Monday, December 31, 2012

Old and busted?


Oh yeah. Leave it to the New York Times to wait for the last day of the year to come up with the worst Op-Ed of the year. The title tells you all you need to know:

Let’s Give Up on the Constitution


Our own alternative headline: Constitutional law professor really frustrated with a document that isn’t hip to the times.

We won’t do a paragraph by paragraph fisking but we will point out one particular portion:

The deep-seated fear that such disobedience [to the Constitution] 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.

(italics, ours)

There’s a couple of problems with that: yes, we could and did draw upon British common law but we were a new nation. It was incumbent that we hammer-out something iron-clad that would propel our nation forward as a nation of law rather than that from which we revolted and claimed independence; the very Great Britain and its tyranny which he cites as an example of how things were done better.

Besides, as it turned out, our nation going forward did not enjoy the homogeneity of Great Britain nor New Zealand from which these longstanding traditions could be drawn. As we are constantly reminded, we are nation of immigrants and, as such, many of this nation’s new citizens came from parts of the world where concepts like freedom of speech, freedom of religion and property rights were totally, no pun intended, foreign. Yes, we attracted those foreigners and continue to do so precisely because of enshrined concepts laid down by those dead white men over 220 years ago.

We needed and continue to need a stable document that established the institutions we depend upon that rose up out of the Constitution. Scrapping the constitution is only an invitation for tyranny.

And merely surviving as a country from all the past abuses to the Constitution… how does that excuse those abuses and how does that make the Constitution any less relevant? The struggle over interpretation of the Constitution doesn’t mean you scrap it. That’s the whole idea. We all have our different interpretations and just because you believe all these different interpretations have led to all the acrimony and vitriol in politics these days, is far from any legitimate reason to scrap the Constitution.

And please try telling my parents who were rearing a young family about acrimony and vitriol as they were doing it amid protests, upheaval and assassinations in the late 60s and early 70s. What we are currently experiencing is nothing compared to what this country went through 40-45 years ago.

That column was just a thinly-veiled whine because this supposed Constitutional law professor wasn’t getting what he wanted out of politics.

And just kicking it around BwD headquarters today allowed us ample opportunity to Tweet our reaction to this wretched article:

#NYTimes doesn’t like the #Constitution, except for the parts it likes. Got it.

If you don’t like the #Constitution then garner support, consensus and votes to change it. It’s been done before. #Amendments

Newspaper that endorsed a man who granted himself the powers of indefinite detention w/o cause thinks we are too obsessed w/the #Constitution.

Political set of people who ripped previous President for shredding the Constitution now say we have an unhealthy obsession with it.

With President set too extend/expand warrantless surveillance, NYTimes thinks it’s time to scrap the Constitution. This is not a coincidence.

Those that question the individual right to bear arms also claim #healthcare is a universal right. This is what passes as statist logic.

Please feel free to expound upon those parts of the Constitution you no likey. Seriously. Give some specifics.

And our boy JD @Psudrozz replied thusly:

The font selection was horrible. 225 years ago the framers couldn’t envision the proper font. Should be scrapped.

And this from @hale_razor:

We’re at the point where liberals say the constitution is optional but Obamacare is mandatory

Sorry to wrap this up this so curtly but a hearfelt congratulations to the New York Times for sneaking in just under the wire and offering up the worst op-ed column of the year.


B-Daddy said...

What an incoherent argument Seidman makes. What the hell is supposed to hold the government together? What if a President doesn't like term limits? Hey that whole election thing is hopelessly outdated. Or how about we vote ourselves ten year terms in office, because, you know, slave owners wrote those provisions. What a pile of nonsense. How could the NYTimes publish?

Mostly Nothing said...

Well, the electoral college is hopelessly outdated. It needs to be scrapped.

The article is a long temper tantrum of an idiot that can't get every idiotic peronist idea he has enacted into law.

Can you imagine the activist judges that had no constraint?

He put it in as a throw away, but you know he's thinking it. Term limits on the President. That's the opening salvo of starting the reign of King O, or does he want to be Emperor O?

Doo Doo Econ said...

I disagree on the electorial college it is a vital last line of defense against complete voter fraud. Without it, Chicago could case an extra million votes and elect a president in open fruad and our only available response would be civil war.

Further, FDR served more than 2 terms and is the reason for a constitutional amendment limiting the terms. Prior it was a matter of precedent set by George Washington. Proof again that unwritten rules are inadequate.

Lastly, gun control advocates and anti constitutionalists are attacking our civil rights. This is a civil rights issue and is no different than if they were arguing to remove defense lawyers from court rooms because "Judges, prosecutors and trial juries should be entrusted with our lives."

Doo Doo Econ said...

Cast not "case" above typo.

Anonymous said...

Good blog, good tweets and responses. Our freedom of the press is outdated. Shut down the NY Times.

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