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So, are you a Constitutionalist or a Conservative?
The Forgotten Men ^ | 10/19/11 | The Forgotten Men

Posted on 10/27/2011 4:42:34 AM PDT by mek1959

This might seem like a ridicules question from the above average intelligence of one of the Forgotten Men. But is it really? Are you sure conservative and Constitutionalist mean the same?

I don't think so.

Having followed and been intimately involved in national politics for decades now, in my former years I would have thought that in all cases a Constitutionalist was the same as a conservative. I had my pocket Constitution ready to be pulled out at a moments notice. I even knew a little bit of the Declaration of Independence (though I would often mingle the Preamble of the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence). All in all, if you would have asked me in the 90's if I was an adherent to the Constitution, I would have looked at you as if you were from another planet...of course I was!

(Excerpt) Read more at forgottenmen.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: constitution; islamist; kkk; neonazi; politics; secession
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This article asks what I believe is a legitimate question. I personally believe we're focusing on the wrong solution...getting "our guy" into office. This won't solve the problems we face.
1 posted on 10/27/2011 4:42:34 AM PDT by mek1959
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To: mek1959

Exactly, our guy, their guy, who cares. There is just to much power centralized in DC. This is not they way it was supposed to work out. Thank Lincoln.


2 posted on 10/27/2011 4:47:23 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: mek1959

“This article asks what I believe is a legitimate question. I personally believe we’re focusing on the wrong solution...getting “our guy” into office. This won’t solve the problems we face.”

No, but it will prevent the left from totally stacking the Supreme Court, thus rendering the Constitution meaningless. It will also help to prevent the left from using executive orders to circumvent the checks and balances put into place by the Constitution.


3 posted on 10/27/2011 4:49:58 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: mek1959

That is true, “conservative” and “constitutionalist” are not always one in the same things, this is why Ron Paul makes perfect sense to some, and is incomprehensible for others.


4 posted on 10/27/2011 4:53:01 AM PDT by padre35 (You shall not ignore the laws of God, the Market, the Jungle, and Reciprocity Rm10.10)
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To: central_va

I agree on the Lincoln comment. This will eventually become a major time period (1861-1865) that people who decide to change from being a “Conservative” to “Constitutionalist” will HAVE to come to terms with.

I did.


5 posted on 10/27/2011 4:53:46 AM PDT by mek1959
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To: mek1959

More suggested reading/study:

The text of Davy Crockett’s “Not yours to give” speech before congress.

The presidency of Calvin Coolidge, who, in my opinion, was the last U.S. president to make an honest attempt at treating the Constitution as a document that LIMITED the powers of the government instead of as one which must be exploited to EXPAND government power.


6 posted on 10/27/2011 4:55:24 AM PDT by WayneS (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: mek1959

Dude, where’s my republic?


7 posted on 10/27/2011 4:55:32 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: padre35

Yep. Though I try to steer away from personalities, Paul is the ONLY one upholding the Framers view of the Constitution. The others are “posers!”

Remember, voting for anyone who doesn’t uphold federalism as a central tenant of the framing of the Constitution simply supports more big government...just conservative big government.


8 posted on 10/27/2011 4:56:35 AM PDT by mek1959
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To: WayneS

Spot on Wayne S.


9 posted on 10/27/2011 4:57:12 AM PDT by mek1959
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To: mek1959

What is your definition for conservative? Ditto constitutionalist?

Thanks.


10 posted on 10/27/2011 5:00:22 AM PDT by dools0007world
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To: mek1959

Which more or less produces a sort of Corpro Fascism, were the State, rather then being a neutral 3rd party, partners with corporations to implement policies the State deems needed and the corporation deems profitable.

The Federal Govt has become a sort of Tolkeinesque ring of power, whoever has it can wield whatever power they deem fit, and that is one of the problems in the US.


11 posted on 10/27/2011 5:02:42 AM PDT by padre35 (You shall not ignore the laws of God, the Market, the Jungle, and Reciprocity Rm10.10)
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To: pieceofthepuzzle

“if” the politicians themselves refuse to be bound by the Constitution, what use is the Supreme Court? Does one suppose a string of pro Constitutionalist rulings from the SCOTUS in perpuitity?

We’ve had a Income Tax since 1916, no matter the politician or court in power, we’ve had direct control of State affairs since the 50’s, no matter the court or politician in power.


12 posted on 10/27/2011 5:07:03 AM PDT by padre35 (You shall not ignore the laws of God, the Market, the Jungle, and Reciprocity Rm10.10)
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To: dools0007world

‘m personally conservative in my ideology which generally amounts to being a traditionalist on social issues and fiscal policy.

On governance, I STRONGLY believe in federalism, republicanism as did most of the Framers and certainly the Founders. I strongly believe in dual sovereignty (vertical checks and balances) as the ONLY solution to the mess in Washington. Herman Cain will NOT correct Washington DC. Only the States, using their Constitutional powers (10th Amendment, Article V Amendment Convention) can save us now. And even then, it’s not going to be easy nor painless. We’ve had generations of massive big government from BOTH parties.


13 posted on 10/27/2011 5:08:35 AM PDT by mek1959
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To: padre35

Yep, thanks to republican and democrat supporters of the Incorporation Doctrine. For those who don’t know what that is, google it. What you’ll find is the improper use of the 14th Amendment has obliterated the Constitution and essentially folded the States into the national or general government we have in DC.


14 posted on 10/27/2011 5:11:49 AM PDT by mek1959
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To: WayneS
The presidency of Calvin Coolidge, who, in my opinion, was the last U.S. president to make an honest attempt at treating the Constitution as a document that LIMITED the powers of the government instead of as one which must be exploited to EXPAND government power.

Harding and Coolidge were the were the last presidents who saw themselves as first magistrates with limited powers. All of the following presidents have essentially been elected kings.

15 posted on 10/27/2011 5:12:24 AM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: mek1959

The constitution, as written, if applied as written, would piss off liberals and conservatives alike. I dropped the conservative label when I realized both liberals and conservatives want the same control over people, the only difference is which side of the spectrum they control you from, and what controls they wish to impose.....


16 posted on 10/27/2011 5:15:30 AM PDT by joe fonebone (Project Gunwalker, this will make watergate look like the warm up band......)
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To: Fiji Hill

Exactly, and the dirty little secret in republican circles is that they are just as supportive of BIG government as the democrats...just their type of BIG government.

Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, Undeclared Wars! The list can go on and on.

We need to move away from politics and back to principles. Founding and Framing principles. Article 1 Section 8, federalism, etc. Read George Mason and other Anti-Federalists. Study Patrick Henry; read his efforts during the Virginia Ratification debates.

This will take the republican/democrat blinders off and refocus attention on the real problems.


17 posted on 10/27/2011 5:18:04 AM PDT by mek1959
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To: mek1959

Since everyone who posts here calls themselves a ‘conservative’ I cant see how you can get a coherent A or B answer but I agree with the below logic, a huge problem I had with GWB:

FROM LINK

Then I ran across a ideological changing article by the famous Dr. Walter E. Williams, Professor at George Mason University. The title of the article was “It’s Time to Part Company” and it forced me to begin a process of rediscovery. A rediscovery that would eventually lead to me change my entire understanding of the 50 States, 13 of which the Framers referred to as the Union. This process also led me to no longer define myself as a conservative and instead a Constitutionalist in relation to the national government even though I remain conservative in my general views of governance. So what’s the difference Mark...isn’t this just semantics or a play on words? Not in the slightest, it defines how I look at Washington DC, the elected officials that ask for a vote to go there and the bureaucrats that occupy vast amounts of space there.

A Constitutionalist demands from elected officials 100% compliance with the limitations placed on them by the Constitution. No wiggle room just because they will vote for our favorite extra-constitutional program.

A Constitutionalist decides that the Constitution is not a living breathing document that entitles us to vote for politicians that will give us what we want; whether it be a new entitlement program, farm subsidy, war, or aircraft carrier.


18 posted on 10/27/2011 5:26:55 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Cain :"My parents didn't raise me to beg the government for other peoples money")
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To: mek1959
Yep, thanks to republican and democrat supporters of the Incorporation Doctrine. For those who don’t know what that is, google it. What you’ll find is the improper use of the 14th Amendment has obliterated the Constitution and essentially folded the States into the national or general government we have in DC

IMHO, the New Deal interpretation of the Commerce Clause and the resultant "substantial effects" doctrine has done more to destroy the 10th amendment an consolidate power in DC than the Incorporation Doctrine.

19 posted on 10/27/2011 5:31:45 AM PDT by tacticalogic
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To: sickoflibs

Agree and think this is the goal of the article...to properly define terms.

Conservatives (self included) generally promote the idea of a “limited government” whatever that means. But as soon as policies supported by republicans are challenged, why then I’m a progressive, turn-coat, etc which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I’ve come to realize that conservatives have been raised on a diet of Republican politics, Heritage Foundation training and talk-radio hyperbole. Rarely stopping to think of whether ANYTHING the republicans have done while in or out of power has ANYTHING to do with the Constitution. An elementary assessment would suggest NOT.

So, what we really have as a measure of “conservatism” in the 21st century is personality driven politics. And right now, the flavor of the month is Herman Cain regardless of his comments about entitlement programs, taxation. Never mind those Framers, let’s get him in office, he’ll fix everything! Next month it will be Perry, then Newt and so on and so on.

Like I said, PRINCIPLE of politics, party or politician.


20 posted on 10/27/2011 5:37:03 AM PDT by mek1959
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To: mek1959

A constitution not followed is worse than no constitution all. For the ignored constitution gives a fig leaf for the statist to point to say see we are doing it right, by the book. This dichotomy leads to extreme cynicism in the intelligent and destroys little ‘r’ republican values.


21 posted on 10/27/2011 5:39:56 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: mek1959

Sorry, I meant “Like I said, PRINCIPLE OVER politics, party or politician.”


22 posted on 10/27/2011 5:40:48 AM PDT by mek1959
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To: mek1959

Not only have we seen the issue of the Incorporation Doctrine but I also contend the 17th amendment removes the state check against the federal government. Senators, under the current system, play to a national stage and do not support their state in maters of state sovereignty. The National Popular Vote will eviscerate the remaining state identity and further nationalize the race for President. States have become, I hate to say it, subdivisions of the national government and dual federalism is gone.


23 posted on 10/27/2011 5:48:49 AM PDT by ccwman
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To: mek1959

From the article:
>> A Constitutionalist demands from elected officials 100% compliance with the limitations placed on them by the Constitution. No wiggle room just because they will vote for our favorite extra-constitutional program.
A Constitutionalist decides that the Constitution is not a living breathing document that entitles us to vote for politicians that will give us what we want; whether it be a new entitlement program, farm subsidy, war, or aircraft carrier.
A Constitutionalist is not impressed with a politicians claim to support the Constitution simply by carrying and whipping out the pocket Constitution at opportune times.
It is really that simple. A Constitutionalist demands allegiance to the Constitution, all the time, every time, every vote....no exceptions! >>

That’s a nice concept - and just as lame brained as those who think a liberal utopia is possible. Nobody is 100% anything all the time ever. Just does not happen in the human condition. The Founders, unlike the author, had the wisdom to understand this. Thus the phrase “more perfect union” instead of a perfect union.

The author IMO is trying to position himself as above the fray in some sort of irrelevant purity that does not exist. From the mess we are in now, someone who is conservative and who would move us 20% closer to that 100% impossible purity would be a huge improvement.


24 posted on 10/27/2011 5:49:33 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright
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To: mek1959

“Thank Lincoln.”

OK.

Thank you Mr. Lincoln for doing the tough job for which you were elected (twice) and for which you paid the ultimate price.


25 posted on 10/27/2011 6:02:19 AM PDT by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: mek1959; central_va

“Thank Lincoln.”

OK.

Thank you Mr. Lincoln for doing the tough job for which you were elected (twice) and for which you paid the ultimate price.


26 posted on 10/27/2011 6:03:20 AM PDT by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: padre35

agreed


27 posted on 10/27/2011 6:05:57 AM PDT by all the best
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To: C. Edmund Wright

The author of this article seems to be taking a page from Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. His opinion seems to be at this point in history nothing we can do is going to stop the destruction, so we are better off not slowing it down, because we are exhibiting insanity in trying to do so.


28 posted on 10/27/2011 6:06:56 AM PDT by BillGunn (Bill Gunn for Congress district one rep. Massachusetts)
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To: BillGunn

>> The author of this article seems to be taking a page from Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. His opinion seems to be at this point in history nothing we can do is going to stop the destruction, so we are better off not slowing it down, because we are exhibiting insanity in trying to do so. >>

You may be right about the author’s point - and the author may be right about the ultimate conclusion. If so, he should wrap himself in Rand and not in the Founders. The Founders would not agree with him. Again, they warned against attempts at perfection. They understood the inherent flaws.

And another thing: for folks who are say, 65 or 75 years old, I would suspect they would put a big value on “slowing it down.”


29 posted on 10/27/2011 6:13:00 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright
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To: C. Edmund Wright
Thus the phrase “more perfect union” instead of a perfect union.

Reminiscent of Alice and the Mad Hatter:
MH: Would you like some more tea?
Alice: I can't have more tea, I haven't had any yet!
MH: you mean you can't have less; it's easy to have more than nothing.

30 posted on 10/27/2011 6:13:20 AM PDT by stormhill
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To: pieceofthepuzzle
No, but it will prevent the left from totally stacking the Supreme Court, thus rendering the Constitution meaningless. It will also help to prevent the left from using executive orders to circumvent the checks and balances put into place by the Constitution.

It already is meaningless (to the 3 branches) and it only prevents the left from circumventing checks and balances while the right is in office and does it. Sorry, the GOP is every bit as guilty (flame away but I'm still right).

31 posted on 10/27/2011 6:26:58 AM PDT by Dick Tater
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To: mek1959

Evetytime I have someone braying in my face about how much they believe in the Constitution, I say two words: “Drug War”. That usually shuts ‘em up.


32 posted on 10/27/2011 6:32:50 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Dick Tater

>> Sorry, the GOP is every bit as guilty (flame away but I’m still right). >>

You have a point, but you are not “right.” Many in the GOP are guilty, but the worst Republicans are not “as guilty” as say Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Dodd, Obama, etc are.

If they were, we would already be a totalitarian society and you would no longer have the right to post to sites like Free Republic.


33 posted on 10/27/2011 6:34:46 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright
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To: mek1959

So, are you a Constitutionalist or a Conservative?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That is a good question. Me? I’m a Conservative first and a Constitutionalist second.

Almost daily I run into FReepers who have it backwards. And some are not even conservative at all. Yet they hide behind the Constitution as they seek to promote all their nutty libertarian ideals like legalizing pot, porn and so on.

Many framers were Constitutionalists, like Jefferson for instance. But he (and others) were hardly conservative.


34 posted on 10/27/2011 6:36:03 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS! This means liberals AND libertarians (same thing) NO LIBS!)
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To: stormhill
Thus the phrase “more perfect union” instead of a perfect union.

I read a book by a progressive professor (forget his name) titled "On What the Constitution Really Means". He, and the people destroying the Constitution in the courts, begin the decimation of the Constitution with the words "More Perfect Union". They theorized and apparently courts have bought into that what we view as perfect must be evolving since we have more experience and history every day, the framers must have known this and that is the very reason they wrote "more Perfect". This sets up the entire evolving Constitution theory.

He ignores the very real and plausible reason for the words "more perfect" being placed in the preamble probably being they were in fact replacing the "less perfect" Articles of Confederation.

35 posted on 10/27/2011 6:44:34 AM PDT by BillGunn (Bill Gunn for Congress district one rep. Massachusetts)
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To: FReepers; everyone; All

36 posted on 10/27/2011 6:45:53 AM PDT by onyx (You're here on FR, so support it! Compiling New Sarah Ping List. Let me know if you want on it.)
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To: mek1959; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; Impy; Gilbo_3; NFHale
RE :”Conservatives (self included) generally promote the idea of a “limited government” whatever that means. But as soon as policies supported by republicans are challenged, why then I’m a progressive, turn-coat, etc which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I have had a number of heated arguments with a few here about certain laws that GWB pushed and signed and how they expanded the federal governments role by setting new 'consitutional' precedents that can lead to things like Obama-care mandate once Republicans are out of power. The sames ones call everything Obama does unconstitutional.

After much back and forth and probing they make the case that the issue is so critical to conservative values that our goal should be to get the courts to find a rationale in the constitution for it, much like Democrats do to get their's.
It's the "Fight Fire with Fire" principle.

37 posted on 10/27/2011 7:00:46 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Cain :"My parents didn't raise me to beg the government for other peoples money")
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To: Dick Tater
The answer is to not have a political ‘class’, and this can only be accomplished by having strict term limits. There is absolutely no legitimate reason not to have strict term limits. No one should ever, under any circumstances, be allowed to make a career out of elected office. No one, irrespective of whether we like them or not.

It's kind of ridiculous for us to expect career politicians (and those who want to be) to restrict their own power. When the Constitution gets in their way, they'll try to find a way to circumvent it - while rationalizing to themselves that they're acting in the publics’ best interest.

Having said that, it still matters that we prevent people like Obama from remaining in office, and there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats (although not a big enough difference).

38 posted on 10/27/2011 7:24:33 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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Many thanks to Salamander and Odhinn

Click the pic and donate
or the Doberman gets it!

39 posted on 10/27/2011 8:12:34 AM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

Hmmm, I’m not sure the introductory phrase “a more perfect Union” has anything to do with the restraints placed on Congress in Article 1. Section and the oath all Members of Congress before God and man to uphold those restraints 100% of the time. How odd you’d point to that.

Perhaps you should read Locke a little and throw off your “more perfect Union” rule of men thinking. Or do you not agree the moral superiority of the RULE OF LAW as in the Constitution.

Feel free to hide behind a parenthetical phrase as justification for your concept of what a more perfect Union is...I’m not sure it’s a good defense for the Framers “maturity” though. Good luck with your ideology, I’ll continue to promote the Constitutional notion of federalism as a solution...not just getting my guy into office.


40 posted on 10/27/2011 8:20:51 AM PDT by mek1959
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To: KrisKrinkle

sic semper tyrannis


41 posted on 10/27/2011 8:21:20 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: sickoflibs

I too have engaged in these senseless debates over the years and they are futile. In my view, there are almost as many “living constitutionalists” in the Republican” party and “conservative movement” as there are in the Democrat party and “progressive movement!”


42 posted on 10/27/2011 8:24:21 AM PDT by mek1959
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To: mek1959

First of all, shame on you for assuming I come to this thread with any agenda about getting “my guy” into office. That’s not at all why I came.

I came with a philosophical point of view regarding the ideas in the article. I will spoil your little irrelevance party by mentioning that “someone’s guy (or gal)” will in fact be elected to very many offices in 2012, and while none of them will likely live up to the articles 100% standard, many will be damned closer than many others. Facts are stubborn things.

Second, while constitutional purity is clear on some issues, it is not clear on others, especially with respects to defending the Republic given the nature of travel and technology now versus when the founding documents were inspired. A constitutional argument can be made on both sides of the drug issue as well, and some others. It’s often easy, but NOT ALWAYS EASY, to interpret today’s issues through our Constitution.

Third, we have to deal with where we are now, because we are where we are now. Facts, again, remain stubborn things. We have sadly strayed so far from the principles that a full leap back is simply not going to happen.

The point of the “more perfect” phrase is that it is in stark contrast to “perfect.” The perfect is often the enemy of the good and the friend of evil.

I will strive for perfection, but I refuse to throw out the good in the meantime. (and in some cases, the good ain’t very good, I’ll admit).


43 posted on 10/27/2011 9:05:11 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright
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To: mek1959
Besides having a hard time spelling, this guy basically seems to be associating constitutionalism with libertarianism.

Also, he is all caught up in this rather anti-libertarian notion that the feds are limited by a constitution, but the states can do anything they want.

It would seem to me that a principled political theory wouldn't really care what level of government one was talking about, there are certain things no government should do.

If you are a "Constitutionalist" then I guess all you have to go by is the US Constitution so you really have nothing to say about state or local government. That seems like a rather limited point of view.

The reason why being conservative makes more sense than being a "Constitutionalist" is that conservatives have principles which apply at the local, state, and national levels.

No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, etc. were not conservative initiatives that went against "Constitutionalism". They were liberal notions put in place by a neo-liberal president claiming to be a compassionate conservative.

44 posted on 10/27/2011 9:05:36 AM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: BillGunn

>> They theorized and apparently courts have bought into that what we view as perfect must be evolving since we have more experience and history every day, the framers must have known this and that is the very reason they wrote “more Perfect”. This sets up the entire evolving Constitution theory. >>

But I don’t buy that meaning of “more perfect” at all (and I’m not sure you do, I realize you were quoting a book here). To me “more perfect” was a jab at the feckless attempts at utopian societies - man’s attempts to make a perfect union. And BTW, “more perfect” refers to “the union” and NOT to the Constitution per se.


45 posted on 10/27/2011 9:09:53 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright
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To: mek1959
RE :”I too have engaged in these senseless debates over the years and they are futile. In my view, there are almost as many “living constitutionalists” in the Republican” party and “conservative movement” as there are in the Democrat party and “progressive movement!

I first was exposed to the idea of a originalist concept reading Bork's 1980s book. But watching Scalia debate Breyer on CSPAN a few times really opened my eyes. He and Thomas believe in the limited authority of the Federal Government and I have even prompted a few here (GWB fans) to claim they don't know what they are talking about.

46 posted on 10/27/2011 9:29:25 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Cain :"My parents didn't raise me to beg the government for other peoples money")
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To: C. Edmund Wright

with you 100%


47 posted on 10/27/2011 9:39:35 AM PDT by BillGunn (Bill Gunn for Congress district one rep. Massachusetts)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

A conservative hater of the republic is still a hater.


48 posted on 10/27/2011 10:39:17 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

I do understand friend, I was simply responding to the “lame brain” comment.

Fidelity to the Constitution is not hard and in my view, using Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English language from 1785, it’s really not that hard to understand the limits the Framers placed on the National Government. In one case, the Commerce Clause of Article 1, Section 8, Randy Barnett, Chicago eviscerates the current use of this clause by both parties seeking to grow government. Here’s the link http://randybarnett.com/Original.htm

The Republic can be restored but only if We the People force it to be restored. That’s why I agree 100% fidelity statements because that’s the only way it will happen.


49 posted on 10/27/2011 11:26:53 AM PDT by mek1959
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To: WayneS

Constitution bump! The document I swore an oath to protect and defend!!!!


50 posted on 10/28/2011 12:21:53 AM PDT by dcwusmc (A FREE People have no sovereign save Almighty GOD!!! III OK We are EVERYWHERE!!!)
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