800,000 government employees were furloughed on Tuesday, October 1st. The media are all a-twitter with reports on the Obamacare/Government-shutdown controversy.
At first, the controversy seemed to be just another “drama” staged by the drama-queens we’ve elected to Congress. For example, The Washington Times published “House rejects restoration of funds during shutdown for veterans, parks” which declared in part:
“With the government shutdown closing national monuments and sending federal office workers home, House Republicans changed tactics Tuesday and tried to pass individual spending bills that they said would restore money to high-profile programs such as veterans affairs, national parks and the Smithsonian Institution.
“But House Democrats, backed by a presidential veto threat, blocked the bills, saying that while they supported the spending, it was unfair for Republicans to make them pick and choose from popular programs.”
Politics in Congress has become so polarized that the Republican and Democrat parties seem like spouses in a particularly bad marriage. Neither “spouse” can figure out how to please the other. Both insist that, even if he or she gets what they want, something is still wrong.
At first, I’d supposed that this government shutdown would last only about a week. But, as I begin to get a sense of the animosity that’s motivating both political parties, I’m starting to wonder if this battle might last several weeks.
This isn’t just politics anymore. This is ego. Some of these politicians won’t agree to anything, no matter what. They are going to hold their breath, until you turn blue. We’ll see how long these egos can dominate. We’ll see how long before a compromise of some sort finally seems reasonable or at least unavoidable.
After a few days of “shutdown,” I began to realize that the Obamacare/Government-shutdown problem was more serious than I’d first supposed. I began to sense that this “problem” had a reality that went much deeper than the usual “made for TV movies” that Congress likes to produce—but I didn’t understand Why this problem was unusually serious.
● But, then, I read another article in The Washington Times (“Nancy Pelosi raises ghost of George Washington to condemn GOP”) which reported in part:
“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi [D-Cal], visibly angry with Republicans for standing fast on their opposition to Obamacare and forcing the Democrat-controlled Senate to enter government shutdown said,
‘What the speaker is doing is doubling and tripling down [on] a path that it was always intended to take us to shutting down government. [The GOP has] wiggled this way and that to keep being very resourceful to come up with ways to shut down government. Because as [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid said, they don’t believe in government. They’re anti-government ideologues,”
Bunk. No one in Washington is an “anti-government ideologue”. Everyone in Washington believes in some “government”.
But the Tea Party members of the Republican Party are “anti-big-government ideologues” (praise the LORD).
In fact, some Republicans are actually starting to behave like Republicans rather than “RINOs,” “Republicrats” or the “Democrat auxiliary”. Some Republicans are actually standing up for limited government.
● We know that our Constitution was intended to create “limited government”—but what does the term “limited” really mean? What are the “limits” in “limited government”?
To understand the meaning of “limited government,” we must first ask “limited by what?”
Answer: Limited by law.
As government grows, it’s clearly moving away from “limited government” and towards “unlimited government”. That necessarily implies that if we’re moving away from government “limited by law” towards an “unlimited government,” that brave-new-government will be “unlimited by law”—and therefore lawless.
Thus, “unlimited government” is, by definition, lawless government. It follows that “big” government is necessarily more “lawless” than “limited” government.
We don’t have “unlimited government” today. However, we are clearly moving away from “limited government” and towards “big” and “unlimited government”. We are therefore coming closer and closer to lawless government—government that’s run as a criminal enterprise rather than as a service to the people.
Isn’t that exactly what you’re already seeing? Isn’t big and bigger government also increasingly lawless and therefore dictatorial?
● OK—if “limited government” is necessarily limited by law—whose law will impose those limits?
It doesn’t make sense that the “limits” in “limited government” would be imposed by the government itself. If the government could set its own “limits,” there’d be no legal “limits”. Congress and government could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Instead of “limited government,” we’d have “unlimited”—and therefore lawless–government.
So, if there’s going to be a “limited government,” the laws that limit that government must be imposed by a power and sovereignty greater than that of the government, itself.
There are two possible sovereigns greater than government: 1) God; and 2) the People.
God’s law (as found in the Bible) should govern His creations—including the American people.
The People’s Law (the Constitution) should govern their creations—the local, state and federal governments.
Thus, for all practical purposes, the immediate authors of the laws that provided the “limits” in “limited government” are the people. The people’s laws are expressed in the Constitution. The limits in limited government are found in the people’s law—the Constitution.
As government grows, it increasingly violates the concept of “limited government” and thereby violates the people’s law—the Constitution—which was adopted for the fundamental purpose of limiting the power and size of government.
Again, what do you see with your own eyes? Does big and growing government seem increasingly unconstitutional? Does big and growing government seem increasingly lawless.
● Contrary to Minority Leader Pelosi’s complaint, the Tea Party members of the Republican Party still believe in some government. But, unlike Pelosi and the Democrat Party leadership, they don’t believe in unlimited (lawless) government.
According to The Washington Times, Pelosi continued and offered a description of the current controversy that I see as profoundly insightful. According to Pelosi, the Obamacare/Government-shutdown battle is really:
“. . . a proxy fight for the debate on the extent of government, . . .”
Pelosi’s description is amazing.
I’m surprised that she let the cat out of the bag. This battle about Obamacare and government shutdown is not a simple matter of political theater. It’s fare more than He said; She said. It’s far more than a debate about President Obama’s “signature legislation”.
Instead, just as Pelosi admitted, it’s really about the “extent of government”. It’s about whether we will have big, bigger and finally biggest government—or if we should we return to the limited government intended by the Founders.
Insofar as this controversy is really about the “extent of government” it’s a watershed event that goes much deeper than mere “Obamacare”.
It’s unlikely that the Tea Party Republicans will win. They might postpone Obamacare, but they won’t kill it at this time. But if they did win to any extent—even by postponing Obamacare’s implementation for another year—this conflict might help end big government for a generation or more.
If the Democrats win, big government will persist a while longer and move us closer to unlimited (overtly criminal/unconstitutional/dictatorial) government.
But even if the Democrats win today, the Tea Party Republicans have fired a “shot heard round the world”. Even if the Obamacare/Government-shutdown controversy does not mark the end of big government right now, it may nevertheless mark the beginning of that end.
It may well be that government has finally spent too much, supported too many special interests, violated too many constitutional limits, gone too deeply into debt, and committed too many crimes. The Tea Party, at least, seems to have had enough.
So, there’s a very good chance that the Tea Party’s resistance to Obamacare is not an isolated event. It may be that the Tea Party is ascending while the collectivist, big-government Democrats (and “Republicrats”) are in retreat.
● Ultimately, it has to be that way.
Why? Not because the Republicans are good and the Democrats are bad. (I tend to view the Republicans with almost as much contempt as I feel for the Democrats—they’ve both sold this nation so far down that river that it’s unclear whether we shall ever be able to fully recover.)
Instead, the gangsters that comprise big government must pull in their horns because government is so deep in debt that it can’t go much deeper. We’re reaching the moment when government will be forced to overtly default on its debts or, at least, covertly diminish its debts with hyperinflation.
Regardless of ideology, government is too broke to get bigger. They’ve crippled the economy and reduced tax revenues and nearly destroyed the US government credit rating and ability to borrow. Thus, even if big government can’t be stopped with moral arguments, it will be stopped by financial realities. Big government can’t grow bigger without more “easy money” to bribe the people. Therefore, government may soon be forced by its own debts to grow smaller.
● America’s revolutionary rejection of big government isn’t confined to Congress. A growing number of State legislatures have joined this revolution by proposing and sometimes passing State laws which mandate that their state government ignore and defy certain federal laws. Like the Tea Party Republicans, even state legislatures are trying to “limit” big, seemingly-unlimited federal government with state laws.
Guns: If there’s one subject that makes people despise and defy the Feds’ lust for more power, it’s gun control. Texas proposed making it a felony to enforce federal gun control laws. Washington fines federal enforcement agents, Michigan protects local gun makers from the Feds, and Oregon proposed a refusal to enforce presidential executive orders. States across the country are defending the right to keep and bear arms against federal meddling and are thereby imposing new limits on federal power. If the feds won’t obey the Constitution, perhaps they’ll obey state laws.
Currency: Fearing collapse of the US dollar, Virginia has advocated issuing its own state currency. Texas, Louisiana, and Idaho have passed laws that recognize gold and silver as monetary instruments.
Anti-NDAA: The “Washington State Preservation of Liberty Act” denies the dictatorial powers given the President by the National Defense Authorization Act. California recently passed a law that mandates that at least some elements of the NDAA (indefinite detention by US military) be defied.
Obamacare: Idaho (and other states) have attempted to nullify Obamacare with state legislation. These attempts have, so far, failed. But the number of attempts is more evidence of a revolutionary, anti-big-government sentiment that’s growing in the body politic.
Nullification: Mississippi proposed legislation to create a state committee to nullify federal laws that the state doesn’t want to follow. South Carolina considered similar legislation to nullify “gun control, health-care reform, and the detention of suspected terrorists.”
Marijuana: Washington and Colorado have legalized the use of marijuana. President Obama has refused to challenge those state laws saying, “We have bigger fish to fry.” Indeed, the Feds do have bigger fish to fry—but they’re also too broke to buy more Crisco. They are therefore assenting to state laws that reduce the powers of big, federal government.
These state attempts to defy and limit federal powers are absolute evidence that a revolution is taking place, right now. This revolution hasn’t won, but it’s growing. The American people are increasingly fed up with the Feds’ power-grabs.
Want more evidence? Consider the Occupy Wall Street movement. How ’bout the Anonymous and Wikileaks movements?
People are fed up with big government and the special interests it serves.
Given that government is going broke and will no longer be able to bribe Americans with “benefits,” loyalty to the Feds is going to fall hard.
● Again, my point: the Obamacare/government-shutdown debate is not just another instance of political theater. Indeed, it’s evidence there is a revolution brewing right now in Congress and in the American body politic. This is no game—a profound, government-shaking change has begun and it’s challenging the “extent of government”.
This is big-time, winner-take-all, revolution that just might mark the beginning of the end of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal”.
Thus, the Obamacare/Government-shutdown is far more important than most people suppose. It’s huge. We should all be excited by the struggle that’s become manifest in Congress.
● I hope the Tea Party and the Republicans stick to their guns and refuse to allow government to reopen unless Obamacare is at least postponed. If doing so helps to restores limits on government’s size and power, the initial result may be painful as we lose the “benefit” of government’s economic “stimulus”. But, financial realities will eventually cause that loss, anyway—no matter what. More, the result of a diminished federal government will eventually be a blessing as we also lose the liability of feeding (and over-feeding) big government gangsters.
Without the federal government constantly predating upon us, we might regain our optimism and even prosperity.
If you agree, and if you’d like to support the revolution against big government, now’s the time to call or write to your Republican and Tea Party representatives. Tell them that you understand that they’re waging a revolutionary revolt against big government. Tell ‘em that you support that revolution. Encourage them to stand their ground—not against Obamacare or for a government shutdown—but for limited, constitutional and lawful government.