I confess to having a soft spot for Chuck Todd, NBC’s chief political reporter. Despite his liberal Democratic bona fides, he’s got a lot of insight into the day-to-day dynamics of politics that he relates fairly for the most part, and I found him to be very cordial and forthcoming the one and only time I ever met him in person at one of those infamous, uber-elitist Georgetown cocktail parties.
But he’s also an exhibit of why the media is shredding its credibility, and why reporters should stick to reporting the news rather than trying to think. Chuck Todd describes Alabama’s likely new senator, Roy Moore, as a “fundamentalist.” Todd showed a clip of Moore saying “Our rights don’t come from government. They don’t come from the Bill of Rights. They come from Almighty God.”
To which Todd gave this coda:
“First off, he doesn’t appear to believe in the Constitution as it’s written. . . Now, that’s just a taste of what are very fundamentalist views that have gotten him removed from office twice as Alabama’s chief justice.”
First off—as Todd might say—it wasn’t Moore’s “fundamentalist” views like this that got him tossed off the Alabama Supreme Court, but his act of defying federal court orders. (And in the case of refusing the federal court order to remove the 10 Commandments from the courthouse, it must be said that the Supreme Court case the order was based on is completely incoherent and unprincipled, but that’s a story for another day.) But beyond this, there is Todd’s abysmal ignorance about Moore’s views on the source of our individual rights according to the Founders.
To be sure, the Constitution does not mention God explicitly, but it is not necessary to share Abraham Lincoln’s view that the Constitution should be understood through the lens of the Declaration of Independence, which of course does back up Moore’s outlook.* More embarrassing for Todd would be to look at the state constitutions from the time of the Founding. They all begin like Maryland’s: “We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty. . .” Ditto New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, as well as the early admitted states like Ohio, Louisiana, etc, etc, etc.
Actually, most modern state constitutions begin with an affirmation of Moore’s outlook. Lets look at the last two (written I suspect by Democrats)—Alaska and Hawaii. Alaska’s constitution begins: “We the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land. . .” Hawaii: “We, the people of Hawaii, grateful for Divine Guidance. . .”
In fact, 46 of the 50 state constitutions begin with an explicit invocation of God, and in most cases directly or indirectly attribute God as the source of our liberties. If believing this makes Moore a “fundamentalist,” then I’m a fundamentalist, too, and probably a large majority of Americans agree.
Which is why I think Senator Moore’s first piece of legislation should be a mandate that all public school children recite the preambles to their state constitutions in school every week. Just to watch liberal heads explode. And to watch the comedy gold of the ACLU arguing in court that state constitutions are unconstitutional!
Meanwhile, everyone is hereby authorized to refer to NBC’s chief political analyst as “Chuck Toad.”
* Question for Chuck Todd: Does he believe Abraham Lincoln should be described as a “fundamentalist”? Because his view was exactly the same as Moore’s.
* Second question for Chuck Todd: William O. Douglas, one of the most liberal justices ever to serve on the Supreme Court, wrote: “We are a religious people, whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.” Was Douglas a “fundamentalist”? Should he have been kicked off the Supreme Court for this fundamentalism?
P.S. Everyone knows “Moore’s Law” from computer science—chip speed doubles every 18 months. I propose a new “Moore’s Law” for liberals: Liberal panic and craziness doubles every 18 months in the Trump era.
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