It seems that there has been a contradictory stance regarding reverence towards the United States Constitution from the progressive and conservative ideologies lately. Many progressives seem annoyed at the right's newly found respect and reverence for our Constitution. I have read many of my liberal friends on blogs decrying this phenomenon as silly and nothing more than political theater. I have seen the Constitution mocked and those that would chose to abide by its dictates as having a "fetish" for it. I watched Chris Hayes the other night, standing in for Rachel Maddow, sneer and condescend that the GOP's love for the Constitution is nothing more than foolishness and political chicanery.
Frankly, I would not doubt that there is indeed a healthy dose of political opportunism and pandering by some politicians in their newly-found embrace of the Constitution that they have been sworn to uphold and defend with their oaths of office. Nevertheless, I find it refreshing that the House is starting out the 112th Congress by reading the entire Constitution and ensuring that any legislation presented must source where the authorization for that legislation is found in the Constitution. I cannot help but think that this should help minimize some of the asinine and extra-Constitutional bills brought forth in congress, particularly by our Democrat friends as evidenced in the preceding congress.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has even stated that he would teach congress members about our Constitution in a conference for them. I suspect, based on the condescension and past disregard for the document, that this will be lightly attended by those members of congress from the Democratic side of the aisle.
All of this brings a question to mind. Why is it that many progressives have such an arrogant disregard, sometimes bordering on loathing, of our Constitution which has been the glue that has held this republic together for over 200 years? I would submit that the answer lies in the words of our own President Obama, who has characterized the Constitution as a "charter of negative liberties". He finds the Constitution to be a hindrance to what he would like the federal government to do for the "common good" of the nation but cannot do if he were to actually adhere to the document.
You see, the Constitution is meant to purposely and narrowly define ONLY the actions allowed by the federal government, while enumerating the explicit rights of We The People. If a certain right is not explicitly stated in the Constitution, then that right is reserved to the individual states or the people. In other words, the Constitution tells the government what it cannot do, which is an anathema in the progressives' collective mind.
One tends to hate what one cannot have control over in politics, it would appear. The progressives hate the authority of the Constitution as it ultimately proclaims the rights of the people and the fact that that the power of the American republic ultimately resides with those people. Far better for that authority and power to rest with the federal government so that they can shape and fashion a nation for our own good which we the people are far too ignorant to figure out on our own accord, according to them.
It has gotten to the point where a small publishing company named Wilder Publications has advocated and indeed has even been placing warning labels on copies of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Common Sense, the Articles of Confederation and the Federalist Papers. In their warning, they state that "This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today." The disclaimer further warns parents that they "might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work."
Evidently the progressives have gotten to the point where their loathing for the authority of our Constitution, and other founding documents, has caused them to sneer and react with disgust when our elected officials affirm that they are going to read and follow the Constitution that they have sworn to uphold. I guess this brings too much of a spotlight on the militant left as they continue to try and avoid or thwart the dictates of the law of the land as textualized in our brilliant Constitution. And one can understand their vexation. They haven't really followed the law of the Constitution when it has been contradictory to their designs for generations now, and until recently have suffered little in the way of consequences for such actions. It would seem that progressives are now going to have to actually follow the laws of the Constitution which they seemingly despise or suffer ever greater defeats at the ballot box.
The fact that conservatives are re-discovering the Constitution and bringing its common sense to light will only make it harder for the charlatans that have our own "best interests" at heart to ignore it in the future. To this I say, HOORAY for the Constitutionalists!