I hate to stomp on bunnies, but nonsense like this doesn’t do our movement any good:
However, her fellow Justice, the supposedly ultra-conservative and strict constructionist Antonin Scalia is quoted as saying “The bill of rights of the former evil empire, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was much better than ours…we guarantee freedom of speech and of the press, big deal. They guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press, of street demonstrations and protest, and anyone who is caught trying to suppress criticism of the government will be called to account. Whoa, that is wonderful stuff!”
All I can think of saying is, Holy C&@p!
It is very frightening that these “reputable” scholars and Justices do not understand the meaning and intent of the Constitution they have sworn to honor and uphold. The drafters and ratifiers would be appalled at how the Supreme Court has “interpreted” a document meant to secure the rights of the people, not grant rights.
In that quote, Scalia is being sarcastic. He’s saying that the constitution is insufficient a safeguard. A polity requires the people obey their own restraints. While property rights, and a constitution that protects them, and a judiciary bound to administer disputes according to them, are the necessary institutions for the defense of freedom, the institution that protects them is comprised entirely of the moral habits of the people and the people who administer those institutions in particular. We take for granted, that our suite of norms are natural to man. But they are special, and unique in the world, specifically because they are unnatural to man. Scalia is illustrating this point using absurdity.
The left hates the constitution because on the one hand it gives them control of the government by semi-democratic means, but which does so on the premise of property rights. So they have their power, but are limited in the use of it. This internal conflict is traumatic for them.
Conservatives are self obligated to remember their position as the group that acknowledges ever present scarcity.
Libertarians are self obligated, as the intellectual wing of politics, to avoid making fools of themselves.
(Not that we all haven’t done it in our careers.)