I think Charles Krauthammer
is one of the best minds talking and writing. He is seldom wrong, and is only sometimes incomplete. He says that constitutionalism is to governance what originalism is to jurisprudence. OK, I think I see what drove him to say that, but there is a profound way in which that thought is too limiting, too narrow. It moves the moral to the legal with too much ease.
The Constitution has been read aloud on the House floor, but as Ken Thomas
has pointed out, that is not enough. We need more understanding of the document. We need more understanding of why it divides the people's power, why it makes that power into authority. We must understand once again why it restrains; we need to re-kindle a conversation about why it is good to restrain ourselves even though our ancient faith believes--as a self-evident truth, or a proposition, or a creed--in the people's ability to rise to the level of equality needed to govern themselves. This means a renewed conversation about self government, what it means, what it demands, why it is a great good. It is a conversation about the Constitution, but in the end it is a conversation about the American mind, about a way of life, a demanding way of life that the Americans discovered. This conversation is one that opens, rather than narrows; it will never ignore the legal, while it seeks to rediscover the moral, why self-government is good for human beings.
The doors to this conversation have been opened by this new Congress, by the new Speaker. We must show gratitude by helping them open it wider.
Update: Now this, from Charles Kesler
, is more like it. Thanks, Charles.