Montrose Daily Press Reporter: Constitution Irrelevant to Public Policy

Not only does Bush think the Constitution is “just a goddamned piece of paper“, but Montrose Daily Press reporter James Shea evidently does too. After reading his article covering a recent debate between 3rd Congressional District candidates in Colorado, I sent him the following inquiry:

Your article mentions that Bert Sargent attended this debate, but does not mention anything the man said. Why is this? Some of us would like to know what ALL the candidates had to say.

His response:

Mr. Nelson:

Mr. Sargent mostly talked from a strict Constitutional perspective but, unfortunately, he did not have much to say about public policy. I did not think a debate on the Constitution was relevant to the article but thanks for the feedback.

James Shea

The Constitution is not “relevant” in a public policy debate between candidates for U.S. Congress?

Fortunately, The Rocky Mountain News covered the debate a little more thoroughly:

But the scene-stealer turned out to be Bert Sargent, the Libertarian running in the 3rd Congressional District, who got huge laughs and applause for his answers.

He blasted the war on drugs and the war in Iraq and the huge federal deficit.

Sargent also criticized new airport security measures and said he doesn’t know what he’s going to do when he gets elected and has fly to Washington because he won’t put up with what he called “body cavity searches.”

posted by disinter
  • http://lsnn.blogspot.com/ Marsh

    This is a disturbing trend for sure. It’s hard to tell sometimes whether people are ignorant to the contents of the document or simply don’t care about it. Either way Shea’s comments about the Constitution not belonging in a public policy debate are absurd.

  • http://www.ongforcuregent.com Daniel “Jeffersonian” Ong

    For another report on the debate (by his campaign manager), with his opening and closing statements and questions for his opponents, see this message.

    Seems pretty relevant to me.

  • http://www.myspace.com/undercover_anarchist undercover_anarchist

    Sargent is an idiot, a racist, and a red-bater. He says that the main reason that illegals come to the U.S. is to recieve welfare, despite the FACT that immigrants (illegal and legal) are less likely to depend on welfare than resident citizens.

    Facts don’t matter to racists. And calling everything “socialist” only underscores this moron’s complete and total lack of economic understanding. THE REASON “ILLEGALS” COME HERE IS TO WORK. PERIOD. Anyone who opposes the HUMAN RIGHTS of free movement and right to contract one’s labor is closer to a nazi than a “libertarian.” His understanding of the forces of supply and demand is worthy of his own “socialist” moniker, and his complete contempt for actual FACTS is something even worse.

    Immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits. Yet another fact. No serious, peer-reviewed economics study says anything other than the fact that immigration benefits the economy – whether it be by 3% or 0.1%.

    This man is an embarassment.

  • http://www.myspace.com/undercover_anarchist undercover_anarchist

    Check that, I am an embarassment.

    I posted my vitrolic response to the wrong thread.

  • http://www.myspace.com/10forliberty Mitchell Port

    Does anybody know if the Bush quote is actually true, because I haven’t found any “credible” cites yet that mention it?

  • http://somewhat-hypothesis.com colson

    I almost shat myself on Shea’s quote…. Then I had to go to Google maps to figure out if I still lived in the United States….
    Mitchell – yes it is true:

    http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7779.shtml

    It slipped out during his highness’… er…. the presidents attemp push for Patriot Act Part Two….

  • Matt C.

    Those running for office today seem to be more concerned with politics rather than governance. Candidates stick to their party talking points rather than sticking to the Constitution. It is a sad state of affairs, and unfortunately we, the masses, got ourselves into this mess. Voting patterns over time have only cemented the idea of politics over governance in anybody running for elected office.

  • TerryP

    Mike

    You should send a letter to the editor and include Mr. sheas response to you.

    I am just guessing, but I beleive that many people who read the letter to the editors actually think that the Constitituion should be vitally important to public policy.

  • http://www.DownsizeDC.org/ Alex Peak

    December 11, 2006

    “Recently, it has been alleged that President Bush, in response to criticism regarding the USAPATRIOT Act being unconstitutional, screamed, “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face! It’s just a God-damned piece of paper!” The President’s lack of concern and appreciation for the supreme Law of the Land is outrageous enough as it is, but what’s even scarier is how many politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, treat it with the same disdain.

    “Even if the President had never called the Constitution “just a God-damned piece of paper,” it’s been pretty clear regardless he’s felt that way for quite some time. The majority of the actions undertaken by the Federal government are in fact unconstitutional.

    “The repercussions of the often-but-not-always-tacit hatred for the U.S. Constitution, and its limits on governmental power, can be seen every day, as it continues to hurt America.

    […]”

    http://wwwnew.towson.edu/clt/editorials/peak7.html

  • Timothy West

    of course, the sad thing is that you could have posted “one half of libertarians think the Constitution is a statist rag” and you would’nt be far off the mark either. If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard someone on here say ” I never signed it ” I’d be exactly $189.56 richer….or something like that.

    Even if you didnt sign it, ( and who here did?) getting the government actually back to the point of that document in regards to size is something that might be doable someday through the political system. If you dont believe in that system, then it makes no difference what those of us that do persue, does it?

    Maybe it would be good if more libertarians would be for that statist rag too?

  • cliff

    I was at the debate, he started out slow, but finished big with some good questions to the other candidates and some great remarks. He came off as a grandpa type figure who says very little, but when he did say something, people listened and usually responded positively.

    Many remarks after the debate were regarding him and how a person that thought like “us” could be up there debating and asking the questions that everyone in the audience was thinking.

    On a different tangent, this was the first time that a Libertarian candidate was invited to this particular event held by “Group 20″. A very influential western slope organization, good for us.

    The Libertarian candidate for Governer, Dawn Winkler, did as well, but got less coverage because her answers were more about domestic, education and health issues, not federal issues.

    The debate left a very positive impression and I hope we get invited again.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    “… exactly $189.56 richer”

    $189.56 completely in dimes? ;)

  • IanC

    Chris; factor in inflation. :)

  • http://freelancify.com Nigel Watt

    I just got back an essay for a government class in which I called the Justice Department “extraconstitutional”. The word “extraconstitutional” is underlined with the comment “going a bit too far?”

    (Obviously the professor wasn’t that bothered by it, since he gave me 99%, but still.)

  • Timothy West

    I cut the dime into 6th’s. :)

  • Devious David

    Shea may have been dishonest in his exclusion, but not unreasonable. Nobody cares about the Libertarian candidates and the Constitution isn’t an important part of the discussion. Nobody gives a flying monkey fuck about the Constitution – it really is irrelevant.

    Everybody there that clapped for the Libertarian candidate said “Yeah, I like that guy and what he stands for, but I’m sure as hell not going to vote for him”. People don’t really care about the message anyway. All they need is a little fear to make them snap back into line. They will bleat and bleat, but when the wolves come it’s silence. And if anything does happen, we won’t know about it because of fraud.

    Everybody is enamoured with the Constitution when it suits them, but when it doesn’t, to hell with it. Same with property rights. They just like that they get to hear the Libertarian and look at the Constitution so they know they are free.

    Nothing is going to happen.

  • http://freelancify.com Nigel Watt

    Devious, shut the fuck up or grow a pair and use your real name.

  • Stuart Richards

    The internet: SERIOUS FUCKING BUSINESS.

  • Susie Adamson

    What about the word “illegal” don’t you understand, Undercover Anarchist? I don’t agree with you, so I guess that makes me fair game for a rash of namecalling (tactics that second grader bullies use, by the way).

    I personally am sick and tired of people such as U.C. snotting and whining to every media outlet from which they can elicit exposure to promote their “ideal” world. Has the loss of 40 years of power crazed people so much that they care more about expressing their own emotional verbal outbursts based on sentimentality than whether or not this country and its people survive? They have created the greatest division this country has endured since the civil war. They give aid and comfort to an enemy in time of war. That used to be called treason. Anyone who disagrees with them is subject to namecalling.

    Enough!!!! Since I don’t hide behind a pseudonym like U.C. I will sign my input. Now, U.C., aim your commentary my direction and participate in a real dialogue – if you can.

  • Dennis Fastenow

    As usual I guess I read these threads with a bit of interest, having been involved with politics to a degree in getting reconition for a maligned group (aircraft mechanics) there is always a couple of common events 1) persons here get lost in the fight amongst themselves and loose track of what the real issue is THE GOVERNMENT IS OUT OF CONTROL!! AND THE ONES WE SENT THERE TO CONTROL IT FORGOT THEY WERE THERE TO CONTROL THE GOVERNMENT NOT THE PEOPLE!
    2)as some one already said the bleating is ferocious until the wolves show up, then it’s off to the safest corner they can find. “take all you want just don’t take a slice of my pie…” just remember that the terrorist are counting on this last factor…that we don’t have the stomach for the continued fight…

  • Debbie Schum

    Always good to hear from my brother so far away…just weird it’s through a blog!
    I assume when Dennis says “the terrorists”, he is again referring to the government.
    I am Bert’s campaign manager. So naturally, I was there at the debate. (By the way, undercover anarchist, I wrote those speeches. You calling ME a rascist? BRING IT ON).
    Bert did better than anyoine there expected, including Libertarians. How often do you get to see a 75 year old man blast the war on drugs? It was great. He got applause from the whole room, which was divided into its usual partisan fisticuffs corners.
    He did well. Very well. But even if he hadn’t, what’s that got to do with coverage? Can’t the newspaper print what he said so we could say “well, he sucks”?
    And the constitution is irrelevant to a public policy debate? Isn’t it clear just who sucks?
    By the way, any of you who know about the mini-page (for kids in the newspaper), I found one about the constitution. I sent it to Mr. Shea. He needs it.

  • Cliff

    Debbie, nice to see you participate in the comments, Bert is “en fuego”. Good luck on your campaign there!