Better Than I Could Have Phrased It

So, Time Magazine publishes a heavily slanted piece on the Constitution and its relevance to modern-day America (I arrived at this description after reading the article) .  I ran across a fisking of it at Patterico’s in my daily feeds, which prompted me to go read the article before looking into his specific claims of factual errors in the story.

Suffice to say, he’s not wrong. While there is room for interpretation in some cases, and some of them are the sort of small errors I get tired of public figures being “Gotcha’d!” by when speaking in public (but which I won’t make exceptions for in a publication – that’s what competent editors and fact-checkers are for), by and large I agree with him. I expect that if I wished to put in the time I could deconstruct that piece even further.

But mostly I couldn’t believe Time actually allowed this statement to be published:

If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn’t say so. Article I, Section 8, the longest section of the longest article of the Constitution, is a drumroll of congressional power. And it ends with the “necessary and proper” clause, which delegates to Congress the power “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” Limited government indeed.

Um, what now? I knew better than that in high school and everything I’ve learned in the ensuing years has reinforced my understanding.

Then I ran across this gem:

I will be removing Time from the waiting room of my law office. Here is why.

Earlier today someone sent me [by email] the clip below with the claim that it was written by a Time author and published in the magazine.

If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn’t say so. Article I, Section 8, the longest section of the longest article of the Constitution, is a drumroll of congressional power. And it ends with the “necessary and proper” clause, which delegates to Congress the power “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” Limited government indeed.

I fired back a rather hostile response [by email] and asked that I not be bothered with things that a little fact checking would demonstrate were obviously false. I told the sender that no matter how far Time had slipped, no literate editor would ever allow this statement to appear in print. I directed the email sender to the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution and told him to file his claim about this article in his “O’Bama birther” file.

To my chagrin he fired back the link to this article. I had to read it twice to believe my eyes. Time really did say this.

OMG

It appears I’m not the only one befuddled by something like that appearing in a (relatively) respectable publication (for anyone not keeping score I’m a bit of an originalist when it comes to Constitutional law).

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One response to “Better Than I Could Have Phrased It

  • Pumice

    You must understand that this writer probably went to a public school taught by people who had gone to public school. As a public school teacher I can tell you that at the seventh grade level at least, most students cannot read something and tell you what it means. They are good at telling you what they want to believe. There is nothing wrong with their self esteem, just their thinking skills.

    Grace and peace.

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