The U.S. Constitution was intended to be the U.S. federal government’s ball & chain. It was supposed to shackle the government down so that Americans could enjoy lives of liberty as never before.
It should go without saying that it didn’t work. As we observe the biggest government in the history of the world, coupled with the biggest welfare state and military empire, it is not a mistake to say that the U.S. Constitution failed miserably.
However, fantasy is a big part of politics, so American politicians and talking heads keep the founding document around for rhetorical purposes. You’ll mostly hear about the Constitution during election season. Republicans are well known for peppering it into their dishonest orations. Of course, after elections are over, you won’t hear Republicans appeal to the Constitution, or follow it.
Democrats are a little different. In general, they stay away from the Constitution, unless they want something, like their choice for a Supreme Court Judge. For example, President Obama has just nominated a candidate to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court. The Republicans are refusing to have a hearing and vote for confirmation.
Wouldn’t you know, there are Democrats that are appealing to the U.S. Constitution in order to get the Republicans to vote….Ha!
One of those individuals is Robert Reich, who worked for the Clinton Administration. Now, anyone who knows about Reich might automatically giggle at him mentioning the Constitution. His entire career is based on violating it with reckless abandon.But, nevertheless, here’s Reich now that it’s convenient to appeal to the document:
The Constitution of the United States is clear: Article II Section 2 says the President “shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint … judges to the Supreme Court.”
It doesn’t say the President can’t appoint in the final year of his term of office. In fact, a third of all U.S. presidents have appointed a Supreme Court justice in an election year. Yet many Republicans argue that no appointment can be made in the election year.And the Constitution doesn’t give the Senate leader the right to delay and obstruct the rest of the Senate fro voting on a President’s nominee. Yet this is what the current Republican leadership argues.
Now, what Democrats and Republicans do with filling the vacant seat is of no interest to this author. The Supreme Court was destroyed long before any of us were born.
However, for someone like Reich to insult everyone’s intelligence with his clearly political appeal to the Constitution just had to be pointed out. Furthermore, Reich couldn’t even fake it through his entire article.This is later in the piece:
And think of the cases coming up – on retaining a woman’s right to choose, on the rights of teachers and other public employees to unionize, on the President’s authority to fight climate change, and the rights of countless Americans with little or no power in a system where more and more power is going to the top. That’s the traditional role of the Supreme Court – to protect the powerless from the powerful.
That’s total nonsense!
If you’re going to fake it, at least follow through.
As poor as the U.S. Constitution is, it would be much preferable if the government actually did follow the supposed “law of the land”. The government would not be anything like what we see today. However, were that to actually happen, and the Constitution was dug out of the trash can, and taped back together, what would Robert Reich do for work?
Written by Chris Rossini