Media Discovers The Constitution, The Death of the Living Document
It’s hard not to believe that The Founding Fathers were guided by God. They were able to foresee not the future as much as they recognized the dangers of man’s ambition. It’s as though they knew the hearts of men. Every article, every word of the Constitution is designed to limit the power of government. None more so than the articles written to protect the idea of checks and balances.
A truly American idea, the separation of powers in our levels of government, is what legitimately keeps the Country growing. No one party or one man ever has the ultimate power. This requires debate and compromise in order to change the laws. It’s brilliant.
This has been on my mind as all the cabinet picks have been announced. I’m struggling to care about each individual selection. I realized that my faith in the Constitution is why I feel rather “meh”, on the whole process.
Imagine my surprise when Charles C. Cooke, Editor of National Review, wrote a beautiful piece outlining the majority of my thoughts, but in a more eloquent manner than I could ever hope to for the L.A. Times.
Mr. Cooke took my thoughts one step further, to include the media hypocrisy on the issue. Because he’s that good.
The volte-face began on election night. Donald Trump had already tucked both Ohio and Florida under his belt, and Pennsylvania was looking promising. As the pundits realized that it was Hillary Clinton, not Trump, who had a “difficult path” to an electoral majority, there was first disbelief; then, a sluggish acceptance; and, finally, a mass alighting upon a single word: “Resistance.”
For eight long years, the progressive left took square aim at James Madison and his constitution-drafting compatriots. Irritated by the Republican Party’s recalcitrant insistence upon the representation of its voters, the Democrats and their enablers came to forget their “Schoolhouse Rock” and to embrace their inner caudillos. At Wonkblog and at Vox — and at all the other ersatz-Wikipedia wannabes — expedient explainers abounded. We learned that America would be better off with a parliament, that federalism was outdated and that separation of powers was at the root of our national decay. The president, we were told, had “won,” and enjoyed a mandate to set the agenda — by hook, if possible, by crook, if not. “If Congress won’t act,” President Obama proved fond of saying, “I will.” And how happily his fans applauded.
Before Nov. 8, to complain about presidential overreach or the decline of federalism or the continuing diminishment of Congress was to be labeled an “obstructionist” or a “nihilist” or a member of the “Party of No.” Today, it is the soul of enlightenment. In the New York Times, Jeffrey Rosen is forecasting a “[rediscovery] of the virtues of Jeffersonian small government,” of the sort that progressives “favored before the New Deal and the great society.” In the New Yorker, Ryan Lizza is proposing that “Congress would be wise to regain its proper place as the first branch of government, at least when it comes to serving as a check on a powerful executive.” And, at news conference after news conference, Democratic politicians are vowing to use the powers that they have been accorded. The mayors hope to assert their cities’ interests against Washington. The lawmakers wish to block Trump’s unsalutary appointments or the GOP’s proposed legislative changes.
When the baton passes to one’s enemies, the follies of expedience come clearly into view.
To a man, the resisters are channeling deeply conservative ideas.
The bottom line is Checks and Balances are a good thing, regardless of who is in power. That’s the whole point. This is something Conservatives hold dear. It’s something the Media usually ignores. For the last 8 years we’ve been lulled to sleep by a lazy media. Now as the power shifts to the Republicans, it amusing to see the Media suddenly find interest in something they insisted was a Living Document, to be ammended at will, when their guy was in power. You won’t see any “The Living Constitution” think pieces under President Trump. Suddenly the Media will acknowledge the dangers of changing the Constitution on a whim.
I love this Country.