We must not naively trust "parchment barriers" (Madison) as our limits on those we elect. That is why we check their records, their associations, their lives, as indicators of the likelihood that they will exhibit fidelity to the Constitution's limitations. In other words, we want to know that they will be "virtuous" protectors of "the People's" Constitution.
See 188 AND 139 - and get a clue about the conversation, and get off your high horse.
I sat up and listened intently when Mary started the show with virtue as the topic. It is something I would expect to hear on Mark Levins show, not Rushs. I was only able to listen to the first few minutes, but gathered the gist.
As luck would have it, Ive been reading Gordon S. Woods 1969 classic, Creation of the American Republic. The quotes below are his. He isnt alone of course. The Constitutional Convention, Federalist Papers, Anti-Federalist Papers . . . all touched on the value of virtue.
The very greatness of republicanism, its utter dependence on the people, was simultaneously its source of weakness. In a republic, each man must somehow be persuaded to submerge his personal wants into the greater good of the whole. This was termed public virtue. A republic was such a delicate polity precisely because it demanded an extraordinary moral character in the people. Every state in which the people participated needed a degree of virtue; but a republic which rested solely on the people absolutely required it.
Without some portion of this generous principle, anarchy and confusion would immediately ensue, the jarring interests of individuals, regarding themselves only, and indifferent to the welfare of others . . . would end in ruin and subversion of the State.
In less eloquent terms, a people that sends enough Sheila Jackson-Lees to Congress cannot expect to keep a government designed by the likes of James Madison and Benjamin Franklin.