Dear Representative Braley:
The “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison, wrote in Federalist Paper No. 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined… [and they] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.” Given your support for every federal intrusion into the private market and into the personal decisions of average Americans, from “Cash for Clunkers” to Obamacare, apparently you disagree with Madison on the role of the federal government.
Perhaps, like a generation of “progressives” in both parties, you believe that the Constitution’s “general welfare clause” gives Congress authority to meddle in every aspect of human existence. As Roger Pilon, founder and director of Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies, put it during testimony before Congress, “The general welfare clause [was intended] to ensure that Congress, in the exercise of any of its enumerated powers, would act for the general rather than for any particular welfare.” It was to ensure that any law would uniformly apply to all Americans rather than benefiting only politically-favored groups, as is now common practice.
Perhaps you believe that the Constitution’s “commerce clause” gives Congress such authority. But the commerce clause was to allow Congress to smooth out the hodgepodge of competing protectionist policies of the several states, making the United States into a free trade zone. Again, Pilon: “Not remotely did the Framers intend that the clause be converted from a shield against state abuse–its use in the first great commerce clause case, Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)–into a sword enabling Congress, through regulation, to try to bring about all manner of social and economic ends.”
Perhaps you can quote Supreme Court rulings that bolster your big-government contentions. But, decisions from an appendage of the federal government, ruling to expand the power of that same government are not surprising and not compelling.
More likely perhaps, like Congressman Phil Hare from Illinois admitted (and no doubt many of your other colleagues who won’t admit it), you simply don’t “worry” or care about the Constitution that you swore an oath to support, defend, and “bear true faith and allegiance to.” Like you, I once took an oath to support and defend the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Unlike you, I take it seriously.
By your actions and the usurpation that you advance, you, Sir, have proven yourself to be a domestic enemy of the U.S. Constitution. The yoke of oppressive debt levels that you are placing on my children and unborn grandchildren proves that you are also an enemy of basic human decency. Therefore, be advised: I intend to use all peaceful and legal means at my disposal to see that you are unseated.
Benjamin R. Cashner
[Hat tip to Between Two Rivers blog for the Phil Hare link.]