Congress Recites the United States Constitution


One of the first items addressed by the new 112th Congress, was a reading of the Untied States Constitution. This was done on the floor of the House, by a number of Congress members, from both sides of the aisle. It has been noted, by various wags across the net, this would be the first real exposure to said document by a substantial number of Congresscritters. I think it is more a willful ignoring of this cherished contract between a peoples and their government, which any number of the members of this august body are guilty of, but that might be my cynicism flavoring things.

C-SPAN had the event on live. My sweetieheart, and the homeschooled genetic hostage, took the time to watch. It went pretty smooth. All readers appeared to do their level best in exersing their reading skills in public. Then came the reading of the following from Article 2, Section 1:

“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

As this particular passage was being recited, from out in the gallary, one of the “great unwashed”, who were allowed to witness this event, spoke up:

“Except Obama, except Obama. Help us Jesus.”
Source: “Politico”

This, of course, produced a number of “hurumphs”, from the attending members of Congress, and a bit of self righteous indignation, from newly minted Speaker of the House, John Boehner. Now had this bloated body of political gas ever carried itself with even half of the deportment they think they have, I would have granted them the point of (having to) remove the rather boisterous guest from her seat in the gallery, if only for violating “Robert’s Rules of Order”, if nothing else.

However, the woman’s outburst (as ill warranted and perhaps ill advised as it was) speaks to a greater concern. And is in reality “right and proper” given the context of what was being addressed at the time. Either we are going to adhere to the Constitution, and respective powers delegated to each branch of government (and their respective agents and agencies). Or they are not. EIther we allow to be elected and hold office those individuals who meet ALL requirements for the holding of their respective office. Or we are not. If (And it becomes increasingly apparent, as time goes by, that we are.) we are going to allow the governmental powers that be to either pick and chose what parts of the Constitution they are going to honor or adhere to, or “interpret” the Constitution to mean whatever is convenient at any given time, than we must expect … we must demand, that citizens will rise up and call them on it.

So color me not surprised that this happened. Color me surprised it took so long for it to happen.

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6 Comments

Filed under Constitution, News of the Day, Politics, Random Thoughts

6 responses to “Congress Recites the United States Constitution

  1. The SKUNCs didn’t want to be in power, and an illegitimati helps their cause. As for the rest of the GOP, I think they fear the ripple of consequences of his removal on a technicality rather than for the damage he’s done. That his ideology, all by itself, is not that well understood or actually pinned to his hide is even more depressing. The 4th Estate is thoroughly absorbed by the 1st now. Oh, and who thinks Prez Biden would be better?

    OTOH, it certainly would be interesting watching the courts claim that Congress has “no standing” in a suit demanding Obama’s papers be unsealed. (The President himself is LESS thoroughly protected by the Secret Service. You and I know that there is no good reason for this. It’s either a red herring to hold all his papers in secrecy, or they really are as bad as we imagine; there is simply no good reason.)

    • Sorry for not responding sooner, I saw your comment last night, but was so fuzzy headed that bed was the only option.

      I would agree with you. there is “fear” on both sides of the aisle about removing the man from office over this “so called technicality”. As I have said before, and will undoubtedly say again, It matters little where he was born, be it Hawaii, a Howard Johnson outside of Pittsburg, or even Kenya as some are insistant on . What matters is the legitimate citizenship of his parents at the time of his birth, and how that status directly applies to the “natural born citizen” clause of the Constitution. Of equal importance, is our lawmakers and judiciaries (federal, specifically SCOTUS) take on this. It (to a lesser or greater degree, depending on ones point of view) impacts how one honors or respects the concept or ideal of “rule of law”. For if this is willfully ignored, regardless if there being some greater reason of “good intent? or not, than precedent is further entrenched allowing for the disregarding of any part of the law (in this case, the Constitution) which is found to be inconvenient. As an example of this very thing, a number of conservative sorts are expressing a strong desire to see Gov. Jindal run for the office of President. Like it or not, he is not a “natural born citizen”, and so, fails to meet the criteria for assuming the office, It doesn’t matter that I find much about the man and his politics which would (I think) make him a very good choice, What matters is he fails (through no fault of his own) to meet the requirements.

      And the clock on the wall says I must take off for work. I will respond the the rest of your comment upon my return from the salt mines. Thanks for stopping by!

      • The precedent has been already entrenched, long ago, by the fact that no Dems in the primary and no Pubbies during the general ever challenged his technical bona fides. And the courts have been buying the argument that nobody but the parties or Congress has standing in taking it to court — and they won’t. That is one big WTF don’t you think?

        I’ve long asserted that the two parties are ratting out the nation — hence my RepublicRats™ cartoon. Feel free to display that any time you the circumstances fit. It’s a bit dated now because they’ve become so brazen and sneering with contempt for patriots, but it remains a fact at representing what they’ve been up to for so very long.

  2. Aside from the other meat of your post here, what struck me was the title.

    How sad is it when the Congress reading the Constitution is so unusual to be worthy of a headline?

    • I agree, it is sad this sort of thing makes national news. Not only for the rarity of it being done by the congress critters, but that most have quite possibly never read it since their school days. (or possibly college, for the lawyers and history majors). And thanks for dropping by!!

  3. Pascal, to continue from where I left off yesterday.

    Frankly, I don’t know where the courts get off in leveling the charge of “no standing” against the very organ which in my mind would specifically have it in this case. (And that would be “We the People”, the one side of the contract between a government and it’s constituents.) If the argument is, that our representatives act as our “agents”, then your thought about what would happen should an individual or group of Congressmen or Senators being told they, also, do not have “standing”, would be …. interesting. I would suspect that such action by the courts would find its way in front of the fine folks at SCOTUS in very short order.

    As far as “RepubkicRats” (would that be SKUNC’s in drag?) go, well we both know what they would (and are currently doing) do. And that is, the sneaky ones will talk out of one side of their mouths to one group of constituents, while talking out of the other side to another group. And then vote which ever way is most beneficial to THEM (the congress critter, not either group of constituents). Though this is nothing new in politics, their lack of shame in doing so, seems to be much more prevalent then in past decades.

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