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megimoo
06-28-2011, 06:04 PM
One Document, Under Siege
http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,2079445,00.html
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Thirteen Clear Factual Errors in Richard Stengel’s Essay on the Constitution (And I Am Looking for Your Help) (Update: My Letter to the Editor)

Late last week, I fisked Richard Stengel’s Time Magazine cover story “One Document, Under Seige” (update: click here for the one page version) but it deserves more discussion.

I consider it nothing less than a journalistic scandal that this piece was
(1) a cover story,
(2) written by their Managing Editor,
(3) who serves in an organization dedicated to teaching other journalists about the Constitution, and yet it is rife with factual errors, including many that are obvious simply by reading the Constitution.

My mistake in the last post on the subject was trying to catalogue everything wrong with it, leading me to take issue with his philosophy, too and thus what got lost for some was the simple fact that Stengel was clearly factually wrong on many points, often when the facts could be determined by doing nothing more than reading the Constitution.

So this time, we are going to focus solely on the factual errors. There are thirteen of them and like the lawyer that I am, I will start off with his most egregious error and end with the least egregious. Here are the thirteen errors, in short:

The Constitution does not limit the Federal Government.
The Constitution is not law.
The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment emancipated the slaves.
The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment granted the right to vote to African Americans.
The original Constitution declared that black people were to be counted as three-fifths of a person.
That the original, unamended Constitution prohibited women from voting.
Inter arma enim silent leges translates as “in time of war, the Constitution is silent.”
The War Powers Act allows the president to unilaterally wage war for sixty days.
We have only declared war five times.
Alexander Hamilton wanted a king for America.
Social Security is a debt within the meaning of Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Naturalization depends on your birth.
The Obamacare mandate is a tax.

When I am done with this post, I am going to make a bleg where I ask you to try to help get out the word about this egregiously incorrect cover story. So stay tuned to the end (or jump ahead if you feel like it).

But first here, point-by-point, is proof that each one of those statements are errors.

False Claim #1: The Constitution does not limit the Federal Government.

The relevant passage:

If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn’t say so. Article I, Section 8, the longest section of the longest article of the Constitution, is a drumroll of congressional power. And it ends with the “necessary and proper” clause, which delegates to Congress the power “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” Limited government indeed.


http://patterico.com/2011/06/28/thirteen-clear-factual-errors-in-richard-stengel%E2%80%99s-essay-on-the-constitution-and-i-am-looking-for-your-help/