December 31, 2012

NYT Op-ed: “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution”

So argues Louis Michael Seidman, who, as is routine with progressives from Woodrow Wilson onward, is gracious enough to keep the parts of the Constitution he likes, but bemoans the very checks and balances that serve to protect individuals from the government, and deny temporary demagogues the power to affect enormous sudden systemic change. He also (predictably) ignores that the Constitution contains an amendment process, a strategic rhetorical bracketing on Seidman’s part, presumably because that process is too slow and cumbersome and doesn’t allow progressives to capitalize immediately on the latest ginned up crisis to savage the framework for our constitutional republic.  You can read the whole thing here if you’d like.  Me, I’m tired of such treachery, disguised as it always is in appeals to “getting things done” and decrying having to answer to dead white propertied slave owners. So I’ll say only this (yet again):  go find a state or set of states with people who agree with you, Mr Seidman, and secede.   Declare your independence from the tyranny of the Constitution.  Declare your independence from our founders and framers, with their dogged insistence on keeping government constrained and the individual empowered.  Declare your independence from independence, and be content that you’ve salved your psychic wounds and political conscience.

It’s been done before, you know, this declaration of independence thing.    And if it’s progressive Utopia you’re after, it’s easier to force such collectivism on the masses if they happen to be those masses who claim to agree with your collectivist, liberal fascist principles.

— Although come to think of it, that’s the real rub, isn’t it?:  were you to succeed in building your post-Constitutional Marxist dream state (may I suggest taking Illinois, California, DC along with you?),  you’d need “masses” to rule over.  You’d need people to herd, to manage, to nudge, to coax, to direct, to molest, to bully, and to dictate to.

And since progressives fancy themselves the de facto ruling class of such a civic paradise, come that glorious day of Utopian freedom from a stable rule of law and the perverse American experiment, they’d be left battling amongst themselves over who now plays the role of subject and who gets to play the role of politburo.

Which, in the end, is why you wish to drag us all into your post-Constitutional fantasies, Mr Seidman:  you need subjects to enslave, to lord over, to control, and because  you and your kind aren’t willing to become slaves yourselves, you’ll need the rest of us to play the serfs.  And the first step to bringing that about is trying to get us to surrender our protections, guaranteed by the Constitution, against would-be tyrants like you.

But here’s the thing:  even were you to succeed in your Marxist coup, after a time, we who cherish our individual liberty and sovereignty would just declare ourselves independent of you, and adopt a Constitution that protects us from the tyranny of those centralized few who presume to rule over us.

And that, too, has been done before.  Just as assuredly as it would be done again.  Only this time without the muskets.

Just something to ponder.

(h/t JD, geoff B)


update:  more here and here.


Glenn Reynolds Keynote – Conference on the Constitutional Convention from Rootstrikers on Vimeo.

update 2: More, from Mike at Cold Fury.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 8:14am

Comments (51)

  1. Seidman might want to take notice of the fact that there are a substantial number of people who have taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and who actually take that oath seriously.

  2. Which, in the end, is why you wish to drag us all into your post-Constitutional fantasies, Mr Seidman: you need subjects to enslave, to lord over, to control

    And because he needs to keep the wild animals as far away from his livestock as possible, which means placing all of us animals under the farmer’s control.

  3. What pointy-heads like Seidman miss is that failure to understand the Constitution on his part (it is, after all, more than 100 years old) coupled with a failure by the political class to adhere to it does not mean that the Constitution itself is a failure. (The fact that he’s an idiot doesn’t much excuse his treachery.)

    That, and “getting things done” is not, per se, a positive or a negative thing. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Charles Manson… History is replete with examples of people like this who “got things done.”

    On the plus side, he has “good intentions.” And we all know what good intentions are good for.

  4. Maurice Bishop’s ghost just emailed me and said:

    “Guys like him are the first to be put against a wall, trust me on this”.

  5. I think our betters have decided it is time to inform us of their actual goals. And hopefully they were just a little ahead of the curve for the subservience of the majority.

    And Jeff, did you decide to get fully engaged again? Because you’re killing it right now. The populace as domesticated animals is thematically brilliant, if not uniquely yours. The goal is fed by inspiring us to repudiate our souls (our faith/moral underpinning.) We are defanged and declawed (gun control), herded into our pens (rapid transit), and used as produce.

    Occasionally, some will be used to create prime breeding stock and shipped to priming grounds (Harvard, Yale, Columbia). But generally we will breed willy-nilly without regard for our offspring which will be raised by the betters after we are finished nursing them to pre-pre-preschool age. And, with the propriety of abortion and single parenthood instilled, we just graze on our government approved meals with our government issued phones digesting our government issued information/news.

    Happy New Year

  6. dale —

    that comparison is McGehee’s. But I had the foresight to let him post here, so I get to share in the glow of his brilliance ;)

    Happy New Year!

  7. Pingback: The truth, at last » Cold Fury

  8. “There’s Federales to put outta our misery!”

  9. Seidman argues to take the shackles off the great machine so that the will of one man can be translated into action, existence, reality, without the hindrance of those seen as lesser. He forgets or ignores that he and his like minded are not the only “wills” out there. There are monsters among us always. Their will is a horror when it is unleashed.

    That this is not only known but has played out in reality and in dramas great and small for thousands of years speaks of his willful ignorance or illiteracy.

  10. As long as the right people are in charge…

  11. Here’s one of his sensible people in an op-ed out of Iowa.

    The thing missing from the debate so far is anger — anger that we live in a society where something like the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre can happen and our main concern is not offending the NRA’s sensibilities.

    That’s obscene. Here, then, is my “madder-than-hell-and-I’m-not-going-to-take-it-anymore” program for ending gun violence in America:

    • Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It’s badly written, confusing and more trouble than it’s worth. It offers an absolute right to gun ownership, but it puts it in the context of the need for a “well-regulated militia.” We don’t make our militia bring their own guns to battles. And surely the Founders couldn’t have envisioned weapons like those used in the Newtown shooting when they guaranteed gun rights. Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right.

    • Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. (I would also raze the organization’s headquarters, clear the rubble and salt the earth, but that’s optional.) Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that “prying the guns from their cold, dead hands” thing works for me.

    • Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control.

    And if that didn’t work, I’d adopt radical measures. None of that is going to happen, of course. But I’ll bet gun sales will rise.

  12. I read the blurb instapundit put up this morning.

    “Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?”

    From a purely practical POV, the first sentence is a show stopper. We’re supposed to believe that any of the current crop of boobs running the show can come to a “considered judgment”….And lord knows, any course of action considered doesn’t really meet the “best for the country” criteria.

    I’d be curious to see if he penned this little brain fart back in 2003 and forgot about it until just now. Yeah, I’m sure that’s how things went.

  13. scratch a liberal, find a fascist.

    Every damn time.

  14. Hey, start the cameras.
    This is “Second Amendment – The Movie.”

    Joker can be John Wayne. I’ll be a bushmaster.
    Animal Mother can be a rabid buffalo.

  15. I don’t want a black box in my car

  16. racist.

  17. If you drive a GM product you already have a black box in your car. It monitors a lot of your driving behavior, including keeping track of how fast you have gone.

  18. Yet another reason that friends don’t let friends drive Chevys.

  19. meanwhile pravda advises

    Americans never give up your guns

  20. No it is about power and a total power over the people. There is a lot of desire to bad mouth the Tsar, particularly by the Communists, who claim he was a tyrant, and yet under him we were armed and under the progressives disarmed. Do not be fooled by a belief that progressives, leftists hate guns. Oh, no, they do not. What they hate is guns in the hands of those who are not marching in lock step of their ideology. They hate guns in the hands of those who think for themselves and do not obey without question. They hate guns in those whom they have slated for a barrel to the back of the ear.

  21. I’ve just gone back and found one of Bill Whittle’s earlier essays on this subject —

    the key ‘graph:

    The Framers, in their wisdom, put the 2nd Amendment there to give teeth to the revolutionary, unheard-of idea that the power rests with We The People. They did not depend on good will or promises. They made sure that when push came to shove, we’d be the ones doing the pushing and shoving, not the folks in Washington. And by the way, gun rights supporters are frequently mocked when they say it deters foreign invasion — after all, come on, grow up, be realistic: Who’s nuts enough to invade America? Exactly. It’s unthinkable. Good. 2nd Amendment Mission 1 accomplished.


  22. failure to understand the Constitution on his part

    Never, EVER give people like him the benefit of the doubt.

    The reason they hate the Constitution is because they DO understand it, and what they understand is that it puts constraints on their Utopian aspirations.

    They have to undermine the legitimacy of the Constitution in the minds of the masses, and a great way to do that is to indulge in florid sophistry, wherein they deliberately “misread” the Constitution and its intent to further their own ends.

    They are not ignorant; they just want something different from what you and I want.

    Never forget that.

  23. Let’s give up on the New York Times.

  24. How come Karl Marx never gets the “dead white slavery dude” treatment?

    Dead, check.
    White, check.
    Responsible for enslaving more of the human race than anyone else in history, check.

  25. I’m going to be a tad more insufferable than usual after reading dale815’s comment and Jeff’s response to it.

    If that’s possible.

  26. Are you sure you’re up to the task?

  27. Is the NYT’s latest fascist-wannabe one of Ezra Klein’s teachers? The pretentious whining sounds all too familiar.

  28. Ezra Klein

    juicebox fascism


    He’s in the phone book. The associated map and address indicates he lives in a posh crib in a “nice” D.C. neighborhood. Obviously a 1%’er, not one of the serfs also shows he was a huge Obama and Kerry supporter in 2004,2008, and 2012

  30. also shows he was a huge Obama and Kerry supporter in 2004, 2008, and 2012


  31. “The associated map and address indicates he lives in a posh crib in a “nice” D.C. neighborhood.”

    Well, yeah. Tenured profs at Georgetown tend to get paid a little better than the guy teaching algebra at East Bumblefuck Community College.

    Try suggesting that they “share the wealth”, though, and see what that gets you.

  32. suggests that the average salary for a full professor at Georgetown is $167,000.

    Given that he’s at the law school where the salaries tend to be considerably higher (same with engineering), he’s a 5%er at a minimum.

  33. he’s a 5%er at a minimum.

    nah non productive member of society looking to steal his way into the ruling class

  34. what eff is a “constitutional law prof” when the prof in question doesn’t care 2 feces about the “constitution”

  35. avant garde po-mo literary turn deconstructionist critic is what

    or intellectual, if you prefer

  36. or intellectual, if you prefer

    if you do alinsky do it on the ” intellectuals”

    such as

    krugman meme generator

  37. that’s what i like about a free peeps: they produce a krugman meme generator.

  38. Po-mo is so 80s.

    The prof needs to get with the times.

  39. Po-Po-Mo?

    C’mon Pretty Mama!

  40. Heh. It does have kind of a ring to it.

  41. And surely the Founders couldn’t have envisioned …

    I think the main thing the Founders didn’t envision was how few people would realize how precious the gift they gave us.

  42. Professor Reynolds seems kind of squishy in that video. I think the Sword of Damacles analogy has worn out it’s usefulness.

    Our leaders in D.C. don’t seem to fear any “potential” action. It’s time to cut the rope and let the States launch some volleys down-range people!

  43. I think Jefferson, Adams and Madison probably knew. Franklin certainly knew:

    [T]here is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.

    Sadly, we’ve reached that tipping point.

  44. Our leaders in D.C. don’t seem to fear any “potential” action.

    OWS should have been a lesson for them. Obviously, it was hatched in the Whitehouse basement, then took on a life of its own and Obama lost control. The moment the terrorism and bombing shit popped up, all the Democrats previously giving tacit support vanished and distanced themselves.

    These clowns think they can control things. They can’t. They can’t even control schemes of their own making.

  45. Po-Po-Mo?

    Excellent name for a brand of dietary fiber supplement.

  46. Excellent name for a brand of dietary fiber supplement.

    Wouldn’t that be Poop-Mo’?

    Whereas Po-Po-Mo sounds like a way to get additional police.

  47. A sort of existentialist Cajun sandwich?

  48. Excellent piece Jeff.

    I’m behind because of this sucky economy, work-thing I do, where my husband and I work holidays, long hours, weekends, etc.

    But Obama can’t go be with his family in Hawaii for the full three weeks, so I guess we’re all suffering.

    Yes, in Obama’s American, we all will be making sacrifices. And by “we”, I mean mostly “us.”

  49. This guy is in tight with Cass Sunstein too. They wrote a book together.

    I’m scanning the Whitehouse visitor logs right now.

  50. rj wrote:

    What pointy-heads like Seidman miss is that failure to understand the Constitution on his part (it is, after all, more than 100 years old) coupled with a failure by the political class to adhere to it does not mean that the Constitution itself is a failure. (The fact that he’s an idiot doesn’t much excuse his treachery.)

    Well put. The fault, dear Americans, lies not in the provisions, but in ourselves. We failed to pull the required guard duty. We were assigned by The Founders with such an obligation and we either slacked-off or took bribes, and the camp was inflitrated by the enemy.

  51. I meant ‘rjacobse wrote’ – apologies.