Thursday, January 06, 2011

Reading the Constitution

The Tea Party Republicans will perform their stunt, reading aloud the Constitution today on the floor of the U.S. House. Hope they don't stumble over Article I, Section 8:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States....

We know the Tea Partiers loathe the word "welfare." Will that word swell like an angry cyst in the mouth of the Republican reading it and choke his/her windpipe?

Further, in clauses 13 and 14 of Article I, Sec. 8 (powers granted to Congress), this is specifically enumerated:
To raise and support Armies...;

To provide and maintain a Navy....

And nowhere in there, O ye self-appointed strict constructionists, does it mention anything about an Air Force.

We know, we know! You're only strict about what you don't like, particularly the "general Welfare." The Constitution doesn't specify the Federal Reserve either, and that one you want to abolish, because it isn't specifically enumerated among Congressional powers to create. But you can't cherry-pick the specifically unenumerated extensions of government without looking, well, hypocritical and inconsistent.


Brushfire said...

I hope someone notices that the phrase "promote the general welfare" is also in the preamble, where it is differentiated from defense, domestic tranquility, justice, and freedom. That means promoting the general welfare is mandated twice in an otherwise succinct document.

Robert said...

Thank God for the Republicans! It is about time someone read the Constitution on the floor of the U.S. House. I cannot believe this has not happened before. Now we know the Republicans will finally have read the Constitution!

“‘The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes...’ Wait a minute. Did those damn Obamacrats put this part about collecting taxes in here? Has anyone read this? We need to edit this. Call the health insurance industry and have them rewrite this garbage the right way.”

Not reading it makes no sense said...

I heard one group declared that listening to the Constitution being read would be emotionally harmful to them. If this is true, who are they and why did they run for an office that requires them to protect and defend the Constitution?

For that matter, shouldn't they know what they are supposed to defnd and protect?

Frank said...

WTF are you talking about, Reading. What "group"? No one said that. You've drunk the koolaid.

But here's what I'm wondering. Since Scalia said women were not granted equal rights under the constitution because they aren't mentioned specifically, how does he square that with giving corporations personhood and equal rights?

group named said...

It was the Congressional Black Caucus.

What are you talking about Frank?

Anonymous said...

How many jobs did the GOP's reading of Constitution-lite create?

Anne said...

Group, please send a link about the black caucus having said that because the only thing I can find is that they complained that original sections were left out of the reading. Including references to slaves, which the Republicans said were left out because "two pages got stuck together."

Why did the Republicans pick and choose what parts of the Constitution they read aloud? For instance, why did they refuse to read this part:

"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."

Robert said...

I believe the Republicans when they say they left references to slavery out because "two pages got stuck together." Since most of these tea baggers have never read the Constitution, they would have no idea they were missing pages. An honest mistake.

used to be anonymous said...

Robert, nobody said the slavery references were left out because of the 'stuck' pages. There was argument about their exclusion BEFORE the reading on the house floor.

The constitution that was read was the AMENDED it stands today. It did not include what has been removed or altered by later revisions. It only included the revised version of the document.

You can argue that point if you think it should have been the original non-amended version if you want but lets stick to the facts.

The 'stuck' pages were two pages that were turned at one time by the reader....the error was caught, and the correct version read into the record. They did not involve the slavery question.

Robert said...

used to be anonymous, I was satirically referring to Anne’s post: “original sections were left out of the reading. Including references to slaves, which the Republicans said were left out because ‘two pages got stuck together.’”

I have not kept up with the actual news regarding the members of Congress reading the Constitution because I find faux patriotism offensive, especially when it is used to divide Americans rather than unite them.

The point of my satire, which I guess wasn’t very clear (I do have a bad habit of replying from the hip), was meant to be how few of the Teapublicans had read the Constitution. This is hyperbole as I would like to think most of them have read it. Whether or not they understand it is another question entirely.

Thanks for the correction. I am glad to hear the error was caught. It gives me some hope, though I’m not sure why.