In a CPAC conference full of fascinating moments, from the 13-year-old wunderkind to the guy still questioning Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve as president, Rush Limbaugh’s keynote address is the one receiving the most attention. Drudge acolyte Andrew Breitbart believes it “could have altered the election,” conservative opinionator Hugh Hewitt predicts it “will be talked about for years and even decades,” and so on. And, of course, it’s receiving equally passionate scorn on the other side. But one thing is certain: If you’re going to claim that Obama is “bastardizing” the Constitution, you should at least quote the Constitution correctly yourself.
We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. [Applause] We believe that the preamble to the Constitution contains an inarguable truth that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life. [Applause] Liberty, Freedom. [Applause] And the pursuit of happiness. [Applause] Those of you watching at home may wonder why this is being applauded. We conservatives think all three are under assault. [Applause] Thank you. Thank you.
The problem is that all that stuff about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (but not freedom, probably because that’s a lot like liberty) is in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. Hey, no biggie. It can be tough to keep all two of those reverential documents organized in your head. That’s why our teacher played us this Schoolhouse Rock song in fifth grade. It was pretty straightforward after that.