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Gruber hearings: sideshow



The Constitution, which sets forth the principle of rule of law, defines what is unconstitutional, and guarantees freedom of speech and other liberties of a Constitutional republic, and also describes the impeachment power. (How many know of the Jewish roots of this document?) Hypocrisy threatens Constitutional government. Could Israel use a constitution like this? More to the point: would a Convention of States save it, or destroy it? (Example: civil asset forfeiture violates the Constitution.) Quick fixes like Regulation Freedom Amendments weaken it. Furthermore: the Constitution provides for removing, and punishing, a judge who commits treason in his rulings. Furthermore, opponents who engage in lawfare against an elected President risk breaking the Constitution.

Jonathan Gruber, Ph. D., finally spoke under oath before the Darrell Issa Committee. Sadly, Representatives Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), and their colleagues missed an opportunity. They did not ask Jonathan Gruber the right questions. And they have never once explored how to show the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) unconstitutional for absurdly simple reasons.

The Gruber sideshow

Indeed, as Issa, Gowdy, and Ranking  Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) questioned Gowdy, they created a circus sideshow, not a productive hearing. True enough, they embarrassed Dr. Gruber as much as any standing committee of the House can embarrass a witness. Two years ago Democrats everywhere hailed Dr. Gruber as the architect of their favorite bill. Now they deny ever working with him. Today Mr. Cummings used the harshest language:

You gave the opponents of the Affordable Care Act a P.R. gift! And you tied it with a bow!

The Constitution. Even after a landmark election, nothing will change until the people change

The US Constitution. Photo: National Archives of the United States

For more than two years, Dr. Gruber boasted about crafting the public-private partnership among government, the big insurance companies, and the big drug companies. We first knew it as Romneycare and then as Obamacare. Today Gruber denied under oath that he was any sort of architect. And that he “mis-spoke” when he called “lack of transparency” a “huge political advantage.”

At one point Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) had fun at Gruber’s expense. He repeatedly asked Gruber how much various parties paid him for his consulting work. Gruber never gave Jordan a single straight answer.

Rep. Gowdy showed no mercy, according to Tim Brown at Freedom Outpost. Remember: Gruber called American voters “stupid.” (As in: “The Emperor’s New Clothes are invisible to any who are stupid or unfit for his job.”) Gowdy would not let that go. Too bad. Because Gowdy, Jordan, Issa, and the rest could have asked Gruber many questions in which the Supreme Court would have to take interest.

Obamacare unconstitutional

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Why did no one ask Gruber, for instance, why he explicitly called Obamacare a new tax? And why he also boasted of crafting the law in a twisted way, so the Congressional Budget Office would mis-score it? Is it a tax or isn’t it? The key: if the Justice Department mis-briefed the Supreme Court in the case of Florida ex rel. Bondi v. Sebelius, the parties to that lawsuit could petition the Court to reconsider. And the Court would almost have to reconsider. More than that, Gruber, and those who took his advice, committed fraud in the inducement to get the then-Democratic House and Senate to pass this law.

But let’s forget Gruber for a moment. Let’s remember Nicholas E. Purpura. Four years ago he filed a fifteen-count lawsuit pointing out several reasons Obamacare is unconstitutional on its face:

  1. The bill originated in the Senate, not the House. That bait-and-switch to give the ACA an “HR” number instead of an “S” number fooled no one. The bill even begins: “In the Senate of the United States…”
  2. The bill greatly exceeds Congressional power “to regulate commerce among the several States.”
  3. It sets up a new Ready Reserve Corps, a new uniformed service, with a four-year appropriation.
  4. It lays a head tax on people without apportionment among the several States.
  5. The  medical-device tax differentially taxes State exports.
  6. Obama couldn’t sign anything. He is not a natural born citizen within the meaning of Article II, Section 1, Clause 5.
  7. It subjects income to a double tax and in some cases taxes income that does not exist.
  8. It makes medical records subject to search and seizure without a warrant.
  9. The Minimum Coverage Mandate deprives people of property (the price of insurance they have no choice but to buy) without due process of law.
  10. It orders the States also to deprive people of property without due process of law.
  11. It selectively grants religious exemptions.
  12. It actually declares some provisions beyond judicial review.
  13. It discriminates among races, by taxing some therapies some races, but not others, would use.
  14. It implicates Congress in violation of their oath to support the Constitution.
  15. It arrogates to the federal government a power or powers “reserved to the States.”

Sadly, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals declared Mr. Purpura had no standing to bring his lawsuit. Well, whether he has standing or not, Rep. Issa had all the standing he needed. And he did not use it.

Chairman Issa has followed this pattern before. He has never pursued Lois Lerner (from the IRS) as aggressively as he might. (Elijah Cummings might say he has, and might even think he has. But he has not.) And today he and others missed a golden opportunity to make this “lame duck” hearing worth tuning in.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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