Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Keep Your Hands Off My Constitution!

The United States Constitution is a remarkable document. Yes, it does not explicitly acknowledge the rights of women, as well as avoids addressing slavery, which was the political third rail of the era. But beyond the original Bill of Rights it has been amended a mere 17 times in 227 years, including two amendments that redress slavery, and five of those 17 amendments are technical fixes.

This did not deter tireless Republican Party culture warriors who spent much of the last decade unsuccessfully trying to pass amendments banning abortion, same-sex marriage and flag burning, establishing English as the "official" language, permitting prayer in public schools, and so on and so forth. But now, in a reversal of field, Republicans are trying to get rid of amendments that don't pass their political purity test.

Three amendments are currently in the crosshairs of the Iowa Republican Party --
the 14th (on birthright citizenship), the 16th (a progressive federal income tax), and the 17th (U.S. senators elected by the public).

Like the initiatives to pass new amendments, the efforts of right-wing Republicans generally and the Iowa GOP in particular to abolish amendments will go down in flames.

The biggest reason is that there are too many issues that transcend tinkering with the Constitution, besides which most of us have the good sense to know that if it ain't broken then there's no reason to fix it.

It's just that good sense does not apply to too many Republicans these days.

No comments: