A living document?
January 6, 2011 9:04 AM   Subscribe

The incoming Republican majority in the US House of Representatives is right now reading the text of the Constitution on the House floor. Representatives chose to omit superceed portions of the text including The Three-Fifth Compromise and Prohibition
posted by T.D. Strange (139 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good. Those parts have lines through them anyway.
posted by Michael Pemulis at 9:05 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


See what other parts they omit, say the 14th Amendment?
posted by Ironmouth at 9:06 AM on January 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


(what I'm saying is that in 2010 those parts are not constitutionally binding)
posted by Michael Pemulis at 9:06 AM on January 6, 2011


After which they will pledge allegiance to the swag.
posted by Beardman at 9:07 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's good that they're getting familiar with it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:08 AM on January 6, 2011 [33 favorites]


And perhaps it will instill in them some curiosity about the other writings of the framers, such as those on corporatism, limited times for copyright and their thoughts on religion.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:10 AM on January 6, 2011 [49 favorites]


This is way more productive than making sure the Bill of Rights and not the Pledge of Allegiance are recited every morning in American Schools.

*Sadly goes about making enough popcorn for the next two years at least*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:10 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Love me a good grandstanding.
posted by unixrat at 9:10 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are they going to read the Bill of Rights? Because there's a bit right at the beginning that may surprise them.
posted by mhoye at 9:11 AM on January 6, 2011 [50 favorites]


what I'm saying is that in 2010 those parts are not constitutionally binding

But they're amendments, not redactions. They are still a part of the text of the Constitution. If they say they are going to read the entirety of the Constitution, then they should do just that.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:11 AM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I, for one, am glad to see people in office who love this country so much they will cry at the mention of it and love the Constitution so much they will read it into the Congressional record, but hate the government created by this Constitution for the common good of this country so much they will try to destroy it from the inside, while pillaging its tax dollars for their billionaire cronies.

We don't get the government we deserve. I have done nothing to deserve these paranoiac anarchists who wrap their infernal machines wrapped in the American flag.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:11 AM on January 6, 2011 [96 favorites]


There are like 6 people in the chamber.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:14 AM on January 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Anyway, this is like watching a 4th grade play.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:15 AM on January 6, 2011 [16 favorites]


I thought they were trying to cut the fat out of government? How much does this grandstanding/timewaster cost?

WHat a bunch of fucking crybabies.
posted by notsnot at 9:15 AM on January 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


From TPM:

While Reps were reading the portion of the Constitution covering presidential eligibility ("natural born citizen", a feral birther disrupted the proceedings from the Gallery, yelling "except obama, except obama. Help us Jesus."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:16 AM on January 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Birthers in the gallery interrupt reading at "natural born citizen" line to yell "Except Obama, except Obama, help us Jesus!"
posted by fatbird at 9:16 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


The U.S. Constitution is refuge one runs to when one has lost (or never had) popular democratic support for ones policies.

I mean if there was popular support for abolishing all of the "non-Constitutional" government programs, one would not need to look for Constitutional relief.
posted by three blind mice at 9:17 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, Tea Partiers across the country experience a simultaneous, singularly powerful boner.
posted by vverse23 at 9:18 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


it's spelled Boehner
posted by klapaucius at 9:21 AM on January 6, 2011 [69 favorites]


This is interesting. Although the political posturing irritates me, inaugurating each Congress with a reading of the constitution strikes me as a good tradition to begin.

Of course, the chamber's almost completely empty (as it almost always is). This is a shame, because some of the new representatives appear to be completely unversed in basic constitutional law and parliamentary procedure. The House fell out of order several times yesterday (when it was surprisingly full).

Boehner also needs to realize that he's not campaigning any more. Yesterday's legislative session was almost entirely completely of grandstanding, and proposing completely unfeasible legislation that doesn't have a chance in hell of making it past the Senate or presidential veto. We had some great cooperation from Republicans during the Lame Duck session, and it'd be great if Boehner wasn't terrorizing them into toting the party line under any and all circumstances.
posted by schmod at 9:22 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Birthers in the gallery interrupt reading at "natural born citizen" line to yell "Except Obama, except Obama, help us Jesus!"

Sometimes I long for government enforced sterilization of certain members of the populace.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:22 AM on January 6, 2011


I wonder if President Obama overestimated the level of idiocity he'd have to deal with. If I were president, I would have have been posting to AskMe (anonymously) asking about how to deal with these morons and you all would be like, "Man, they can't pay you enough to deal with that crap. DTMFJ. You don't need this."
posted by anniecat at 9:22 AM on January 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


This would be more interesting if they all had their own copy, were seated together, and each sung one word down the line in sequence.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:22 AM on January 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


*underestimated

I'm a stupid.
posted by anniecat at 9:23 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the Canadians said it best when they said.
posted by Sailormom at 9:25 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


i can't wait until they get to the part where the constitution says that the Senate has to pass any bill with at least 60 votes in the aye... oh wait.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:25 AM on January 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Birthers in the gallery interrupt reading at "natural born citizen" line to yell "Except Obama, except Obama, help us Jesus!"

If they acknowledge he's a natural born citizen, wouldn't that make them not birthers?

Sometimes I long for government enforced sterilization of certain members of the populace.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:22 AM on January 6


So do some of them. You're better than that.
posted by jtron at 9:25 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's probably better of them to read from notes, because we know what happens when they are left to their own devices.
posted by anniecat at 9:26 AM on January 6, 2011


Let me guess, Boehner cried.
posted by stormpooper at 9:27 AM on January 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


I have done nothing to deserve these paranoiac anarchists...

Alas, AZ, we have all done nothing -- or at least not enough -- and thus deserve them. Sure, I wrote to my congresscritters and senators about extraordinary rendition and waterboarding and "accidental" deaths of detainees who were about to be released, but got nothing in return except a form letter from one of them, assuring me of his committment to the security of the United States.

Did I march? Demand an audience with those incompetent, mendacious bastards? Hunger strike at the gates of Guantánamo? No, but the people who did, had no more success than I did.

We all deserve the governance we're about to get; some of us just deserve it more richly. (Ironically, "rich" also describes some of us who are going to loathe it less, although they may be more shrill about how awful it is for them.)
posted by spacewrench at 9:28 AM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Next up -- the entirety of the U.S. Code.

"Title 1, Chapter 1, Section 1 -- Words denoting number, gender, and so forth . . ."
posted by brain_drain at 9:28 AM on January 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


I heard about this on NPR, and just sort of shrugged. It should be an interesting two years in politics. It seems like the GOP House realizes that it's going to be deadlocked against the Senate and President and is just going to try to score as many political points, and cause as many black eyes as they can for quick soundbite politics in the run-up to the 2012 elections.
posted by codacorolla at 9:28 AM on January 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Conservatives revere the Constitution, except all the parts they disagree with. Much like Conservatives are the Party of Freedom, except for the freedom to do things they don't want you to be free to do. Recreational drugs, abortions, marrying who you love, that kind of thing. The Constitution thing, the freedom thing, these are just window dressing attempting to make palatable something inherently unpopular: voting against one's best interests. Conservatism is a dwindling coalition of the wealthy and the older whites, uneducated whites, and Southern whites they can convince to vote for the interests of the wealthy by appealing to their love of God and guns or their hatred of minorities. Let them have their theater, they won't be around much longer.
posted by ND¢ at 9:28 AM on January 6, 2011 [18 favorites]


I wonder if President Obama underestimated the level of idiocity he'd have to deal with.

No, he's counting on it. He now has an excuse for not achieving policies popular with the base of the Democratic party but unpopular with the economic and political elite while at the same time has a bogeyman to scare the base with come 2012.

also, idiocity is a nice word. just like the proverbial eskimo, american english ought to have 49 different words for idiot.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:28 AM on January 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Birthers in the gallery interrupt reading at "natural born citizen" line to yell "Except Obama, except Obama, help us Jesus!"

Well, so much for that dignified new legislative tradition Schmod suggested above:

Although the political posturing irritates me, inaugurating each Congress with a reading of the constitution strikes me as a good tradition to begin.

It's already descended into laughingstock barely one foot out of the gate, like virtually everything the Republican party says and does these days.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:29 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


And yet CNN's banner reads "HOUSE READING ENTIRE CONSTITUTION". Are they skipping parts or not? Is CNN lying to us?! (This is my shocked face.)
posted by nicwolff at 9:30 AM on January 6, 2011


Boehner also needs to realize that he's not campaigning any more

What? First, all politicians are campaigning all the time. It's sad but true, and slow progress significantly, but we live in a world where constituents like sound bites and ideological purity.

Second, Republicans especially haven't stopped campaigning since Obama took office. Every roadblock, filibuster threat, and "death panel" sound bite was engineered to gain seats. Do you really think Republicans think health care in the US is a-okay? No! But they couldn't offer any real counter-proposals because those proposals would be torn apart. So they roadblocked and set themselves up for the next election. Now that they have a little momentum, I'm pretty sure they're going to bill the next election as "a second referendum."
posted by Tehhund at 9:31 AM on January 6, 2011


Reading the comments on that thehill.com article, I'm reminded of Monbiot's thoughts on right-wing comment astroturfing. Just look at the first six or so, same style, diction, use of caps, etc. And of course they just get bizarre from there.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 9:32 AM on January 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Birthers in the gallery interrupt reading at "natural born citizen" line to yell "Except Obama, except Obama, help us Jesus!"

....*blink*

You know, I have a very dear friend from Ireland coming to visit me in the end of February. At some point, I suspect she's going to see some of our national news. And after she does, she's probably going to have several questions for me about the current political scene in this country.

As God is my witness, I have no idea how I'm going to be able to answer them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:33 AM on January 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


LOLamericans!
posted by Theta States at 9:33 AM on January 6, 2011


Boehner also needs to realize that he's not campaigning any more.

The very first bill Boehner's party will send to the floor is a bill to repeal the health care bill that will not pass the Senate and even if it did be immediately vetoed by the President who signed the bill less than a year ago.

I think you and many, many more Americans need to realize that him and most of his colleagues haven't stopped campaigning since November of 2008 and probably don't intend to for the next two years.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:33 AM on January 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Who are they going to have read the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?

They'll have to find a Republican with bones hard enough, or flexible enough, not to shatter instantly from the resulting hypocrisy tremors.
posted by gurple at 9:35 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Let them have their theater, they won't be around much longer.

Liberals said that in 2008, remember? Continue to underestimate them and rest on minimal Democratic achomplishments at your our peril.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:35 AM on January 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


I think you and many, many more Americans need to realize that him and most of his colleagues haven't stopped campaigning since November of 2008 and probably don't intend to for the next two years.

The next two years? Permanent campaign, permanent revolution.
posted by blucevalo at 9:36 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Except Obama, except Obama, help us Jesus!"

Oh FFS. These idiots managed to out-idiot the idiots on the floor and their idiotic grandstanding.
posted by quin at 9:37 AM on January 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


That's fine, the Democrats should do it once a week and require a quorum to do so. Every member should be require to read aloud the entire text to their constituents each summer when they return home. Nearly 3/4 of American high schoolers do not have basic civics proficiency. I don't know the veracity of it, but one of the founding fathers said (parenthetically) You can't have an ignorant populace and democracy at the same time.
posted by edgeways at 9:39 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is like they are filibustering their own proceedings.
posted by munchingzombie at 9:42 AM on January 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


I have done nothing to deserve these paranoiac anarchists

Sorry to semi-derail, but this needs addressing. The Republican party is clearly deeply authoritarian, and has nothing to do with anarchism except a vaguely shared antipathy towards federal government (which, frankly, Republicans seem much more angry about than most anarchists I know). Obviously you're using the word as a figure of speech here, but disinformation reproduces asexually.
posted by threeants at 9:42 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Birther interrupter's blog
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:42 AM on January 6, 2011


I'm pretty sure Jesus wasn't a natural born citizen. Pretty sure...
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:44 AM on January 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Thank god they're grandstanding rather than getting to work on their legislative agenda.

Oh wait, grandstanding *is* the agenda!
posted by pjaust at 9:44 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


. I have done nothing to deserve these paranoiac anarchists who wrap their infernal machines wrapped in the American flag.

I was with you until the wrapped wrapped machines.
posted by odinsdream at 9:49 AM on January 6, 2011


Knock knock.

Who's there?

Birther Interrupter.

Birther Interrupter wh....

Hamburger!
posted by elwoodwiles at 9:50 AM on January 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


> Birther interrupter's blog

She's linked to an Army lt. colonel who refused to follow orders since he wasn't convinced that Obama was a citizen, and thus the chain of command was unlawful. These are fanatics that are prepared to throw themselves under the bus in the name of their insipid brand of racist patriotism, and I hope that the bus grinds them to dust.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:51 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here is what's bothering me. Let's say the crazies were right- that the President was born in Kenya.

The President would still be a natural born American citizen. His mother's American citizenship would make him a natural born citizen no matter where he was born, be it in Kenya or on the damn moon.

If they actually listening to that bit of the Constitution rather than screaming at it, they might actually understand, you know, what the Constitution actually says.
posted by spaltavian at 9:51 AM on January 6, 2011 [17 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Jesus wasn't a natural born citizen. Pretty sure...

Illegal messiahs coming over here and displacing our natural born hard working messiahs! Why can't we build a 50 foot messiah fence and keep them out?
posted by edgeways at 9:53 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Boehner also needs to realize that he's not campaigning any more.
Progressives need to realize that Republicans are still campaigning.
posted by Flunkie at 9:53 AM on January 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Where are the new jobs?

Where is the balanced budget?

We were promised these things, and expected the people who promised them to show up ready to deliver.
posted by mikelieman at 9:54 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]




Birthers in the gallery interrupt reading at "natural born citizen" line to yell "Except Obama, except Obama, help us Jesus!"

What... wait seriously? I thought this was surely satire... but no, it actually happened.
posted by odinsdream at 9:56 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


WTF does Jesus have to do with enforcing the US Constitution? I've read it, and I don't recall anything about allowing Judean enforcement of US law.
posted by QIbHom at 9:58 AM on January 6, 2011


I'm also looking forward to Article 1 Section 8:
The Congress shall have Power:

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
posted by odinsdream at 9:58 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]




You know, I have a very dear friend from Ireland coming to visit me in the end of February. At some point, I suspect she's going to see some of our national news. And after she does, she's probably going to have several questions for me about the current political scene in this country.

As God is my witness, I have no idea how I'm going to be able to answer them.


"U - S - A!!! U - S - A!!!"
posted by Greg Nog at 9:59 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Except Obama, except Obama, help us Jesus!"

jesus? - he's not an ameican citizen - in fact, he's from the middle east and he was so subversive he got executed by the government - he also committed terrorist acts in religious establishments

face it, if he was around today, you bastards wouldn't let him into the country and you'd be asking the president why he wasn't locked up in guantamano with the rest of the trouble making scum
posted by pyramid termite at 10:01 AM on January 6, 2011 [25 favorites]


I'm also looking forward to Article 1 Section 8: The Congress shall have Power to declare War

Yeah, they'll probably read that and go, "hey, we can declare war against Iran! Let's go for it!"
posted by furiousthought at 10:02 AM on January 6, 2011


just like the proverbial eskimo, american english ought to have 49 different words for idiot.

Idiot
Idjit
Edjit
Eeeedjit
Idiotocrat
Idiotocratic
Idiolatry
Idioterati
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:02 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


These are fanatics that are prepared to throw themselves under the bus in the name of their insipid brand of racist patriotism, and I hope that the bus grinds them to dust.

Their brand of racism isn't insipid -- in fact, it's the direct opposite. "Insipid" implies weak tea, watered-down coffee being poured in the dirt, mushy custard, mehness, couldn't-be-botheredness, lassitude.

Their racism isn't insipid, it's feverish and it's insidious. It may only be our yawning reaction to it that's insipid.
posted by blucevalo at 10:07 AM on January 6, 2011


One of the first acts of the new Republican-controlled House is to take away the floor voting rights of six delegates representing areas such as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.


No taxation without representation.
I assume these areas do not have to pay federal taxes hmmm?
posted by edgeways at 10:07 AM on January 6, 2011


I'm pretty sure Jesus wasn't a natural born citizen. Pretty sure...

Jesus? Oh, you mean that dark-skinned, non-citizen born to an unmarried teenage mother? That guy who never learned Latin, the official language of the empire he was born in? The one who didn't have a steady job, paid his taxes with coins found in the mouths of fish, and told rich people to sell all they had and give it away to the poor? Yeah, he's our hero. We want to be just like him.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:08 AM on January 6, 2011 [78 favorites]


just like the proverbial eskimo, american english ought to have 49 different words for idiot.

the senate has 47 words for idiot and the house has 242
posted by pyramid termite at 10:09 AM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


The President would still be a natural born American citizen. His mother's American citizenship would make him a natural born citizen no matter where he was born, be it in Kenya or on the damn moon.

No, not really. The phrase "Natural born citizen" has been generally interpreted to mean "Born a citizen by being born in the United States, not just due to parents' citizenship."
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:17 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The President would still be a natural born American citizen. His mother's American citizenship would make him a natural born citizen no matter where he was born, be it in Kenya or on the damn moon.

If they actually listening to that bit of the Constitution rather than screaming at it, they might actually understand, you know, what the Constitution actually says.


The Constitution doesn't define "natural born citizen." The prevailing view of constitutional scholars as as you say above, but the text of the Constitution has nothing to say on this point, and it's necessary to look at other historical documents to resolve the issue.
posted by brain_drain at 10:17 AM on January 6, 2011


Sorry to semi-derail, but this needs addressing. The Republican party is clearly deeply authoritarian, and has nothing to do with anarchism except a vaguely shared antipathy towards federal government (which, frankly, Republicans seem much more angry about than most anarchists I know). Obviously you're using the word as a figure of speech here, but disinformation reproduces asexually.

Yeah, don't smear libertarian socialists by associating us with these loonies. :D
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:19 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tomorrowful, I think that is a bit of a misconception.

Check out

http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_citi.html
for a decent round up.
posted by edgeways at 10:19 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Republicans know how to read? No fucking way.
posted by dbiedny at 10:22 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


spaltavian, most of the birthers (or, at least, those who bother to think about it at all) seem to circumvent the point you make by relying on a provision in the U.S. Code in 1961 that contained some sort of residence requirement -- the mother had to have spent five years in the US after age fourteen, or some such. Had Obama actually been born in Kenya, this might have required some sort of legal ruling to determine his eligibility. Fortunately, since he was born in Hawaii, it isn't an issue.
posted by steambadger at 10:25 AM on January 6, 2011


As far as I can tell obamacare has not been repealed. Congressional republicans are either incompetent or flat out liars.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:25 AM on January 6, 2011


Here is what's bothering me. Let's say the crazies were right- that the President was born in Kenya.

The President would still be a natural born American citizen. His mother's American citizenship would make him a natural born citizen no matter where he was born, be it in Kenya or on the damn moon.


Not necessarily. If only one of your parents is a US Citizen then you are a natural born citizen if that parent has resided in the US for at least 10 years, at least 5 of which must be after the age of 18 (I got this information from snopes). If Obama had been born outside the US then he wouldn't have been a natural born citizen because his mother did not meet those requirements.

It's moot, however, because he was born in the US (and, in my opinion, raising this other point about one parent is just throwing meat to the birthers because we wouldn't bring it up if we secretly knew that Obama wasn't born in the US, right? Right).
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:26 AM on January 6, 2011


They omitted reading the 18th amendment (Prohibition)? But that tells how a single-issue minority can manipulate the system to get the constitution amended to satisfy their ideology even though the results were predictably disastrous, led to many unintended consequences, and did not achieve what they ostensibly wanted it to. But I guess they learned that lesson already.
posted by binturong at 10:26 AM on January 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Their racism isn't insipid, it's feverish and it's insidious.

I prefer the adjective 'frothing' for all birther/bagger bullshit. It implies the wild-eyed, spittle-flecked invective of a rabid dog's unhinged barking, and the necessary solutions thereof.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:28 AM on January 6, 2011


edgeways: No taxation without representation.
I assume these areas do not have to pay federal taxes hmmm?

First, no taxation without representation is not part of the Constitution. Second, they still have representation, they just lack suffrage.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:29 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I love the idea that they'll include the Constitutional authority to pass the law into each bill.

"Here's my bill."
"What's your Constitutional authority to pass this bill?"
"Article 1, Section 1. 'All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress.'"
"All right, sounds good to me."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:30 AM on January 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Not necessarily. If only one of your parents is a US Citizen then you are a natural born citizen if that parent has resided in the US for at least 10 years, at least 5 of which must be after the age of 18 (I got this information from snopes). If Obama had been born outside the US then he wouldn't have been a natural born citizen because his mother did not meet those requirements.

I think that stipulation only comes into effect for people born after the early '60s. For instance, my mother is a US citizen by virtue of her mother's citizenship, but it was necessary for me to have two parents with US citizenship for me to be born a citizen. Obama was born in '61, so I'm not sure on which side of the line he falls.

But your second, more important, point (Was! Actually! Born! In! The! United! States!) still stands.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:32 AM on January 6, 2011


Maybe they want to elect Jim Caviezel? He's Jesus AND from Mount Vernon! Named after Washington's home! Perfect!
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:32 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've read it, and I don't recall anything about allowing Judean enforcement of US law.

Thwow him to the gwound, centuwion!
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:34 AM on January 6, 2011 [13 favorites]


The representative from the Northern Marianas Islands lives next to some friends of mine from DC. During the Obama inaugural we got to walk with him from the apartment building down to the capitol. He is a warm and wonderful man who sent us a gracious and personalized note afterwards. I'm sorry this happened.
posted by josher71 at 10:40 AM on January 6, 2011


Hi. I'd like to call this meeting of the Car Haters of America Club together by reading the Rulebook of the DMV.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:43 AM on January 6, 2011 [14 favorites]


Let them have their theater, they won't be around much longer.

I keep seeing this, these claims that shifting demographics are going to destroy the Republican party as the Latino population in America grows. I really have to wonder. The Latino population that I know, the people with whom I've worked and lived for the better part of my life, are not overwhelmingly pro-choice. They haven't been particularly supportive of a progressive stance on gay rights, and their views on a number of womens' issues have not been significantly better than those of the white population. They haven't viewed taxation as any more necessary than any other group that I've seen, and (since many that I know have had family in the service) they're as susceptible to nationalist military adventurism as anyone else.

My point is, all the Republicans need to do is get a teeny, tiny bit less racist (which, I acknowledge, is not something that they're great at doing), and any advantage that the Democrats are expecting to get from the growth of the Latino population disappears. If there's one thing that the Republicans have shown themselves to be willing to do, it's to change any and all of their stances on any issue if it will help them stay in power. The growth of the Latino vote will probably help us on immigration issues, but I would not count on it as a long-term strategy.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:43 AM on January 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


My point is, all the Republicans need to do is get a teeny, tiny bit less racist (which, I acknowledge, is not something that they're great at doing), and any advantage that the Democrats are expecting to get from the growth of the Latino population disappears.posted by Parasite Unseen

Rove and Bush actually tried this, but the Republicans are actually looking dumb enough to perhaps alienate a generation. Are any young Latinos in Arizona going to vote Republican in their lives? Maybe, but I'd be surprised. The teaparty is the key here because the moderate (or just non-insane) Republicans have a chance with this group if they're open to it, but everytime one of the frothing "they took mah job!" types runs for office, it converts a few more to thinking "I'll never vote for them."
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:47 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Demographic Change and the Future of the Parties it is a PDF if you are allergic
posted by jtron at 10:48 AM on January 6, 2011


No, he's counting on it. He now has an excuse for not achieving policies popular with the base of the Democratic party but unpopular with the economic and political elite while at the same time has a bogeyman to scare the base with come 2012.

I see people painting him as a calculating and ambitious guy, and frankly, I just don't see it. He is, and will always be a level-headed and intelligent leader respected by people around the world, who is doing his best for a nation populated by people who don't deserve him. There are a lot of people that conveniently forget how the political process works.

I wish he had been Indian. Clean that mess that is politics as usual in India up. I know he'd be amazing at it.
posted by anniecat at 10:51 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thwow him to the gwound, centuwion!

Vewy woughly!
posted by steambadger at 10:51 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let them have their theater, they won't be around much longer.

ALL politics is theater; performance art actually.

Some artists we like; some artists we don't like.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:52 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


ALL politics is theater; performance art actually.


I get the sense sometimes that most of them are envious of Sarah Palin. They think their jobs, if they're even trying to do them, are hard and boring, and they'd rather figure out a way to cash out, even if it means getting a reality show. I'm surprised they don't all try the waitress/actress or actress/singer model and put out pop albums. I suspect actually that in time, they will.
posted by anniecat at 10:56 AM on January 6, 2011


T.D. Strange: " achomplishments "

Most. Awesome. Typo. Ever.
posted by notsnot at 10:58 AM on January 6, 2011


Here in DC, we most certain do pay Federal taxes. A lot of them.

I'm not positive about the territories, but I don't think they do.
posted by QIbHom at 11:05 AM on January 6, 2011


The territories do not pay Federal Income Tax.

It's Never Lurgi: Don't you have that backwards? Here in DC we have suffrage (ie the right to vote), but not representation (ie anyone to vote for). Perhaps i'm misunderstanding you...
posted by jindc at 11:12 AM on January 6, 2011


As the strict Constitutionalists that they are, I expect - nay, demand! - that they return the Louisiana Purchase to the French.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:17 AM on January 6, 2011


the french cannot afford it
posted by clavdivs at 11:26 AM on January 6, 2011


ALL politics is theater; performance art actually.

Directed and staged by Coulmier and the Marquis de Sade.
posted by blucevalo at 11:26 AM on January 6, 2011


"Congress shall make no law..."

"There, that should be enough for now..."
posted by DreamerFi at 11:36 AM on January 6, 2011


WTF does Jesus have to do with enforcing the US Constitution? I've read it, and I don't recall anything about allowing Judean enforcement of US law.

A non-trivial portion of Republicans believe that the US was ordained by God as a place for them. If you think about it a little more (which I don't recommend) its probably in the root of why they hate so many various groups (gays, immigrants, etc).
posted by SirOmega at 11:41 AM on January 6, 2011


If only one of your parents is a US Citizen then you are a natural born citizen if that parent has resided in the US for at least 10 years, at least 5 of which must be after the age of 18 (I got this information from snopes).

the mother had to have spent five years in the US after age fourteen, or some such. Had Obama actually been born in Kenya, this might have required some sort of legal ruling to determine his eligibility.

These claims are all incorrect, and in fact the propagation that there is some sort of 5-10 year residency clause is part of the Birther nonsense. Note that Snopes doesn't actually refute these claims by citing actual US Code, but just by point out that, yeah, Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

In case you missed it upthread, Edgewise post two links to the actual law the birthers need to read, which is Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter III, Part 1, Section 1401(e):

a person born in an outlying possession of the United States of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year at any time prior to the birth of such person
posted by Panjandrum at 11:45 AM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I love the idea that they'll include the Constitutional authority to pass the law into each bill.

"Invoking the 'general welfare clause' or the 'necessary and proper clause' would not be adequate constitutional citations." I'm sure "provide for the common defense" is A-OK, though.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:48 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Bible and the Constitution are similar in that the most vocal adherents often haven't read the documents themselves and often hold views that are contradictory to the texts that revere.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:50 AM on January 6, 2011 [12 favorites]


@ kirkaraca: Yes, but the Bible is far less self-consistent than the Constitution.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:53 AM on January 6, 2011


Here in DC we have suffrage (ie the right to vote), but not representation (ie anyone to vote for). Perhaps i'm misunderstanding you...

You do have representation, you just (just!) lack voting representation.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 11:59 AM on January 6, 2011


It's Never Lurgi: Who are my Senators?
posted by jindc at 12:00 PM on January 6, 2011


> Who are they going to have read the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?

It'll be alright, because it doesn't mention "the separation of church and state"
posted by mmrtnt at 12:04 PM on January 6, 2011


> Why can't we build a 50 foot messiah fence and keep them out?

Because they can pole-vault like Chuck Norris.
posted by mmrtnt at 12:08 PM on January 6, 2011


EEEdiot!

-Ren
posted by mmrtnt at 12:13 PM on January 6, 2011


Seeing as how they're skipping some of the, um, parts that they would just as soon forget, I wonder how they'll handle the 20th amendment.
posted by webhund at 12:14 PM on January 6, 2011


oh, thats next.
posted by clavdivs at 12:22 PM on January 6, 2011


The Latino population that I know, the people with whom I've worked and lived for the better part of my life, are not overwhelmingly pro-choice. They haven't been particularly supportive of a progressive stance on gay rights, and their views on a number of womens' issues have not been significantly better than those of the white population.

I think their children, like many younger voters, have a different slant on this, and it is they who they GOP should rightfully fear, because payback is a bitch and I do not think young Latinos will soon forget the indignities: the pure racism, the shit jobs, the lies and the demonization and dehumanization and other plethora of horseshit they've had laid at their feet. SB1070 and AZ and all the other anti-Latino legistlation the Tea Partiers and the collective GOP are right now getting a major head of steam off of is going to come back and be their political evolutionary death knell.

My fear is that the GOP is going to do everything in it's power, and is doing everything in it's power to nail the pendulum on the right as hard as they can. See shit like Citizen's United, see the attack on unions, public and private and on public workers who make up the middle class backbone. They have methodically and effectively whittled away at that demographic with some success so far and they'll always have Fox news to spin and distort their crap and that might keep them buoyant for a while, but damn me if this country won't move into the 21st century with a vengence at some point. It must.
posted by Skygazer at 12:35 PM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


These claims are all incorrect, and in fact the propagation that there is some sort of 5-10 year residency clause is part of the Birther nonsense.

Buh? The US code you linked to says quite clearly that if you're born outside of the US (or its possessions) to a US citizen and an alien, you're only a US citizen if your citizen-parent had lived in the US for five years, including at least two after the age of 14.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:43 PM on January 6, 2011


Recently I heard a commentator on the (Dutch) radio here say that we should get more towards a two-party system, like in the US.

I never wanted so much to take a clue-bat to this idiot and LART him to an inch of his life.
posted by DreamerFi at 12:47 PM on January 6, 2011


You know, I have a very dear friend from Ireland [...] she's probably going to have several questions for me about the current political scene in this country. As God is my witness, I have no idea how I'm going to be able to answer them.

Oh, that's easy enough. 'so, how come you guys elected Fianna Fáil again, after the start of the financial crisis?' It's pronounced 'FIY-anna Fall' (more or less) but since we Irish expect everyone to mangle the pronunciation anyway, you could rub it in by calling them 'fianna fail.' In all seriousness, though, you should not beat yourself up as much over the state of American politics. Of course this sort of nonsense we see in Congress today is embarrassing. But it happens everywhere.

For example, Fianna Fáil is in many ways an Irish version of the US Republican party. Their origins are entirely different, and the naming somewhat coincidental. In the US, Lincoln's Republican party was trying to preserve the union from Southern secessionists. In Ireland, Fianna Fáil was set up to make Ireland a totally independent nation, rather than an independent entity within the British Empire; otherwise Ireland would today be a commonwealth country like Canada or Australia. But the parties do have multiple similarities: a strong populist streak, a strident preference for 'god and country,' a somewhat cavalier approach to law and order, an emphasis on business freedom and strong economic growth, and a heavy dependence on rural conservative voters. Taoiseach (prime minister) Brian Cowen is an affable alcoholic, not as scheming or corrupt-seeming as his predecessor Bertie Ahern, but not all that competent either. Emphasizing financial stability at the beginning of the crisis in 2008, he managed to lead the party to a third victory in a row but it has become abundantly clear since then that Irish financial wizardry was more a case of luck than skill, not unlike a rube who is allowed to buy into a high-stakes poker game and win several hands in order to restock the pot.

But, you might say, European center-right parties are considered far left in the US. Well, sort of, but as we say in Ireland, 'faraway hills look green.' In some ways Europeans are more wise, in others they make a virtue of necessity. For example, Ireland has a constitutional policy of neutrality and spends very little on the military - and what we do spend is mainly split between the coast guard (to chase off fish poachers and smugglers) and on maintaining the Irish contingent of UN peacekeepers. I'm proud of this as an Irish person, but as a pragmatic matter we're neutral for the same reason as Switzerland: it's the only sane policy for a small country. We are far too easy to blockade, so we rely on trade relationships to get ahead instead - aggressively so, when it comes to policies on things like corporation taxes. UN peacekeeping serves our interests by diluting the military influence of larger powers. We're a fairly 'socialist' country insofar as healthcare, electricity, and many other services are still state-owned. Telecommunications only became competitive very recently and there probably isn't room for more than a single energy utility. That means consumers pay a lot more and often have no choice of provider. We have an excellent state-owned media - but as in the UK, Irish people must buy an expensive (~$200) annual license to have a television in their home, and inspectors will enter your home and slap you with an expensive fine if you turn out to have an unlicensed TV. There was talk of extending this license to cover internet use too, and given the country's budget problems I imagine this policy will be resurrected before long. Tax rates on personal income are relatively high and like most of Europe sales tax (VAT) is close to 20% - your Irish friend will likely wish to do some shopping here in the US, because the cost of living seems surprisingly cheap here by comparison to Ireland.

We also have our fringe lunatics, just as in the US. There are still religious zealots that preferred it when the Catholic church was an unofficial branch of government, and those who are addicted to conspiracy theories about the EU being a plot to destroy Irish sovereignty and enslave a proud, free people - much like the nexus between tea partiers, gold bugs, and NWO theorists here in the US. We have a proportional representation system of voting in Ireland that is superior, in some ways, to the first-past-the-post electoral system used in most American jurisdictions. And all our votes are counted by hand, no dodgy voting machines in Ireland! But we have a much smaller population, a much more centralized government, and we only have about one referendum per decade. Americans get to vote on a much wider range of offices and issues, and politics here are a good deal more open and transparent overall.

So don't cringe so much - trust me, your Irish friend will arrive with plenty of complaints about the political landscape back home. And although we have some outsized crazy here in the US, that's only to be expected in a country about 100x as large as Ireland. Take Bill O'Reilly - there are plenty of Bill O'Reillys back in Ireland, and I'm not just talking about the surname. I fled the country at age 18 because Margaret Thatcher's Britain offered a considerably more liberal social environment for a young techno-hippy. Ireland has become a good deal more liberal and modern-minded since the 1980s, but if it was suddenly to reconfigure itself as the 51st state of the USA and float across the Atlantic, it would probably vote GOP most of the time.

And embarrassing politics are not just a conservative issue either. In liberal San Francisco, our city politics are awash with feuding, double-dealing, and absurdist theater, from elected representatives literally kicking over the furniture during legislative sessions to citizens who insist on singing their political views into the record at every weekly meeting of the city board. More seriously, we have massive budget problems in the city and state, only some of which are the fault of the state Republicans. Regulatory costs on business often fall more severely on small firms than on the big ones that they are intended to restrain, and although unions wield a good deal of political power here, the way they do so is frequently at odds with the interests of the public, their own members, or occasionally both.

The difficulties in modern political culture are more complex than can be captured by simplistic ideological narratives. Looking at Ireland again, consider that the country has a strong tradition of scholarship, education is publicly funded and widely agreed to be a key economic priority, academic standards are pretty high (and rigorously tested), and Irish universities punch well above their weight. And yet, despite all these academic advantages, the country is historically quite conservative and Irish people are as prone to vote against their own interests or buy into daft ideas as easily as people in the US. The Irish constitution is as pragmatic and dry a document as you can imagine, but the only reason that Irish people don't quote it endlessly in political arguments is that few of them have had the patience to read it all the way to the end (I strongly commend it to legal scholars - it's only ~5000 words, but interestingly different from the US constitution in many ways, not just the religious imprimateur).
posted by anigbrowl at 12:53 PM on January 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


Buh? The US code you linked to says quite clearly that if you're born outside of the US (or its possessions) to a US citizen and an alien, you're only a US citizen if your citizen-parent had lived in the US for five years, including at least two after the age of 14.

Well, what difference does it make? Obama's mom would still qualify. She lived in the continental US until she graduated high school, so even if Obama actually had been born outside the US (though he wasn't, since he was born in Hawaii), he'd still be a natural born citizen. There's no argument for the birthers even if you grant all the false premises of their various crazy arguments.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:00 PM on January 6, 2011


I do agree with schmod, above: "Although the political posturing irritates me, inaugurating each Congress with a reading of the constitution strikes me as a good tradition to begin."

It's what the Democrats should have done during the Bush Presidency, back when the White House was using the Constitution as toilet paper and none of the current Tea Partiers gave a shit.
posted by Pallas Athena at 1:05 PM on January 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


I love it. This is perfect. I wonder why the Republicans are doing this? Um, I don't know, maybe to make the Democrats angry?

Two words: Mission Accomplished
posted by stevenstevo at 1:12 PM on January 6, 2011


Yes, but the Bible is far less self-consistent than the Constitution.
It's way, way shorter too. It should be well within the capabilities of any high school graduate to read it inside of an hour. "A minute to learn, alifetime to master," I suppose.

[~]# wc -w constitution.txt
4541 constitution.txt

I've written book reports that were longer.

The part of this that bugs me more than anything is the pomp and circumstance afforded to the idea of (*gasp*) reading that goddamn constitution, theoretically the highest and most important document in American public life. This shouldn't be occasion, it should be commonplace, expected, and dull. People should know this stuff pretty well and CONGRESSMEN should know it by heart and still keep a copy on their desk just in case. We're forcefed a bunch of hooey about a "living document," but then see it treated more like a sheet of magic incantations.

That article talks about how Senator Byrd liked to carry around a copy, and gives the impression that no one else does. In my more naive years, sitting in a high school civics classroom, I kind of assumed that most of a Congressman's job would basically require him to keep a copy in his pocket. That's certainly the impression that those civics textbooks present: one of working with, working on, and defending, that hallowed "living document." In reality, that document matters about as much as a Duck and Cover filmstrip to the people actually writing our laws, something to be pulled out as weapon of fear. This holds true in the smoke-filled backrooms of power, underneath the Capitol dome, at teabagger barbecues, libertarian hootenannies, and in boardrooms.

</catharsis>

Also, the whole thing seems like a deliberate parody of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
posted by LiteOpera at 1:13 PM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


jindc: Who are my Senators?

Grrr, that was in my original response, but I then edited it out.

So, yeah, you don't have senators. You sort of have a representative, but he/she can't vote. So, the voters in D.C. have suffrage and (partial) representation. The representative, however, has no suffrage in the House. So, you have representation (in the House), but you don't have suffrage (in the House).

This actually reminds me of a thread about the CSA constitution. There was a clause about the Confederate Senate which said, roughly, that no state could be denied equal representation in the Senate. Interestingly, the equivalent US clause said that no state could be denied equal suffrage in the Senate. So, under both the CS and US Constitutions, you couldn't just take away a state's senators, but under the CS constitution you could take away their right to vote.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:16 PM on January 6, 2011


anigbrowl, I was actually just trying to make a joke, but this was awesome. Thanks!

(Although, for the record, she grew up speaking Gaelic and English both, so she actually taught me how to properly pronounce "Fianna Fail" when we were about fourteen. ;-> )
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:22 PM on January 6, 2011


Tomorrowful: No, not really. The phrase "Natural born citizen" has been generally interpreted to mean "Born a citizen by being born in the United States, not just due to parents' citizenship."

No; it is not interpreted this way. Natural born citizen means you were a citizen at birth by virture of your circumstances. One of those ways is to be born on American soil, but the term itself only means that you were a citizen automatically upon birth; as oppssed to those who were naturalized. If you were born outside the country, but had other factors that make you a citizen (your parents are citizens, for example) you are a natural born citizen. This confusion is common because birth in the US is the most common way and has incorrectly become conflated with meaning "natural" born.

The president's case is slightly more complicated because only one of his parents was a citizen, but his mom meets all the special qualifications that are added when only one parent is a citizen.
posted by spaltavian at 1:24 PM on January 6, 2011


Two Republican Members Voted Without Being Sworn In
One unexpected sideshow to today's reading of the Constitution happened around two hours after that, when Speaker of the House John Boehner took up the gavel and swore in Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.) and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas). Why did he have to do that? Because both of them missed yesterday's swearing in, losing track of time while at a reception. Both of them went on to vote on the House's rules package. Fitzpatrick read from the Constitution despite not, technically, being a member of Congress. Sessions offered the motion to constitute the Rules Committee, which he was not technically allowed to do.
So basically, after an entire day spent reading the assembly instructions, two members of Congress opened up the model racecar kit and proceeded to eat all the paint.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:24 PM on January 6, 2011 [29 favorites]


Lurgi: actually, technically Eleanor Holmes Norton (and Walter Fauntroy before her) is a non-voting delegate to the House. So, not representation.
posted by jindc at 1:25 PM on January 6, 2011


oops...hit Post to fast...

so not representation in the Senate and bullshit representation in the House.
posted by jindc at 1:31 PM on January 6, 2011


fwiw:


In case you missed it upthread, Edgewise post two links to the actual law the birthers need to read, which is Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter III, Part 1, Section 1401(e):


it is pendantic, I apologize, but I posted those links and Edgewise is a different Mefite than I.
posted by edgeways at 1:36 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


No; it is not interpreted this way. Natural born citizen means you were a citizen at birth by virture of your circumstances. One of those ways is to be born on American soil, but the term itself only means that you were a citizen automatically upon birth; as oppssed to those who were naturalized. If you were born outside the country, but had other factors that make you a citizen (your parents are citizens, for example) you are a natural born citizen. This confusion is common because birth in the US is the most common way and has incorrectly become conflated with meaning "natural" born.

Birthers disagree. They claim that "natural born citizen" and "citizen by birth" are two different things, and that even if Obama was a citizen by birth (which he's also not), he wouldn't be a natural born citizen.

They're wrong and insane, but they're hinging their argument on the US code not explicitly saying "natural born citizen and citizen by birth are synonyms".
posted by kafziel at 2:07 PM on January 6, 2011


While Reps were reading the portion of the Constitution covering presidential eligibility ("natural born citizen", a feral birther disrupted the proceedings from the Gallery, yelling "except obama, except obama. Help us Jesus."

She was just reciting the entirety of the Republican legislative agenda for the next two years.
posted by EarBucket at 2:33 PM on January 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


So.. if that is the birthers standpoint, would it be logical (ha) to say that they also would have exactly the same objection to McCain being president? As it also takes § 1401 to define that McCain is a "citizen by birth"?

Same damn law... only misapplied to one candidate and ignored for the other.

The 14th amendment is pretty brief about the whole affair:

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
posted by edgeways at 2:46 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


it is pendantic, I apologize, but I posted those links and Edgewise is a different Mefite than I.

I'll believe it when I see both your birth certificates, and probably not then either.
posted by Panjandrum at 2:55 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


kafziel: "...two different things..."

True, a "citizen by birth" is recognized by his gold fringe.
posted by Rat Spatula at 3:07 PM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


So.. if that is the birthers standpoint, would it be logical (ha) to say that they also would have exactly the same objection to McCain being president? As it also takes § 1401 to define that McCain is a "citizen by birth"?

Well, no, because John McCain is white.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:42 PM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]




yeah.. and also out today, the CBO says repealing the health care bill would actually raise the deficit, Boehner said in response... "The CBO is entitled to their opinion..." Of course with jackassery like that I guess they could also raise the deficit and say it was lowered by also saying "Everyone else is entitled to their opinion"
posted by edgeways at 8:51 AM on January 7, 2011


Yeah I saw Rep. Paul Ryan from Wisconsin yesterday on C-Span (does he have it in his contract that every story with him in it has to call him an "up and coming star in the Republican party," or what?), at a Press club meeting being moderated by the Editorial page editor of the WSJ, doing the same thing in regards to the CBO. Basically treating it like a big calculator that the WH had gamed with it's own "cooked books" (his exact words), in order to show that the deficit reducing elements of the Health Care Reform Bill, were completely bogus and that it was all wrong and and that it would be repealed, and that was that, and he talked about it like it was a done deal, so smug and so twisted, and nary one of the hundreds of journalists assembled in the room who questioned him challenged him on his hubris and arrogance.

His reasoning for everything was that "the American poeple have spoken" and they were going to do exactly what the American people wanted. Yet, he could not name one single program they would cut other than to make blanket statements and to keep repeating that they, the ruling House GOP needed to investigate that, blah blah blah, and not a one took him to task to ask him why the GOP had not given it's own books to the CBO to get their figure on the true cost of healthcare, far as I could tell and not a one asked where in the heck he'd been the last two years that he couldn't name one single program that would be cut.

It was nauseating. His sense of goofy power and horseshit spinning was ridiculous. Everytime a GOP-er says crap like "we want to re-establish the American dream" and "we want to make America great and exceptional again" I wsh someone would come out of the wings and throw a pie in their face.
posted by Skygazer at 1:10 PM on January 7, 2011


I kind of assumed that most of a Congressman's job would basically require him to keep a copy in his pocket.

Just for the record, congressional offices are almost literally drowning in pocket Constitutions. I have no idea where they come from, but every few months you get a big shipment of them, and so you have to come up with creative ways to get rid of the darn things, like sending them to all the schools in your district, or trying to foist them on guests. Every staffer somehow ends up with a dozen of them poking out of various desk drawers. They line the bookshelves that serve as makeshift walls between tiny staffer faux-cubicles, plus the bookshelves in the congressman's personal office, especially if you're a freshman and haven't collected other cool shit to put on your bookshelf yet. And just when you've finally rid yourself of most of them, another shipment comes in. On top of that, some poor befuddled constituent sends you another copy in the mail every week or so with a snarky note about how you really should try reading it for once (because then you would see why [health care reform/cap and trade/random thing you voted for last] would make the Founding Fathers roll over in their graves!!11!1!) and it can only be assumed that you haven't got a copy. Call your congressman's office and ask for one, or even a hundred - they will be happy to oblige. A congressman can barely step out his door without tripping over a pile of Constitutions.

Of course, actually reading the darn things may be a whole other story.
posted by naoko at 8:36 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


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