It sure didn’t take long for the Democrats and the media liberals to have their first tantrum about the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives. A tantrum about… the Constitution?!
My copy of the US Constitution, like that of many people today, is from the National Center for Constitutional Studies in Boise, Idaho. The document is printed in a pamphlet just 2 and 5/8 inches wide by 6 and ½ inches tall and, including the Amendments, is 34 pages long. Which is not very long considering the small size of the pages. Yet Dahlia Lithwick of the lefty slate.com wrote on January 5 the following about the Republican plan to read the entire Constitution – all 34 small pages – on the US House floor on January 6:
‘Reasonable people can differ about constitutional values and systems. There’s probably no better evidence for that than the Constitution itself. But it doesn’t get less nuanced or complicated just because you’ve read it aloud. It merely gets harder to hear the other side.’
Imagine that. After 2,000 page health-care bills that nobody has read and most Americans don’t want, we cannot take time to read aloud a 34-page document that lays out the foundation of our nation without being accused of making it “harder to hear the other side”. You would think they are reading War and Peace in some kind of filibuster of free speech. But then again, the left has a huge problem with brevity.
That is why they pass 2,000 page bills and expect us to find out what the bill says after it is passed into law, as former Democrat House speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested.
Lithwick and her liberal cohorts have gone off the deep end since losing the election on November 2. So in only the second day of the Republican House, she tagged the reading of the Constitution as some dangerous, inexplicable treason. Who knows where Lithwick will be in two weeks. Probably muttering in the New York subway.
And since her article on slate.com well represents how the elite left is reacting to this dastardly act of reading the whole Constitution on the House floor, here are some further excerpts from her critique of the action called Read It and Weep, How the Tea Party’s fetish for the Constitution as written may get it in trouble, with my comment after each:
Lithwick writes: ‘Members of the Tea Party are really into the Constitution. We know this because on Thursday, House Republicans propose to read the document from start to finish on the House floor, and they also propose to pass a rule requiring that every piece of new legislation identify the source of its constitutional authority.’ Comment: ‘From start to finish’? Holy cow, all 34 pages? Maybe then some people will actually find out what is in it. And we don’t even have to pass it into law to find out. Identify the source of its constitutionality? Those dangerous radicals!
Lithwick writes: ‘This is an opportunity to engage in a reasoned discussion of what the Constitution does and does not do. It’s an opportunity to point out that no matter how many times you read the document on the House floor, cite it in your bill, or how many copies you can stuff into your breast pocket without looking fat, the Constitution is always going to raise more questions than it answers and confound more readers than it comforts. And that isn’t because any one American is too stupid to understand the Constitution. It’s because the Constitution wasn’t written to reflect the views of any one American.’ Comment: Notice the angry wording… ‘looking fat’ or ‘any one American is too stupid…’. These people are enraged. And when she says that the Constitution ‘is always going to raise more questions than it answers and confound more readers than it comforts’, what the heck is she talking about? It certainly appears that she has never read it. Because there is nothing confounding in it. It is straightforward as can be.
Lithwick writes: ‘The problem with the Tea Party’s new Constitution fetish is that it’s hopelessly selective’. Comment: So now it is a ‘fetish’. Another angry insult. Lithwick is apoplectic, but trying to hide her rage under her silver pen. Don’t be fooled by these people. The left is absolutely red-faced livid about Obama’s loss of power.
Lithwick writes: ‘And unless Tea Party Republicans are willing to stand proud and announce that they adore and revere the whole Constitution as written, except for the First, 14, 16th and 17th amendments, which totally blow, they should admit right now that they are in the same conundrum as everyone else: This document no more commands the specific policies they espouse than it commands the specific policies their opponents support. Comment: Lithwick is such a classic intellectual. Her whole article sounds very erudite, but her perception is wrong on the most elementary level. The Constitution commands no policies whatsoever. It is an outline for a form of government called a “constitutional republic” that then can debate and implement policies rather than have them dictated by a king. Lithwick obviously is part of the elite culture that has never really read the document. That is why Republicans are reading it aloud; to perhaps get more people to actually learn about it rather than malign it with their own preconceptions.
Lithwick writes: ‘The fact that the Constitution is sufficiently open-ended to infuriate all Americans almost equally is part of its enduring genius.’ Comment: The Constitution does not ‘infuriate all Americans almost equally’. We conservatives embrace it. It infuriates people on the Democrat left, like Lithwick, who don’t even understand it and who need to fictionalize wrongly what it does and what it means. She is angry because the Constitution is brief and effective. This enrages the left. They love 2,000 page bills that confound even themselves.
Lithwick writes: ‘The wonderful Garrett Epps writes today that if Tea Party Republicans really listen to the Constitution, they will quickly realize that “the document they are hearing is nationalistic, not state-oriented; concerned with giving Congress power, not taking it away; forward-looking, not nostalgic for the past; aimed [at] creating a new government that can solve new problems, not freezing in place an old one that must fold its hands while the nation declines.”‘ Comment: Ms. Lithwick, the Constitution is a document that gives certain limited powers to the federal government and then leaves the rest to the states. This was intentional. The founders were not opposed to a central government; in fact they rejected the Articles of Confederation as not having a strong enough central government. But they specifically did not want too strong a central government. And by the way, the Constitution is neither “forward-looking” nor “nostalgic”. It is timeless and neutral. That is its genius.
Lithwick writes: ‘Real libertarians would acknowledge that dysfunctional state legislatures pose as great a threat to individual liberty as a dysfunctional Congress. But this point is frequently elided in discussions about the urgent need to restore state’s rights in order to make us all more free. Partly that’s because the goal here is to thwart the federal government, period. And partly there is some confidence that if red states ultimately get redder, everyone is going to be freer. Try telling that to a woman seeking reproductive freedom in Virginia. Comment: Lithwick says that ‘Partly that’s because the goal here is to thwart the federal government, period.’ Wrong again. It is to thwart a federal government that is too big and powerful, which was the goal of the Constitution in the first place – to give the power to the people. And Ms. Lithwick, you don’t need to be a libertarian to ‘acknowledge that dysfunctional state legislatures pose as great a threat to individual liberty as a dysfunctional Congress’. That is common sense. And the idea that ‘reproductive freedom in Virginia’ (i.e., unfettered access to abortion, which feminists like Lithwick are afraid to say out loud) is somehow an issue of essential liberty is ridiculous. But like a good liberal, Lithwick substitutes the idea of ‘needs’ (like abortion, which truly is a ‘need’ to somebody like her) with ‘rights’, which is the quickest way to destroy liberty. ‘Needs’ can only be accommodated by a people whose ‘rights’ are guaranteed.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.