First, we have U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-Baton Rouge), who was one of the readers of the Constitution on the floor of the House of Representatives today. Here’s what Cassidy had to say about the decision to read the document he and 434 other members of Congress swore an oath to protect and defend…
“Today the House of Representatives paid honor and deference to the people’s will, which is best embodied in the United States Constitution. Reaffirming our obedience to its principles affirms the limits of government and the freedoms of the American people.”
It seems that Cassidy’s sentiments are not universal, though.
Next, we have U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who has a differing opinion of the reading of the Constitution this morning…
“They are reading it like a sacred text,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the outgoing chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights and civil liberties, who has studied and memorized the Constitution with talmudic intensity.
Nadler called the “ritualistic reading” on the floor “total nonsense” and “propaganda” intended to claim the document for Republicans. “You read the Torah, you read the Bible, you build a worship service around it,” said Nadler, who argued that the Founders were not “demigods” and that the document’s need for amendments to abolish slavery and other injustices showed it was “highly imperfect.”
“You are not supposed to worship your constitution. You are supposed to govern your government by it,” he said.
Nadler may not have known, when he issued forth those comments, that the reading of the Constitution would be done by both Republicans and Democrats. Minority Leader Nancy “Are you serious? Are you serious?” Pelosi was, in fact, one of the first readers. As such, it’s difficult to make the case that what the new House leadership was doing was to claim the document for Republicans.
Beyond that, however, it’s instructive that Nadler would find it necessary to say that the Founders weren’t demigods and that the Constitution was “highly imperfect.”
That Constitution laid the foundation for the greatest society ever constructed. Who is more qualified for reverence, the men who wrote it, or grotesques like Jerrold Nadler?
We’ve amended the Constitution 27 times. In doing so we have (generally) moved it closer to perfection. A mechanism exists to amend it even further.
And yet Nadler – and many, many of his ideological persuasion – have responded with vitriol and bile at the idea of at least symbolically centering the 112th Congress around the Constitution.
That’s instructive. It serves to prove that the Left hates the Constitution, because it places limits on federal power. It’s an inconvenience to them, and that’s why they want it disregarded. They see a reading of the Constitution as an affront to their ability to govern.
In short, Nadler and his cronies are enemies of the Constitution by their own words and deeds. And that makes their swearing an oath to the document a lie.
Are there complaints to be made of Republicans from a constitutional standpoint? Sure, there are some. But there aren’t many Republicans complaining about the Constitution being read on the floor of the House today. What complaints from the Right are being made emanate from a lack of faith that today’s reading will have any lasting effect on legislation being voted on in that chamber.
In this case, we’ll side with Cassidy, and hope that the detractors on the Right who aren’t convinced this Congress is serious about hewing to the Constitution will be placated. As for Nadler, he needs deflating.