Back in July, I pointed out a certain mainstream view of the U.S. Constitution, in particular the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, as an example of that epistemological primitivism we all know and love as pragmatism. In that post, I linked an article that outlines the legal argument that conservative pragmatists use to defang the Ninth Amendment (the author of that article, Clayton Jones, shows up in the comments, and puts on a clinic in pragmatist “thinking”).
Against that backdrop, now observe how a Leftist builds upon the mainstreaming of the defanged view of the Ninth and Tenth Amendment in coining a new epithet: “tenthers”, which is a classic smear of the principled view as being on a level with 9/11 “truthers” :
More important, there is something fundamentally authoritarian about the tenther constitution. Social Security, Medicare, and health-care reform are all wildly popular, yet the tenther constitution would shackle our democracy and forbid Congress from enacting the same policies that the American people elected them to advance. After years of raging against mythical judges who “legislate from the bench,” tenther conservatives now demand a constitution that will not let anyone legislate at all.
The author, Ian Millhiser, is telling us, with a straight face, that a clause which restricts State authority, is “fundamentally authoritarian“. Earth to Millhiser: “shackling our democracy” was literally the precise and exact point of the entire Constitution. Millhiser has just told us that the Founders were authoritarians.
This, I submit, is obviously insane, and conservatives will simply dismiss it as the usual Leftist insanity. But they evade the real point here in doing so.
What IS the point, is that Millhiser is in fact correct in describing the principled view of the Tenth Amendment as “fringe”. This Orwellian insanity is mainstream — the “American Prospect” is hardly fringe, and neither is The New Republic, who echoes their dismissal of the principled view as “mad ravings” (!)
What sets the stage for Millhiser’s bold-faced contradiction? What — or who — is responsible for the “fringe” status of the so-called “tenther” (principled) view?
The left-right synergy of the insanestream marches on.