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Ed Driscoll

The Raj Koothrappali Approach to Constitutional Law

February 24th, 2013 - 10:13 am

Seidman’s article brings to mind a quote from a boring white guy who’s been dead for 80 years, and whose thoughts are even more anathema to the current beltway elite than the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence:

President Calvin Coolidge rose to the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1926, with a speech providing a magisterial review of the history and thought underlying the Declaration. His speech on the occasion deserves to be read and studied in its entirety. The following paragraph, however, is particularly relevant to the challenge that confronts us in the ubiquitous variants of progressive dogma that pass themselves off today as the higher wisdom:

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

— From Scott Johnson of Power Line, posted on July 4th, 2010.

Speaking of Silent Cal, on the PJM homepage today, Rick Richman looks at “Calvin Coolidge, Dr. Benjamin Carson, and Us.”

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Can't someone just arrest Seidman and throw away the key for making such an outrageous comment?

After all, we're only talking about his Constitutional rights here... not anything important.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One flaw in the Constitution is that the Declaration of Independence is not actually enshrined within its content. The Founders would have said that it was "self-evident" that the Constitution was meant to heed the wishes of the people who fought for the principles embodied in the Declaration. But, as prescient as the Founders were, they were mistaken to not make it ubandently clear that the Declaration was the soul of the American system. After all, they found they had to promise a Bill of Rights to assuage the States' fears and get them to ratify the Constitution. The best that our ancestors would do was two different "Acts of Congress," one in the first Congress of the new Republic, and another in the 1870's that affirmed the importance of the Declaration. This is not enough.

If there is ONE amendment that our Constitution still needs, it is one that enshrines the beliefs and ideals of the Declaration within the Constitution itself.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
After a heart-felt speech to his fellow lonely nerds by Koothrappali that, as long as they had each other they weren't actually alone, issued a corollary to his and Seidman's rule, namely that once the situation is in one's favor, the matter shall be set in stone.

Or as Raj said to the group when a girl accepted his offer of a date: "Later, losers!"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Personally I say call their bluff, children grow up through public education that barely mentions the constitution, when they do, they make it sound like it's something stuffy and dead. Sadly the way of public education is that is entrenched by the NEA and the left, and wishing wont change it. The word "Unconstitutional" has become over used, and associated with what the other party is doing, "George Bush's patriot act and warrant less wiretapping is unconstitutional", "Obama's drone strikes on an American citizen are unconstitutional", The TSA pat downs are unconstitutional, random police checkpoints are unconstitutional. All of these are words as thin as air against what people force are making happen.

What's the problem with unlimited wiretapping? What's so bad about going through random police checkpoints, and simply explaining what your doing, if you are honest don't you have nothing to fear?

Unfortunately honest righteous people have a lot to fear, they fear for where their next paycheck comes from, they fear about making ends meet, what they will learn the hard way through the various check points, wiretaps, simply explaining themselves, is that in America being poor is crime, didnt pay your registration, lose your license, cant afford to smog your vehicle, you still have to get to work. In the "Best Practice State" we've become there is a never ending list of paperwork that the poor, the unemployed and those just scraping wont be able to maintain.


What the everyday person hears is "blah unconsitutional blah" and the end result is person railing against something that is happening that the person saying the word unconstitutional is powerless to stop. The word itself has lost it's power due to being associated with helplessness.

I say we go with the flow, and let "The Constitution" die, let "unconstitutional" things happen, but those who love liberty, should take up law and justice, and abandon powerless, words. If the words "The constitution", and "unconstitutional" have lost their meaning then we should take up stronger ones that resonate.

Those who love liberty should take up and co-opt the left's phrase "Civil Rights". Civil Rights conjures up powerful lawsuits, large sums of money, real punishments. Through decades of brainwashing, indoctrination or whatever people wish to call it, lawyers, judges, politicians, and everyday people have come to respect "Civil Rights" and the mechanics of the educational institutions wont change on a dime.

Don't frame the warrantless wiretapping or the random checkpoints, or the drones, or any of the other abuses as "unconstitutional". Phrase them in terms of Civil Rights, and bring forth real lawsuits.

Right or wrong, courts have been keen on expanding their influence, over legislature and executives, and when the executives and legislature overstep their boundaries, when organizations and agencies step on the people, use the way of things, libertarians need to start suing for Civil Rights.

If we take the current range of government abuses, and re-phrase them in terms of civil rights we can hijack a lot of the indoctrination, and make a real dent in these abuses.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am tempted every time I pass through a DUI checkpoint to refuse to stop or submit to questioning. But I know that would create trouble for me from which I might never recover. These things are constitutionally illegal in a compound fashion. First, there is no probable cause to stop any random person coming from the local mall at 10:30 PM on a Friday night on a holiday weekend. Secondly, is it constitutional to convict people of a crimes and horribly disrupt their lives based on a (poorly established) slightly higher potential to harm someone? I can guarantee you that I drive more competently and more alertly after two drinks than my grandfather does sober. Probably can say the same for most 17 year old girls. How come we are not arresting them?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Personally I say call their bluff, children grow up through public education that barely mentions the constitution, when they do, they make it sound like it's something stuffy and dead. Sadly the way of public education is that is entrenched by the NEA and the left, and wishing wont change it. The word "Unconstitutional" has become over used, and associated with what the other party is doing, "George Bush's patriot act and warrant less wiretapping is unconstitutional", "Obama's drone strikes on an American citizen are unconstitutional", The TSA pat downs are unconstitutional, random police checkpoints are unconstitutional. All of these are words as thin as air against what people force are making happen.

What's the problem with unlimited wiretapping? What's so bad about going through random police checkpoints, and simply explaining what your doing, if you are honest don't you have nothing to fear?

Unfortunately honest righteous people have a lot to fear, they fear for where their next paycheck comes from, they fear about making ends meet, what they will learn the hard way through the various check points, wiretaps, simply explaining themselves, is that in America being poor is crime, didnt pay your registration, lose your license, cant afford to smog your vehicle, you still have to get to work. In the "Best Practice State" we've become there is a never ending list of paperwork that the poor, the unemployed and those just scraping wont be able to maintain.


What the everyday person hears is "blah unconsitutional blah" and the end result is person railing against something that is happening that the person saying the word unconstitutional is powerless to stop. The word itself has lost it's power due to being associated with helplessness.

I say we go with the flow, and let "The Constitution" die, let "unconstitutional" things happen, but those who love liberty, should take up law and justice, and abandon powerless, words. If the words "The constitution", and "unconstitutional" have lost their meaning then we should take up stronger ones that resonate.

Those who love liberty should take up and co-opt the left's phrase "Civil Rights". Civil Rights conjures up powerful lawsuits, large sums of money, real punishments. Through decades of brainwashing, indoctrination or whatever people wish to call it, lawyers, judges, politicians, and everyday people have come to respect "Civil Rights" and the mechanics of the educational institutions wont change on a dime.

Don't frame the warrantless wiretapping or the random checkpoints, or the drones, or any of the other abuses as "unconstitutional". Phrase them in terms of Civil Rights, and bring forth real lawsuits.

Right or wrong, courts have been keen on expanding their influence, over legislature and executives, and when the executives and legislature overstep their boundaries, when organizations and agencies step on the people, use the way of things, libertarians need to start suing for Civil Rights.

If we take the current range of government abuses, and re-phrase them in terms of civil rights we can hijack a lot of the indoctrination, and make a real dent in these abuses.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My allegiance is to a Constitution that limits federal power. If there's treason abroad in the land, I didn't commit it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've stopped consenting!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Good article.

HOWEVER:

Page load times are EXTREMELY slow. I am on a cellphone dialup connection and it takes about 5 minutes to load a page.

Half the time the page times out on me before it's completely loaded and the "Post Comment" and "like" buttons don't work.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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