Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Will He Defend the Constitution?

In light of this old radio interview with Senator Obama, I got to thinking...

If this is the Oath of Office for the President of the United States:
I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
and the Illinois senator who is currently running for President had this to say in 2001 (emphasis mine):
...the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraint that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the state can't do to you, it says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn't shifted. One of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributed change...

- snip -

...I'm not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. The institution just isn't structured that way. You just look at very rare examples during the desegregation era, the court was willing to, for example, order changes that cost money to a local district. The court was very uncomfortable with it. It was very hard to manage, it was hard to figure out. You start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.

- Does Senator Obama, who is trained and educated in the Constitution, believe in this most important foundational document as it was/is written, or does he see the document as irreparably flawed and inconvenient?

- If Senator Obama does not believe in the Constitution, can he honestly take an oath of office that requires him to "preserve, protect, and defend" the document itself and the government that it establishes?

Just a couple of questions that are worth pondering before the vote on Tuesday.

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