Sunday, September 18, 2011

Constitutionally Deficient

I read somewhere recently that the Tea Party is offering coloring books about the U.S. Constitution to schoolchildren (try this, little girl -- the first one's free!) to jumpstart their Constitutional literacy. That wouldn't be a bad idea, though of course the Tea Party, like most Americans, should begin with themselves.

I admit that until I read Roy Edroso's latest post, I'd almost forgotten myself that the Constitution endows Congress with the power to "establish Post Offices and Post Roads" (Article I, Section 8). So those on the right who want the Post Office to hurry into bankruptcy so it can be privatized are actually opposed to the Constitution; not that that's news. The Tea Party and the Republican right generally have shown themselves not only to be uninformed about the Constitution they claim to adore, but are actively disdainful of its provisions. (Not that the Republicans have a monopoly on violation of the Constitution, of course!)

I'm going to have to read the Constitution more often, and more carefully, myself; I'd overlooked the first paragraph of Article I, Section 9 until today: "The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person." It's long outdated now, of course, but it's interesting as another Constitutional concession to slavery and the slave trade.