Truth to tell, Washington has become the universal Mecca of human freaks. To that city protagonists of vagaries gravitate by all known routes, some by election, some by appointment, and some by "divine command." The great majority, however, merely follow noses that itch for the business of others. There they bed and breed. They haunt the corridors of the public buildings, crowd into the offices of congressmen, and insist upon displaying their fantastic and sometimes loathsome wares. Consumed by passion for experimentation, they regard the public corpus as a legitimate subject for ceaseless exploratory operations and clinical vivisection."The Pestilence of Fanaticism." By United States Senator James A. Reed, The American Mercury, May, 1925.
To this array of freaks, the Constitution is not a bulwark of liberty but a shackle upon progress which they hold in contemptuous disregard. Congress itself is full of men who do not think of the Constitution save as an obstacle to their desires. They study it only to devise some plan for its circumvention. There is no subterfuge they will not employ, no deceit to which they will not resort, if peradventure the limitations imposed by the Constitution may be cheated.
A favorite device is, by a false recital of the real objects of a bill, to bring it apparently under some specific power granted to the federal government.
The Mann Act which, pretending to be an exercise of authority to regulate commerce between the States, in fact sought to regulate commerce between the sexes.
14 August 2011
A Congress of freaks.
The view from 1925: