Leftoids and Progressives have suddenly discovered a great deal of interest in the Founders, especially their writings and correspondence. This can only be encouraging to any well-meaning person. The picture one gets, of hosts of busy reporters, academics, and political staffers digging through the musty pages of the founding documents of our bizarre system is heartening.

Of course it isn’t “hosts”. What you have is a few Yglesiases and similarly-minded folk doing keyword searches through thomas.org and a few other places, looking for ways to slap down the “Reich-wingers”. When they find something that appears to serve the purpose, whether or not the context of the piece thus discovered supports their agenda, they put it out on the leftoid grapevine and whatever -list is the current means of coordination, and within minutes it’s all over the pages of the WaPo and NYT (“editorial pages” is redundant) and popping up in the articles at HuffPo, Kos, and FDL, and in comments everywhere across the Internet.

Of course the people doing the articles and comments have no idea what lies behind what they’re presenting; they just go oh kewl, this’ll piss off the wingnutz and reach for the copy-and-paste function. I haven’t seen much of the signature of the dishonest quote-user, the well-placed ellipsis, but then I don’t have that material memorized; if your goal is misrepresentation it’s better to just leave the stuff that contradicts your thesis out altogether, without leaving any telltale marks of the excision, and most of it’s obscure enough that such tactics have a high probability of success, since few will dig up the source(s) and compare to the “quote”.

Never mind. A few will hunt down the originals, and anything that brings the thoughts of the Founders more to the forefront of modern-day “debate” is all right by me. A few of the less brain-dead Proggs will actually learn something, and that’s a consummation devoutly to be fished for.

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