Whatever Happened to the Constitution?

Sometimes I really don’t understand the ‘maga-movement’.  No, let me re-state that … I do not understand this maga-movement that proposes and supports an authoritarian regime, that has as its core ideology racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and every form of bigotry known to humankind.  If you listen long enough to the likes of Margie Greene, Mehmet Oz, JD Vance and others you will come to feel that you have been dropped into some alternate universe … or reading some crazy fiction where up is down, left is right, and nothing makes sense anymore.

With just 44 days remaining until election day on November 8th, I think it is more important than ever that people pay close attention to what the candidates are saying, what sort of government they are hoping to create if they are successful in their election bids.  Let’s start with a bit of insight from The Washington Post columnist, Dana Milbank …

How reactionary is MAGA? Try the first century B.C.

By Dana Milbank

7 September 2022

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears: They have come to resurrect Caesar.

MAGA Republican leaders take umbrage at being accused of “semi-fascism,” which is understandable: Twentieth-century dictators such as Mussolini and the German guy with the mustache gave fascism a bad name. But the MAGA crowd isn’t disavowing totalitarianism, per se. It’s just their taste in authoritarian figures skews toward the classics. They’re old-school — 1st century B.C. old. “Hail, Caesar” goes down so much easier than “Heil Hitler.”

J.D. Vance, the Republican Senate nominee in Ohio, is one resident of this newly platted Caesarian section, as a recent profile in the Cleveland Plain Dealer showed. It referred to a year-old interview Vance gave on a far-right podcast in which he spoke approvingly of Curtis Yarvin, a self-proclaimed monarchist who argues for an American Julius Caesar to take power.

“We are in a late republican period,” Vance said, referencing the era preceding Caesar’s dictatorship. “If we’re going to push back against it, we’re going to have to get pretty wild, and pretty far out there, and go in directions that a lot of conservatives right now are uncomfortable with.”

The podcast’s host, Jack Murphy, endorsed this sentiment, discussing possible “extra-constitutional” remedies to be taken “if we want to re-found the country.” (He told Vance he thought voting an “ineffectual” way to “rip out this leadership class.”)

Vance, who said he had been “radicalized” by the actions of “malevolent and evil” political opponents, described what “wild” actions he had in mind at another point in the podcast. He wants to “seize the institutions of the left” and purge political opponents with “de-Nazification, de-Ba’athification.”

Vance suggested that former president Donald Trump, once elected in 2024, should fire all civil servants and replace them with “our people,” defy court orders blocking such an illegal action, and then “do what Viktor Orban has done,” referring to the Hungarian dictator’s bans on certain topics from school curricula. Vance justified such “outside-the-box” authoritarian actions by reasoning that the United States is “far gone” and not “a real constitutional republic” anymore.

Hail, Caesar!

Vance is far from the only emperor-curious MAGA leader. Former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro called Mike Pence a “traitor to the American Caesar of Trump” because the former vice president refused to help overturn the 2020 election. Another former Trump adviser, Michael Anton, hosted a Claremont Institute podcast with Yarvin about the desirability of an “American Caesar.”

Meanwhile, various tactics that would qualify as “extra-constitutional” have been proliferating on the MAGA right.

This week, Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee confirmed during the lame-duck Republican Congress after the 2020 election, turned the bedrock American principle of equal justice on its head. Cannon, granting Trump’s request for a “special master” to shield the government documents hoarded at his residence, said Trump’s need for protection from “stigma” was “in a league of its own” because of his “former position as president.” A judge granting extraordinary legal powers to the man who appointed her to spare him “reputational harm”? Hail, Caesar!

Last week, the House Jan. 6 committee wrote to Trump ally Newt Gingrich, outlining how the former House speaker encouraged Trump TV ads promoting false election-fraud claims, and how he suggested a “call-to-action” to intimidate election officials. “The goal is to arouse the country’s anger,” Gingrich wrote to Trump advisers, at a time when election officials desperately feared violence. Hail, Caesar!

Some MAGA Republicans have a novel solution to resolve pesky constitutional restraints: Rewrite the Constitution. As Carl Hulse reports in the New York Times, Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Tex.) introduced legislation seeking to compel Congress to call a constitutional convention — the first since the framers wrote it — to overhaul the United States’ founding document. The effort likely isn’t going anywhere, but it shows the contempt MAGA Republicans have for the constitutional order. Hail, Caesar!

Others in the MAGA movement simply reinterpret the Constitution to their own liking. County law-enforcement officials self-styling as “constitutional sheriffs” have assigned themselves power to decide what the law is, according to their own politics. One such sheriff in Michigan sought warrants in July to seize vote-counting machines to try to validate Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, Reuters reported last week. Armed lawmen going rogue to undermine elections? Hail, Caesar!

A few weeks from now, the Supreme Court will open its new term, in which it will decide whether to use a North Carolina case to allow state legislatures to redraw election maps — and potentially to overturn the outcome of elections and to disregard state constitutions — without any review by state courts. The high court blessing a radical legal theory that mocks the will of the voters? For MAGA Republicans, all roads lead to Roman imperialism.

Hail, Caesar!

39 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to the Constitution?

  1. The MAGA revision:
    “We the White People of the United States (and a few useful dupes of ‘other folk’), in Order to form a more pleasing way to us, will revise Justice to protect OUR ways, insure domestic Tranquillity by placing firearm in the hands of the right people, provide for the common defence by placing firearms in the hands of the right people, promote the Welfare for those who can afford it and secure the Blessings of Liberty upon White Evangelical Heterosexual folk ( and useful willing folk of other races) thus we ordain and establish this following Constitution for the United States of America,”
    1. The opening paragraph says it all. The following are elaborations and clarifications thereupon, lest any person or persons of harmful political outlooks, sexual aberrations, socially disruptive inclinations and other such leanings hostile to the above outlines try by mendicity and manipulation to thwart the intentions of this the Constitution for the United States of America
    2. Each White Evangelical Heterosexual irrespective of age and medical history can have a firearm.
    3.Each White Evangelical Heterosexual shall be entitled to apply at least twice a year for a presidential pardon for any crimes committed for the purposes of obtaining a firearm.
    4. It is the unalienable right of every female White Evangelical Heterosexual possessing firearms to run for political office irrespective of previous criminal or mental health record.
    5. It is the unalienable right of every male White Evangelical Heterosexual possessing firearms to hold political office irrespective of previous criminal or mental health record.”
    (from there it gets worse)…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Spot on, Sir Roger! That is precisely what they’d like, and they don’t really even bother to deny it. #4 may be questionable, however, for they firmly believe a woman’s place is barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen. Sigh. We are not in a good place, but then … neither is Italy or even Sweden this month. Sigh. My grandmother used to ask, “What’s the world coming to?” And now we know the answer to that question.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You said: I do not understand this maga-movement that proposes and supports an authoritarian regime, that has as its core ideology racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and every form of bigotry known to humankind.

      I do not understand how you believe that there is an authoritarian and theocratic movement on the Right, and that is based solely on all sorts of ‘isms”. I ask for evidence before I accept these. I often get back no evidence (am ignored) or evidence which does not support the claim.

      The article you referenced talked about:

      JD Vance. I don’t know much about Vance. He wrote a popular book, Hillbilly Elegy. It wasn’t quoted above. I’ve heard him speak a couple times. He seems quite reasonable, but he may have a shadowy side.

      The author said he wants to seize the institutions of the Left. This could be problematic, but it depends on how institutions are “seized”. The Left has control over media, education, the bureaucracy, culture (sports, movies, etc.), and virtually all the powerful institutions in America. Yes, the Right should try to get control over these institutions. That’s a reasonable objective. How it is done matters though.

      I found one quote where Vance said to “deconstruct the administrative state”. I work for the administrative state myself. It is terribly run and needs reform without a doubt. Again, what matters is how this is reformed, not the fact that it needs to be reformed.

      Not allowing extreme sexual content in lower education seems reasonable. It is not the same as banning books altogether.

      What I get from the article above is platitudes from Vance, not details.

      I don’t like the use of the word “Nazi” by Vance. I hear “Hitler” and “Nazi” describing folks on the Right continually. I think we should not respond in kind, but apparently he did. That is problematic for me. However, if you don’t like these terms, then please ask folks on the Left to stop using them. We have more in common with each other than we have in common with Nazis.

      I need to find out more about Vance to see what he actually said and compare it to the analysis. The analysis certainly makes him seem quite radical, but the analysis is often biased as I showed above.

      Judge Cannon. Trump is an American citizen entitled to protections as any other American. His 4th amendment rights and attorney-client privilege have been violated. His rights, just as any other American’s rights, must be protected. Special masters have been appointed in other cases in the past. This is not something new or extraordinary.
      Rewrite the Constitution. Republicans are calling for a “Convention of States” to draft amendments to the Constitution. This is a provision allowed for in the Constitution itself. Calling it “contempt for the Constitution” makes me suspect this author’s motives. Amendments would still have to be approved by 3/4 of the states to be passed. This is nothing scary.
      Election. There are some legitimate claims about the 2020 election. Why not investigate these claims further? Mark Zuckerburg infused hundreds of millions into the election and nobody on the Left gives a damn. Why not? Information which could have altered the electorate’s views was censored by social media in late October. It helped the Left, so do you care? The court case referenced later also is a problem and should have been appealed to the Supreme Court. Pennsylvania changed the election laws and bypassed the legislature, violating the US (not the state) Constitution.

      Again, there is plenty to go around here. Democrats contested more states on January 6, 2017 than Republicans did four years later. The 2016 election was contested for four years. That’s what the Mueller investigation is all about. Stacy Abrams is still declared governor of Georgia four years after losing. The Georgia legislature passes election reform and MORE people for in Georgia’s 2022 mid-term primary than every before. How is that? How can you get all Righteous about Republican concerns for 2020 and ignore the Democrats own claims for the last twenty.

      I will have to review the court case a bit more. The Penn. executive and courts changed the state’s election laws in 2020. The US Constitution gives state legislatures sole authority over state elections. The executive and the courts play no role. They exceeded their authority in Pennsylvania. The NC case seems to be about the same issue. I will research a bit more to be sure. This clause seems pretty clear cut until you amend the Constitution. See the item above.


  2. Dana Milbank’s essay is even more telling if you know that in classical Latin Cæsar was pronounced “kaiser”. It is also the origin of the word Тсар, which, in the Latin alphabet, is Tsar. It is interesting to note that both Kaiser and Tsar are now commonly associated with despitic rulers.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. …“seize the institutions of the left” and purge political opponents with “de-Nazification, de-Ba’athification.”

    Those quotes sound exactly like Vladimir Poopin (with a Napoleon Syndrome) justifying his invasion of Ukraine and murdering Ukrainian civilians, women and children included, all of which are war crimes and crimes against humanity. Period!

    …the United States is “far gone” and not “a real constitutional republic” anymore.

    Now these quotes do have some truth in them. However, they are falsely framed of course, pointing the finger at true protectors of our Charters of Freedom developed by our Core Founding Fathers. Furthermore, the true protectors of our Charters, including the Constitution, know and intimately understand the intended historical context and application of our Charters and Constitution far, FAR BETTER than this 21st-century MAGA Movement’s leaders, much less the totally inexperienced former President and his 6th-grade notions of them. HAH! 😄

    But yes, there’s distorted truth in those quotes.

    …Trump’s need for protection from “stigma” was “in a league of its own” because of his “former position as president.”

    Yet another wild, audaciously bogus claim as victim that in reality comes from the attacker, the real aggressor, and the spouter of the Big Lies! BWAAAAAA! Actually, it is the former Big Lying Guy who brought this upon himself followed by his duped followers with little-to-no intimate understanding of the Founding Fathers Charters of Freedom. Prime example? I’d wager that not even 3% or 2% (probably less?) of the MAGA Movement fully grasp that the personal handwritten letters to their Constitutional colleagues and to their wives and/or sons and daughters by our six (6) Core Founding Fathers… elaborate explicitly and implicitly EXACTLY what they—all six of them—intended and hoped for in achieving independence THEN the bigger, harder task of governing a fragile, fledgling newborn Republic for the foreseeable future.

    When I read or hear what these MAGA leaders or subordinates to the Orangutan write/speak, 99% of it—and this is being VERY generous on my part, yes—most everything coming out of their heads, mouths, or hand is so glaringly vague and obtuse to the actual Constitution and Charters that their meaning(s) are utterly, literally EMPTY, VOID of any real substance! Do they ever quote the many, MANY treasure-trove of personal letters and correspondence inside the Library of Congress or their individual museums and institutions to find ORIGINAL CONTEXT and SPECIFIC INTENT from the Core Founding Fathers!? 😧 🤦‍♂️

    No! That is a bold rhetorical question, by the way. They are all by their own words, their own backgrounds, their own lacking intelligence of 18th-century historical context of this nation that they are depraved of any clue how appalled and angry right now those six (6) Core Founding Fathers would be toward them and their UN-Constitutional movement.

    Great post Jill. Bravo to Dana Milbank! Bravo.

    P.S. Most MAGA supporters and the leaders probably have no clue either just how atrociously BRUTAL the Roman Imperial empire—with one dictator, only one emperor—really was like! They don’t realize nor understand what constantly took place within Roman politics and what eventually brought the Empire crashing down: slash and cut-throat resolutions to and against opponents. Soon, the ruling class and nobility had self-cannibalized the Empire. BWAAAAAAA! 😄 But do 21st-century MAGA-its know this? HAH! Another rhetorical question btw. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing!!.. there are members of the so called MAGA movement are closed minded, self centered and thinking of themselves only and trying to create their own world/society… they follow Trump because they know they can feed his ego and he will give them whatever they wish… 🙂
    That being said, the only Constitution that will satisfy the closed minded in MAGA movement is one that is tailored to their ideology and caters to their wishes, etc. ignoring every one else… I am reasonably sure that not everyone that is Republican will totally agree so I suspect that you will not find a Constitution that MAGA movement or Republicans will accept… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 3 people

    • I hope that you are right, Dutch, when you say that not all Republicans will agree. Thing is, even those who disagree remain silent because the current situation is that if they don’t swear fealty to Donald Trump, they lose their power, their position, and they don’t wish to make that sacrifice, with very few exceptions such as Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger who put country ahead of their own political futures. The rest … they don’t seem to mind selling out, giving up their values, shredding their oaths of office. I wish I had your optimism, my friend. Thank you so much for the lovely Irish Saying.


  5. Jill, at the heart of all of this is the requirement to be a member of MAGA or one of its leaders or sycophants, you must swear allegiance to an overt lie, aptly called the Big Lie. As an independent, it is more than fine for someone to espouse conservative opinions, but it is not OK to support and espouse untruths. Both sides exaggerate, but the GOP right now is built on a foundation in quick sand predicated on the Big Lie. Not only has the losing former president divided us further with his repeated lying, he has betrayed our country on multiple occasions in obvious ways. I am sorry, I don’t care what party one belongs to, it is not good to have as president a traitor to the country. Full stop. MAGA folks can deny all this, but they truly need to wake up and smell the coffee. In their case, it is burning in the pot. To take the losing former president at his word, is a fool’s errand.


    Liked by 5 people

    • Yes, they must swear an oath of fealty to the ‘man’, and to the Big Lie, and now even pretend they believe that his theft of highly classified documents was legitimate. In other words, they must give up any values, any shred of decency they may have once had, and all for what??? Political power? Wealth? I do not know how they sleep at night, how they live with their conscience! My conscience keeps me awake if I yell at one of the kitties and the next morning they get a tuna treat as a peace offering!

      As you say, it is fine to have certain opinions, if they are really what you believe in. But I honestly believe that most members of Congress know good and well that what they are supporting is not right, is not true, is not in keeping with those oaths of office they swore. They KNOW what they are standing for is NOT in the best interest of the future of this nation, NOT in the best interest of the people, and yet they are willing to sell their souls to support lies and corruption. Like you, I am an independent. I do not belong to either party, never have. Today, though, I am sorely tempted to join the Democratic Party. Why? Because I see the Democrats as caring about people, the environment, justice, truth, and humanitarian causes, while the Republican Party seems to care only about power and wealth. I see the Republican Party leaning heavily toward an autocratic government, even if they have to step all over the Constitution and We the People to achieve it. Sigh.


  6. And, believe it or don’t, these slanted political opinions, are what the voters who voted for the specific parties they vote for believe in, because they choose to turn their BRAINS off, and just, follow their leader to HELL blindly!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think that in many cases, the voters don’t understand nor care what the candidate stands for or would do in office. They seize on a single issue, or are blindly dedicated to a single party, and that’s what drives their vote. Far too people seem capable of understanding how our government works and what the consequences of their votes could be.


  7. “Whatever Happened to the Constitution?”

    Nothing to do with MAGA but I can tell you what happened to your constitiution: IT FELL OUT OF TIME!!!

    Cooked up in high spirits by the ringleaders of a revolutionary war, still on the victory high, it was enthusiastic and modern … in terms of 1776. Humans, their living circumstances, their morals and ethics were different back then. Vastly different. For example the 2nd amendment, I can’t believe it’s still even discussed today, earnestly discussed. 😮 How old are y’all, 13?

    From a Eurotrash outsider POV I guess it’s time for you to brew yourself a new constitution, preferably based on the “Belgian model” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Belgium. Or just take that of South Africa, which is one of the latest and most modern constitutions, most democratic and mostest free-est.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I would agree that the Constitution needs some updating, however I’m not in favour of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Much of what is in it are sounds principles that are still valid and valuable. It does need updating to take into consideration some things that have changed over the past 235 years, but human nature hasn’t changed and I believe the core foundation is solid and should be kept. Making changes in the current environment would be a fool’s errand, I believe.


      • ” Making changes in the current environment would be a fool’s errand, I believe.”
        Yes, you’re right. In the current political climate it would end as a totally compromised freak show.


  8. Pingback: Whatever Happened to the Constitution? | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

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