The US Constitution Makes A Comeback

On Thursday, when the new Congress is seated and begins work, there will be an historic moment, something that hasn’t happened since the founding of United States: the US Constitution will be read out in the House of Representatives. It’s a statement by the newly-elected and Tea Party-influenced Republican majority that they heard the voters and they’re realigning their priorities.

Naturally, the Left is shocked and outraged. Ezra Klein, founder of the notorious but thankfully defunct JournoList (source of the majority of viewpoints on US issues the BBC fed you for the better part of two years), has gone so far as to say that we shouldn’t pay so much attention to the Constitution as it was written over 100 years ago and thus is too “confusing” and so nobody can understand or relate to it anymore. The BBC correspondents assigned to the US will be aware of this, and some of them at least will be aware of its significance. Yet, they haven’t reported it so far. Possibly, they’re waiting until it happens so they can report on the reaction and portray the Republicans as hyper-partisans intent on forcing their ideology on Congress.

The primary reason the Republicans want to have a public reading of the Constitution can be found in this BBC report about ObamaCare:

US healthcare law: Republicans bid to overturn reform

I think we can guess the angle from which the BBC is going to approach this, no?

What remains to be seen is whether this is simply a symbolic flexing of muscles by the Republicans, or whether it sets the tone for two years of party-political acrimony, our correspondent says.

Excuse me? All of a sudden we’re going to have party-political acrimony now that Republicans want to do something? What do you call what’s been going on for the last two years? This is written from the Democrats’ point of view.

With power in Congress divided, Democrats and Republicans must work together if new laws are to be passed.

Naturally. Just like I’ve been saying for some time now, the BBC wants you to think that bi-partisanship is good: when it involves advancing The Obamessiah’s agenda. When it’s something someone else wants, suddenly the Beeboids hold their noses and cast aspersions.

And what do you know, the President Himself wants us all to work together.

On Tuesday Mr Obama appealed to Republican congressional leaders on to put partisan politics aside to rebuild the US economy.

You see, He wants to fix the economy, while the nasty Republicans are willing to destroy it for ideological purposes. Funny how so many in the business world think He’s the one destroying the economy due to ideology. Not that you’d ever hear that viewpoint allowed through over the BBC airwaves or online.

I feel a statement from the White House coming on….

Speaking on board Air Force One as he travelled back to Washington from a holiday in Hawaii, Mr Obama said: “You know, I think that there’s going to be politics. That’s what happens in Washington – that they [Republicans] are going to play to their base for a certain period of time.

“But I’m pretty confident that they’re going to recognise that our job is to govern and make sure that we are delivering jobs for the American people and that we’re creating a competitive economy for the 21st Century, not just for this generation but for the next one.”

This from the man who responded to the first Republican who objected to one of His ideas by saying, “I won.”

But the BBC doesn’t want you to know that. They’re intent on maintaining this phony impression in your minds that one side has bad intentions while the President is a force for good.

Any evidence of actual reasons the Republicans have given for wanting to repeal ObamaCare? No, all we get is the equivalent of “critics are critical”. All you need to know is that whoever objects is simply on the other side, and of course it’s only natural that they’d object. It’s a slick way of dismissing the opposing viewpoint altogether.

One amusing thing about this BBC article is that they are at last telling the truth about what ObamaCare actually is: a law (or series of laws) forcing citizens to purchase a particular product from government-approved vendors according to government-enforced rules. Okay, they weren’t quite that honest about it:

The US healthcare reform law was approved in March last year, making it compulsory for Americans to buy medical insurance and illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to customers with pre-existing conditions.

You know, it’s funny, but I remember when the BBC was trying to create the impression that ObamaCare was going to provide health care for all those millions of uninsured for whom we were supposed to have sympathy, and not that it was merely a law to make it compulsory to buy it. But anytime the government tries to make any behavior compulsory, people are going to be understandably concerned (What, you mean it was actually about a policy and not just racism? -ed.). The BBC did quietly report about one challenge from the State of Virginia. Which brings me to the point of this post.

The United States is a Republic made of individual States. When the Founding Fathers created this country and wrote the Constitution, each of them viewed their State as their country. There’s an inherent idea of autonomy, and the rights of States and limits of the Federal Government are entrenched in the Constitution. ObamaCare and other Obamessiah and Pelosi/Reid/far-Left policies (such as allowing the EPA to cross over into another branch of government and control things normally left to the Legislative branch) can be considered un-Constitutional.

For quite some time there has been a growing argument about whether or not the Constitution is a “living document”, to be watered down or ignored on a whim whenever the wind of modern culture changes. Of course, those who advocate such a position suddenly get all protective when it’s nasty Republicans wanting to add an Amendment. In fact, that’s exactly what’s happening over the growing noise about a proposed “Federalist” Amendment to give States the power to declare a Federal law un-Constitutional by each of their legislatures voting on it. Giving power back to the States (or, more accurately, allowing the States to exercise the power they had from Day One but which has been leeched away) is a challenge to the supreme executive power, a challenge to the strong man leader so many on the Left wish we had. Perhaps if this comes to pass Matt Frei will once again pine for a bit of Chinese-style autocracy, and folks like Woody Allen will wish the President could be a supreme dictator, if only for a few years.

This is why the Republicans want to have the Constitution read out to start the new session of Congress. It’s much more than a challenge to ObamaCare. It’s a statement of priorities, of respect for the rule of law, and a stand against the Democrats (and a few old-guard Republican leadership) and their attempts to force their most extreme desires on the country against the wishes of the public. In other words, it’s a statement about what they think the Unites States is all about.

I await the BBC’s reporting on the matter, fully aware that this doesn’t help that particular rapport with the US they want to create for you.

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10 Responses to The US Constitution Makes A Comeback

  1. John Anderson says:

    Excellent post,  David.   It is exactly because the US has an enshrined constitution – with limits on the powers at Federal level and clear division of responsibility and powers between the executive,  the legislature and the court that makes it,  surely,  a special requirement for the big BBC machine in America to explain these nuances,  these differences from the UK system,  that is the essential context to so much of the arguments over the past few years and now seen starkly in the new Congress.  

    A Uk Prime Minister,  so long as he has Cabinet support and does not breach any specific law, has almost unfettered power of action.  US Presidents do not,  they have to work WITH the other branches.   The Obama/Reid/Pelosi entire record has been dictatorial,  riding roughshod over congressional normal practice,  writing 1000 or 2000 page bills into law with no time even to read them let alone debate them,  etc.   NONE of this dictatorial conduct,  some of which may be found to be unconstitutional,  has been reported by the BBC.   That is an utter disgrace,  the opposite of fair and balanced journalism.


  2. London Calling says:

    Superb piece Mr Preiser, and like all blogs worth reading, uniquely unfunded. The BBC is so piss-poor at reporting anything, but its dis-information on US affairs is in a class of its own. Remedial class.


  3. john in cheshire says:

    Wonderful reporting. Thank you. I just wish we had such a system here in the UK. Then maybe, just maybe we could get rid of our socialists once and for all. Wouldn’t it be great for us Brits to have someone in the House of Commons read out our rights, to remind everyone in the place who they work for. As for the bbc, I just wish we had a government that would privatise it; or better still, just close it down. No redundancy money, no protected pension rights, no nothing. Just announce on Monday, that none of the socialist excrement that pollutes the buildings currently occupied by the bbc scum, that they are out on their ear, and should be grateful that they are not swinging from a lamp-post.


  4. Bof says:

    Great article David, it will be interesting to see how the reading of the constitution impinges on the question of Obama eligibility and the measures that appear to have been taken to cover it up.
    There appears to have been a left wing conspiracy of silence on this matter. Surely what was good enough for McCain should also apply to Obama.


  5. DizzyRingo says:

    And if we all listened to the BBBc we would never understand what is happening in the US and how it operates.
    Thank goodness for the blogosphere.


  6. Craig says:

    Brilliant post David. It’s going to fascinating to see how the events of Thursday are covered by Mardell and the Washington online gang.

    Have you seen Matt Frei’s latest post ? It’s the usual rubbish. He forsees dangers in the coming battle between Obama and the Republicans for…the Republicans who “are in danger of fighting last year’s war.” It strikes him that Americans are “exhausted after a year of relentless sniping” – and he obviously means all the “sniping at Obama”.  

    Then he makes an interesting move – to call for ‘No Labels’

    “Judging from the swelling number of independents, a huge chunk of this country is open to new ideas about what government should and should not do – ideas that go beyond the tribal boundaries of Democrats and Republicans. It is time to look back at history, see what worked and what didn’t work, and think outside boxes that are getting pitifully small. David Brooks makes the point in today’s New York Times. Happy New Year!”

    And, yes, David Brooks is part of No Labels.

    As you predicted, the Obamaphiles at the BBC like this ‘bi-partisan’ movement (like Mr Brooks) seems quite warm towards Obama.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Good grief.  Frei Boy continues the Narrative that we must all work together: to advance the President’s agenda.  Trying to accomplish anything else is bad, m’kay?

      And he even gets in an implied slam at the Tea Party movement. Only new ideas are good, eh?  As opposed to old-fashioned tiny boxes which hold silly things like the effin’ Constitution.


  7. Millie Tant says:

    Very interesting post and fascinating to read about the history and the constitution in the context of today’s workings of democracy in the US. 


  8. Natsman says:

    Kick the Obamamessiah bastard out.

    “Hope and change”

    I “hope” that this awful president can be “changed” at the earliest opportunity.

    Can we all agree on that?    “Yes, we bloody well can”.


  9. gordon-bennett says:


    You mentioned ezra klein above. Here is Iowahawk’s take on him.