Cynical Synapse

Thu, 06 Jan 2011

House Reads the Constitution

Filed under: Congress, Government, History, Legal, Politics — cynicalsynapse @ 10:16 pm

US Constitution

Public officials who are sworn into office swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. It seems only fitting that they realize just exactly what they’ve sworn to. It became painfully obvious in the 111th Congress that US Representatives had no clue, nor any concern, with the content or meaning of the US Constitution.

New leadership in the House of Representatives set the tone today. From Motor City Times:

The Constitution has never been read aloud, on the floor of the House of Representatives since it was ratified in 1788 until today. As expected, most Liberals (Democrats) began screeching loudly about the idea.

They complained that reading it was a waste of time. They called it political theater and generally mocked the idea.

One example of sneering elitism comes from Democrat Jerrold Nadler of New York, who thinks us simple folk don’t even know what the Constitution is:

Nadler agreed. “A lot of the tea party people, I wonder how many of them have read the Constitution,” he said. “A lot of them, they seem to think the Constitution is the Articles of Confederation.”

Nadler said he anticipates a raft of “idiotic amendments” from Republicans, such as an effort to allow states to nullify acts of Congress, that would blatantly violate the Constitution.

Suspicious and mocking as Nadler was of the Republicans’ motivation for reading aloud what he affectionately characterized as “a long, dry, boring document with details about how Congress will have power to lay imposts and taxes,” he agreed with other constitutional experts, and even the tea party, that there was a potential benefit.

“Maybe,” he said, “it will be a little educational.”

It was uncomfortable for Liberals (Democrats and some Republicans) to read aloud the Constitution because it reminds everyone that there are strict limits to the reach of the governments power.

The best quote about today’s reading of the Constitution goes to Rush Limbaugh:

Thinking about the Democrats, I was watching a little bit of the Constitution being read today on the floor of the House and I said, “This has gotta be like waterboarding to these Democrats.” It has to be torture, because the Constitution is anathema to them, the Constitution limits the power of the government, limits the size, limits the role of government, and to have to not only sit there and listen to it, but to share in the punishment of reading it. I’m sure that’s how they’re looking at this. They wouldn’t have to do this if they’d won the election. They lost, so they’re being punished. They have to read the Constitution, tantamount to waterboarding.

What a novel concept. Maybe Congressmen won’t read the bill, but at least they’ll have heard what the US Constitution says.



  1. Thanks for the linkage!

    Comment by Steve — Thu, 06 Jan 2011 @ 10:23 pm

  2. Maybe it’s time that some of the attorneys and organizations trying to fight some of these unconstitutional laws that are being passed should find a way to read the constitution aloud in the courtrooms so the judges are reminded what they are responsible to protect and remind them of the hundreds of thousands of Americans have died for defending….but I am afraid they will they will receive the same resistance and will be shown the same disrespect that was shown for the constitution that it received from the floor of the congress.
    What needs to be done is every news agencey should plaster all over the media what was said and show every American what Congress really thinks about the the very fabric that makes up our once great land…but sadly enough only very few will ever hear of what took place….Congress should be forced to memorize and recite it before they are sworn into office… then there would be no mistake they will know what they are swearing to..not that is would make any difference.

    Comment by greg55 — Fri, 07 Jan 2011 @ 6:49 pm

  3. Every American can only hope that more then a few tears were shed by our Congressman when they got home after hearing what the constitution says and suppose to mean…and they reflect on how they have been disgracing this country by their action and wanton desire to grab power….every fallen American who died defending our constitution must be rolling over in their graves

    Comment by greg55 — Fri, 07 Jan 2011 @ 7:14 pm

  4. @Steve: My pleasure. It was a great post.

    @greg55: I agree with you 100%. Thanks for stopping by.

    Comment by cynicalsynapse — Sun, 09 Jan 2011 @ 9:04 pm

  5. I was very glad to hear that they did this. Though it was kind of funny how it went down (See the Daily Show’s take), I still think it was a very worthwhile endeavor. I bet for some, that was the first time they’ve ever read it.


    Comment by mattaabb — Thu, 13 Jan 2011 @ 1:14 pm

    • @Matt: Thanks for stopping by. I wonder if John Conyers had his hearing aids working so he could learn there’s no “good and welfare” clause.

      Comment by cynicalsynapse — Fri, 14 Jan 2011 @ 7:06 pm

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