Constitution Only When Convenient

The American right wing which at this point has successfully taken over the Republican Party loves to profess their devotion to the Constitution. The reality is that they are only devoted to the Constitution as they interpret it and even then, only when it is convenient for them. Doubt me? Read on.

I’ve often said the problem with the twenty-seven-word Second Amendment is its first four and last four words. The first four are “A well-regulated militia”. (OK, you can debate me on the word count.) The evil that was the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia famously interpreted that as to mean any American citizen and the Right has been using that argument ever since.

Getting a bit more recent, in 2000 the GOP ran two Texans as their presidential ticket. Oh, Dick Cheney claimed Wyoming as his home but that is not where he lived for many years after leaving Washington and running a Texas based company.

While, typical of the Constitution, the language would not get past a book editor today but here is a partial quote from Article Two, Section One, Clause Two: “…voted by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves.”

To be honest I’m not sure I see anything wrong with both the President and Vice President coming from the same State but that is the law and if we feel strongly enough about it being wrong, we should amend the Constitution. I don’t know of any movement in that direction.

In 2022 the Republicans ran Mehmet Oz for the Senate in Pennsylvania and Hershel Walker in Georgia. There were legitimate questions as to the residency of either in the state they were running to represent. Thankfully, (for more than just that reason) both ended up losing.

2024 promises more of the same. Eric Hovde, a leading GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Wisconsin lives in California and runs a Utah based bank. Pennsylvania’s Republican Party which is nearly 3.5 million strong apparently still can’t generate a Senate candidate because the Keystone State GOP is running David McCormick who lives in Connecticut. In Michigan the Republican Senate candidate looks to be Mike Rodgers. The same Mike Rodgers who is registered to vote in Cape Coral, Florida. Now I’m not knocking Florida. I spend ten wonderful years living there; but I’m not running to represent Michigan in the Senate.

While technically it is not a violation of the Constitution, I find it interesting that Alabama Republican Senator and solid Trumper Tommy Tuberville is currently calling Florida home. Especially since his alternative is Alabama, I can’t exactly blame him but it is less than fair and honest to his constituents.

Now let’s look at what the Constitution says about the upper chamber. Article One, Section Three, Clause One begins by saying “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state”. Article One, Section Three, Clause Three reads, “No person shall be a Senator…who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.”

When Republicans say “States’ rights” they are just blowing a racist dog whistle and when they proclaim their devotion to the Constitution they are lying.

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