Heritage Foundation looks at good and bad trends of 2011 (Part 1)

On http://www.heritage.org I found a great article and I wanted to share it with you over the next few days. Mike Kelsey in his article “2011 in Review: Who’s Been Naughty, Who’s Been Nice?,” December 30, 2011 wrote:

Americans are blessed to have inherited a constitutional republic. If we are to keep it, we must vigilantly preserve the Constitution upon which it stands. As 2011 draws to a close, we made a list (and checked it twice!) of the year’s most important constitutional trends.
Nice: Congress begins to rediscover its (atrophied) constitutional muscles
Congress kicked off the year with unprecedented reverence for the Constitution. Congress began the session with a ceremonial reading of the Constitution on the house floor, and then adopted a new rule that requires any proposed bill to cite its constitutional authority. While admirable, these measures have thus far failed to achieve their intended result. The potential solemnity of the reading ceremony was tainted by petty disputes and goofy mistakes (an entire section was skipped) and the citation rule has become little more thanan exercise in box checking. Congress still has a long way to go, but its newfound constitutional courage marks a welcome change from Pelosi’s “are you serious?” approach to the Constitution.
Nice: Grassroots Constitutionalism Stays Strong
Of course, Congress didn’t just decide to prioritize the constitution on a whim. The credit lies with the American people who have become fed up with government excesses. From their spontaneous origins in 2009, grassroots movements such as the Tea Party had gained enough strength by the 2010 elections to send Congress a strong message to respect the Constitution. From the many Constitution Day festivals across the nation to the numerous Tea Party rallies and the joint CNN/Tea Party primary debate, 2011 saw everyday Americans continue their efforts to restore limited, constitutional government.
Naughty: Constitutional Lawmaking Undermined
One of the most disturbing trends of 2011 was the Obama Administration’s willingness to skirt the Constitution’s law making process. In September, the Obama administration openly bypassed Congress by unilaterally issuing waivers to exempt states from the requirements of No Child Left Behind. Even more outrageous, Obamacare waivers (giving relief from the law’s most costly provisions) were given almost exclusively to political allies of the administration such as labor unions and Harry Reid’s home state of Nevada. Fully 20% went to unions and businesses (including luxury restaurants and financial firms) in Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district in San Francisco.

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