Skip to main content

The Constitution Is Not A Menu

Just when we think we’ve plumbed the depths of Sarah Palin’s stupidity, she shows us she’s far more stupid than we could have ever imagined.

Like when she said the nation needs a commander-in-chief, not a law professor, as president. Or when she bemoaned the fact that the underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had had his Miranda rights read to him and had the opportunity to “lawyer up.”

I wish Ms. Palin had been as much of a barracuda in the civics classroom as she was on the basketball court or in beauty pageants.

You see, the U.S. Constitution, to my knowledge, is not a menu. You don’t get to order up the parts you like and leave out the ones you don’t. And it applies to everyone on U.S. soil, no matter how they got here. Why? Because the Constitution acts as a limitation on the powers of government to curtail the liberties and rights of the people in this country, no matter how they got here, even if they intended to bomb a few people during their stay. The principles embodied in the Constitution are not to be compromised in order to achieve an of-the-moment outcome. The reason that they are enduring and define us as a nation and as a people is because they are not easily compromised.

As an African American and an attorney, I am more keenly focused on the Constitution and its limits on government power than most because, to put it bluntly, my people have usually been on the stinky end of the stick when it comes to constitutional rights. We were defined as three-fifths of a person in the original document; we were “compromised” by the Hayes-Tilden compromise into Jim Crow, 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments be damned; and we gave full life to the civil liberties promised by the document thanks to the Civil Rights Movement. African Americans know what happens when a tyrannical majority can treat the Constitution as a menu and order up only the parts it likes.

And no, Ms. Palin, you don’t get to jerryrig the judicial system to get the results you want. Regardless of whether terrorists are tried in federal courts or military tribunals, the government doesn’t get to forum shop to get the outcome it wants. I’m sure if Ms. Palin had her way, the presumption of innocence unique to the American judicial system would go by the wayside for terrorists because it “gets in the way.” It is the very Constitution she would subvert that makes sure that we don’t compromise process or principles. What would be the point of having a Constitution if the very processes and principles we have held dear as a nation, albeit somewhat inconsistently, for more than 200 years could be compromised anytime the majority perceived a threat? What kind of nation would we be?

A nation that would order “some First Amendment, but only for Christians, with a heaping side of Second Amendment, hold the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments, please . . . . “

Comments

Hi Foxwood,

For the record, I'm not publishing your comment because the language you used is objectionable. If you'd like to re-submit it with acceptable language, I'll consider posting it.

BWB

Popular posts from this blog

When You Leave The Ghetto, Don't Bring It With You

NBA player Gilbert Arenas brings a gun to an NBA locker room. NBA player Ron Artest lets his pit bulls run wild and free in Loomis, California while playing for the Sacramento Kings. NFL player Michael Vick did time for fighting dogs. And NFL player Plaxico Burress is doing time for shooting his damn self.

What do all these men have in common? BMNB would say an inability to make a profound paradigm shift. I’m less eloquent than BMNB is, so I’ll say it differently: The inability to leave the ghetto behind.

Yes, call me saditty, bourgie, elitist, stuck-up, whatever. I don’t care. Until you’ve had a tweaker ruin your Thanksgiving turkey, you don’t even know (more on that later), and I’m not trying to hear you.

Living in Western Placer County, my husband and I continue to hear stories from folks like us who had to flee “those who can’t leave the ghetto behind.” You know these people, and they come in all races. In our case, we had returned to Sacramento in 2004 and 2005, respective…

Hillary Clinton Can Stop Trump -- If She Releases Her Electors

Hillary Clinton isn't going to be President of the United States.  At least not yet.  And not in 2017.

But she can possibly stop Donald Trump from being President by releasing her pledged electors  in the Electoral College to vote for a compromise Republican candidate.

This is part of the strategy of the Hamilton Electors, members of the Electoral College who see that Donald Trump is not qualified to be President.  They argue that the Electoral College's role is not to rubber-stamp the popular vote -- which, in this case, would belong to Clinton -- but to serve as a check on the popular vote to make sure that no one who is unfit assumes the office of President.

According to the Hamilton Electors, named for Founding Father Alexander Hamilton (Yes, he of the very popular musical for which I can't get tickets) Hamilton stated that the Electoral College's test for fitness to be the President was as follows (and I'm quoting):

Election of a Qualified Person: As Hamilton s…

Malia's Hair is Off Limits! So is Sasha's!

I read a snippet of a New York Times article in which there was criticism of the hairstyle Malia Obama wore to Italy. Twists, to be precise. Said twists were criticized as not befitting someone representing the United States abroad.

Hold up. Slow your roll, America. You don't get a say in this. Neither Malia nor Sasha "chose" to represent the United States in any way, shape, or form. And their hair, and how they wear it, is off limits. Back the eff off.

I was hotter than a hornet reading this. The whole black woman's hair thing? That's personal with me. We black women have more than enough issues and neuroses about our hair and how we wear it. It is not open to debate within wider circles, especially when there's a child involved. The choices we have, other than wearing our hair in its natural state in twists, dreads, braids, cornrows or afros, are painful -- chemical relaxers, also called "creamy crack," and searing hot straightening combs. If Malia …