Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Constitutional Myth #2: The 'Purpose' of the Constitution Is to Limit Congress - Garrett Epps - National - The Atlantic
The error about the purpose of the Constitution explains the curiously two-faced nature of far-right "constitutionalism." On the one hand, they insist that they love the Constitution more than life itself; on the other, they keep trying to sneak amendments into it to strip Congress of power over the budget or allow state legislatures to repeal federal laws. The Constitution they claim to revere actually looks a lot like the Articles of Confederation.
The current war on federal power, like the other attacks on its power throughout history, is really motivated by an entirely realistic fear that those idiots, the people, will enact progressive legislation. Only by importing prohibitions on Congress into the Constitution can that terrible outcome be prevented.
But the more tightly we bind Congress with imaginary chains, the less we, the people, can create a "respectable nation."