Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Fake Constitution (Updated)

For the last several days, we've been hearing about how "politically correct" it is to remove the N-word from Huckleberry Finn. I don't think it has anything to do with "political correctness," I think it has to do with rewriting history.

So isn't it just fitting that the 112th Congress, as worshipful of the United States Constitution as they would like their voting demographics to believe, are reading a version with no mention of slavery. (HT: Jeffrey)

That's it. If I trusted people to understand why I'm linking to that article, I could leave you with nothing but that link, and everyone would get it. But I feel I must expound, for the record.

This nation is exceptional, not utopian. Our founders were great but flawed men, not demigods. Our Constitution is an incredible foundation for government, but not scripture. It has changed. It has changed for reasons. It has changed for reasons we should not be afraid to talk about. It has changed for reasons we should, in fact, be very proud to talk about. This is a nation of adults, not children, even though our leaders prefer to treat us like the latter. Reading a fake Constituion before the nation is just proof of that.

But there are a lot of people in this country who do not want to accept that anything bad has ever happened in America, ever, and do their best to "whitewash" our history and change it. Why did this country need the Reconstruction Amendments? Why are people so upset about the Secession Balls? Why do people think there is some racial undertone to every discussion of "state's rights?" Why did we need the social experiment that was the Civil Rights Act of 1965, and why do we still have it affecting us today?

All of those questions are quite succinctly answered with a reading of the Real US Constitution, something the 112th Congress is now on record as too cowardly to do.

The beauty of this country has been the long, drawn out, protracted, incredibly bloody, sinful, and messy struggle to exand the limits of human freedom and potential. Ignoring that struggle cheapens everything that makes America exceptional.

Update Friday: Dahlia Lithwick exposes even more inconsistencies when the 112th Congress read some document they tried to pass off as the United States Constitution.

There is only one official, canonical version of the Constitution—and most of the folks who read today, Republicans and Democrats alike, have a copy in their offices, if not their breast pockets. The suggestion that there is some other, agreed-upon, document, whose "portions [were] superseded by amendment" is simply untrue. As CBS News Capitol Hill Correspondent Bob Fuss pointed out, the "redacted" version as read this morning had no coherent logic. They skipped over the three-fifths compromise but included the constitutional clause referring to the preservation of voting rights only for males over the age of 21—a provision superseded by the 26th Amendment. They skipped the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) then read the 21st (repealing Prohibition). Andrea Stone at AOL News picked up on the fact that they "read 14 words from Article I, Section 9 about taxation. Under a strict reading of the ground rules, though, it likely should have been excised because of the later passage of the 16th Amendment that legalized the federal income tax."

This is simply a stunning disrespect to this nation's history and to this nation's Constitution. All perpetuated by the same folks who claim to revere the document.


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