The banal thing was that reading the text of the Constitution doesn't get you to the answers to the difficult questions that arise today. The text must be interpreted, and political preferences will tend to pull people along toward the interpretation they want.
Don Surber says (via Instapundit):
Ezra Klein made the biggest mistake that can be made by a liberal — progressive — socialist — communist — no labelist — whatever the heck they call themselves on the 31st of the month.Now, Klein walked right into that criticism. He stated the banality with an off-handed, wise-guy flippancy. That was red meat for the kind of conservative who likes to stress the constitutional text.
He was being honest.
He does not believe in the Constitution.
He is cynical about it and he projects that same cynicism onto those who disagree with him.
And now we see the value of this notion of reading the text out loud on the House floor. It sets up a trap for people like Klein to say things that let conservatives — like Don Surber — rail against the lefties.
Does that mean that I, like Klein, think reading the Constitution on the floor of the House is a "gimmick"?
In marketing language, a gimmick is a unique or quirky special feature that makes something "stand out"... [T]he special feature is typically thought to be of little relevance or use.... [A] gimmick is a special feature for the sake of having a special feature. It began... as a slang term for something that a con artist or magician had his assistant manipulate to make appearances different from reality.In the musical "Gypsy," the experienced strippers advise young Gypsy Rose Lee that she has to get a gimmick:
I wouldn't use the word "gimmick" for what the GOP has proposed. But, like stripping, it is theatrical. It's a performance. A performance of belief. I think of the point in the church service when everyone reads the Apostles' Creed out loud. Obviously, many people say it who don't believe it, and you could keep silent and still believe it. But don't mock the ritual unless you're good at predicting the reaction and how you'll respond to that and you have some good reason for wanting the exchange.
Back to Surber:
For 8 years, the Left’s railed against Bush shredding the Constitution, a phrase which came to mean nothing....See how much Surber is like Klein? He's accusing the other side of saying the words, but not really believing. But Surber has done better at picking his fight. He's got he hypocrisy angle: All those times you lefties acted all aghast at what Bush was doing? You must admit that was all theater, right?