Sunday, January 09, 2011

We the People

This morning, in the Outlook section of The Washington Post, we are treated to a most blatant example of adolescent rebellion, by a so-called constitutional law professor, one David Cole of Georgetown University. This is in response to the reading of the United States Constitution by members of the House of Representatives this past week, as the new session was convened. It is presented as "circulating in secret among incoming GOP lawmakers," as opposed to what they actually read. This sort of tantrum out of academia is quite juvenile, even by the standards of the Post:

We, the Real Americans, in order to form a more God-Fearing Union, establish Justice as we see it, Defeat Health-Care Reform, and Preserve and Protect our Property, our Guns and our Right Not to Pay Taxes, do ordain and establish this Conservative Constitution ...

Now, if someone teaches constitutional law, we might assume that such is dependent on the existence of that which is its raison d'etre, in this case, the Constitution. To ridicule the veneration of said document, could be interpreted as a mockery of one's own profession, unless one is engaged therein for other motives. We must conclude that this professor only succeeds in ridiculing himself.

Not to be outdone, the same issue of the Post includes another article, purporting to refute "five myths about the Civil War" -- the first three of which are not myths at all. But that's a subject for another day.

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Observers have noted that certain parts of the Constitution were not read, such as the description of the census counting slaves as only three-fifths of a person -- you gotta wonder how they arrived at that portion -- for the purpose of determining representation. Of course, this was abrogated later by the Fourteenth Amendment, which was read. Then there was the Amendment prohibiting "intoxicating liquors," which was also later repealed. It might have been better to read them all anyway, if only to show that the Constitution, rather than being a "living document" subject to manipulation from the bench, can be amended by due process involving the people of the United States through their representatives.

Someone else estimated that the cost to the taxpayer of the time spent reading the Constitution on the floor of the House was $1.1 million dollars. One might consider the greater cost of ignoring it altogether.

Finally, we note the voice from the gallery disrupting the reading, as heard in the above video clip. Not only has she been identified, but this week, readers of mwbh get to meet her, as yours truly did just one year ago. Stay tuned ...

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