Give Up On The Constitution? The Political Left Already Has
[NEWS.INVESTORS] For many, the Constitution is the barrier that blocks government from trampling a free people. Yet many on the political left see it as a hurdle to their ambitions. Consider the constitutional law professor who wants to kill it.
The headline of Louis Michael Seidman's op-ed in the Sunday New York Times
...which still proudly displays Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize...
was "Let's Give Up on the Constitution." The message from the Georgetown professor of constitutional law is that the Constitution is "archaic" and "idiosyncratic," and even has within it "downright evil provisions."
Naturally, Seidman dredges up slavery and the "white propertied men" who wrote the Constitution in his effort to discredit our founders' monument to liberty.
The thought occurred to me whilst my mind was wandering today that despite throwing the slavery charge around every time they get a chance, the people doing so are likely the very ones who, if slavery were legal today, would buy a few -- just to keep house, do the yard work, wash the car, the sort of things that eat up their own valuable time, not to abuse them, of course. No doubt they'd care for them greatly, especially if they were young and pretty and maybe a little bit tarty. And the little woman's out of town visiting her mother and her significant other. They'd be almost like members of the family. Probably owners would be against the institution itself, but it would be John Boehner's fault that it couldn't be abolished. Or even better, George W. Bush's. After all, the poor things would need the care of their betters. Why, few of them had even been to college!
Seidman's op-ed is a locally grown, organic vegetable for the left. That side of the political spectrum holds our Constitution in contempt because of its limits on government power. It's a nuisance because it restricts the "progressive" objective to order and plan American society around the Democratic left's ideas.
Woodrow Wilson articulated the Democrats' problems with the Constitution more than a century ago. He argued that it "was not made to fit us like a straitjacket" and that "in its elasticity lies its chief greatness."
... he said, piously.
In other words, the Constitution says not what the framers and those who ratified it said it does -- it says whatever the whims of any given age wants it to say.
Which is to say in reality that it says nothing at all.
More recently, Ezra Klein of the Washington Post complained that the Constitution's "text is confusing because it was written more than 100 years ago" and "rarely speaks directly to the questions we ask it."
It's actually worded pretty clearly, despite its occasional funny use of the letter "s." "Congress shall make no law..." What's fuzzy about that? "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed..." How difficult is that to understand? I'd call it clearer than Dickens and a lot clearer than, for instance, Bulwer-Lytton.
What the left fundamentally objects to, though, is not the language of the Constitution.
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents -- except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.Democrats want to police speech, for instance, but are hindered by the First Amendment that guarantees we are free to speak our minds.
"But surely it matters if we offend people?" Actually, when I was a child people didn't use the word fcuk. It was considered much too rough for the ears of wimmin and kiddies. I guess we're not thinking of the children in that respect, huh? Or were they thinking of banning its use?
They also want to restrict firearm ownership, but the Second Amendment says they can't.
"Oh, noze! Guns should not have Constitutional rights! What have guns ever accomplished?"
The left lives to redistribute wealth and punish the rich, though the Constitution says everyone must be treated equally under the law.
I thought it was English Common Law that said that? But it may be older. As Pericles said:
If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences; if no social standing, advancement in public life falls to reputation for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit; nor again does poverty bar the wayBut he was an old white guy and he's been dead for a long time. And they had slaves back in those days, so his opinion's obviously invalid...
President B.O. himself has lamented that the Warren Court failed to "break free from the essential constraints" of the Constitution. He has complained, as well, that it has restricted his ability to carry out his authoritarian urges because of the checks placed on the executive office by the other branches of government.
The guys who wrote the Constitution had recent experience with having a king and taxation without representation and that sort of thing. They were pretty sensitive about it, in fact.
The Constitution isn't perfect, but we can't give up on it. If we do, we also give up on the great American experiment in liberty. That would be a profound tragedy.
Posted by: Fred 2013-01-03