To quote a certain president, “let me be perfectly clear”: Liberals hate the Constitution because it obstructs their ability to control and manipulate the populace. They only care about the Constitution when a liberal activist judge concocts completely new meanings out of it, such as “the separation of church and state” the “right to privacy (i.e., abortion) or the right for foreign illegal enemy combatants to get civil protections, habeas corpus rights, etc. Probably the only document liberals hate more than the Constitution is the Bible, but that’s another topic for another blog post.
The latest embarrassment comes from the editor (!) of Time magazine. With maddening disrespect, the July 4 issue of Time will feature the Constitution being put through a paper shredder and the question posited: Does the document still matter?
Jim Treacher at the Daily Caller reports:
You probably think that just because a bunch of dead white guys wrote down some boring words on a piece of parchment or whatever, way back in the olden times of powdered wigs and wooden teeth, that means we all have to follow those words. That’s why you’re too stupid to write for Time! TheDC’s Jeff Poor reports: “On Thursday on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ Time magazine editor Richard Stengel presented the cover of his new July 4 issue, which features the U.S. Constitution going through a paper shredder and asks if the document still matters. According to Stengel, it does, but not as much anymore. ‘Yes, of course it still matters but in some ways it matters less than people think. People all the time are debating what’s constitutional and what’s unconstitutional. To me the Constitution is a guardrail. It’s for when we are going off the road and it gets us back on. It’s not a traffic cop that keeps us going down the center.’” Okay, so maybe Stengel doesn’t do much driving. Or thinking, for that matter. But you get his point: The rules only count when you don’t have to shred them to get what you want. Compounding the embarrassment for Stengel: He used to be the CEO of the National Constitution Center! Too bad he never got around to actually reading it.
This is blatant ignorance on display, even for an editor of a major magazine. The Constitution isn’t meant to police us. It isn’t even meant to be a guardrail for us. The genius of the Constitution is that it is essentially a traffic cop for the government, not for the people. Stengel ostensibly—like many liberals, including President Hope&Change—mixes this up. And they say Sarah Palin is stupid?
Treacher links to John Pitney, Jr. at NRO’s The Corner blog, who writes:
In a Time article on the Constitution, Richard Stengel writes: “If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn’t say so.”
Yes, it does. The Tenth Amendment says: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Even before the adoption of the Bill of Rights, James Madison explained the original understanding of the document in Federalist 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”
But don’t mention that to Richard Stengel and the liberal know-it-all’s at Time. The Tenth Amendment is pretty far in. Maybe the former CEO of the freaking National Constitution Center just never made it that far in.
Or, more likely, Stengel—again, like many liberals—simply wants to ignore the blatantly obvious. The Constitution does limit the power of the federal government and Stengel doesn’t like that. Like a good liberal, he wants the government to control your freedom of speech via unconstitutional “hate speech” laws, your freedom of religious expression by invoking the non-existent “separation of church and state,” your right to assemble via false documents about national security threats by “right-wing extremists,” your private property via excessive taxation and eminent domain abuses, your quality of life such as the EPA controlling the water level in your toilet, the type of lightbulbs you use, the type of car you drive, the health care you desire, your right to bear arms via unconstitutional gun control laws, etc.
The real answer to the question “does the Constitution still matter” is an unqualified “yes.” But don’t take my word for it. Here’s part of a conversation between Stengel and Howard Kurtz from December of 2010 concerning Time’s publication of Wikileaks documents:
KURTZ: But Rick, you say right here in your editor’s note in “TIME” magazine that these documents released by WikiLeaks “harm national security,” and that Assange meant to do so.
STENGEL: Right. I know. But there’s no way around that.
I mean, I believe that’s Assange’s intention. I believe on balance that they have been detrimental to the U.S. But our job is not to protect the U.S. in that sense. I mean, the First Amendment protects us in terms of releasing this information which does enlighten people about the way the U.S. conducts foreign policy.
If the Constitution did not limit the size and power of government the First Amendment would be moot. Would Stengel be satisfied if the federal government had claimed it had a right to edit parts of his Wikileaks story on the grounds that “the First Amendment matters, but not as much anymore”?
Of course the Constitution matters. Implying that it matters less in every area of life other than journalism is an ultimately self-defeating position, as the “free press” may someday discover thanks to “living Constitution” advocates.
It’s a bad idea to consider the Constitution to be a “guard rail” and then give the government the size and power to move it wherever they like (and probably subsequently brag about how many jobs it saved or created).
So when you don’t like the Constitution because it prevents the liberal know-it-alls to impose their godless agenda on society, what do you do? You question whether the whole damn thing is relevant anymore.
It’s bad enough when the run of the mill zhlub liberal does it. When it’s a prominent politician or the editor of a major national magazine, I weep for my country and fear for my children.