Louis Seidman in today's NYT wants us to abandon the Constitution. His reasoning is that fealty to the Constitution is the cause of our current social and financial predicament. He is dead wrong.
Consider, for example, the assertion by the Senate minority leader last week that the House could not take up a plan by Senate Democrats to extend tax cuts on households making $250,000 or less because the Constitution requires that revenue measures originate in the lower chamber. Why should anyone care? Why should a lame-duck House, 27 members of which were defeated for re-election, have a stranglehold on our economy? Why does a grotesquely malapportioned Senate get to decide the nation’s fate?
This is not a result of Constitutional provisions, but of the decision to abandon them. Because the federal government has become all things to all people, it makes economic decisions that run counter to the Constitution. There is no provision in the Constitution for anything that is not "Common Defense" or (directly connected to) "Interstate Commerce". the bastardizing of the "General Welfare" clause is anathema to the intent.
Seidman's inference that it is outdated (a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?) is patently absurd. In fact, they were deeply divided on slavery, most believing it was evil, but in the interest of the nation would have to stand for the time being. Further, they did not need to know our present situation. They understood well human nature.
Seidman's insistence that we abandon the Constitution because it has been ignored (early and often, admittedly) is a horrible reason. It is a near-perfect document which, if followed, protects our Natural Rights. It keeps the Federal government small enough that it cannot infringe on our Natural Rights. It is the bastardization and abandonment of Constitutional principles that has brought us to the brink of ruin. the "civil disobedience" of insisting on Constitutional fealty and dismantling of those institutions not authorized by the Constitution will make this country strong and free again.