In a free and open society, such as ours, citizens are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, that leaves room for a lot of future criminals and blossoming psychopaths to cross the line without prior intervention or restraint.
It's a safe bet that when the new fiscal year for the federal government begins on October 1, the Constitution will not require a balanced budget. And, probably, neither will it be required of any budget after that.
We are closer than ever to achieving repeal of the so-called "Defense of Marriage" Act. Predictably, opponents of equal treatment are making the same alarmist claims that succeeded for them when they got DOMA enacted fifteen years ago.
The balanced budget vote in Congress again this week is a contest between popular common sense and the informed opinion of the establishment. If you're a politician, you don't want to argue with common sense.
Driving the right wing's flight into irrationality is the fear of complexity. In place of it, the right wants to substitute radically simplified fictions, whether about history, or about climate change, homosexuality or the debt ceiling.
As we were all having our "I'm right, you're wrong" Democratic and Republican arguments, the powers that be made themselves more powerful, and while we were arguing, we have lost most of the rights that we weren't arguing about because we took them for granted.
Whether it is Sarah Palin's butchering of Paul Revere's role in the American Revolution, or Michele Bachmann's mangling of the facts to claim the Founding Fathers tried to abolish slavery, the Tea Party has shown a disdain for knowledge, facts and learning.
Some of the effects of Lawrence were immediate: Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people could no longer be presumptively branded criminals and treated as such in public and private spheres. But many of its effects are still unfolding.
For the first time since Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a Republican-appointed judge has voted to uphold Congress's power to enact the health care reform law, including the minimum coverage provision.
The USA has infinitely more economic flexibility under our current system than it would after a budget-balancing amendment, and the economic arguments against it are compelling. So what is there to discuss?
Perhaps President Abraham Lincoln's famous words of hope for a "... government of the people, by the people, for the people..." will yet ring true again -- with a little help from Russ Feingold and his growing movement.
Constitutional interpretation must be grounded, first and foremost, in the Constitution's enacted text. Unless and until liberals accept that basic proposition, we will lose arguments with conservatives over the Constitution and the courts.