Nanny State

I was listening to radio news this morning while in the shower. A local hospital, Children’s Mercy, has just declared themselves a “no hitting” zone. According to their PR flack, they equate spanking with child abuse. “If it leaves a mark, it’s abuse,” the flack said.

They seem to overlook that a proper spanking is not a beating. The flat of a hand against the posterior isn’t a beating. But, it’s their hospital and they can make the rules. What I do object to is their alternative to bad behavior by children. Instead of the parent correcting that behavior, the flack said, “distract the child. Give them some bubbles or a coloring book.”

Excuse me, that is not redirecting bad behavior, it is rewarding bad behavior. These rules prevent parents from doing what parents should be doing—correcting and preventing bad behavior while enforcing good behavior. Children’s Mercy won’t allow parent to do that. The hospital has preempted the parent’s authority. They will sic Social Services on the parent they deem ‘abusive.’

Hospitals, to just about everyone not an employee, aren’t nice places. Yes, on occasion we need to go there for multiple purposes, but no one really likes going there. Multiply that by a factor of 10 for children. To them it’s a scary place where people do strange things to you and many of those things HURT!

It’s not surprising that kids, and parents, too, often misbehave. The kids are scared, so are the parents, if they would admit it, and no one is on their best behavior. What the parents learn is that they cannot correct their children. What the children learn is that if they misbehave, they will get attention and be rewarded with something, not-scary, to do. What the hospital wants is peace and quiet and they believe they know best how to achieve that goal.

Like I said, it’s their hospital, they can make the rules. In this case, I think their alternatives are misdirected, treating the symptom, not the cause. Rewarding bad behavior creates long term issues in the family. Children’s Mercy does not concern themselves with that. It’s not within the walls of their hospital.

What Children’s Mercy is doing is exercising Nanny-state rules. A general rule that is applied universally. It is not always the best…even when it fits that rare occurance.

I’m not approving bad parental behavior nor child beating. But too often, that is the accusation when all that is being done is a swat of the hand against a child’s butt. Not allowing that is Nanny-state rules.

***

Want to know a person’s character? Watch what they do.

Barack Obama’s aunt died earlier this month in a welfare nursing home of cancer. She came to this country to help Michelle with her new-born children. Instead of attending her funeral, Obama played golf.

That is the character of Barack Obama, a thoroughly despicable person.

***

It hasn’t gotten much fanfare in the MSM, but liberals are in the process of removing another portion of the Constitution—the Electoral College.

EDITORIAL: Blue states try raiding Electoral College

National Popular Vote Interstate Compact tries end run around the Constitution

How the formation of political parties changed the Constitution

Today’s post will be different. Missouri is approaching its 2012 primary. Moving veeery slowly it seems at times. In this lull, I’ve been exchanging messages with one of our church’s teenagers…about politics.

This young man lives in Texas with his mother. He grew up in our church and when his mother moved to Texas last Christmas, he went with her.  He’s the youngest of four. All his siblings have graduated from high school and his older brother just graduated from a local college.

He is a Facebook friend and has been reading my daily posts.  He lamented that he would be two months shy of being able to vote in the Fall.  Yesterday he sent me a message asking me a question about national politics. In our exchange the subject wandered into history and the Constitution—specifically about the Electoral College.  When I was researching an answer for one of his questions, I came across the article below.

Apparently our high schools, if they teach the Constitution at all, skip this piece of history.  How many of you, without cheating, knew that the present method of selecting President and Vice-President is not the method originally devised by the Founders? Originally, the President and Vice-President were not partners—not two peas in the same political pod?  The selection of these two offices was another component of the checks and balances built into the Constitution.  It didn’t last long.

Julia Shaw, June 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm

The ConstitutionThe Constitution is for sale.  No, really. Christie’s in New York will auction off George Washington’s 223-year-old copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights next week.

The pages are largely unmarked, except for a few of Washington’s notes about the presidency. That’s appropriate, considering that Article II was drafted with George Washington in mind. This has largely worked out well, except in one area: the Electoral College for selecting the President.

According to Article II, electors were to meet in their home states and cast two votes. One vote had to be for a candidate from another state. The person with the majority of votes became President; the runner up, Vice President. In the event of a tie, the House of Representatives would select the President. The Electoral College as written in Article II worked perfectly—twice.

The retirement of George Washington and the rise of political parties disrupted the Electoral College. In the election of 1796, Federalists campaigned for John Adams and Democratic-Republicans for Thomas Jefferson. Adams won the most votes and became President, but his intended running mate, Thomas Pinckney, finished third. Thomas Jefferson came in second and therefore became Vice President.

In 1800, The Democratic-Republican candidates trounced the Federalist candidates. But a voting error led to a tie between Thomas Jefferson and his intended running mate, Aaron Burr. The Federalist-controlled House of Representatives would decide which Democratic-Republican would become President. It took some 36 ballots and backroom dealing before Jefferson became President and Burr Vice President.

Americans realized that without a mechanism to vote for a President and Vice President separately, the Electoral College could fail to select a President, leaving the House of Representatives to settle each election.

The 12th Amendment corrected this problem. It was ratified 208 years ago today.

Under this amendment, electors vote for President and Vice President separately. The House of Representatives selects the President if no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes; the Senate has the same power for the Vice President. Since the 12th amendment, only one election has been settled in the House: 1824.

But there’s a larger lesson here. The Constitution is a stable document. The amendment process has contributed to this stability. When political parties disrupted the function of the Electoral College, the Framers amended the Constitution to fix the problem. The Constitution that we have today is basically the same one George Washington owned. The Constitution has endured for more than two centuries, thanks to the wisdom of the Framers and, when necessary, the amendment process.

Surprising isn’t it. Even the Founders could make a mistake…and correct that mistake.  In retrospect, if the Vice-President had some actual power, other than being a figure-head in the Senate, it could be worthwhile having the VEEP being the political opponent of the Prez. Unfortunately, he has no power beyond breaking ties in the Senate. In the words of John Nance Garner, FDR’s first 2-term Vice-President, “Being Vice-President isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit.”

Liberals War on the Constitution

Nancy Pelosi won’t let an opportunity to weaken the Constitution pass.  What opportunity?  Why it’s the People’s Rights Amendment that she and congressional democrats are pushing.

The phrase “stunning development” is used far too often in our politics, but here is an item that can be described in no other way: Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats, frustrated by the fact that the Bill of Rights interferes with their desire to muzzle their political opponents, have proposed to repeal the First Amendment.

That is precisely what the so-called People’s Rights Amendment would do. If this amendment were to be enacted, the cardinal rights protected by the First Amendment — free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances — would be redefined and reduced to the point of unrecognizability. The amendment would hold that the rights protected by the Constitution are enjoyed only by individuals acting individually; individuals acting in collaboration with others would be stripped of those rights. — Boston Herald.

What triggered this anti-constitution action by the democrats?  Their loss in the Citizens United v. FEC suit before the US Supreme Court.

Business Nancy Pelosi Wants to Change First Amendment to Allow Regulation of Corporate Speech

The Democratic party’s temper tantrum over Citizens United v. FEC has ratcheted up to a new level – now, instead of arguing that the ruling is wrong and the constitution doesn’t protect corporate speech, they’re arguing that the first amendment does protect corporate speech, so they’re going to change it! At least this time, they’re following the process prescribed by the Founders. The problem is, if you listen to Pelosi‘s explanation for why they’re doing it, it’s a bit…strange:
The bill in question is called the “Peoples’ Rights Amendment,” and its goal is to explicitly allow Congress to regulate corporate speech however it wants:

The effects of this amendment would effectively eliminate Free Speech.

Rep. Donna Edwards, a Maryland Democrat, nonchalantly concluded that the amendment would of course strip even political campaigns of the First Amendment rights: “All of the speech which, whether it’s corporations of campaign committees and others engage in, would be able to be fully regulated under the authority of the Congress.” The entire point of having a Bill of Rights is that there are some things Congress may not do. “Congress shall make no law” is a phrase that Democrats cannot abide, apparently. — Boston Herald. 

But this act would have an even further reach.  It would effectively eliminate the free press, if there is such a thing anymore, as well.

The so-called People’s Rights Amendment would have some strange consequences: Newspapers, television networks, magazines and online journalism operations typically are incorporated. So are political parties and campaign committees, to say nothing of nonprofits, business associations and the like. Under the People’s Rights Amendment, Thomas Friedman would still enjoy putative First Amendment protection, but it would not do him much good inasmuch as The New York Times [NYT] Co., being a corporation, would no longer be protected by the First Amendment. — Boston Herald.

Attacks against the Constitution also start at the state level, too.  One such attack is the so-called, “Direct Election of the President/Vice President.  That movement wants to eliminate the Electoral College.

JEFFERSON CITY, February 2012 — The National Popular Vote bill (HB 1719) was introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives by a bipartisan group including House Speaker Steve Tilley (R), Minority Leader Mike Talboy (D), House Elections Chair Tony Dugger (R), as well as Representatives Pat Conway (D), Stephen Webber (D), Clem Smith (D), Dave Hinson (R), and Sue Entlicher (R).

In April 2011, the National Popular Vote bill (HB 974) was introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives by a bipartisan group of five Republican and five Democrats, including House Speaker Steve Tilley (R), Minority Leader Mike Talboy (D), Assistant Minority Floor Leader Tishaura Jones (D), Minority Caucus Secretary Sarah Lampe (D) and House Elections Chair Tony Dugger (R) as well as Representatives Pat Conway (D), Dave Hinson (R), Lincoln Hough (R), Todd L. Richardson (R), and Stephen Webber (D).  — National Popular Vote.

This movement would effectively eliminate one of the last bastions of State’s Rights—the ability, as a state bloc, to elect the President and Vice-President.  The result would be the elimination of the balance of power between the larger, more populous states and the smaller or less populous states.  There is a reason, besides the poor travel conditions in the late 18th Century, for the creation and power of the Electoral College.
I am ashamed that some so-called conservative state representatives actually signed this state bill.  The 10th Amendment was been marginalized since the Civil War.  This “popular election” tactic is another attack, not directly against the 10th Amendment, but at another provision of State’s Rights.  The states have already lost a major facet with the 17th Amendment that created the direct election of US Senators.  Let’s not repeat that error with eliminating the Electoral College.

Remember, if it weren’t for the Electoral College, Al Gore would have won the 2000 Presidential election.  He had a small popular vote margin but he didn’t have the Electoral votes to win.

History: it’s not for dummies.  Learn it or rue it.