222 years 1 month 6 days ago

     The U.S. Constitution took just under 4 months to do.  The Constitutional Convention convened on May 25, 1787 and adopted the propopsed Constitution as the version to be sent to the states for ratification on September 17, 1787. It has lasted 222 years 1 month & 6 days so far & is a brilliant example of what people can come up with while building a new nation.
It is approximately 4528 words in length.  The Ammendments are 3786 words in length. The total of both is 8314 words or approximately 33 pages of 250 words in length (a standard novel page).  I will publish a good concordance when I get a .  The numbers are approximate since I could not find a text version unencumbered by extra comments.  I use the ConSource website as a resource.
The Bill of Rights was proposed on March 4, 1789 & began radification 2 months later.  That was 6 months & 21 days after the Constitution itself went into effect.
     I bring these to your attention as you ponder the current health care bills which have been in the minds of Congress & the president since he took office January 20, 2009 and are rumored to be 1200 pages + & are masterpieces of chaos & confusion.  That is 9 months & 3 days or more depending when you click this link. The senate bill is approximately 118045 words in length (that's still at conceptual level).
      Don't you wish you had some more of the brilliance of the founding fathers & the first Congress around to bring some wisdom to the process?
 

Tags

  1. constitution
  2. health care
  3. flushgov.net

Comments


Mark de LA says
What is interesting is that there appears to be nothing constitutional in the attempt to force every American to have health care insturance of some kind.  Here is the Politico's argument on the unconstitutionality of the mess:
Source: ...
The words "general Welfare" show up in the first line of Article I, Section 8:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States ... [Emphasis added.]

Notice that the Constitution doesn't say the "general welfare of the citizens of the United States." It says "general Welfare of the United States." This clause only gives the Congress the power to raise money to defend the country and pay for the day-to-day operations of the government. It says nothing at all about building bridges to nowhere, or paving bike paths, or spending money on any other kind of pork barrel project -- including health care. Read the rest of Article I, Section 8 below. The exact powers of the Congress are listed there.
...I hope somebody takes this to SCOTUS! The Constitution limits government it doesn't say anything not prohibited belongs to the Feds. As a matter of fact it reserves such to the states.


Mark de LA says
M 2009-10-24 11:42:20 12762
M 2009-10-24 11:08:25 12762
seth 2009-10-24 09:08:53 12762
Yes things are different now ... different era ... different people, different process, different time.  Now it is all about Party.  Politicians do not have a common purpose anymore.  They are not all about making a new country work.  Rather they are about getting reelected and raising more and more funds from lobbyists so that they can decimate their opponents with TV ads that twist what the other guy has said and done.  I say throw out the parties, throw out the lobbyists, and give our politicians one motive: govern the country for all the people in the best manner possible.
My point, elaborated, is that the U.S. Constitution has lasted for 222+ years & has been changed only 27 times. That's quite a record for a single document that has such a broad scope.  Some such as the ACLU thinks it is deeply flawed, I don't!  The first amendment is the one which has the most to do with guaranteeing our freedom, to wit: (Amendment I)
 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
   Most of what you propose is thus unconstitutional! At least it must be done by persuasion (voting) not law & not force.  My proposal is variously called flushgov.net - send all incumbents to the unemployment line - ASAP & altogether at once. Unfortunately not all of Congress can be sent home at once!

P.S. T sent a letter with the following suggestion:
Limit all US politicians to two terms.
One in office
One in prison
Illinois already does this!


Mark de LA says
I have been thinking about what I can do with flushgov.net .  One thing we could do is produce a new Declaration of Independence from the way the Constitution has been implemented by the current & recent office holders & bureaucrats centered around what you & I have expressed so far.  If we can summon enough disgust, offense & sadness about this & recent governments maybe we can summon a concensus to vote out all incumbents at the next election.  An alternative implementation would have to be proposed as well similar to, but obviously not even close to the Contract with America. 


Mark de LA says
A casual observer might also notice that that which is a founding document for a new country is still the law of the land 222 years later for a mature country. The that was then this is now frame looses steam when viewed from the point of view of durability of U.S. Constitution. 

Seth says
source: a deleted page at Mcnormans blog as quoted by MR
“… the Constitution allows for many things, but what it does not allow is the most revealing. The so-called Founders did not allow for economic freedom. While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the distribution of wealth is not even mentioned. While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy.”
Btw, I tend to feel cheated when the Limbaugei disappear the hoaxes which that fall for. You don't learn from your mistakes by wiping them clean.  It does not improve our media to delete its history.   For the record here is Obama actually talking about flaws in the Constitution ... nothing to do with "distribution of wealth". 

The constitution is not a document to worship.  After all, look at the mess we are in today and yet all politicians take an oath to follow it.  I doubt that a better document could have been drafted back then, but perhaps today, sans partisan bickering and special interests lobbying, it would be possible to draft a better one.  It is not the doucment and the rules layed down there which give our way of governing its strength (and weaknesses).  Rather it is the governmental processes which we agree to follow.  Most of those processess are not written in the constitution and most of those processes have developed well after the document was adopted.

Mark de LA says
seth 2009-10-25 10:18:10 12762
source: MR suggests above
One thing we could do is produce a new Declaration of Independence from the way the Constitution has been implemented by the current & recent office holders & bureaucrats centered around what you & I have expressed so far.
I think you are beating quite a different hoarse than am I.  My current complaints center mostly around partisan bickering and lobbyist being in control rather than the will of the people.  Result wise I would have Congress pass reasonable health care reform, you would prefer the status quo.  There is very little if any basis for common cause here.
source: MR  above
Most of what you propose is thus unconstitutional! At least it must be done by persuasion (voting) not law & not force.
... yep, obviously by voting and not by force - whatever that would mean.  Most of the partisan problems stem from the caucus rules that govern the House and Senate chambers.  Those bodies, i believe, can change their own rules.  So they should be forced by public opinion to change them such that voting with the caucus (Democratic or Republican) would not be the primary concern of the politicians.  Then pass a draconian law to almost totally eliminate lobbyist from affecting voting.  Make it a felony for a politician to take any  money or gratuity whatsoever from a lobbyist.  Individuals could make contributions but they should be limited to about $1,000/year.  Our congressmen should not be allowed to be bought.  I know that there have been other election reform bills passed and they have not worked.  Now we need a more draconian approach.  I am not sure what would be effective.  But i'm pretty sure that just throwing out all the incumbents and getting a new crop would not make the needed changes that i am looking for.
     No surprise we are on different pages.  A cursory review of our blogging history would substantiate it.  Parties in power ebb & flow & yet the country remains.  I am looking for what is durable. McCain-Feingold did attempt to restrain money & politics & instead the last election proved the exact opposite. I think that SCOTUS ruled to some extent that money in an election is equivalent to free speech. You are expecting the foxes & lambs in a dinner party to come to an agreement on what's for dinner!  Throwing out incumbents is a strong message for politicians to pay attention to their constituents. It is a wake-up call, not the ultimate or near term solution. The change that you are looking for still looks like having your side win. 
      My best solution is in: threefoldness - eliminate the connection between the rights domain & the economic domain.  I am still working on crisping it all up & bringing it forward from the RS residue on the subject & what is extant today from anthroposophical streams.
threefold (5)
threefold society (3)
threefolding (2)
threefoldization (2)
     Heavy handed laws such as M-F proved that people will just get around the rules; 501.3(c)'s did the job. Strangely enough, threefoldness also is a solution to health care; albeit not a quick & dirty government dominated solution (just the opposite!).  Un-tax everything related to health care & invite in "investment" as the ultimate tax shelter. But then Congress & the president would have to look elsewhere for money to support their mainline habits. Of course that might balance the Trillion$$$ they will have to spend now.  Step 2 is to unhitch all money from the system & provide a way of growth so that health care facilities grow with population growth.
     We need more people who can summon the values & morals of a George Washington - people who did not really want a government but recognized some need for collective protection & governance; citizen-legislators who paused a while to attend to the needs of the whole & returned quickly back to business matters & their families. Contrast that to the permanent ruling class eletes we have today who think they have the solution to running other people's lives.

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