Rand Paul is pushing for a new Constitutional amendment stating “Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress.” The amendment “also contains two provisions that apply that same principle to the Executive Branch and Judicial Branch of the federal government,” according to a press release put out by the office of the Kentucky senator on Monday.
Paul is of course responding to the unconscionable opting-out from the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, by the members of the U.S. Congress. Our elected officials — in an orgy of let-them-eat-cake selfishness that would do Marie Antoinette proud — voted themselves exempt from the bureaucratic mess of a health insurance plan currently driving the rest of the country crazy.
This is the kind of behavior common to officials of totalitarian states and we should all get behind Paul for his attempt, even though such an amendment should already be implied by the Constitution itself. Indeed, one assumes that the Founders would have been horrified, or at least hugely dismayed, to find our modern Congress exempting themselves in such a disgustingly greedy manner. It goes against the very essence of what the Founders regarded as the equal rights of citizenship in our republic.
Paul is correct too in covering the executive and judicial branches in any such new amendment. Why should Chief Justice Roberts be able to escape the strictures of a law he bent over backwards in a remarkable display of legal gymnastics not to declare unconstitutional? The same is obviously true for Barack Obama himself, who should, of all people, by subject to his eponymous law. He is, after all, the great devotee of “fairness,” is he not? Or is congressional elitism and noblesse oblige what he really meant by “hope” and “change”?
In fact, one would think everyone — left, right or center — would support this amendment. Wouldn’t an avowed socialist like Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont find contemptible this exploitation of the lower classes by the political bourgeoisie? And what about that staunch defender of unions Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois? And the so-called centrists over at “no labels” — shouldn’t they, defenders of good governance, be up in arms about this?
Shouldn’t everybody be?
But the real question is how the voters themselves will respond. I’m willing to bet that after another six or eight months of the Obamacare nightmare they’re going to be so hopping mad that any legislator who voted him or herself an exemption is going to be shown the door so fast they won’t know whether they went through the front or the back. Who would want to vote for the immoral creeps?
Paul’s amendment should be the new litmus test for who should or should not be reelected to Congress, irrespective of political party.
For the record, this is not entirely Paul’s amendment. Though he deserves credit for bringing it up now in the Senate, PJM’s Bridget Johnson reported a similar idea proposed in the House of Representatives last August by Congressmen Salmon and DeSantis. They are to be commended as well.
Most importantly, we should all be getting behind Paul on this — now.