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Turnabout: fair play, bad government
Posted by: Jon Henke on Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Alex Tabarrok writes the blog post of the year...
Liberals are claiming that President Bush has violated constitutional restrictions on torture and spying on Americans. Don't they understand that the constitution is a living document that must be reinterpreted in light of new events and understandings? An originalist reading of the constitution would throw us back into the primitive past when the minimum wage was unconstitutional.

Fortunately, conservatives know that constitutional interpretation must change with the times and never more so than now. We live in a different world. The Founding Fathers may have been great in their time but they did not face the problems that we face today and we should not be bound by their 18th century ideas of liberty and executive tyranny.
Brilliant. Discuss amongst yourselves.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

What is so brilliant about it? There’s not a word in constitution about minimum wage, but there is that bit about cruel and unusual punishments.
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
If I remember correctly, the Supreme Court ruled some time ago that until you get through customs you are not protected by the constitution. While I do not support torture (finger nail pulling and the like) contrary to McCain amendment, I support treatment such as that practiced upon military pilots and special ops in survival training. It would appear that the word torture has a life of its own.
Written By: Al Reasin
URL: http://
"There’s not a word in constitution about minimum wage..."

Written By: Matt McIntosh
It’s much easier to shoot a deer than it is to dress it out, butcher, and cook it.
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
I’m not really seeing what is so brilliant about this.

The wiretapping issue seems to involve the administration side-stepping judicial review, so judicial philosophy and constitutional interpretation are pretty much moot. Have we had any recent court decisions regarding the use of torture? My understanding is that issue lied solely in the political and military domain, and that courts havent even touched it.

Constitutional interpretations and judicial rulings are completely irrelevant to the example that they have cited. That makes for a particularly weak zinger, if that is what they were going for.

Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
“Fortunately, conservatives know that constitutional interpretation must change with the times and never more so than now.”
It would be unfortunate, indeed, for America, if conservatives knew that. I don’t follow right wing blogs closely (nor left wingers either) so I don’t know where this is coming from. Last I heard it was conservative dogma that the liberals were the ones corrupting our republic by “interpreting” the Constitution. One of the purposes of having a constitution is for guidance in times like this, so that we don’t let the pressures of the day drive us off course.
What is this guy smoking?
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
What is this guy smoking?
Weed from the satirus plant. It’s hard to find, but you might try looking over your head.
Written By: Jon Henke
Weed from the satirus plant. It’s hard to find, but you might try looking over your head.
Heh. That one definitely gets saved for later. And no, I won’t credit you, Jon. My friends don’t know you, and I can’t think of anything much lamer than, "I learned it on the internet!"
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://
ROTFL - at both the original post and some of the reaction to it...
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
I know Tabarrok was being facetious. But the fact that a bunch of QandO readers didn’t recognize that it was satire is worrisome from the standpoint that some may be inclined to agree with the text.
Written By: Dan
URL: http://
Well, don’t I look stupid. Good line pointing out my dunderheadedness. That’s what I get for trying to step out of character and help form up the basis for a discussion. I knew it seemed too easy. Damn.
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
Steve, Matt McIntosh says it for me. Exactly And ditto for the Income tax, government-funded education, and regulating interstate commerce. I could go on.

I’m worried that, as Libertarians allow themselves to be distracted by trumped-up "civil liberties violations," an even more threatening, un-elected patronage network with supra-governmental powers is creeping under our radar: the Main-stream Media.

Remember Time Warner’s collusion with the Million Mom March’s "gun-control" message. Remember CNN’s pimping for "access" in Hussein’s Iraq. Recall Walter Duranty’s Pullitzer Prize-winning "reporting" from Stalin’s starving "union." Don’t forget the NYT’s fabricators (ie. Jayson Blair) and incorrigible (literally) pontificators, like Paul Krugman ("Gore Won in 2000 Recounts").

Bush’s war-footing is the least of our problems, guys.
Written By: Steve
URL: http://

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