Inevitable: Birther heckles reading of Constitution

posted at 2:55 pm on January 6, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Come on, man … or woman, in this case. The reading of the Constitution this afternoon in the new Republican majority proceeded in both a respectful and bipartisan fashion, with members of both parties taking part in the somber recitation of the foundational legal document of the Republic. However, as Greg Hengler captures for Townhall, the predictable happens when Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) gets to Article II, Section I, causing the House to come to a halt:

Give Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) credit for a quick and forceful response. Birthers will hail this as their “You lie!” moment, but everyone else will just be embarrassed. Right now, Congress needs to apply the Constitution to its own actions, which was the point of this exercise.

But embarrassing protests surrounding the reading today aren’t limited to the peanut gallery at the House. David Cole tries for snark at the Washington Post in his idea of what conservatives want to see in the Constitution:

We, the Real Americans, in order to form a more God-Fearing Union, establish Justice as we see it, DefeatHealth-Care Reform, and Preserve and Protect our Property, our Guns and our Right Not to Pay Taxes, do ordain and establish this Conservative Constitution for the United States of Real America.

Article I. Congress shall have only the powers literally, specifically and expressly granted herein, and no others. That means definitely, without question, absolutely, no regulation of the Health Insurance or Financial Services industries.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected not directly by the People, but by other people whom the People have elected to better represent the People.

Any law enacted by Congress and signed by the President may be overturned by the vote of three or more States if they find it burdensome, offensive, annoying or in any way touching on Health Insurance, Property Rights or Guns.

Cole goes on at length in this vein far longer than the joke deserves even if it was funny or trenchant.  Instead, it just makes Cole look like a fool.  Most conservatives actually like what the Constitution says right now, and wish liberals did, too.  If we had to make one addition, it would be an Article VIII that reads:

Everything in this document means exactly what it says, no more and no less.  If future generations want to imbue other meaning and grant more authority than what we have explicitly stated in easily-understood language, please re-read Article V.

But then again, that doesn’t fill three web pages or vent a lot of hostility at conservatives who actually can read and understand documents literally decades old.

Update: Simpson is from Idaho, not Ohio, which I knew but just had a brain fade.  Thanks to Jacob M for the heads-up.

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