Really Hucking up our Constitution

By Othman O'Malley

OK, that’s it. I was willing to give Mike Huckabee the benefit of the doubt. I ignored the fact that he was a Baptist minister. I put my hands over my ears when I heard he had worked for a televangelist when he was young. “That’s OK,” I thought. “We all do silly things when we are young. We date the wrong person or we drink excessively, or we speak in tongues on TV. Water under the bridge.”

I like to think of myself as open-minded and, while I would never have voted for him, I didn’t think his history in the church should have automatically disqualified him. I respected the fact that his faith was not just a ploy to get votes. He is a true believer. I’m sure the atheists would respect an atheist candidate in the same spirit of tolerance and plurality, no? I’m sure they would rather have a sincere person rather than one who condescendingly panders to his base. Then you would not have to suffer through the farce of Rudy, that opportunistic parasite fattening himself on the wounds of 9/11, talk about his belief in God. Or have him seek, and receive, the endorsement from the messiah’s mercenary, Pat “Blood Diamond” Robertson. But I digress.

So Mike, we are through. What was I thinking?! I fell for his hokey, good ol’ boy, bass guitarist persona. I liked Mike because of what he said on the political front. After years of political discourse at the 3rd grade level, I liked that he was the one of the few Republican candidates whose policy solutions did not involve the following: Guantanamo, illegals, 9/11, deportation, supply side, 9/11, bomb, “I hate poor people” and 9/11.

Then Mike went to South Carolina and hacked up this hairball :

“…it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that’s what we need to do – to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”

My brain literally stepped out of my skull, and sobbing uncontrollably, it attached itself to a grenade and jumped off a cliff. How can this not shake the very core of who you are as an American? I’m not waiting for the religious right to protest. They are only consistent as arrogant hypocrites. Huckabee’s stance is an odd position for the religious right because they are advocates of strict constructionism. Like their Bible, they prefer their constitution straight up.

Advocates of strict constructionism sell it as the best way to interpret the Constitution. Strict constructionism ossifies the Constitution. It requires the judge to interpret the text as is. They cannot consider the deeper implications embedded in the text. Hence, the right to privacy, which is generally considered to be implicit in the Constitution and a prerequisite for liberty, would actually require a new amendment.

Constitutional amendments require a two-third majority in Congress and approval by three-fourths of the states. That means the religious right will always be powerful enough to block amendments they don’t like (Equal Rights Amendment) and promote the ones they do (gay marriage ban). So in truth, strict constructionism is a power play by the religious right. If it is applied in all our courts, it will effectively prevent judges from ruling on cases without a precedent.

Well, the Huckster blew the lid off that hoax and showed us where you can stick the constitution and liberal democracy if it contradicts the Word. At least Huckabee was honest about it. It should come as no surprise to anyone that this is how Huckabee and his co-religionists feel. If one reads the Bible literally, why not the constitution as well? And if they contradict, then naturally the constitution must give way.

So be careful of who you give your heart to. Don’t do what I did. You may wake up with a hangover and find a fat Baptist preacher smiling at you in the morning.

Othman is a senior in political science and he’s been fooled once, so shame on him.