DeMint: Apply the Constitution to Health Care When It’s Convenient

Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm

In a phone interview with TWI following his speech to the Tea Party crowd this afternoon in Washington, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) laid out his philosophy for applying the Constitution to health care. In a nutshell: invoke the Constitution when it’s expedient to do so, ignore it when it’s not.

Asked whether states should use the 10th Amendment to prevent health care reform from taking effect, he replied that an assertion of states’ rights was “probably the only way we’re going to stop this reckless spending.” He continued, “There’s no constitutional authority for the government to actually do [the reform proposed by Democrats], but whether the courts take it up is a different matter.”

The rules change, however, when it comes to Medicare.

DeMint expressed doubts as to the legality of Medicare under the Constitution, but said, “Regardless of constitutionality, it is a promise that we have to keep. … I think Medicare and Social Security have to be protected.”

When asked if there was any chance that health reform legislation drafted by the Democratic Congress could win his support and that of his fellow conservatives, he replied, “No, because they’re not willing to talk about anything but bigger government.” The role of Republicans in the debate, he said, is to kill the current iteration of reform and start over.

“If we stop [Obama] here, we can get to real reform,” he said. “If he gets this through, he’ll go to cap-and-tax and all sorts of other things.”

He opened his speech to the Tea Party protesters by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Waterloo.” It’s not the first time that he’s referred to the health reform debate as the battle that will lead to the Obama administration’s demise. This time, however, he also pulled Republicans into the mix.

“I think you’re going to see some Republicans primaried who have been big spenders,” he said in the phone interview.

You can follow TWI on Twitter and Facebook.

Follow Aaron Wiener on Twitter



A Convenient Interpretation • CrazyDrumGuy
Pingback posted September 12, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

[...] it comes to modern healthcare reform and Medicare, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has a convenient interpretation of the Constitution: Asked whether states should use the 10th Amendment to prevent health care reform from taking [...]

Matthew Yglesias » Jim DeMint’s Selective Tentherism
Pingback posted September 13, 2009 @ 12:59 pm

[...] Wiener has an interesting report on Senator Jim DeMint’s curious view that the constitution prohibits Obama’s health care plan, and that this [...]

DeMint: ‘Joe Wilson Was Telling the Truth’ | GSA Schedule Services
Pingback posted September 14, 2009 @ 8:38 am

[...] my interview with Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) after the rally, I asked him what he thought of the Wilson [...]

Tuesday Round-up | SCOTUSblog
Pingback posted September 15, 2009 @ 9:03 am

[...] Milano Keenan for a seat on the 4th Circuit).  Balkanization also covers this past Saturday’s Washington Independent article on Senator Jim DeMint’s opinion on the constitutionality of social security and health care [...]

I’ll Have Some of What Max Baucus Is Smoking • CrazyDrumGuy
Pingback posted September 16, 2009 @ 11:16 am

[...] a bill that provides real healthcare reform, and if Republicans don’t want to play ball (and they don’t), then so be [...]

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.