Ann Coulter
There have been rumblings among some social conservatives -- none too quietly by Gary Bauer on the op-ed page of The New York Times -- about George Bush and Dick Cheney selling out conservative values on the issues of gay marriage and abortion. I am second to none in my right-wing lunacy, but Bush and Cheney were right and the disgruntled are wrong.

Bauer complained that Bush gave a "lackluster defense of the sanctity of life," and that Cheney "surrender(ed) on the defense of traditional marriage." He claims that the Republican ticket has forsaken the "fundamental questions that most define the differences between the two parties."

But gay marriage and abortion aren't the "fundamental questions" defining the two parties. These are merely symptoms of the real fundamental difference between the two parties, which is: We believe in the Constitution and they don't.

The whole point of the Constitution -- written by men much smarter than we are -- was to prevent the likes of William Brennan, Harry Blackmun, Franklin Roosevelt or Gary Bauer from attaining too much power. (To be fair to Gary, these braking mechanisms only seem to work with conservatives.) Our Constitution is the most brilliantly freedom-promoting document ever conceived in the minds of men. So it would be really cool if people (like presidents, Supreme Court justices and Gary Bauer) would read it.

Liberals don't read it, and certainly have no intention of living under it. They say it "grows" and, surprisingly enough, the Constitution always seems to "grow" in ways they like. It never grows a right to school vouchers or a right to bear machine guns or a right to free champagne for blondes. It just keeps growing rights like the right to stick a fork in a baby's head, and the right to discriminate against disfavored racial groups, especially white men.

But back briefly to the real Constitution, the one composed of words and not "penumbras" -- the Constitution nowhere grants the president, Congress or the Supreme Court authority either to ban or to require abortion. It grants no one in the federal government the right to ban or require gay marriage. It doesn't say anything at all about abortion or gay marriage -- or lots of other things, many of them big and important (like free champagne for blondes).