Monday, May 16, 2011

Bill Kauffman on Erstwhile Constitionalists

Reminding us that "Republican members of Congress—nigh lockstep supporters of the Wall Street bailout, the Iraq War, and the Patriot Act when their party controlled the executive branch—profess to have rediscovered the Constitution during the first two years of the Age of Obama," the Sage of Batavia writes, "Those of us who were not swept away by the Francophobia of 2003 might say we are experiencing déjà vu" — Limited Government.

He reminds us that "the first Clinton administration provoked a similar fit of GOP 'constitutionalism,' which peaked—or reached its nadir—when, in 1996, future Viagra spokesman and Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole took to carrying in his (shirt!) pocket a copy of the Tenth Amendment, that paper guarantor of the rights of the states," noting parenthetically, "No one ever bothered to ask Senator Dole what he thought of his wife’s leadership, as secretary of transportation under Ronald Reagan, in forcing the fifty states to adopt a uniform minimum drinking age of twenty-one."

Of course, he does mention "handful of noble exceptions—I think of Representatives Ron Paul (TX), John Duncan Jr. (TN), and Walter Jones (NC)."

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.