Conservative claim new Capitol visitor center misrepresents American historyBreaking News
The new $621 billion Capitol Visitor Center features an exhibition hall that is dominated by a very large marble wall called "The Wall of Aspirations." Dr. Matthew Spalding of The Heritage Foundation says the exhibit is not about the Constitution's limits on powers delegated to the government, but instead lists aspirations such as unity, freedom, common defense, knowledge, exploration, and general welfare, and then points back to where they are found in the Constitution.
Spalding, director of the Simon Center for American Studies at Heritage, notes those words all appear in the Constitution, but argues they were taken out of context and used to justify much larger activities by Congress.
"The job of Congress, according to the exhibit, is to achieve these aspirations. So the old notion that says Article 1, Section 8 [of the Constitution] lists the powers that Congress has -- these are the things that Congress can do. [But] that old notion is set aside," he contends. "In its place we have this kind of open-ended 'aspirations' which Congress is going to define and achieve. And to get there, they do very selective quoting and...mangle many phrases in the Constitution to get them where they want to go."
The new Visitor Center project was overseen by the Capitol Preservation Commission, which mostly consists of elected officials like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Spalding says it is unclear who actually designed the exhibit and wrote the text for it, but he is advising people with complaints about the Visitor Center to contact the Architect of the Capitol, the officer charged with upkeep of the Center and its programs.
comments powered by Disqus
John Edward Philips - 12/7/2008
But the major purposes of the Constitution, as laid out in the Preamble, are very different from the powers of the Congress, as enumerated later in the document. The patent and copyright clause also includes a purpose. I don't see how mentioning such purposes inherently contradicts the limits set on federal government powers. The Constitution did set up a Federal government, it didn't limit a preexisting Federal government.
John R. Maass - 12/5/2008
The new center cost $621 million, not billion.
- How Clinton Could Respond on Supreme Court Vacancy
- Trump and Clinton Way Ahead in South Carolina
- McConnell Says Senate Will Wait to Replace Scalia
- Antonin Scalia Is Dead
- Clinton Says Sanders Would Be Threat to Obama Legacy
- Internal Tracker Shows Trump Leading in South Carolina
- How the Primaries are Rigged Against Sanders
- Carson Sees Fundraising Resurgence
- Trump Has GOP Mega Donors Frozen
- Quote of the Day
- Top GOP Candidates Haven’t Released Tax Returns
- Trump Attack Ads Finally Begin
- Super PACs Gear Up for Clinton
- Cruz App Mines Data from Your Phone
- Trump Way Ahead in South Carolina
- Ben Carson used an apparently fake Joseph Stalin quote — and the Internet loved it
- Rubio exaggerates in saying it's been 80 years since a 'lame duck' made a Supreme Court nomination
- Humans Hard-Wired to Teach, Anthropologist Says
- Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month
- Maryland is once again considering retiring its state song
- Historian at the center of Sanders-Clinton debate
- James Loewen Says Additional Baltimore Confederate Statues Should be Removed
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- A historian’s advice to students thinking of getting a PhD in a tough economic climate
- German historian Heinz Richter cleared of charges