Friday, August 20, 2010

A Rebuilt Four-barrel Constitution

"The Tea Party is meanwhile busy rewriting America’s early history under [Glenn] Beck’s tutelage by enforcing a vision of the Constitution tantamount to the Creationists’ view of Genesis. We must obey the words of the founding fathers literally..... There can be no evolution or amendments."
- Frank Rich - The N. Y. Times - May 30, 2010

Glenn Beck’s reply in the latest issue of "Constitutional Shadetree Mechanic":
It’s about time someone had the good sense to revert back to the Constitution as it was originally formulated by our sainted Founding Fathers. Any piece of long-working machinery, no matter how well designed, will eventually get clogged up with accumulated deposits and amendments.
Say you inherited an old ‘57 Chevy that hadn’t seen the inside of a garage in thirty years. Would you continue to drive it on the highway, cross your fingers and just hope for the best?

Of course not. You’d put it up on the hoist, drain the oil and start removing all the gunk and sediment that had built up over the years. You’d also take a look under the hood and remove any unnecessary add-ons and replace any worn or used parts.
Well, that’s just what we’ve gotta do with the Constitution. Given its age and the rough treatment it’s endured, it doesn’t just need some minor tinkering. It’s time to drive the old gal into the legislative shop, strip her down to basics and rebuild the engine to original specs.

Now looking at the owner’s manual, I guess we could all agree that you’d keep the first ten amendments. After all, they were installed on the original chassis after only four years by the same designers. Plus, they’re pretty much essential to the document’s smooth functioning, especially that second amendment.

Can’t run a good government without an unencumbered right to bear arms.
But anything tacked on after 1791 has gotta go. There’s just too much crap hanging off the frame and gunk jamming up the governmental carburetor to achieve anything approaching the optimal performance of this classic document.
Once we’ve stripped this classic down to the basics, we can see what we’ve got. By my reckoning, that should leave us with a Senate unelected by popular vote. That should cut down considerably on electoral expenses and allow for a more efficient bicameral vehicle.
We should also be able to see that this baby was originally an exclusively male-operated mechanism. Eliminating women from the electoral transmission should cut our operating costs in half.

I think you’ll find that once you’ve done a complete rebuild that you’ll no longer be encumbered by such operational limitations as a two-term presidential restriction. For those of a conservative bent, that could mean lots more governing milage under someone like a Bush or a Reagan.

You might be surprised to find that when you’ve reassembled the Constitution as originally written that you’ll have re-instituted slavery. Initially, you might find this troubling but just remember, it will only be active in certain states and, even then, each slave will be counted as three-fifths of a person. Before condemning this original feature outright, we probably should really give it a try and see what the founding designers had in mind.
Once you’re done, you’ve got a brand new 1787 U. S. Constitution with all the original bells and whistles. Take her out for a spin and enjoy that new-document feeling all over again.

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