Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Whole Thing

I just signed the Whole Constitution Pledge, which almost completely avoids the fetish for "founding fathers" that these kinds of things tend to indulge:

Through the Constitution, “We the People” created the most enduring government charter in world history.
Building on the achievements of the Founding generation, successive generations of Americans have created a “more perfect union” through constitutional Amendments. These Amendments have improved our Constitution by ending slavery, enshrining guarantees of equality and citizenship, expanding the right to vote, and ensuring that the national government has the power and resources necessary to protect the nation, address national challenges and secure civil rights.
Some have advocated repeal of Amendments, including the 14th Amendment, the 16th Amendment, and the 17th Amendment, that make our Constitution better and this country great. Some have even failed to heed the lessons of the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement and have advocated a return to ideas of secession and nullification.
I believe that our Constitution has been improved by the Amendments adopted over the last 220 years. I pledge to support the whole Constitution.
This is a longer way of saying: the rule of law should prevail in the USA. That said, I am not convinced that advocating for the repeal of particular amendments or provisions is a problem since the Constitution provides for the means of its own emendation, and this cannot proceed without advocacy, which is in turn expressly protected under the first amendment.

While the amendments and provisions stand as they are, however, public officials of all parties must be bound to a good-faith understanding and precedent-informed reading of their terms. I'm looking right at you when I note that, President Chickenshit, no less than I am looking right at your war criminal predecessors.

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