“Ahem. Class, settle down. Is this thing on…? Let’s continue in our daily reading from The Constitution of the United States.
The Bill of Rights. Amendment I.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion , or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Akhil Reed Amar, in his excellent America’s Constitution, A Biography, notes
…the mere fact that the First Amendment enumerated free-speech and free-exercise rights against Congress did not mean that Americans lacked similar rights against the president and federal courts, if those rights could indeed be properly inferred from the Constitution as a while or from the siprit of the First Amendment itself.
The House Resolution condemning Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) for shouting out during President Obama’s speech (ad nauseaum) on healthcare last week was passed by typically partisan lines. Citing the House rules for decorum (funny, can’t find those online – perhaps a “constitutional scholar” can help me out?), Democrats have refused to accept his personal apology to Obama (after all, he accepted it and he was the fellow who was interrupted, was he not?) and have signed him up for I.S.S.
Even better, now this Congress, surely the finest and most upstanding Congress evah elected in this fine nation, has given us a playbook to help navigate the sometimes murky waters of Congressional discourse whilst in the presence of the Anointed One.
Especially useful: The section on how to properly insult the executive branch in the in the chamber.
“Disgrace” and “nitwits” — okay.
“Liar” or “sexual misconduct” — ixnay.
Under section 370 of the House Rules and Manual it has been held that a Member could:
• refer to the government as “something hated, something oppressive.”
• refer to the President as “using legislative or judicial pork.”
• refer to a Presidential message as a “disgrace to the country.”
• refer to unnamed officials as “our half-baked nitwits handling foreign affairs.”
Likewise, it has been held that a member could not:
• call the President a “liar.”
• call the President a “hypocrite.”
• describe the President’s veto of a bill as “cowardly.”
• charge that the President has been “intellectually dishonest.”
• refer to the President as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”
• refer to alleged “sexual misconduct on the President’s part.”
I kid you not. There is now a list of what you can and cannot say on the floor of the House of Representatives, the House of the PEOPLE, of the United States. Did they include the most important word of all – fascist?
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), the man who replaced Cynthia McKinney has suddenly filled her shoes and then some.
[Rep. Pete] Stark calls Bush a liar: no problem. Wilson calls Obama a liar: it simply MUST be racism! 10-4, good buddy.
Can someone please explain to me why simply disagreeing with a person of a different race than yourself automatically smears you as a raaaaaist?
Isn’t targeting another person based on their race considered real racism? Or does the Ministry of Truth now consider it social justice? Don’t expect this to get national attention, because, well, it doesn’t fit the media template. Seems the true definitions are becoming more blurred by the day.
To make matters worse, now Joe Wilson’s son, Alan is coming under fire simply for the preceived “sins” of his father. He is running for Attorney General in South Carolina.
Shortly after the revolution, colonials would abuse and often punish the sons of tories, those who had supported King George. When the Constitution was written, the Founders prohibited punishment in treason that would “work Corruption of Blood,” or punishment extended to descendants.
It is a natural tendency in the corruption of man to punish the children of those who did things wrong or perceived to have done things wrong. It’s like my neighbor heckling my 3 year old solely because she is related to me. It is part of the baser parts of human nature. And it is not right.
Was myopic on the good words or bad words list? Just askin’…
Always looking for the silver lining – we can look forward to uncrowded beaches in South Carolina, just in time for spring break.
Cross-posted at Obi’s Sister.