Monday, July 13, 2009

The Folly of Republicans

The reasoning of most Republicans these days on matters of politics and policy is as limp as an overcooked noodle without Viagra.

What really bothers Republicans about Sotomayor's "wise Latino" remark is the suggestion that anyone could be as wise as a white Republican male whose judgment is fully rational and not at all influenced by family history or social context.

Republicans think that interpreting the Constitution is like looking at Mt. Rushmore on a clear day and deciding which is Washington and which is Jefferson.

Never mind how many 5-4 decisions with each faction consisting of the same cluster of Justices, Republicans think Constitutional interpretation can be free of the background and outlook of the interpreters. So shockingly naive is such a view that only a politician or a fundamentalist theologian or a citizen oblivious to the obvious would admit to having it.

Republicans are distrustful of government to do anything right except when it is acting in secret or funneling money to their preferred beneficiaries.

Originalists, including many Republicans, assume there is one settled meaning of the Constitution built in from the beginning, whereas historians know that the Founding Fathers intended to begin an argument which must continue, they being well aware of disagreements among themselves and the many ambiguities, complexities, trade-offs, and the like generated in the concrete realities of life and history.

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