Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday talk radio update

Dave Rye had a raft of callers explaining why the country would go to hell if Obama were to be elected. It was mostly the usual stuff, but a few callers claimed that Obama would undermine the Constitution. One said that Obama would "destroy the Constitution." Another guaranteed that Obama would try to pass laws that would violate the Second Amendment.

This floored me a bit. McCain has attacked Obama on just about every possible ground, but I have not heard even he argue that Obama would destroy the Constitution. Of course, no evidence for these claims was provided, and if anybody knows of any, I would sure like to hear it.

As I have noted before, it was Obama's spot-on answers to important constitutional questions about the powers of the presidency that first made me think he might be up to the job. Note that McCain had pretty good answers, too, but Obama's were more nuanced and thoughtful. On signing statements, for example, McCain said he flat wouldn't use them. But Obama laid out a precise case for how and when it is appropriate to use signing statements.

As for the Second Amendment, Obama said even before the Supreme Court ruled on the matter that he believed the Constitution protected an individual's right to bear arms. It's true, I think, that Obama predicted the Supreme Court would uphold the Washington, D.C., ban on hand guns. He was wrong, but not by much. The vote was 5-4, and even Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion, said that the court's decision in the Washington case didn't necessarily mean other ordinances limiting guns would be struck down. It's probably true that Obama would support more restrictive gun laws than some Montanans would like, but I've seen no evidence at all that he intends to do so in violation of the Constitution.

So where does the idea come from that Obama opposes the Constitution? Dream world?

3 comments:

Mark T said...

I have noted in my travels that your typical right winger cannot handle nuance.

Chuck Rightmire said...

I have signed up and now have a bumper sticker from the ACLU proclaiming that "I am a Constitution voter" or words to that effect. What I can never understand is why those who claim to protect the Constitution don't seem to understand that the Constitution has been damaged already by the current administration. Bush needs to be tried for his anti-Constitution moves that leave a very poor precedent for future presidents of whatever party.

Anonymous said...

On Friday, Dave Rye, a talk show host on the Northern News Network, said Juneau wasn't qualified for the office because she was a "professional Indian."

He discussed the issue with a caller who said she was from from Helena, a woman who described herself as "terrified" at the thought of Juneau becoming state superintendent, mainly because of Juneau's experience in working with Native students.

"I don't know how to say this without sounding prejudiced, 'cause I'm not, but the reservations have a dropout rate of 76 percent," said the woman. (OPI statistics show a 7 percent dropout rate among Native students last year.)

Rye replied: "Denise Juneau's entire career has been spent in Indian education, not that there is anything wrong with that, per se, except when you want to become superintendent of public instruction."

He said he's blogged about Juneau's candidacy.

"I used the phrase, that as much as she's an educator, she's a professional Indian, in the same sense that Jesse Jackson is a professional black guy. ... By the same token, Denise Juneau is a specialist in Indian education."

Juneau earned a master's degree from Harvard University, a law degree from the University of Montana, clerked for the Montana Supreme Court, taught high school students, worked in a law firm, and now leads the Indian education department at the Office of Public Instruction.