During veto session a serious neck spasm forced me to the emergency room. For the past three weeks, I have been somewhere between fully and partially debilitated. I apologize if I missed some important events in your area. Still no diagnosis, but I am much better and hope to resume normal activities within days.
Last week’s article was about veto session, but I am finding it impossible to avoid further comment. Despite the 10 successful overrides of gubernatorial vetoes, the evidence remains that what was touted by the Majority Caucus statewide as a “veto-proof” majority proved not to be one. The two bills most consistent with conservative views and principles were House Bill 253 and House Bill 436; both override attempts failed. House Bill 253 failed miserably in the House. You can check the vote count here. House Bill 436 may have been the most constitutional bill this year, not just in Missouri’s Legislature, but in any state. The Missouri House overrode the veto only to see it fail by one vote in the Senate. That vote count is here. If we want a veto-proof majority, we may need to go back to the drawing board in the 2014 elections.
One of my reasons for entering the arena of state politics a little over a decade ago was the realization that if the Republic is to survive as the founders envisioned (individual liberty and economic freedom), the restoration would begin in the states where the Republic began. What is going on in Washington D.C. certainly is disappointing as many proclaim, but it seems more a symptom than a cause of America’s concerns. The real tragedy is revealed by the conversations about what is going on in D.C.
Whether average citizen or celebrity commentator, the focus is on getting national politicians to “work together” to “get something done.” My friends, the problem is not that Washington has done too little. President Reagan said it so profoundly simple when he remarked, “Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.” He was not referring to the idea of government, but the condition of government. There is no question that a civil society must be an orderly society, and order requires government. The significance and exception of America’s founders was that they understood the marked difference between a government of men versus a government of laws. There may be no better treatise on their divine wisdom that that of Frederic Bastiat, “The Law.”
The highest law of the land is the Constitution. It is not the highest power—that jurisdiction belongs to the states and the people—but it is to be the highest law. We have grown far too casual with the Constitution in this world of entitlements. There is more conversation about what is popular than what is constitutional. There is a clear trend that instead of electing public servants to defend us from unconstitutional government we elect them because we like their rhetoric or ideas, regardless of the Constitution. Once we are unleashed from the Constitution, it is all about who has the power; we become a government of men rather than laws. It is like being on a barge headed toward Niagara Falls. We can just try to get the crew to work better together, or we can fight with all our might to put out anchors and work our way to shore.
One need know little about the origins and history of America and the origins and history of Obamacare to know that this fight is not about the survival of Obamacare or of a political party, it is about the survival of the Republic. Win or lose, alone or in league, someone has to warn of the Falls ahead and pull for land. Did only Texans learn from the Alamo? History confirms it is more important to fight on the right side than the winning side.
Consider how George Washington or Benjamin Franklin or Benjamin Rush or Thomas Jefferson would reply if you told them that shutting down the government they devised would cripple the country. This is not the America they envisioned. It truly has been transformed. I can’t speak for others, but for me and my house, we are committed to sounding the alarm and pulling for shore, win or lose.
I appreciate you reading this legislative report. Please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol office at (573)751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and God bless!