What is it with Republicans and not understanding the Constitution? Today, RNC Chairman Michael Steele was on Bill Bennett radio show and he agreed with a caller that the ban bill of attainder is part of the First Amendment. Of course, the ban is located in Article 1 Sec. 9 of the Constitution. How can an attorney not know this?
Here is the transcript from the great people over at Think Progress:
CALLER: I noticed a couple people now talking about the Constitution and I’m told on the law they are currently trying to pass in order to tax all of the bonus pay. Well I believe, well, actually I know it is against the constitution. I believe it is the first amendment that specifically states that a law cannot be passed to specifically target a person or a group of people.
STEELE: That’s right!
CALLER: And we’ve got a president who is supposedly a constitutional scholar.
STEELE: Right. Right.
In case anyone doubts the transcript, here is the audio:
Does anyone else get the irony of the caller questioning Obama’s credibility as a constitutional scholar, then getting the constitution wrong himself? Here is the provision that they are talking about in Article 1 Sec. 9 of the Constitution, “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” The First Amendment is in the Bill of Rights with are the first ten amendments to the constitution. They aren’t the same thing. To quote the First Amendment, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. “
Of course Steele is a business attorney, which I guess means that he doesn’t have to have a firm grasp of the Constitution. Even worse host Bill Bennett graduated from law school too, and no one sought to correct this caller. How can the Republican Party be trusted to lead the country, when their new generation of leaders like Michael Steele and Sarah Palin don’t understand the what exactly is in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Critics do have a valid point when they question the constitutionality of bill that passed the House yesterday, but they would have more credibility if they could demonstrate a basic grasp of the Constitution.