That Pesky Constitution

Every now and then, someone says something that is astonishingly stupid, but also revealing. That description applies, I think, to this interview on MSNBC–the Democratic Party’s house network–with Ezra Klein, a liberal blogger employed by the Washington Post. Klein expresses the view that the Constitution is “confusing” and really can’t be understood because it was written more than 100 years ago. Therefore, he suggests, it means whatever a particular reader wants it to mean:

Let’s put aside, for a moment, the know-nothing stupidity of claiming that anything written more than a century ago is so impenetrable as to be irrelevant. (Aristotle? The Bible? Chaucer? Shakespeare? Virtually every great thinker and novelist of world history?) Klein said out loud, I think, what a great many progressives believe, and his comments fit well with the progressive dilemma outlined by Paul in the post immediately below. Progressive hostility to the Constitution is perhaps the great under-reported story of American politics.
UPDATE: Iowahawk ridicules poor dumb Ezra Klein as an entrant in the Washington Post’s Young Pundit Essay Contest. An excerpt from Klein’s imagined entry:

Because the Constitution is so old, it is written in the “old-timey” language of people of more than one century ago, which leads many modern people to get confused and frustrated by it. “What is this stupid boring thing?” they will ask, then go back to playing Super Mario Cart. These modern people could not be any more wrong, because hidden underneath all the “so-called” confusing words is an exciting story with twists and turns everywhere. Fortunately, and most importantly, the Founding Fathers also invented the Supreme Court which does a good job of translating the Constitution into modern words and juxtaposing them for all of us, the American people of the United States.


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