To paraphrase Jon Stewart, I am not an Originalist but…


What James Madison did while president, and clearly an interested party, has no bearing on the validity of Originalism, Bloomberg guy.

Just because Madison led the crafting Constitution does not mean he gets retroactively to determine what it meant or what importance to attribute to that original meaning.

Really, dude, that is kind of entry-level logic. For Originalists, the authority resides in the words, not the author.*  Geeze.  In fairness to Bloomberg guy, Americans may be disadvantaged here by their reverence of the Founders.  Sometimes you Yanks remind me of how Tom Paine described the Brits and local tories. Zing! That must really sting.

Also, no text contains within itself instructions on how to interpret it.  The Constitution is not unique in that regard.  For a text to say how to interpret itself would involve an infinite regress.  I am not an Originalist, and who cares if I were. But Bloomberg guy is mischaracterizing their position.

Harvard Law should be able to do better than this. Hell, Bloomberg guy has almost talked me into being an Originalist.  Please, please, please, stop arguing for my novice conclusion. You remind me of how I used to be Pro-Life, til I met guys who agreed.

Um, I was kind of going with the morally safer course, but you freaks are clutching the bible, talking in tongues, shoving pictures of fetuses in my face, screaming and fainting. See ya.

The title of this post relates to one of my favorite Jon Stewart segments, where he said of Paul Krugman’s platinum coin, “I am not an economist, but if we are going to just make shit up….”  I agreed with Krugman on the substance, but Stewart so clearly won that exchange in front of the public.  Sometimes I wish guys with whom I agree would just stop talking.  I suppose there are others who might agree with me on stuff, and wince.

I am sorry about the link, which is to coverage of Stewart, rather than to Stewart directly.  Some of the videos out there on the internets are pretty creepy, so I take no responsibility for context.  Just go straight to 1:25 for Stewart himself.

In my searches of the platinum issue, I came across many clips of CNBC airhead Sarah Eisen worrying about hyperinflation, utterly untroubled by any understanding at all of the issues involved, but practicing the affinity fraud very effectively and predictably. According to Google, what she had to “say” on this issue was apparently paramount. Next up was the Bloomberg airhead, the guy with the bow tie and oversized glasses.

* I guess one version of Originalism goes to intent, rather than understanding. But it is intent at the time of the writing and ratification, not conveniently in retrospect. I am not a legal theorist, but…