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.”
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.