As most Americans are by now no doubt aware, with the notable exception of Charlie Gibson, the House and Senate have voted recently to deny ACORN the right to feed at the federal trough. The Senate was the first to act, a revelation which caused a bewildered Nancy Pelosi, when questioned about the defunding, to feebly attempt to fight off her botox treatment and furrow her brow in confusion.
Not to be outdone, the House quickly acted to take federal funds away from those kiddy trick turning helpers at ACORN. Both votes were pretty unanimous, and in fact were probably the most bipartisan effort put forth by our venerable leaders in congress since the era of healing began. Today, however, along comes Jerry Nadler (D- NY08) to valiantly defend the Constitutional rights of a criminal enterprise to offer advice to sex trafficking pimps while being eligable to receive 8,500,000,000 dollars in taxpayer money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). That’s right, 8 point five billion! From us. To assist with prostitution.
It’s now apparent who was meant to be stimulated by the ARRA.
Quoth Jerry Nadler, steward of the Constitution:
“Today’s Republican Amendment is in blatant violation of the Constitution’s prohibition against Bills of Attainder … Congress must not be in the business of punishing individual organizations or people without trial, and that’s what this Amendment does. Whatever one may think of an organization, the Constitution’s clear ban on Bills of Attainder is there for the protection of all of our liberties.”
Jerry scores points for understanding this basic Constitutional concept, but fails for applying a broad liberal brush when he says:
“A little while ago, the House passed an amendment to the bill that we were considering that says no contract or federal funds may ever go to ACORN, a named organization, or to any individual or organization affiliated with ACORN. Unfortunately, this was done in the spirit of the moment and nobody had the opportunity to point out that this is a flat violation of the Constitution, constituting a Bill of Attainder.”
Where Nadler’s argument falls apart is in his liberal assumption that refusing to dole out taxpayer money is in some way a violation of ACORN’s rights. This is explicitly not the case. The founders added the clause to Article 1 in order to keep Congress from doing the job of the judiciary. The goal was to ensure that congress would not deprive any person or group of liberty or property for purely partisan gains. However, ACORN has no right to be given Government (read: taxpayer) money. This exists purely as a privilege. Congress has, as part of its budgeting powers, the right to say where federal money can and can not go.
I would agree with Jerry Nadler if the House voted to take possession of all of ACORN’s properties and to throw its employees in jail, but that is not the case. ACORN and its employees were not stripped of any rights by the House’s actions.
Still, I cannot help but wonder where Jerry Nadler was when the U.S. government took over Chrystler and GM, or when the House voted to strip AIG’s employees of their bonuses. Could it be that since the three aforementioned companies are profiteers, whereas ACORN exists “solely to help people” that Nadler let the Constitution off the hook those day?
Or did he pull an Obama and simply vote present?