"Why worry now...?"

>> Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I started working on a blog entry earlier today about Representative Scott Garrett's (R-NJ) asinine proposal to tie up the House with showboating over whether or not each and every bill or amendment brought forth was covered by a constitutional clause he likes, but I got tired of writing it about halfway through and deleted the buggering thing. Basically, Rep. Garrett is pushing that teabagger notion that every bill ought to have a constitutional justification, only it appears somebody finally pointed out to him that Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, which sets forth the powers of Congress, begins and ends with catchall provisions:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;


To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Because, you know, just like contemporary legislators, the authors of the United States Constitution realized they needed some generalized enabling provisions just in case something came up that they hadn't foreseen but required Federal legislation to cover.

So, yeah, I had this whole thing about how certain teabaggery types are all about the selective reading of the Constitution, but then I realized that (a) I had nothing particularly new to say and (b) I was tempted to veer off into throwing random words at Justice Antonin Scalia's latest reimagining of the Fourteenth Amendment, which apparently is part of a Constitution that protects the rights of corporations as persons but not the rights of women as persons because, enh, that's what the Founding Fathers and authors of the Reconstruction amendments were thinking, that business associations chartered for the purposes of limiting shareholder liability are people with First Amendment rights while girls have cooties and shouldn't be allowed into military academies. Read your Constitution, dammit, it's all in there!

But the whole thing, anyway, was going off the rails and lots of people have already been writing about these topics, so, as I mentioned earlier, enh. Adam Serwer has a nice bit up at The American Prospect about the Garrett business and here's Salon's Joan Walsh demolishing Justice Scalia. I don't imagine I'd say anything better than they do, and shaggy as my brain seems to be this week, I might say things quite a bit worse, introducing terms like "poophead" and "doofus" to what ought to be a civilized and decorous civic debate about right-wing poopheads and doofuses.

What's really much better than that would be sharing two lovely voices, those of Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler's guitar. Here they are performing "Why Worry," from what might as well and should have been (but technically wasn't) Dire Straits' last album, Brothers In Arms. Isn't this nice:


Seth Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 8:50:00 PM EST  

Man, that Scalia thing is hilarious. "I am a Constitutional originalist. Now let me explain to you how the text doesn't mean what it says."

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