03 April 2010

Rep Hare: "I don’t worry about the Constitution"

Cato @ Liberty | Michael F. Cannon | Constitution, Schmonstitution — The Law Is What I Say It Is

The health care debate has illuminated how little regard many members of Congress have for the U.S. Constitution.

First, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) said, “There ain’t no rules here… When the deal goes down … we make ‘em up as we go along.

Then, House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers (D-MI) claimed that the Constitution’s non-existent “Good and Welfare clause” grants Congress the power to compel Americans to purchase health insurance.

Now, Rep. Phil Hare (D-IL) admits he doesn’t really care whether the Constitution grants Congress that power:
Off-camera: Where in the Constitution…

Rep. Hare: I don’t worry about the Constitution on this, to be honest.

Off-camera: [Laughter.] Jackpot, brother.

Rep. Hare: What I care more about — I care more about the people that are dying every day that don’t have health insurance.

Off-camera: You care more about that than the U.S. Constitution that you swore to uphold!

Rep. Hare: I believe that it says we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Now you tell me…

Off-camera: That’s the Declaration of Independence.

Rep. Hare: It doesn’t matter to me. Either one…

[Lots of childish sniping.]

Off-camera: Where in the Constitution does it give you the authority to…

Rep. Hare: I don’t know. I don’t know.

Off-camera: That’s what I thought.
I weep for the future.  God protect us from the tyranny of those that profess good intentions.

(Via Damon Root)

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Cannon concluded his post with this apropos passage from A Man for All Seasons:
Sir Thomas More: What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!


  1. I don’t worry about the Constitution on this, to be honest.

    Rules, oath, keeping one's word - that's just old-fashioned crazy-talk. Only rubes and naive folk in fly-over country believe in that kind of stuff.

  2. Oh man, I always forget that "honor" is considered hopelessly gauche these days. I'm not cut out for the 21st century.

  3. Agreed on the "not cut out for this century" thing. It's disturbing that possession of things like morality and honor are seen as flaws these days.

    Also, he gets mad props for using cinema's best quote about the rule of law. I love that scene.