by Robert Peck
Chairman, Constitution Party of Washington
A friend recently directed my attention to a YouTube video clip of a U.S. Senate hearing in which newly elected Senator, Rand Paul, unloaded a barge of righteous indignation on a bureaucrat from one of those multitude of federal agencies that seem determined to regulate every facet of our lives. While Senator Paul’s grilling of Kathleen Hogan from the Department of Energy was enjoyable enough to watch, I found Ms. Hogan’s response to the Senator to be the most telling part of the video.
Senator Paul let loose on Ms. Hogan and her agency for denying the American people the ability to choose what kind of light bulb, toilet or refrigerator we will purchase, calling them hypocrites and busybodies. Ms. Hogan’s defense of her administration and its encroachments into our lives was that:
“. . . the appliance standards program is an example of really a great partnership between the Congress and the administration over many many many years. So much of what we are implementing really had its genesis in bipartisan bills that had been put forth at a number of different points over the history of this country for the last 30 to 40 years.”
Did you catch what she is saying? Ms. Hogan is saying that in her mind, and evidently in her understanding of our form of government, the Department of Energy is justified in subjecting the American people to every rule and regulation they can invent so long as it comes from “a partnership between the Congress and the administration” and it “has its genesis in bipartisan bills.” Unfortunately, Ms. Hogan is not alone in this perverted view of the role of civil government and its authority under the U.S. Constitution as it seems to be pervasive, not only in Washington DC, but in most every statehouse, county courthouse and city hall.
Ms. Hogan and her ilk are completely oblivious to the provisions of the U.S. Constitution that limit the power and scope of the federal government. Our Constitution prohibits the federal government from ruling, regulating or making laws in any area of life or business not specifically authorized to it in the very limited, enumerated powers, listed in Article I, Section 8. But that seems to be lost on the myriad of busybody, do-gooders inhabiting the institutions of civil government today.
Never mind that these regulations are beyond the Constitutionally authorized scope of the federal government, or that the very agency implementing the regulations is itself an extra-constitutional agency that has no Constitutionally authorized basis for wielding any power whatsoever. All that matters to these people is that a majority in Congress approved it and that makes it okay. Even better, it had ’bipartisan support,’ which seems to elevate the un-Constitutional act and make it something downright noble in these people’s minds.
The only thing more damning than Senator Paul’s allegations against Ms. Hogan and her agency, and her subsequent demonstration of a complete lack of understanding of the supreme law of our land, is Ms. Hogan’s statement that her agency’s un-Constitutional regulations were the result of bills that had ’bipartisan support’ – a fact that no one in the hearing seems to have refuted. In other words, it is not just Ms. Hogan who is oblivious to the strictures of our Constitutional form of government; it is not just bureaucrats and their bureaucracies who trample our Constitution; it is not just the current chief executive who is overseeing this breach of the public trust who is to blame; it is both parties in Congress and every President who has held office for the past 30 to 40 years who has been consenting to the violation of the U.S. Constitution. But I guess it’s okay, so long as it has “Bipartisan Support.”
The video clip of the Senate hearing and Rand Paul’s comments can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELDHaeEsNF0
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© Robert W. Peck
Robert Peck lives in Spokane Valley, Washington where he owns and manages residential rental properties. He serves as the Chairman of the Constitution Party of Washington and as Western Area Co-Chairman for the Constitution Party National Committee.