Our sardonic Lord

A return to the Bible’s, the Constitution’s, or any poem’s text, then, isn’t a call to humorless literalism or to a strict constructionism that can’t distinguish between letter and spirit. It’s the slow and repeated enjoyment of a text that won’t be squeezed for, and then discarded in favor of, some dogma or other envenoming essence. It’s an emphasis on story and language and oral expression that might have us, like the Lord, speaking not in theories but in parables, and grounding ourselves in the serious play of prosody.

The repeal amendment

The amendment would shift the federal balance of power away from the people to the states. As a practical matter, two-thirds of the states hold less than a third of the country’s population. Therefore, a small majority in each of those smaller states could veto the will of the vast majority of Americans as expressed by their representatives in Congress.

Categorized as Civil

Torture & liberalism

This sadness feels Medieval, locked in ice and dusk — Lisa Russ Sparr, “Penance I” Rounding the century and having bested the last eighty years’ most malignant forms of government – fascism and communism – Western liberalism had only to fear problems stemming from the economic success its political success had fostered: pollution, global warming,… Continue reading Torture & liberalism

Texas’s successive secessions

The concept of secession should be troubling to Americans, not just from a political point of view but also from a philosophical one. Simply put, the argument in favor of a right to secede is the argument against a right to revolt, and the right of revolution – a right we must hold to now as much as we did in 1776 – is a basis of our political liberty.

A slow president

Obama will win. He will be an unpopular president during most of his term. Republicans will gain seats in Congress during his administration. But Obama will help to reconnect our civic life with our constitutional values. If he lives, he will be reelected.