For those amongst us who scratch their heads wondering how the
Constitution gets so stretched out of shape, comes the following
bit of history:
"One of the greatest dramas of President Washington’s
first term was the showdown between House of
Representatives leader James Madison and Treasury
secretary Alexander Hamilton over how to interpret the
Constitution of which Madison was the moving spirit,
and which he and Hamilton had defended and explicated
together in The Federalist.
Their argument was about the chartering of a national bank. The
guys who created the Constitution couldn't agree on what it
Full interesting essay on the "constitutional" powers of
government, posted on the City Journal, is here. Interestingly
enough, it is titled On Tyranny and Liberty.