This piece on Salon.com today put me in mind of how conservatives view the Constitution.
Peter Van Buren opens by reminding everyone of the full text of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Citing the case of Morris Davis, a researcher at the Library of Congress who was fired for voicing his opinion in the pages of the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, Van Buren reports:
On November 12, 2009, the day after his op-ed and letter appeared, Davis was told by his boss that the pieces had caused the library concern over his “poor judgment and suitability to serve… not consistent with ‘acceptable service’” — as the letter of admonishment he received put the matter. It referred only to his op-ed and Washington Post letter, and said nothing about his work performance as a researcher. One week later, Davis was fired.
Throughout cases like Morris’s, the adoption of the onerous provisions of the Patriot Act and the police response to Occupy Wall Street, conservatives have been noticeably silent — if not cheering on or dismissing police violence.
However, when it comes to the 2nd Amendment, they are adamant about defending one clause while sheepishly ignoring the first clause:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
The Tea Party and other useful subsidiaries of the GOP are regularly in the streets tilting at ephemeral boogeymen they imagine are crouching in the bushes, just waiting to snatch all guns away.
This non-existent threat to the one clause of the amendment is a big money-maker for right-wing politicians and the National Rifle Association.
The right would have a proper Constitutional beef against President Obama if the openly criticized his continuation of the policies of the Patriot Act.
But they can’t.
Conservatives and their organs on cable television, radio, the blogosphere and in print were boisterously haranguing anyone on the left who dared to question these policies.
Protesters were called anti-American and we are seeing some of the same vitriol being used against the Occupy Wall Street folks.
So, while Obama record on civil rights and liberties leaves much to be desired, the field of candidates that would oppose him have all expressed little or no passion to support the actual Constitution, or want do institute polices that are clearly subversive.
Our rights are being steadily eroded, and nary a word is being said.
Meanwhile, in an environment where no action has been taken to strengthen gun laws, there is much howling.
By definition, vociferous factions of the GOP are campaigning for a self-fulfilling prophecy by ignoring real Constitutional erosion and calling for “Second Amendment remedies” to everything from parking tickets and –gasp– providing affordable healthcare to everyone.
- No free speech at Mr. Jefferson’s library (cbsnews.com)
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