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Sanity: Gone With the Wind-Bag

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Driving home from a visit with my grandchildren yesterday, I unfortunately heard a minute or two of the Sean Hannity show. Actually, I'll refer to him here as Sean InSanity since that name is more descriptive of his personality.

So, as I was looking for a good oldies station, I heard InSanity blathering on about Hillary Clinton’s health care plan -- and it was clear that he did not approve.

He asked his listeners if any of them could show him where -- in the U.S. Constitution -- does it say American’s have a right to free health care?

In reality, the Constitution is not a document where you can find a list of citizen rights. But I’ll bet InSanity knows this – which is why he knows his question is a safe bet.

The Constitution is a document whose purpose is to guide the federal government as to the proper way in which to govern American citizens:

The body of the Constitution tells the federal government what it is allowed to do, and in some places it explains how to do it (election procedures and such). The Bill of Rights tells the federal government what it is not allowed to do . . .

  1. Make no law abridging freedom of speech, press, religion, or assembly,
  2. Do not infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.
  3. Don't quarter soldiers in peacetime.
  4. Don't conduct unreasonable searches and seizures.
  5. Don't commit double jeopardy or force people to testify against themselves.
  6. Don't deny an accused a speedy trial.
  7. Don't deny an accused a trial by jury.
  8. Do not impose excessive bail.
  9. Just because certain rights of the people aren't mentioned in this Constitution doesn't mean you're allowed to usurp them.
  10. Don't exercise any power not authorized in this Constitution.

So Sean, the Constitution does not say that I have a right to free health care. It does however say that Congress – with only a few exceptions – should not restrict rights – even if those rights are not specifically listed in the body of the document.

Where in the Constitution do you find the right to marry? Although the word “marriage” is not mentioned at any point, the Constitution does direct the government to treat all citizens equally. Thus any law that provides benefits to one citizen must be available to all.

And since the government has attached certain rights and benefits to marriage – i.e. linking tax benefits and eligibility to certain government programs to marital status, that status cannot legitimately be denied to any citizen – even if they are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered, transsexual or just plain queer.

If tomorrow the government decided it would rather get out of the business of linking marital status to government benefits and programs (just so it won’t have to recognize my marriage), I’ll bet Sean InSanity would be the first to throw a great big hissy-fit when he realized his marriage no longer held a special status.

And while we are in the subject of what the Constitution does and does not say, one thing we can actually read – in black and white – is the guarantee to citizens and non-citizens – of the right to habeas corpus.

Yet, Sean continually defends the Bush administration’s denial of this right to “enemy combatants” -- some of whom are citizens.

Where in the Constitution do you find the basis for an Income Tax? I dare Sean InSanity – who would scoff at the notion that we are all taxed illegally – to show me -- in the Constitution or anywhere in the law – where it is written that the government has the right to tax my income?

In his tirade about Clinton’s health care plan, InSanity extolled the virtues of small government, the Reagan and Bush tax cuts and capitalism in general. He falsely (and not for the first time) claimed the Regan tax cuts doubled revenue – which is a bold-faced lie.

InSanity confuses capitalism – an economic system – with democracy – a governing system. In the brief time that I listened, he defended the Pharmaceutical Industry, Exxon Mobile and the over-all oil industry.

What I came to realize as I listened to his extreme right-wing rhetoric is that America is doomed if the Sean InSanity’s, Michael Savage’s, Rush Limbaugh’s and their ilk still hold sway over a large segment of the population who get most of their information from these over-blown, devious and dangerous wind-bags.

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Rainbow Law is Elisia and Carrie Ross-Stone, lesbian civil rights activists, life partners and grandmothers. We own and operate Rainbow Law, an online service offering legal information and free and affordable legal documents for gay and lesbian (more...)

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