Representative Sheila Jackson Lee once told a staffer that she was a queen. Perhaps that explains her recent confusion when she informed Congress that the US Constitution is over 400 years old.
Actually, as any average 5th grader knows, the Constitution was ratified a few years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The 5th graders may not know the exact dates, but they have a general timeline. And it was not 400 years ago. The Constitution was signed by the delegates on September 17, 1787, at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and was ratified to be the law of the land on June 21, 1788, when New Hampshire became the last necessary state to ratify the document. The principles contained therein find their foundation in history much farther back, but the Constitution itself was adopted in the late 1700s.
While Americans do not expect their Congressional representatives to know exact dates of history, it is reasonable to expect a basic working knowledge of the Constitution and US history from those who seek to establish laws. As reported by The Inquisitr, Speaker of the House John Boehner has stated that “some of the dumbest people in the country have the ability to write budgets, declare war and oversea a massive federal bureaucracy.”
Here are Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s own words:
“Frankly, maybe I should offer a good thanks to the distinguished members of the majority, the Republicans, my chairman and others, for giving us an opportunity to have a deliberative constitutional discussion that reinforces the sanctity of this nation and how well it is that we have lasted some 400 years, operating under a Constitution that clearly defines what is constitutional and what is not.”
We don’t ask for exact dates, Ms. Lee. But could you at least get it down to the correct century? It’s less than three.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee holds a B.A. in political science from Yale University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School. One would expect that a basic understanding of the Constitution would have been a part of that education. However, Constitutional Attorney, author, and speaker Kris Anne Hall says that is not so: “When you go to law school, they don’t teach you the constitution. They teach constitutional law, which is completely different and more dangerous than teaching nothing at all.”
But why should she be expected to know the Constitution? According to The Houston Press, Representative Jackson Lee once yelled at a staffer, “You don’t understand. I am a queen, and I demand to be treated like a queen.” Queens shouldn’t have to be bothered with insignificant details like the age of the Constitution.
Lee’s diva antics are a familiar sight to Washington insiders. At one point, Congresswoman Lee would require staffers to book three different first-class flights at a time each week, and she would choose which one she wanted to actually use at the last minute. Continental Airlines eventually got fed up and reportedly sent her the flight schedule of a competing airline. That was not until after Sheila Jackson Lee yelled at a flight attendant because a seafood meal she had ordered was not on the menu.
And it’s not just early American history that apparently gives the Congresswoman trouble. Jackson Lee struggles with more recent history as well. Once she paid a visit to NASA, in Lee’s home district of Houston. While checking on a taxpayer funded Mars rover, Sheila Jackson Lee asked if it “was gonna go to where the astronauts planted the flag?” Ms. Lee? We haven’t sent astronauts to Mars yet. That would be the moon.
Is it too much to ask that those people elected to make laws that affect our lives and determine the course of our nation at least know the basics of American history? Or will the United States be run into the ground by people like Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, who thinks the Constitution is 400 years old? What do you think?