Sunday, January 02, 2011

Yes, the Constitution is binding

Ezra Klein really backpedaled on that gaff--well sort of. Yes, he backed off the statement he made that the Constitution is actually binding, but then made this statement:
The rather toxic implication of this proposal is that one side respects the Constitution and the other doesn't. That's bunk, of course: It’s arguments over how the Constitution should be understood, not arguments over whether it should be followed, that cleave American politics. The Constitution was written more than 223 years ago, and despite the confidence various people have in their interpretation of the text, smart scholars of good faith continue to disagree about it. And they tend to disagree about it in ways that support their political ideology. I rarely meet a gun-lover who laments the Second Amendment's clear limits on bearing firearms, or someone who believes in universal health care but thinks the proper interpretation of the Commerce Clause doesn't leave room for such a policy.

The funny thing is that Klein himself interprets the Constitution to read that there are limits on the Second Amendment but a very expansive interpretation of the Commerce Clause.  

But leaving aside Klein's interpretation issues, the fact that he, a supposedly educated man, can somehow claim that the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land, can not be binding is ludicrous and a symptom that too few liberal "thinkers" believe that there are any limits on the power of government.  Of course people have disagreements over an interpretation of the Constitution, but it is a document that has written words and those words have meanings.  The problem with too many liberals is that they want to put different words into the document, not interpret the words that are there.

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