Monday, December 06, 2010

Repeal amendment

The latest in conservative intellectual movements is the Repeal Amendment. Dahlia Lithwick explains why it is a really stupid idea, a fetish for states' rights, and puts the lie to claims by conservatives that they want to "preserve" the constitution. It turns out, they only want to "preserve" the bits they think they like.

But she also bemoans the fact that liberals are silent on this subject.

Yet what we have heard in response to the Repeal Amendment from liberals is near-total radio silence. And it's not because liberals are eager to see a return to the conditions that led to Jim Crow or the Civil War. We just seem to have forgotten how to talk about the Constitution as if it's ours, too. After years of failing to respond to Reagan-era cries of "liberal judicial activism," and failing to push back against the singular perfection of originalism, it's as if we've ceded the entire document to conservatives—as well as the fight over its history and meaning.

Her point is well taken. Liberals allow these crack pot ideas to fester below the surface without any push back, then they become talking points of the new House majority whip. The Wall Street Journal talks it up favorably, and FoxNews swoons with giddiness. Next thing you know it becomes a real issue rather than the ravings of anti-fourteenth amendment civil war reenacters.

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