The New York Times has a piece, “Iowa May Turn G.O.P.’s Focus to Social Issues.” In the piece, U.S. Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, is quoted as saying that culture, not the economy, is the most important thing in choosing a Republican nominee. Mr. King also said that he plans to endorse a candidate who can be “an effective constitutional president.”
I think that Mr. King needs to read his copy of the Constitution a bit more closely. The election in 2012 will be about the economy. All you have to do is ask the 8.9% of the labor force who is out of work whether or not the 2012 election will be about the economy. Let’s not forget the millions of homeowners who have seen their home values drop. They are suffering from an economic downturn, not an eradication of social values.
What I find peculiar, almost funny, is the social value posse’s equating of social conservatism and the Constitution. If this election is not about the economy, and you want a candidate that can be an effective constitutional president, then the right has a lot of reconciling to do.
The Constitution makes no mention of “God“, “church“, “family“, “abortion“, or “marriage“. The Constitution mentions the word “religion” once in its treatment of the prohibition on government’s establishment of a national religion. These are the bedrock keywords of social conservatives like King, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, and Mike Huckabee.
The Constitution, however, refers to the word “tax” at least six times. “Commerce” is referenced at least two times, “duty” and its derivative, “duties”, is referenced at least seven times. Duty is mentioned as it relates to what government can impose in terms of taxation. The word “money” is mentioned at least five times.
In addition, “militia” is mentioned seven times; “army”, “armies”, “navy”, and “naval” are mentioned a combined eight times.
Just based on this simple analysis, it is peculiar that social conservatives continue to harp on social values when the Founding Fathers clear intent was for government’s role to be steeped in regulating commerce, ensuring the financing of government, and protecting the nation from threats without and within with a strong national defense.
Am I missing something? If so, let me know.
Sorry Mr. King. You can’t have it both ways.