Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ezra Klein and understanding the Constitution

MSNBC contributor and Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein has an interesting take on the Constitution. After declaring the proposed reading of the Constitution in Congress a stunt, he suggested that, because the document is old, it's hard to understand. He noted that the Constitution can be interpreted in different ways, the obvious inference being that Republicans will interpret it their way (while Democrats will, presumably, interpret it the correct way), hence reading it serves no useful purpose.

With that last comment I'm putting words in Klein's mouth, interpreting his comments in a way he may not have intended. In so doing I illustrate a legitimate point on his part: If it's sometimes hard for a fluent speaker of English to interpret the precise intent of another contemporaneous fluent speaker, it may be as hard or harder to interpret the precise intent of a speaker who lived in a very different age ... (read more)

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