Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Infantile" is the Word Used by The Economist for Tea Partiers and Other Conservative Americans Who Place Their Trust in the 1787 Constitution

Just in case there is any doubt that The Economist has veered — massively — to the left… Following the magazine's calling Tea Partiers (and therefore people of the American heartland) bitter and brainless ("Too much anger and too few ideas"), the London weekly is back in form this week, with Lexington referring to the beliefs of "constitution–worshippers" as "infantile"

As a thoughtfully detached reader notes,
Lexington overstates the case of “constitution–worship” in order to create a caricature of Tea Party belief, the easier to apply his extensive wit and prose in vanquishing his own straw man. Tea Party activists no more believe that the Constitution alone can solve the complex political issues of the day than a business chief executive officer believes that his vision statement provides the day to day objectives, priorities and tasks of his business. And while acknowledging the greatness of the Constitution and the visionaries who wrote it, Lexington gratuitously diminishes his own approbation by inappropriately implying a moral equivalent between the Framers non-partisan backroom deal making (for the sake of the new country and all citizens) with today’s rigidly partisan backroom deal making of the current Congress (for the political and financial advantage of the Democratic party and their supporters). All this being said, Lexington is right on one key point: the Constitution, thanks to the Tea Party, is rightfully enjoying a dramatic and much needed revival.
Another reader opines:
Another Lexington column riddled with logical fallacies. As others have noted, the Constitution was initiated as a contract which delineated the enumerated powers of the federal government, with the 10th amendment providing the explicit language to that effect. The constitution does not "provide answers to the hard questions of today's politics", nor should it--but it does provide a durable framework for participants to provide those answers. A body of law in a federal system requires a hierarchy, and the constitution is at the top of that hierarchy. Dismissing the foundational document as a "text put on paper in a bygone age" betrays a profound ignorance of the sound governing principles in that document--principles which are, in fact, timeless. The dismissal of the conservative arguments that the federal government has usurped the sound governing principles of the Constitution rings hollow. Lexington dismisses these arguments as "idolatry"--a straw-man rhetorical device worthy of Obama's worst style. The fact is, a government truly based on rule of law must adhere to the principles of a constitution--defenders of the current bloated federal state are unable to cite this basis, hence their attack on those who would pare the government down to it actual legal basis. Thus the "first principles in every political generation" may in fact be found by consulting that "text put on paper in a bygone age". The only alternative is an arbitrary and capricious rule by the whims of powerful men.
Another reader, saying what a sad, straw argument, adds:
Contrary to what was stated in your article, the Constitution was not written in 100% agreement by like-minded bigots that hated poor men, women and slaves. It was argued and fought over, tooth and nail, by some of the greatest minds in History. Many of whom came from different backgrounds, and had differing opinions on those very issues. It's amazing the thing got written, much less ratified. It’s considered one of the best compromises in history. … Lexy. Baby. Simple question: have you even read these documents you’re so quick to dismiss?
Another reader is less polite:
"Infantile" is an excellent word for yet another phoned-in Lexington column. Never one to actually examine the beliefs of those who disagree with him, Lexington broadly caricatures, then derides his opponents. Not every problem requires a solution mapped out in the Constitution- gay marriage, to use your example, being an area best left to the states (oh wait, that is in there- it's called the 10th amendment. Read it, you supercilious jackass). The whole point, if you remove your head form your posterior, is that many, many things in life do not require federal legislation, or administration, or oversight of any kind, which is why the Constitution restricts the authority of the government. True, it was not written for the purpose of restricting government, but in expanding the authority of the federal government, it was designed to be self-constricting, mainly to answer the concerns of those who worried about the kind of overreach we have today. Please refrain from opining until you learn something about the subject. Thanks.
Update: Most of the issues brought up by The Economist are not as clear-cut as leftists would like and, in any event, were settled already, over 150 years ago: Abraham Lincoln and the Founding Fathers' Supposed Embrace of Slavery Along with Their Alleged Rejection of Women's Rights