T Nation

Give Up on the Constitution

This piece is making waves

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 nationâ??s fate?

Folks are happy to toss out the constitution when they think it’ll improve their chances of getting their way.

Personally, I am willing to consider arguments on how or why one should re-write a constitution. However, in my experience, the overwhelming majority of calls for such a change come from people who have absolutely zero understanding of the document or the reasoning behind all of said document’s provisions.


Incidentally, it is extremely difficult to take the author seriously when he uses terms like, “downright evil.” It makes him sound either like a demagogue, or an idiot.

Or possibly both.

[quote]therajraj wrote:
This piece is making waves

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 nationâ??s fate?
[/quote]

When I was living in Europe in the early '70’s, well-educated Britons, for example, would point to the Watergate scandal as evidence that the US Constitution was outmoded and yielded only inefficient government, and that the Constitution should be summarily scrapped in favor of a parliamentary government. European parliaments would have simply changed governments, or the scandal would not have been made public. My argument then, as now, is that the goal of the Constitution was not efficiency, or timeliness–except in the case of national emergency–but to contain remorseless central authority. Continental parliaments, on the other hand, are ideal mechanisms for emergence of totalitarian states, or for remorseless bureaucracies.

Every few months, some group with a gripe blames the Constitution for not getting their hearts’ desire. Why should an archaic document stand in the way of some popular notion? The answer should be self-evident. Minority rights, as well, are sometimes effectively defended by a Constitution that inefficiently translates popular will into law.

Mr. Seidman–even in misquoting one of the more pin-headed notions of Thomas Jefferson–offers no meaningful alternative to Constitutional law and tradition. Perhaps he does so in his book, which he is hawking in the NYT, one which will not make my reading list this year.

[quote]therajraj wrote:
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.
[/quote]

uh…yeah - that’s the reason for the recent fiscal chaos, obviously

That’s retarded - gotta call it, sorry

[quote]therajraj wrote:
This piece is making waves

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 nationâ??s fate?
[/quote]

Yeah I agree the constitution is outdated. I think we should chuck it and do whatever Obama wants.

(eye roll)

yup, our obedience to the constitution and our over reliance on Christian values. There are way too many God fearing nuclear families nowadays.

We gave up on the constitution a long time ago

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
We gave up on the constitution a long time ago[/quote]

I look forward to many more perils of wisdom, just like this, coming from you in 2013.

(For those who are dense this is an insult involving a pun)

[quote]therajraj wrote:
This piece is making waves

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 nationâ??s fate?
[/quote]

http://www.examiner.com/article/response-to-louis-michael-seidman-nyt-oped-a-sobering-vision-for-2013?cid=rss

[quote]ZEB wrote:

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
We gave up on the constitution a long time ago[/quote]

I look forward to many more perils of wisdom, just like this, coming from you in 2013.

(For those who are dense this is an insult involving a pun)[/quote]
LOL good ninja edit. I look forward to many more posts like this from you this year that show off that razor sharp mind. Perhaps a peril of wisdom is learning something that might change ones mind.

[quote]groo wrote:

[quote]ZEB wrote:

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
We gave up on the constitution a long time ago[/quote]

I look forward to many more perils of wisdom, just like this, coming from you in 2013.

(For those who are dense this is an insult involving a pun)[/quote]
LOL good ninja edit. I look forward to many more posts like this from you this year that show off that razor sharp mind. Perhaps a peril of wisdom is learning something that might change ones mind.[/quote]

I would have no problem learning something new but it won’t be from Pittbull that I’m sure about!

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

My argument then, as now, is that the goal of the Constitution was not efficiency, or timeliness–except in the case of national emergency–but to contain remorseless central authority. Continental parliaments, on the other hand, are ideal mechanisms for emergence of totalitarian states, or for remorseless bureaucracies.[/quote]

Excellent as always, Doc - and I still owe you a response in the other thread re: some your musings on this. But bottom line: frustrating as it is, the Constitition is working fine, and exactly as intended. Divided government results in an excruciating process, and that is a feature of the plan, not a bug.

Holy shit I did it again , said something the circle jerk society disagrees with

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
Holy shit I did it again , said something the circle jerk society disagrees with[/quote]

[quote]sufiandy wrote:

[quote]therajraj wrote:
This piece is making waves

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?
[/quote]

http://www.examiner.com/article/response-to-louis-michael-seidman-nyt-oped-a-sobering-vision-for-2013?cid=rss[/quote]

That was a well written retort.

Good find.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]ZEB wrote:

[quote]groo wrote:

[quote]ZEB wrote:

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
We gave up on the constitution a long time ago[/quote]

I look forward to many more perils of wisdom, just like this, coming from you in 2013.

(For those who are dense this is an insult involving a pun)[/quote]
LOL good ninja edit. I look forward to many more posts like this from you this year that show off that razor sharp mind. Perhaps a peril of wisdom is learning something that might change ones mind.[/quote]

I would have no problem learning something new but it won’t be from Pittbull that I’m sure about![/quote]

I hope this is not true

try this

[quote]pittbulll wrote:

[quote]ZEB wrote:

[quote]groo wrote:

[quote]ZEB wrote:

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
We gave up on the constitution a long time ago[/quote]

I look forward to many more perils of wisdom, just like this, coming from you in 2013.

(For those who are dense this is an insult involving a pun)[/quote]
LOL good ninja edit. I look forward to many more posts like this from you this year that show off that razor sharp mind. Perhaps a peril of wisdom is learning something that might change ones mind.[/quote]

I would have no problem learning something new but it won’t be from Pittbull that I’m sure about![/quote]

I hope this is not true

try this


[/quote]

I didn’t look into it further but some of the comments on that page say its a hoax and posted links.

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

[quote]therajraj wrote:
This piece is making waves

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?
[/quote]

When I was living in Europe in the early '70’s, well-educated Britons, for example, would point to the Watergate scandal as evidence that the US Constitution was outmoded and yielded only inefficient government, and that the Constitution should be summarily scrapped in favor of a parliamentary government. European parliaments would have simply changed governments, or the scandal would not have been made public. My argument then, as now, is that the goal of the Constitution was not efficiency, or timeliness–except in the case of national emergency–but to contain remorseless central authority. Continental parliaments, on the other hand, are ideal mechanisms for emergence of totalitarian states, or for remorseless bureaucracies.

Every few months, some group with a gripe blames the Constitution for not getting their hearts’ desire. Why should an archaic document stand in the way of some popular notion? The answer should be self-evident. Minority rights, as well, are sometimes effectively defended by a Constitution that inefficiently translates popular will into law.

Mr. Seidman–even in misquoting one of the more pin-headed notions of Thomas Jefferson–offers no meaningful alternative to Constitutional law and tradition. Perhaps he does so in his book, which he is hawking in the NYT, one which will not make my reading list this year.[/quote]

Nicely put!