Embarrassing display highlights disconnect of elected representatives
Jan 16, 2013
In what was supposed to be a symbolic gesture of the enduring greatness of the US Constitution, and the rights it outlines for all Americans, the House read the entire document out aloud on the chamber floor yesterday. However, the symbolism backfired somewhat when only a fraction of representatives bothered to show up.
In the midst of the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to eviscerate the Second Amendment by executive order, it was extremely telling that so few members of the House took the time to show their respect for the Constitution.
The document was divided into 120 sections, with GOP House leaders believing that at least that many members would show up to each read a section.
When all was said and done, however, only 74 members attended. The Washington Times notes that the House ran out of Democrats before they even got past Article IV, which is less than halfway through the document.
Just 25 Democrats valued the idea enough to turn up for the reading, while a meager 49 Republicans attended. This meant that each reader had to take two or three sections.
The entire reading took around 66 minutes.
During the Preamble to the reading, Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, who organised the event, stated “We also hope that this will demonstrate to the American people that the House of Representatives is dedicated to the Constitution and the system it establishes for limited government and the protection of individual liberty.”
When two Democrats shuffled in as the final reader was speaking, Goodlatte attempted to put a brave face on the situation, stating “We ran out of Constitution before we ran out of readers,”.
The Times also notes that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi seemed embarrassed that so few Democrats showed up, at one point she “gestured with a shrug to the nearly empty chamber”. Her Republican counterpart, Speaker of the House John Boehner was initially present but left before the end of the reading and did not take part.
The Second Amendment was read by Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., who also read the First and Third Amendments.
This was only the second time that the Constitution has been read in its entirety, without sections that were amended after the document was ratified in September 1787.
The first occasion was just two years ago, when 137 lawmakers attended.
It is to be expected that some members cannot always be present on the House floor, but with 435 representatives having sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution, it is pitiful, and a very telling sign of the times, that only around one sixth cared enough to participate in reading out the founding document.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.