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The Sheer Stupidity of Originalism

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What I love about originalism and its claim to being historically accurate is that it is extremely not historically accurate. The history is just complete made up bullshit. No one knows this more than the historians of the American Revolution and Early Republic who spend their lives studying this stuff. The great historian Jack Rakove, who knows more about the Constitution than Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito ever will, notes of course that the entire discussion of the Second Amendment is completely ahistorical. Rakove, incidentally, is the author of Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution, among other critically important books. So he knows of what he speaks.

Part of me would respect the “originalists” more if they just admitted they were making up a version of the past that fit their current politics. There is simply no possible way to interpret the Second Amendment in the way that Republicans do that has any connection to actual history at all. But they are really addicted to their bullshit and the media eats it up, so why not.

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