When our elected officials are sworn into office, what do they vow to protect? That’s right, the Constitution of the United States. So you wouldn’t think it’d be a big deal to open the 112th Congress by reading the Constitution aloud, would you? Well, obviously you hate freedom and America and stuff like that. Just ask the New York Times:
A theatrical production of unusual pomposity will open on Wednesday when Republicans assume control of the House for the 112th Congress. A rule will be passed requiring that every bill cite its basis in the Constitution. A bill will be introduced to repeal the health care law. On Thursday, the Constitution will be read aloud in the House chamber…
The empty gestures are officially intended to set a new tone in Washington, to demonstrate — presumably to the Republicans’ Tea Party supporters — that things are about to be done very differently. But it is far from clear what message is being sent by, for instance, reading aloud the nation’s foundational document…
In any case, it is a presumptuous and self-righteous act, suggesting that they alone understand the true meaning of a text that the founders wisely left open to generations of reinterpretation. Certainly the Republican leadership is not trying to suggest that African-Americans still be counted as three-fifths of a person.
They certainly aren’t, as Don Surber explains:
The editorial board of the New York Times is wrong.
The Constitution does not say that, nor has it said that in more than 142 years.
The liberal canard about three-fifths is based on a section of the Constitution that was superseded on July 9, 1868, with the adoption of the 14th Amendment — the 13th Amendment having freed the slaves 2 1/2 years earlier.
That by the way is how one changes the Constitution: By amendment and not by a court reinterpretation.
The past few years have shown us that the Democrats aren’t terribly concerned about whether or not legislation is constitutional. But such open contempt for the document itself seems like a bad idea. Which is of course why they’re voicing it!
According to our own Chris Moody:
If you plan to follow along with your own copy during Thursday’s House floor reading of the U.S. Constitution, you might notice that some members reading aloud are skipping parts of the original document.
Instead of reading the Constitution in its entirety, House members will read an “amended version” that only includes the sections and amendments that were not changed at a later date. The decision in part will allow members to avoid reading less pleasant sections, like the clause in Article 1, Section 2, which counted black slaves as three-fifths of a person.
So they’re only going to read the parts that today’s Congress is obliged to uphold. This is apparently controversial, because, um er uh, Republicans Republicans Republicans, blah blah blah.
Well, they’re going to start reading it from the House floor any minute now. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen to the Dems: