The Republican Dirty Tricks are coming fast and furious these days, especially since David Koch’s operatives in government won back the “People’s House” in the midterm elections by convincing the ignorant dupes that Glenn Beck will one day meet them for a beer if they vote for their own demise.
Despite their incessant mocking of President Obama as being uppity enough to teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago for more than a decade, Republicans are attempting to brand themselves as strict Constitutionalists… thus, turning our founding documents into a political stunt to placate their Teabagging base – most of whom remained silently glued to Fox News for the eight years George W. Bush used the Constitution to wipe his silver-spooned ass.
Their branding campaign included the reading of the Constitution on House floor, but omitted parts of the Constitution that some would consider embarrassing – such as Article 1, Section 2, which stated a slave was to be counted as three-fifths of a person for purposes of taxation, as well as the 18th Amendment, which instituted Prohibition. By omitting these sections harkening to by-gone days of institutionalized racism and stupidity, it also played into their narrative of the Constitution’s infallibility and rejection of it as a “living document.”
Much like the plantation owners who selectively read the bible to justify slavery, the Conservative selective interpretations of our founding documents also unsurprisingly validates their Teabagger ideology.
Former reporter for The Washington Post, Garrett Epps, wrote in the Atlantic,
“We can all be heartened by the news that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is going to hold a Constitution School for them. Rep. Bachmann’s qualifications as a Constitutionalist are suggested by the statement she issued last September for Constitution Day, which says (not making this up): “It was in the Constitution that our founding fathers penned the infamous words, ‘We the People’.” Even I am not going to pretend to believe that Rep. Bachmann regards the Preamble as containing words “of ill fame or repute; famed or notorious for badness of any kind; notoriously evil, wicked, or vile; held in infamy or public disgrace.” I’m quite sure that she reveres the Constitution as much as I do; but her statement does suggest that she may have a slight problem understanding the meaning of ordinary words. Alas, understanding is essential to reading the Constitution. As for teaching it, we are told by our books of wisdom that if the blind lead the blind, the result may be suboptimal.”
He continues, “Conservative Republicans tend to go on and on about how the Constitution puts shackles on Congress. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) recently explained that “although the Constitution does give some defined powers to the federal government, it is overwhelmingly a document of limits, and those limits must be respected.”
DeMint has, usually, a very clear view of his own eye. The intention to limit Congress is, to me at least, pretty hard to actually find in the Constitution itself. Article I, which sets up the House and Senate and lays out their powers, is the longest Article in the document. Its 2500 words amount to fully one-third of the Constitution, even today after 27 amendments. In Article I, about 450 words are devoted to specific powers of Congress; about half that many to things Congress can’t do. And in case you begin, Ron Paul-style, to claim that Congress can do only what is in Article I § 8, please look carefully at Article I § 8 cl. 18, which gives Congress the power “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.” (Italics mine.)
If in fact you are Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), please volunteer to read the specific text that gives Congress the power to conduct the kind of investigation of the Federal Reserve you plan. You can take the day off, Dr. Paul; it isn’t there. To most readers, though, it is clearly implied–as are a lot of other powers Rep. Paul claims to find illegitimate, including the power to issue Federal Reserve notes instead of gold or silver certificates.”
Normal people (non-Republicans/non-DINOS) are welcoming the reading of the Constitution political theater as an opportunity to open up the conversation and educate the poor, misguided, Republicans – Well aware that facts don’t get in the way of Republican manias… but as evidenced in the latest study once again validating liberal optimism, hope springs eternal.
The truth is, this latest Republican stunt is a mere distraction from the very real work that needs to be done to get us out of the mess Republican policies have created – as well as more proof Conservatives actually hate America – no matter how many “Made in China” American flag lapel pins they stick on their chicken hawk chests. Like Winston Smith in the Ministry of Truth, Republicans are rewriting the actual history of our roots – founded in the liberal Age of Enlightenment – and replacing it with ideologically based mythology aimed at advancing the very agenda the Colonists fought a revolution to escape.
A brief history of WE THE PEOPLE
From the beginning of time, human beings have struggled to evolve in spite of the unending drag that “Conservatives” and their ilk put on progress. Historically, Conservatives fought human advancement as that typically meant the empowerment of the huddled masses and the dethroning of authoritarian kings and the dressing-down of well-heeled aristocracy thriving on a hierarchical balance of power sustained by they systematic propagation of ignorance – typically with the complicity of Religion that appeased the natural anger of oppression with promises of paradise after the “betters” had worked you to death.
From these Dark Ages came the Age of Enlightenment, trumpeted by liberal philosophers such as John Locke, who replaced the Divine Right of Kings and established religion with the political and philosophical concept that people form states to create and maintain a social contract.
The Founding Fathers were students of the Liberal Age of Enlightenment, recognizing the value of government enforcing the social contract, secular authority and rule of law.
Thomas Jefferson was a true student of John Locke, directly adopting many of Locke’s ideas from his Two Treatises of Government into our founding documents.
Washington himself stated, “As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.”
The American Revolution inspired the French Revolution, and in turn sparked a wave of liberal governments in nations across Europe, Latin America, and North America. Liberal democracies eventually survived 2 world wars – even with ideological challenges from fascism and communism – two distinct political philosophies today’s Conservatives are desperately trying to get their average dupes to confuse with liberalism.
The truth of the matter is that America was founded in the shadow of the Liberal Enlightenment, and many of the Founders themselves so believed in its promise that they created a secular government of, by and for THE PEOPLE.
Still, there were others – loyalists, monarchists, CONSERVATIVES of their day that were dragged kicking and screaming into the light and have been attempting to roll back the Enlightenment ever since.
Make no mistake – today’s Republican Party and Conservative ideologues are actively engaged in a class war with the aim of creating a modern state of serfs and lords.
To actually admit that fact would risk even their Stockholm Syndrome suffering “everydupes” catching on to the fact that they are the Sonderkommando to their own demise, so instead they mask it in the mantra of “small government,” knowing that government is the only power that We The People can employ to get their rapacious moneymaking corporations off our already-breaking backs.
As opposed to the philosophy of liberal democracy, whose successes can be actively exampled in highly successful governmental systems on all continents, the fruits of Conservative governance is typically evidenced by a shrinking middle class simultaneously accompanied by windfall the profits of a handful of rich profiteers.
In other words, the REAL Conservative agenda is to take us back to the dark days of hierarchical rule, placing a select few businessmen (noblemen) on the throne – and they will wrap themselves in the flag and Constitution while they do it.
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