Conservatism

My C-SPAN Interview with Charles Kesler, Author of "The Crisis of the Two Constitutions"

I interviewed him on Book TV about his new book.

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I recently interviewed prominent conservative political theorist Charles Kesler for C-SPAN Book TV, on his interesting new book The Crisis of the Two Constitutions: The Rise, Decline, and Recovery of American Greatness. The video is available here.

I tried to strike a balance between giving Kesler a chance to expound on the arguments of the book, and raising  questions about  points where I have reservations. To me, the most interesting part may be the exchange at roughly 20:00-31:00, where it becomes clear that Kesler's rationale for why we have to follow the original meaning of the Constitution is that it got unanimous consent. But he also eventually seems to concede that no such thing ever actually happened (e.g.—groups such as Loyalists and slaves either refused to consent or had no meaningful opportunity to do so). Even the members of the Constitutional Convention did not all consent to it, as three refused to sign (most notably, George Mason). My own rationale for originalism does not rely on consent theory.

I have discussed the issue of consent theory and its relationship to political legitimacy in greater detail in other work, such as in Chapter 1 of my recent book Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom. C-SPAN has aired a video of a virtual talk I gave about the book at Harvard Law School.

At other points in the C-SPAN interview, I try to draw Kesler out on the extent to which he actually rejects the institutions and innovations established by advocates of what he calls the "progressive Constitution." It turns out he may accept a lot more of them than we might initially expect.

In the last few minutes, we discussed Kesler's views on whether there is an identitarian trend on the political right. In the book he is highly critical of left-wing "identity politics," but also notes some troubling similar developments on the right. That part of the interview also delves into Kesler's assessment of Donald Trump (which seems more critical after the January 6 insurrection and Trump's role in it). Nonetheless, my take on Trump and his movement remains far more negative than Kesler.  I should emphasize, however, that only a small part of the book focuses on Trump, and that part was written before the 2020 election.

Though I differ on many points, the book is an interesting and often insightful take on constitutional history and theory. The video touches on several of Kesler's key ideas. Enjoy!

NEXT: Thoughtcrime at Georgetown? "It Is ... Wrong for Faculty to Be Thinking -- Not Just Speaking -- ..."

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  1. If the Trump Capitol protest was an ‘insurrection’ and ‘coup’ why isn’t every protest that damages/threatens government property an insurrection or coup including the BLM protests that attacked government buildings? I mean this stuff happens far worse regularly in foreign countries yet its almost always referred to as simply a protest.

    1. Wow. It’s pretty much a reflex with you, it seems. One aside critical of Trump that really doesn’t have anything to do with the main point of the post, but it still demands a strident response.

    2. Because Amos, we are living in a very dangerous reincarnation of the German Wiemar Republic — dangerous because nuclear weapons didn’t exist in the 1930s…

      There ISN’T a balanced perspective now, and when the bleep hits the fan, there won’t be a call for a balanced perspective then, either. So there’s bodies floating down the river — fine, they probably “deserved” it…

      The left can’t comprehend the concept of someone other than them holding power — and that’s both stupid and scary…

      1. it is not the left, but the Trumpist right, that is going out of the way to keep its opponents from voting.

        It was not the left that tried to violently overturn a Presidential election.

        So fuck off.

        1. Welcome to California, America, a permanent one party state run by cheaters. Next stop? Venezuela, America.

      2. Like in Germany we have a large far left cultural marxist movement that is attacking the bedrock of America. Unlike Germany America won’t turn to a socialist nationalist as a response. More likely more and more States will just nullify Federal “woke” law to preserve liberty.

        1. Like in Weimar Germany we have anti-semites making up nonsensical phrases like “cultural marxism.”

          1. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a good definition of “cultural Marxism.” Listening to those who use the term, I’ve come to the conclusion is generally means anything the speaker disapproves of.

            1. I’d give you my definition, but then David Nieporent will call me an antisemite…

              1. Oh, go for it. What’s your definition?

    3. The BLM protests did not attempt to violently to overrule a legal, legitimate, election and install the loser as President.

      Clear enough?

      Probably not, but it should be.

      1. The BLM protests didn’t admit the election had enough legitimacy to be worth overruling. They didn’t care who won, they figured they were entitled to get their way or torch everything, regardless.

        1. WTF? This is bizarre, even for you.

          Surely they cared who won.

          1. There is not much evidence of that. Did the riots out west stop after Biden was elected?

            1. The reporting stopped, which is probably close enough so far as Bernard is concerned.

              1. The reporting stopped before the election at about the time a lot of people in the middle were getting fed up and possible voting for Trump.

        2. BLM attacked people and burned down homes and businesses. They are a violent insurrection.

          Worse than BLM? The DOJ federal attorney. Their draconian consent decrees with police departments resulted in surges of murders of black young males. Now, police only answer 911 calls. They take the report and file it. Period. Democrat constituents are now on their own as far as crime is concerned.

          1. Daivd, I think there is some low hanging fruit relative to your truth-o-meter score: Just use appropriate qualifiers more, and absolute, categorical assertions less.

            Done correctly, this could greatly increase the factual accuracy of your writing. It would still be quite low, but it would be greatly increased.

            1. That kind of lacks zing if you don’t bother identifying anything that’s not true. Though I’ll concede that he could have acknowledged the police are still operating in places the left doesn’t control.

          2. That’s obviously more a fantasy than anything else, but it’s a fantasy that suggests that BLM are essentially correct, and the police are not fit for purpose.

            1. Or perhaps the politicians controlling them aren’t.

              1. Or your comments aren’t.

        3. The BLM protests were focused on the police, for a start. Are any of you even vaguely interested in things that actually happen and why? Or is it all Dr Suess to you?

      2. The capitol protests ‘attacked’/were let in , a government building hoping to undo some aspect of an elected government, resulting in an apocalypse genocide nuclear ultra mega holocaust of 1 nonprotestor death from murky cause/intentions.

        Blm attacked government buildings hoping to undo some aspect of an elected government resulting in orders of magnitude more destruction and deaths some clearly deliberate.

        Forgive me for not seeing how the second is much more minor.

        1. No. I won’t forgive you.

          You’re an insurrectionist idiot.

          1. And for playing along with the shameless, opportunistic cheapening of the word “insurrectionist,” you’re just an idiot.

            1. Trying to violently overthrow a legal election and install your guy instead is an insurrection.

    4. If the Trump Capitol protest was an ‘insurrection’ and ‘coup’ why isn’t every protest that damages/threatens government property an insurrection or coup

      Because “every protest that damages/threatens government property” isn’t an attempt to overthrow the government and install another one. This has been yet another episode of Simple Answers to Stupid Questions.

      1. Okay I’ll bite. What hard evidence can you provide that the capitol protestors were trying to ‘overthrow’ the government anymore than other antigovernment protests worldwide that attack and damage government forces and property and leftist protests that damage government forces and property? Did they bring significantly more military hardware? Any rightwing generals behind the scenes moving in organized armored units? An force armed with machine guns? Anything to that effect? What is the significant quantitative difference other than more people died in leftwing ‘protests’?

        Anyone can just blather out any idiotic statement like ‘OMG they’re trying to overthrow the government’ now back it up.

        1. The best case scenario there was just that, the EC votes being challenged, they’d actually have to address the claims of election irregularities. I expect Biden would still have ended up President anyway, but it might have resulted in some things being examined the Democrats (And GOP establishment.) would prefer stay buried.

          1. Oh fuck off, Brett.

            That wasn’t what they’re after and you know it. And you also know there was nothing to “address.”

            Not after 50-80 lawsuits and various recounts, etc.

            The fact is that the Trumpists are impervious to fact and evidence – just look at these threads – and won’t accept anything that shows their Dear Leader didn’t win.

            It’s despicable, as are people who tell these kinds of lies.

            Trump lost. Legitimately. Stop the madness.

          2. Brett, there were no irregularities.

            You’re misinterpretation of the PA court case has been explained to you many many times.

            Is this obtuseness your best bet at navigating between being a voter fraud nut and not admitting the warnings about Trump and his supporters could have been onto something?

            1. Of course there were irregularities. Multiple cases where the courts and executive changed rules established by the legislatures.

              You can’t seriously be claiming the 2020 election was run entirely by the books, no changes at all. You just mean that you didn’t object to the changes, or how they were accomplished.

              1. That’s the regular process. That’s how our separation of powers has been set up and is supposed to work.

                1. No, the executive deciding it doesn’t have to follow the legislature’s laws, and the courts giving them a permission slip to do it, is precisely NOT how separation of powers is set up.

                  It’s how separation of powers dies.

                2. No – this is completely untrue. You aren’t a lawyer, but have had lawyers explain this to you many times.

                  As applied challenges are a thing that exist. And they do act like a an exception to a generally constitutional rule.

              2. The Capitol invaders did not ‘think’ there were some irregularities, they ‘knew’ Trump had won.

                1. Well, yeah, they were morons. And the guys pitching Molotov cocktails at federal courthouses aren’t any geniuses, either. Every political movement has its share of morons.

                  I don’t think Trump won, but there absolutely were some aspects of how that election was run that stink.

                  1. I get that you need to distance yourself from people you consider morons while still joining in the undermining of the legitimacy of the election, but there weren’t.

        2. It was their stated intention to prevent the newly-elected president from taking power. It really is as simple as that.

    5. It’s amazing to watch the right deal with things solely and exclusively through exercises in creating equivalences. That the unrest around BLM and the Capitol invasion might require seperate analysis and lead to different conclusions and have different implications is not so much an irrelevance to them as it is something to be avoided and opposed at all costs.

  2. In the book he is highly critical of left-wing “identity politics,” but also notes some troubling similar developments on the right.

    Mighty generous of him.

    The right is at least as much embroiled in identity politics as the left, and historically identity politics has been an important aspect of American conservatism.

    1. And the right only cares about identity politics when minorities benefit.

    2. Which side brings up race, gender, and orientation up 10x more and has institutes, specialists, and holidays dedicated to these topics?

      1. Women’s history month go you in a twist, does it?

        1. Anything to avoid actually engaging with the point, right?

          1. Brett, it’s a silly point. If there weren’t a history of discrimination against women and minorities, these “institutes, specialists and holidays” would never have happened. Those things arose in response to real, vicious, soul destroying prejudice that women and minorities faced.

            I grew up in the South in the 1950s. I remember when a black man risked being badly beaten or worse for doing anything that displeased a white man. I remember when women were systematically excluded from the economy. In those days, the help wanted section of the newspaper classified ads was divided into sections for “Jobs for White Men”, “Jobs for White Women”, “Jobs for Negro Men” and “Jobs for Negro Women”. Any guesses about what jobs in general fit which categories?

            Those things are what caused the civil rights movement, not rent seeking Democrats. Without actual racism there would be no race hucksters (and yes, there are race hucksters). And it’s also true that in the 1950s. the Southern racists were all Democrats, but you know what? As soon as the Democratic Party became the party of racial equality, they all started voting Republican.

            1. I mean, it’s great that you have a clear memory of things that were happening over half a century ago, but none of this can justify present day discrimination.

              I agree these things caused the civil rights movement, which was subsequently taken over by rent seeking Democrats and race hucksters. And then gave up on actual legal equality in favor of preferences.

              “but you know what? As soon as the Democratic Party became the party of racial equality, they all started voting Republican.”

              You know what? That’s a myth. The Southern Democrats continued to reliably vote Democratic, they never switched parties in any great numbers. They just died out, and their children became Republicans.

              Of the 21 Senate Democrats who voted against the 1964 Civil Rights act, only one, Strom Thurmond, changed parties. The rest remained Democrats to the day they died. And it was fully 30 years later that the South turned Republican, a generation later.

              It’s also false because the Democratic party never became “the party of racial equality”. They became the party of racial preferences. They remained the party of racial discrimination, and just exchanged client races.

              1. Is there any doubt in your mind that if George Wallace, James Allen, Herman Talmadge, James Eastland, John Stennis, Ernest Hollings, and those other segregationists came back from the dead, that today they would all be voting Republican? Yes, their children and grandchildren were the ones who formally made the switch, but the apple does not fall far from the tree.

                And sometimes the only way you get equality is by giving preferences to those who who had equality stolen from them. Your position basically boils down to the beneficiaries of the theft can keep it because they weren’t the ones who actually stole it. Sorry, but if I steal you car and give it to someone else, he doesn’t get to keep it just because he’s not the one who actually stole it.

                1. If you’re a racist with an anti-black, pro-white orientation, and you’re faced with a choice between two parties, one of which champions strict legal equality of the races, and the other champions legal inequality that favors blacks, sure. You’re going to pick the party less hostile to your position. Equality is better than being the underdog.

                  So, your fictional hypothetical isn’t unreasonable, though it doesn’t prove what you think. David Duke likes the ACLU better than he does BLM, so the ACLU is racist? Is that reasoning you want to endorse?

                  Does Louis Farrakhan or Rashida Tlaib being Democrats make the Democratic party racist? I would say, no, but it seems you’re committed to saying yes.

                  “And sometimes the only way you get equality is by giving preferences to those who who had equality stolen from them.”

                  You’d give preferences to people who only look like the long dead victims, at the expense of people who only look like the long dead oppressors, without caring whether either is actually implicated in the wrong you’re claiming to redress. Because the only thing that matters is the color of their skin, not their actual life histories. That pretty categorically identifies you as a racist.

                  1. ‘You’d give preferences to people who only look like the long dead victims, at the expense of people who only look like the long dead oppressors’

                    Even your most self-aggrandising self-image is of you in a massive sulk because the concerns and experiences of white people aren’t treated as universal.

                  2. Louis Farrakhan and Rashida Tlaib are not the Democratic Party’s base; overt racists seem more and more to be the GOP’s base.

                    And your claims about strict legal equality of the races essentially come down to this: Sure stuff was stolen from blacks, but since I’m not the one who stole it, I get to keep it. That’s not the way it works. That’s the argument of a thief who wants to hold on to his ill gotten gains.

                    1. There are no “blacks”, there are no “whites”, there are people, each with their own life story, and entitled to be treated on their own merits.

                      You’d treat people as interchangeable instances of their race, to be benefited or have costs imposed upon them for no better reason than that they look sort of like some long dead victim or victimizer. The only thing you see is race, not individuals.

                      That is fundamentally racist, there’s no way around it.

                    2. Actually, I’m not entirely convinced race exists, except as a social construct. However, people who did believe race exists used it to steal from people whose skin had more melanin than their own, and their descendants are still holding the ill gotten gains. It’s not racist to say that the descendants of those who were stolen from might like it back, unless you also think the Nazis are entitled to the artwork they stole from the Jews during the Second World War, just because the people who actually did it are all dead.

                      So admit it. You just think it’s peachy-fine for you to continue to benefit from what was taken from other people. Which makes you at bare minimum a recipient of stolen property.

                    3. Brett, the thing is that in the past people did think like there were whites and there were blacks, not that there were people.

                      That alone would be enough to at least think about race being a factor in making policy.

                      But if you read any of the the threads about blacks on this website, you can see people think a lot about genetic intelligence and IQ om a way that is very much not thinking on the individual level. In fact, you’re part of that group.

                      You cannot use individualism as a shield and then IQ-based attacks on affirmative action as a sword. Or you can, but then it rather looks like you have a pretty ugly agenda.

                    4. So, when has affirmative action actually bothered to get beyond skin color, and actually look at whether the people bearing the costs, or receiving the benefits, had an actual historical connection to the wrongs in question?

                      Not that American law permits corruption of the blood, anyway.

                      Look, I was born in a free state, of people who moved to this country after the Civil war, from other countries where slavery was illegal. Are you imagining some fictional world where I got my start inheriting my parents’ cotton plantation, which had been in the family since the 1800’s?

                      Nope, sorry, no slave plantations in Canada, and while the tenant farmers in Ireland were closer to slaves than is comfortable, my Irish ancestors were on the wrong end of that injustice for your reasoning.

                      I would like to introduce you to the concept of “sunk costs”. The British owe me nothing for starving my ancestors out of Ireland, and I owe the blacks I never did anything to even less, were that possible.

                    5. “You cannot use individualism as a shield and then IQ-based attacks on affirmative action as a sword.”

                      And what have I said about IQ and race?

                      That there are statistical differences, and they make a hash of disparate impact claims, because disparate impact is unavoidable where groups aren’t similarly situated.

                      But statistical differences tell you absolutely nothing about individuals, and are only of use in evaluating statistical claims such as ‘disparate impact’. The moment you’re dealing with individual people, you need to treat them as individuals.

                      Ooh, I feel so guilty about that position, how can I live with myself?

                    6. You didn’t shoot George Floyd, either, but as a taxpayer you foot the bill for the police murdering him, and other people. But if you keep opposing systemic changes you’re just going to keep getting stupidly large bills for avoidable things. Prop up systemic racism, win stupid prizes.

                    7. That’s not what sunk costs are, Brett. The concept has nothing to do with debts.

                      But you are into the Bell Curve, as I recall. So don’t pretend you’re into radical individualism.

                      Though as I noted above, once you acknowledge that we screwed groups based on skin color until the recent past, it’s hard to argue that the solution to any issues caused thereby must be based on individualism.

                    8. It’s not corruption of blood; it’s collateral consequences.

                    9. “What you mean “we”, kemo sabe?” I didn’t screw over anybody based on race, so don’t try pulling that “let’s you and him admit your guilt” crap on me, and try to stick me with a debt some long dead guy incurred.

                      It is precisely because other, dead people, screwed over groups by engaging in non-individualist thinking, that we must reject collective guilt and entitlement, and treat people as the individuals they are, to keep from perpetuating that wrong.

                      It’s the only way to break that cycle. The only way to end racism, is to refuse to discriminate on the basis of race. And that includes refusing to pay metaphorical debts you only ‘owe’ because of your skin color.

                    10. Brett feeling personally victimised because other people were and are subjected to racism is very on-brand.

          2. No, I know Amos and his issues with women, enough to see “holidays dedicated to these topics” for what it is.

            As for AA’s point, well, it’s just a repeat of this old chestnut:
            https://img.fireden.net/co/image/1499/18/1499189475523.png

      2. What’s intrinsically wrong with discussing, exploring and studying these topis? Why can’t the right do it without having conniptions?

    3. ‘The right is at least as much’

      The elected Trump, a walking, weeping sore of narcissitic greivance and threatened privelege. The left never did nothing like that.

  3. “To me, the most interesting part may be the exchange at roughly 20:00-31:00, where it becomes clear that Kesler’s rationale for why we have to follow the original meaning of the Constitution is that it got unanimous consent.”

    The reason we need to follow the original meaning of the Constitution is that that’s the only meaning it actually has.

    Anything else is just inventing a meaning somebody likes better than that meaning, substituting it for the Constitution, and then demanding that people obey that, instead, because you’re going to pretend that’s what it means.

    1. Brett, just curious: if there were a constitutional provision requiring that we all jump off a cliff, would it be your position that we all need to jump off a cliff?

      1. No, it would be my position that we needed to amend the Constitution.

        It’s my position that, if the Constitution means something that’s a bad idea, we should amend the Constitution, instead of lying about what it means.

        Lying about the Constitution’s meaning doesn’t give you a constitution that means something different: It gives you a constitution that still means the same old thing, but is being administered by liars.

        Do you think that, if you staff the government with liars, they’ll only tell good lies?

        Do you think nobody will notice that they’re lying?

        1. But until the Constitution is amended, we would need to continue jumping off cliffs?

          Not seeing it your way is not lying.

          1. Absolutely.

            “Jump off cliffs” is just a way of saying, “Do something I disapprove of, but evidently can’t get enough people to agree with me about to change.”

            So, you want to claim that it’s objectively so awful, (But you can’t persuade enough people of that!) that you’re entitled to bypass all the safeguards in the amendment process that are there to ensure unpopular changes aren’t imposed on us.

            But it’s just an excuse to bypass those safeguards, because you haven’t persuaded enough people that your changes are actually necessary.

            1. If “enough people” were a reasonable number, I might take your point. But given the almost impossible hurdle of amending the Constitution, you shouldn’t be surprised that fewer and fewer people are taking it seriously as a means to change. You can’t both tell us that amending is the only acceptable process and then make it nearly impossible to amend.

              1. Yeah, amending the Constitution IS going to be ‘almost impossible’ once you set out to make changes that aren’t popular.

                Has Article V been changed since the 1970’s? The 26th amendment only took 100 days to ratify.

                The only thing that’s changed since then is that Congress stopped originating amendments that the public supported. The ERA ground to a halt a few states short, and Congress never bothered sending another amendment to the states.

                Why? Nothing in Article V changed.

                All that happened is that Congress no longer wanted popular amendments, and with a cooperative Supreme court, didn’t need the states’ permission for the changes they DID want.

                Should we get a constitutional convention, you will see that the states are still capable of ratifying popular amendments.

                1. By “popular” you mean 2/3 of each house of Congress and 3/5 of the states. That’s a hell of a lot of popularity to require. Especially given that under our current system, conservatives have far more influence in Congress and the states than their numbers would indicate they should have; giving Wyoming the power to cancel California in the Senate will do that. So it’s not just that an amendment has to be popular; it has to be overwhelmingly popular with conservatives.

                  I suppose I could take your affirmative action argument and turn it around: “I” never agreed to require 2/3 of each house of Congress and 3/5 of the states, so why should “I” be bound by a contract I never agreed to? See how that works.

                  1. I’ve explained this point before, but I guess it’s time for my canned lecture on the nature of supermajorities.

                    Let’s say that you have a policy which has 51% of the public favoring it, but that 51% are uniformly distributed across the country. Every legislator will find that 51% of their constituents support it, and it will quite easily garner a supermajority of legislators, in a supermajority of states.

                    Alternatively, suppose you have a policy that has 100% support in 30 states, and 0% support in 20. It will never get a supermajority out of both chambers of Congress, and would have no hope of being ratified if it did, even though it could easily have the support of most of the population.

                    Supermajority requirements at the level of groups isn’t a requirement that a supermajority of the population support something. It’s a requirement that such support as there is be widely distributed. A perfectly reasonable requirement for alterations to the terms of a federation.

                    So, we could imagine a constitutional amendment stating that no federal taxes would be collected on people living coastal states. It would easily win support of a large majority of the population, but could never be ratified.

                    Is that so wrong?

                    1. Yes, it’s so wrong, because it ignores the bottom line that sparse distribution counts for more than actual popular support.

                      Suppose we had a situation in which 26 states had one percent of the US population each, meaning that 26% of the population gets to elect a majority of the Senate. And suppose those populations were monolithically of one political party, and the remaining 74% of the population were of the other political party. Your distribution argument means nothing more, in practice, that 1/4 of the country gets to make all the decisions over the objections of the other 3/4. It doesn’t really matter that you call it distribution; the point still is that power is held by those who are completely out of touch with where the country actually is.

                      And I think Congress should reflect where the country actually is. Is that so wrong?

                    2. The bottom line here, is that we have a constitution written for a federation of sovereign states, and you want it to be treated as a constitution for a unitary nation.

                      Sorry, you want that, get a new constitution adopted, that’s not the one that actually got written and ratified.

                      And then we can see if the existing states actually want to become part of such a nation. I expect not.

                    3. Except that hardly anyone other than legal theorists considers us to still be a union of sovereign states. Today, we are a union of sovereign states in the same way that Betty Windsor rules England: As a figurehead. These days, states can’t even set their own drinking age.

                    4. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I like the example of the British monarchy. Parliament never actually passed a statute declaring the monarch to be a figurehead, and no monarch ever signed such a statute into law. Gradually over time, the monarchy shifted from being absolute monarchs to being figureheads, not through any formal process, but rather because it reflected the reality and needs of a changing Britain.

                      Which is pretty much what’s happening with your view of the Constitution. Sure, there are a few monarchists who huff and puff about the Queen should fire the prime minister or veto this or that piece of legislation, none of which is ever actually going to happen. Just as there are Brett Belmores who huff and puff about the Constitution as originally written and intended. Both have about as much influence as a litter of kittens mewing in a cardboard box while waiting to be given away at Petsmart.

                    5. Apologies for misspelling your name; that was typing too fast rather than an intentional slight.

                    6. No apology needed, I’d never have noticed if you hadn’t pointed it out. (The more numerous branch spells it, “Bellemore”, btw, so my branch has already dropped a letter.)

                      The difference is that England doesn’t HAVE a constitution. Or rather, its government is constituted by a collection of statutes and traditions. The traditions can change because they’re not written down in binding, explicit form, and the statutes can be changed as normal legislation.

                      Nobody is taking a fixed text, and just interpreting it to mean something it doesn’t say, in order to bypass procedural rules for altering the text.

                      The problem here is that we have a constitution, anybody who wants to can read it, and ‘changing’ the meaning without changing the words causes the government’s ‘meaning’ to keep diverging from the plain meaning of the text, in a sort of random walk.

                      Now, you’re not bothered by this, because you like the direction of the changes. But why should anybody who doesn’t like the direction things are changing accord any legitimacy to bypassing Article V?

                    7. Actually, England does have an unwritten Constitution, and a high court that interprets it. That aside, our Constitution was written for an 18th century country that hasn’t existed since at least the Civil War. It no longer meets our needs. So of course it’s being ignored. You can’t seriously expect people to keep doing stuff that’s no longer working out for them.

                      And even if my side were the one being given disproportionate congressional representation and an electoral college advantage, there is such a thing as basic fairness. The current system is like having a super bowl in which one team starts off with a free touchdown. If you’re the team getting the free touchdown, you like the rule, but it’s hard to make the case that it’s a fair rule. Now suppose the rule book also said that the free touchdown rule can only be changed with the consent of the team that’s getting the free touchdown. Do you really not see how hollow would be the claims of “If you don’t like the rule, change it”?

    2. And that meaning, and how it is to be applied to all possible circumstances, is just crystal-clear. Is that right, Brett.

      I guess it is for the Bellmore Constitution, but for the actual US Constitution not so much.

      1. Often enough it is. You may start shading the truth in marginal cases, but as you get comfortable with it, you move on to bald faced lies.

        You’ll transform the interstate commerce clause into a grant of general regulatory authority. Consider it a close case whether Congress can conduct business without a quorum, or whether a Senate bill “originates in the House” if they give it an “HR” number.

        Once you think it’s OK to lie about the Constitution if it commands you to ‘jump off a bridge’, everything you don’t like will look to you like ‘jumping off a bridge’, and you’ll get so comfortable with lying that you won’t even notice that you’re doing it anymore.

        1. You’ll transform the interstate commerce clause into a grant of general regulatory authority.

          Just to address one of your hobbyhorses, I happen to think Wickard was correctly decided.

          Now you think otherwise, but so what? I’m not lying. I’m not part of a conspiracy to undermine the government. So maybe it’s not as clear as you imagine.

          I know it’s difficult for you to accept, but sometimes the who disagree with you do so in good faith, not as part of a plot against all that is Good and True.

          1. That’s just what a lying member of the conspiracy would say!

            Cultural Marxism.

            Men’s butts.

            1. What is cultural Marxism, anyway? Wearing Che shirts? I’ve never been clear about it.

    3. The articles of confederation were working pretty well…too bad Jefferson was in France..I’m sure the document would be much much better for liberty

  4. And when bolshevik teacher unions invaded the WI State house to stop a vote it was “democracy in action” right?

    It wasn’t an insurrection as much as the beginnings of an insurgency. Misdirected by an idiot (Trump) but as 75M Americans or more feel they are occupied today by far left bolshevik media and an ever growing authoritarian public sector elite those they are already a bit unbalanced will seek some sort of public demonstration to be heard. Personally the foundering fathers would have said to shoot the rioters and they have a point to stop the mob…there needs to be a healthy separation between emotions and elected officials.

    My fear is the left using the media will continue to attack (Bill of Rights is their target) rural and other Americans as a way to find a domestic “boogie man” to consolidate power..that is the real threat not a bunch of morons who protested in the so called “peoples house.”

    1. Titus, why should anyone take seriously the claims of someone who thinks teachers unions are bolsheviks?

      1. Setting aside the inflammatory labels, it’s a fair point, no?

        1. Not really. Bolshevism wants to nationalize the means of production, and I haven’t heard any teachers union advocate that. There may be individual bolsheviks within teachers’ unions. It may be that there are specific issues on which teachers unions and bolshevism would agree (though I suspect there are far fewer of them than you do.) But when they come out in favor of nationalizing the means of production, get back to me.

  5. As a wise LOC Historian one wrote, law that is whatever you want it to be can never be law, only fiction.

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