Now that Democrats control the White House and Congress, dissent has once again fallen out of fashion. In case you haven’t heard the latest from the august Kennedy clan, Congressman Patrick Kennedy has tried to wave off the Catholic Church’s opposition to parts of the Health Care Reform Bill by accusing the Church of “fanning the flames of dissent”.
Odd, since over the course of human history “dissent” has proved an effective means of reform, most notably the American Revolution. On the other hand, it’s perfectly in line with the White House’s position on disagreement (they don’t like it) i.e. the attempted ban of FOX news from a White House sponsored news event.
I guess both President Obama and Congressman Kennedy feel that the Constitution is no longer applicable (at least the 1st Amendment). Unless you’re invoking its Interstate Commerce Clause to justify the adoption of health care reform in general or the General Welfare clause (article 1, section 8) in order to require everyone to buy health insurance, as required in the current version of the bill.
But if abortion can be legalized based on the 9th Amendment’s right to privacy, don’t think for a moment that the Supremes won’t conclude that “Interstate Commerce” and “General Welfare” (the clauses generally conceded to be the refuge of all who have no argument) can be interpreted to mean “whatever we determine is in your best welfare”.
Although I strongly support the separation of church and state, I would have to concede that Bishop Tobin’s response to Kennedy might serve as sound advice for the rest of our public “servants” as well. Calling the Congressman’s comment “irresponsible and ignorant of the facts’’ he went on to say:
“Congressman Kennedy continues to be a disappointment … to the citizens of the state of Rhode Island,’’ ... I believe the congressman owes us an apology for his irresponsible comments. It is my fervent hope and prayer that he will find a way to provide morally responsible leadership for our state.’’