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Impeachment for violating Sworn Oath?


ParanoiA
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I'm not leaping to conclusions, I'm drawing one by considering the context. As an unashamed advocate for personal liberty and Constitutional reverance, I am absolutely astounded by an elected official, who's very job it is to uphold and defend the constitution, shrugging off constitutional questions.

 

Interpret how you want. I've defended plenty of democrats in my time, including the latest Obama-is-sorry-we're-a-super-power nonsense, and this legislator is guilty of not giving a crap what he is paid to give a crap for - that's my interpretation.

 

And I don't think you've made your case, because you have changed the statement, and in doing so, made a strawman argument.

 

I absolutely get to decide if I think my post was clear. And I think you are externalizing your problem with interpreting my OP.

 

Once again, you have changed the conditions. I never said you don't get to decide if you think your post was clear. Whether it actually was depends on the reader. What's clear to one is not clear to another.

 

The notion that my stating it was an "open and shut case" that caused you to not understand the point of this thread, is reaching...to put it kindly. The "Open and shut" phrase doesn't have magical properties that make people not understand concepts.

 

This is your conjecture. I never imbued the phrase with any magical qualities. But it does imply that there can be no other conclusion than the one you presented, and that's false.

 

Remember, that was your excuse for bringing up unconsitutional law making as a comparison to self incrimination and vocal repudiation of one's very charge.

 

Tell me again, what exactly is so misleading about my OP that I "caused" your error?

 

Misquoting what was said was a big start. Self-incrimination and repudiation of his charge are your conclusions, but you have treated that opinion as if it were a fact.

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I'm not leaping to conclusions, I'm drawing one by considering the context. As an unashamed advocate for personal liberty and Constitutional reverance, I am absolutely astounded by an elected official, who's very job it is to uphold and defend the constitution, shrugging off constitutional questions. [/Quote]

 

P; Forgive me for interrupting, but Hare was expressing his HONEST opinion, knowing it was not going to be accepted, which for a politician is in itself, admirable. As for adhering to the Oath he took, in his mind he was, regardless your, mine or anyone elses understanding of the Constitution. No doubt like many today, he believes the Constitution specifically means, the General Welfare means something, and those 31K people he referred to, had meaning.

 

I absolutely get to decide if I think my post was clear. And I think you are externalizing your problem with interpreting my OP. [/Quote]

 

If it means anything to you, IMO you have stuck to the thread message, all through it's life, nothing said should have been misunderstood. Think I mentioned some of this post, in my first post on your thread, that I felt you were not considering.

 

Misquoting what was said was a big start. Self-incrimination and repudiation of his charge are your conclusions, but you have treated that opinion as if it were a fact. [/Quote]

 

swansont; Frankly that's not only a trivial argument, but totally out on context IMO. There are a good many people, that feel an oath of office, should be important, yet don't realize the complexity of the laws behind it. I'd love to argue Obama, with a degree in Constitutional Law and the presumed History required, to his meaning, when taking that OATH or to the policy he has followed, but do realize in his mind when taking the Oath, he had a direct opposite understanding of the "spirit" behind that Oath, than myself.

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And I don't think you've made your case, because you have changed the statement, and in doing so, made a strawman argument.

 

Absolutely it is true that I paraphrased incorrectly, that was sloppy on my part. And that does change the dynamics of the conversation, no doubt. There is a big difference between "I don't worry" and "I don't care".

 

However, considering that, it has not changed my conclusion since processing this in context still results in similar usage. I do believe in this case, he is saying "I don't worry" the same way you'd say "I don't care" - he appeared to be enthused to share his disregard for the constitution with the camerman because he resents being held to that document when he's trying to "save children". That's why he went straight to it - he is convinced the righteousness of saving precious kiddos justifies not worrying whether or not the constitution supports it.

 

Once again, you have changed the conditions. I never said you don't get to decide if you think your post was clear. Whether it actually was depends on the reader. What's clear to one is not clear to another.

 

That's obvious. I shouldn't have to prefix every statement with "Gee, this is my opinion" or "I think" or "I believe" to share an opinion. I actually do alot of that already, but it's nonsense to assume that without those qualifiers that every statement becomes a statement of fact. That's what you're doing here...oops, I think.

 

This is your conjecture. I never imbued the phrase with any magical qualities. But it does imply that there can be no other conclusion than the one you presented, and that's false.

 

You don't get to decide what it implies. That's up to the reader. Making opinionated statements as if they are facts is a standard you don't accept from others, so I hardly see how you excuse yourself.

 

But, of course it implies that - and that has NOTHING to do with this exchange actually. Remember, back on page 1 that started all this:

 

Yeah...I don't know why I have to keep saying this...again' date=' this thread isn't about pointing fingers at unconstitutional lawmaking - that's subjective.

 

[b']This thread is about glorious self incrimination by one's own mouth.[/b] Got any examples of lawmakers saying they don't care about what they're paid to care about?

 

Maybe because you declared this to be an open and shut case, and people can think of many blatantly unconstitutional acts that have gone unpunished. Your paraphrase is inaccurate. Hare didn't say "I don't care about the constitution;" that was the cameraman.

 

You're actually trying to excuse yourself for missing the condition of the thread because I called it an open and shut case.

 

You were the second person to bring up an example of someone supposedly violating their oath by legislative action - not by outright repudiation of their job by their own mouth.

 

That is the condition I'm arguing in this thread. And this is the reason why. I'm trying to draw a careful line between political prosecution, which is entirely partisan and destructive, and self incrimination of oath violation, which should be absolutely nonpartisan and destructive to let go unpunished.

 

You can disagree all you want, and most have. We're having this exchange because you're externalizing misunderstanding the conditions I brought up in this thread. Re-reading the OP, my last sentence can be misleading. But the sentence before it nails it, and I even emphasized the word "believe" when I said "you are expected to at least believe you are upholding your sworn oath".

 

And just like "worry" and "care" can change the meaning, so does "believe", in that statement. It means the difference between 225 years of political legislative examples that can be interpreted as violations of oath and one congressman in 2010 repudiating his elected charge. That's a huge difference.

 

Misquoting what was said was a big start. Self-incrimination and repudiation of his charge are your conclusions, but you have treated that opinion as if it were a fact.

 

No, I know it's still an interpretation and you can still disagree with it. But that doesn't make analogies to legislative acts, that can be interpreted as violations, somehow valid. The condition still applies and those examples are invalid.

 

I don't get to throw in apples because I think you're wrong about oranges.

Edited by ParanoiA
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What bothers me isn't that he "didn't worry" about the constitution (sounds like he was saying he wasn't worried it would get overturned on constitutional grounds), but that he literally didn't know where his authority to pass the bill came from.

 

We can have an argument about the general Welfare and commerce clauses, but this politician didn't even know how to support his position from a legal standpoint.

 

He wouldn't have been able to argue the legality of his own actions (regardless of whether he was right).

 

I'd be willing to bet that most congressman would have a similar problem. How can we trust politicians to uphold the law and follow a constitutional precedence when they don't even know what the constitution says?

 

Yes, I know that's why we have checks and balances, but I'm getting a little worried about SCOTUS keeping the law in line with the constitution.

Edited by ecoli
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No, I know it's still an interpretation and you can still disagree with it. But that doesn't make analogies to legislative acts, that can be interpreted as violations, somehow valid. The condition still applies and those examples are invalid.

 

With this you seem to be dismissing all of my examples, only one of which referred to legislation. What of the politician who says they support school prayer or teaching creationism, in a situation similar to this? i.e. to a camera, not as part of legislation. Unlike the healthcare bill, those are two issues that the courts have found to be unconstitutional. Isn't support for them the same as repudiating one's oath? Or is there a loophole, that you can support as many unconstitutional things you want, but as long as you don't admit they're unconstitutional, you're not violating your oath?


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
What bothers me isn't that he "didn't care" about what the constitution said, but that he literally didn't know where his authority to pass the bill came from.

 

We can have an argument about the general Welfare and commerce clauses, but this politician didn't even know how to support his position from a legal standpoint.

 

He wouldn't have been able to argue the legality of his own actions (regardless of whether he was right).

 

I'd be willing to bet that most congressman would have a similar problem. How can we trust politicians to uphold the law and follow a constitutional precedence when they don't even know what the constitution says?

 

Yes, I know that's why we have checks and balances, but I'm getting a little worried about SCOTUS keeping the law in line with the constitution.

 

That part bothers me more, too. And this isn't the first time I've seen a member of congress whiff on basic constitutional knowledge.

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With this you seem to be dismissing all of my examples, only one of which referred to legislation. What of the politician who says they support school prayer or teaching creationism, in a situation similar to this? i.e. to a camera, not as part of legislation. Unlike the healthcare bill, those are two issues that the courts have found to be unconstitutional. Isn't support for them the same as repudiating one's oath? Or is there a loophole, that you can support as many unconstitutional things you want, but as long as you don't admit they're unconstitutional, you're not violating your oath?

 

They can still violate their oath, but they don't qualify as an analogy to self incrimination by outright repudiation of your very job function. Those are examples of people saying or doing something that we interpret as a violation - while they are free to delusionally believe it is not.

 

While you and others have done a terrific job of proving more subjectivity than I wanted to believe in this case, I still insist on a distinction here.

 

I don't really know how to say it any differently. A fireman that doesn't worry about fires. A teacher that says she doesn't care about teaching. A police officer that states he doesn't worry about the law, when questioned why he's arresting a 5 year old for drinking water.

 

I'm talking about vocally directly countering your job function. The interpretation here is about whether or not they meant the statement as we heard it - the violation is contained in the verbiage itself - in that case we're trying to be sure the statement was meant to be applied that way. In your examples, the violation itself is not contained in the verbiage - it's still a subjective reconciliation with the document.

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What of the politician who says they support school prayer or teaching creationism, in a situation similar to this? i.e. to a camera, not as part of legislation. ...those are two issues that the courts have found to be unconstitutional. Isn't support for them the same as repudiating one's oath? Or is there a loophole,

 

Of course one could support an UNCONSTITUTIONAL item and not violate their oath, nor be a hypocrite, if this support is qualified by stating that you intend to change the constitution accordingly (while abiding with it until such change is implemented). It is designed to be modified provided a sufficient supermajority agrees. An example of this very thing happening would be Prohibition.

 

The constitution isn't the absolute final say on the law considering it can be changed.

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I'm talking about vocally directly countering your job function. The interpretation here is about whether or not they meant the statement as we heard it - the violation is contained in the verbiage itself - in that case we're trying to be sure the statement was meant to be applied that way. In your examples, the violation itself is not contained in the verbiage - it's still a subjective reconciliation with the document.

 

Perhaps most of a legislator's job is representing his people, and writing laws and reaching agreements with other legislators, while representing his people. After all, if they do something unconstitutional its the Supreme Court that has to worry about that. Now if a Supreme Court judge were to say he doesn't worry about the constitution, that would be even more serious.

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We can have an argument about the general Welfare and commerce clauses' date=' but this politician didn't even know how to support his position from a legal standpoint.

 

He wouldn't have been able to argue the legality of his own actions (regardless of whether he was right).[/quote']

 

Not to mention it's highly condescending to the people. We're not worth explaining it to? I don't care how beligerant the people get, an elected congressman ought to have an answer for us. It can still be a one liner - "Where is it in the constitution? Try the commerce clause."

 

And then I'll beat him about the head on that instead. ;)

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They can still violate their oath, but they don't qualify as an analogy to self incrimination by outright repudiation of your very job function. Those are examples of people saying or doing something that we interpret as a violation - while they are free to delusionally believe it is not.

 

While you and others have done a terrific job of proving more subjectivity than I wanted to believe in this case, I still insist on a distinction here.

 

I don't really know how to say it any differently. A fireman that doesn't worry about fires. A teacher that says she doesn't care about teaching. A police officer that states he doesn't worry about the law, when questioned why he's arresting a 5 year old for drinking water.

 

I'm talking about vocally directly countering your job function. The interpretation here is about whether or not they meant the statement as we heard it - the violation is contained in the verbiage itself - in that case we're trying to be sure the statement was meant to be applied that way. In your examples, the violation itself is not contained in the verbiage - it's still a subjective reconciliation with the document.

 

And "I'm not worried about that," which is what he actually said, is still not the same as "I never (or don't) worry about that," which is what you are misrepresenting him to have said. This case is also a matter of saying something that you interpret as a violation.

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And "I'm not worried about that," which is what he actually said, is still not the same as "I never (or don't) worry about that," which is what you are misrepresenting him to have said. This case is also a matter of saying something that you interpret as a violation.

 

I read nothing in my post you've responded to here that counters that.

 

Try again. This time I'll bold the part you missed.

 

I'm talking about vocally directly countering your job function. The interpretation here is about whether or not they meant the statement as we heard it - the violation is contained in the verbiage itself - in that case we're trying to be sure the statement was meant to be applied that way[/b']. In your examples, the violation itself is not contained in the verbiage - it's still a subjective reconciliation with the document.

 

Your opinion is that his statement is not to be applied that way given the context - even though the verbiage, itself, contains the conflict. That's fair. This would be like a police officer saying "I don't worry about the law on this", and we discover later that he had already verified the law supported his position.

 

In your examples, they do not contain self incriminating verbiage, despite the obvious interpretation also present.

 

If you're going to draw a valid analogy, it must contain both a statement and the vocabulary must repudiate their job function.

 

 

And enough with the misrepresentation charges, you're just as guilty of sloppy work here. He didn't say "I'm not worried about that" - he said "I don't worry about the constitution on this..." which is curious, because you specifically said he didn't say just that in your opening sentence:

 

"I'm not worried about that," which is what he actually said, is still not the same as "I never (or don't) worry about that,"

 

But he did say that, after all...

 

 

http://coloyan.com/blog/index.php/representative-phil-hare-d-il-doesnt-care-about-the-constitution/

 

Citizen: What about the Constitution?

Hare: I don’t worry about the Constitution on this, to be honest with you

Citizen2: Jackpot, brother!

Hare: You know what I care about? I care more about the people that are dying every day that don’t have health care.

Citizen2: You care more about that than the US Constitution that you swore to uphold??

Hare: I believe that it says that we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Citizen2: OK

Citizen3: That’s the Declaration of Independence.

Hare: That doesn’t matter to me. Either one.

Citizen 2: It clearly doesn’t matter to you. It is so clear that it doesn’t matter.

Hare: You don’t know what matters to me. [voice rising] What was your question again?

Citizen3: Where in the Constitution does it give you the authority…

Hare: I don’t know.

Citizen3: That’s what I thought.

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I certainly don't support this, but this really is much ado over what appears to be little more than some poorly chosen wording.

 

In a followup to this, Phil Hare made clear his commitment to the constitution:

 

6Obain3h-qo

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I certainly don't support this, but this really is much ado over what appears to be little more than some poorly chosen wording.

 

In a followup to this, Phil Hare made clear his commitment to the constitution:

 

That's all well and good, but it also does not address what to myself (and ecoli) seems a more serious problem: he seemed to be ignorant of the Constitution. I mean, it's not like its a huge piece of paper, especially not as compared to the various other bits of legislation we have.

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That's all well and good, but it also does not address what to myself (and ecoli) seems a more serious problem: he seemed to be ignorant of the Constitution. I mean, it's not like its a huge piece of paper, especially not as compared to the various other bits of legislation we have.

 

That's certainly a problem with politicians in general, and I agree that there are definitely concerns about the Constitutionality of the mandatory purchase requirement. However for me it's not entirely clear cut that it's unconstitutional.

 

Compare to say, ordering the telcos to dump all their user data into the NSA (then having the audacity to grant them retroactive immunity). That's a little more clear cut to me.

 

Also, your argument seems to be the opposite of ParanoiA's, which was he was willfully violating the constitution.

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That's certainly a problem with politicians in general, and I agree that there are definitely concerns about the Constitutionality of the mandatory purchase requirement. However for me it's not entirely clear cut that it's unconstitutional.

 

The government requires we all "buy" certain things, like insurance on your car before you can drive. of course you have the option of walking, I guess you could refuse to buy insurance and simply live off the grid it you really wanted but to say it's unconstitutional to make someone buy something the benefits the greater good is a little weak.

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That's certainly a problem with politicians in general, and I agree that there are definitely concerns about the Constitutionality of the mandatory purchase requirement. However for me it's not entirely clear cut that it's unconstitutional.

It's not clear cut (and that's why there's a debate), but the issue of his ignorance seems important to me.

 

Also, your argument seems to be the opposite of ParanoiA's, which was he was willfully violating the constitution.

Not really... the original point was that, even if he was violating the constitution (and he wasn't sure) he wouldn't care.

 

I think this argument was based on unclear wording in the original video, which i think was clarified by the second video.

 

He wasn't worried about the constitutional argument, because he didn't think it was unconstitutional. This seems surprising to me because, in the first video, he couldn't say which part of the constitution authorized a health care bill.

 

How could he have been sure that the law is constitutional and not know why? (yeah, I guess his lawyer could have told him without explanation). Either way it seems hypocritical.

 

I don't think paranoiA's point conflicts with this one.

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The government requires we all "buy" certain things, like insurance on your car before you can drive. of course you have the option of walking, I guess you could refuse to buy insurance and simply live off the grid it you really wanted but to say it's unconstitutional to make someone buy something the benefits the greater good is a little weak.

 

The constitutional argument against the commerce clause being used against the healthcare bill is that we aren't engaged in commerce by simply being alive and breathing. My medical care doesn't exist until I go engage in it - yet the government has passed a law forcing me to begin engaging in commerce.

 

Contrast that to other applications of the commerce clause, where there exists an object in possession that therefore can be regulated since possessing that object effects interstate commerce of those objects. Services are regulated on the service side, since by providing a service they are engaged in commerce too. So you can regulate massage parlors if you want.

 

Nowhere do we have the right to assume that all citizens are engaged in a service and apply regulation to them. One can argue all day long that we'll eventually use the service, but that's a can of worms without a reasonable end.

 

If by merely being alive and inside the borders of the US means that I'm engaged in commerce, then the constitution is toilet paper.

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He wasn't worried about the constitutional argument, because he didn't think it was unconstitutional. This seems surprising to me because, in the first video, he couldn't say which part of the constitution authorized a health care bill.

 

To me it's right there in the preamble... promoting the general welfare is one of the things the government is supposed to do.

 

Were you to ask me where in the Constitution it says the government can force you to buy something, I'd draw a blank.

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Were you to ask me where in the Constitution it says the government can force you to buy something, I'd draw a blank.

 

Interpretations of the commerce clause have trended in that direction almost since the outset. That would be a good place to start searching.

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Your opinion is that his statement is not to be applied that way given the context - even though the verbiage, itself, contains the conflict. That's fair. This would be like a police officer saying "I don't worry about the law on this", and we discover later that he had already verified the law supported his position.

 

I'm saying that the verbiage does not inherently contain a conflict. "I don't worry about the constitution on this" — you don't know why he doesn't worry about it. You have made the conjecture that it's because he doesn't care in general, and that's not the only interpretation.

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To me it's right there in the preamble... promoting the general welfare is one of the things the government is supposed to do.

 

Were you to ask me where in the Constitution it says the government can force you to buy something, I'd draw a blank.

 

 

But that doesn't magically cancel the enumerated powers and the 10th amendment that fills in where they leave off.

 

Per the text:

 

Section 8

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and

Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general

Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be

uniform throughout the United States;

 

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

 

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

 

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

 

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the

Standard of Weights and Measures;

 

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

 

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

 

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited

Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

 

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

 

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and

Offenses against the Law of Nations;

 

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

 

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

 

To provide and maintain a Navy;

 

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

 

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union,

suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

 

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for

governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United

States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers,

and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline

prescribed by Congress;

 

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District

(not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and

the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

 

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into

Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this

Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or

Officer thereof.

 

Madison's view, which is the only reasonable view for a limited government purported by the classical liberal framers (today's libertarian), was that the General Welfare clause was shorthand for the enumerated powers since they promote the general welfare.

 

In Federalist No. 41, Madison says "Nothing is more natural or common that first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity."

 

Noting the structure of section 8 and the redundancy of such ideas as "common defence" while also enumerating to raise and support armies, to create a Navy, and even to direct the Militia, it should be obvious that the General Welfare clause is the generalized statement that the enumerated powers recite in detail.

 

And that's exactly how it was ruled by the Supreme Court until 1936, United States v Butler and finished off in Helvering v Davis. It took 150 years and Roosevelt's 6 Justice appointments to see it differently. Just like they slaughtered the Commerce Clause in 1942.

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You think the 10th amendment prevents the federal government from providing services?

 

That's a bit broad. I think article one makes it clear what services they are to provide. If they aren't listed, then it's not for them to provide. If providing services beyond what is enumerated is desired, then pass an amendment. Packing the court with activist Justices empowered by an emotionally fearful climate of economic doom was no way to go about it. GWB would have done the same thing with the "terror fear" if he had the vacancies to appoint.

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I think article one makes it clear what services they are to provide. If they aren't listed, then it's not for them to provide.

 

Article One is rather nonspecific, and among other things grants the government the power to tax and create spending bills. It's not like it contains an itemized list of the specific services the government can provide.

 

It seems that we merely disagree as to whether or not healthcare falls under the auspices of "general welfare". I say yes, you say no.

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Article One is rather nonspecific, and among other things grants the government the power to tax and create spending bills. It's not like it contains an itemized list of the specific services the government can provide.

 

It seems that we merely disagree as to whether or not healthcare falls under the auspices of "general welfare". I say yes, you say no.

 

Did you miss section 8 of that article and the list of enumerated "services"? That's plenty specific enough.

 

But yeah, we're disagreeing on old ground here. I'm guessing you're more of a Hamiltonian stripe, but then keep in mind, that interpretation is also what keeps us from enjoying some relaxing "herbal" remedies. Since I've read your views on that, and other civil liberties, I'm wondering how you reconcile that conflict.

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