By LOUIS MICHAEL SEIDMAN
AS the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.
Consider, for example, the assertion by the Senate minority leader last week that the House could not take up a plan by Senate Democrats to extend tax cuts on households making $250,000 or less because the Constitution requires that revenue measures originate in the lower chamber. Why should anyone care? Why should a lame-duck House, 27 members of which were defeated for re-election, have a stranglehold on our economy? Why does a grotesquely malapportioned Senate get to decide the nation’s fate?
Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.
As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?
Constitutional disobedience may seem radical, but it is as old as the Republic. In fact, the Constitution itself was born of constitutional disobedience. When George Washington and the other framers went to Philadelphia in 1787, they were instructed to suggest amendments to the Articles of Confederation, which would have had to be ratified by the legislatures of all 13 states. Instead, in violation of their mandate, they abandoned the Articles, wrote a new Constitution and provided that it would take effect after ratification by only nine states, and by conventions in those states rather than the state legislatures.
Yes, you can contact Mr. Seidman and tell him your views!
600 New Jersey Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
The only reason the deadlock exists is our so elected idiots do not adhere to our founding document. Political activism in the judicial system is only one problem. progressivism/communism and lemmings/do-gooders and socialists are ruining the Country, topped by community organizers and the ditherer in chief. If he cared as he says, everything would not be for political gain.
I agree on Michael Savage's take on the way things have been in the Government for a number of years. He refers to Oligarchy, and of Fabian Socialism. When I looked into these and studied further, I must agree. Thing is they are going to overload the system, Fienstein will insist on their gunbann being passed, 2nd Amendment will be null and void, as far as they are concerned. The axis of evil has possession of the Whitehouse. I will never say that the dictator in chief is my president! The rogue's gallery: Oblamma, Clinton, Fienstein/Boxer, Schumer, Reid, Sorros, not necessarily in this order. Frankenstein is very hungry for the blood of the patriots, my opinion is that we currently have a tyranny. They stole the election, Chicago style, the dummyfk with the big ears is also very very very very antigun! This fiscal obamanation is another "disaster" that they are taking advantage of. Look at the usdebtclock, so now after 4 years at one minute to midnight they are suddenly in a froth to fix it? We are the ones that they plan on herding into the boxcars on the way to their Concentration Camps!
We the people still have possession of the Constitution, this cannot be taken away as easily as they would want us to believe.
They are trying. http://teapartyorg.ning.com/forum/topic/show?id=4301673%3ATopic%3A1... They are telling people to give up on the Constitution
Answer your door with guns in your hands . BE PREPARED . When it looks for real keep your guns within arms distance at all times .
John, I hope you don't mind my borrowing some of your comments and adding my own......I sent the following email to Mr. Seidman:
I studied and taught the United States Constitution for more than 35 years and I take issue with your comments in the NYT.
The only reason the deadlock exists is because our elected idiots in Washington D.C. do not adhere to our founding document. Political activism in the judicial system is only one problem. Progressivism/Communism and lemmings/do-gooders and Socialists are ruining this country, topped off by community organizers and the ditherer in chief himself. If he cared as he says, everything he does would not be done for political gain.
The Constitution of the United States belongs to the American People and it is the Supreme Law of the Land. We like it that way and if you don't, then just move down to Cuba and live happy ever after. We have had enough of your Marxist crap!
Right on Terry ; Every problem we have in this country is from ignorance of and lack of adherence to our constitution
Yea, the Dems want the Constitution gone now that an OFFICAL in Hawaii has come out and publically said that obama does not have a birth certificate on file in Hawaii and what he submited was FAKE! That he has frauded the American people and should be REMOVED from office. He has commited TREASONOUS CRIMES AGAINST THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA !http://tomschuckmanjournal.blogspot.com/ READ THIS WE GOT HIM!
Everything about this bizwack is phony! Every word is a lie, and these mfrs are following on the path to certain destruction, broad and spacious that it is.
But how do you get rid of a president who has taken over our justice department, our judicial department, our defense department, our media, our schools, he controls all anti-American political action groups, he controls unions, now working on Congress? Sounds like a reenactment of Nazi Germany. We allowed this to go on by turning our backs rather than confront the problem. When George Lucas put together episodes I, II, and III of Stars Wars did he really have America in mind? Remember, there are always two Siths; a master and his apprentice. Which one is he?
Mr. Garcia ; oh'bummer is not the master . The master is the Saudi king who has been oh'bummers support all his life and still is . oh'bummer doesn't have to worry after he destroys Amerika the saudis will support and supply a security team to protect him all his life . No single individual has ever done so much to advance the cause of islam as has oh'bummer . He is known to have no apparent goal or plan for healing americas economy . The reason for that is that saudi intelligence has to decide what the plan is according to what will do most to advance their cause and further weaken amerika before they give oh'bummer the orders for what he is to do . He may be the master of America but the saudis own him .
Rafael, the only way to remove a criminal is to arrest or eliminate him! These are the only tewo choices there are. THE communists are going to leave the WH without a fight, and believe me, they are going to do anyhting they have to in order to get a third term!
They are coming after our 2nd Amendment, and this is where the rubber meets the road. If we give one more Contitutional inch, the Republic is done! As it stands, if we hald the line now, and begin to retake the ground lost; over the next foru years we can go a long way toward restoring this country!