Constitution Day 2012
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." --preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America
Constitution Day 2012
Today, Sept. 17, 2012, marks the 225th anniversary of the signing of our Constitution at the Philadelphia (Constitution) Convention in 1787. The best way to honor the day might be to read it. It's up to "We the People" to hold our elected representatives accountable for failing to honor their oaths.
Mark Alexander has an extensive archive of columns on the Constitution as it relates to various subjects over the years. Don't miss it!
Today is also The Patriot Post's 16th anniversary. Thanks to our readers -- and our financial supporters -- for making what we do possible!
"Monday, Sept. 17, marks the 225th anniversary of the signing of the nation's second great founding document, the Constitution that provides Americans with limited government. ... The Constitution was drafted more than 11 years after the Declaration. The United States had won independence but was struggling under the weak Articles of Confederation. The Founding Fathers wanted to draft a document that would provide an effective but carefully limited federal government. Through a series of compromises, they did just that. They designed three branches of government -- legislative, executive and judicial -- that would check each other. If one tried to usurp too much power, the others would have an interest in bringing it back into line. Just as competition brings down prices in economics, competition would tend to keep any particular branch of government from acquiring too much power. ... The Constitution has held up well for more than two centuries, with only occasional modifications (the 27 amendments) through the years. Of course, people used to be a bit more serious about the idea that the Constitution said what it meant and meant what it said. Any 21st-century celebration of the Constitution should take note that the country is no longer keeping faith with its constitutional principles. Today, most 'laws' actually are rules and regulations enacted by bureaucrats in government agencies, not statutes passed by elected lawmakers. Even when Congress does pass legislation, such as the Dodd-Frank financial reform law or Obamacare, lawmakers leave many blanks and expect rule-makers to fill them in. That means the bureaucracy, peopled with federal 'experts,' essentially exists as an unelected fourth branch of government. ... Our constitutional framework of limited government requires a president who will actively use his granted powers but also recognize the strict limits on those powers. After the Constitution was complete, Benjamin Franklin noted that it made the country 'a republic, if you can keep it.' This Constitution Day, let's honor the framers and respect their work by changing America's course -- and returning to our constitutional roots." --Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner
Read Heritage's 10 Steps to Save the Constitution.
"I want to make one thing clear. This war against our constitution is not being fought way off in Madagascar or in Mandalay. It is being fought here -- in our schools, our colleges, our churches, our women's clubs. It is being fought with our money." --Senator William Jenner (1908-1985)
"Constitutionally and by precedent, the House of Representatives has the exclusive prerogative to originate bills to appropriate money, as well as to raise revenues. ... No matter how Obama's presidency is viewed, if we buy into the notion that it's he whose spending binge is crippling our nation through massive debt and deficits, we will naturally focus our attention on the White House. The fact of the matter is that Washington has been on a spending binge no matter who has occupied the White House. In 1970, federal spending was $926 billion. Today it's $3.8 trillion. In inflation-adjusted dollars that's about a 300 percent increase. Believing that presidents have taxing and spending powers leaves Congress less politically accountable for our deepening economic quagmire. Of course, if you're a congressman, not being held accountable is what you want. ... Most members of our Republican-controlled House of Representatives say they're against Obamacare. If they really were, they surely would attach a legislative rider or some other legislative device to the Department of Health and Human Services' appropriation bill to ban spending any money on Obamacare; they have the power to. But they don't have the political courage to do so, and their lives are made easier by the pretense that it's the president controlling the spending. And we fall for it." --economist Walter E. Williams
"It's time we stopped looking backward at how we got here. ... We must reach out and appeal to the patriotic and fundamental ideals of average Americans who do not consider themselves 'movement' people, but who respond to the same American ideals that we do." --Ronald Reagan
Opinion in Brief
"An incendiary video about the prophet Muhammad, 'Innocence of Muslims,' was blamed for the mob attacks on our embassies in Libya and Egypt (and later, Yemen). ... One of the things we've learned all too well is that the 'Muslim street' -- and often Muslim elites -- have a near-limitless capacity to take offense at slights to their religion, honor, history or feelings. ... Are we really going to hold what we can say or do in our own country hostage to the passions of foreign lynch mobs? If your answer is some of form of 'yes,' than you might want to explain why U.S. citizens aren't justified in attacking Egyptian or Libyan embassies here in America. After all, I get pretty mad when I see goons burning the American flag, and I become downright livid when a U.S. ambassador is murdered. Maybe me and some of my like-minded friends should burn down some embassies here in Washington, D.C., or maybe a consulate in New York City? Of course we shouldn't do that. To argue that Americans shouldn't resort to mayhem, while suggesting it's understandable when Muslims do, is to create a double standard that either renders Muslims unaccountable savages ... or casts Americans as somehow less passionate about what we hold dear, be it our flag, our diplomats or our religions." --columnist Jonah Goldberg
For the Record
"One of the ways of understanding the strange nonchalant response of the administration to prior warnings of trouble in the Arab Spring countries, and its contextualization of the violence on the anniversary of 9/11, is its belief that it is somehow separated from the object of the violence. Raging crowds and Islamic wrath could not possibly be connected to the enlightened Obama administration or, more generally to a U.S. that has been 'reset' on his watch -- given the three years of laborious Muslim outreach and the long-ago departure of George Bush. So we are to think away all those burning flags, stormed consulates, and dead Americans, and instead remember that the violence 'is a response,' a sort of cry of the heart against a couple of America-residing video makers -- and has nothing much to do with any anger at well-meaning Americans per se. Apparently no one in charge seems to grasp that this latest video pretext is simply yet another tool, in a long line of many, for premodern Islamists to manipulate and galvanize their fury against the United States, whose success and power obsess them no end -- no matter what we do or who happens to be in the White House, soaring Cairo speech and 'leading from behind' or not." --historian Victor Davis Hanson
"In 1980, Governor Ronald Reagan won the sole debate with incumbent President Jimmy Carter -- and won the election a week later. The media won't let that happen again. And so President Barack Obama will 'win' next month's debates -- not because he is a better debater than Governor Mitt Romney, but because of media bias. ... Obama's favorite debating trick is to demand more time when an opponent makes a point at his expense -- conveying, at the same time, that his opponent has done something wrong that requires redress. ... Obama's tactics reflect a strategic understanding of how debates work that Republicans have not mastered yet. Obama does not come to debates to argue with his opponent, but to deliver a pre-packaged message. That technique is commonly taught to left-wing pundits by Media Matters for America, and is best exemplified in the appearances of such surrogates as Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. ... In sum, Romney will have to do far more than simply outperform Obama to use the debates as a springboard. He would do well to look elsewhere for a late bounce." --columnist Joel B. Pollak
Re: The Left
"Although the big word on the left is 'compassion,' the big agenda on the left is dependency. The more people who are dependent on government handouts, the more votes the left can depend on for an ever-expanding welfare state. Optimistic Republicans who say that widespread unemployment and record numbers of people on food stamps hurt President Obama's reelection chances are overlooking the fact that people who are dependent on government are more likely to vote for politicians who are giving them handouts. President Franklin D. Roosevelt understood that, back during the Great Depression of the 1930s. He was reelected in a landslide after his first term, during which unemployment was in double digits every single month, and in some months was over 20 percent. The time is long overdue for optimistic Republicans to understand what FDR understood long ago, and what Barack Obama clearly understands today. Dependency pays off in votes -- unless somebody alerts the taxpayers who get stuck with the bill." --economist Thomas Sowell
"Thank you, Mark, that we have at least one credible source telling the truth about BO's BS and our nation's plight. This administration's apology for a video rather than immediate outrage at the murder of four Americans is despicable." --GB in Dunwoody, Georgia
"I have never been one to panic over the state of our country, because I always knew that we could fix it when it was broken. But how does a country defend itself when the man in the White House is determined to ruin it even further? The crisis overseas and the riots that are taking place are so important to our security, and BO couldn't even muster up any anger towards the killing of our American people, or the burning of our flag. We need strong leadership, and someone who can stand up to the rest of the world and keep America as the strongest, most united country in the world." --Patricia in D'Hanis, Texas
"Ambassador Christopher Stevens did a great deal to support and help the Libyan rebels against Moammar Gadhafi, yet this is his payback. In the real world no good deed goes unpunished. I am of the opinion that the best way to handle these mentally challenged people and their so-called Religion of Peace™ adherents is to immediately cut off all monies from the U.S. to them, remove all the diplomats and allow them to sink back into the abyss of the Dark Ages from whence they come." --Jiggs in Millen, Georgia
"Yes, unfortunately Friday's Digest laid out similarities to Obama and Carter, but Carter lost his attempt at re-election. Obama has been rising in the polls and is now at 7 points above Romney. Unfortunately, Romney has none of Ronald Regan's persuasive characteristics. America is now too dependent on the government for hand-outs, so a win for Obama despite his dismal records both on the economy and foreign policy is imminent." --FED Up in Philly
"Stop believing the polls of the delusional left. They are skewing the numbers and lying to you." --wjm in Colorado
"This Chicago teacher strike makes me very remorseful that I didn't complete my teacher training so that I could assist the kids that are suffering from the greedy teachers of Chicago. They should be ashamed of themselves for the job they have been doing." --Ann in Penrose, North Carolina
The Last Word
"When politicians hear us complain about our problems, they try to solve them. Just look at our massive, bloated government and our ginormous national debt -- that was all built by complaining. People whined about stuff, and some politicians overheard and were like, 'I bet I can solve this problem and be super popular! And I know the perfect solution: a new massive bureaucracy that costs billions of dollars!' And, of course, the only thing a massive government bureaucracy has ever solved is the problem of Americans having too much time and money. Having politicians fix problems is like having a three-year-old fix your computer with a hammer. It's best to not get them involved at all. ... That's why one of the most important American values that should be ingrained in us is that we solve things ourselves and never, ever complain when government can hear us -- that's the equivalent of feeding a Mogwai after midnight. The only way we'll get a smaller government and get out of debt is by convincing the government that we don't need its constant help. If you lose your job, your house burns down, and you're surrounded by angry bears, and the government asks, 'Do you need help?' you should answer, 'Oh no. Minor setback. I'm fine. I saw some airports that need renaming, though. Why don't you get on that?'" --humorist Frank J. Fleming
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team