contact
Main
Contact Me

about
About RightWing NutHouse

Site Stats

blog radio

Listen to internet radio with RINO Hour of Power on Blog Talk Radio
Click Here to Pay Learn More

testimonials

"Brilliant"
(Romeo St. Martin of Politics Watch-Canada)

"The epitome of a blogging orgasm"
(Cao of Cao's Blog)

"Rick Moran is one of the finest essayists in the blogosphere. ‘Nuff said. "
(Dave Schuler of The Glittering Eye)

archives
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004

search



blogroll

A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT
A Conservative Lesbian
ABBAGAV
ACE OF SPADES
ALPHA PATRIOT
AM I A PUNDIT NOW
AMERICAN FUTURE
AMERICAN THINKER
ANCHORESS
AND RIGHTLY SO
ANDREW OLMSTED
ANKLEBITING PUNDITS
AREOPAGITICA
ATLAS SHRUGS
BACKCOUNTRY CONSERVATIVE
BASIL’S BLOG
BEAUTIFUL ATROCITIES
BELGRAVIA DISPATCH
BELMONT CLUB
BETSY’S PAGE
Blacksmiths of Lebanon
Blogs of War
BLUEY BLOG
BRAINSTERS BLOG
BUZZ MACHINE
CANINE PUNDIT
CAO’S BLOG
CAPTAINS QUARTERS
CATHOUSE CHAT
CHRENKOFF
CINDY SHEEHAN WATCH
Classical Values
Cold Fury
COMPOSITE DRAWLINGS
CONSERVATHINK
CONSERVATIVE THINK
CONTENTIONS
DAVE’S NOT HERE
DEANS WORLD
DICK McMICHAEL
Diggers Realm
DR. SANITY
E-CLAIRE
EJECT! EJECT! EJECT!
ELECTRIC VENOM
ERIC’S GRUMBLES BEFORE THE GRAVE
ESOTERICALLY.NET
FAUSTA’S BLOG
FLIGHT PUNDIT
FOURTH RAIL
FRED FRY INTERNATIONAL
GALLEY SLAVES
GATES OF VIENNA
HEALING IRAQ
http://blogcritics.org/
HUGH HEWITT
IMAO
INDEPUNDIT
INSTAPUNDIT
IOWAHAWK
IRAQ THE MODEL
JACKSON’S JUNCTION
JO’S CAFE
JOUST THE FACTS
KING OF FOOLS
LASHAWN BARBER’S CORNER
LASSOO OF TRUTH
LIBERTARIAN LEANINGS
LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALLS
LITTLE MISS ATTILA
LIVE BREATHE AND DIE
LUCIANNE.COM
MAGGIE’S FARM
MEMENTO MORON
MESOPOTAMIAN
MICHELLE MALKIN
MIDWEST PROGNOSTICATOR
MODERATELY THINKING
MOTOWN BLOG
MY VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY
mypetjawa
NaderNow
Neocon News
NEW SISYPHUS
NEW WORLD MAN
North Star National
Northerncrown
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY
PATRIOTIC MOM
PATTERICO’S PONTIFICATIONS
POLIPUNDIT
Political Byline
POLITICAL MUSINGS
POLITICAL TEEN
POWERLINE
PRO CYNIC
PUBLIUS FORUM
QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS
RACE42008
RADICAL CENTRIST
Ravenwood’s Universe
RELEASE THE HOUNDS
RIGHT FROM LEFT
RIGHT VOICES
RIGHT WING NEWS
RIGHTFAITH
RIGHTWINGSPARKLE
ROGER L. SIMON
SHRINKRAPPED
Six Meat Buffet
Slowplay.com
SOCAL PUNDIT
SOCRATIC RYTHM METHOD
STOUT REPUBLICAN
TERRORISM UNVEILED
TFS MAGNUM
THE ART OF THE BLOG
THE BELMONT CLUB
The Conservative Cat
THE DONEGAL EXPRESS
THE LIBERAL WRONG-WING
THE LLAMA BUTCHERS
THE MAD PIGEON
THE MODERATE VOICE
THE PATRIETTE
THE POLITBURO DIKTAT
THE PRYHILLS
THE RED AMERICA
THE RESPLENDENT MANGO
THE RICK MORAN SHOW
THE SMARTER COP
THE SOAPBOX
THE STRATA-SPHERE
THE STRONG CONSERVATIVE
THE SUNNYE SIDE
THE VIVID AIR
THOUGHTS ONLINE
TIM BLAIR
TRANSATLANTIC INTELLIGENCER
TRANSTERRESTRIAL MUSINGS
TYGRRRR EXPRESS
VARIFRANK
VIKING PUNDIT
VINCE AUT MORIRE
VODKAPUNDIT
WALLO WORLD
WIDE AWAKES
WIZBANG
WUZZADEM
ZERO POINT BLOG


recentposts


RINO Hour of Power: Is There a Serious Case to be Made for Impeachment?

RINO Hour of Power: Border Crisis: US Sovereignty at Stake

RINO Hour of Power: Are Liberals Patriotic Too?

RINO Hour of Power: A Conversation with Dr. Victor Davis Hanson

RINO Hour of Power: The Bergdahl Swap: Detestably Necessary

RINO Hour of Power: Moran vs. Moran Redux: A conversationw ith my brother Terry Moran of ABC News

RHOP Relaunch: Moran vs. Moran: A conversation with my brother Terry Moran of ABC News

RINO Hour of Power: Putin’s Ukraine Fiasco

RINO Hour of Power: ‘Which side are you on boys, which side are you on’

RINO Hour of Power: Political Potpourri

RINO Hour of Power: Is the GOP Becoming Reasonable?

RINO Hour of Power: Alas, Obamacare

RINO Hour of Power: A Dismal State of the Union

RINO Hour of Power: A Look at the Electoral Map for 2016

RINO Hour of Power: The trillion dollar spending bill will test House Republican unity

The RINO Hour of Power: The Push for a Single Payer Health Insurance System

RINO Hour of Power: The Crumbling Edifice of the Mass Surveillance State

Boehner’s Outburst Fuels GOP Civil War

Obamacare and the Facilitation of Criminal Activity

RINO Hour of Power: Political Potpourri

RINO Hour of Power: The GOP’s Obamacare Conundrum

RINO Hour of Power: Iran Agreement: Munich or a ‘Good Beginning’?

RINO Hour of Power: Obama’s Gettysburg Snub

Should Republicans Help Democrats Fix Obamacare?

RINO Hour of Power: Should Republicans Help the Democrats Fix Obamacare?


categories

"24" (117)
ABLE DANGER (10)
American Issues Project (11)
Arizona Massacre (5)
Bailout (32)
Bird Flu (5)
Birthers (16)
Blackhawks (2)
Blagojevich (9)
Blogging (404)
Books (10)
CARNIVAL OF THE CLUELESS (68)
Caucasus (1)
CHICAGO BEARS (40)
Chicago Bulls (3)
Chicago East (3)
CIA VS. THE WHITE HOUSE (29)
Cindy Sheehan (13)
Climate Change (3)
Climate Chnage (11)
conservative reform (96)
cotton candy conservatives (19)
CPAC Conference (12)
Culture (11)
Debt ceiling (2)
Decision '08 (402)
Decision 2010 (13)
Decision 2012 (34)
Deficit reduction (5)
Election '06 (9)
Entitlement Crisis (4)
Environment (15)
Ethics (290)
Fairness Doctrine (1)
Financial Crisis (53)
FRED! (28)
FrontPage.Com (79)
Frum Forum (2)
Gaza incident (1)
General (429)
GOP Reform (61)
Government (295)
health care reform (65)
History (298)
Homeland Security (18)
IMMIGRATION REFORM (28)
IMPEACHMENT (3)
Iran (114)
IRAQI RECONCILIATION (13)
Israel vs. Hamas (6)
KATRINA (29)
Katrina Timeline (5)
Lebanon (18)
Liberal Congress (12)
Manzine (1)
Marvin Moonbat (14)
Media (262)
Middle East (183)
Moonbats (81)
National Health Insurance (4)
NET NEUTRALITY (2)
Newsreal Blog (1)
Obama inauguration (2)
Obama-Rezko (15)
OBAMANIA! (80)
Oil Spill (2)
Olympics (6)
Open House (1)
Palin (23)
Pirates (1)
PJ Media (119)
PJ Tatler (5)
Politics (1271)
Presidential Debates (7)
Presidential Transition (9)
RINO Hour of Power (115)
RNC (2)
S-CHIP (3)
Sarah Palin (5)
Science (70)
Space (33)
Sports (18)
Star Trek (1)
SUPER BOWL (7)
Supreme Court (28)
Swine Flu (4)
Tea Parties (15)
Technology (5)
Tenth Amendment (3)
The Caucasus (1)
The Law (19)
The Long War (11)
The Rick Moran Show (306)
Too Big To Fail (8)
Torture (2)
UNITED NATIONS (22)
Walpin Scandal (2)
War on Terror (402)
WATCHER'S COUNCIL (117)
WHITE SOX (7)
Who is Mr. Hsu? (7)
Wide Awakes Radio (9)
WORLD CUP (11)
WORLD POLITICS (127)
WORLD SERIES (16)


meta

Admin Login
Register
Valid XHTML
XFN







credits


Design by:


Hosted by:


Powered by:
5/21/2010
RECONNECTING WITH THE CONSTITUTION AND ITS PRINCIPLES

This article originally appears on The Moderate Voice

Something remarkable has been happening in America since even before President Obama took office. There has been a dedicated effort on both sides of the political divide to reconnect with our founding document and its principles in an effort to understand, and counteract what they see as dangerous unconstitutional actions by our government.

It is more widespread today than it was in the Bush years, but even then there were many on the left who worried about the increase in executive power the Bush administration was accumulating and we witnessed many ordinary citizens earnestly studying the Constitution in their efforts to place the actions of Bush in a constitutional framework. The resulting criticism was, at least in some part, reasonable and rational while being based on sound constitutional arguments.

But this effort was but a prologue to the tsunami of interest in the Constitution evinced by the tea party movement and conservatives generally once the massive spending and power grabs of the Obama administration began. Probably millions of ordinary citizens are reading and trying to understand the Ur document of America’s founding given that the pocket sized edition of the Constitution is passed out at every tea party meeting across the country. I commented on this phenomenon following my visit to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference:

It may seem to some a quaint exercise in good citizenship for these millions to wrestle with such convoluted and complex questions as the meaning and reach of the commerce clause or the constitutionality of the individual mandate to buy health insurance. The condescension is misplaced — and totally unwarranted.

The Constitution was not written in legalese despite the presence of so many lawyers at the Constitutional Convention. It was written in plain, accessible English so that the document could be read and understood by ordinary Americans. It was printed in newspapers, slapped on the walls near the village commons, and mailed far and wide. It was discussed in churches, in public houses, at family dinners, and between neighbors from New England to Georgia.

Never before in history had a country thought and debated itself into existence. When that generation of Americans looked at our founding document, could they have imagined that one day a congressman would say that the Constitution doesn’t matter? Or that congressmen could not answer the question of where in the Constitution did it authorize the federal government to force citizens to buy health insurance?

What does it matter today that ordinary people are reading and interpreting the Constitution in their own way, without reference to precedent or knowledge of specific court cases that have laid out the grid work upon which the powers and responsibilities of government have been constructed? After all, they can interpret the Constitution from here to doomsday and it won’t matter a fig to the Supreme Court. Those nine robed magistrates will work their will regardless of popular sentiment and, sometimes, common sense.

But in one of the more remarkable aspects of this revival of interest among the citizenry of the meaning and purpose of the Constitution, it doesn’t matter what the Supremes think, or the elites, or the sickeningly condescending left who sneer at talk of the Tenth Amendment or strict constructionism. What matters is the effort itself — that people are becoming more engaged in what their government is up to than they have been in a very long time.

What does this mean? The Hill reports a run on the Constitution booklet at the Government Printing Office:

Since September 2009, the GPO has sold more than 8,700 copies of the pocket Constitution to the public, according to GPO spokesman Gary Somerset. That is a higher sell rate than in recent years.

Those sales are in addition to the thousands of copies given to members of Congress each year. Congress authorized a resolution in 2009 to print 441,000 copies for the use of the House (1,000 for each member) and 100,000 copies for the Senate (1,000 for each senator).

The Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute, which keep statistics on the Constitution, also say that requests for the historical document are on the rise.

GPO sells copies for $2.75, but constituents can request a free one from their lawmaker.

Congressional offices are burning through theirs stacks of pocket Constitutions.

In a recent “Dear Colleague” letter titled “Order More Pocket Constitutions!” House Administration Committee Chairman Robert Brady (D-Pa.) advised members to take advantage of a special rate.

The letter stated, “Many Members have lately experienced a large increase in constituent requests for the Pocket Constitution. Members who may need more are invited to take advantage of a special, pre-publication ‘rider-rate’ of $390 per 1,000 copies. This rider rate of 39¢ each represents a substantial savings over the post-publication price of $2.75 each ($2,750 per 1,000) available later through the GPO Sales Program.”

There’s been nothing like it in my lifetime and no similar wave of interest in the Constitution that I can fathom from my own reading of history. Perhaps not since the debate on ratification itself have so many ordinary Americans struggled with trying to interpret and understand what Madison, Mason and their compatriots wrought 222 years ago this summer.

Ed Meese from Heritage’s Constitution Center:

“I think there is more interest now than I’ve seen in the last many years, and I think it’s because people are really worried about whether the federal government is getting so large, so expansive, so intrusive and so powerful that the Constitution is in jeopardy.”

Can the naysayers who pooh-pooh American exceptionalism explain this phenomenon in the context of other nations’ citizens carrying on this way? I doubt it. We Americans have always had a reverence for our founding document that transcends the words on the page and becomes sublime veneration - almost a civic bible.

In this, there is danger. There are many in the tea party movement as well as in some boisterous conservative circles who posit the notion that if something is not in the Constitution, then it is, quite simply unconstitutional. Nothing in there about health insurance so of course, it’s not legal. We don’t see the words “Cap and Trade” so we have to oppose it as a measure not authorized in our founding document.

These are people who actually think of the Constitution the same way they think of the Bible; immutable, unchanging, and holy writ. There is no “interpreting” the document because the words are themselves good enough to cover any eventuality that may arise.

This is wrongheaded, of course, but there are many of us who wish government erred more toward that interpretation than toward the present “anything goes” free for all where the Constitution is stretched beyond recognition to cover one scheme or another that seeks to separate Americans from their liberty.

It is here where the debate cleaves the sharpest; is the Constitution a guidebook that government is to follow or is it a suggestion box whose codicils are used to justify power grabs? It seems at times that we use the Constitution to absolve and exonerate rather than trying to grapple with connecting what is being adjudicated to the intent of the Founders.

I know that intentionalism is in pretty bad odor on the left and indeed, carried to extremes it is a pernicious doctrine. But if you are going to respect what’s in the Constitution, it seems like simple common sense to respect the intent of those who wrote it. Obviously, the framers didn’t have a clue about our modern world. They designed a government to cover the exigencies of a 18th century coastal republic of 7 million freemen. But neither could they envision a day when their basic intent of creating a nation of limited government, expansive individual rights, and the protection of property was tossed aside in the name of modernity.

Will all of this interest in the Constitution make a practical difference in our politics and culture? I am anxious to see the answer to that question play out over the next few years.

By: Rick Moran at 12:49 pm

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.