The United States is the only Western nation in which our rulers invoke the Constitution for the purpose of overriding it – or, at any rate, torturing its language beyond repair.
Thus, in this week's debate on whether Obamacare is merely the latest harmless evolution of the interstate commerce clause, the most learned and highly remunerated jurists in the land chewed over the matter of whether a person, simply by virtue of being born, was participating in a "market."
Had George III shown up at the Constitutional Convention to advance that argument with a straight face, the framers would have tossed aside the quill feathers and reached for their muskets.
A land of laws decays almost imperceptibly into a land of legalisms, which is why America has 50 percent of the world's lawyers. Like most of his colleagues, lifetime legislator John Conyers (a congressman for 47 years) didn't bother reading the 2,700-page health care bill he voted for. As he said with disarming honesty, he wouldn't understand it even if he did:
"They get up and say, 'Read the bill.' What good is reading the bill if it's a thousand pages and you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?"George III? Mad as he was, George III was a pushover compared to the statists who seek to encrust every aspect of life with the barnacles, snails and zebra mussels of their legalisms such that a freeborn human being cannot make a move without a retinue of lawyers and judges to sign off on it.