NEW RULE: When the Iraq Study Group gets done studying Iraq, it should study America.
Now, I know liberals have been on a high these last 10 days, and it can't be the meth because that's a gay evangelical drug. But let's remember that all that really happened was, Republicans went so batty for so long that common sense seemed like a new idea.
Let's not delude ourselves into thinking that this election brought new thinking to Washington. It didn't. It brought Democrats, who are often just Republicans slowed down a step by a sense of shame. But they're not revolutionaries, and they're not really diverse.
Oh, Congress looks like America -- we've got blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and whatever else is in Barack Obama. But diversity of thought? There's exactly one socialist, and when it comes to "faith" -- I bet there's not even one who wouldn't profess the greatest of piety. Except Nancy Pelosi, she's a freak. You know -- "San Francisco values." Right, like 66-year-old grandmother of five Nancy Pelosi is some raving, twig-eating Marxist ideologue. If only she were. If we actually had the occasional far left hippie in Congress to balance out all the legion of loonytoons on the far right -- but outside of Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich, there isn't a far left in America. Nancy Pelosi isn't going to try to legalize drugs or socialize hospitals or really tax gasoline or tell the Pentagon to cut its bloated, corrupt budget.
There's no out-of-the-box thinking in this country. If we were really looking for a new direction, we'd not just change Congress, we'd have another Constitutional Convention, as Jefferson suggested we do. Jefferson said: "Let us provide in our Constitution for its revision. . . every 19 or 20 years. . . so that it may be handed on, with periodical repairs, from generation to generation." He himself was saying, "I'm a bright guy, but even I can't foresee the iPod." Or the assault rifle.
But that's Jefferson's phrase: periodical repairs. This thing needs periodical repairs, but it hasn't been in the shop for 219 years. Of course it's belching oil. Literally. And that's because one of the glaring flaws a Constitutional Convention might correct is something called corporate personhood, which means somewhere along the way, stupid or corrupted courts gave corporations all the rights of individuals, with none of the liability. If some person defecates on your lawn, we throw him in jail, but if a corporation does it, they get a tax break. Somehow "we the people" got to be defined as Halliburton. This thing needs to go in the shop!
And I know traditionalists are saying, "But Bill, it's a sacred document!" Please, it's full of crap about pirates, for God's sake. And I don't mean the kind that copies Justin Timberlake CDs. I mean peg legs and parrots. "The founders were so brilliant." Yes, they were: the proof being, the government they designed keeps functioning even with cement-head doofuses like you in it.
Listen to Jefferson -- he was saying, "We're smart guys, we're not Nostradamus." We deal with things today no founding father could have imagined -- the Internet, global warming. Toilet paper, instead of bark. If Ben Franklin got beamed in to visit us today, the first thing he'd say is, "For 17 dollars, I get porn on my TV all day? How can the hotel afford that?" And then he'd say, "You're still using the old Constitution that we told you to revise? That's so nuts hemp must still be legal."
How about this: You can own any gun you want, as long as it works on technology developed before 1787. This is what conservatives call "original intent," you can look it up. By candlelight. If Robert Blake wants to allegedly kill another wife, he has to use a musket. Or burn her at the stake, but who has the time?
And how about getting rid of the Electoral College? We don't have to protect the farmer in his sparse state anymore; let the votes count from where the people are. And besides, the farmer is now a huge corporation called Monsanto.
And most of all, let's take a little re-look-see at what you can be impeached for: starting unnecessary wars, yes; having sex, no. Which leads me, OK, one more request for our Constitutional Convention: Get rid of the 22 d Amendment that says you can't run for president more than twice. That was just hatin'. If a guy can win the popular vote, he should be able to run, or that's not democracy -- and there's somebody you might call Mr. Popular named Bill Clinton, and he should be able to run for president in 2008. It'd be worth it, just to see him debate Hillary.
Bill Maher is host of "Real Time With Bill Maher."
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