Friday, December 5, 2008

Revisionism Set in Marble

A constitutional scholar says the new Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC, is an extremely biased and historically inaccurate exhibit that "twists and distorts" the Constitution.

The new $621 million Capitol Visitor Center features an exhibition hall that is dominated by a very large marble wall called "The Wall of Aspirations." Dr. Matthew Spalding of The Heritage Foundation says the exhibit is not about the Constitution's limits on powers delegated to the government, but instead lists aspirations such as unity, freedom, common defense, knowledge, exploration, and general welfare, and then points back to where they are found in the Constitution.

"The job of Congress, according to the exhibit, is to achieve these aspirations. So the old notion that says Article 1, Section 8 [of the Constitution] lists the powers that Congress has -- these are the things that Congress can do. [But] that old notion is set aside," he contends. "In its place we have this kind of open-ended 'aspirations' which Congress is going to define and achieve. And to get there, they do very selective quoting and...mangle many phrases in the Constitution to get them where they want to go."

By "general welfare," I'm sure they mean in the form of checks and public-subsidized housing projects.

Maybe they'll add multiculturalism, secularism, and non-Caucasianism to the list of congressional aspirations. Wouldn't that be nice?

This is my favorite part:

The underground 580,000-square-foot Visitor Center, which opened to the public this week, was completed three years behind schedule and almost $360 million over budget. It is approximately two-thirds the size of the entire Capitol itself.

Now that's bureaucratic efficiency in action!

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