Jim,

Thanks for your comments — let me make one quick correction: there was a significant typo in the paragraph about Senate acquittal, and I’ve fixed that. I do not believe the Senate will acquit, and I regret the typo, particularly since I am an editor.

With respect to your notes about the Preamble. Your history of the Preamble is correct, and I don’t dispute your reference to the prior state of the Confederation, and the Preamble’s “more perfect” clause reinforcing the notion that the new Constitution would bind the previously loose and “less perfect” confederation into a more coherent or “more perfect” union.

But the Framers did not say “a perfect union,” which they could have. They chose “more perfect” in the pragmatic sense, I think, knowing that perfection implies an end point…a completion. And that is not what the Constitution is…it is not a completed document; it is in flux and, as you note, it is probably not recognizable to the Framers should they show up. We can argue this point, I suppose, but I chose, in my article, to take the more pragmatic approach and give “a more perfect union” life beyond the Confederation, seeing the phrase as a clause of hope for continuation and improvement.

As for McConnell and his Republican majority, I do think they have much to fear from the Constitution. Having worked on Capitol Hill, in both the House and the Senate for 15 years — for members and committees of both parties — I have experienced Congress when it meant something greater than the edifice of the Dome and the membership of both Houses. I was there during Watergate, and I knew many of the key players, and, almost to a man or woman, they respected the Constitution and, most importantly, they respected each other. By the time I left federal service, with another 20 years in the Executive Branch, in senior staff positions under four presidents, respect for the Constitution and all it represents barely registered as important to the Republican party, while most of the Democrats I knew were seeing signs of things to come.

Again, thank you for your critique and helpful comments; and thank you for reading the article to begin with.

J

Journalist, former Capitol Hill staff (House and Senate), former Cabinet speechwriter, editor, photojournalist and bird photographer. Top Writer Quora 2016–2017

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