Quotable

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

“I certainly respect the Constitution, but we have some issues that are much bigger than the Constitution.”

That’s the “worst mayor in America,” Jackson, Mississippi’s Frank Melton. Guess what issue he’s talking about, then click through to see if you were right.

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36 Responses to “Quotable”

  1. #1 |  Ohio Dale Boley | 

    It was a bit of a treasure hunt without a URL but I found it. The comments are particularly depressing. The link I found was to a local news outlet and the first few comments are from the locals. The rage in some of the comments is palpable. Like this one:

    ————————-
    faircall wrote:
    ” unconstitutional ” ? Next someone will say ” locking a person up for killing, stealing is uncontitutional. When did people of old ( during the writing of the constitution) wear ” sagging pants ” ? So , where is it written ? Educate me as well.
    ——————————-

    The shallow logic that believes we all have the right to not be offended. This person should take a moment to think what that world, with so many competing ideologies, would look like.

  2. #2 |  dave smith | 

    From the article: “Councilman Kenneth Stokes sponsored the saggy-pants ordinance. He said many of the young men who wear saggy pants also get in trouble at school or with police.”

    Using that logic, we should have banned suits for Enron employees.

  3. #3 |  Mister DNA | 

    Any mayor who would suspend the Constitution over a pair of saggy pants deserves to be belted.

  4. #4 |  MacK | 

    The Enron suits is the funniest thing I have seen all day.

  5. #5 |  aland | 

    I’m pretty sure that this is the appropriate time for you to steal Bill Simmons': “I will now light myself on fire.”

    Maybe, “I will now light the Constitution on fire.” ?

  6. #6 |  rob sama | 

    I had guessed this was a prayer in school or posting of the ten commandments issue.

  7. #7 |  Christopher Monnier | 

    I guessed the War on Drugs…

  8. #8 |  Dave Krueger | 

    What’s the big deal? He’s just taking existing government policy to its logical conclusion.

  9. #9 |  Cynical in CA | 

    I guessed “who gives a shit.”

    “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.” — Lysander Spooner

    “A Constitutional scholar who carries around pocket versions of the U.S. Constitution to refer to during speeches reminds me of a dog who carries his leash to his master.” — Butler Shaffer

  10. #10 |  Ginger Dan | 

    First, I didn’t guess saggy pants, I guessed drug raids without search warrants. Second, this is what could be labeled “trickle down Constitutionalism” — once the Federal Government decides the Constitution is a hindrance (waterboarding, NSA wiretapping) local officials take that as a cue to circumvent the Constitution for their own petty grievances, like saggy pants. I’m sure once you get these kids’ pants pulled up it’s all blue birds and straight A’s after…

  11. #11 |  The_Chef | 

    damn I guessed something with the second amendment.

    In other news … fuck this mayor.

    @ dave smith:
    NICE! brought a smile on a day when I really need one.

  12. #12 |  MacGregory | 

    “…much bigger than the Constitution.”

    That statement doesn’t suprise me. He’s just the first politician I’ve ever heard say it out loud. It’s a pathetic justification for raping the constitution in order to impose his will on the citizens.

    There are plenty of examples of the results of issues bigger than the constitution:
    DUI checkpoints
    random drug testing
    no-knock raids
    seizure of real and personal property
    (feel free to insert your own)

  13. #13 |  Edwin Sheldon | 

    I nearly pissed myself! Saggy pants, bigger than the Constitution!

  14. #14 |  Big Chief | 

    I guessed it had something to do with the Innocence Project.

    I like Dave Smith’s comment, but I have to say I thought Mister DNA was even better.

    MacGregory, right on! Add “anything I think is good for you” to that list. We’re being destroyed by government help.

    To quote C.S. Lewis “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

  15. #15 |  Robin | 

    I respect the constitution, but I’m willing to violate it in order to put a stop to anything that even vaguely annoys me.

  16. #16 |  Ben | 

    We need a squad of people to go around and walk up to these people and say something like “Do you have any idea what you are saying?” then kick them between the legs and walk away.

    Stupidity should be painful.

  17. #17 |  Aspasia | 

    @Big Chief: You know the saying about the biggest lie in the world, “We’re from the government and we’re here to help”. I like that quote from C.S. Lewis, very true.

    Regarding this mayor, I thought we had it bad in Chicago with Richie Daley and overall in IL where you’re more likely to be convicted as a governor than, say, a murderer or rapist. Melton sounds like a perfect candidate to run for President of a banana republic.

  18. #18 |  freedomfan | 

    I certainly respect the Constitution, but we have some issues that are much bigger than the Constitution.

    As government policy statement, I am not sure if that statement is ever true. But, I am sure that if saggy pants are someone’s example of an issue that’s “much bigger than the Constitution”, then he does not respect the Constitution.

    Even aside from his considered opinion on Constitution jurisprudence with regard to fashion, this mayor is a dangerous joke and should be in jail for repeated civil rights violations.

    “Government: Too big to do anything but fail.”

  19. #19 |  Regarding Liberty | 

    “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg….except baggy pants. Those really grind my gears.” — Thomas Jefferson

  20. #20 |  BobG | 

    “Councilman Kenneth Stokes sponsored the saggy-pants ordinance. He said many of the young men who wear saggy pants also get in trouble at school or with police.”

    So does that mean we can get rid of crime by passing out belts?

  21. #21 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Baggy pants? What about those damn wolf shirts!

  22. #22 |  Nick T | 

    freedomfan,

    I take the view that as soon as any person sticks a BUT in the middle of that sentence, they do not respect the Constitution.

  23. #23 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “I certainly respect the Constitution, but we have some issues that are much bigger than the Constitution.”

    He will respect the constitution when it comes to his rights, or those of his family, friends and allies. Other than that, he’ll take the George W. approach: “The constitution is just a damn piece of paper.” I think this represents another use for Gene Healy’s phrase “situational constitutionalism.”

  24. #24 |  Brandon Bowers | 

    Is he angling for the GOP nomination in ’12?

  25. #25 |  Edintally | 

    #19 lulz: you got me :)

    #24 w/ Palin, how could they lose?

  26. #26 |  Jacson, Mississippi Mayor Frank Melton Says That Saggy Pants Are a Problem Bigger Than the Constitution | Popehat | 

    [...] Hat tip: Radley Balko. [...]

  27. #27 |  Mike H | 

    Another commenter on the article wrote : “Although at the same time…constitutionally it may have a leg to stand on as the premise of our constitution is that the rights of the individual are subject to the rights of the majority!!!

    Somewhere, Scalia is creaming in his judicial robes…

  28. #28 |  Eric | 

    I recall a tv news report a few months ago regarding this (I think it was John Stossel). It blows my mind to think people can bastardize logic and still sleep at night.

    I am offended by statists and socialists… they should be illegal, right?

  29. #29 |  Marta Rose | 

    Wow. Sometime I really love this constitutional democracy, but sometimes its prospects feel pretty bleak.

  30. #30 |  supercat | 

    I take the view that as soon as any person sticks a BUT in the middle of that sentence, they do not respect the Constitution.

    Not necessarily. I certainly respect the Constitution, but I’m vastly outnumbered by those who don’t; thus, the government has become infested with totalitarian anarchists who view the Constitution as an obstacle to be overcome, rather than being the source of any and all legitimate authority they may possess.

  31. #31 |  supercat | 

    Wow. Sometime I really love this constitutional democracy, but sometimes its prospects feel pretty bleak.

    It’s supposed to be a constitutional republic.

  32. #32 |  Comrade Dread | 

    I certainly respect the Constitution, but we have some issues that are much bigger than the Constitution.

    He should apply that logic to other things in his life and see what it gets him:

    “I certainly respect the law, but I have much bigger things to spend my money on than taxes.”

    “I certainly respect my marriage vows, but I’m going to see other people.”

  33. #33 |  freedomfan | 

    Brandon Bowers:

    Is he angling for the GOP nomination in ‘12?

    It’s a mistake to think there is any substantial difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to disregard for the Constitution and abuse of power. FWIW, Melton is a Democrat.

    Radley keeps us informed about these sorts of stories all the time, and I sure hope that no one is naïve enough to be shocked that both of media-approved parties are guilty. The glib myth that Democrats stand for social freedom and Republicans stand for economic freedom is based on their rhetoric and not reality. It’s mostly anachronism at this point, and has been practically worthless – even as rule of thumb – for many years. It’s time to move past the marketing and media templates.

    “Government: Too big to do anything but fail.”

  34. #34 |  supercat | 

    The glib myth that Democrats stand for social freedom and Republicans stand for economic freedom is based on their rhetoric and not reality.

    The real distinction between the parties is not which freedoms they support, but which most freedoms they want to eliminate first.

  35. #35 |  DM Cook | 

    Hard to believe this. Then again, this is a cascading result of a policy we didn’t decide on, from elected officials we didn’t pick, put into service by leaders we knew were making major mistakes, who were put into power by OUR VOTE (sad as it may be).

  36. #36 |  Micah | 

    What better way to express disapproval of Mayor Melton’s ban on saggy pants than with a message on the back of one’s underpants?

    These boxer shorts sport the slogan “Kiss My Ass, Mayor Melton,” as well as the preamble to the Constitution.

    Someone had to do it…

    http://myrighttosag.spreadshirt.com

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