Tue, 18 December 2012
Returned from Richmond, today's discussion starts with observations on the mechanics of the Electoral College vote. If it's ever abolished, my ticket to the state House of Delegates gallery to observe the vote will become a collector's item! Armando called in to talk Fiscal Thingy, and the dynamics of finding a deal. And of course, there was much discussion of the aftermath of Newtown, including the acknowledgment that the currently prevailing view of gun rights (at least among legislators and the Supreme Court) is a relatively new invention, and thus a bit of evidence for a "living Constitution" after all. Though conservatives defend against that charge by framing it as the "Constitution in exile." Greg Dworkin joined us in the second hour, for more from on the ground in Newtown, and a discussion of the politics of pushback. That led us to a broader look at "constitutional hardball," and a reminder that at bottom, constitutional rights are what a majority of the Supreme Court says they are. Maybe Gerald Ford was smarter than we all give him credit for, even if the context was different. (And if the precept is true there, it's worth remembering that it's true for the rules of the Senate as well.) Finally, a solid reminder that there's something fundamentally different (if not necessarily inherently wrong) with the way guns are invoked as safeguarding freedom. Sometimes they can "safeguard" your freedoms right out of existence.