The press has been reporting hints from a few top Republicans about repealing the 14th Amendment. That's the constitutional right for anyone born in the United States to be a U.S. citizen. Amid all the discussion -- whether it makes sense or is merely politically motivated -- one fact alone stands out: it is incredibly difficult to repeal an Amendment to the United States Constitution. That means the problem must be a massive one to these few Republicans, out of their wits about babies born to illegal immigrants.
The thing is, of all the problems facing America today -- an $18 trillion debt, 9 percent unemployment, two wars, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the deepest recession since the Great Depression -- you'd probably figure that "babies born to illegal immigrants" would be really low on the list of Reasons to Change the Constitution of the United States.
When you look at polls of "What are the biggest problems facing America today?," the response of "babies born in the U.S. to illegal aliens, is usually not high on the list. (To be more accurate, it's not anywhere on the list.) So, to go from "no concern" to "let's repeal an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution" seems like a questionable leap. Republican Senators Mitch McConnell, John Kyl and Lindsey Graham can't be pandering that much. There must be something else we're missing.
I have figured out what it was. These gentlemen aren't talking about repealing the 14th Amendment at all. The press read it wrong. The Republicans want to repeal the 1st and 4th Amendments!
Now, that makes sense. The 1st and 4th Amendments have long been bugaboos to conservatives, and if any Amendments should be repealed, those are the two on top the far-right's wish list.
The 1st Amendment, of course, grants free speech and allows no law establishing religion. Little galls the Far Right more unfettered speech that doesn't follow the Daily Memo, but even more, the dream of getting the heathen to finally accept Jesus Christ as the one and only God of America, and truly make the United States a Christian Nation could be close at hand.
The 4th Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizures. Sure, conservatives got part of that dropped when the Bush Administration eliminated warrants before wiretapping, and allowing the government to search emails. But imagine not having to read anyone their Miranda Rights. Oh, how much easier life would be.
So, this has to be what these Republican senators want to repeal. It makes perfect sense. Repealing Amendments 1 and 4 is well-worth the efforts and fight to the Far Right. A Christian America and no civil rights. But Amendment 14? Children of illegal aliens? Ha. No way. It was all a mis-print.
But when you think about it, repealing Amendments to the Constitution is actually a pretty darn good idea. As long as Republicans are interested in opening the door to the process, it might as well be opened all the way and finally wipe those "bad" Amendments off the books.
How about finally getting rid of the 2nd Amendment?! All the divisiveness over the right to bear arms -- get rid of it! And lower all the crushing gun deaths at the same time. Win-win. So what if it's a "Constitutional Right," so is the 14th Amendment. (Sorry, I'm mean the 1st and 4th.) That's the whole point of repeal.
We certainly don't need the 3rd Amendment. The government's right to quarter soldiers in our homes? Man, is that ever an intrusion of the government into our lives, hunh? Repeal it!
And honestly, the 5th Amendment is anti-justice. If someone is guilty, why shouldn't you be allowed to try them again, just because they got off on a technicality? And why shouldn't someone be forced to testify against themselves? If you're guilty, you're guilty. Right?
You certainly don't need the 6th Amendment either, that ridiculous "right to a speedy trial." The point is to get the outcome right, not fast. This isn't a McDonald's Happy Trial, after all.
As for number 7, it's just pointlessly out of date -- jury trials are guaranteed for all cases over $20. But...really, now -- $20??! When the Constitution was written, Ben Franklin could live the high life on 20 bucks. Today, you can't get into a 3-D movie for that and have enough left for a tub of popcorn.
And the 8th Amendment, that's just pointless today. Prohibiting cruel and unusual punishments sounds swell, but since we permit torturing mere suspects with waterboarding, to not allow cruelty once you've convicted the same criminals is ridiculous.
The 9th Amendment is just annoying lawyerspeak, put in like those weaselly disclaimers in small print at the bottom of a car ad. Saying that you can't violate one law with another makes you think the next line will be "All sales are final." Surely we can better.
The 10th Amendment is much too unclear. It grants rights not delegated to the U.S. given to the states - or "the people." Which is it? Make up your mind.
And all these defective Amendments? They're the Bill of Rights. What a mess they are. No wonder they need repealing, maybe the Founding Fathers weren't so All Knowing after all. So, "Constitutionalist" may not have much of a leg to stand on, when you get down to it.
And that's just the first 10. There are still another 17 more to go.
So, in the end, maybe this Amendment repeal that Republicans McConnell, Kyl and Graham are suggesting is not only a good thing, but even better. Let's have a whole new Constitutional Convention. And let's get rid of all those nasty laws and Amendments that really, really bug us.
Starting with that whole "babies" thing.
And then, we can go to the right to bear arms.
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