Here is exactly why we are in the trouble we are in. For someone who readily identifies that they have “taught constitutional law for almost 40 years”, this is the most stunningly ignorant epistle I have ever read. This is Louis Michael Seidman, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University writing in the NYT – and for writing this, he should become an ex-professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University.
AS the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.
Consider, for example, the assertion by the Senate minority leader last week that the House could not take up a plan by Senate Democrats to extend tax cuts on households making $250,000 or less because the Constitution requires that revenue measures originate in the lower chamber. Why should anyone care? Why should a lame-duck House, 27 members of which were defeated for re-election, have a stranglehold on our economy? Why does a grotesquely malapportioned Senate get to decide the nation’s fate?
Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.
Why not just disregard all laws we find objectionable? What if each party in power got to define what the term “legal” means? As we have noted by using the speed limit as an example, what stops you from driving faster than the limit and once you pass it, what is the limit?
The idiocy continues:
This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands. Freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important, whether or not they are in the Constitution. We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation.
So without an actual Constitutional provision that must be adhered to, how is it assured that any of these can survive the power of an overweening government that finds the exercise of these basic rights to be inconvenient?
I just do not get what it is that these idiots hate about the Constitutional principles other than they prevent these fruitcakes from doing exactly what they want to do in any way, at any time. In my opinion, this is the same reason that anti-religion groups hate religion, the Bible sets forth tenets that they disagree with, so like the moronic Brit phone snooper Piers Morgan, they think it needs a rewrite. Why? Because it tells them that what they want to do is wrong.
I have to assume that the timing of Seidman’s screed means that he agrees with Obama’s agenda and wants to see it prosecuted. How does he know that Obama is right and the Republicans are wrong? A point that we have made before is that where we find ourselves is after Democrats have controlled national government for almost 80% of the last 60 years. Wouldn’t that seem to merit consideration that perhaps the Democrats and their “disobedience” to the Constitution are the reason that we are in the soup?
They can’t overcome the natural law principles in the Constitution, so what do they do? They mount ad hominem attacks on the Founders:
As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?
IN the face of this long history of disobedience, it is hard to take seriously the claim by the Constitution’s defenders that we would be reduced to a Hobbesian state of nature if we asserted our freedom from this ancient text. Our sometimes flagrant disregard of the Constitution has not produced chaos or totalitarianism; on the contrary, it has helped us to grow and prosper.
The only reason that it hasn’t produced “chaos or totalitarianism” is because reverence for the Constitution has prevented it – if he is going to claim that our “disobedience” (which I agree has occurred) has caused us to “prosper”, then he must assume the responsibility for 16 trillion dollars of debt and trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. It is a simple matter to argue that we are less free today as a result of this “disobedience” and the contempt for the Constitution shown by Lincoln, Wilson, FDR and now Obama.
As far as Hobbesian states of existence, I would argue that this is exactly where divergence from the Constitution is leading us.
These functioning illiterates cloaked in professor’s robes simply cannot grasp that the Constitution’s design of separation of powers and the checks and balances they provide are functioning exactly as intended to stop the very tyranny of monarchical rule that Seidman yearns for. While stating that we haven’t devolved into a Hobbesian society, he is either advocating for exactly that, single point rule by an elitist sovereign, or he is a Marxist pining away for the dictatorship of the proletariat.