Fatal attraction 

Conservatives who claim to love the Constitution are forever wanting to change the Constitution. One might almost question the sincerity of their affection.

Congressional Republicans have tried repeatedly — and will again — to limit free speech by means of an amendment that would allow Congress to ban the burning or other "desecration" of the American flag. They would let Michele Bachmann rewrite James Madison, and they've won House of Representatives approval of this proposal on several occasions. Fortunately, a more sober-minded, Democratic-majority Senate has declined go along.

The Tea Baggers have barrels of bad ideas and one of the worst is their balanced-budget amendment, but since the Baggers run the Republican Party now, this scheme too gets taken seriously. The proposed amendment would require a balanced federal budget every year, cap federal spending at 18 percent of gross domestic product, prohibit any tax increase without a two-thirds majority of Congress, and prohibit any increase in the national debt without a three-fifths majority.

If the amendment was adopted, the government would be unable to respond to emergency, whether military invasion, natural disaster or economic downtown. The central government was paralyzed just that way under the Articles of Confederation, and that was a big reason for the adoption of the Constitution — so that the government could raise revenue. The Founders considered and rejected restraints such as those now urged by right-wing radicals. (Who are not strong on American history, obviously. One of the Republican presidential candidates, Herman Cain, confused the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence throughout a speech announcing his candidacy. Bachmann and Sarah Palin have demonstrated broad ignorance of America's past too.)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, yet another spooky Republican presidential hopeful, has announced his support of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages nationwide. Though Perry purports to believe in states' rights, he'd strip states of the right to legalize same-sex marriages, as a few of them have done.

Perry may actually see more in the Constitution that he doesn't like than he does. Certainly the business about separating church and state can't sit well with him. Just last weekend he was hosting what he called a national day of prayer in Houston, he and like-minded others praying and preaching up a storm. All this was done in partnership with the fundamentalist American Family Association, a Tupelo, Miss., group that opposes abortion and gay rights and believes that the First Amendment's freedom of religion applies only to Christians.

The U.S. Constitution, that noble document, must be protected from friends such as Perry and his kind. It barely survived the last Texas president.


From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of...


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • Workers stiffed

    How is it going with the great experiment to make the Republican Party the champion of the sons and daughters of toil instead of the oligarchs of wealth and business?
  • Former state board of education chair Sam Ledbetter weighs in on Little Rock millage vote

    Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.
  • O'Reilly's fall

    Whom the gods would destroy, they first make TV stars.

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Fishing the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Fishing the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Arkansas angler and fishing expert Billy Murray shares his extensive knowledge of the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: O'Reilly's fall

    • O'Reilly should run for president. He's already cleared one major hurdle by proving he's a…

    • on April 27, 2017
  • Re: Intracity tourism

    • I love being a tourist in my own backyard. One of the advantages of being…

    • on April 27, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation