Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Survivor Contestant : "Only The People Should Amend The Constitution"

Elisabeth Hasselbeck wants you to know that the recent Prop 8 vote in California is particularly special because it "came from the People," and that "Only the People should vote to amend the Constitution."

Um.... No.

If we left it up to The People, Liz, you wouldn't be allowed to vote to begin with. You also wouldn't get equal pay and you'd be sitting in front of Whoopi on the bus ride home.

How about free speech? You want to rail against our new president, Elisabeth? Put Free Speech to a vote on the day after a terrorist attack on American soil and see if The People would tolerate it. I think you'd find that The People aren't exactly reasonable in a time of crisis.

The problem with people like Elisabeth Hasselbeck is that, one, they only like the intervention of judges when it helps them (see "Florida Recount") and, two, they like to endow The People with more wisdom than reality (or the reality show) supports. It's a romantic notion that The People can be trusted to be reasonable, deliberate, and just. The truth is that The People are often anything but (see "Selma march"). The People don't even act in their own best interests when you remove ideology from the equation entirely. Stock market goes up, people get greedy and buy without employing any reason whatsoever (see "Dot-Com Bubble"). It goes down and those same people sell with wild-eyed terror (see "Crash of 2008").

You can't trust that The People are even remotely educated on the issues. Those of you who live in a state that votes on individual laws, think about how much time you spend on those propositions before you vote. Chances are you read a one-paragraph blurb in your sample ballot over a bowl of cereal on Election Day. If that. Are you truly weighing the pros and cons? Have you read the proposal itself, looked at the statutes on the books, heard from those who would be directly affected? Of course not. That's why we have a congress that holds hearings and why we have courts who listen to both sides of the issue. If you can't cook and you want a good meal you go to a great restaurant. If you don't know how to legislate you vote for people who do.

No, it's not perfect and it's not always going to work out the way you like. Welcome to the club. But to entrust a decision to the masses that would deprive any individual of basic human rights is worse than "legislating from the bench," it's legislating from a park bench.