More Intellectually Empty Arguments

I seem to find a lot of really good ones on the right these days. Take this, from a reader of Andrew’s blog defending the electoral college:

 it’s worth reminding that nowhere in the Constitution is there a guarantee of the right of an individual citizen to cast a ballot for the office of president in the first place.

Fair enough, but there are a lot of rights guaranteed today by the Constitution and judicial understanding of the document that were never included in the original. The right of anyone other than a white, property owning male to vote on anything for example. Or guaranteed equal protection under the law, any of the rights contained in the Bill of Rights (depending on how literally you take “original document,” or even something so basic as the right not to be a slave laborer. The fact that the original Constitution isn’t in any way an argument against undoing or restricting any of those rights. If anything, it’s an argument for severely limiting “original intent” in our determinations about public policy today. The founders enshrined and protected slavery in the original Constitution. You can explain that in a plethora of ways, but the fact remains. And that alone should remind us how far away we are socially and culturally from late 18th century America.