Tags: Constitution | More | Than | 'Piece | Paper!'

Constitution More Than a 'Piece of Paper!'

Sunday, 11 December 2005 12:00 AM

Aaron Tippin and Buddy Brock wrote a song titled "You've Got to Stand for Something." The warning to the lyric notes "or you'll fall for anything."

I often say, "It's not a question of WHO is right or wrong but WHAT is right or wrong that matters."

Different people have different guidelines for determining what is "right."

In this polarized/acrimonious/perpetual contact sport between left and right, liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican (demonstrated by the Ann Coulters and the Al Frankens), so much emphasis is put on sizzle, we rarely get to sink our teeth into the steak.

No, Mr. President, blasphemy notwithstanding, the Constitution is much more. The Constitution is the essence of what America is, and for many, a yardstick for measuring what is right.

From military recruits to Congress critters to Supreme Court justices to the president of the United States, all take an oath in which they solemnly swear to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States."

It is beyond hypocritical for someone to swear "to preserve and protect the Constitution against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic" and subsequently focus on undermining, mitigating or abrogating the very document to which they have sworn protection ... in effect becoming a domestic enemy.

Debate continues about whether those so engaged are guilty of fraud, perjury or treason.

Since 9/11 there has been a lot of talk about patriotism. It has been implied that to resist what the administration wants to do is "unpatriotic." Mark Twain said, "Patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel." I don't think or hope Twain meant that everyone who embraces patriotism is a scoundrel, but it becomes a challenge to differentiate between true patriots and politicians intent on using it as a tool to further a personal (unconstitutional) agenda.

By the way, any effort to undermine the Constitution from beneath a mantel of 'patriotism' is oxymoronic.

Teddy Roosevelt said: "Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does NOT mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country."

I admire President Bush for a variety of reasons ... however, I am not a GOP sycophant who will defend the indefensible because of a myopic 'us vs. them' groupthink.

According to Capitol Hill Blue, when confronted with facts that contradicted his preconceived opinions, Bush said, "I'm the president and the commander in chief. Do it my way."

When an aide (as reported by Thompson) said, "Mr. President, there is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution," Bush blew up and screamed, "Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, it's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

No, Mr. President we won't stop throwing the Constitution in your face. You put your hand on a Bible and swore to defend that "piece of paper."

The reason famous conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr have joined with the American Civil Liberties Union to oppose overly ambitious plans for renewing the USA Patriot Act is that THEY stand for something ... and won't fall for anything dictated by an imperious 'Do it MY way' leader.

The USA Patriot Act is a sticky wicket, and smarter folks than I are tasked with solving the challenges.

The Declaration, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are more, much more than mere "piece[s] of paper."

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Aaron Tippin and Buddy Brock wrote a song titled "You've Got to Stand for Something." The warning to the lyric notes "or you'll fall for anything." I often say, "It's not a question of WHO is right or wrong but WHAT is right or wrong that matters." Different people have...
Constitution,More,Than,'Piece,Paper!'
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2005-00-11
Sunday, 11 December 2005 12:00 AM
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