Conservatives - and Americans as a whole - are sometimes criticized by the left and foreign observers for rather excessively worshipping the U.S. Constitution. I've always absorbed such criticism with a reflection of Barry Goldwater's observation that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." If one must err, it ought to be in favor of a glorious principle which has well preserved a glorious republic. Devotion to the document has very rarely led us astray, whereas its neglect has reaped immense mischief.
I recall a joke that a man once asked a librarian for a copy of the French Constitution, only to be informed that the library did not carry periodicals. The protean and politically partisan nature of European constitutions has always limited their effectiveness. Even when changes reflect serious thinking on matters of political structure and purpose, the result is a fleeting triumph quickly subject to revision. The ultimate consequence is a weakening of fundamental, shared political convictions - an instability which always favors authoritarianism.
Hungary presents a case in point. The government is presently issuing a new constitution. Proponents celebrate the document as a final break with Hungary's communist past, whereas critics agrue it establishes an authoritarian regime in Europe. The constitution does greatly empower the current president and legislature to extend their influence (and political ideology) into perpetuity, and will thus be treated by opponents in the same manner as Obamacare and financial regulations: massive, partisan legislative overhauls to be quickly rescinded.
The problem with time is that it can't be rushed. Hungary's new fundamental law is still wet ink on paper - it will be very long before it gains the prestige and solemnity to stand on its own. Until then, it is subject to all the slings and arrows of political warfare. Should it fall, its successor will suffer all the same frailties. Thus is the curse of European fecklessness.
I posit the moral of the story as a reflection on the great boon Americans enjoy in the U.S. Constitution, and our debt of gratitude to the wise men who composed the stately charter.