Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Time Mag-a-Rag v. Reality of the Constitution

Patterico did the heavy lifting; evidently the Time Mag-a-Rag contributor is a graduit' of publikschoolz.

(More than 3 decades ago, the National Forensics League did NOT allow citations from Time Mag-a-Rag as evidence in high-school debate. The NFL was right then and, obviously, things have not changed at Time.)

...we are going to focus solely on the factual errors. There are thirteen of them and like the lawyer that I am, I will start off with his most egregious error and end with the least egregious. Here are the thirteen errors, in short:
  1. The Constitution does not limit the Federal Government.
  2. The Constitution is not law.
  3. The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment emancipated the slaves.
  4. The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment granted the right to vote to African Americans.
  5. The original Constitution declared that black people were to be counted as three-fifths of a person.
  6. That the original, unamended Constitution prohibited women from voting.
  7. Inter arma enim silent leges translates as “in time of war, the Constitution is silent.”
  8. The War Powers Act allows the president to unilaterally wage war for sixty days.
  9. We have only declared war five times.
  10. Alexander Hamilton wanted a king for America.
  11. Social Security is a debt within the meaning of Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  12. Naturalization depends on your birth.
  13. The Obamacare mandate is a tax.
Then there are the interpretive errors, but that's, you know, waaaaayyyy too beyond the simple Lefty "mind."

HT: Ace


Anonymous said...

A few years ago Time included a few paragraphs about of my my clients in a story, in which they misspelled a medium size Wisconsin city. Easily corrected in their online version, right? Nope. Not even an acknowledgement of my polite request.Maybe a small thing, but if the FOURTH ESTATE wants respect commensurate with its disproportinate sense of self regard, maybe they could start using a spell checker.

I don't take Time (or Joel "Primary Colors" Klein) seriously anyways. less so, now

Jim said...

I believe his name is Joe, not Joel. Anyways...

I think the cited article is misleading and an exercise in self-pleasure on the critic's part.

1. That's not what the article said. The Constitution does not SAY that its intention is to limit the Federal Government. Furthermore, there is an arguable difference between limiting the powers of the Federal Government and limiting the size and scope of it.

2. That's not what the article said. It says the Constitution is not a code of laws. That would be the US Code. The Constitution is not a law or a body of laws. It is a framework for how laws are created. See #7 below where the critic himself refutes his own argument.

3. That's not what the article said. The author infers that it does, but it can also be interpreted that it does not.

4. That's not what the article said. The article talks about the intent of the 14th amendment when drafted and not what it accomplished.

5. That's not what the article said. "but they also gave us the idea that a black person was three-fifths of a human being." This doesn't exclude person besides blacks.

6. That's not what the article said. It said the framers gave us the idea...that women were not allowed to vote.

7. That's not what the article said. It says "roughly translates. And interestingly enough, the critic destroys his own argument regarding #2: "Laws, not the Constitution".

8. That's not what the article said. It says US forces must be withdrawn from armed hostilities if Congress has not approved within 60 days. That' not the same thing.

9. The critic disproves his own claim as follows: "So in fact there have been many more declarations of war than the five times we have used a piece of paper entitled a “declaration of war.”" The author specifically says "declared war", not carried out hostilities.

10. That's not what the article says. It says that Hamilton "wondered whether Washington should be a king." That's quite different from saying that Hamilton wanted a king. While Hamilton may not have used the word "king", he did suggest that the office should be a lifetime appointment.

11. This one is a little wiggly. True, payments to retirees is not payment of a debt. However, the US Treasury obligations held by the Social Security Trust fund IS.

12. This is really a stupid argument. You would only become a naturalized citizen if the circumstances of your birth did not automatically make you a citizen.

13. The critic himself admits that the author does not claim that Obamacare (whatever that is) is a tax. So how can that be a false claim?

Dad29 said...

Jimbo, you're in Foust territory now.

The guy who wrote the critique is a prosecuting attorney, in practice as such for over 20 years.

Your LSAT score was...what?

Jim said...


Higher than his, but that's beside the point. I don't question his legal prowess or the legal validity of his arguments except in the Constitution is law bit. But he refutes himself on that one.

My criticism of him is primarily is he's basically creating straw men and then arguing against them. In almost every case, Stengal did NOT say what the critic claims he said.

Display Name said...

It's comments like that, Dad29, that tell me you miss me and can't help but think of me when I'm not around.