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Radley Balko asks an honest question. I’ve never received an honest answer about this in my life. Certainly not from the folks teaching me in college. In response to the state of Virginia not using the Commerce Clause to justify anything and everything imaginable, he asks and offers:

If your answer is no, that is, that the Constitution puts no real restraints on the federal government at all, why do you suppose they bothered writing and passing one in the first place?

do you believe there should be any restrictions on the powers of the federal government? Let’s say, again, beyond those laid out in the Bill of Rights.

Do you buy into the idea that the people delegate certain, limited powers to the government through the Constitution, or do you believe that the government can do whatever it wants, save for a few restrictions outlined in the Constitution? It’s not an unimportant distinction. I’m not sure it’s consistent to believe that the government gets its power from the people, but the people have gone ahead and given the government the power to do whatever it wants.

Read the whole thing.  He concludes:

We have two parties who have rigged the game to ensure that someone from their ranks wins every election, nearly every time. And every 10 years, they gerrymander the districts so as few of us as possible even get that choice. All of which is why reelection rates usually top 95 percent, even though approval ratings for Congress rarely rise above 30. So Congress doesn’t really have to answer to the voters. And it really doesn’t have to answer to the Constitution.

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