How dare a senator bring up the subject of the Constitution during a debate on whether a proposed law is constitutional! That appears to be Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s reaction to Sen. Ted Cruz today.
The moment came during today’s debate on Feinstein’s “assault” weapons ban, which passed the Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote. It stands little chance of passing the full Senate or the House, and its constitutionality is certainly debatable. When Cruz brings the Constitution into the discussion, Feinstein makes a fallacious appeal to her own inherent authority as a former mayor and lifetime politician, rather than debate him on the merits.
“I’m not a sixth grader,” she told the freshman Tea Party favorite. “I’m not a lawyer, but after 20 years I’ve been up close and personal to the Constitution. I have great respect for it … it’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here for a long time. I’ve passed on a number of bills. I’ve studied the Constitution myself. I am reasonably well educated, and I thank you for the lecture.”
Pardon my bluntness, but so frickin’ what? Just because someone revels in political power over the course of a lifetime does not make them wise or good stewards of the law, or demonstrate that they understand the limits on government power under our system. In fact, the longer many politicians remain in power, the less respect they evidently have for those constitutional limits. Feinstein evidently sees very few limits on her power to legislate. In the past she has admitted that she would ban all guns — doing away with the Second Amendment — if she could.
Democratic Sens. Leahy and Durbin get their backs up later in the video, which more than anything shows that they too don’t really understand the limits placed on them by the Constitution. Or they do understand them, but don’t care.
Don’t be surprised if Feinstein tries turning herself into a victim here, and feminists come to her aid by accusing Cruz of “attacking women” or something. That’s how they operate.