WTF: U.S. Government Can Dictate Americans’ Diet?

Senator Coburn presses Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on the limits of the government’s power under the commerce clause.

majestic

Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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19 Comments on "WTF: U.S. Government Can Dictate Americans’ Diet?"

  1. Don't liberals understand that it's corporations, not government, that tells us what to eat? Can't they read the Constitution?

  2. Well…it kinda hangs on definitions that get too detailed. Trust a Repub to ask a simplistic question loaded with pitfalls on a subject that needs serious time to explain.

    If shaping policy is an act of power with the capacity to alter the diets of millions over a period of years…then yes, that power is within their purview and actually is part of their job description. If they aren't there to craft and shape policy, they aren't doing their job.

    But to transform the question into the super simple 'Do they have the power to say what we can or can't eat?” Loaded question, aimed at the low watt bulbs that make up his wingnut constituents, to provide them with fresh manufactured faux outrage.

    As for me…I don't think the gov't uses its power to shape policy well or wisely. Usually they bow to whatever industry expert is speaking on behalf of large donors. I also don't trust or like Kagan, for more reasons than are worth going into here…but those are my personal impressions and don't have anything to do with how loaded and cheap the questions by Coburn and other GOP stooges really are. Using set-ups so crude that an elementary school kid can tell they're being boxed in for a no-win situation is pathetic…and really tells us how grade school level the GOP's finest can be.

  3. This is a question about the limits of the judicial branch compared to the legislative branch. Kagan's response focuses on the powers of the judicial branch. If Congress passed such a dumb law, would the Supreme Court have the power to strike it's down? Striking down laws of Congress is within the judicial branch's power of judicial review. Judicial review can be tricky because, unlike Congress, the judicial branch is comprised of unelected officials. If Congress decides it wants to pass a law as dumb as telling Americans what they have to eat every day, then each member of Congress who passed that bill has to face the consequences of their actions at the ballot box the next year. Congressmen, in other words, are subject to democratic checks via reelection. Judges for the Supreme Court, however, are not subject to the same democratic checks. Thus, the Supreme Court often defers to Congress's judgment on bills, even when they are dumb.

    Kagan's response should be interpreted with these principles in mind.

  4. Cerebralcaustic | Jun 30, 2010 at 8:24 am |

    Hmm, another left-leaning American politician who believes the abstract (“government”) has a right to dictate the behavior and choices of flesh-and-blood people (“you and I.”)

    Regretting that vote for Obama, suckas?

    • Yeah, because right-leaning politicians would never put numbers on a ledger before flesh and blood people. I mean, tax cuts for multimillionaires is a priority, but school lunch programs are too expensive.

    • Conniedobbs | Jun 30, 2010 at 9:42 am |

      LOL no. most of us “lefties” would have been rounded up and executed by Palin's Holy Warriors by now for not bowing to the word of Jesus Christ; Lord, Savior, Ass-Kicker. But yeah, keep your delusion up that the “conservative movement” is anything else but a front for the total theocratic takeover of the USA. Hope to see you in Church on Sunday!

    • I love how right-leaning people want the government (an accountable, public institution) to get out of the way so we can have the corporations (unaccountable and private) define the scope of our freedoms for us.

    • E.B. Wolf | Jun 30, 2010 at 3:22 pm |

      Actually, so-called right-leaning American politicians believe in the same right of government to dictate flesh-and-blood people's behavior.
      Prohibition. The War on Drugs. Criminalizing prostitution.
      Any of these ring a bell CC? or Cerebralcaustic? Or whatever the hell you're calling yourself this month?

    • Yeah, I regret my vote for Obama. Has your sense of shame kicked in over voting for Bush yet?

      Money and corporations are abstracts too, by the way.

    • I do happen to agree with your general outrage over consumption dictation.

      But, gee whiz, overall, it sure does seem like it's mostly right-wingers telling us what we can't put in our bodies, right?

  5. Sweet Satan | Jun 30, 2010 at 8:57 am |

    What is the other stupid bill he mentions? I think he's just making a very bad analogy to attack a bill that, for example, might require nutritional information to be printed on packaging. He's just getting her to agree about his stupid hypothetical before he reveals what he's really talking about and – Gotcha!

    • He's alluding to the Health Care Reform (HCR) bill. Notice his constant reference to the Commerce Clause. The HCR bill is largely justified under Congress's powers under the Commerce Clause.

  6. What, so nobody here thinks the government should have any power to stem the rising orthorexia nervosa epidemic?

  7. You are force fed unprescribed fluoride by Big Government every day.

  8. OpenMinded | Jul 2, 2010 at 6:32 pm |

    So, THIS is what my mother was all up in arms about yesterday. I went to visit her and she was freaked out saying “the Government wants to tell us what we can and can’t eat! Oh My Gawd, we need to get Obama out of office!”

    It’s things like this that make me crazy. How does this stuff get so misconstrued??

  9. OpenMinded | Jul 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm |

    So, THIS is what my mother was all up in arms about yesterday. I went to visit her and she was freaked out saying “the Government wants to tell us what we can and can't eat! Oh My Gawd, we need to get Obama out of office!”

    It's things like this that make me crazy. How does this stuff get so misconstrued??

  10. Too bad the government isn’t more strict about what goes ON our food…pesticides, chemicals, etc.

  11. Too bad the government isn’t more strict about what goes ON our food…pesticides, chemicals, etc.

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