The rise of these self-proclaimed constitutional conservatives is an ominous development that has received too little notice — and too little push-back.... I thought, all right then. Make the "progressive" case that the Constitution provides for the federal government's intrusion into every aspect of our daily lives, babe.
Until now. Under the banner of “Constitutional Progressives,” a coalition of liberal groups has begun making an important, two-part argument: first, that a progressive government agenda is consistent with constitutional values; and second, that the constitutional conservative approach represents a dangerous retrenchment of the government’s role.
But babe disappoints.
Not a word is offered up in defense of our current state of affairs as they relate to the enumerated powers granted by We the People to the federal government in that most cherished document, other than the fact that we have been doing things in this country - we being Democrats and Republicans alike - this way for a long time and that's the way it is.
That's a Constitutional argument?
No. That's a status quo argument.
And a shallow one at that.
An argument that We the People are in the process of sending to the scrap heap of history.
The constitutional conservative vision is dramatically different. It sees a hobbled federal government limited to a few basic activities, such as national defense and immigration. The 10th Amendment, reserving to states the powers not granted to the federal government, would be put on steroids. The commerce clause, giving the federal government the authority to regulate commerce among the states, would be drastically diminished.(1) Earth to Ruth Marcus: Those who wrote the Constitution meant for it to be a set of hobbles.
(2) We can argue about how few "basic activities" the federal government is going to be limited to, but it is going to be limited. Again. That government requiring, at the point of a gun, that We the People buy health insurance? Kiss that shit goodbye.
(3) Ignore the 10th Amendment to the Constitution if you will (defending the liberal interpretation requires a lot of ignorance), but it is going to be given its duly prominent place in our national interaction, for the first time in a long time.
(4) "The commerce clause, giving the federal government the authority to regulate commerce among the states, would be drastically diminished." Yes. Remember ObamaCare? We the People will not accept it.
As Bob Dylan once sang:
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'
Please. Get out of our way. A new world unfolds. As it should.