Wednesday, April 7, 2010

'Of course I support the Constitution... I just don't know what it says.'

The U.S. Constitution specifies an oath of office only for the President:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
For other Federal government officials, including members of Congress, the document says only that they "shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support the Constitution." Members of Congress today take this oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) was confronted recently at a town hall meeting by a citizen patriot who freely quotes - from memory - chapter and verse of our founding document:

Whether or not members of Congress should memorize the entire Constitution may be debatable. But Congressman LoBiondo clearly didn't know even the subject matter addressed in the First Amendment.

Note to candidates, especially those of you who claim to be Constitutional conservatives: You'd better be somewhat familiar with the document you're swearing to support and defend. It isn't enough to just talk about this. You'd be wise to actually know what it says, and why. Prove you are worthy of our vote.

What do you think? Does ignorance of our Constitution make a person ineligible to serve in elected office?


  1. It is rather difficult to uphold a document when you don't know what it says. It's quite possible that you could "support" it, but I doubt you can "uphold" it. The very fact that you don't know what it says means that you don't know whether your actions are are contrary to the document or not. So, yes, ignorance of our Constitution does make a person ineligible to serve in elected office. But, the person asking the question in this video comes across as arrogant and pedantic, despite making a good point.

  2. Sober Sentinel, we agree with your observations here. No one likes the "gotcha" tone this questioner uses. But he does, however painfully, make a great point. And ANY US Congress Rep or Sen should know what the First Amendment says. It's just so absolutely basic.

  3. The jerk in the video is a 9-11 truther, but his points are valid and his question is legitimate. Congressmen and candidates for congress should be well-versed in the Constitution, and simple questions about the supreme law of the land should be considered fair game. (c.f. goofy questions about the cost of a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread.)

    Tea Partiers should be asking questions about the Constitution at every town hall meeting. Candidates should be prepared. Cameras should be rolling.

  4. RightKlik, we couldn't have said it better!