A friend of mine posted a link to this article on his FB page yesterday.
I find it interesting that the author asserts that we should “decide” to give up on certain aspects of the Constitution. But then he goes on to cite other elements that we should continue to obey, such as Presidential term limits. Who made him the “decider”? If we just “decide” to not worry about checks and balances written into our Constitution, such as requiring revenue measures to originate in the lower house (such a silly, outdated rule), who’s to say that a sitting president can’t just “decide” to ignore the rule that says his term ends in 4 years?
See, here’s the cool thing about that “poetic piece of parchment”. Those ignorant old land-owning white guys made a means to update the document. If the “revenue measures originating in the lower house” rule is so antiquated and difficult to manage that it truly disrupts the good order and discipline of the US Government, then by all means, let’s get rid of the rule! But we do it by Constitutional amendment–the editing process built into the document. NOT by deciding to pick and choose what we think is good. Because although it seems like a good idea now, one day you might not be the “decider”, and the “decider” might decide to ignore things you think are important, like… oh, let’s just start with the whole First Amendment.
I’m concerned that a professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University with over 40 years experience does not see the elementary fallacy of his logic: Just because there may be instances of someone (President, SC Justice, Congress, or other) choosing not to comply with the law, and nothing really bad happened, does not mean that the law did not prevent one hundred other instances of really bad things from happening in the first place. The good professor just jumped with both feet onto the slippery slope that leads to the conclusion that we don’t need any laws, we’ll just let people decide what they think is right at the time. If that’s where we want to go, I think the last Constitutional right I’ll choose to give up is the 2nd Amendment.
Is my concern that Dr. Seidman’s idea will gain real traction? Not really. I’m more concerned with what I see as a broader problem that our nation is staring at, and which I see as a root cause of many of the problems we are facing today. I think I’m going to call it E pluribus…me.