Joined by a balanced panel of liberal Bloomberg news columnist Margaret Carlson and leftist radio host Bill Press, HLN's Joy Behar took to her eponymous program last night to dismiss the plan Republican congressmen have to read the entire U.S. Constitution from the House floor later this week.
"Do you think this Constitution-loving is getting out of hand? I mean, is it a nod to the Tea Party?" Behar asked Press, before unwittingly, perhaps, answering her own question: "Is it the first time a lot of congressmen will have heard about it, er, read it?"
Congressmen are of course bound by constitutionally-required oath to "support this Constitution," and it's not inconceivable that some congressmen -- like Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) -- could brush up on their constitutional knowledge.
[h/t e-mail tipster Beth Villare. Video after page break, for MP3 audio, click here]
Of course, answering Behar's question, Press suggested it was Republicans who are constitutionally illiterate before immediately illustrating his own error-laden view of the Constitution:
There could be some benefit here, because I think most Republicans haven't read the Constitution, to be honest. I hope they listen carefully. There's some good stuff in there about the right of privacy they probably never heard before...
Yeah, that would be because the Constitution doesn't mention a "right of privacy."
Press is probably thinking of the Fourth Amendment, but that doesn't explictly mention privacy, although it does secure "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures."
If Press really thinks there's a constitutional right to privacy, then perhaps he would be okay with libertarians claiming it's none of the IRS's business what they earn per year since that's a private matter between them and their employer(s).
Press went on to note, correctly, that only Congress, not the president, has the power to declare war, adding that he bets some Republicans "never heard of that before."
"[They] probably never did," Behar agreed.
Here Press was hinting at his opposition to the war in Iraq, which he opposed and most congressional Republicans backed.
Of course that's a moot point because at the time Congress voted on and authorized the president to take military action against Iraq and the Constitution is silent as to how exactly a declaration of war is to be composed or worded.