The gist of it is this: The narrator takes a motorcycle trip to various parts of the country where constitutional cases and controversies have arisen or might in the near future, and interviews participants or possible participants in these controversies. There was also a pretty accurate historical segment done at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the document was created. Surprisingly to me, the narrator didn't seem to show much of a bias for or against his interviewees, who included what you may describe as a couple of right libertarians, one who was a gun and ammo manufacturer in Montana, and they had some legit film clips of Rand Paul speaking in the Senate. They also did a pretty good job in explaining some parts of the Constitution that are frequently contested in cases and the common types of arguments used by the two sides, and kind of even questioned the SCOTUS' reasoning in Wickard v. Filburn with a slick animation of the Court's dubious thought processes.
At the very least, they discussed the Constitution with some respect, and with no hints that it was dead, which is not what one would have expected from a leftist media outlet or a 'Rat propagandist.
Still three episodes in the series remaining, so the hope is that it won't deteriorate into something much worse.
Thanks so much for the review. I very much appreciate your taking one for the team by daring to watch it. Glad it wasn’t the train wreck that I thought it would be.
I’ll look forward to your future updates.
Thanks again, really.
Good shows sometimes get past PBS's apparatchiks, such as Niall Ferguson's excellent "The Ascent of Money".
“Hope springs eternal” as they stay. Thanks for the report. I notice every once in a while Frontline touches on a subject and gives decent enough coverage that it makes me ask “is this really PBS???”
...film clips of Rand Paul...
New appreciation for Rand Paul, despite his being a lone voice crying in the wilderness, and the smarmy, morally superior “regulators” he was chastising.
Interesting, when I saw that on PBS I figured it wasn’t worth my time.
As far as the liberals go the US Constitution is a dead stale document that is antiquated unless they can make it do what they want it to do. i.e. make up the rules to suit them selves and make up the rules as they go.
Hope that the other programs will be courageous in defense of the Founders' insistence that any "changes" or "amendments" to "the People's" Constitution must be done in accordance with Article V.
You mentioned that, so far, they treated it with "respect" and no mention that it is "dead."
We also must watch for that fraudulent "living" constitution meme also.
Note the following quotation from the Walter Berns essay about the Left's sleight of hand with Marshall's words, wherein they left out 8 pages of text in order to twist his words to their own ends.
"The living Constitution school also claims to have a source more venerable than legal realism or Ronald Dworkin - justice John Marshall. A former president of the American Political Science Association argues that the idea of a " 'living Constitution'...can trace its lineage back to John Marshall's celebrated advice in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819): 'We must never forget that it is a Constitution we are expounding...intended to endure for ages to come, and consequently to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs' " The words quoted are certainly Marshall's but the opinion attributed to him is at odds with his well-known statements that, for example, the "principles" of the Constitution "are deemed fundamental [and] permanent" and, except by means of formal amendment, "unchangeable" (Marbury v. Madison). It is important to note that the discrepancy is not Marshall's; it is largely the consequence of the manner in which he is quoted - ellipses are used to join two statements separated by some eight pages in the original text. Marshall did not say that the Constitution should be adapted to the various crises of human affairs; he said that the powers of Congress are adaptable to meet those crises. The first statement appears in that part of his opinion where he is arguing that the Constitution cannot specify "all the subdivisions of which its great powers will admit;" if it attempted to do so, it would "partake of the prolixity of a legal code" (McCulloch v. Maryland), In the second statement, Marshall's subject is the legislative power, and specifically the power "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution" the explicitly granted powers.The sly foxes who call themselves "progressives" believe the Constitution is "a flawed document," and, as such, they want to remold it so that its strict limits on their power are not "constricted" (the term recently used by the current President).
Neither Marshall nor any other prominent members of the founding generation can be 'appropriated' by the living Constitution school to support their erroneous views. Marshall's and the Founders' concern was not to keep the Constitution in tune with the times but, rather, to keep the times to the extent possible, in tune with the Constitution. And that is why the Framers assigned to the judiciary the task of protecting the Constitution as written."
Now, isn't that just another word for "strictly limited"? Another President, Thomas Jefferson, praised that beauty of the Constitution, saying that "We, the People" should "bind them down by the chains of the Constitution"!! What a contrast in views!!
One President--who understood the advantages of liberty for a nation--saw limits on power as a good thing.
Over 200 hundred years later, a President who just told college students that big government is a good thing, must not understand the difference between liberty and tyranny. In fact, to the same students, he derided those who use such terms and warned the students against paying attention to them.
Still better watch out for the PBS version of the Founders' Constitution.