Secession, Not Convention, Offers Salvation

Ilana Mercer, January 31, 2014

The healthiest and most intuitive response to deep-seated, irreconcilable unhappiness —political or personal—is not to hold a constitutional convention, Mark Levin, but to leave; to exit the abusive relationship.

It is indeed inexplicable how the famous broadcaster trashes secession but, at the same time, looks to the states for salvation.

To reclaim the republic, Levin and his listeners hold out hope for the atrophied states and their unexercised role in the amendment process, as stipulated in Article V of the Constitution. Never mind that the states, contrary to the mistaken predictions and hopes of the Constitution makers, have never initiated a constitutional amendment; and never mind that even in the event that the states demand a constitutional convention, there is no mechanism to compel Congress to act.

The great constitutional scholar James McClellan was no “neo-confederate.” Yet even an ardent defender of the Constitution as was McClellan conceded that, sadly, “the Framers relied on the good faith of Congress for the observance of the requirement” and that, when it came to a constitutional convention, “there was no way to force Congress to act.” (“Liberty, Order, And Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government,” p. 310.)

Ultimately, the legislatures of two-thirds of the states have to unite to call on Congress to hold a national constitutional convention for the purpose of amending the dead-letter Constitution. Levin and his listeners are deluded if they think that the states, which are hardly bastions of freedom, will unite for this purpose; salvation is more likely to come from dissolving dysfunctional political bonds.

Still, what a force for liberty Levin would be were he a libertarian. Alas, in one of his magnificent rants against the regime, the radio mouth wanted to know why no Democrat had protested Obama’s overweening ways. This is not quite true.

As this column has pointed out, the late, great, Democratic Senator Robert Byrd was driven to distraction by Big Man Obama and said as much. Byrd, RIP, was “a stern constitutional scholar who always stood up for the legislative branch in its role in checking the power of the White House.” This old Southern gentleman, whom Republicans continually berate for his past indiscretions, warned about Obama’s executive-branch power grab and the extra-constitutional creation of a number of new White-House fiefdoms: on health reform, urban affairs policy, energy and climate change, on and on.

In 2009, “Sen. Byrd issued this warning regarding the procedural shenanigans the Democrats tried to deploy to pass the healthscare bill”:

“I oppose using the budget reconciliation process to pass health care reform and climate change legislation…. As one of the authors of the reconciliation process, I can tell you that the ironclad parliamentary procedures it authorizes were never intended for this purpose.” The frail senator had taken to the floor of the United States Senate on October 14, 2009, “to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and voice his concerns over the possibility of a major increase in U.S. forces into Afghanistan”: “General McChrystal, our current military commander in Afghanistan, has requested 30,000-40,000 additional American troops to bolster the more than 65,000 American troops already there. I am not clear as to his reasons and I have many, many questions. What does General McChrystal actually aim to achieve?” “So I am compelled to ask: does it really, really take 100,000 U.S. troops to find Osama bin Laden?”

Magnificent too has been liberal constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who has protested the emergence of the Über-Presidency in the person of Barack Obama.

Then there is WND columnist Nat Hentoff. I know not whether he is a Democrat, but Hentoff has long been considered liberal and now labels himself a libertarian. He has accused Obama of “an unprecedented abuse of powers,” calling him the “most un-American president in the nation’s history.”

… The journalist said he doesn’t think any other president has acted so lawlessly as a matter of habit. “So, if this isn’t a reason for at least the start of an independent investigation that would lead to impeachment, what is?” Hentoff is baffled that Obama should escape such scrutiny when former President Bill Clinton faced impeachment just for being “a lousy liar.” A big part of the problem, the journalist believes, is what he calls the utter ignorance of a huge portion of the population, which is not outraged at losing its basic right to be self-governing. Obama “doesn’t give a damn, because he can get away with whatever he wants.”

And that’s why Hentoff surmised—and Levin would indubitably agree—that this was the worst state the country has ever been in: “Even worse than Woodrow Wilson’s regime, when people could be arrested for speaking German.”

WND, American Daily Herald & 
January 31

CATEGORIES: Barack Obama, Constitution, Federalism, Libertarianism, Liberty, Neoconservatism, Political Philosophy, Republicans, Secession, States' Rights