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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Madison Slow Down Obamacare

US Founder Madison Slows Down President Obama

So what exactly happened in the health care debate this summer? The founding fathers, wary of kings and divine rulers, and willing to sacrifice their own personal gain for the formation of a fledging democracy, wrote a Constitution that featured checks and balances. And their vision for a system of American government for the people and by the people has withstood the onslaught of Washington insiders for over 225 years. The founding fathers created a document; known as the US Constitution that has guided our Republic. Our Constituion includes the 10th Amendment (1791): The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. It could be argued that the nationalization of health care by the government is prohibited based on this amendment. Exactly where does it say that health care is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the US Government? Just being the President, doesn’t make it so. Not in America.

During this national debate on health care, a rookie President with a majority of the Congress has failed to fully understand the American process. And now he is blaming the American people for being…. well American.

To put Madison’s work into the modern perspective, we feature the work of Peter Wehner, a former presidential advisor and current think tank fellow, who wrote the following in the Weekly Standard:

But Madison has thwarted others who possessed grand, even utopian, designs. And so we are now getting the debate on health care Obama desperately wanted to avoid--with the result that support for his plan is sinking like a stone in the sea. Whatever plan finally emerges, if any plan emerges, will be quite different from what Obama originally had in mind.

None of this is going down very well with our chief executive. The man who promised us a new style of politics, civil and uplifting, is now unleashing his top aides and congressional allies to "punch back twice as hard" against critics. They are attempting to paint opposition to Obamacare as the work of fringe elements, mercenaries, and automatons. If Team Obama actually believes this explains the groundswell of public concern about its health care plan, they are living in a White House even more hermetically sealed than usual.

But the fundamental problem is the Obama view of politics--romantic and even quasi-revolutionary--in which men of zeal remake the world. This is not the American way. Ours is a system of government in which, as Madison noted, "ambition must be made to counteract ambition," where there are more brakes than accelerators, and where massive overhauls and centralized control are discouraged and most of the time defeated. Whatever its limitations, the Constitution remains, in the words of Gladstone, "the greatest work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man." It does not bow before a president in a hurry--even a young, charismatic, and impatient one. Excerpt from the Weekly Standard online at

Peter Wehner, former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush, is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

© 2009 Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,

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