Monday, January 25, 2016

The Article One Issue

"Whose fault is it that we have not governed in accordance with the Constitution? Basically, all of us."

Last week I had the opportunity to spend time with my Congressman - twice. And it was time well spent. He talked about some of the nuances with the "changing of the guard" in Washington. In particular, the Speaker of the House position. How the former Speaker told the nation before he left, he was going to "clean out the barn". And he did. But the pile of garbage and manure which was swept out was left sitting in front of the barn door. With few viable options to choose from, the incoming Speaker had to champion a horrible bill. An omnibus type of bill to take care of all those "loose ends".

When the vote came, Congressman Emmer did not vote for it. That being said, there were some things within the bill which were good. However, there also were things which were not good. For example, the GFY 2016 Funding Bill is very expensive. So much so, next year's deficit is going to start climbing again. And mostly because of the unsustainability of the spending within the bill, Congressman Emmer could not endorse nor vote for it.

Many in Congress, including Congressman Emmer are looking forward. The barn is now truly cleaned out, and it is time to move on. This year, a very important issue to Congressman Emmer as well as some others within Congress is getting back to governance in accordance with the Constitution. And a wonderful place to start is Article One. Article One of the Constitution defines the duties and responsibilities of the Congress. All duties, including the power of the purse.

Congress has been remiss on this issue for not just years, but decades. And with many different Presidents. Regardless of political party. And over the years, the table was being set for the absolute abuse of power we have right now. And who is to blame? The President? Yes, he should know better. The Congress? Yes, they should know better also. Us, the voters? Absolutely. We have not held elected representatives accountable for not governing in accordance with the Constitution. 

Regardless of what the press has told us, the Tea Party is not dead. The folks who love our Constitution are not asleep. Patriots in great numbers still live in "fly over land" as well as both coasts. It is time to put the beast back on a leash. The tail has been wagging the dog for much too long. Our Bill of Rights, our Constitution, all our founding documents need to be held sacrosanct once again. 

Going forward into 2016, we need to be concerned with both our governance as well as this being an election year. We need to trust who we think can be trusted, and then verify everyone's actions and votes. We can take nothing for granted. Each and every vote, each and every bill, needs to have the Constitution at its core. We need to elect people to ensure that happens. And to do so, we need to be watchdogs, we need to be sheepdogs. 

When Russia decided to practice Perestroika, they did so for a reason. We should also do it (to a degree). A fundamental premise of Perestroika was to get rid the state of central planning. We need to get rid of our central planning in Washington. In other words, we need to put the power back in the people's hands. And we do that by recognizing and edifying the power vested in the House of Representatives - truly, the people's house.

Article One of the Constitution. A great ice breaker when candidates come knocking at your door this summer. If they have no idea what you are talking about, wish them a nice day and shut the door. The time is too short for us to screw around with pretenders.   

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