Thursday, January 6, 2011

Constitution Reading Stunt in the House of Representatives

I haven't been paying attention to almost any politics lately, but this segment caught my attention:

There are a few reasons why this annoys me.
  • It's just political theater and I think there are better uses for our tax dollars. It's been estimated that this this little stunt could cost tax payer over a million dollars. And maybe I'm being idealistic, but don't we assume that members of Congress already have some idea of what the Constitution says from the start? I mean, they do take an oath to abide by it and all.

  • Secondly, I hate the perpetual deifying of the founding fathers and the idea that conservatives are more patriotic than liberals. The GOP doesn't have ownership over American values any more than I do.
  •  Lastly, I don't like the way this whole stunt is being used as a way to invalidate laws Congress has passed just because certain people don't agree with them. The new rule that the sponsor of a new bill will have to "identify, chapter and verse, the constitutional underpinning for the exercise of congressional power contemplated by the proposed measure" is indicative of this as well. While I'm completely behind the idea that the government should be careful about exceeding its constitutional authority, the Constitution is often interpreted in conflicting ways by lawmakers. The issue then becomes the concern that the "Constitutional Authority Statement" will allow certain Congressmen to become the gatekeepers of what's considered a constitutional provision. Plus, the role of interpreting the constitutionality of actions made by Congress is already given to the judiciary. 
But I suppose today's reading will remind some people of that.


  1. Let's throw out Social Security, it's nowhere in the constitution.

    Rep Goodlatte looked like a fool in this video.

  2. I agree. Lawrence did a good job of highlighting Goodlatte's inconsistency. The only good thing is it seems like Goodlatte was trying to include both parties. But that's not really that grand of a gesture obviously.


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