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.
The only real problem that liberals have with the constitution is that, it set up government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”.
The European Constitution
65 pages of single-spaced gobbledygook. All good intentions and impossible implementation.
Because then it won't apply to the Internet. Or TV.
Or for that matter the parts of the print media that don't use printing presses.
This twaddle is quite easy to debunk when you take into consideration that the Constitution itself is based on politics and ethics from the Romans and Greeks over 2000 years past.
I have over the years read many “arguments” along such lines emanating from the left - even to the point of claiming that the National Guard = a militia, but since the government itself provides arms, there is no “need” for a citizen’s right to possess firearms.
I understand and accept your observations as completely valid. Unfortunately, the left views such historical precedents as completely extraneous and irrelevant to their agenda.
The government claims some sort of right to require "truth in advertising" ~ that is, commercial speech, or press, is not free.
Justice Thomas is currently the ONLY justice on the USSC who believes that freedom of speech and press should apply to commercial speech.
I agree with him.
Makes me feel like I'm living in a Fascist Dictatorship too! (BTW, that comes from years of regulating commercial speech ~ the angst of the state censor. People who don't agree with me on this issue do not, of course, love their own children.)
Cable TV is not subject to state oppression ~ when it comes to content, but the current FCC Fascist in Chief wants to get around to that and make you watch NOT FOX LEFTWINGARD ALL THE TIME network ~ he's even got a Commie Surname!