A lot of talk from conservatives since Barack Obama was elected revolves around the belief that Republicans value the Constitution more than Democrats.
Such a belief requires an extraordinary combination of ignorance and hubris since the real difference here is perception not patriotism. Assuming that there is only one right interpretation of the constitution and it is the one you or your party subscribes to, is a mind numbingly ethnocentric view of such a complex document.
While such a simplistic view may be a good way to motivate the knuckle draggers it represents a very unpatriotic position since the right to freely disagree and debate our government is at the core of the very constitution these people claim to be building a bulwark to protect.
The reality is that Americans on nearly every side of any constitutional argument are ardent supports of the constitution. Whether you are a gun rights supporter or a gun control advocate, whether you are for prayer in school or separation of church and state, or whether you believe that corporations are people or just corporations – none of these positions embraces the constitution any more than any other.
But regardless of how insipid the debate over who loves the constitution more may be, the vapid arguments conservatives use to support these claims are worse.
Suggesting Democrats oppose the 4th amendment because of the AP scandal ignores when Republicans thumbed their nose at the 4th amendment with warrantless wiretaps.
Implying that the IRS scandal proves Democrats are against the 1st amendment ignores the profiling Republicans have been supporting for years.
Acting like Lois Lerner’s use of the of the 5th amendment is an indictment on the Obama administration ignores that both Oliver North and John M. Poindexter pleaded the fifth during the Iran Contra hearings until they were given sweetheart deals.
And even beyond the hypocrisy Republicans exhibit regarding the constitution they often support an agenda that the courts have decided are unconstitutional. For example the courts have ruled multiple times that terminating a pregnancy is legal, yet Republicans continue that introduce unconstitutional legislation attempting to limit this right. In an overreaction to immigration, Republicans in Arizona passed a number of laws the courts deemed unconstitutional. And even after it was ruled unconstitutional, states like Michigan press forward with mandatory drug testing of welfare recipients.
In the end nothing is a more scathing indictment of the voting populace than this public chest thumping over who’s adulation for the constitution is bigger. Such posturing solves no issues and exposes how little many Americans really understand their opposition. So next time you are inclined to proclaim constitutional superiority just realize this doesn’t make you look like a virtuous patriot, it makes you self absorbed dolt.