Monday, October 15, 2007


I THINK the column by Marty Kaplan in today's HuffPost is witty sarcasm, but I'm not sure, and that is what is scaring me. Maybe it is SCARE-casm? Whatever it is, Lynne Cheney is scary. It must be a sign of the scary state we are in that I find myself wondering if the woman behind the man behind the man is, in fact, the scariest person up there in our late great white house. Will a rubber Lynne Cheney mask be the most popular children's halloween costume this year?

Or, to paraphrase what Kramer once said to Jerry on Seinfeld, "Is this crazy, Jerry? Is it IMpossible ... or is it SO possible, it just blew your mind?"

Here is the full column, you tell me ....

The Huffington Post
October 15, 2007
Marty Kaplan

The Pet Constitution
Posted October 14, 2007 12:06 PM (EST)

"I'm writing a children's book about the Constitution."
-- Lynne Cheney to Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, October 10, 2007

As you may know, boys and girls, the beginning of the Constitution is called the Preamble. "Preamble" is a fancy word that means "apology." Our Founders were wise men who understood that government is bad, and since the Constitution establishes a government, they wanted to be sure to begin by saying how sorry they were for doing it.

The text of the Constitution itself is divided into seven Articles. "Article" means just what it does in modern English: it's a story, like you'd find in a newspaper or on television. And just as with any media story, except for Fox News, the key is not to take the Articles on face value, but instead to look for hidden biases and correct for them. It's also important to look in the text for things the Founders meant, but didn't actually come out and say, perhaps because they didn't want to be accused of being politically incorrect. This attitude toward reading the Constitution is called being a "strict constructionist."

Okay, let's take our first look at the Articles, paying special attention to the "tensions" between them.

For example, Article I says that Congress has the power to pass laws. But Article II says that the President can issue "signing statements," which explain what the laws really mean.

Article I says that Congress has the power to declare war. But Article II says that the President doesn't have to actually ask Congress for permission to declare war, because if he did, he wouldn't be called the President, would he?

Article I says that Congress can't suspend "the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus." That means that people can't be kept in jail without being promptly charged and tried. But Article II explains that a privilege is just what it sounds like -- a special treat, like being allowed to stay up late on your birthday -- and that the President can take that treat away from someone if he doesn't deserve it.

Article I says that the Vice President is the President of the Senate, which is part of the legislative branch. But Article II says that the Vice President is part of the executive branch. Since no one can be in two places at the same time, this means that the Vice President doesn't have to obey any of the laws passed by Congress, and that he doesn't have to listen to the President, either.

To sum up what we've learned so far, the relationship between Article I and Article II -- the legislative branch has some powers, but the executive branch has more powers -- has come to be known as our system of "checks and balances."

Now let's move ahead with our overview of our country's wonderful charter.
Article III establishes the Supreme Court. The Court's most important power is overturning laws that the President doesn't agree with. The fancy term for this is "stare decisis," which is Latin for, "Sez who?"

Article III also says that if a President is impeached, you have to wait at least hundred years before doing it again, because it would be way too upsetting to put the country through that again so soon.

Article IV says that everyone in America, no matter what state they live in, has the same privileges. The only exception would be if, say, you lived in a state where there was a hurricane or something, and your governor was a real bitch.

Article V explains the process for amending the Constitution. An amendment is like a PS; it's something that the Founders forgot to say. Examples of things they forgot to say include: gay love is sin, abortion is murder, and flag-burning should be punishable by death.

Article VI says that no religious test should be required as a qualification for public office. Isn't that marvelous? In practice, this means that Christians never have to take a test to prove they believe in Jesus; that Jews get the benefit of the doubt because they're on the road to being perfected as Christians; and that Muslims have to swear on the Koran that they're not terrorists.

Article VII says that nine of the original thirteen colonies needed to ratify (that means "vote for") the Constitution in order for it to take effect. In today's terms, that would mean that if thirteen people voted in an election, nine of their votes would count.

Twenty-seven amendments to the Constitution have been adopted since 1791. The first ten of these are known as the Bill of Rights. The way I remember what they're about is a little lullaby that Dick and I used to sing to our daughters when they were small. It went like this:

Goodnight, freedom of religion,
Goodnight. freedom of speech;
Goodnight, freedom of the press,
Goodnight, fuzzy little peach.

Goodnight guns;
Goodnight torture;
Goodnight privacy,
Goodnight Rapture.

Goodnight, self-incrimination,
Goodnight, cuddly little Haitian.
Goodnight moon, goodnight air,
Goodnight jury trials everywhere.

The rest of the Amendments are -- well, that'll just have to be a story for another day.


proudprogressive said...

Its satire, and its scarey because it reflects the actual thinking and deeds of Cheney and others who are re writing history - and creating their own reality by installing ideologues every possible place they can - for example the supreme court. What is even more witty about this piece is that INDEED Cheney the Neo cons DO and are twisty or re writing , re defining the Constituton - That is why we need IMPEACHMENT. Its all about the liberties they have taken with the constitution and the Supreme Courts collusion with such actions..

These are the "activist judges " they adore ! see all the activist judge double speak means - in the end..they adore extremist "activist judges" when it comes to stripping away the people's voice and the Congress's voice of dissent (needed mandaed constitution dissent)

The judges who are truly rooted in the BEAUTY of that fluid document - in its capacity to expand civil rights, and address excutive over reach - these are the ones they call awful "activist judges" Without expansive thinking - we would still be burning witches - oh wait we are still doing that !! only the "witches" of our current day are the liberals.

just my 10 cents.

Fran said...

Ohhh creepy. But I do see these paragraphs are missing quotation marks, so this is ad lib.... but if you look back at all that has transpired, you realize the satirical slurs are not far from the truth.

Spadoman said...

I just did a piece on the Spadoman"s Peace Blog a week or two ago. It was an e-mail sent to me about Constitution Day. It was sarcastic as hell, but also straight to the point about so many of our liberties. Take a look here:

Deke, this is a new blog you have, I hoope you forgive me for "blog whoring" in the comments section, but I had to try and call attention to what is happening with our rights and with our Constitution.

So many people don't think these new changes will affect them, yet the tools and mechanism exists to round up people and arrest them for simple activism, like being against the war.

Those in the limelight, like Cindy Sheehan for example, are already losing their rights because they have received so much attention that shows how this administration has blundered.

To quote Billy Joel:

JFK blown away, what else do I have to say

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Nona said...

Did you catch Lynn Cheney's appearance on The Daily Show? Jon Stewart seemed to be tentative with her, but he effectively deconstructed her statements and she was clearly eager to get away from him. She left the set before the camera person could do a fade away.

She made some statement about terroism that was intended as an applause line and not one person clapped. If she was a person who could feel shame, she'd have been embarassed, but I'm not convinced that anyone married to Big Dick could have authentic feelings.

D.K. Raed said...

PProgressive: yup, they only decry an "activist judge" if s/he is actively in opposition to their own extremist views ... views that would make the founding father's heads explode, I might add.

Fran: that's the way I read it, too ... however, there was that first early morning reading that caused my eyebrows to shoot up to the ceiling.

Nona: yes, I caught her on The Daily Show. Creepy! I do think she is on the prowl plugging her new book at the correct time of year ... Halloween! I kept expecting to see bats fly out of her ears & spiders to crawl out of her mouth & her fingernails to grow 10-ft long in a single minute. She probably had to rush off the stage to go air out the cryptkeeper's (big dick's) coffin for the night.

D.K. Raed said...

Now Spado, you should know, coming from Las Vegas, as I do, I know whores, and you, sir, are NO whore!

I appreciate your thoughts. I sure wanted to go beyond merely expressing my amazement in this post. I wanted to be able to offer constructive things people could do to halt the assult on our constitution and rights.

I feel we do not have much longer to effect real change, or the only option left will be the wrecking ball. I may already be at that point. I hope not.

Funny you should quote Bill Joel. I was just thinking of that exact song a couple days ago. We didn't start the fire!

I will go read your Constitution Day post right now, because this is an issue we should ALL keep focused on. Peace!

Newsguy said...

Hey, DK, you know by now that this is a fantasy dancing in the heads of these psychopaths. It just took Marty Kaplan's artistic insight to bring it out into the open, sort of like when a painter does a portrait and brings the salient features and real personality of he subject out on canvas.

This isn't a funny insight. It is not even satire, in my opinion. It is all too real.

Bush is on record saying he wishes he was a dictator, and he has done everything he coud to bring that wish to fruition.

We've had a perfect storm of a government ever since 2000: a crooked election supported by a far right wing court, a crooked ignorant and mean president with no conscience and no respect or understanding for the United States Constitution, supported by a very smart political operative, a far right Congress which went along with all of it, a major attack on a US city which gave this cabal an excuse to get us into a war, resulting in a major push by this administration to shred the Constitution, and then yet another questionable election, allowing even more damage to the country.

The long term effect will be exactly what they want: expansion of the executive branch, supported by a radical right Supreme Court shaped by this ignorant cowboy, depletion of our treasury and subsequent shrinking of the social safety net.

I am optimistic that it can all be turned around, but it will take years and years, probably beyond my lifespan.

Newsguy said...

BTW, DK, I notice you are a fan of John Kennedy Toole's book. His only book. I've liked that book for years and years.

D.K. Raed said...

Newsguy: "a perfect storm" = a giant tsunami that rolled over the land, leaving in its receding wake a vastly expanded unitary president with the power to wreak constitutional havoc & rescind all the rights this country was founded on! oh & of course, the Unitary retains the ability to produce another giant tsunami in the future, anytime it's necessary. I do hope your optimism is justified about turning it around, I really do.

Oh now Confederacy of Dunes ... well, Ignatius is my hero for the ages! I can pick up that book anytime, flip to any page at random & get a huge lift (huge being the operative word for anything Ignatius-related). So sad that the author did not live to write a sequel. The way the novel ended, I visualize Ignatius & Myrna Minkoff taking on New York together in Dunces II. There has been talk of a movie for years, but so far nothing has come of it. Maybe that's just as well, for what mere film could do justice to book so rich in plot details? And WHO would play Miss Trixie?

Anon-Paranoid said...

I see you found out the truth about our Constitution. At least that is how its been since Der Fuhrer Adolph Bush stole the first election.

God Bless.

D.K. Raed said...

anon-para: he is a stealing fool. elections, constitutions, checks and balances, our privacy, govt spending not related to war, our global moral standing, our commitment to never be the first to initiate war ... the list is endless ... there is literally NOTHING he won't steal.