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Constitutional cites, NYT and “fundamentalism”

The New York Times editorial board wasted little time in attempting to attack the new Republican led House in the way smug elitists usually do … by invoking “fundamentalism”.   In this case the fundamentalism is an apparent attempt by a party to refocus the legislation it plans on debating and passing on the “fundamental” legal document of the land.

That just won’t do:

In any case, it is a presumptuous and self-righteous act, suggesting that they alone understand the true meaning of a text that the founders wisely left open to generations of reinterpretation.

Really?  Is that what it means?  If that were the case, I’d suggest no cite would be necessary – they’d simply do as Democrats have done for four years and pass whatever they wanted to with the implicit assumption that it is Constitutional.  Frankly, I see the move as one that says exactly the opposite of what the editors of the Times claim.  I see it as a bow to the fact that much of what has been passed lately has no relation to those powers granted Congress and the “assumption” that they do is simply unfounded.   It is a check on the validity of the legislation before it ever arrives on the floor of the House.

So what is this nonsense from the Times then?  Well it is an obvious attempt – at least to me – to lobby for business as usual because if the requirement to cite Constitutional authority for legislation were really honestly applied, I’d guess about 75% of the garbage that has been run through the place would never have been passed. 

And notice the word they choose – not “interpretation”, but “reinterpretation”.  We all know what interpretation means and it isn’t at all the same thing as reinterpretation.  One implies clarifying the original intent of the document/law/writer.  The other means making it up as you go along and as you see fit.

So it comes as no surprise that the NYT finds this “fundamentalism” both egregious and horribly inconvenient.  ”My goodness … if they really do this why, ObamaCare and …oh my!” 

Can’t have that can we?

Instead we get a catty editorial that takes cheap shots at everyone and raises the scare word of which the left is so fond.

Fundamentalist.

The Republicans’ antics are a ghastly waste of time at a moment when the nation is expecting real leadership from Congress, and suggest that the new House leadership is still unable to make tough choices. Voters, no less than drama critics, prefer substance to overblown theatrics.

The same editorial board watched the previous Congress toss trillions of dollars up into the wind of a financial storm half of it to land who knows where and then ignore the critical employment concerns of the voters and the economic crisis in general in order to pass their ideological agenda and the Times takes issue, on the first day of the new Congress, with “Republican’s antics”?

Good lord I am tickled to death that someone woke the editorial board up in time to dash this bit trash off and throw it out there.  Welcome back!  

And here’s a poser for the board -  why do you suppose the “nation is expecting real leadership from Congress” as you state?

Could it be because the last one exhibited none?   They totally ignored the wishes of the American people to instead focus selfishly on their own legislative wants.  Where was the NYT during those “antics”?  Silent as a tomb.

You have to wonder if the thought ever entered the heads of the editorial writers that perhaps the “ghastly” waste of time these “antics” take is something the American people desperately want to see – a visible return to fundamentals, to reason, and to responsibility instead of the absurdity that was Congress for the past 4 years?  Maybe these antics are a comforting demonstration that the incoming Congress “gets it” — something the NYT editorial board rarely achieves as this editorial demonstrates.

I think they might be surprised by an entirely different attitude outside the ivory tower about what they find to be “ghastly … overblown theatrics”. 

But it is always nice to see the editors, who are clueless as usual, have retained their fighting edge when in comes to being petty, smug, dismissive and ignorant.  Wouldn’t be the old Grey Lady if that wasn’t so.

~McQ

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19 Responses to Constitutional cites, NYT and “fundamentalism”

  • In any case, it is a presumptuous and self-righteous act, suggesting that they alone understand the true meaning of a text that the founders wisely left open to generations of reinterpretation.

    >>>> As a general rule, the left generally DOESN’T have any clue about the Constitution.  So the GOP is generally correct in their assumption.

  • But they’re doing so well in their decline!
    I look forward to their actual 4th quarter results.   Perhaps they’ll have held their circulation revenue decline to 3%!  Think how great that will be!  Declining revenue, a sure sign of strength and readership faith.  Maybe if they put photos of hot chicks on the front page….

    • This is the HD generation, hot chicks on flat print wouldn’t help, besides it would offend the sensitivity of their remaining readers.

  • The good thing is that the number of people who take the NY Times is a fraction of whatit used to be, and I will wager the number who read the editorials is a much smaller number than that.

  • The left’s policies had relied upon ignoring the Constitution for the past 70 years. That’s why they have to pretend it is some old (over 100 years!) document that takes a Harvard phd to interpret. The obvious interpretation of any ordinary person makes obvious the unconstitutional crap we have been fed for the past 70 years.

  • “overblown theatrics” like bringing in a kid for S-CHIP? Or using the Medicare gavel and marching it around like the bloody shroud of Christ? or claiming they heard racial slurs used? Or using repeated anecdote after anecdote of people without healthcare? (as if Medicaid or SCHIPdid not exist?)

  • [I]t is a presumptuous and self-righteous act, suggesting that they alone understand the true meaning of a text that the founders wisely left open to generations of reinterpretation.

    So, exactly WHO gets to do that “reinterpretation”?  Is the NYT trying to imply that the Congress, which is (allegedly) bound by the Constitution when it writes the laws, should make NO ATTEMPT to determine a priori whether the proposed law is constitutional?  That they are just supposed to write whatever laws that their collective heart desires and trust that somebody else will tell them after the fact whether they are constitutional or not?  Complaining about the Congress (gasp!) reading and (horrors!) trying to actually follow the Constitution is akin to complaining that policemen are trained to know the criminal code; why should the police waste time reading the law that they are supposed to uphold?  Somebody else is supposed to interpret it for them.  I suggest that the presumption and self-righteousness here is being displayed by the NYT, which seems to think that it is the arbiter of what the Congress (you know: those people elected to have legislative authority?) should do rather than the Congress itself.

    And how is it that the Constitution is short enough and straightforward enough to be taught in public schools, but apparently is so far beyond the power of the Congress to understand that they shouldn’t even bother to read it?  I appreciate that the average member of Congress is somewhat less bright than a retarded tape worm, but even they should be able to understand such phrases as “Congress shall make no law” or “Congress shall have the power to”.

    This tripe from the NYT doesn’t even rise to the level of elitism: instead, it sinks to the level of idiocy that, frankly, I’ve come to expect from that paper.

    The Republicans’ antics are a ghastly waste of time at a moment when the nation is expecting real leadership from Congress, and suggest that the new House leadership is still unable to make tough choices.

    Here’s a tough choice that they appear to be laying the groundwork for making: saying “no”.  People want the Congress to pass a law.  The Congress looks at the issue and determines that (gasp!) they haven’t got the constitutional authority to pass such a law.  Therefore, they make the hard choice of saying, “Sorry; we can’t do that.  Call your state or local government and see if they can help you out… as the Founding Fathers intended that you ought to do.”

    McQ[W]hy do you suppose the “nation is expecting real leadership from Congress” as you state?
    Could it be because the last one exhibited none?   They totally ignored the wishes of the American people to instead focus selfishly on their own legislative wants.  Where was the NYT during those “antics”?  Silent as a tomb.

    I don’t think that the NYT was “silent as a tomb” while previous Congresses (especially the last one) were gaily writing a plethora of laws that were unconstitutional AND put our country into ruinous debt.  Rather, they were actively CHEERLEADING those actions and denigrating anybody who objected as “extremists” and “teabaggers” and “no-nothings”.

    I suggest that “real leadership” means “doing what is approved and desired by the NYT editorial board”.  In that vein, the last Congress exhibited quite a lot of “leadership” (SanFran Nan has been crowing about it, in fact).  Unfortunately, it was leadership of the type exhibited by Jim Jones: destructive to the point of being suicidal.

    I deeply hope that we don’t see any more of such “leadership” from this or any future Congress.

    • Rather, they were actively CHEERLEADING those actions and denigrating anybody who objected as “extremists” and “teabaggers” and “no-nothings”.

      Don’t forget “racists”.  That was my FAVE!
      I think the NYT doesn’t understand that certain voters WANT the Congress to be fundamentalist by, you know, doing what the constitution says, not doing what the constitutional says can’t be done, and in general, obeying the Supreme Law of the Land.

    • They were silent as a tomb decrying their “antics”.

      • That’s because they’re only “antics” when the other side does them.  When your own side does it, it’s “putting a human face on a problem of national importance”!

  • In any case, it is a presumptuous and self-righteous act, suggesting that they alone understand the true meaning of a text that the founders wisely left open to generations of reinterpretation. [my emphasis - SS]

    No, brick-brain, they left it AMENDABLE. Major freakin’ difference that even a ten year old understands.

  • I warned that the Democrats would treat the Constitution like Play-Doh and in doing so the Media would become a miseducation tool to the public about its meaning.

    On the other hand, I don’t believe that Constitution is as limiting as many people would like to think it is.  The commerce clause would have gotten at least something of a beatdown by now if it was.

    • The commerce clause issue is that the Constitution states that congress shall regulate commerce among the several states. In the 40s the government and the supremes have interpreted it to mean that they shall regulate anything that effects commerce among the several states (previously it was properly interpreted, which is why prohibition required an amendment and ’34 NFA was only a tax, etc.).

      The basic argument, as I understand it, is that the feds have to be able to regulate anything that effects commerce because if they are limited to only doing what the constitution says–regulating actual commerce–the intent of their commerce regulation can be undercut. to which I reply: “boo-hoo”.

      Basically, since FDR was in office, the feds have pretended that the commerce clause had the extra word “effects” in it. It isn’t really there, and once you realize that most of the modern leftist edifice is obviously unconstitutional (social security was ruled constitutional via the general welfare clause, based upon yet another leftist lie).

  • Why doesn’t the Times just shut up.   What are they going to do ??  … rely on the 1st Amendment ??
    Hypocrites.

  • <bloockquote> the requirement to cite Constitutional authority for legislation were really honestly applied, I’d guess about 75% of the garbage that has been run through the place would never have been passed. </blockquote>
    That strikes me as quite a stretch.  If authority for something like the mandate can be cited, it can be found for just about anything.
     

    • I do wish the GOP had expressly cited the interstate commerce clause in the partial birth abortion ban, though.  That may have made some conservatives squirm a bit.

    • I was really harkening back to the beginning – had this been a requirement from day 1, I believe they’d have disqualified a vast majority of their legislation and the SCOTUS precedent which forms much of the basis for the nonsense today wouldn’t exist.

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