Quotes of the day

“The story concludes, ‘The Constitution serves the nation; the nation does not serve the Constitution.’ The connotation is that we shouldn’t be too slavish in our fidelity to the Constitution.

“Like the rest of this article, its conclusion misses the point. The Constitution serves the American people as an unbreakable constraint on those in power, dictating their duties and the limits on their authority. The Constitution serves We the People by requiring every government official to take an oath to obey its every word.

“The picture art at the outset of Time’s story shows the Constitution cut in dozens of narrow vertical strips. Clearly it had been run through a paper shredder.

“Evidently this is wishful thinking for some on the far left. The only problem is that it’s false. Interest in the Constitution is resurgent, and that renewed interest is the key to America’s renewal in our third century.”

“Any discussion of invoking the Constitution’s 14th Amendment as a way out of the debt-limit impasse is ‘crazy talk,’ Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’

“Some Democrats have been pointing to the 14th Amendment, which states that federal debts ‘shall not be questioned,’ as a legal argument for why President Barack Obama could continue to pay the country’s debt even if the limit is not raised…

“‘It is not acceptable for Congress and the president not to do their job and say basically the president has the authority to do this by himself,’ Cornyn said.”

“The great respect George Washington had accrued during the fighting of the Revolutionary War argued for making the president commander in chief of American forces. But which branch would decide when to go to war? Because members of both the House and the Senate represented the communities from which soldiers and sailors would be drawn for future conflicts, wisdom dictated that the power to make war be put in their hands.

“Keeping those two powers — declaring and waging war — separate involved an engineering feat Madison tellingly described as pitting the officeholders’ ambitions against each other.

“Obama not only acted according to original expectations in his reluctance to have his authority curtailed, but so did Congress. Liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans have dropped their differences for the moment and joined together to check presidential power. Instead of acting like partisans, they are trying to chart a course of action to preserve their constitutionally mandated authority.

“Madison went on to say that relying on personal ambition to maintain the separation of powers might seem to reflect on human nature, but what then, he asked, is government itself if not ‘the greatest of all reflections on human nature.'”

“The question is, has the congressional power to regulate interstate commerce been so loosely construed that now Congress can do anything at all, that there is nothing it cannot do.

“Let me ask the three of you. Obviously, obesity and its costs affect interstate commerce. Does Congress have the constitutional power to require obese people to sign up for Weight Watchers? If not, why not?