Why all the fuss about reading the US Constitution yesterday?

Really now. What’s the problem with taking less than one hour on the House floor to read one of our founding documents? It’s not like we’re asking members of Congress to read the 2,500 page health care reform legislation or anything…

Yesterday morning, Jim asked me to write a post concerning the historic reading yesterday, but I missed the opportunity. The Sound Off Sister posted this morning, but I needed to add a few points of reference.

First off, I’ll be the first one to admit not one congress-critter will learn anything from this exercise, and the Washington politics-as-usual will not be changed because of yesterday’s revival meeting on the floor of the House. Quite the opposite may happen, with Democrats and Republicans alike referring to the document and interpreting it to their own end, with most completely ignoring Article One, Section Eight and the 10th Amendment.

Hint: We’re the United States of America.

Still, it was a fine gesture. As a matter of fact, the time was well spent since it may get more citizens to pull out a copy or read The Constitution and the 27 Amendments online at some point this week. Will you?

Some called it a waste of time, but have you ever watched the stuff that comes up in one-minute speeches? Now that stuff is a waste of time.

All of that said, let’s list what the media and members of the political elite thought of the House efforts yesterday.

  • Some goof at Vanity Fair calculated Congress wasted $1.1 million of taxpayer funds to read the document. They seemed to be serious. Hat tip Big Journalism, who calls it for what it is – crap math. Morrissey at Hot Air noted the lame attempt.
  • Some sections of the Constitution were omitted – either in error or design – and some expressed displeasure the sections referring to the “Eighteenth Amendment on prohibition and the three-fifths clause that declared for purposes of deciding representation that black slaves would be counted as three-fifths of free whites” was just going to be skipped because they had been amended. Rep. Jessie Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) wanted those portions read in full.
  • AP at Hot Air thought the real reason Democrats wanted to have the amended sections read is “to have video of some Republican forced to read the since-repealed clause about slaves being three-fifths of a person so that they can use the clip in moronic attack videos.”
  • Slate Magazine took a shot or two at the Constitutionalists among us, using the word “fetish.” Brad Schaeffer at Big Journalism took that on.
  • The New York Times scoffed at the reading, referring to it as “a theatrical production of unusual pomposity.” It was the first sentence of the opinion piece. Hat tip Gateway Pundit.
  • Big Government quotes a dismissive Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) who thinks the reading is a waste of time and referred to the “ritualistic reading” as “propaganda.”

All of this simply over the House taking the time to read the United States Constitution and hopefully bring a healthy discussion concerning the document and amendments to the table. What do you think?

7 replies
  1. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    It is both amazing and revealing how much the collectivist liberals seem to fear and abhor the Constitution.  Never mind that they swear an oath to uphold it.   Never mind that new immigrants (the legal ones anyway) are still taught that it is the "supreme law of the land" and that we are a nation of laws.  Of course, Alcee Hastings once said that they just "make it up as they go along", which seems to be what the Øbama administration and the Congressional Democrats have been doing for the past 2 and 4 years, respectively.


    Liberals recognize that any reasonable and honest reading of the Constitution will demonstrate that it is a restriction on the power of government, the antithesis of what liberal statists stand for.


    I am going to consider Congresscritters to be three fifths of a real American from now on….

  2. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    I'm glad that the Constitution was read before Congress because it will be recorded in the Congressional Record. I fear that in the future they will burn the Constitution, you know like they are always accusing conservatives of wanting to burn books. Congress is too arrogant to burn their words, but that dusty old document that is too hard to read…. Well.

  3. porschepete
    porschepete says:

    If the constitution is too hard to read and they don't read bills before they pass them they must have a reading disability.

  4. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    I don't attribute religious or mystical qualities (fetish) to the Constitution.  The only way the document would acquire these qualities would be if our elected representatives actually took it seriously and followed it instead of making up lame excuses as to why they cannot.

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