It’s sort of charming that the new Republican House has started off by reading the Constitution. Of course, though, this is political theater, not a real desire to follow the document, which is premised on a distrust of government. Why would anyone who loves power enough to run for Congress want any limits on his or her rule?
We shouldn’t let one political party take the Constitution hostage, the way the right wing has taken the American flag hostage. (Disagree? Pin a flag on your lapel and watch most people instantly think you support the Big Government policies rammed down our throats after 9/11 (endless wars, warrantless spying, no habeas corpus …)).
More, we shouldn’t let the government take the Constitution hostage. The first words are “We the People,” not “We the Government,” or “We the Republicans,” “We the Democrats,” “We the Tea Party,” or “We the Palins” …
We should be reading this document to them.
When the government reads us the Constitution, we should become hyper-vigilant. In the great cases about constitutional rights, the government (federal, state, or local) was on the wrong side. Aggrieved citizens sued the government, flogged it with the Constitution, and won.
Congress’s reading the Constitution makes me think of a car dealer’s reciting the fine print in the contract, or a drug company’s disclosing possible side-effects (dizziness, depression, bleeding …).
Beware the government that reads your Constitution to you.