Monday, February 15, 2016

Antonin Scalia and the Tractable Foundation

He believed in ruling according to the words that comprise it; meaning as it was written.

In not lending interpretation of "intent" to the efforts of the Founding Fathers.

So, let's just look at their obvious, patent intent, that which needs no interpretation.

And powerfully patent intent underscores why the conservatives in the country, led so smarmily by Scalia across four decades, should maybe just join Scalia in giving up the ghost of *their* malodorous and also patently obvious intent. Roll over, Thugnuts; you've been reading it wrong. Well, let's get honest here;  YOUSE, you street-level conservatives who have aligned yourselves to the Tea Party in all of their and your wrongheadedness, have never really read it, have you?

First, it's a document that frames a form of government in direct opposition to those that held sway--and the commoner's nose to the grindstone--across Europe and all of the rest of Western Civilization, and across the vast plains and mountain reaches of Asia for, oh, a few millennia.

There had literally never been a system so progressive ever enacted anywhere on the planet before our Daddies decided to say Fuck You to the regencies and oligarchies of the various Motherlands and and set out to enfranchise the widest swath of a population ever in the interest of a far more fully representative governance, a "More Perfect Union," if you will. (And isn't that the most delicious phrase of them all? Seriously, that metaphor describes this beautiful experiment of a nation so completely eloquently, does it not? And the fact that it is preceded "toward a" is breathtaking. Could there be a clearer description of the Daddies' intent that we be a Progressive Democratic Republic?)

And then they did a couple more things, one of which everybody "knows" though so many choose to forget: they made that document mutable, amendable. You know, just in case the world, itself, continued to prove mutable. And c'mon, people, you know *this* about the way things work (or are supposed to when the SCOTUS and one party do not hold the nation and its *progress* hostage because things mutated so far away from the late 18th century as to see us elect a Negro [Lawdy! {fans a damp and heaving bosom} Pass me ma smellin' salts!] to the Presidency) if you only managed to achieve the 5th grade in this country.

But they also took a measured and thoughtful path to enactment of our Constitution.  This next part requires that you have completed at least an 11th grade education or have done at least a semester of your senior year to have been taught, so if you dropped out or drugged up, lissen up: the Old Boys wanted to get it right, the framework for this radically progressive new form of government they were bound and committed to fully empower. So they commissioned a set of position papers be drafted up--you know, the Federalist Papers--then they published those papers in every newspaper in every community in each of the brand-new Thirteen States of this Brave New Nation, the United States of America. And then they invited feedback, debate papers from those who hoped to see tweaks and edits and inclusions and restructurings and large scale, well, mutation of the document in its proposed form.  Guess what happened next? And then after that? Well, they published those distaff arguments--the ANTI-Federalist Papers; cool name, huh?--all over everywhere, then scheduled a road trip to all over everywhere so that the people in all those communities large and small across the states could come out to town hall meetings and, having already read and discussed the Federalist AND the Anti-Federalist positions(you know, because people actually READ stuff back then), actually discuss their own feeling about a both sides of each issue and even add some of their own suggestions for revision.

The Founding Fathers wanted feedback, lots of it, before committing to paper and "finalizing." They believed in peer review, and they recognized a crapload more people as PEERS than any other governing body ever had before.  AND they built that sucker to be amendable, so that as WE (the People) expanded that peerage to include blacks, both free and formerly slaved, then women, and finally now various other groups of those previously denuded of rights if not the vote, THEIR voices could also be heard.  Nothing complicated here. The Daddies intended a mutable document and they intended broad discussion and compromise in making amendments. And they were PROGRESSIVE to beat the band.  Heck, they broke the effing SYSTEM in the name of progress. And their example was incredible. Again, for those of you who slept through US History in 11th grade and Government in senior year, check out how many regencies fell across Europe in the years following the establishment of the good ol' US of A and the adoption of the Constitution. And it is to our shame, if we finally get honest, that they have done it (this progressivist freedom thing) far better than we have ever since.

So, God Rest Ye, Master Scalia. Take a minute after parting the veil and slipping through to the Other Side. Yes, I trust you will find a place there; my Diestic God--the one I share with the Founding Fathers--has a loving sense of humor about all the ways we get it wrong--He would not punish you for your fear of change and growth and prosperity for all.  But ready yourself, because I strongly suspect you will find yourself in Initiation with a few of those Founders you reviled in your misguided efforts to maintain a centuries-old status quo. Expect a sitdown, perhaps with Thom and Alex and Ben and maybe an Adams or two. Thereafter, you may find yourself in penance haunting these you have left behind until they begin to actually attempt to reconcile their blather with reality.

By the way, the Notorius RBG misses and loves you. Well. At least that is something.

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