Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Former U.S. Constitution - Preamble

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.
The Constitution of the United States had a good run. It lasted from 1789 to the first decade of the 21st century, more than twenty-five times as long as the Articles of Confederation that it repealed and superseded. Despite the Constitution's original sin in slavery, a sin that led via the Electoral College to its death despite America's bloody Civil War of expiation, the Constitution was a durable foundation. It deserved better treatment of its aspiration to just and effective government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

It's impossible to put an exact date on its demise, since it was not openly repealed or superseded. Instead, it was simply ignored by the Executive, with the active connivance of the Judiciary and the meek acquiescence of the Legislative branch.

The first step on the path that overturned the Constitution, however, can be dated to Dec. 12, 2001. On that infamous date, the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore accepted the captious and torturous logic of the Bush attorneys and ruled against all proportion that equal protection of voters required stopping the vote count in Florida.

Now, in another attempt to lock the barn door after the horse has been stolen, I'm setting for myself a project: to show the tatters of the old Constitution paragraph by paragraph.

When we get to writing a new Constitution, we need to remember these Bushist days. We also need to remember the flaws of the "Great" Compromise that our forebears mistakenly left in place after the Civil War. We won't get a perfect result. Given the deep and rigid divisions in America, we probably won't get a result as durable as the just abrogated Constitution, but we need to make every effort to avoid obvious errors such as allowing a candidate who loses the popular vote to nonetheless become President.


Anonymous said...

It was ignored before Roosevelt and openly ignored by him and ever since until Reagan. Than somewhat back on track until Clinton.

lovable liberal said...

More ahistorical illiterate wingnut claptrap. This anonymous is probably still sore about the Sixteenth Amendment.