At a tea party rally on the steps of the Capitol yesterday, in an attempt to show his originalist bona fides, House Minority Leader John Boehner mixed up the Preamble and the Declaration of Independence.
Apparently 10,000 (or, tens of thousands, depending on your source) tea partiers descended on the steps of the Capitol yesterday, cheering wildly while the likes of Boehner, Michelle Bachmann and Tony Perkins tossed them red meat.
(My parents' congressman, Rep. Todd Akin, also reportedly botched an attempt to lead the crowd in a recital of the Pledge of Allegiance.)
A woman named Mary Beth Bishop of Colorado spent $500 on a plane ticket, and was quoted by Politico as warning the Democrats, "We need to show and uphold the Constitution. It wasn't written on toilet paper."
Readers know I am no defender of President Obama's policies. But there is nothing remotely "unconstitutional" about publicly subsidized health insurance. It's certainly bad policy, and Republicans shouldn't hesitate to vote against any bill with a public option in it, but to say that the president and Congress are stepping all over the Constitution is absurd. This is the exact same battle cry used by left-wing moonbats use to claim that any law limiting abortion is "unconstitutional" -- the use of a conclusory statement of law with no precedent to support it.
Come to think of it, do you know what actually qualifies as constitutionally repugnant?
Detaining American citizens as "enemy combatants," without trial and without access to an attorney.
A president claiming plenary wartime powers.
A president, exercising his Article II authority, who claims that he alone determines the scope of that authority.
A president who claims that he cannot be limited by his predecessors' executive orders.
For the last eight years, Boehner, Akin, et al. sat idly by while the Bush administration engaged in an unprecedented expansion of executive power that, of all presidential actions since Nixon, was the most crushing to the text of the actual Constitution.
However, over the past 10 months, the House leadership and the right-wing lunatic fringe have apparently experienced an awakening as to what the Constitution purportedly says.
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Republican Party.