Monday, March 29, 2010

Pass and patch….the U.S. Constitution

Probably most Americans are not familiar with all the intricate rules and deal-making used to pass legislation in this country. It may not be pretty but it’s certainly not new or even unusual. Still there are those who have called the process un-American and even unconstitutional.

Well, as Hendrik Hertzberg points out, the American Constitution was ratified in much the same way that health-care reform passed:
The ratification fight was a few months shorter than the health-care fight, but it was at least as contentious. In many states approval was far from a sure thing. The ideological lines weren’t the same then as they are now—the French wouldn’t invent “left” and “right” for another couple of years—but some of the issues Federalists and Anti-Federalists tussled over still echo. Some skeptics of the new charter feared a big expansion of centralized power. Some worried that their liberties would be put in peril.

What emerged during the process was an informal but unmistakable promise by proponents to make adding a bill of rights the new national government’s first order of business. At the New York ratification convention—the one that the Federalist Papers were written to influence—Hamilton struck a deal to make ratification conditional on a recommendation that a bill of rights be appended. Even so, the thing passed by just three votes out of fifty-seven. Without a lot of such slip-slidey maneuvering the whole effort would have collapsed.

In other words, pass and patch. In other words, reconciliation.

2 comments:

kathy said...

I think the idea behind it is that states and their senators and representatives are supposed to represent their people (contituents that voted them in)...
when Most Americans do not support it and the Speaker of the House (Congress. Polosi) states that we need to vote for it to find out what is in it... THIS IS WHAT MAKES IT UNCONSTITUTIONAL !!! TOTAL DISREGARD FOR THE PEOPLE !!!
Here is a poll from CBS, not FOX...
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20001700-503544.htmlr

P.S. but it seems that you are too ignorant to know what really is going on... READ UP BUDDY !!!

Kathleen said...

Great photo for this entry!