When Franklin Delano Roosevelt first proposed legislation that authorized the secretary of agriculture to engage in Soviet-style central planning -- a program so rigid that it regulated how much wheat a homeowner could grow for his own family's consumption -- he rejected arguments of unconstitutionality. He proclaimed that the Constitution was "quaint" and written in the "horse and buggy era," and predicted the public and the courts would agree with him.
Remember that FDR had taken -- and either Mr. Obama or Mr. McCain will soon take -- the oath to uphold that old-fashioned document, the one from which all presidential powers come.
Unfortunately, these presidential attitudes about the Constitution are par for the course. Beginning with John Adams, and proceeding to Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and George W. Bush, Congress has enacted and the president has signed laws that criminalized political speech, suspended habeas corpus, compelled support for war, forbade freedom of contract, allowed the government to spy on Americans without a search warrant, and used taxpayer dollars to shore up failing private banks.
All of this legislation -- merely tips of an unconstitutional Big Government iceberg -- is so obviously in conflict with the plain words of the Constitution that one wonders how Congress gets away with it.