[Rushtalk] New Media Push: "Give Up" on Constitution

Paf Dvorak notmyname at thatswaytoomuch.info
Wed Jan 2 09:45:10 MST 2013

At 02:45 AM 1/2/2013 -0500, you wrote:
>At 02:06 AM 1/2/2013, Paf Dvorak wrote:
>>At 01:50 AM 1/2/2013 -0500, John A. Quayle wrote:
>>>At 12:34 AM 1/2/2013, Paf Dvorak wrote:
>>>>At 11:33 PM 1/1/2013 -0500, John A. Quayle wrote:
>>>>>Godfather Politics
>>>>>Media Push: "Give Up" on Constitution
>>>>Rather than allowing this above "Godfather" 
>>>>to do our thinking (or lack thereof) for us, 
>>>>we'd do well to read this well thought out and correct op-ed for ourselves:
>>>         Constitutional BONDAGE?!? Mein 
>>> himmel!! Ach tu lieber! Even with that 
>>> so-called "bondage", the progressive/commies 
>>> are eating us alive! Do you have any flippin' 
>>> idea what there'd be without the 
>>> Constitution?!? It's clear that this 
>>> "well-thought-out" piece was written by a complete imbecile!
>>Try actually reading the article rather than skimming why dontcha?
>         I DID!!! Why do you think I'm against a 
> Con-Con?!? THINK for once! You can't trust 
> anybody in government, these days - any power-seeker at all!

You can't trust anybody in government so that's 
why we have to keep the government we have?
Didja see the part about how the states sent reps 
to DC to tweak the Articles and, against the 
states wishes they had a con-con and created a new model government?

You can't trust them to follow their own laws and 
rules. The constitution is dead. 
 From the above (another article you should read but likely won't)
"If we do not finally unite in insisting that our 
elected leaders obey our laws, then we deserve 
exactly the corrupt and tyrannical government 
that we surely will have coming our way. The 
constitution cannot police itself. It needs the 
masses to be united in demanding that it is 
obeyed or suffer the rightful and lawful consequences. "

>>>>Op-Ed Contributor
>>>>Let’s Give Up on the Constitution
>>>>For Op-Ed, follow 
>>>>on and to hear from the editorial page 
>>>>editor, Andrew Rosenthal, follow <https://twitter.com/#%21/andyrNYT>@andyrNYT.
>>>>AS the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal 
>>>>chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion 
>>>>that the American system of government is 
>>>>broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: 
>>>>our insistence on obedience to the 
>>>>Constitution, with all its archaic, 
>>>>idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.
>>>>Consider, for example, the assertion by the 
>>>>Senate minority leader last week that the 
>>>>House could not take up a plan by Senate 
>>>>Democrats to extend tax cuts on households 
>>>>making $250,000 or less because the 
>>>>Constitution requires that revenue measures 
>>>>originate in the lower chamber. Why should 
>>>>anyone care? Why should a lame-duck House, 27 
>>>>members of which were defeated for 
>>>>re-election, have a stranglehold on our 
>>>>economy? Why does a grotesquely 
>>>>malapportioned Senate get to decide the nation’s fate?
>>>>Our obsession with the Constitution has 
>>>>saddled us with a dysfunctional political 
>>>>system, kept us from debating the merits of 
>>>>divisive issues and inflamed our public 
>>>>discourse. Instead of arguing about what is 
>>>>to be done, we argue about what James Madison 
>>>>might have wanted done 225 years ago.
>>>>As someone who has taught constitutional law 
>>>>for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me 
>>>>so long to see how bizarre all this is. 
>>>>Imagine that after careful study a government 
>>>>official ­ say, the president or one of the 
>>>>party leaders in Congress ­ reaches a 
>>>>considered judgment that a particular course 
>>>>of action is best for the country. Suddenly, 
>>>>someone bursts into the room with new 
>>>>information: a group of white propertied men 
>>>>who have been dead for two centuries, knew 
>>>>nothing of our present situation, acted 
>>>>illegally under existing law and thought it 
>>>>was fine to own slaves might have disagreed 
>>>>with this course of action. Is it even 
>>>>remotely rational that the official should 
>>>>change his or her mind because of this divination?
>>>>Constitutional disobedience may seem radical, 
>>>>but it is as old as the Republic. In fact, 
>>>>the Constitution itself was born of 
>>>>constitutional disobedience. When George 
>>>>Washington and the other framers went to 
>>>>Philadelphia in 1787, they were instructed to 
>>>>suggest amendments to the Articles of 
>>>>Confederation, which would have had to be 
>>>>ratified by the legislatures of all 13 
>>>>states. Instead, in violation of their 
>>>>mandate, they abandoned the Articles, wrote a 
>>>>new Constitution and provided that it would 
>>>>take effect after ratification by only nine 
>>>>states, and by conventions in those states rather than the state legislatures.
>>>>No sooner was the Constitution in place than 
>>>>our leaders began ignoring it. John Adams 
>>>>supported the Alien and Sedition Acts, which 
>>>>violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of 
>>>>freedom of speech. Thomas Jefferson thought 
>>>>every constitution should expire after a 
>>>>single generation. He believed the most 
>>>>consequential act of his presidency ­ the 
>>>>purchase of the Louisiana Territory ­ exceeded his constitutional powers.
>>>>Before the Civil War, abolitionists like 
>>>>Wendell Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison 
>>>>conceded that the Constitution protected 
>>>>slavery, but denounced it as a pact with the 
>>>>devil that should be ignored. When Abraham 
>>>>Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation 
>>>>­ 150 years ago tomorrow ­ he justified it as 
>>>>a military necessity under his power as 
>>>>commander in chief. Eventually, though, he 
>>>>embraced the freeing of slaves as a central 
>>>>war aim, though nearly everyone conceded that 
>>>>the federal government lacked the 
>>>>constitutional power to disrupt slavery where 
>>>>it already existed. Moreover, when the law 
>>>>finally caught up with the facts on the 
>>>>ground through passage of the 13th Amendment, 
>>>>ratification was achieved in a manner at odds 
>>>>with constitutional requirements. (The 
>>>>Southern states were denied representation in 
>>>>Congress on the theory that they had left the 
>>>>Union, yet their reconstructed legislatures 
>>>>later provided the crucial votes to ratify the amendment.)
>>>>In his Constitution Day speech in 1937, 
>>>>Franklin D. Roosevelt professed devotion to 
>>>>the document, but as a statement of 
>>>>aspirations rather than obligations. This 
>>>>reading no doubt contributed to his 
>>>>willingness to extend federal power beyond 
>>>>anything the framers imagined, and to 
>>>>threaten the Supreme Court when it stood in 
>>>>the way of his New Deal legislation. In 1954, 
>>>>when the court decided Brown v. Board of 
>>>>Education, Justice Robert H. Jackson said he 
>>>>was voting for it as a moral and political 
>>>>necessity although he thought it had no basis 
>>>>in the Constitution. The list goes on and on.
>>>>The fact that dissenting justices regularly, 
>>>>publicly and vociferously assert that their 
>>>>colleagues have ignored the Constitution ­ in 
>>>>landmark cases from Miranda v. Arizona to Roe 
>>>>v. Wade to Romer v. Evans to Bush v. Gore ­ 
>>>>should give us pause. The two main rival 
>>>>interpretive methods, “originalism” (divining 
>>>>the framers’ intent) and “living 
>>>>constitutionalism” (reinterpreting the text 
>>>>in light of modern demands), cannot be 
>>>>reconciled. Some decisions have been grounded 
>>>>in one school of thought, and some in the 
>>>>other. Whichever your philosophy, many of the 
>>>>results ­ by definition ­ must be wrong.
>>>>IN the face of this long history of 
>>>>disobedience, it is hard to take seriously 
>>>>the claim by the Constitution’s defenders 
>>>>that we would be reduced to a Hobbesian state 
>>>>of nature if we asserted our freedom from 
>>>>this ancient text. Our sometimes flagrant 
>>>>disregard of the Constitution has not 
>>>>produced chaos or totalitarianism; on the 
>>>>contrary, it has helped us to grow and prosper.
>>>>This is not to say that we should disobey all 
>>>>constitutional commands. Freedom of speech 
>>>>and religion, equal protection of the laws 
>>>>and protections against governmental 
>>>>deprivation of life, liberty or property are 
>>>>important, whether or not they are in the 
>>>>Constitution. We should continue to follow 
>>>>those requirements out of respect, not obligation.
>>>>Nor should we have a debate about, for 
>>>>instance, how long the president’s term 
>>>>should last or whether Congress should 
>>>>consist of two houses. Some matters are 
>>>>better left settled, even if not in exactly 
>>>>the way we favor. Nor, finally, should we 
>>>>have an all-powerful president free to do 
>>>>whatever he wants. Even without 
>>>>constitutional fealty, the president would 
>>>>still be checked by Congress and by the 
>>>>states. There is even something to be said 
>>>>for an elite body like the Supreme Court with 
>>>>the power to impose its views of political morality on the country.
>>>>What would change is not the existence of 
>>>>these institutions, but the basis on which 
>>>>they claim legitimacy. The president would 
>>>>have to justify military action against Iran 
>>>>solely on the merits, without shutting down 
>>>>the debate with a claim of unchallengeable 
>>>>constitutional power as commander in chief. 
>>>>Congress might well retain the power of the 
>>>>purse, but this power would have to be 
>>>>defended on contemporary policy grounds, not 
>>>>abstruse constitutional doctrine. The Supreme 
>>>>Court could stop pretending that its 
>>>>decisions protecting same-sex intimacy or 
>>>>limiting affirmative action were rooted in constitutional text.
>>>>The deep-seated fear that such disobedience 
>>>>would unravel our social fabric is mere 
>>>>superstition. As we have seen, the country 
>>>>has successfully survived numerous examples 
>>>>of constitutional infidelity. And as we see 
>>>>now, the failure of the Congress and the 
>>>>White House to agree has already destabilized 
>>>>the country. Countries like Britain and New 
>>>>Zealand have systems of parliamentary 
>>>>supremacy and no written constitution, but 
>>>>are held together by longstanding traditions, 
>>>>accepted modes of procedure and engaged 
>>>>citizens. We, too, could draw on these resources.
>>>>What has preserved our political stability is 
>>>>not a poetic piece of parchment, but 
>>>>entrenched institutions and habits of thought 
>>>>and, most important, the sense that we are 
>>>>one nation and must work out our differences. 
>>>>No one can predict in detail what our system 
>>>>of government would look like if we freed 
>>>>ourselves from the shackles of constitutional 
>>>>obligation, and I harbor no illusions that 
>>>>any of this will happen soon. But even if we 
>>>>can’t kick our constitutional-law addiction, we can soften the habit.
>>>>If we acknowledged what should be obvious ­ 
>>>>that much constitutional language is broad 
>>>>enough to encompass an almost infinitely wide 
>>>>range of positions ­ we might have a very 
>>>>different attitude about the obligation to 
>>>>obey. It would become apparent that people 
>>>>who disagree with us about the Constitution 
>>>>are not violating a sacred text or our core 
>>>>commitments. Instead, we are all invoking a 
>>>>common vocabulary to express aspirations 
>>>>that, at the broadest level, everyone can 
>>>>embrace. Of course, that does not mean that 
>>>>people agree at the ground level. If we are 
>>>>not to abandon constitutionalism entirely, 
>>>>then we might at least understand it as a 
>>>>place for discussion, a demand that we make a 
>>>>good-faith effort to understand the views of 
>>>>others, rather than as a tool to force others 
>>>>to give up their moral and political judgments.
>>>>If even this change is impossible, perhaps 
>>>>the dream of a country ruled by “We the 
>>>>people” is impossibly utopian. If so, we have 
>>>>to give up on the claim that we are a 
>>>>self-governing people who can settle our 
>>>>disagreements through mature and tolerant 
>>>>debate. But before abandoning our heritage of 
>>>>self-government, we ought to try extricating 
>>>>ourselves from constitutional bondage so that 
>>>>we can give real freedom a chance.
>>>>Michael Seidman
>>>>Paf Dvorak
>>>>notmyname at thatswaytoomuch.info
>>>>Rushtalk mailing list
>>>>Rushtalk at csdco.com
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>>Paf Dvorak
>>notmyname at thatswaytoomuch.info
>>Rushtalk mailing list
>>Rushtalk at csdco.com
>Rushtalk mailing list
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