Recently I read a George Wills editorial, which quoted you as saying:
``I work in Washington and I know that money corrupts. And I and a lot of other people were trying to stop that corruption. Obviously, from what we've been seeing lately, we didn't complete the job. But I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government.''
Just about everyone I know agrees with you in that money and lobbyist are the major problem. What bothers me is what seems to be the sacrificing of the First Amendment to try and curb corruption in DC.
Granted I am an outsider who is ignorant of the “ins and outs” of DC. But has anyone asked, what is the root cause? Is it money and or the special interests? I believe that even with an infinite number of laws, no one but God himself will put a dent in the corruption. Both money and special interests are here to stay. Every group and individual has their own interests and each feels theirs special. And here lies the real problem. It is human nature to want the most for the least and Congress by passing laws facilitates it. No one has pointed out the combination of the ability of you and your colleagues to pass whatever laws are politically expedient and the exuberant amount of taxpayer’s money at Congress’ disposal.
Rather then encroaching on the First Amendment, why not limit the power to make laws and reduce the amount of the taxpayer’s money? Why do businesses spend millions and other special interest groups lobby? Could it be the return for their money is greater, weather in funds, grants, tax breaks, favorable regulations, or even enforcement of ideology in the form of laws?
It is alarming to hear you would dismiss the Constitution to acquire a political goal. This same type dismissal is what I feel, has caused the rampant corruption. The Tenth Amendment says;
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
I know that over the past century this has been watered down to the point that it is meaningless. Yet, James Madison stated;
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
With such strong evidence of what the Tenth Amendment is supposed to mean, is it any wonder some fear the First Amendment will be next victim of a “just cause”?
I agree that corruption is a problem in government, but the cause is the unbridled power of the government.
Thomas Jefferson once said,
"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution”
If the Constitution can be so easily set aside what then, guarantees our “Unalienable Rights” and protects the individuals? Some say the three branches of government. But the Bill of Right in the Constitution was meant to protect us from those. As Justice William O. Douglas stated,
"Our Bill of Rights curbs all three branches of government. It subjects all departments of government to a rule of law and sets boundaries beyond which no official may go. It emphasizes that in this country man walks with dignity and without fear, that he need not grovel before an all powerful government.”
Sir, you stated “ If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government.'' How long would it be clean without the “Chains of the Constitution”? Rather then dismissing what little remains of the Bill of Rights to try and fix a problem, enforce the Bill of Rights as intended, to limit the corruption.