CrankyProf links to a particularly egregious example of ThereOughttaBeALaw-ism wherein one "Happy Hospitalist" pines for... are you ready for this? A federal ban on smoking in public.
Not surprisingly, I am against this idea, and rather vehemently. The reason, however, is not what you think. See, my objection to the whole scheme centers around one particular keyword, and that keyword is not "public", "ban", or even "smoking": It's "federal".
The instruction pamphlet for running this country is a pretty short one, and the subsection on the powers of Congress is a meager cluster of paragraphs, mostly full of boring stuff like coining money and declaring war. There is no Constitutional provision even for a federal law against murder, unless perhaps the murder is of a federal official engaged in the performance of his duties to the republic.
Let me repeat that: By black letter law of the Constitution, killing unborn differently-abled babies because you hate their race or religion is okey-dokey, unless those unborn babies are postal workers. And on the clock, to boot. If you wish to outlaw the killing of unborn differently-abled babies because of their race or religion, you need to talk to your state or local lawmakers, or amend the Constitution.
Unfortunately, over the years various emanations and penumbras have been discovered, as well as acres of blank canvas in and amongst the letters "i-n-t-e-r-s-t-a-t-e c-o-m-m-e-r-c-e" and "g-e-n-e-r-a-l w-e-l-f-a-r-e" and now we have otherwise sane and reasonable (and allegedly educated) people like this "Happy Hospitalist" guy proposing federal laws banning whatever it is they don't like, from public smoking and polyunsaturated fat to, for all we know, unsightly nose hair.
Oh, well, it was a nice republic while it lasted.