At its state convention in Des Moines last month, the Iowa GOP adopted a new party platform that includes the repeal of mandatory minimum wage laws, the elimination of the U.S. Department of Education, and even clarification on the definition of manure. Out of the “387 enumerated planks and principles,” Newsweek’s Jerry Adler found the most “startling” section of the platform calls for “the reintroduction and ratification of the original 13th Amendment.”
Adopted in December 1865, the current 13th Amendment of the Constitution prohibits “slavery” and “involuntary servitude” in the United States or any place under its jurisdiction. The Iowa GOP is not trying to overturn this amendment to reinstate slavery. Instead, it wants to reintroduce the “original 13th Amendment” first offered by senator Phillip Reed of Maryland in 1810. The amendment states that “if any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor” from a “foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen” and “shall be incapable of holding any office of trust.” In receiving only 12 out of the 13 votes needed for ratification, the amendment was never adopted.I read that ten hours ago, and I'm still speechless. I mean, I know some people lose all sense of reality and proportion when it comes to Obama. I know some people have an irrational hatred of him that causes them to develop symptoms of rabies when they hear his name. But to be motivated to change the Constitution because he won the Nobel is just - there are no words for the magnitude of that insanity. All I can think of is an astronomical comparison: if batshit fucking insanity is equivalent to the gravitational strength of a neutron star, this is a fucking black hole. I mean, for fuck's sake, they almost make the Birthers look rational.
Traditional supporters of the idea are known as “Thirteenthers,” who seek to prevent those with the title of “esquire,” such as lawyers and bankers, from participating in government. But according to its spokeswoman, Danielle Plogmann, the Iowa GOP supports it as an attack on President Obama’s Nobel Prize win:There are, of course, other implications of Thirteenthism, such as ensuring that the United States never again suffers the humiliation of having a president win the Nobel Peace Prize. That was just what the Iowa Republicans had in mind, according to Plogmann, who wrote in an e-mail that the plank “was meant to make a statement about the delegates’ opinion about Mr. Obama receiving the prize.” (Presumably they didn’t mind if, in the process, they were also making a statement about any American scientist or writer unlucky enough to win a Nobel.) Unfortunately for them, the Department of Justice looked into whether Obama needed Congressional approval to accept the Nobel under the existing emoluments clause, and based on the meaning of “foreign state” (which would not cover the Nobel Prize Committee) concluded that he did not.
Holy fucking shit, Batman.
Anyway, while we're on the subject of Cons fucking with the Constitution, I think now would be a good time to point out that Sen. Lindsey Graham is just as much of a Con as any of 'em:
But with 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, Graham said it may be time to restrict the ability of immigrants to have children who become citizens just because they are born within the country.In fairness, Graham didn't come right out and demand an amendment, but he told Fox News he's close. "I may introduce a constitutional amendment that changes the rules if you have a child here," Graham told Greta Van Susteren. "Birthright citizenship I think is a mistake, that we should change our Constitution and say if you come here illegally and you have a child, that child's automatically not a citizen."
[snip]Jamelle Bouie's take was spot on:It's genuinely difficult to overstate the radicalism necessary to seek a transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was designed to ensure that slavery could never again happen in the United States and is now integral to keeping the United States free of a permanent underclass of immigrant workers.
I wish that didn't seem like such a plausible conspiracy theory. I wish we had a sane opposition party. These freaks and fools frankly terrify me.