According to the Washington Post, if Democrats re-take control of the House, then at the top of Nancy Pelosi’s to-do list will be “doing for child care what we did for health-care reform” – pushing comprehensive change. That is alarming but not particularly noteworthy. What is worth paying attention to is Pelosi’s rationale.
In justifying her priorities, Pelosi said, “I could never get a babysitter -have five kids in six years and no one wants to come to your house. . . . And everywhere I go, women say the same thing” about how hard it is to find the kind of reliable care that would make their family lives calmer and work lives more productive.
Now most of us, if we had problems finding a babysitter, would ask for names from friends, neighbors and perhaps the parents of classmates. We might inquire with people in our Bible study, father-son book club or soccer league. We would consider putting up an announcement in the local library or going through a baby-sitting service. We might place an ad in a local newspaper. But what we wouldn’t assume is that this was a job for government to get involved with.
And even if we did, we would probably think in terms of the principle of subsidiarity, looking to local government before ever thinking of resorting to an appeal to the state government. So who on earth would assume that finding a babysitter to watch your children is the responsibility of the federal government?
The answer is: A liberal Democratic serving in the United States Congress (and in this case, the former Speaker of the House).
It’s hard to imagine what areas of life exist, if any at all, that a modern-day liberal believes is beyond the proper scope and reach of the federal government. The Constitution is, in large part, a governing document meant to limit the power of the federal government (and the power of government more broadly). The degree to which liberalism has not only traveled away from, but is now actively at odds with, the animating beliefs of the founders is staggering.
And this journey away from constitutionalism, and what it means for the life of our country, will frame the 2012 election. That is something that should delight, and will undoubtedly benefit, conservatives.