Will America Stand up for its Constitution?
By: Craig Chamberlain
I’m not a lawyer, or a constitutional scholar, but I have read the constitution, which is more than can be said for most of the idiots on capitol hill. It’s unclear whether they are illiterate or just lazy, the illiterate don’t have any idea what the constitution says, while the lazy just don’t care what it says, believing that an 18th century political document is of no value in the 21st century.
Neither party has a great track record when it comes to the constitution, but the GOP’s record is slightly better due to the stronger conservative influence in the party. The Democrats, being the party of socialists, have nothing but scorn for the written word of “dead white men” I’m surprised that President Obama doesn’t get together with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and announce that to truly remake America they’re going to have to write a new constitution, and then for political impact run our current one through a shredder. At least such a display would be an honest admission of their attitudes concerning the highest law in our country.
Now, don’t get me wrong. All politicians play fast and loose with the rules when they are the ones in charge. When Thomas Jefferson was leading the Democrats in opposition, he kept insisting on a weak presidency, and a strict reading of the constitution. Once being elected President of the United States, however, he expanded the powers of the Presidency beyond anything Washington or Adams had. When the Federalists were in charge of the Federal government they argued for a strong central government, a standing military, federal assumption of debt, and a reading of the constitution that included the idea of implied powers. Once they were voted into the minority, they began to talk about states rights, and the perils of a large army.
In more recent times, the Democrats, under President George W. Bush, filibustered everything they were allowed to filibuster. Claiming that the rights of the minority were sacred, and that dissent was the highest form of patriotism. Now that they are in the majority, their mantra is “bend over and take it” Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that the Republicans need to “stop crying” about reconciliation. Translation: this is going to happen whether you want it or not, so you better make the best of the situation. Ok, maybe that was a bit harsh. Republicans seethed about filibusters when it came to their agenda and President Bush’s judicial appointments. Now it’s the greatest things since sliced bread. The Democrats, who took the filibuster to heights never seen before, now call it unconstitutional and undemocratic. They wrong about the former, right about the latter. But that’s the point. We don’t live in a pure democracy. Many elements of our system are specifically designed to block democracy, and all the perils that can come with it.
This is the way of political parties. They whine about tactics and rules that slow them down, but the scream bloody murder when those same things stop them. For example, Democrats have been the biggest fans of the federal judiciary in the last 100 years. They have used these judges to get most of the program, and agenda, into being law. (Abortion was never voted on by the Congress, it was decreed by the court.) But see them rage when the court goes against them, and they allow corporations, and unions, the same political free speech as everyone else.
It’s all about constitutionalism. As citizens we shouldn’t have to ask ourselves if our politicians are being greedy, shortsighted, or hypocritical. Of course they are. It’s what they do. We do need to ask whether it is constitutional or not. If we stopped to ask that question many of the problems that this country faces today would not be so serious, or we wouldn’t have them at all. Politicians are naturally going to be against something when it hurts them and for it when it helps them. That’s not the issue. The constitutionality is the issue.
The Democrats might not like the filibuster now, but that doesn’t change the fact that there isn’t one word in the constitution forbidding its use. Not that the absence of something has ever stopped progressives from creating something out of thin air when they needed to. If the constitution were taken seriously the bills causing so much grief would never be up for consideration. The right to regulate interstate commerce does not give the right to nationalize health care, and energy. If anyone in Congress had ever bothered to read the constitution they never would have passed Senator Akaka’s Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act, a bill which brings “separate but equal” to the Aloha state. If this monstrosity of a bill isn’t unconstitutional nothing is.
We can’t expect the politicians to police themselves. They make up the rules as the go along, wailing about the constitution when it supports them and ignoring it when it doesn’t. Until there is a time limit on how long someone can serve in Congress, and the citizens watch their elected officials like hawks eying their prey, the politicians will continue to see the constitution as a document of convenience.
Our constitution is more important than a political party, a politicians ambitions, the fad of the moment, or even the desires of the people. It’s been the law of the land for over 200 years, and while there have been mistakes, flaws, and misreadings, it still has been a great benefit for our country. Every time a politician wants to do something, it’s up to the citizens to stand up and say in one voice “show me where it’s constitutional”