MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow found a unique way to highlight the cowardice the House Republicans displayed when they read an abridged version of the Constitution on the House floor. Maddow hired the man with the golden voice, viral video sensation, Ted Williams to read the parts of the Constitution that the Republicans left on the cutting room floor.
Here is the video:
After the background story of Mr. Williams, Maddow announced that he had been hired by MSNBC and he was on her show that night, “More awesome is that we have Mr. Williams as hired talent at MSNBC to help Congress — to help the Republicans in Congress with the parts of the United States Constitution they did not want read out loud today, even as the rest of the constitution was. Ready? Now from the golden age of radio, ladies and gentlemen, the 18th amendment. Part of the constitution the new Republican majority ordered not to be read on the House floor today….”
After Williams read the 18th Amendment Maddow hammered the House GOP for dodging the truth about the Constitution, “It was an incredibly stupid thing that our country did. It was, in fact, part of the constitution at one point. Lots of other dumb and evil stuff has been part of the constitution from time to time. Like, for example, the three-fifths compromise that declared representation and taxes should be apportioned among the states that excluded Indians and included all other persons as three-fifths of a person. There was part of Article IV that required escaped slaves to be returned to their owners, no matter where in the country they had escaped to. The constitution, admittedly awesome, has totally not awesome stuff from time to time.”
She continued, “You can you handle that truth in one of two ways. You could acknowledge that the constitution has had really crazy stuff in it from time to time, use that as a teaching moment to remember that the constitution is not the Ten Commandments. The constitution is a living document that has changed over time in ways both good and bad as the country has gotten older. Or you can be a constitutional fundamentalist and ignore the fact there has been bad stuff in it over time. When you stage something you’re calling a reading of the constitution, you leave out stuff you find embarrassing to read out loud.”
Maddow then pointed out how Republicans left out part of Article IV, “Article IV, section 4, The united states shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government and protect employee of them against invasion. And on application of the legislature or of the executive when the legislature cannot be convened, against domestic violence. That section was left out of the reading today as well. I don’t think that is because anybody was embarrassed about section. I don’t think that was because that offended someone. As far as we know that part of the Constitution was left out initially because — and I quote — the Constitution was placed in a three-ring binder and the pages simply stuck together. The member of congress who was reading Article IV accidentally skipped a bit. See? God’s trying to tell us something about human fallibility.”
She continued, “Republicans have been in power in the House for roughly 33 hours. In their initial Pledge to the American People have turned out to be kind of a mess. There was today’s attempt read the Constitution in its entirety, which turned out to be reading whichever pages didn’t get stuck together. Also during the campaign, Republicans pledged to cut $100 million worth of government spending in the first year. That promise has been cast aside as hypothetical. Republicans have pledged they won’t aim higher than $50 billion worth of cuts. Forget that old hundred, they didn’t mean it. Also in their Pledge to America was a republican promise to allow Democrats to offer amendments to legislation. On their first bill out of the gate now they’re in charge, Republicans are not going to allow any amendments. After Republicans won control of the House, they made this pledge apparently from scripted talking points.”
Maddow concluded, “The first 33 hours in power is not going well today. These are self-inflicted things. Republicans carefully laid out these rakes on the floor inside the front door. They’ve been stepping on them one after the other since they got in. House Republicans still have a really ambitious agenda, including wanting to repeal health reform and Wall Street reform. Since Democrats probably can’t count on continued Republican rake stepping, at least this much in any one day for too much longer, what’s the Democratic strategic heading out?”
It is great to see the amazing story of Mr. Williams continue, and it was a move of inspired genius to have a man whose uniquely American story of recovery and second chances read the constitution out loud. If you need any indication of just how badly Republicans in the House bungled their own self-created publicity stunt of reading the constitution on the House floor, consider that they have been criticized by both Rachel Maddow and Glenn Beck for choosing to read the abridged version.
Here is Beck calling the House Republicans cowards:
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Republicans managed to screw this up less than two days after officially taking power. Many in this leadership are the same people who in their infinite ignorance cost the Republicans their House majority in 2006. The victory in the 2010 election may have jolted some on the left and fooled the right into believing that their party could competently govern, but in record time House Republicans have reminded everyone that they are still the bumbling, incompetent, political gang that can’t shoot straight that was bounced from power earlier this decade. If this continues, look for the history of 2006 to repeat itself in 2012.