Abigail Adams, the nation’s second First Lady and first First Lady to reside in the residence now known as the White House, used to hang laundry out to dry in the expansive East Room. Now, after the Democrats dance and celebrate and take pictures and revel in the shredding of our Constitution, President Barack Hussein Obama will hang an entire nation out to dry in that very same room.
And, as he signs the Democrats’ health care reform legislation into law, we learn that the bill being signed actually provides an exemption to the overtly unconstitutional individual mandate to purchase health insurance coverage from an insurance exchange run by the federal government.
And who, dare we ask, is exempt? Well, according to the folks at HotAir and the National Journal, while everyday Americans like you and like me will be forced to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty, thousands of leadership staffers on Capitol Hill will not be held to the same requirement by way of an exemption in the bill many of them helped create.
That’s right. Check out the excerpt from the National Journal, highlighted by Ed Morrissey at HotAir:
House GOP aides and the non-partisan Congressional Research Service believe health care legislation passed this week requires lawmakers to enroll in government-run insurance programs — while exempting leadership staffers, many of whom were instrumental in crafting the bill.
Top staffers buzzed yesterday on an off-the-record Capitol Hill list-serv, citing the part of the mammoth legislation that deals with members of Congress. The federal government can only make available to members and their official staffs health plans created by the bill or offered through an exchange. …
The loophole for leadership staffers could impact thousands of Hill employees. There are 16 active leadership offices in the House and 26 in the Senate, according to the government transparency website LegiStorm. Some are small, with just a few employees. Others are much larger; Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid 54 employees a total of $1.1M in the last quarter of ‘09, while House Min. Leader John Boehner paid his 26 staffers a total of $721K in the same quarter.
So much for the argument we heard from Democrats all weekend that Americans should enjoy the same benefits that those on Capitol Hill enjoy. The good news, though, as pointed out by Morrissey, is that the very same tendency to force mandates on America while exempting themselves is what led to the Republican Revolution in 1994. Ah, the parallels:
Congress has a long and notorious history for sticking America with ridiculous mandates while exempting themselves. In fact, that became a theme of the 1994 midterm elections; Newt Gingrich included in his Contract with America a requirement to end such exemptions, such as the ADA, Social Security waivers, and so on. It played well with the electorate, which rightly questioned whether Congress had decided to make itself above the laws it busily made for everyone else after 40 years of Democratic Party control.
Looks like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid didn’t learn that lesson the last time they lost the majority. It’s time for the electorate to give them another object lesson.
If this is such a great bill, then why did those who crafted the legislation go out of the way to exempt themselves? If this is such a great bill, then why doesn’t many of the so-called “benefits” come into play until after the next presidential election? If this is such a great bill, then why did Nancy Pelosi want more than just the requisite 216 votes to pass the legislation, so no Democrat could be forced to admit that, but for their vote, this abomination would not have passed?
The answer is simple, and it’s one we’ve known all along — this bill was not about healthcare. The Democrats know it, and they know that an increasing number of Americans know it. If it were about health care, it would have decreased premiums for American, not increase them as both the Congressional Budget Office and the Associated Press have admitted. If it were about health care, it would have simply provided insurance for the 15 million or so truly uninsured Americans without dragging the rest of the nation down into a trillion-dollar entitlement. And the list goes on, and on, and on.
But this is a flawed bill, a failed bill, forced on America by a flawed and failed president and political party through a mess of kickbacks, coercions and bribes. It is patently unconstitutional, fiscally unsustainable and morally wrong, but it fits the left’s agenda of social justice, so nobody cares. It continues to push America down a path toward a complete entitlement society, and it works to get even more Americans reliant upon the federal government for permission to live, so it’s okay.
In the end, those of us who see the writing on the wall, who keep track of the lies, misrepresentations and hypocrisy from all sides of the federal government, take solace in knowing that a day of reckoning for the Progressive left is on the horizon and approaching fast. This legislation will heal the nation — but not in the way that Barack Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi may thing. This legislation has awakened America, and America will not tolerate a government willing to simply manage a nation in decline.
Two hundred and thirty-five years ago today, a famous Virginian orator stood up in front of the Virginia Provincial Convention and delivered a speech. His name was Patrick Henry, and on this day, it seemed all too appropriate to include that speech in full. Read it. As liberty dies a little bit today in the East Room of the White House, understand that there was a time when liberty was sought rather than taken for granted.
No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!