Obama's Living-Will Constitution - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Obama’s Living-Will Constitution

Obama supporters have lampooned Sarah Palin for saying that a vice president is “in charge of the U.S. Senate.” That is not a strict reading of the Constitution and its envisioned duties for the vice president, they acidly remark. But what do they care about strict readings of the Constitution? According to them, an evolving or “living” Constitution trumps the literal words of the document.

Indeed, they endorse a reading of the Constitution that grows more creative by the day. Obama’s understanding of a “living” Constitution is even more ambitious than that of recent Democratic presidential nominees. It turns out that he sees a “living” Constitution the same way he sees taxation — as an instrument of income-leveling.

According to Obama’s excavated 2001 interview, the Constitution’s fatal “flaw” is that it set up a limited form of government, far too passive in its understanding of rights to deliver the liberal utopia for which radicals have rooted since the 1960s.

This gives added meaning to the litmus test for judicial nominees that the Democratic Party habitually uses: not only will Obama’s judges have to consent to an invented right to abortion, perhaps they will also have to endorse Obama’s view of the court’s role in economic redistribution.

In the 2001 interview, Obama said at that time he was “not optimistic about bringing major redistributive change through the courts.” Notice his use of the word “optimistic.” Now with power in sight, he can apparently be “optimistic” of its use for that purpose.

Obama’s “living” Constitution is a dead Constitution — just a blank piece of paper on which his judges will write whatever they please, extending and expanding the outrageous jurisprudence of recent decades. Were he honest, he would call for a constitutional convention to write a new document from scratch, one that would enshrine his enlightened new understandings. But he would never dare proceed so openly, realizing that left-wing ideas too clearly stated provoke backlash.

Would the states sign off on a new Constitution that declares a right to abortion? Or a right to a home through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? No, better to leave things vague; better to tyrannize the people through a “living” Constitution than risk exposure and resistance in the creation of a new one.

Obama, with his placid temperament and penchant for seductive rhetoric, prefers quiet tyranny to open radicalism. So he will go through the charade of saying that he “respects” the Constitution and will seem to disavow conservative interpretations of his previous remarks about the courts. But as with his comment about “spreading the wealth around,” after all the meandering and moderate-sounding qualifiers have passed, he will arrive back at his original remark and endorse it anew.

The Constitution, long on life-support under liberal activists, will have its plug pulled completely by Obama’s judges without any announcement of its death. Real rights will vanish while bogus ones flourish.

Obama approves of California’s State Supreme Court justices imposing gay marriage on the people by judicial fiat. How long before that happens on the federal level? Surely his appointments to the high court will find in the “living” U.S. Constitution a right to gay marriage too.

Why not? He is on record saying that judges need to view the Constitution through the prism of political correctness: “[W]e need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.”

This is creeping tyranny cast as “change.” The whole point of a written constitution with prescribed procedures for its official change is to prevent this tyranny and the inevitable chaos that erupts after the people realize the meaningless character of law under such arrogance. After all, if the “living” constitutionalists don’t have to listen to the words of the framers and can insert new meanings into the place of those words, the people, by the same logic, don’t have to listen either and can reject those new meanings just as lawlessly.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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