Why did the reading of the constitution at the opening of the 112th congress bring out the Left’s inner snark? Quite simple, really: it stands in the way of their utopian agenda.
Woodrow Wilson…once compared the Constitution to “political witchcraft.” “Living political constitutions,” Wilson wrote, “must be Darwinian in structure and in practice.” For Wilson, the Constitution was “one thing in one age, another in another.”
The Constitution as Darwinian is the essence of the progressives’ position on constitutional government, which is why they find the public reading so… quaint.
But Frank J. Fleming at Pajamas Media has put his finger on why the Left actually despises the constitution:
Since there are many more conservatives than liberals, and conservatives have so many guns, people often wonder why conservatives don’t just round up all the liberals and ship them to Antarctica to be forced to mine for jewels and gold. Well, there is a very good reason for that: by a strict constructionist interpretation of the American Constitution, there is no support for being able to deport liberals to a mining camp.
Now, if conservatives were a bit more flexible with their view of the Constitution, they would say things like, “Well, we have to remember it’s a living document, and the Founding Fathers hadn’t even thought of the threat of hippies running around free when they wrote it.” And then they’d look to the Commerce Clause and say, “Well, keeping liberals from meddling in America and forcing them do something useful like mining sure would help the economy, so it’s within the government’s power.” And then it’d just be a manner of scheduling all the boats to get liberals to Antarctica.
But that would violate the spirit of the Constitution since, by plain English interpretations of the government’s powers, we can’t forcefully ship liberals to Antarctica no matter how much people may think that would help the country. And that’s the point of the Constitution: people are constantly changing their ideas of what is good and bad, but the Constitution is much harder to change. It puts limits on what the government can do, and those limits can only be changed when huge majorities agree to it through the amendment process. And even after ObamaCare, there inexplicably isn’t enough support for a “Liberals Are to Be Sent to Mines in Antarctica” amendment.
After the hysterical way liberals reacted to the reading of the Constitution by Republicans to open Congress, with Democrats objecting to it, left-wing newspaper editorials denouncing it, and liberals online freaking out over it, no reasonable person would argue that liberals don’t hate the Constitution, but the reasons why aren’t as obvious. So the question becomes, why do liberals hate the Constitution so much — especially when it’s the only thing protecting them from freezing to death with pickaxes in their hands?
We are all aware that liberals want the Constitution to be a living document, like if Geppetto wanted Pinocchio to become a real boy so it would be easier to strangle him to death. They want it living so they can render its words meaningless. To them, the Constitution is this cryptic document only the most educated Ivy Leaguers are able to interpret. Recently, the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein even stated that “the text is confusing because it was written more than 100 years ago.” And then we have all these court decisions — much longer than the document itself – that find all these hidden rights not mentioned in the Constitution and explain away the ones that are clearly stated. And don’t argue with liberals on the subject, because they’re really smart and the only ones able to understand what they’re talking about.
Thus the freakout over the Constitution being read aloud. No matter how much liberals try to mystify the Constitution and obscure its meaning, hearing the actual text of the document quickly destroys that fiction. It almost reads like a direct condemnation of all the government expansion and power grabs liberals have been up to lately. You can’t hear its words without imagining the ghost of George Washington punching hippies. So you can see why they’d rather it not be brought to the public’s attention.
A big way gun rights proponents won their war was by putting the text of the 2nd Amendment everywhere. While “scholars” liked to pretend there was some debate on whether there is an individual right to bear arms, there wasn’t among the general public because anyone literate could read the amendment and quickly identify that the only operative part is “the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.” Words mean things to most people, so asking the average American whether there is a right to bear arms is like asking what two plus two equals. Ask a liberal judge, though, and he’ll say, “Two and two of what? And ‘equals’ can mean so many things. It’s a very complicated question.” So when people see the long, rambling reasons from someone like Justice Breyer on why the 2nd Amendment doesn’t mean what it says versus the simple language of the Constitution, they start to realize they’d be much better served by having a twelve-year-old with basic reading comprehension as a justice.
The Constitution meaning what it says is only part of the problem liberals have with it, though. In the Constitution are the means to change the Constitution, and liberals are perfectly capable of proposing amendments to force people to buy health care or to get haters like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck off the air. Of course, they’d need to get a huge majority of the country to go along with them. And there is the problem. If the Constitution puts strict limits on government power and the only way for liberals to increase that power is to get a huge majority of the public to agree with them, then liberals would have to govern with the consent of the governed! Think of the indecency; liberals could barely do anything unless those nasty Tea Party people and fans of Sarah Palin said it was okay!
And while liberals do like certain freedoms, in their hearts they don’t really like this whole democracy thing. If liberals were only voting amongst each other, that would be great, but you can’t actually let everyone — some who only went to community college — have a say in what the government can and can’t do. Much better to have only the elites deciding themselves what they can do, based on their best intentions. It’s like what now ex-Representative Phil Hare said when questioned on the constitutionality of ObamaCare: He didn’t worry about the Constitution. If liberals are trying to change things for the better, why should there be any limits on them… especially ones enforced by the ignorant masses?
And so liberals hope that no one reads the Constitution and that everyone leaves all the questions of what the government can do to left-wing judges who will make decisions based on what they feel is right. Then liberals will be freed from having to get the consent of the unenlightened American public who give their kids Happy Meals and eat trans-fats. They will then have the ability to force people to do what’s best and give the government all the power it needs for a better, more ordered, peaceful society.
Until they’re shipped off to the mines.