Charlie Pierce has a nice piece on Sen. Rand Paul and RNC Chair Reince Priebus, the Martin and Lewis of Wingnuttia, paying a call on the GOP in the Granite State. Hey, it’s already 2013; time’s a-wasting for the primary.
Among the gems that they tossed out was this little diatribe from Mr. Priebus on the state of the Constitution at the hands of Barack Obama:
“A president that touts ego, power, and a hatred for dissent above everything else, that’s Barack Obama, that’s the leader of this country. I don’t think this administration realizes that the First Amendment wasn’t a suggestion. The Bill of Rights is not a wish list, it’s a set of non-negotiable limits on the federal government.”
He thereupon ripped Eric Holder for wanting to read Miranda rights to the Christmas Day bomber and to Osama bin Laden (?).
I wasn’t there when the guys in Philadelphia came up with the first ten amendments to the Constitution, and I don’t know off-hand if there was a debate among them as to which amendments should go where, as if being the first made it more important than the others that came after. It looks to me as if they did them in an order that set out some very basic principles of law and limitations, and then went along and included others as they came along without ranking them, and none of them take precedence over the other.
That means that you can’t pick and choose which right to enforce while undermining another just because you don’t like the outcome.
And it also means you can’t pull off bullshit like this:
Christmas may be seven months away, but Texas is ready for it.
State lawmakers there waged their own battle against the so-called War on Christmas on Friday, passing legislation, House Bill 308, that allows public school teachers to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” and display Christmas trees, nativity scenes or menorahs. Winter displays must represent more than one religion or include secular symbols.
But while the legislation specifies that schools may not constitutionally favor one religion over another, the bill is named for only one religion — Christmas.
The bill passed and Gov. Rick Perry plans to sign it. Of course he does. The Baby Jesus trumps the First Amendment every time. And when the law is struck down by the courts for being the breathtakingly blatant violation of the Constitution that it is, the Religious Reich will nail itself to the Cross of Martyrdom and Victimhood as the sacrifice of the suppressed majority and proclaim that Christians will be forced to hide their faith from the world. If only.