In the comments to Saturday’s QotD, reader Crotalus left this:
Come to think of it, our Constitution is a restraining order as well, and those in power treat it the same way that common criminals treat standard restraining orders.
I hadn’t really thought about it in just that way before, but he’s right. The purpose of a constitution in a Constitutional Republic is as a restraint on the powers of government, and since power corrupts and attracts the corrupt, pretty much all it takes is time and entropy for those restraints to be overcome, bypassed, and finally ignored. Now we have 545 people who each swear an oath to uphold and defend that piece of paper before they assume their offices, and by all appearances well over half either haven’t read it, or are deliberate liars. Or both.
And I’m not sure about the rest of them.