Magazine January 23, 2012, Issue

The Constitution and the Coot

Ron Paul debates in 2011. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)
In which we chat with Paulista at the end of the bar

It should be some kind of requirement, according to constitutional scholar Adam Freedman, that every presidential election have a candidate who represents the Constitution.

The “constitutional candidate” wouldn’t have a prayer of winning, of course — the best way to win the presidency, we’ve learned, is to promise to do all sorts of extra-constitutional things, to toss the text and all of its tiresome restrictions and counterweights aside in an orgy of promises and giveaways — but it would be useful, and instructive, to have someone up there on the dais to act as a kind of constitutional ombudsman. Someone tiresome …

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