The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

When your car breaks down, you fix it, right? Well...

"The warmest friends to and the best supporters of the Constitution, do not contend that it is free from imperfections; but these were not to be avoided, and they are convinced if evils are likely to flow from them, that the remedy must come thereafter; because, in the present moment it is not to be obtained. And as there is a Constitutional door open for it, I think the people (for it is with them to judge) can, as they will have the aid of experience on their side, decide with as much propriety on the alterations and amendments wch shall be found necessary, as ourselves; for I do not conceive that we are more inspired--have more wisdem--or possess more virtue than those who will come after us." — George Washington

"Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself in all cases as the age and generations which preceded it. The vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies...I am contending for the rights of the living, and against their being willed away and controlled and contracted for by the manuscript assumed authority of the dead..." — Thomas Paine

When you have both sides screaming for change, maybe it's time to go back to the basics. I know most of you don't want to hear this, but our Constitution needs an overhaul.


Thad Wasson said...

What would you like to do Bill? Tell us your changes.

Bob Ellis said...

Our Constitution does not need an overhaul so much as our hearts need an overhaul. We've become an immoral, self-centered people who would rather rob our neighbors to do what we should be doing ourselves, and along with that corruption of the heart we hold all the wisdom of our constitution in contempt.

So it's no wonder we're in the mess we're in--we've abandoned the moral foundation that fostered our greatness and have turned our backs on the constitutional limits on government that have guaranteed our freedom.

Michael said...

How do we know that our Constitution is broken?

After all, it's not a car so much as it is a set of rules telling us how the car should function.

I would argue that the rules are still right--it's the car that's broken.

Bill Fleming said...

I like a lot of Sabato's suggestions, Thad. Term limits, balanced budget, better (more proportional) representation in the House, stop gerrymandering, one 6-year presidential term, limits on Presidential war powers, line item veto, term limits on supremes, automatic voter registration.

Bill Fleming said...

Ok, Mike, fair enough. Extending the metaphor then, I get that you think we'd all be satisfied driving Model T's as long as we kept them in good repair.

Bob Ellis, speak for yourself, please. You may hold the wisdom of the Constitution and the Founders in contempt, but I certainly don't. Hence my post here.

Bob Newland said...

You're right, Bob Ellis, and the folks you support for political offices have been among the prime movers on over-riding the constitutional limits that should be protecting our liberty.

But of course, as long as they wear a pious smile and profess to the same mythology as you, you don't care how many people they torture, kill or imprison.

interested party said...

Ellis is right; it's a massive Ponzi scheme, let it fail.

Stop payments to ag, to Ellsworth, and to the banks.

Let the xenocidal Calvinists breed like rabbits, stuff 'em with Cheetos and give 'em SUVs and give 'em guns, lots of guns.

Every time I come to South Dakota I feel like this: I want to eat brownies.

I want to spray chemicals on my trees, I want to have Scott Munsterman to lay hands on my bare breasts
and tell me about Jesus.

I want to tile my fields so that the Roundup I apply to my corn kills every thing in its path and then leaches into the prairie lakes.

I want the sulfa drugs I give my cattle and the chemicals I put on the golf courses to kill the fungi trying to remediate the remnants of mining in the Black Hills.

I pray to the God of free enterprise.

Taunia said...

I think we're past the depakote phase and onto electric shock. Too bad labotomies are out of style.

Michael Sanborn said...

Whoah Bill:

Somebody's impersonatin' me. I didn't make that thar post. Either that or there's another Michael out there, in which case we say Welcome, Michael. Now, change your handle.

I'm all for some changes, similar to some of them suggested by Bill, as long as we strengthen the First and Second Amendments.

And, I want to know more about automatic voter registration before I support that. I'm always suspect of anything the government compels me to purchase their health insurance or go to jail...

I'm certainly not opposed to the idea of studying the possible calamities that might occur with a constitutional convention.

Bill Fleming said...

Oh... a different Michael. Okay, sorry Mike. Sabato suggests that it could take a decade or so of discussion before we could presume to be ready to call for a convention.

But considering the recent SCOTUS decision re: free speech for corporations, it might be moot point by then. The new way of voting will have become which products and services you do or don't buy.

Bill Gates for President anyone? Anyone? No? Well then how about the Saudis taking control of congress? Hey, anybody can start an American corporation, you know?

Michael Sanborn said...

If the First Amendment doesn't protect everyone, it doesn't protect anyone, right Mr. Ellis?

The same First Amendment that protects the rich bankers and preachers of the radical right who drop billions into campaign coffers, also protects Larry Flint and Hustler, doesn't it Bob?

The problem is the reporting. The problem is that large corporations can hide behind artfully named Political Action Committees.

I believe the First Amendment doesn't protect anonymous speech. So, the key, I believe, is better laws on disclosure.

Let them spend their millions but force them to identify themselves. "We're Exxon, and we support Candidate A because he sees things our way." The little guy with the little purse can fight that.