George Washington on Constitutional powers:
“It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position…"
Barack Obama's view of the Constitution:
From his speech in Philadelphia on Sunday, January 18.
"... It was these ideals that led us to declare independence, and craft our constitution, producing documents that were imperfect but had within them, like our nation itself, the capacity to be made more perfect.
We are here today not simply to pay tribute to our first patriots but to take up the work that they began.
And yet while our problems may be new, what is required to overcome them is not. What is required is the same perseverance and idealism that our founders displayed. What is required is a new declaration of independence not just in our nation, but in our own lives... independence from ideology…
We should not forget we are the heirs of those who declared independence…and who somehow believed that they had the power to make the world anew, that’s the spirit we must reclaim …for the American Revolution did not end when the British guns fell silent…it was never something to be ended on a battlefield, or fulfilled in our founding documents…the American Revolution was and remains an ongoing struggle in the minds and hearts of the people…so starting now, let’s take up in our own lives, the work of perfecting our Union. Let’s build a government…let all of us do our part to rebuild this country , let’s make sure this election is not the end of what we do to change America, but just the beginning.”