Enumerated Powers - where did the train go off the tracks? - Granite Grok

Enumerated Powers – where did the train go off the tracks?

While last night, with Scott Brown’s win in the special election in MA to replace Ted Kennedy, may have shut the door on Obamacare, this piece from the Cato Institute concerning the Healthcare bill that the Progressives in Congress are trying to ram through and whether or not it is Constitutional.  To be sure, their view is quite negative of the idea that Congress, via the Commerce clause and the phrase "general welfare", can force us to purchase a good under the pain of imprisonment. 

Much of the angst has resurrected discussions by Conservatives and Libertarians in the 10th Amendment in terms of the proverbial monkey wrench in the political machine to pass it.  After all, unlike here in NH where the towns and cities are political subdivisions of the State of NH, the 50 States are not the political subdivisions of the Federal Government (regardless of what many on the Left have been trying to do) and do have Sovereign rights.  With the argument  of the Enumerated Powers that the Constitution gave to the Feds, it would seem that this chould stop this nonsense cold.  However, Kathy Sullivan did point out that the enumerated powers have had a lot of years of law basically ignoring it. 

Look at the last paragraph – and note the seeds that the Progressive FDR sowed 70 years ago (emphasis mine):

Unfortunately, that gets Madison exactly backward. To be sure, the Founders, including Madison, stood for self-government — as against government by some fraction of the people, including a king. That was their first political principle. But their first moral principle — the reason they instituted government at all — was individual liberty, as the Declaration of Independence makes plain and the Constitution, with its doctrine of enumerated powers and its recognition of both enumerated and unenumerated rights, makes equally plain as a legal memorialization of the Declaration’s promise.

So where did we go wrong such that today majoritarianism is dominant and liberty is too often its target — and a supine judiciary generally defers to that regime? It came out of the Progressive Era, of course, and was finally instituted systematically by the New Deal Court, following FDR’s infamous court-packing threat. And the foundation of the constitutional inversion — from "everything that is not given is retained" to "everything that is not retained is given" — was the demise of the doctrine of enumerated powers, the idea that Congress has only those powers the people have given it, as enumerated in the document, the rest being retained by the states or the people.

The question that does need to be begged now is, with the rise of the TEA Party movement and the renewed interest and fervor for the Constitution, may we see a wind back of this?  Can the TEA Party, and the great repugnance now being shown by the general public of Progressive actions and their high financial cost and the attendant moral hazard that has been incurred (e.g., throwing away the need for self-responsibility via their policies).

IF the TEA Partiers continue their demand for a change BACK to a Constitutional basis (vs the Progressive philosophy stemming from European Socialsim) from candidates and then go out and HELP those candidates that express kindred philosophies. And from there, help to appoint judges that will go follow more to a Founders vision?