Lincoln Brown
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Just for fun, let’s pretend that Tony Kennedy, the man of the hour upon whose shoulders this all apparently rests, decides that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and because of that and the severability clause, the Supremes toss Obamacare is relegated to the legislative dumpster. Or as long as we’re pretending, let’s say the justices vote 5-4 that the law is in and of itself unconstitutional.

Hooray for us, right?

Wrong.

Even if the entire law is thrown out, (and I will be surprised if it is) the fight over federalized healthcare is just getting started. It might officially be over, but if you think for one moment that the proponents of socializing your next prostate exam (or prohibiting it through the IPAB) are just going to clock out and go home, then let’s talk, I’ve got a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge I’ll let you have for a song.

The law itself might be nullified, but as Machiavelli said the end justifies the means, and the Left has shown itself to be adaptable when it comes to pesky things like the law and the Constitution. You can close the front door; in fact you can nail it shut. That’s fine; the Left will go in through back door or through the window, or tunnel in through the foundation.  

Submitted for your consideration: Secretarial Order 3310. Chances are you’ve never heard of it. In December of 2010 DOI Secretary Ken Salazar issued the order, which essentially gave the Bureau of Land Management the authority to designate new wilderness. This did not sit well with many in the west who believe in multiple use of public lands, and in April of the following year, Congress past the Department of Defense and Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act that cut the funding to implement the act. The message was clear: Congress, not the Cabinet designates wilderness. Over and done with, right?

Not by a long shot.   

The Secretary has indicated that discussions about creating new wilderness are on going with Congress. At a recent conference on Conservation sponsored by the White House the idea was floated to create new National Conservation areas that could in theory span state and county borders without regard for boundaries. And this affects more than just energy- this would have a substantial impact on grazing as well. There will be a new move on to “protect” miles of rivers. Western states are coping with new attempts to designate areas as potential habitat for sage grouse and even Mexican Wolves.

Bear in mind potential habitat is just that- the animal in question may not live in a given area in question, but if that area is place where said critter could live, then it might be managed in such a way as to keep it suitable, should said grouse or wolf ever show up. And these endangered species are not always endangered. In fact in the Reserve School District in New Mexico, new school bus shelters had to be built to protect children from endangered wolves. The DOI continues its push to save wetlands, which sounds warm and fuzzy, but that depends on whether or not your definition of wetlands differs from that of the Federal Government. Just ask Mike and Chantell Sackett of Idaho about that.

Or consider attempts by the EPA to remove the word “navigable” from the Clean Waters Act. So long as the word “navigable” remains in place, the EPA is restricted to managing just such waters. But should the word “navigable” be removed then the EPA can manage whatever waters it wants.

Despite the fact that the Administration wrongly takes credit for oil and gas production on private lands, the DOI still pushes recreation over energy as a local economy stimulator, despite the fact that energy production stimulates local and state economies.

It is not overt, and it pitched to the public in the most positive, benign light, but it is the expansion of government control. Peruse these new policies and initiatives here for yourself. They sound great on balance, until you start to consider the broader ramifications of controls and restrictions.

The battles over federal control of healthcare is only beginning. If the Supremes reject it, it will be back. Not as overt, and probably not as a law; but it will be back. After all, if the government is working this hard to maintain control of the land, do you really think tossing out the Individual Mandate or the entire Health Care Law itself will put an end to issue?

If you do, please send a cashiers check or money order to me along with a SASE so I can remit the deed to your new bridge. Also be sure to ask about our deals on gold mines, and real estate offers in Antarctica.

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Lincoln Brown

Lincoln Brown is the Program Director at KVEL Radio in Vernal, Utah. He hosts “The Lincoln Brown Show” Mondays through Fridays from 8-9 AM.