(AP) - Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia won his seat in Congress campaigning as a strict defender of the Constitution. He carries a copy in his pocket and is particularly fond of invoking the Second Amendment right to bear arms. But it turns out there are parts of the document he doesn't care for - lots of them. He wants to get rid of the language about birthright citizenship, federal income taxes and direct election of senators, among others. He would add plenty of stuff, including explicitly authorizing castration as punishment for child rapists.
This hot-and-cold take on the Constitution is surprisingly common within the GOP, particularly among those like Broun who portray themselves as strict Constitutionalists and who frequently accuse Democrats of twisting the document to serve political aims. Republicans have proposed at least 42 Constitutional amendments in the current Congress.
The Republican proposals … tend to be social and political statements: prohibit government ownership of private companies, bar same-sex marriage, require a two-thirds vote in Congress to raise taxes, and - an old favorite - prohibit desecration of the American flag.
Rep. Pete Hoekstra introduced an amendment that would allow voters to directly repeal laws passed by Congress - a move that would radically alter the Founding Fathers' system of checks and balances.
Rep. Michele Bachmann wants to restrict the president's ability to sign international treaties because she fears the Obama administration might replace the dollar with some sort of global currency.
Broun said he sees no contradiction in his devotion to the Constitution and his desire to rewrite parts of it. He said the Founding Fathers never imagined the size and scope of today's federal government and that he's simply resurrecting their vision by trying to amend it. "We need to do a lot of tweaking to make the Constitution as it was originally intended, instead of some perverse idea of what the Constitution says and does."
The problem says constitutional law scholar Mark Kende, is that divining what the framers intended involves subjective judgments infused with politics.
Virginia Sloan, an attorney who directs the nonpartisan Constitution Project, agreed. "There are a lot of people who obviously don't like income taxes. That's a political position," she said of criticism of the 16th Amendment, which authorized the modern federal income tax more than a century ago. "But it's in the Constitution ... and I don't think you can go around saying something is unconstitutional just because you don't like it."
Democrats and their crazy idea that the Constitution is an evolving document have proposed 27 amendments … “deal with less ideological issues such as congressional succession in a national disaster or voting rights in U.S. territories.”
Monday, August 23, 2010
Strict Constitutional Constructionist offer 42 Amendments to Change Founding Document.
AP put together a great list of Republican lawmakers who don't seem to like our founding document so much they want to change it, a lot. Compare that to the liberal idea of a "living breathing" constitutional document where change is good.
Posted by John Peterson, Democurmudgeon at 8/23/2010 04:54:00 PM