He says he doesn’t care about the Declaration of Independence either, but it’s the Constitution that really matters. Take a look at what he said in response to a question about the constitutionality of ObamaCare (hat tip: Flopping Aces):
Here’s the transcript of the conversation from Flopping Aces:
Questioner: [regarding obamacare] Where in the Constitution?
Congressman Phil Hare: I don’t worry about the Constitution to be honest with you
Questioner: Jackpot brother!
Congressman Phil Hare: Oh, you know what I care more about, I care more about the people who are dying everyday who don’t have healthcare.
Questioner: You care more about that than the US Constitution?
Congressman Phil Hare: I believe it says we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Audience Member: That’s the Declaration of Independence
Congressman Phil Hare: That doesn’t matter to me! Either one….
If you watch the video you’ll see the context in which Congressman Hare makes these comments. He is distressed about what parents with sick children and no health insurance go through. I appreciate and share his concern. When he talked about parents whose hearts pound in their chests as they wait to hear their sick child’s diagnosis, he could have been talking about my husband and me. My daughter has three neurological disorders, one of which is hypotonia, otherwise known as low muscle tone. Hypotonia is symptomatic of hundreds of disorders and syndromes, some of them deadly, so my daughter had to go through all kinds of tests, scans, and biopsies to try and find the source of her hypotonia. My husband and I were on pins and needles after every test as we waited for the results. The most difficult time was when she was nine months old and her neurologist said there was a chance she might have Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which, depending on what type of SMA, could have killed her. For weeks we lived with the possibility that we could lose her. It took a while, but eventually SMA was ruled out as was every other medical condition associated with hypotonia.
Having been through all that, I understand the point Congressman Hare is making.
However, his concern for sick kids without insurance, no matter how sincerely held, does not give him or anyone else permission to disregard the Constitution. He punctuates his argument by saying “we’re talking about people’s lives” when we talk about health care. What he doesn’t understand is that when we conservatives talk about the United States Constitution, we’re talking about people’s lives, too, because without the Constitution the American people are left unprotected from the laws and diktats over-zealous, far left ideologues want to force onto them. The manner in which ObamaCare was passed demonstrates what’s at stake.
But there’s another issue here and that is Hare’s (and all elected officials’) honesty and dependability. The day he became a United States congressman, he raised his right hand and swore an oath:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Was he lying when he said those words? Did he even understand the gravity of those words? Who knows. What matters is that he was captured on video saying he does not care what the Constitution says, which is enough to have him drummed out of office.
He believes his intentions and motives are pure, so they are reason enough to warrant violating our Constitution. His intentions and motives are meaningless. Violating the Constitution no matter how well intentioned the reason is still violating the Constitution. If it’s acceptable to nullify or suspend the Constitution in order to help sick kids who don’t have health insurance, then it is acceptable to nullify or suspend the Constitution for anything.
ObamaCare is dividing and creating animosity between different groups of Americans. Some say this was intentional because a divided electorate is easier to subvert. They may be absolutely right. But what I know as a fact is that the entire episode was completely unnecessary because there was an alternative plan far superior to ObamaCare that keeps our health care system the best in the world while it expands insurance to people who want it but can’t get it for whatever reason, all without undermining the very foundations of our republic.
The majority of the American people do not like and do not want ObamaCare and resent the hell out of the Democrats for forcing it upon them against their will. Sadly, they never had the chance to examine the merits of this alternatives because Nancy Pelosi, in a move only a tyrant could appreciate, made sure that what she wanted was what the American people got.
Update: Congressman Hare is furiously backpedaling now that video of him insisting that he doesn’t worry about how ObamaCare fits into the Constitution is all over the blogosphere and the news media. It’s an obvious attempt to save face that is, as far as I’m concerned, a waste of time. The damage has already been done.