This past week saw the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearing devolve into a monkey dung fight with better suits, but one concept that kept being introduced in between the handfuls of crap being flung was originalist. The Left came up with their own unique (i.e. utterly insane) interpretations of the idea, often pointing to the way women were treated when the Constitution was ratified. In short, the Left wanted ACB to get back in the kitchen, but it’s not sexist when they do it.
Yet with all of the talk on the Left about originalist thinking, few have actually nailed it down. And by few I mean it’s rarer than a Nosferatu burger that a Leftist got it right. So, consider this a teachable moment for the Left.
What the Left thinks it means – a backwards way of applying the Constitution to legal cases because of cultural changes and the passage of time
What it really means – applying the Constitution as written to legal cases
With the exception of a few Amendments, the Constitution is pretty straightforward as to what the government can and cannot do. As a result, Leftists try to muddy the waters so it’s not as simple as it looks, and since Leftists think they’re the smartest people in the room, they volunteer their expertise to interpret the Constitution (as they interpret it, of course). If someone were to come along and point out the simple concepts the Left tries to misconstrue, that person becomes a threat.
You know, like Amy Coney Barrett.
Whenever the Left sees a threat to their self-imposed intellectual supremacy, they calmly and maturely state their case as to why originalist thinking is dangerous. And if you believe that, I have swamp land in the Gobi Desert I’d like to sell you. I’ll even throw in a free Gobi Dessert with a purchase!
What the Left does with originalists is portray them as out-of-touch, uber-conservative types who don’t understand society changes, so our interpretation of the Constitution has to change. Remember, the Left believes the Constitution is ever-changing, always in flux, and means different things at different times. As much as our personal interpretations of the Constitution can change with time and social perspectives, that doesn’t change what is actually written.
Take one of my personal favorite Amendments, the First Amendment. When making decisions on everything from whether online speech should be regulated to whether a community can have Christmas decorations in public parks, people often overlook the key five words at the very beginning of the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law. Thanks to our friends on the Left and their allies in the ACLU, anything that gets government funding is subject to the limitation placed specifically on Congress, and if you disagree or resist, they will sue you. Call me crazy (and I’m sure some of you already do), but I’m curious how a Christmas decoration in a public park equates to an act of our legislative body. Although I’m curious how my mayor voted on Obamacare…
Now, imagine an originalist taking a look at all of the lawsuits and threats of lawsuits from the ACLU and dismissing them because Congress didn’t act. (So far, it hasn’t happened, but a boy can dream.) Not only would it make the ACLU look like idiots (which happens on any day that ends with “day”), but it would remove the power the Left has to suppress the free expression of religion through subversion of the First Amendment. (Oh, and by ignoring the whole “nor prohibit the free exercise thereof” part of the First.)
Even with something as vital and impactful as a Supreme Court decision, the Left is playing political games, mainly because they know they can’t win people’s hearts and minds and need the courts to enact the Left’s agenda via judicial fiat. Of course, the easiest way to win hearts and minds is to…oh, I don’t know…come up with ideas that don’t suck. The originalist nukes this tactic from orbit because he or she understands the limits of the judiciary and will most likely toss out the bad decisions for legislative bodies or, Heaven forbid, the people to decide.
Therein lies the key difference between Leftists and originalists. The Left uses the Constitution as a Swiss Army knife, a tool for every idea developed by and for tools. Originalists use the Constitution as a map to guide an outcome so no one gets screwed in the end. (Unless, of course, you’re into that kind of thing.) This has a lot to do with how well each side understands the Constitution and to what ends. The Leftists have a workable understanding of the letter of the law, but only enough to find or create loopholes. Originalists have a deeper understanding of the words in and concepts behind the Constitution so they can understand the spirit of the law, not just the letter. This knowledge of context makes it easier for the originalists to pick out the wheat from the chaff in the Left’s Constitutional arguments.
Which pisses off the Left to no end.
Although the Left’s opposition to Amy Coney Barrett appears to be based on abortion rights or dismantling the Affordable Care Act, underneath is a deep contempt for her originalist stance and a fear she won’t take any of their monkey dung masquerading as legal and Constitutional concepts. And given some of the questions/rants provided by the Senate Democrats, monkey dung might have been the most substantive things they had against her.