Day Two of Republican control of the U.S. House of Representatives was highlighted with a reading of the 223-year-old Constitution — the document that formed the American government and guides it to this day.
It’s often a raucous scene on the House floor. Today, it was raucous in the visitors’ gallery, when a woman calling herself “Theresa” disrupted the recitation of the Constitution at the exact point in which a lawmaker read that the president must be a “natural born citizen.”
“Except Obama,” Theresa inserted as her own 28th Amendment to the Constitution and invoking Jesus. It may have been the most prominent performance so far by “birthers,” who claim Barack Obama has no right to be in office because they believe he was born in Africa and not Hawaii.
Republicans staged the reading of the 4,400-word Constitution — not counting the 27 amendments — in part as a gesture to Tea Party activists who helped them win big in the November elections, and in part to cue up Friday’s debate to repeal “Obamacare,” the healthcare reforms Democrats enacted last year.
UPDATE: Elizabeth Wydra, chief counsel at Constitutional Accountability Center, wrote at The Huffington Post that the Republican gesture was actually not the “Tea Party moment” they hoped for because all the original words weren’t read, but rather it involved what she considers an “edited” version with portions such as on slavery omitted.