Not as embarrassing as Phil Hare’s irritated don’t-bother-me-with-that-Constitution-stuff defense of ObamaCare, but still depressing. Yeah, granted, congressmen shouldn’t necessarily be expected to quote chapter and verse, but these aren’t hard questions. If you know that Article I establishes the federal legislature — and you should — then you can guess what Section 1 says. And anyone who’s taken a civics class can name at least three of the rights protected by the First Amendment. This does not inspire confidence, LoBianco.

The point here, of course, is to demonstrate what an afterthought the Constitution has become for members of Congress. No surprise, then, that the item that’s currently getting the most votes for the proposed tea party “Contract from America” is the one demanding that each new bill cite the section of the Constitution that empowers Congress to act. Although how useful would that be, really? No matter what the purpose of the bill is, the citation will always, always be to the Commerce Clause. It entitles Congress to do anything it wants, don’tcha know.