Instead of reading the Constitution in its entirety, House members will read an "amended version" that only includes the sections and amendments that were not changed at a later date. The decision in part will allow members to avoid reading less pleasant sections, like the clause in Article 1, Section 2, which counted black slaves as three-fifths of a person.Reading the Constitution in its entirety would suggest that it has a history, that it is an imperfect, living document that must -- and does -- change with the times. No wonder they would rather give us a fast food version, a Constitutional Happy Meal.
The reading of the Constitution on the House floor has never been done before, and it's only happening today thanks to the tea party. Throughout the campaign last year, "returning to the Constitution" (in a vague and largely undefined way) was sacred to the tea party, and supporters of reading the document aloud today seem to hope that hearing the words in the House chamber will cause members to adhere to the document more closely.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Tea Party civics lesson: House of Representatives serves up a Constitutional Happy Meal
Nothing better illustrates Tea Party/Republican hypocrisy about constitutional literalism than their reading an expurgated Constitution in the House this morning. Wouldn't want to read the whole Constitution, including the nasty bits, which might frighten the kiddies.