Open thread: Let's celebrate New Year's by giving up on the Constitution

There may or may not be fiscal-cliff action tonight — a Senate vote of some sort is likely, a House vote is not — so here’s your thread for Congress-watching and/or holiday revelry. Either way, drinking is mandatory.

In lieu of a QOTD, let me leave you with an excerpt from the op-ed page of the liberal establishment’s flagship paper. 2012 was a banner year for them: The Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare and a younger, more diverse electorate delivered four more years to The One. The tectonic political realignment that they thought had happened four years ago might actually have happened this year. What’s left for a leftist to dream about after two victories as momentous as that? Jettisoning the final check on their power, I guess:

As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions…

Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.

As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?

And that, my friends, is how America is finally Perfected. Let a thousand Wilsonian flowers bloom.

Thanks to all of you for reading these past 12 months. See you next year!