As I slowly work my way back into the rhythm of blogging after a nice vacation, I’m picking through a few items I missed while I was away. One of these is Bill Whittle’s latest Firewall, in which my friend manages to tie together ObamaCare, the recently-passed NDAA, the Constitution, and Lord of the Rings. That’s way too tempting for me to pass up — and not coincidentally, that’s the point Bill wants to make in this video:
The oral arguments at the Supreme Court actually encouraged me a little on this point. The justices — well, some of them, anyway — sounded concerned about the lack of limitations on power inherent in ObamaCare. At least for a few brief moments, the role of the Constitution as a limiting document for the federal government was recalled. It remains to be seen whether it will be enforced in the ultimate decision on ObamaCare, and of course the HHS mandate was not a part of the discussions or the case the week before last. If the PPACA gets upheld in whole or in part, the HHS mandate will certainly come before the Supreme Court, but by that time the precedent might be firmly established that the Constitution and its bars on Congressional authority will have become simply a relic — something to be worshiped but otherwise ignored.
The Ring of Power, however, cannot be ignored. Absent a limiting document like the Constitution in force, subsequent Congresses and Presidents will continue to arrogate to themselves the use of power over our lives, in every aspect. That’s not an inevitable conclusion, however. We can prevent it by electing people who understand and respect the role of the Constitution and who will keep Congress from ever-increasing overreach. If we cleave to the Supreme Court as a kind of Helm’s Deep, don’t expect a Gandalf to ride to our rescue every single time.
Or, to borrow from another speculative-fiction series …