthy of a response.

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  1. Perfectly said, lets hope the new congress can do what they promised too.

  2. Great post.
    Lets keep our fingers crossed