A common argument from corporate funded pundits is that Obama has no respect for the constitution. Indeed, the stunning example of honest and truthful journalism that is the Daily Caller even went so far as to put up a list detailing his top ten constitutional violations. Except they have just about nothing to do with the real Constitution.
1. The Individual Mandate
SCOTUS has already ruled that the individual mandate is not unconstitutional — much in the same way that care insurance requirements in most states are also not unconstitutional. This argument is pointless. The constitution makes no reference whatsoever on the illegality of mandating commercial purchases. If it did, we would not be required to buy car insurance. The argument made by the right here is that the founding fathers thought it too obvious to put in. Well, someone needs to tell George Washington that. He, along with this nation’s first congress actually imposed a health care mandate requiring ship owners to provide medical insurance for their seamen. Yeah, pretty sure if George Washington did it, it was constitutional.
3. Independent Payment Advisory Board (The Death Panels ooOOOOooOOOO)
This argument is based on misinformation. The Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB is an agency consisting of appointed members who make recommendations regarding Medicare. The goal is to save money without affecting coverage or eligibility. The agency can put forward proposals that come into effect the following year – - a proposal put forth in 2014 does not take effect until 2015. They do not have dictator-esque power, and can be overridden with a fast track procedure included in the law itself. The IPAB was created to end lobbyist power over government decisions on health care. They are not allowed to make decisions that render people ineligible, nor are they allowed to limit coverage. They are also absolutely not under any circumstances allowed to make decisions on individual cases. That is still up to the patient or the patient’s health care proxy/power of attorney. Again, absolutely nothing to do with the Constitution.
4. The Chrysler bailout
In 2009 the government bailed out car manufacturers. Chrysler terminated contracts with franchises violating the Fifth Amendment’s “takings” clause, which deals with things like eminent domain and the need for just compensation when the government seizes property. Note the word government. Last I checked, Chrysler does not make up our government. Chrysler was well within their rights according to the franchise agreements to cancel their contracts. Nothing was seized. Eminent domain does not apply. The government has nothing to do with this.
9. Graphic tobacco warnings
Apparently, safety warnings violate the First Amendment. Obama is trying really hard to take away Big Tobacco’s rights to free speech by making them put pictures of diseased lungs on the box. In the United States Of Republican, informing the public is a violation of the constitution (Side note: This writer smokes. This writer also has a proud collection of all the different graphics they put on Canadian cigarettes back when she lived there. I was the first of my friends to collect them all!)
The arguments that the Obama government violates the Constitution as a matter of policy are not only completely baseless but desperate attempts to validate viewpoints that amount essentially to “I just don’t like the guy.” Critical thinking requires that we don’t simply accept arguments as valid because they sound valid, but challenge the evidence presented and search for bias and merit. The arguments made by the Daily Caller in this case are meritless pseudointellectualism at best, and demeaning manipulation at worst.