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Constitutionally Incapable of a Constitution

12.23.2005 11:16 | DISPATCHES

One of Doug Thompson's beats at is the president's psyche. He talked to three people present for a meeting Bush held last month with Republican Congressional leaders about renewing the Patriot Act. An aide informed him there was a valid case that it undermines the Constitution.

"'Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,' Bush screamed back. 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper!'"

Thompson also reports that while still White House counsel, Alberto Gonzales wrote that the "Constitution is an outdated document."

However unnerving thoughtful citizens find their attitudes, the president's remarks, like his stance on torture, likely reflect majority opinion. Ratifying the Constitution today would be an act way too radical for the average American, for whom the term civil liberties has been tarnished by the hard right relentless attacks on the American Civil Liberties Union (which, considering how synonymous it's now become with "weak liberal," should change just capitulate already and change its name).

The Constitution was a reaction to colonization by a king, which we haven't had one in over two-hundred years--until now (George III to George the forty-third).

Here's where I'm supposed to get all self-righteous and urge you to read the Constitution, but I tried recently and it's much too dry. You might, instead, want to try a book on the Constitutional Convention, like old standby Miracle at Philadelphia by Catherine Drinker Bowen. You know, the woman who wrote Yankee From Olympus (imagine giving a history book a title that fluffy today). On second thought you might be better off doing a search for titles on Amazon.


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