HomeFeaturesDailyBriefingsRapidReconSpecial ReportsAbout Us

« December 2009 | Return to Commentary | April 2010 »

March 11, 2010

United States of America

This We Will Defend

"Slaughter Strategy" Is An Affront To The Constitution

By Steve Schippert | March 11, 2010

Lose sight of what you are defending and defense isn't all that important, is it?

This simple reminder compels us to shift focus for the moment from our combative enemies and onto that which we defend. We do not engage in such rigorous defense - in its many forms - simply to preserve soil or borders or lives. We engage in rigorous defense of ideas. Ideas embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. We do not defend simply the shores and borders and people of America. We defend - rigorously - so much more than that. We defend what it means to be American. We defend what it is that inspires so many countless others to risk life, limb and treasure to get to America even still.

And, to put it plainly, there is tyranny afoot and it must be confronted and defeated with confidence, determination and passion. The confrontation is not about health care or any other piece of legislation. It is not about politicians, politics or parties.

The confrontation is about process. The confrontation is about fidelity to the Constitution.

House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter says she is "prepping to help usher the healthcare overhaul through the House and potentially avoid a direct vote on the Senate overhaul bill." She continued, explaining how House passage of a separate bill containing "changes" to the Senate version would lead House leadership to "deem" the actual Senate HealthCare Bill passed - without a direct vote.

This is not simply tyrannical in nature, it is absolute political cowardice.

Whether any American likes or dislikes any bill - any bill - none of us are governed under a Constitution nor any Congress within a Constitution that affords for an individual in an elected body to "deem" anything. We elected you, for better or worse, to vote on legislation, whether we like the specific outcome or not. There is a process within both the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

The notion of anyone "deeming" anything "passed" without going through the actual voting process of real passage is the kind of governance seen in Saddam Hussein's Iraq or Bashar Assad's Syria or Castro's Cuba.

Few things in this lifetime have inspired such furious rage as this brazen attempt to undermine the legislative process as set forth within the Constitution of the United States.

In 1985, I swore an oath. It was not an oath to defend soil, borders or even lives. It was to defend something vastly more important than any of them, revered as they are. I swore the following:

"I, Steve Schippert, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

That oath stands honored - and, frankly, more thoroughly understood and respected - to this day, long after my 8 years of active duty service as a United States Marine.

Nowhere under that oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States is it stated or implied to include defending the right of any individual in an elected Congressional body to have the power, through assumption or parliamentary "rules changes," to "deem" anything passed without the majority consent (through votes) of the full elected body of Congress.

I understand, House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter, that this may be lost on you.

Understand that it is not lost on me. Understand that it is especially not lost on veterans who view the Constitution as something more than an artifact and a museum piece.

Understand that the blood spilled and lives lost on historic battlefields here and on distant shores abroad were not sacrificed in order that an individual in government might acquire the power to deem fundamental changes to America's systems or society. Blood, treasure and lives have been sacrificed standing against precisely that, which is an affront to the concept of "consent of the governed" and individual Liberty.

"Deem" a single thing as "passed" and I and many others will go broke and into bankruptcy driving you and those who stand with you out of our House of Representatives in order to preserve and restore fidelity to the Constitution within our own government.

Discount this at your peril. For it should not be lost upon you or others that men who have sworn (and likewise performed) that the Constitution of the United States is worth more than any of our individual lives would likewise also hold that it is worth more than our mere monetary treasure, be it modest or great.

A wise man once warned a foreign enemy that "there is a price we will not pay and there is a line you must not cross." Ms. Slaughter, you and those who stand with you are standing on that line.

No man, no bill, no law, no program, no amount of treasure is worth more than the Constitution of the United States of America. We swore to defend this, not simply soil or to merely fight wars when so ordered.

I, Steve Schippert, do solemnly swear that I still support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that I still bear true faith and allegiance to the same. So help me God.

And I am not alone. I am, in fact, in the majority of Americans - not in opposition to the legal passage of a Health Care bill that I do not agree with. But rather in opposition to an individual in any elected body with the assumed or altered power to "deem" any legislation passed without proper vote as proscribed by the Constitution of the United States of America.

Our Constitution does not afford for the legislating of tyranny, nor for "rules changes" to affect the same.

This we will defend.

Lose sight of what you are defending and defense isn't all that important, is it?

  • AudioFebruary 2, 2010
    [Listen Here]
    What on Earth can Usama bin Laden, the mystical calculus of climate change and US Homeland Security have in common? Does bin Laden really agree with the President of the United States on matters weather? How is it that the...

Special Reports

Recent Features