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You know, I’ve been watching these presidential debates a lot lately, paying attention to the campaign, and all that jazz, and the thing I find interesting about the 2008 election is no one is talking about the U.S. Constitution. People ask these candidates all sorts of questions. Creation vs. Evolution? That, we know where the candidates stand. But the document upon which our government was founded? Who knows? Barack Obama could have Constitution toilet paper, but we’d have no clue, because nobody thought to ask.
Just take a look at the websites of the six leading presidential contenders, click on their “Issues,” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The White House certainly comes with a ton of responsibility. But preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution? Apparently, that’s not one of them.
John Edwards: John Edwards lists five platforms on his website. “Restoring America’s Moral Leadership in the World” is chief among them. This is interesting. I’ve read the Constitution. I don’t remember America’s moral leadership being mentioned anywhere in it. Edwards also wants to eliminate poverty, guarantee affordable health care, strengthen the middle class, and fight global warming. These are all wonderful things. But what office is John Edwards running for? President or Santa Claus?
Hillary Clinton: Here’s another one I’m not sure what office she’s running for. Take a look at Hillary’s issues—does she want to be President or World’s Best Mom? Hillary is campaigning on ending the war (which she helped start), supporting parents and caring for children, and being a champion for women. She’s also promising affordable health care (welcome to 1993). Nowhere does she mention the presidency deriving its very existence from the U.S. Constitution. Maybe nobody told her, because she was busy looking like a bobblehead.
Rudy Giuliani: Predictably, Rudy Giuliani’s website portrays him as strong on national security. He talks about Iraq, the War on Terror, Public Safety, and Fiscal Discipline. On the subject of Marriage, we’re assured Rudy thinks it’s between a man and a woman (or maybe a man and a series of women). Surprisingly, he does mention the Constitution—just not all of it. We’re told he supports the Second Amendment. I guess, when you’re armed, you only need one.
John McCain: John McCain’s website talks about Government Spending, Iraq, Human Dignity, Ethics Reform, the Environment, and Veterans. Basically, like the man himself, John McCain’s website has grown amazingly boring since the last time he ran for president. (Maybe this is a good thing. I still say the best presidents are the ones whose names you only think you remember.)
Barack Obama: Barack Obama gets a pass for not discussing the Constitution, because black people didn’t exist when the country was founded. (Or maybe they didn’t have voting rights. I’m a little bit rough on my history.) For the record, though, Mr. Obama is all about ending the war and strengthening us overseas. He’s also promising to clean up Washington. On second thought, maybe that’s his way of discussing the Constitution after all. Whenever a candidate talks about cleaning up Washington, it usually ends with freedom being used as a dish rag.
Mitt Romney: Finally, we come to Mitt Romney. Mr. Romney has a nice quote on his website: “I believe the American people are the source of our strength. They always have been. They always will be.” Who’s strength? What are you even talking about? Isn’t the government’s strength supposed to come from, you know, the Constitution? Romney’s site goes on to discuss something called the Romney Agenda, which is described as “Strong. New. Leadership.” (Too. Many. Periods.) Other issues include Defeating the Jihadists and Competing with Asia. Strangely absent: Driving Miss Daisy.
The next time these candidates get on a stage together, I’d like to see Wolf Blitzer and Brit Hume take a seat and let the Constitution moderate instead. That ought to be interesting. It wouldn’t even matter that it’s a paper document and can’t talk. These candidates would have nothing to say to it anyway.