“I don’t worry about the Constitution on this, to be honest.”

The Cato Institute’s Michael F. Cannon highlights a revealing on-camera exchange where Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.) admits just how seriously he took his oath to uphold the Constitution when it came to ObamaCare:

Off-camera: Where in the Constitution…

Rep. Hare: I don’t worry about the Constitution on this, to be honest.

Off-camera: [Laughter.] Jackpot, brother.

Rep. Hare: What I care more about — I care more about the people that are dying every day that don’t have health insurance.

Off-camera: You care more about that than the U.S. Constitution that you swore to uphold!

Rep. Hare: I believe that it says we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Now you tell me…

Off-camera: That’s the Declaration of Independence.

Rep. Hare: It doesn’t matter to me. Either one…

[Lots of childish sniping.]

Off-camera: Where in the Constitution does it give you the authority to…

Rep. Hare: I don’t know.  I don’t know.

Off-camera: That’s what I thought.

Reason examines the constitutional case against ObamaCare here and here.

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  • kinnath||

    I appreciate the honesty.

  • Some Guy||

    And really, does anyone think he should actually worry about it being overturned?

  • SkepticalTexan||

    My first impression as well ... but then he said he read the bill not once, but three times. BS. There is no way he had time and inclination to read the bill three times.

  • Jeffersonian||

    As if we needed confirmation.

  • ||

    I already knew this; the problem is that this exchange should, in a just world, annihilate his career. Of course, it won't have any effect.

  • ||

    He's in a competitive district in Illinois, rural Illinois. If there's a wave a-comin', he's one of the first to go.

  • ||

    Actually, probably not. I live in the 17th (Hare's district) and it's gerrymandered quite nicely in his favor; not as rural, really. Most of the cities are UAW types and "progressives"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois's_17th_congressional_district

  • ||

    Yeah, I think the GOP has an even chance in a D+3 district.

  • ||

    How is gerrymandering even remotely constitutional?

  • Brett L||

    The districts will be drawn by the States, and approximately equal in population. Anything beyond that is Constitutional. Take it up with your state government.

  • CaptainSmartass||

    Why would it not be? Congress represents people, not geographic features. So there's nothing wrong, conceptually, with Congressional districts following populations and not, say, rivers or even town boundaries.

  • Edmund Burke||

    This is utterly outrageous! The entire purpose of a legislature is to represent the interests of constituencies. Splitting and mixing municipalities and communities to benefit one faction or another undermines this purpose, hampers its ability to act as a check on the executive and renders it a mere rubber stamp for government abuses.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I'd be willing to bet that, in his district, his willingness to trample the Constitution is a feature, not a bug.

  • Paul||

    Quite the opposite. It just solidified his reputation with progressives.

  • ||

    That has gotta wind up in a hit piece by any halfway-competent opponent.

    It should have SOME effect.

  • Paul||

    I contend it depends on his district. I'm not kidding when I say this solidifies his reputation with progressives. If he's in a solidly left/blue district, he just shored up his career.

  • ed||

    Progressives believe ObamaCare is a civil rights bill, for Christ's sake, so their interpretation of the Constitution is not reality-based. If this clown thinks the way they do, screw the Constitution. They want their slice of the pie.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    It's not just progressives... the general public is chockablock with gullible fish just waiting to be told they're getting goodies from the pockets of evul rich white old farts.

  • ||

    ""It should have SOME effect.""

    Maybe to those who still kid themselves that capitol hill cares about the Constitution. They haven't for decades. Why would it have an effect now?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Rep. Hare: I believe that it says we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Now you tell me…

    Off-camera: That’s the Declaration of Independence"

    Not only that but that statement in the Declaration of Independence had nothing whatsoever to do with a concept of anyone having an affirmative "right" to require someone else to pay for their medical treatment.

    It had to with the people having the negative right of not being executed by the government without due process.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I wonder what this dope thinks when he reads:

    "He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance."

  • ||

    Something dirty I'm sure.

  • ||

    The Censor would toss him out of office for that remark alone.

  • Tman||

    I like how they called him out about reading the bill three times since it has come out, and how even for a speed reader this would be next to impossible.

    These are our leaders America.

  • Paul||

    Don't blame me, I don't vote. So they're your leaders.

  • kinnath||

    I see that argument alot, but I don't buy it.

  • Paul||

    "Our leaders" don't buy it either.

  • juris imprudent||

    You may not vote, but until you renounce your citizenship and haul your ass off to somewhere else - they are your leaders.

  • josey||

    Kind of ironic that the #1 reason for not renouncing your citizenship is to avoid giving those who unilaterally confer it upon you an excuse for coming along and trying to kick you out of the place where you were born.

  • Paul||

    What's this... now we're hijacking politicians on their knowledge and commitment to the constitution?

    Next thing you know, we'll be cornering judges on their knowledge of the law.

  • ||

    Rep. Hare: I don’t worry about the Constitution on this, to be honest.

    fixed

  • ||

    All you wannabee Constitutional scholars needs to shut your yaps. This whole matter is clear as black and white in the Good and Welfare Clause.

  • Hacha Cha||

    lol that means they are obligated to keep the peace, protect people from violence and coercion. when they say welfare they don't mean giving people entitlements.

  • kinnath||

    From wikipedia.

    Thomas Jefferson explained the latter general welfare clause for the United States: “[T]he laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They [Congress] are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose.”

    "Welfare of the Union" not equal "entitlements for the populace".

  • adam||

    Good thing Jefferson wasn't at the constitutional convention.

  • kinnath||

    Hmm, Principle author of Declaration of Independence, Governer of Virginia, Member of Congress, Secretary of State, Vice President, and President. I believe he has the credentials to speak on the meaning of the constitution.

  • ||

    I don't know this Jefferson fellow, but the honorable J. Conyers of Michigan is the one who found the clause for me.

  • ||

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, recently told a CNS News reporter that the “good and welfare clause” gives Congress the authority to force individuals to buy health insurance which is required in the health care bill. However, there is no “good and welfare clause” in the U.S. Constitution:

    Conyers said: “Under several clauses, the good and welfare clause and a couple others. All the scholars, the constitutional scholars that I know -- I’m chairman of the Judiciary committee, as you know -- they all say that there’s nothing unconstitutional in this bill and if there were, I would have tried to correct it if I thought there were.”

  • Gilbert Martin||

    And so does James Madison - aka the Father of the Constitution:

    "With respect to the two words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators." --James Madison

  • EJ||

    alright, don't like jefferson? How about the guy who wrote the constitution?

    With respect to the words general welfare,I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be
    a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators... If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police,
    would be thrown under the power of Congress.... Were the power
    of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature
    of the limited Government established by the people of America."

    -James Madison

  • Michael||

    Ha ha! James Madison got served!

  • kinnath||

    Poor James was providing a recipe for the new deal in his rebuttal.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Reading that, it should be clear how far afield we've strayed. And remember, the Federalists were the "big government" guys of their era. Now they're just another pack of dead white male extremists.

  • MJ||

    Sorry, James, it's too late, we already gave up what you gave us. Worse, they're your party's successors.

  • SkepticalTexan||

    The good Congressman was just repeating Pelosi, who asserted that the tradition of "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" includes health care reform.

    TJ and Madison are just dead white males. Pelosi is a much, much more intelligent interpreter of the founding documents. And Conyers is even more proficient at accurately citing the Constitution.

  • juris imprudent||

    Ah, the troll is strong in this one.

  • ||

    Indeed. I was stunned at how few people seemed to get the joke.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Oh, look, another stupid fuck. This one's named Lorenzo, or so he says.

  • Hacha Cha||

    1st, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 10th amendment violations occur with the Obamacare law. am I missing any?
    I remember one of my friends in the army joking about how the army could technically go in and take control of congress to protect the constitution, since it is under attack. but on a serious note, people need to get serious about electing constitutionalists and kicking out scumbags who don't honor their oath. otherwise we are fucked.

  • Jordan||

    I'm sure there's a 3rd Amendment violation tucked away in there somewhere. That amendment is really overdue for a good violatin'.

  • Thom||

    On the theory that is would be better all around if we actually were a nation of laws, and those laws were obeyed, I think they should just amend the Constitution to say that Congress and the President can do whatever the hell they want. Every time they act we have to go through this same exercise of listing off the Constitutional rights they are trampling on. Bo-ring!

  • adam||

    It would actually be amusing to see a Senator or Rep introduce an amendment that wiped out all the specific powers and instead said the federal government can do anything. Maybe it would force a conversation.

  • Yonemoto||

    Let's do it! I'm starting a facebook group.

  • Yonemoto||

    Section 1.
    Congress shall have the authority to pass any law notwithstanding its enumerated powers in Article I, Section 8.

    Section 2.
    The states shall not be required to accept only gold and silver coin as legal tender.

  • Yonemoto||

  • Mike||

    Amending the Constitution out of existence would be more honest than what the Progressives do - ignore it. If it is as obsolete as they seem to believe, they should promote amendments or a constitutional convention to formally abolish it, but they won't because they have no respect for the rule of law.

  • Hacha Cha||

    not boring if you are planning on using those violations as the basis for your legal defense in court.

  • cynical||

    Actually, I think it would be awesome if the army specifically removed this one guy from power and cited this interview as evidence. Just to send a message.

    Is the oath Congressholes swear legally binding like the oath you swear in court, or is just for pomp and circumstance?

  • Yonemoto||

    14th. Obamacare violates equal protection. We all have different genetic backgrounds, so by the god of Science we cannot be covered equally, no matter how much you pay.

    Oh fuck, the 14th amendment only applies to the states.

  • ||

    Fourth amendment. It requires doctors to give the feds access to everyone's medical records without warrants or subpoenas.

    -jcr

  • Force shits on Reason's back||

    At one point the off-camera guy asks him if he is the expert (on the bill) and he replies "No, I'm the dreamer".

  • 2010 Voter||

    Wake up, Phil!

    It's time to try to get a real job.

  • 2010 Voter||

    Every incumbent is Phil Hare to me.

  • Liberal Ignoramus||

    That’s the Declaration of Independence.

    I think this is wrong. It's right there, along with the right to privacy and all that other stuff.

  • Spokesperson||

    The videotaped remarks of Rep. Hare were obviously taken out of context.

  • Spokesperson||

    And another thing, wiseguy!

    It's Rep-resentative, not Rep-rehensible!

  • Scotch Hamilton||

    Libertarians should applaud people ignoring the Constitution since none of us agreed to it anyway. The Constitution is a fascist document that gives the government the right to steal from us and use force against us.

  • ||

    Meh

  • Brett L||

    Or it sets forth the maximum amount of sovereignty individuals are willing to give to the State. Although I think that's being called a 10ther interpretation these days.

  • Scotch Hamilton||

    Again, I don't remember having a say in the Constitution. It has been forced upon me. As have all laws and rules. So if I break one by committing murder for example, and am punished for it, I am the real victim.

    Right?

  • kinnath||

    Please do not feed the trolls.

  • Brett L||

    Yaawn.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Scotch, you are one dumb sack of fuck.

  • kinnath||

    Second attempt to get things in the right place.

    Please do not feed the trolls.

  • CaptainSmartass||

    Not bad. Needs more personal insults to be a truly great troll, though.

  • kinnath||

    Mister Hamilton is merely a griefer with no redeeming qualities. He has been pissing on threads for the last several days.

  • Scotch Hamilton||

    You'd change your opinion of me if you let me suck your cock.

  • GILMORE||

    eeewwww.

    That was uncalled for

  • Religious Militia Recruiter||

    We could use a good man like you. Please contact. 1.800.dipshit as soon as possible.

  • Paul||

    The Constitution is a fascist document that gives the government the right to steal from us and use force against us.

    You're thinking specifically of the commerce clause as interpreted by Progressives. The rest of the constitution is a treatise on the limits of government. Which is why progressives hate it.

  • ||

    Every time you vote you give your consent to the Constitution.

  • kinnath||

    Please do not feed the troll

  • Lysander Spooner||

    So I'm a troll now?

  • Mike||

    *Waits for leftist outcry from the same douchenozzles who faint when a Republican says something similar*

  • ||

    *waits for a Republican to say something similar, ready to pounce*

  • hmm||

    You ever get the feeling you're being led by genuinely stupid people?

  • kinnath||

    Every day

  • Spanky||

    All the damn time, buddy. All. The. Damn. Time.

  • robc||

    Im 100% sure of it.

  • robc||

    Unfortunately, the smart people tend to worse than the dumb people.

  • kinnath||

    They are certainly more dangerous.

  • ||

    It's all an act. With their evil intentions so obvious, the only way to pull it off is to behave like you're a complete idiots.

  • kinnath||

    Those who can do; those who cant't teach; those who can't do or teach legislate.

  • Joe_D||

    Isn't this treason? A congress-hole admitting to disregarding the Constitution he swore to uphold? Shouldn't he be hanged?

  • Paul||

    No, just laughed at and voted out of office. He'll get the former from the twelve of us who care about these things, but he'll never get the second.

  • robc||

    Considering the former speaker of the house, who was also from Illinois, called the constitution an anachronism, he is just following state tradition.

  • The Gobbler||

    Racist!

  • ||

    The constitution has a very specific definition of treason. This is merely dereliction of duty.

    -jcr

  • ||

    God bless threaded comments for their ability to help me avoid tons of worthless words. Goddamn threaded comments for screwing everything else up.

  • ||

    "oooh, he called me a liar. I'm leaving."

    Fucking pussy. I think I can safely assume he already decided he was leaving as soon as possible, and was just waiting for his moment.

    I probably would've had at least a tiny bit of respect if he said: "Screw you guys, I'm goin' home."

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Did not Harry Connick Sr. have similar views about the Constitution?

  • Rep. Hare||

    What I care more about — I care more about the people that are dying every day that don’t have health insurance. I love the people so much, I just want to put my arms around them and give them a big, big hug to show how much I care. What's this?

    [Looks around to see if anyone saw what he did. Looks back down at the corpse of the American Public]

    Oh, shit.

    [Tries to administer CPR, but it is futile. He killed the American Public with his hug - hands behind his back, whistles as he walks away from the scene of his crime]

  • ||

    I'm just happy that someone out there is asking ToughQuestions and posting the results on YouTube

  • alan||

    ++ for first rate ribbing.

  • JB||

    Hare = retarded fetus.

    I sure don't care about his existence.

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