by Warner Todd Huston | September 29, 2010 10:00 am
The Constitution of the United States of America. Journalist Mary Dejevsky wrote about it, but she sure hasn’t the first clue about what it does, what it means, or why American politics seem to have gone awry. She did get some things correct in her article in Britain’s Independent newspaper but over all she proved that she neither understands, nor even has a general feel for the greatest governing document ever written by man.
Further Mary Dejevsky reveals herself to be a typical left-winger that not only doesn’t “get” the USA but actively hates her and wants her destroyed and replaced with a pale copy of any particular European nation. In this she differs little from the goals of the current Democrat Party and she certainly represents a typical journalist.
One of the things the Independent’s Washington correspondent got right, though, was contained in the subhead, a pull quote from further down in the article. “The ignorance, bickering and sheer incompetence the present system fosters in a new administration is not worthy of a world power in the modern age.” Couldn’t agree more.
Dejevsky also gets it right that more countries should be emulating the simple, direct nature of our Constitution but from there she goes downhill. We only have to get to the third paragraph to see her go terribly off the rails about the Constitution. Ridiculously by the end of that third paragraph we see the scribe assuming that the 2000 election has proven that the US Constitution is “running out of road.”
The truth is that the 2000 election was no example of the Constitution going badly. In fact, no matter what you think of any vote fraud or lack thereof in the 2000 election, the Constitution itself worked perfectly well for that crisis. A state court misapplied the law and the federal court corrected them. The state then went to the right candidate and the Electoral College awarded the election to the proper person. It all went exactly as laid out.
So, Dejevsky is wrong that the Constitution went awry for the 2000 election.
Next, the writer spends several paragraphs discussing how Obama has proven utterly unable to make war policy as evidence from Bob Woodward’s newest book on President Obama’s failed war policies. As “exhibit A” she notes:
… Woodward’s sources still reveal a President of frightening inexperience sometimes at a loss to deal with hostile views and vested interests. This, at a time when the economy was languishing and crucial decisions had to be taken about campaign pledges on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dejevsky also details the other Obama mess, his domestic policy and the “slew of early departures from Obama’s team” that is underway.
OK, Dejevsky is totally correct to point out that Obama is a complete disaster. His inexperience coupled with his inability to put into place any good support staff and his refusal to even listen to the ones he has marks this president as an utterly incapable man. A fool of the highest order.
But what do all these paragraphs have to do with the Constitution being at the end of the road? Nothing, really. Voters have made a great mistake by election this incapable president, sure, but this is hardly the fault of the Constitution.
It is “exhibit C” that proves that Dejevsky really hasn’t any idea what she is on about either about the Constitution’s technical system itself or historically in how it has been observed over the last several hundred years.
Exhibit C relates to the legislature. The functioning of government is predicated on a degree of bipartisan give and take in the two houses of Congress. Fiercely adversarial party politics was for the likes of Britain and its Parliament. What the US faces now is a Republican Party that will brook no compromise, within a system that requires members to reach across the aisle…
First of all to assume that the fault lies with a “Republican Party that will brook no compromise,” shows this woman hasn’t a clue. The last time — and only time — that the Republican Party was so radical that it refused compromise was between 1860 and the 1880s. Since then the GOP has been the party of compromise and “reaching across the aisle.” It has been the Democrats that have been historically radicalized and unable to compromise.
We have but to look to the 1830s when Democrats were so radical that they even outlawed debate on slavery in Congress with the gag rule. No compromise there. See the 1860s when they were so radical that they tried to secede and their actions resulted in a war that killed over 600,000 Americans. Hard to compromise when you are shooting at the other side. See the era of Jim Crow, the 1940s when the GOP was systematically denied power, the era of Civil Rights, the House under Tip O’Neil that attempted to destroy Ronald Reagan, see the Democrat Party of 2006 to present where no compromise is ever made — in fact where the GOP is not even invited to the table to discuss legislation by either the president or the House or Senate leadership.
All during these eras the GOP has stood by, bent its principles, compromised, worked with the Democrats, and generally showed that they have little spine for standing up for themselves. But no, to this left-wing Brit who knows precisely zip about American history, it is the GOP that is destroying the Constitution by refusing to compromise.
She goes on…
…Nor is there any immediate prospect of that changing, as the Republican mainstream feels the populist Tea Party movement pushing it further right. The long-standing US political analyst, Thomas Mann, of the Brookings Institution, describes the split between Democrats and Republicans as more absolute than it was even in 1994 when Newt Gingrich rallied Republicans with his Contract for America. Nor is he alone in seeing it as quite possibly permanent.
I quite agree that the Tea Party is standing firm and saying that the right should offer no compromise with the obscene left. But it isn’t because these Tea Partiers are suddenly bucking American history and the Constitution. It’s because the GOP has allowed the Constitution to slip away from us by bowing to Democrat’s Euro-esque attack of that document. Tea Partiers have had enough of this destruction and they are standing athwart the Democrat’s drive to Euroize this country and shouting “stop”!
But this Brit really hopes that the left wins this argument and the USA does turn into a less powerful copy of Europe.
It is possible that the stalemate will turn out to be temporary; possible, too, that the Tea Party tendency will turn out to be the last gasp of a dying demographic group and that US politics will slot back to the more productive equilibrium of before. The sharp decline in social conservatism and the greater tolerance charted in surveys of younger voters — attitudes which helped Obama to the presidency — could eventually shift the centre of US politics to a different, more European, place. This, in turn, could bring all sorts of changes of its own.
If the United States does turn out to be a pale copy of Europe that truly would be a slap in the face of the Constitution, wouldn’t it?
Lefty writer Dejevsky winds up claiming that this all proves that the Constitution is a document “frayed around the edges.”
But that is to jump ahead. In the meantime, the US Constitution and the way US politics functions are looking somewhat frayed around the edges. President Obama’s inexperience may have made his first 18 months more difficult than they might have been, but his country’s outdated institutions made things much, much worse.
“Outdated institutions”? Like liberty, freedom, private property rights, individualism? You mean those outdated institutions, Dejevsky? Apparently the last European that ever “got” the USA was Alexis de Tocqueville.
The fact is if things have gone awry in the U.S. it isn’t because the Constitution is somehow “outdated.” It’s because it is being systematically ignored and subverted. The document isn’t broken, it’s being ignored, and all too often by both parties. This is what the Tea Party movement is trying to stop.
But, again, Dejevsky is a typical leftist. She really does have disdain for the U.S. Constitution. In reading her piece for the Independent you can just feel that she is cheering its and our demise. She and Democrats like her cannot wait until this whole “Constitution” thing is finally laid to rest and buried in the past where such “outdated” things belong.
In this she is not only just like Democrats but is a typical journalist, nose in the air, look of disgust on her face, and poison in her pen for the fate of the United States Constitution.
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