There is no Intellectual Honesty in Speaker Pelosi’s House
The one thing that truly annoys me is when there is no intellectual honesty. I don’t care if it comes from the left or the right, I will not tolerate a lack of intellectual honesty. If you were silly enough, like I was, to watch 8 hours of C-SPAN on Saturday covering the 4 separate committee health care debates on the house floor, you did not witness a debate on the health care legislation. What you saw was proselytizing a progressive point of view and republican point of view, but you saw very little of actual debate on the Constitutionality of the bill.
First I’d like to know why all bills don’t begin with the language that cites the portion of the Constitution granting the authority to the Congress to even put forth the bill. Wouldn’t it be nice if every piece of legislation first had to cite the authority they have to produce the legislation? But I digress. The point is if Nancy Pelosi’s house exercised any intellectual honesty whatsoever on the merits of this bill, we wouldn’t see it being supposedly debated on the house floor on a Saturday afternoon and early evening when no constituent could contact his or her house member via telephone. The phones in Congress were not being manned on Saturday. I contacted 3 Democratic Arizona Representatives on Saturday afternoon and none of their phones were answered by a human and all of their voice mails were full. If Nancy Pelosi’s house had any intellectual honesty, then she certainly wouldn’t be bringing a bill to the floor of the house only two days after the first successful terrorist attack on this nation since 9-11. People were rightfully distracted by the tragedy and travesty at Fort Hood, and did not expect a Congress with any compassion or moral ethic to take over 1/6 of the economy by passage of a bill on a wholly partisan vote two days after a massacre on a military installation. But that’s exactly what Speaker Pelosi’s House did.
Speaker Pelosi’s House has been asked on two separate occasions that I am aware of in just the past two weeks regarding the Constitutionality of the legislation. On the first occasion, Democrat Patrick Leahy was asked if the bill was Constitutional. Representative Leahy stated that no one questions the Constitutionality of the bill. Really Representative Leahy, then why were you just being asked the question, clearly someone is questioning its Constitutionality. On the second occasion, Speaker Pelosi laughed and did not answer the question. Think about that for a moment. I don’t care what your political affiliation, if you are a U.S. House of Representatives member, you have sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. If a member of the media asks you about the Constitutionality of your bill, why would your first reaction be to say nobody questions it or to laugh? Of course there are Constitutional questions regarding the legislation Representative Leahy, the problem is, you simply don’t care sir. But Speaker Pelosi laughing, that is simply an insult to all Americans. There is nothing funny Speaker Pelosi about our Constitution. It is the people’s only guarantee against the tyranny of government. But after calling Speaker Pelosi’s office, I’m not convinced her nor her staff have any fear continuing their tyrannical regime against the people of America. If you think my language is too strong here, let me share with you my experience with the Speaker’s office this morning.
I contacted Speaker Pelosi’s office to ask a specific question regarding the Constitutionality of the bill with respect to the section on “Individual Responsibility.” That section begins on page 297 of the original 1990 page bill. In that section it states that you will purchase a government approved health care insurance plan or risk a tax of 2.5% of your adjusted gross income. First, the 16th Amendment of the Constitution which grants the Congress the Constitutional right to tax individuals only grants them authority to tax an income. The purchase of a health care plan is not an income. For the members of Congress that did not pass a basic accounting class, a purchase is noted in the expense column of a balance sheet not the income column. Never in the history of our country has a citizen been forced to make a private purchase or risk a tax. And please don’t give me the example of car insurance as that is a false analogy. You are not taxed by the federal government if you fail to purchase automobile liability insurance. If you do not purchase it, you may lose your privilege to drive that vehicle, but you will not pay a tax on your federal income tax return. Very different from being forced to make a purchase or risk a tax. So I contacted Speaker Pelosi’s office to pose this very simple question.
Six calls ensued within less than 5 minutes all resulting in the same conclusion – they transferred me to voicemail without even telling me they were transferring me to voicemail. First call: a gal answered the phone and I said I had a quick question that the media had posed to Speaker Pelosi which she had failed to answer. Without responding to me at all, the female who answered the phone immediately transferred me to voicemail. I called back and a gentleman answered the phone. I said I had just called and had a question but that the person answering the phone before transferred me to voicemail. I explained that a voicemail can’t answer a question and began to ask my question. I was transferred to voicemail before I even completed my question again with no spoken words by the man who answered the phone. He just transferred me to voicemail without saying a word. I called back a third time and this was the most successful call of the six. I think the gentlemen who answered the call stayed on the line with me about 90 seconds before he transferred me to voicemail. I explained to him that it was my third call and that I simply wanted an answer to a simple question. I told him in the section on “Individual Responsibility” I wanted to know what Constitutional authority. He interrupted me and said are you citing an email or the actual bill. I explained I was citing the original bill posted online 8 days before the vote as the final bill was not posted online before the vote. I then stated from page 297 of the original bill, and I began reading verbatim from the bill. I got one sentence out that had the word tax in it, and he transferred me without saying a word to voicemail. I called back 3 more times. Each time I either got out the words I have a question, or this is my X call and I just have a simple question, and without saying a word, the person answering the phone would abruptly transfer me to voicemail.
Now I fully understand that maybe the folks that answer the phone in the Speaker’s office are not able to speak on behalf of the Speaker and are not allowed to answer my question, but could they at least tell me that. Is it too much to ask the Speaker’s Office to have a conversation with the American people and provide them with information, any information, even if that information is I can’t help you, I have to transfer you to voicemail? I can only describe the way my phone calls were treated as the act of arrogant leaders that rule more as a monarchy than a Constitutional Republic. I’m sorry Speaker Pelosi but you are not a Queen, you are an elected official in a Constitutional Republic and you have a duty to uphold the Constitution and to treat the American people with at least a modicum of civility and intellectual honesty. But the Speaker’s House doesn’t appear to give one iota of respect to our Constitution nor to the idea of intellectual honesty. I ask those of you who support Speaker Pelosi and this health care bill is this how you would want your legitimate concerns about legislation to be treated? If so, I suggest you move to a country where they would be happy to treat you in this manner. Cuba and Venezuela immediately come to mind. Maybe you can hop the next plane with one of your favorite celebrities or Congressperson on their next trip to these wonderful locations.