And not until the mid-20th century, long after adoption of the 14th Amendment, did the Supreme Court discover a constitutional ban on Jim Crow laws, as a result of a long campaign by civil rights activists. Lawyers like Thurgood Marshall successfully crafted legal arguments that turned a vision of equality into a constitutional right, but if the arguments were forged in law school, the vision was not.
So even if I took seriously the Republicans' party allegiance to the Constitution, even if I believed the party valued all the liberties lost in the war on terror, or the freedom of and from religion, or limits on executive power when Republicans as well as Democrats are in the White House, I'd still offer only two cheers for the Congressional reading of the Constitution. It's not a cookbook -- at least, not simply a cook book, obviously. It's a combination of objective dictates -- president may serve only two electoral terms, each state elects two senators, or Congress has the power to declare war (some indisputable dictates are still open to abuse) -- and subjective value statements, like prohibitions on cruel and unusual punishment or unreasonable warrant-less searches.
How do you craft a consistent, intellectually honest, originalist approach to language like this? How do you reach consensus on the meaning of cruelty, reasonableness, or due process? You don't. Justice Scalia, for example, doubts that the Constitution bars the execution of an innocent person wrongly convicted of homicide. I like to think that a lot of Americans, even those who consider themselves constitutional loyalists, would disagree. When the Constitution was drafted in the late 18th century, capital punishment was still applied to some property and sexual offenses. But I also like to think that most Americans, including most judges, would consider executions of people for offenses like burglary or buggery cruel, unusual, and unconstitutional. Liberty may end up in the Constitution, but it doesn't really begin there.