Monday, November 9, 2009
We hold this duncery to be self-evident:
On November 5, addressing the crowd of anti-PelosiCare protesters, John Boehner, Republican minority leader in the House, whipped out an object he said was his copy of the Constitution. He began bloviating that he stood with the Founders, who wrote in the Preamble of the Constitution, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
We can't attribute this gaffe to a mere misspeaking on his part. After all, he held up a physical object. Did he not know what he was holding? And he explicitly referred to a "preamble."
So I say, Really? Can we really not expect of elected officials, who take an oath to protect the Constitution — an oath Boehner has had to take at least five times — to know the difference between it and the Declaration of Independence? Is it really too much to expect a crowd who say they love the Constitution not to laugh this constitutional illiterate to scorn and run him off the stage?
Further: Because of his position, this guy probably has the largest staff in the Republican caucus. Does he have no one on his staff — not even one functioning mind — who works on his speeches who is capable of recognizing one of these documents from the other? Just how many historically illiterate people helped prepare his comments?
Worse: How many people listening to him didn't even notice? How many actually know the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and are able to distinguish one text from the other?
I have sometimes wondered what good a Constitution is if it can be ignored at will. Now I have to wonder what good a Constitution can possibly be — what good reasonable, unasleep people can expect it to be — when neither those elected nor those who vote for them know what is in the miserable thing. [Ronn Neff]
Posted by theo at 4:56 PM