Thursday, May 28, 2020

Proxy voting, an unconstitutional abuse of power

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 26, 2020. – Photo by Susan Walsh / AP

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“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”
– Thomas Sowell

At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the one most contentious issue the delegates had to deal with was representation. Fisticuffs broke out as lines were drawn in the sand, on how power was to be divided and who would be able to pass which laws and who would have the last word enforcing them. This battle ensued during the dog days of the summer in Philadelphia while the concept of a central government with three branches was debated along with the role of each individual branch. The issue of representation was so perverse it put the success of the entire convention in jeopardy.

When the Convention got so out of hand it looked as though all was lost, Roger Sherman proposed what would become the skeletal corpus of our government, “the Great Compromise.” He proposed each state would be represented by population in the House and they would have equal numbers of votes in the Senate. Senators chosen by state legislatures would protect state rights and the House Representatives chosen by voter would insure every American had a voice in government.

Article One of our Constitution established the legislative branch of government, Congress. It was bicameral consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. It granted Congress limited powers and restricted ability to pass necessary and proper law to enforce them. It also established the procedures for passing bills with limits on powers. This insured they never usurped the will of the people or abused those powers to disenfranchise the voice of voters in every American region.

“The question is how our rights are equally and effectually guarded in society.”
– Roger Sherman

The House of Representatives last week passed a bill to spend over $3 trillion for Covid-19 relief and a rules change to allow lawmakers to vote remotely during the pandemic. The measure barely passed by nine votes and reflects all leftist priorities and is the largest relief package in U.S. history.

If the Senate approved this bill, the House would have a free reign to pass anything they wished. It was written by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and went directly to the floor. It was the socialist wish list and more. It would give federal aide to illegal immigrants, federalized elections, released prisoners, and allocated money to the growers of cannabis. It restructured Congress to allow voting by proxy, which would disenfranchise all opposing voters and give Pelosi and her socialist comrades unadulterated control of Congress.

In agreeing on this atrocity, House Democrats openly violated our Constitution with this proxy voting scheme. Our founders mandated Congress to convene and deliberate. The Constitution requires a “quorum of members” be present to pass all laws. In times of a national crisis, changes in rules may be necessary. But when they are contrived with open partisan maneuvering to bypass the tenants of our Constitution to eliminate the voice of the people in government, this is tyrannical despotism.

This latest support for abridgment of Congressional power shows how untrustworthy House leftists are. Just a few weeks ago in the heart of the COVID crisis when it was suggested Congress vote by “proxy,” Pelosi said on the House floor, “We are the captains of the ships. We are the last to leave. Proxy voting calls on Congress to abandon the ship, to be the first to leave for months or even the rest of the session. For members to leave and never have to return to session is totally wrong.”

This is the first time in American history that such a conspicuous abuse of power by Congress has been attempted! There are 435 members that represent the voters of America. There are districts created to represent the wishes and demands of the voters in each precinct. We evaluate districts for changes every two years. Each district “loans” their voice and their power to those members of Congress that they elect to “represent” and vote for “them” in the halls of Congress in Washington.

This new leftist scheme of a proxy-ship would enable 20 people to have control of Congress, since each member represents 10 proxies. The 435 members who represent regions around the nation would no longer be accountable to voters that elected them. This would also enable Democrats to have 20 people with 10 proxies to pass every bill without approval from one voter. This would be a flagrant abuse of power.

“The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.”
– Edmund Burke

This contrivance would reconstruct Congress and nullify the Great Compromise without the states ever voting on a constitutional amendment. Members of Congress would do what their party told them to do, not what the people who elected them and “loaned’ them the authority to do for them.

Pelosi could sit in her office and compose the biggest government monetary give-away bill that’s ever been written in the history of government. And it would not be vetted in one committee. The bill would go directly to the chamber floor without amendments or objections from one person.

It was revealed that Pelosi’s “left hand man” in Congress, Jim Clyburn, recently said that he believes COVID-19 is a perfect time to restructure government to meet the needs of Democrats. The socialist left is not looking at COVID-19 as an obligation to work with the president to resolve a crisis for Americans. They see it as an opportunity to reinvent government for the socialist, liberal far left.

When Roger Sherman proposed the Great Compromise, he said “this government should be made to represent all people in each sovereign state.” He would be turning over in his grave if Pelosi were to succeed with this assault against voters by her and the socialist liberal left. It would be a coup to give unlimited power to the House speaker and violate every principle our founders wanted to bring to America.

“Congress is too old. They don't have a stake in the game.”
– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

President Donald Trump has worked tirelessly with other world leaders to contain and to find a way to stop the spread of COVID-19. He finally forced the Chinese to share data with other nations in an effort to discover the true source of this virus so a legitimate vaccine can be created. Since this crisis began, he has asked for bipartisan support to work with him and public health officers to help manage this pandemic. But Congress has rebuffed him and the American people to gain favors for their party.

Author Ken Blanchard wrote, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” We’re the most powerful nation in the world because ‘When the going gets tough, America gets going.” We brought communism to its knees in the Soviet Bloc and Korea. We’ve defended world freedom in two great wars against a common enemy. One can only imagine how quickly this crisis would have resolved if Congress had worked with the president against this common enemy COVID-19 – instead of working against him.

Roger Sherman dedicated his life to this nation. He was the only founder to sign all Revolutionary documents: The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation and The Constitution. As Roger Sherman looks down from the heavens above he has got to be ashamed to see what his Congress is doing to his beloved America.

 “Tyranny in democratic republics does not proceed in the same way. It ignores the body and goes straight for the soul.”
– Alexis de Tocqueville, 1832

Contributing Columnist William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13.