Skip to comments.Ezra Klein: Honest lefty
Posted on 01/01/2011 6:27:02 AM PST by marktwain
1. Blogger Ezra Klein went on MSNBC and said the Constitution is a hundred years old and hard to understand.
Apparently, this drew flak.
2. Then he blogged at 11:55 AM on Thursday: My friends on the right dont like to hear this, but the Constitution is not a clear document. Written more than 200 years ago, when America had 13 states and very different problems, it rarely speaks directly to the questions we ask it. The Second Amendment, for instance, says nothing about keeping a gun in the home if youve not signed up with a well-regulated militia, but interpreting the Second Amendment broadly has been important to those who want to bear arms. And so theyve done it
Apparently, this drew flak.
3. Then he blogged at 3:57 PM on Thursday: The Constitution was written more than 223 years ago, and despite the confidence various people have in their interpretation of the text, smart scholars of good faith continue to disagree about it. And they tend to disagree about it in ways that support their political ideology. I rarely meet a gun-lover who laments the Second Amendments clear limits on bearing firearms, or someone who believes in universal health care but thinks the proper interpretation of the Commerce Clause doesnt leave room for such a policy
Then I assume, he went to his favorite bar, got loaded and told old war stories. But he did go from the Constitution being written in 1910, to 1810, to 1787 in a few hours so he learned something on Thursday.
Iowahawk had a wonderful send-up: The Constitution is very important.
Ezra Klein made the biggest mistake that can be made by a liberal progressive socialist communist no labelist whatever the heck they call themselves on the 31st of the month.
He was being honest.
He does not believe in the Constitution.
He is cynical about it and he projects that same cynicism onto those who disagree with him.
That shocked the lefts system. Being honest does that to them. They use euphemisms to hide their true beliefs. The reason, for example, that they see illegal immigrant as racist is that they cannot imagine anyone other than a Mexican as being an illegal immigrant. They use undocumented worker because they want to promote poor Jose coming here to make a grub stake. They do not see the criminals or the relatives from Ireland or the Asian student who overstayed a visa. Its always this stereotype.
But I stray. Ezra Kleins first post-MSNBC interview post was telling and headlined: What the tea party wants from the Constitution.
He projected what he wants from the Constitution on to the Tea Party. Sure. The Left sees the Tea Party in their own image. Thats why the Left at first called the Tea Party Astroturf because the Left creates all these fake groups. Look at how it tried to counter the Tea Party movement later with the Coffee Party and the like.
And so it goes with the Constitution. For 8 years, the Lefts railed against Bush shredding the Constitution, a phrase which came to mean nothing. Like the Boy Who Cried Wolf, the Left cried shredding the Constitution once too often.
When the Tea Party cites the Constitution, Ezra Klein projects onto them his own disdain for the document, as he wrote in his 11:55 AM post:
My friends on the right dont like to hear this, but the Constitution is not a clear document. Written more than 200 years ago, when America had 13 states and very different problems, it rarely speaks directly to the questions we ask it. The Second Amendment, for instance, says nothing about keeping a gun in the home if youve not signed up with a well-regulated militia, but interpreting the Second Amendment broadly has been important to those who want to bear arms. And so theyve done it.
Thats their right, of course. Liberals pick and choose their moments of textual fidelity as well. But as the seemingly endless series of 5-4 splits on the Supreme Court shows, even the countrys most experienced and decorated constitutional authorities routinely disagree, and sharply, over what the text means when applied to todays problems. To presume that people writing what they think the Constitution means or, in some cases, want to think it means at the bottom of every bill will change how they legislate doesnt demonstrate a reverence for the document. It demonstrates a disengagement with it as anything more than a symbol of what you and your ideological allies believe.
In reality, the tea party like most everyone else is less interested in living by the Constitution than in deciding what it means to live by the Constitution. When the constitutional disclaimers at the bottom of bills suit them, theyll respect them. When they dont as weve seen in the case of the individual mandate they wont.
What a telling statement in that last paragraph is.
What Ezra Klein means by most everyone else is Ezra Klein.
And so the sentence means that Ezra Klein is not interested in living by the Constitution but rather, Ezra Klein wants to decide what the Constitution means.
That is his point of view.
Such a belief would explain why the Left was so upset about Gitmo shredding the Constitution under Bush but now could not care less about Gitmo.
But his honesty meant that four hours later, he had to write a post: Yes, the Constitution is binding.
The nut paragraph: But my inbox suggests that my comments werent taken that way: The initial interpretation was that Id said the Constitution is too complicated to understand because it was written a long time ago, and then, as the day went on, that Id said the document itself is nonbinding. I went back and watched the clip or at least the part someone clipped and sent me, which is above and thought I was clear enough. But when a lot of people misunderstand you at once, the fault is usually yours. So if I was unclear: Yes, the Constitution is binding. No, its not clear which interpretation of the Constitution the Supreme Court will declare binding at any given moment. And no, reading the document on the floor of the House will not make the country more like you want it to be, unless your problem with the country is that you thought the Constitution should be read aloud on the floor of the House more frequently. In which case, well, youre in luck!
Still cynical. The Constitution is meaningless to him. Oh it is binding but fluid.
Well, when you are taught as Al Gore said it that the Constitution is a living and breathing document you really miss the entire point of having a Constitution.
So I do not condemn Ezra Klein. I praise him for telling the truth about his feelings toward the Constitution. To him, limited government and personal liberty are all open to interpretation, which means they do not exist unless a court says they do.
Me? The Constitution means what it says. I even like the Third Amendment.
We don’t need liberals telling us what the Constitution says, or should say. The more important question is, where are the liberals and the Left leading us?
The only way that the Second Amendment can be difficult to interpret or understand is if the reader absolutely insists upon grotesquely placing the subordinate clause in a predominant position. Even then, nowhere does the PRE-EXISTENCE of “a well regulated militia” appear as a qualifying condition upon which the public’s right “to keep and bear arms” must depend. End of story. Case closed.
Only the most unscrupulous agenda-driven sophists would even attempt any contrary interpretation. Unfortunately, quite a lot of such creatures circulate among us.
Their 'Bill of Rights' would grant the government spectacular powers to intrude into and regulate the lives of ordinary citizens. It would've codified Government as Parent.
The unwritten subtext of the whole of the Revolution would've been 'We're breaking away from the mother country, because we're not nearly oppressed enough by it; we'll do a much better job of oppressing ourselves'.
Stopped reading right there. Perhaps the author of this piece should have his God-given first amendment rights to freedom of the press "interpreted" the same way he would want to "interpret" away our second amendment rights.
Does Erza Klein fully understand ObamaCare, a 2,000+ page document? Just wondering.... =.=
Look at Alexander Hamilton’s proposed constitution. For him the States were mere historical accidents,like English counties. The Anti-federalists discerned that many other men thought like Hamilton, mostly city men, whose model of good government was monarchy, or a disguised republic like Great Britain. Not all the Tories fled to Upper Canada.
It doesn’t say what I want it to say, so we just need to scrap that old, useless, outdated document and come up with a grand, new, glorious one which requires everyone to be subjected to the elitists who are so much smarter and care so much more.
This guy would gladly work with a Goebbels to feather his nest.
Unfortunately we no longer have any constitutional restraints on the power of the US government either. The welfare state has been growing by leaps and bounds here for at least 70 years now. There are just too many people who demand that the government take care of them, and too many of them are cheerfully willing to give up all of their rights if it means getting such care.
Should we allow the government to now dictate Religion, by establishing or outlawing certain faiths?
Maybe let them now deny Free Speech?
Deny the Right to Assemble or Petition?
How about allowing random Search and Seizure?
Deny Due Process? Also Double Jeopardy?
Deny Eminent Domain (one of the liberals' favorite new moves)?
Deny Jury Trials, Public Trials, and Speedy Trials?
Deny the Right to Counsel?
Allow Excessive Bail and Cruel and Unusual Punishment?
House troops in our homes?
Come on, Progressive Folk! Tell us which of those out-dated concepts you need removed from that sad, useless, inapplicable old document!!!
It has been clearly established in numerous papers and articles, but only for one side of the argument. Those who are for the RKBA understand it. Those who are against it, parse the words like a skilled attorney, and demonstrate just as clearly to their base that it does not. Just like any 5-4 decision by SCOTUS, it depends on your foundational beliefs. Truth, logic, and reason can usually be swung either way.
Well I agree with him ,Is He a journalist? I dont believe in Freedom of the Press anymore they should all be arrested and executed
Our Constitution did not arise out of nothing. The 2nd Amendment has quite obvious precedent in the English Bill of Rights that was a result of the Glorious Revolution of 1689.
“That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law”
This idea was carried over into the 2nd, with of course the religious and class aspects removed, as these were not relevant in America.
IOW, the 2nd was expanding a previously recognized right of Englishmen from upper-class Protestants to the entire People.
In (partial) defense of Hamilton, there is good reason to believe his preference for a stronger executive grew out of a sincere belief that something close to an elective monarchy was necessary if a Republic was not to descend into chaos and fall apart.
Events in France a few years later showed that his concerns were not entirely unfounded.
He turned out to be wrong, but that is no reason to assume his proposals were based solely or even mostly on a lust for personal power.
At least we have something, as old and “unreadable” as it may be
Ezra Klein = God’s gift to right wingers
Erza, dear, it is not a news flash that liberals don’t care about the constitution or the rule of law.
Roe vs Wade ring a bell?
Events in France......
The French Revolution was a temporary descent into chaos and mass murder.. But it was preceded by the centralized administrative state set up by Louis XIV to weaken local autonomy, and was followed by an even more centralized national state under Napoleon and his successors.
That said, in my opinion Hamilton’s desire for a strong federal government probably was more about correcting the excessive looseness of the Articles of Confederation than about what he saw unfolding in France (BTW in any future Anlgo-French conflict, Hamilton favored strict neutrality).
I think Erza is floating a trial balloon that the constitutional requirement for a president to be a natural born citizen is open to interpretation.
I am a birther.
I wasn’t trying to say Hamilton was being prescient about France, only that events years later showed that he was right to be concerned about a Republic set up with a weak executive. The French Revolution, for most of its existence, had a very weak executive, if any at all.
Which, as you say, led directly to dictatorship.
It is very difficult to draw comparisons between the two revolutions, as they differed in almost every possible way.