Friday, February 25, 2011

Quote of the day

Letters from an Ohio Farmer:
This constitution in our American souls expressed itself in a small way recently in our expectation and gratification that members of Congress should take an oath to uphold the Constitution. This is an oath of fidelity to the Constitution, and not to us, the people. Our high regard for this oath, it seems to me, is the sovereign people’s way of telling our representatives that we expect you to be somewhat independent of us, that we think good government depends upon it. Those who originally conceived this Constitution said in many different ways that you would do your job well by remaining true to the Constitution, even when some people—I mean, us—clamored for you to do otherwise. In such moments, we count on you to "refine and enlarge" the public’s view with your constitutional deliberations. Your oath opens a slight but decisive space between the people and their representatives, in which you can exercise your constitutional judgment in carrying out your lawmaking duties. Of course, you will often disagree among yourselves about what your duty to the Constitution requires of you. But articulating those differences will benefit all of us by contributing to a constitutional politics which will be the most reliable source of enduring sound policy. If we are as good as we claim to be, you will earn our respect, and our vote, when you respect the Constitution and help us to do the same, even despite what we sometimes might think is our contrary interest.

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