Yesterday, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) raised the constitutionality issue regarding Sen. Harry Reid’s version of ObamaCare in a last-ditch effort to derail it.
He raises an excellent point, but in reality he’s actually a Johnny-come-lately on this question. Ryan Leonard, a Republican candidate for state Attorney General in Oklahoma, has been raising this issue for some SIX MONTHS now.
“While this important (health care reform) battle will continue to be waged in Congress,” Leonard wrote in a letter published by Tulsa Today on December 2, “in my speeches across Oklahoma the past 6 months I have raised the very important issue – that seems to be lost on Congress – that nowhere in the United States Constitution does it provide the federal government the authority to require an individual to purchase health insurance, or be punished with a tax if he or she doesn’t.”
“When confronted several weeks ago about the ‘constitutionality’ of the pending health care proposals,” Leonard continued, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded ‘Are you serious?’ To dismiss such a legitimate, and fundamental, question that goes to the very heart of the debate is illustrative of the extent that liberal interests will go to achieve their ends of growing government.”
Glad to see there are still SOME conservatives out there who embrace the quaint Goldwateresque practice of not attempting “to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible.”
What a shame Sen. Ensign and his fellow Republicans in the Senate hadn’t asked themselves “What would Barry Goldwater do?” BEFORE Harry Reid started buying off the votes of all those Democrat senators such as Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu.