Missed Opportunity on How Our Constitution Works

As loath as we must all be to slip into the mire of political discussion on The View, I have to note that McCain missed an excellent opportunity to provide a grown-up explanation for a reckless question from Whoopi Goldberg. While the group was apparently discussing Roe v. Wade and the types of judges whom McCain would nominate, Goldberg chimed in:

Sir, I don’t want to misinterpret what you’re saying. Did you say you wanted strict constitutionalists, because … should I be worried about being returned to slavery? Because certain things happened in the Constitution that you had to change.

McCain credited her with making an excellent point, but left it at that. The correct response would have been to remind the audience that the Constitution has been amended (i.e., changed) to abolish slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment reads:

Section 1: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2: Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

In other words, even a strict constitutionalist would find that the Constitution bans slavery.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
15 years ago

I thought exactly the same thing when I heard this . . .
Why would Sen. McCain call it an “excellent point,” when it was in fact a very stupid comment and would have presented a perfect teaching opportunity?
Maybe he made a calculated judgment that he was in hostile territory and it would do him no good to string out the debate.
Or maybe he just blew it.

Justin Katz
15 years ago

Yes, a strict constitutionalist would have found slavery to be legal before slavery was made illegal. That’s the role that judges are meant to play: interpreting the law, not making it.
A segment of our society seems to believe that the word “unconstitutional” is synonymous with the word “wrong.” It is not. In a society with a multiplicity of beliefs and opinions the branch of government that is meant to be a neutral arbiter to which we can turn for judgment on our agreed-upon rules (i.e., the law) cannot make its rulings according to right and wrong. That is a recipe for civil strife and for oppressive oligarchy.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
15 years ago

McCain should have his head examined for going on a hag-fest like the View.The women on that show all have an axe to grind and they hate any Republicans,Elizabeth notwithstanding,because having her on your side in an argument is an impediment.
This tactic is like the “advocates” here wailing about “social genocide”after the most routine immigration raid.

15 years ago

He should have said, “Yes, Whoopi, actually, I am planning as my first act in office to reinstitute slavery.”
He was probably thinking to himself half-way through the show, “My time as a POW in a North Vietnam prison cell is starting to look good right about now!”
They only make themselves look bad by descending on their guest(s) like a bunch of harpies. I would like to think they are not typical of the majority of women. He still handled himself pretty well, all things considered.

15 years ago

He did miss that chance. But he did not miss the chance to lie yet again about Palin’s record. She didn’t request earmarks as Governor? Please, does anyone but John McCain still believe that? It’s been debunked countless times. Of course, you wouldn’t know that by reading AR or the Corner.

15 years ago

I didn’t see the interview, but it’s probably a good thing that he made an appearance. At a time when MSNBC works to keep Republicans off the air, at least The View gave McCain time.
I can’t say I blame McCain for not challeging Whoopi.
He probably decided that having a constitutional discussion with Whoopi Goldberg on The View would have been as productive as discussing monetary policy with Paris Hilton.
He would have been better off asking Whoopi about her critically aclaimed perfomances in productions like “Borello of Blood” or peddling Slim-Fast.

11 years ago

LXXXI. Such taunts Ascanius brooked not. Stung with pride, With vine-wreathed reins, and tigers to his car, that cost her dear, because Mac forgot his appointment when the lessons

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.