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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Creeping out from under their rocks

The advocates of unlimited government are beginning to sense that their long-sought victory over the concept of limited government is finally within sight:
As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions...

it is hard to take seriously the claim by the Constitution’s defenders that we would be reduced to a Hobbesian state of nature if we asserted our freedom from this ancient text. Our sometimes flagrant disregard of the Constitution has not produced chaos or totalitarianism; on the contrary, it has helped us to grow and prosper.

This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands. Freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important, whether or not they are in the Constitution. We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation. 
Make no mistake, getting rid of the Constitution has always been the penultimate goal of the Left.  Everything they have done, from expanding the franchise to women and younger voters to changing the demographic makeup of the electorate and buying off the elderly, has been with this object in mind.  Unlimited government is the goal, and even though the Constitution is mostly honored in its breach these days, it is still a reminder that the real America, the historical America, is a nation of laws and not men.

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198 Comments:

Anonymous The Great Martini January 06, 2013 10:00 AM  

I'm assuming you mean to include George W and the neocons in the category of The Left. He's the one who referred to it as just "a damn piece of paper" after all.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 06, 2013 10:08 AM  

We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation.

You cannot trust a man to treat his employees with dignity, so you must legislate. You cannot trust a man to love his wife properly, so you must legislate. You cannot trust a man to raise his children aright, so you must legislate. You cannot trust a man to treat his neighbors with courtesy and justice, so you must legislate.

But you can trust the legislators to respect your rights. They have only your best interests at heart. Would they lie to you?

...And they resist me, only because I am more straightforward in my intentions. The irony of it all.

Anonymous Guy Fawks January 06, 2013 10:08 AM  

But it is the right-wing who are the real threat...the right-wing corporations and christofascists!!!

Guys like OWS, Chomsky and Al Gore want to give you REAL freedom... the Left only promises quality of life.... why do you resist?

Anonymous The Great Martini January 06, 2013 10:16 AM  

Both the right and left interpret the Constitution sympathetically to their ends. Nobody has either a stake in destroying or preserving it outside of gaming it to their advantage. If you really think the left wants to destroy the Constitution, just consider the ACLU. If you really think the right wants to destroy the Constitution, just consider the NRA. Everyone wants to make it their own.

Anonymous Dr. Peter Lankton January 06, 2013 10:16 AM  

Oh well no need to worry about any of those pesky gun or tax laws after the con-stitution is discarded.

I say we give the man his due and get rid of it...it's hardly used now anyway.

Blogger James Dixon January 06, 2013 10:16 AM  

> I'm assuming you mean to include George W and the neocons in the category of The Left.

It's always easy to tell a newcomer to these parts.

Anonymous Bastiat January 06, 2013 10:22 AM  

"As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos... our... flagrant disregard of the Constitution has... helped us to grow and prosper."

Can't even remember the intro sentence when nearing the end of the article and grasping at straws. Or just defending the Fed against the unconstitutionality of it come hell or high water.

Anonymous Anonymous January 06, 2013 10:23 AM  

ACLU was and is communist front group...useful idiot

Anonymous zen0 January 06, 2013 10:25 AM  

It's always easy to tell a newcomer to these parts. @ James Dixon

GM is not that new, just refuses to learn anything, even if it is stated in plain language. If he was educable, he would not have anything to say.

Anonymous Kickass January 06, 2013 10:28 AM  

OT according to Drudge the flu vaccine is a wash. Not only does it not include the current strain that is at "epidemic" proportions but those who are getting the flu includes those who are vaccinated.

The constant push for the flu vaccine is weird......

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben January 06, 2013 10:41 AM  

I wasn't aware that the Constitution is around anymore anyways.
It really gets old with these types of people, with their insistence that only if they were in power everything would be great.

I agree with his point about getting rid of the Constitution. Replace it with the Articles of Confederation. Of course, that's not what this intellectual means. He wants the ring of power.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler January 06, 2013 10:46 AM  

As the author of that article, the Jew Seidman, stated, Franklin D. Roosevelt didn't care nor obey the Constitution nor did the Democratic Congress that followed him!

The Constitution is dead. It died a long time ago. We are living in a Marxist Culture under Marxist Government, run by the Marxist Democratic Party.

Siedman is a Jew. Jews are Marxists. Marxism is Jewish Ideology. Why dumb Americans allow Jews free reign in this country when they have no intention of following "European customs or culture"!

You people are stupid. This "melting pot" of America has failed. It is all a Lie! America IS a Lie! Your precious "Freedom of the Press" undid this Masonic Enlightenment country!

In book II of Aristotle's Nico. Ethics, Aristotle writes:

"This view is supported by what happens in city-states. Legislators make their citizens good by habituation; this is the intention of every legislator, and those who do not carry it out fail of their object. This is what makes the difference between a good constitution and a bad one."

What does that say about the American Constitution? That it is NOT Good!

But what is Aristotle noting? Is he not talking about a real, historical reality? Yes he is!

Anonymous Godfrey January 06, 2013 10:47 AM  

Totalitarian government is the goal. The State is literally their God. Like the Nazis and the Bolsheviks, they’re political fanatics.

The obvious failure of their policies is irrelevant. To them, The State is infallible. Their solution to EVERYTHING is to give their filthy bitch-god, The State, more power.

Anonymous Tad January 06, 2013 10:59 AM  

@Vox Day

"Unlimited government" may be the goal of some, but it certainly isn't the goal of Professor Seidman. And I suspect you know that because you aren't an idiot. You are however a polemicist willing to ascribe goals and ideas to people who do not hold them for the sake of advancing your argument. (That practice, by the way, can be described in much uglier ways than simply, "polemicist")

Professor Seidman is somewhat renowned for taking the sketchy interpretive approach of "Critical Legal Theory" and turning it on its head and against legal scholars who use this trendy/leftist approach to constitutional understanding by arguing that judicial review is not the undemocratic idea the "Criticals" say it is, but rather recognizing that the history of Judicial Review provides both sides in political debates that rise to the Supreme Court the knowledge and understanding that the debate is never fully over, but merely evolving.

Furthermore, "Our Dear Seidman", as the professor is often referred to, agrees with many who comment here that interpretation of the Constitution by both right wing and left wing judges is almost always based on their politics. It was on this ground that he opposed Sotomayors' nomination to the SCOTUS because she tried to make the case that she merely "applies the law".

Bottom line, Vox Day: You shouldn't try to ascribe motive to people you do not know, do not understand, nor when you have no idea of what you speak. Why? Because inevitably there will be people around who do know the people you speak of, who do understand the topic you are trying to address, and do know you are winging it.


Anonymous Mr. Pea January 06, 2013 11:03 AM  

Replace it with the Articles of Confederation.

Because then it would be obeyed!

Anonymous Hoss January 06, 2013 11:03 AM  

I read the article and was anxiously awaiting for examples of how our "sometimes flagrant disregard of the Constitution has helped us... to grow and prosper." Nothing. That article was the equivalent of a blog troll flame-throwing.

Anonymous The other skeptic January 06, 2013 11:08 AM  

Since some people will leak inconvenient reports why can't they leak the more interesting ones?

Anonymous zen0 January 06, 2013 11:10 AM  

That article was the equivalent of a blog troll flame-throwing. @ Hoss

I was about to point that out. You were a faster gun, and more succinct.

The other thing to note is that he is trying to sell a book, so it is also a type of pop-up ad.

All for a little bit of money.

Anonymous Tad January 06, 2013 11:11 AM  

@Winston

Siedman is a Jew. Jews are Marxists. Marxism is Jewish Ideology. Why dumb Americans allow Jews free reign in this country when they have no intention of following "European customs or culture"!

Every Jew is a Marxist? Some Jews? Just a few Jews? Just want to be clear what kind of idiot you are?

Anonymous DD January 06, 2013 11:13 AM  

Freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important, whether or not they are in the Constitution. (emphasis added)

Just "important", not obligatory... meaning that they could be superseded at any given time if something more important should happen to crop up.

Blogger Jim, January 06, 2013 11:14 AM  

Tad,
What does Dear Seidman say about States' power relevant to the three branches of the Federal Govt? He does seem to take a few pot shots at POTUS and SCOTUS that indicate he may be in favor of limiting their power, but neglects to say anything about the States.

Anonymous Anonymous January 06, 2013 11:14 AM  

Mr. Tad is 100% correct. As stated in the source, Our Dear Seidman would LIMIT the government in the correct places. For example, the government would be limited in banning public gay sex in front of school children, for example. Or limited in repealing entitlements, or limited in repealing existing gun controls. So you can see, Our Dear Lawyer really does support limited government.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben January 06, 2013 11:14 AM  

Good point, Mr. Pea. Replace it with nothing!

Anonymous The other skeptic January 06, 2013 11:14 AM  


Bottom line, Vox Day: You shouldn't try to ascribe motive to people you do not know, do not understand, nor when you have no idea of what you speak. Why? Because inevitably there will be people around who do know the people you speak of, who do understand the topic you are trying to address, and do know you are winging it.


I have a theory, which is mine, that those who pretend to be heavyweights only bestir themselves in blogs they think are important.

Blogger A January 06, 2013 11:19 AM  

It is in my opinion that the constitution went away after Marbury v. Madison, when judicial review was birthed and the supreme court usurped the power of the legislator and executive. There has always been the Federalist mentality in American governance, I just think the Federalists have ultimately won because it takes a lot of diligence to uphold the philosophy of liberty.

Anonymous Tad January 06, 2013 11:20 AM  

Jim,

The proper and usual way to derisively refer to Professor Siedman is "OUR Dear Seidman".

I can't cite the professor's view on the issue. However, I'm quite sure that given the opportunity he'd point out that the 1787 compromise known as the Senate (or bicameralism) was not only undemocratic, continues to be undemocratic, but also based on a fear of large-state domination that is no longer in existence today and would not be in existence even in a unicameral regime.

Anonymous The other skeptic January 06, 2013 11:27 AM  

Just as these competing unions shed some light on ObamaCare, it is likely that competing interests despise different parts of the constitution.

Anonymous Tad January 06, 2013 11:29 AM  

@A

It is in my opinion that the constitution went away after Marbury v. Madison, when judicial review was birthed and the supreme court usurped the power of the legislator and executive. There has always been the Federalist mentality in American governance, I just think the Federalists have ultimately won because it takes a lot of diligence to uphold the philosophy of liberty.

Judicial Review had a very long history prior to Marbury. In fact, there is every indication that it did not need to be explained in the constitution because it was a given. Many states as well as many well established legal commentaries on which the colonial era founders relied accepted judicial review as a matter of fact.

Anonymous Tad January 06, 2013 11:31 AM  

@Skeptic

I have a theory, which is mine, that those who pretend to be heavyweights only bestir themselves in blogs they think are important.

I tend to agree with you in the main, which is exactly why I thought it a good idea to call out Vox Day as a heavyweight poser.

Anonymous VD January 06, 2013 11:36 AM  

Bottom line, Vox Day: You shouldn't try to ascribe motive to people you do not know, do not understand, nor when you have no idea of what you speak.

This is very amusing, coming from the very same individual who has repeatedly insisted that I only post about my soon-to-be predecessor in the SFWA due to my jealousy of him.

Furthermore, whether he realizes it or not, your dear Seidman clearly supports unlimited government. If you disagree, I am curious to know what limitation on government he supports, since he is opposed to the idea that the Constitution can, or should, limit it?

Saying "we should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation" is not indicative of genuine support for limited government. If he recommended getting rid of all rape laws, then said rapists should not rape women out of respect, not obligation, would you similarly conclude that he supported limited rape?

Blogger Jim, January 06, 2013 11:36 AM  

OK thanks, Tad. But if you are so familiar with him, I am surprised that you don't know his views on this..is that because he has not written extensively on this? You accuse VD above of not doing his due diligence with Seidman, but then you take a guess at what Seidman's views are on States power..what gives?

Anonymous Roundtine January 06, 2013 11:37 AM  

Ultimate wuwei move: make your opponent secede. If they don't want the Constitution, they are free to secede from the Union.

Anonymous JartStar January 06, 2013 11:42 AM  

Tad,

Should we have a constitution at all? Or is it just our constitution is "outdated"?

I would say that our two party system has turned out to be completely broken.

Anonymous Shutup, Tad January 06, 2013 11:43 AM  

Oh, good. Tad's here.

Shutup, Tad.

Anonymous CJ January 06, 2013 11:44 AM  

Just another dummy who wants to cut down all the laws to get at the devil.

Anonymous Weak January 06, 2013 11:44 AM  

Maybe Seidman is right. Maybe we need a Law to Remedy the Distress of the People to enhance freedom from the shackles of the obsolete Constitution. Couple that law with the Sandy Hook Shooting Decree and we'll be ready to go. Forward!

Anonymous VD January 06, 2013 11:49 AM  

I tend to agree with you in the main, which is exactly why I thought it a good idea to call out Vox Day as a heavyweight poser.

And in what manner, precisely, do you claim I am striking a pose, Tad?

Anonymous Kickass January 06, 2013 11:49 AM  

That was awesome. Tad just burned himself.

Anonymous Roundtine January 06, 2013 11:49 AM  

This is why major legal reforms will be the platform of any reactionary movement. The laws will be simplified, clarified, and the reasonable man standard will be back. 90% of non-business attorneys will be out of work.

Anonymous Dan in Tx (popping the popcorn) January 06, 2013 11:56 AM  

Looking for Tad to ask for the definition of a word we all know the meaning of or to try and divert the subject to another topic in 5....4...3...2...1....

Anonymous DD January 06, 2013 11:57 AM  

I can't cite the professor's view on the issue. However, I'm quite sure that given the opportunity he'd point out that the 1787 compromise known as the Senate (or bicameralism) was not only undemocratic, continues to be undemocratic, but also based on a fear of large-state domination that is no longer in existence today and would not be in existence even in a unicameral regime.

LMAO, one might almost think the Founding Fathers detested democracy and deliberately created not a democracy but a republic.

Which is exactly what Tad, Seidman, and other evil Leftists are determined to dismantle.

Anonymous DD January 06, 2013 11:59 AM  

Does Tad even know that the word "democracy" is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution or even the Declaration of Independence?

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 11:59 AM  

This phenomenon we are seeing now in the twilight of our country was pegged by Robert Welch, Founder of the John Birch Society, a long time ago. He described the actions of Obama, Feinstein, Seidman et al. as "running naked to the finish line". All pretense dropped, the masks come off, and the knives come out. They aren't worried about appearances or fooling everyone. They are brazen and open about their goal. Seidman is merely a mouthpiece.

Anonymous Cryan Ryan January 06, 2013 12:00 PM  

"Every Jew is a Marxist? Some Jews? Just a few Jews? Just want to be clear what kind of idiot you are?"

How about... a significant number?

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 12:02 PM  

"Every Jew is a Marxist? Some Jews? Just a few Jews? Just want to be clear what kind of idiot you are?"

How about... a significant number?


American jews, yes I would say most of them are. But then again, most Americans are marxists and don't know it.

Anonymous zen0 January 06, 2013 12:04 PM  

Wouldn't abandoning the Constitution aid secession? Do the United States exist if the Constitution does not?

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 12:06 PM  

Tad's a marxist, so Cryan Ryan's assessment is gaining credence.

When my father became one of the JBS' chief writers and speakers, he was just about disowned by his large family of New York Jews. They are all gone now, since they had more important things to do than get married and have kids.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 12:07 PM  

Do the United States exist if the Constitution does not?

Tad thinks so. Tad thinks the US sprang fully formed from the Big Bang.

Anonymous Shutup, Tad January 06, 2013 12:10 PM  

@ Tad

Just want to be clear what kind of idiot you are?

So, you inadvertently expose your very successful strategy.

For your own good, and the good of children of all races and creeds:

Shutup, Tad

Anonymous The other skeptic January 06, 2013 12:25 PM  

Meanwhile, Steve Sailer helps African American say what they really think:


While whites are busy getting offended on our behalf, they miss completely why we are going to see this film. It's a bIack man kiIIings white people in masses. I will pay to see that every time.

I've seen this film 3 times so far and am going again Saturday night. It's an awesome movie.


Diversity is strength?

Anonymous rubberducky January 06, 2013 12:33 PM  

Tad, the title of Siedman's artile is, "Let's give up on the Constitution", and the content of it is not satire. He concludes, "we ought to try extricating ourselves from constitutional bondage so that we can give real freedom a chance." He argues that constitutional law is a very negative thing, using terms like "bondage", "addiction", "shackles of obligation", etc.

Now, Mr. Siedman is a constitutional law professor and theorist of some renown, and here he is using his position to undermine and to subvert the relevance and the tradtions of his very field of endeavor. He is, in a word, a Gramscian. Rarely do we see a clearer example of academic engaged openly in a subversive Long March.

That you can't or won't see this, Tad, and instead proclaim the asyemmetric con that this scholar is actually a limited government man, indicates one of two possibilities:

1) You're blind
2) You're in on the con

Anonymous Tad January 06, 2013 12:37 PM  

@Jartstar

Should we have a constitution at all? Or is it just our constitution is "outdated"?

YES, to a constitution. Yes, to it being outdated.

Anonymous Anonymous January 06, 2013 12:42 PM  

Hmmmm overthrowing the constitution...grabbing guns...lists of gun owners compiled....

Sounds like Tad and his cronies have quite the agenda planned! Good news is Tad is a total pussy,so it is just the same pink salon wackoff chatter we've heard for almost a century.....

Anonymous The other skeptic January 06, 2013 12:42 PM  

Meanwhile, children are dying of complications from the flu

Maybe we should outlaw the flu, or pass a law to force everyone to get flu vaccines. I am sure big pharma would love such a law.

And by the way, 18 children are dead! Do something!

Anonymous The other skeptic January 06, 2013 12:43 PM  

Who said President for Life was unthinkable?

Anonymous Tad January 06, 2013 12:45 PM  

@Vox Day


And in what manner, precisely, do you claim I am striking a pose, Tad?


Your inappropriate characterization of Professor Seidman to make an absurd point that "getting rid of the constitution is the penultimate goal of the left". Not only is this claim absurd, but you ascribe this goal to Professor Seidman without offering any evidence to that effect. You attempt to speak authoritatively, when not only do you not possess any authority on this issue, but you get it wrong and I suspect you know you are wrong. Further, you fail to note that Professor Seidman in fact does not want to get rid of the constitution and makes pains in the very editorial you cite to make that point.

Taking portions of an argument to make your point without making the honest effort to fully express the commentators full expression of his argument for the sake of making your own point is the sign of a poser in my book.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 12:51 PM  

Tad, you f**king moron, I mean, traitor, how does an article entitled "Let's give up on the Constitution" not mean "let's get rid of the constitution?

Someone very wise said a long time ago "You can trust the Communists to do exactly what they say".

Anonymous VD January 06, 2013 12:55 PM  

Your inappropriate characterization of Professor Seidman to make an absurd point that "getting rid of the constitution is the penultimate goal of the left".

That is a claim. You can claim it is wrong. You can even claim that it is dishonest. You cannot reasonably claim that it is a pose.

Taking portions of an argument to make your point without making the honest effort to fully express the commentators full expression of his argument for the sake of making your own point is the sign of a poser in my book.

Then you declare yourself to be a poser. Fortunately for you, that does not make one a poser.

Now, please answer the previous questions as well as a new one:

1. Did Seidman declare there was no obligation to follow freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property?

2. What limitation on government does Seidman support and by what mechanism does he suggest limiting it?

3. If Seidman recommended legalizing rape and getting rid of all sexual assault laws, then said rapists should not rape women out of respect, would you similarly conclude that he supported limiting the occurrence of rape?

Anonymous The other skeptic January 06, 2013 12:59 PM  

I see that VD has already made my point, but what he heck:

... protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important, whether or not they are in the Constitution. We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation.


And how should we achieve these? Passing laws does little good when the government and the administration have proven that they will ignore the law when it suits them and come up with justifications after the fact if called on their flouting of the law.

It is clear from the desires of certain legislators to eliminate the second amendment that the framers were prescient.

Anonymous KGB January 06, 2013 1:00 PM  

Tad is a law student? No way! "As you can see, your honor, my client is NOT calling to toss out the whole thing. He only wants to tweak the Constitution a little. Keep the big important parts. And toss out the small, tiny part.... like it being the law of the land and all. Just a tweak."

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo January 06, 2013 1:04 PM  

@ Tad

You say the Constitution of the United States is "outdated." Even that is not true, as it has been amended several times since its initial ratification, so it's not as if it has never changed with the times.

Second, you forget that America has no common ethnic, racial, or religious bond between its people. That "outdated" Constitution is the only thing that makes Americans American; it is the only thing Americans seem to have any sort of broad agreement upon. To get rid of it would be no different than a foreign foe doing the same, and it will sunder already weak bonds in a multicultural society, since it will amount to little more than score-settling. The definition of "American" should not be "unified behind a Fuhrer." (it calls to mind French king Louis XIV's quote: "L'état, c'est moi.")

Secondly, limits upon government are a good thing, since they will keep the unlimited powers even after the initial emergency has passed, and the only way government ever reduces its power is if it is forced to via mass violence of some kind (not necessarily civil war.)

Funny how the same people who call the right wing "authoritarian" want authoritarian government now. You've only proved so-called right wing nut cases correct.

Crap like this is the reason why I'm not a progressive. I'd rather stick with an "outdated" Constitution that limits the government's power over me than a shiny new progressive Constitution that promises me the sun, the moon, and the stars if I submit to a laundry list of dictates that grows every day.

To a progressive, everything not expressly permitted is forbidden.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 1:05 PM  

The military power of the state must be retained in the people, to avoid the military dictatorship and the political dictatorship. To that end, we the people must retain military weapons.

Tad, I don't think anyone has asked you this, but why do you think the Framers included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights?

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler January 06, 2013 1:07 PM  

The problem is that also Seidman doesn't even know what the true definition of a republic is. The FFofA hated democracy and wanted a republic. But they, as well, did NOT want a classical repbulic. All the classical republics were started under kings and their bicameralism, Cretan, Spartan and Roman, was a result of their caste system; i.e. bicameralism was a place where ALL the upper castes had a say in government.

A republic is Mixed government and so that means you must have a Mixed society to have a true republic. The FFofA following the Atheist Enlightenment were egalitarians but not fundamentalist egalitarians. They rejected a true, involved aristocracy. So they created a "pseudo-republic". Bicameralism is an essential ingredient to republicanism but modern republicanism attempts to fit the square peg into the round hole; have their cake and eat it to.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 06, 2013 1:36 PM  

Excellent use of your shift key, Tad. You have managed to confound the issue neatly--you can in complete honesty claim to support "the constitution" while at the same time desiring to jettison "the Constitution"--and these dull creatures fail to notice your sleight of hand.

Bravo. You are maturing into an excellent confidence artist. I have enormous hope that you and others will quietly do untold damage to this culture so that I may topple it with ease.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 1:41 PM  

Hoki of Asgard,

We haven't missed it. Observe my 12:51 reply.

Blogger Logos January 06, 2013 1:46 PM  

I agree with the comments stating that the Constitution is already effectively gone; the final remnants and rituals are all that remain, like strings of sinew that the author wants to snap.

The lesson here is that internal legal restraints always buckle under the gravitational force of power politics. Only EXTERNAL restraints -- i.e., competing sovereignties -- can prevent absolute tyranny. Unsurprisingly, national sovereignty and the nation-state are also under attack these days. The good news is that the number of nation-states continues to grow through secession/self-determination. That is the way forward. If we focus on creating as many sovereignties as possible, competition among them will limit government power by sheer necessity (not intellectual purity).

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 06, 2013 1:56 PM  

Hoki of Asgard,

We haven't missed it. Observe my 12:51 reply.


Animal Shover,

The key to communication is in actually addressing the point.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler January 06, 2013 2:03 PM  

It is quite funny that Thomas Jefferson uses the phrase "Nature's Laws and Nature's God" in the Declaration of Independence but good ol' TJ did NOT have "Nature's Laws". You can't have the "Rule of Law" without the Natural Law. America is a Masonic creation. Freemasonry is also Jewish instigated and created. It is about building the "Messianic Age". Furthermore, America is based on Atheist thought of the Enlightenment therefore, America is against the real, original natural law. If you can't follow and obey the Natural Law--How can you have the "Rule of Law". You can't.

America never did have "Rule of Law". It is all a lie. America is full of inconsistencies, contradictions.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler January 06, 2013 2:06 PM  

The reason for total government is to impose from above, Political Correctness to bring about the Messianic Age! You can't build an Utopia without conformity.

So Siedman is about building a Novus Ordo. In order to countermand the Natural Law, you need force. Duh! This is why progressives, Marxists, need total control. Also they need control to suppress the effects of their idiocy.

Anonymous Cinco January 06, 2013 2:11 PM  

America is simply lines on a map, nothing more, nothing less.

Anonymous Asher January 06, 2013 2:24 PM  

@ Tad

First, I'd like to point out that you have had at least a week and a half to elucidate an animating principle behind the Second Amendment that is not trivial, incoherent or redundant. You have not even tried to answer this challenge. I pointed out that your initial answer was simply a redundant wording of text already found in the articles of the Constitution. Your only response was to sputter "b-b-but ideology".

"Unlimited government" may be the goal of some, but it certainly isn't the goal of Professor Seidman.

A government that can suppress speech but just declines to do so at any particular point in time is a totalitarian one. Yes, Seidman is advocating totalitarianism.

Professor Seidman is somewhat renowned for taking the sketchy interpretive approach of "Critical Legal Theory" and turning it on its head and against legal scholars who use this trendy/leftist approach

Seidman and the Critical Theorists are merely debating tactics. They both envision the same ends. Seidman is betting that opponents of those shared ends are more likely to be lulled into a false sense of security by his means than by the means of the Critical Theorists.

inevitably there will be people around who do know the people you speak of, who do understand the topic you are trying to address

In other words, an intellectual circle jerk. This reminds me of Marxists in the 60s through the 80s who claimed that all non-Marxist criticism of Marxism was invalid because in order to understand Marxism one had to be a Marxist. It's just a fancy way of saying "trust us, we know what's good for you".

That's totalitarianism.

See, Tad, as I pointed out in the discussion of the Second Amendment when you make a proposition sometimes it has implications that extend far beyond what you considered or intended others to infer. That is on you, in this case Seidman. It is your responsibility to draw out all the implications of your propositions and state them plainly. It is not the responsibility of others to confine their analysis of your proposition to only the proposition itself.

YES, to a constitution. Yes, to it being outdated.

Either your constitution will be crafted from the start to give government the power to do whatever it wants or you will want to replace it as soon as it impedes your policy goals.

Different means, same result. You are a totalitarian.

I've pointed out to you before that power is the very essence of government and that it doesn't need a constitution to confer power on it. Therefore, a constitution is redundant and unnecessary unless its express purpose is to limit government power. You have not disputed this point over the past couple weeks.

Anonymous Asher January 06, 2013 2:24 PM  

@ Jim

But if you are so familiar with him, I am surprised that you don't know his views on this..is that because he has not written extensively on this

Whatever else Seidman has written is completely irrelevant to this situation as other statements are either going to support his manifest totalitarianism in this piece or contradict it. So, either Seidman doesn't even have a coherent position or he is being duplicitous for tactical purposes.

Anonymous Asher January 06, 2013 2:29 PM  

@ LindseyWheeler

You can't have the "Rule of Law" without the Natural Law.

Um, there is only one "Natural Law", that of war, the unending war of all against all. The rule of law is conventional, for the purpose of securing a respite from this unending war. You have it backwards: the rule of law isn't predicated on Natural Law, it is gives us a break from that natural law.

Blogger James Dixon January 06, 2013 2:34 PM  

> GM is not that new,

Possibly not, but he doesn't seem to know the low regard most of us have of GWB.

"Unlimited government" may be the goal of some, but it certainly isn't the goal of Professor Seidman.

Again, Tad, you're lying. Again, I won't assume whether deliberately or not.

> ...but also based on a fear of large-state domination that is no longer in existence today...

As if Obama could get elected without California. California alone represented the entire difference in the election. I'd say large state domination is alive and well.

Anonymous Asher January 06, 2013 2:41 PM  

@ Everyone, esp Tad

Has anyone notice this blatant contradiction in Seidman's piece? First, he asserts, without arguing, that the Constitution has created the current dysfunctional system and then he waltzes on to give examples of flagrant violations of the constitution over the past 220 years, beginning with John Adams. I mean, if the Constitution has been routinely violated then it is already dead and it's silly to entertain the notion that it can be responsible for the current dysfunctions.

Either Seidman is being incoherent or duplicitous, and my money's on duplicity.

" it is hard to take seriously the claim by the Constitution’s defenders that we would be reduced to a Hobbesian state of nature if we asserted our freedom from this ancient text"

Basically, all Seidman is saying is that do as the left says and everything will be great. Trust him, he knows what's good for you. Of course, solutions to the current dysfunctions that are different from his would be met with "no respect for the constitution". In other words, constitutions are good when they support policy positions he likes and bad when they don't. You don't need a constitution for that, it's redundant.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 2:43 PM  

Hoki of Asgard,

We haven't missed it. Observe my 12:51 reply.


Animal Shover,

The key to communication is in actually addressing the point.


Hoki,

Get your beard back on VP. We like her more. Anyways, we have all been addressing Tad's points for weeks. He simply refuses to acknowledge their bankruptcy. We can't help it if Tad ignores what we say or takes our comments and twists them beyond all recognition.

Anonymous Asher January 06, 2013 2:47 PM  

@ James Dixon

Again, Tad, you're lying. Again, I won't assume whether deliberately or not.

No, Tad is not lying, but he is being intellectually dishonest. He has internally convinced himself that any policy that he advocates is good and that totalitarianism is bad. Therefore, anything he advocates can't be totalitarian. He genuinely believes this so it can't be lying but it is intellectually dishonest.

I remember reading a paper by an Italian marxist professor who tried to make a categorical distinction between "good" and "bad" totalitarianism. At least he was intellectually honest. The paper ended up being pure gibberish and hand-waving, but at least he tried.

Anonymous Asher January 06, 2013 2:54 PM  

@ stg58

We can't help it if Tad ignores what we say or takes our comments and twists them beyond all recognition.

Gotta disagree. If you recall the debate on the Second Amendment got derailed by pro gun commenters detouring off into some weird conversation about homosexuals and claiming that everyone had the right to own nukes. Tad baits people into making real rhetorical errors and then calls them on those errors. You can only expose the Tad's of this world by avoiding rhetorical gaffes.

More often than not, if you think someone's twisted your words then your original formulation was too vague or incoherent.

Step up your game.

Anonymous kh123 January 06, 2013 2:55 PM  

"But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions..."

I read as far as this and thought, "Let me guess, Pravd... I mean, the NY Times."

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 2:57 PM  

Asher,

Yes some of us did get off the rails with nukes and homosexuals. Aside from that static, some very profound points were made, and made quite well. Tad merely ignores them or mutates them.

Tad, being an ideologue, will never admit that we have valid points. I consider my intellectual jousting with him as practice for other people I will debate in the future.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 06, 2013 3:00 PM  

We like her more.

I understand that Multiple Personality Disorder can be a painful experience. I pity you, truly.

Anyways, we have all been addressing Tad's points for weeks. He simply refuses to acknowledge their bankruptcy. We can't help it if Tad ignores what we say or takes our comments and twists them beyond all recognition.

And I cannot help if you read broader meanings into everything I write--but at least, now I know whence your communication difficulties.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 06, 2013 3:02 PM  

You can only expose the Tad's of this world by avoiding rhetorical gaffes.

Nonsense. You merely need encourage them to speak what little there is of their minds.

Anonymous zen0 January 06, 2013 3:03 PM  

Its been an hour and a half and Tad hasn't answered VD's questions. Maybe he had a Luncheon date.

Anonymous kh123 January 06, 2013 3:03 PM  

"Our sometimes flagrant disregard of the Constitution has not produced chaos or totalitarianism; on the contrary, it has helped us to grow and prosper."

This literally could have come out of the mouth of Hitler after '34. How well did that succeeding growth and prosperity work out for them.

Anonymous Dot connector January 06, 2013 3:08 PM  

Good points Asher.

"Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us..."

Lol more like your leftist obsession to get rid of it.

Blogger ajw308 January 06, 2013 3:12 PM  

Hasn't Georgo Soros, funder of the left, stated that he wants to do away with the Constitution?

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 3:19 PM  

Asher and Loki,

We could all make the most amazing arguments, logical points, etc. when talking to Tad about gun control, but it doesn't matter. Tad resorts to emotionalism, ad hominem and other rhetorical weapons when faced with overwhelming logic. He's a rabbit person, remember? It will never work against Tad, no matter who makes the argument. George Washington could descend from on high on a furlough and debate with Tad, but it still wouldn't matter. Tad's job is to push his beliefs no matter what.

Anonymous Dot connector January 06, 2013 3:20 PM  

"As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is..."

That clown is such a hack he studied and taught constitutional law for 40 years then decides its not needed anymore?! Let me guess he plans on being one of the "inner party" members after he "altruistically" works himself out of a job as a constitutional professor.

Anonymous The other skeptic January 06, 2013 3:22 PM  

Whenever someone gets angry at the way you spend your money, it's because they want your money

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 06, 2013 3:23 PM  

Animal Mother, why are you addressing this to me? I have no intention of engaging Tad directly. I merely wish to mock him until he cries like the woman he wishes he were.

Anonymous Dot connector January 06, 2013 3:31 PM  

That entire piece is pure pablum a mass of contradictory dreck. The so-called professor should be ashamed of many things starting with the fact he even has a Ph.D

Anonymous Asher January 06, 2013 3:31 PM  

@ Dot connector

Lol more like your leftist obsession to get rid of it.

Me? A leftist??? If you weren't so destructive to the cause of fighting leftism I'd laugh at you long and hard. The Constitution is already dead, as a doornail, and has been for many decades. I'm just pointing out the reality of its demise. The left controls every institution that occupies the high ground of cultural politics. They own EVERYTHING, and they have subverted constitutional language in their war on the historical American people.

"Constitutional" talk is handing a leftist a weapon and inviting them to pull the trigger.

The purpose of ridding ourselves of the fig leaf we call the constitution is to clarify whose side everyone is on. Obama can piously espouse "the constitution" and that covers the reality that he wants to destroy you and everything you love. Removing the constitution eliminates that intellectually dishonest cover.

The real reason why people like you cling so desperately cling to the constitution is that you lack the balls to do what needs to be done, namely, eradicate the left by killing them in the tens of millions.

How's that leftism?

Anonymous map January 06, 2013 3:35 PM  

The solution to problems like Seidman is to allow students and undergrad, grad and professional schools to walk away from their students loans without penalty. Then, you allow the financial firms that lent this money to be made whole by clawing their money back from the universities.

Problem solved

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 3:37 PM  

Animal Mother, why are you addressing this to me? I have no intention of engaging Tad directly. I merely wish to mock him until he cries like the woman he wishes he were.

I don't know. It just felt right.

Anonymous re allow anonymous comments January 06, 2013 3:38 PM  

The constitution has been the best friend of the left, why would they want to get rid of it?

They hold it high and use it for a cudgel when it's convenient and simply ignore it or "re-interpret" it when it is not.

Heads they win, tails we lose. Why change that system? Plus, without omgtheconstitution, conservatives might actually say what they mean when they complain about "unconstitutional" liberal activities ie, that they are detrimental, hostile even, to us regular american people.

Anonymous Dot connector January 06, 2013 3:41 PM  

@Asher

"Lol more like your leftist obsession to get rid of it."

I think you misunderstood the "format" of my comment. I was addressing the so-called professor.

Anonymous Dot connector January 06, 2013 3:47 PM  

"The real reason why people like you cling so desperately cling to the constitution is that you lack the balls to do what needs to be done, namely, eradicate the left by killing them in the tens of millions."

Wheeler is that you? Cut it out. Go back to watching 300 on Youtube.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 06, 2013 4:09 PM  

Connector: The so-called professor should be ashamed of many things starting with the fact he even has a Ph.D.

Actually, he hasn't. A Doctorate of Jurisprudence is the degree held by all attorneys, I am told.

Mother: I don't know. It just felt right.

Ah, then I was mistaken in addressing you as though you were a man.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 06, 2013 4:14 PM  

The purpose of ridding ourselves of the fig leaf we call the constitution is to clarify whose side everyone is on.

By annulling a contract, you can discover who means to fulfill his part.

I see an opportunity to make some capital.

The real reason why people like you cling so desperately cling to the constitution is that you lack the balls to do what needs to be done, namely, eradicate the left by killing them in the tens of millions.

But first, you must require that they identify themselves clearly so that you do not accidentally kill your own. Perhaps with a bright yellow "M" for "Marxist" sewn on their sleeves--or perhaps, require all of your own to have an "R" for "right-wing" tattooed upon their foreheads or hands.

I like you, Asher. I think I may have room for you in my "business venture".

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 4:19 PM  

Mother: I don't know. It just felt right.

Ah, then I was mistaken in addressing you as though you were a man.


Congratulations. You found the only feeling I have. Blowing big holes in targets also feel right.

Anonymous The other skeptic January 06, 2013 4:22 PM  

Perhaps all those words are meant to distract attention from the War on Science or something ...

Hmmm, War on Women, War on Science ... what next.

Anonymous Salt January 06, 2013 4:25 PM  

I really don't understand why so many are thinking the Constitution can still apply. I've personally seen it thrown under the bus. It was admitted at its origination it would only work for a generation or two unless watered. Then there's that religious people bit.

Hell, even the South thought it better to just leave rather than fight for it.

Anonymous realmatt January 06, 2013 4:35 PM  

Seidman.

He lists off a number of unconstitutional acts, including those of the founders themselves, and doesn't see how doing so was detrimental to this nation. Typical stupid leftist unable or unwilling to follow a logical track.

Anonymous Salt January 06, 2013 4:36 PM  

The answer to the Constitutional question is quite simple. When a public official, of any stripe, purposefully reaches for the gold ring of power, having argued his case as to why he should have it and thus declaring it so (i.e. Marbury v Madison), it's facially evident such was not his prior.

There is only one remedy, and arguing it is not it.

Blogger jjc January 06, 2013 4:43 PM  

OK, I'm in on this late, but if the constitution is scrapped, or replaced, I suspect it would be easy for some states to secede simply by refusing to ratify the new one.

Maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing. Default on the debt, dissolve the union, split the country into thirds, and let us choose which new country to live in.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 06, 2013 4:45 PM  

Blowing big holes in targets also feel right.

Out of fairness, should I disregard you for a week or so, madam?

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 5:18 PM  

No, Hoki, don't ignore me. Show me what you got.

Anonymous Logan January 06, 2013 5:22 PM  

"This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands."

And how do we know which parts of the constitution to obey and which parts to disobey? Why, we obey whatever parts liberals agree with and disobey whatever parts liberals don't agree with.

Anonymous DonReynolds January 06, 2013 5:32 PM  

The Constitution is not a suicide pact. The historic population that still lives on this land are not interested in going down in defeat clinging to a document that no longer serves their best interests. Note the old and new interest in secession, which is largely regional, also regional is the bulk of the Scot-Irish demographic. If there is no Constitution, then there is no reason to pretend any longer that we are all countrymen who simply disagree. We are rivals again.

There is no place to run and nowhere to hide. To survive as a people, we must prevail over the attacker. To keep this land, we must keep it from others. Either we stay here alive or we stay here dead.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 06, 2013 5:55 PM  

No, Hoki, don't ignore me. Show me what you got.

So eager, and we've only just met. Shameless, you are.

Anonymous DonReynolds January 06, 2013 6:03 PM  

The United States of America is a Republic of Laws and a law-abiding people can respect the rule of law. But once the law can be ignored by the government (as Obama has done and will do again), then there is no law. It does no good to change a law that is ignored, because there is no reason to abide by any new law. (Thus the present illegal immigration problem.)

Without lawful authority, without the rule of law, without a Constitution, only tyranny remains....not chaos. Anarchists pretend to believe that they can flaunt the law and be free. They know better. Without the law, no one is free....only tyranny remains when rule is by the whim of the ruler. Men divide themselves into sides based on their fealty. Those who follow a man will sooner or later be defeated and destroyed by those who follow an idea.

Anonymous JartStar January 06, 2013 6:08 PM  

Countries like Britain and New Zealand have systems of parliamentary supremacy and no written constitution, but are held together by longstanding traditions, accepted modes of procedure and engaged citizens. We, too, could draw on these resources.
... If so, we have to give up on the claim that we are a self-governing people who can settle our disagreements through mature and tolerant debate. But before abandoning our heritage of self-government, we ought to try extricating ourselves from constitutional bondage so that we can give real freedom a chance.


It reads to me like he supports getting rid of the Constitution, or at least relegating it to a inconsequential role.

I agree with Aristotle that there is no true state without a constitution and citizenship coupled with self determination. A country without a constitution is arguable made up of subjects and/or slaves and not citizens.

Anonymous Godfrey January 06, 2013 6:29 PM  

Don’t try to fight the corrupt oppressive government with violence. Violence is the government's specialty. Its sole proficiency is destruction and murder. Just ask the people of Vietnam, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.

The only way to kill the evil beast is through the death of a thousand cuts. Quietly withdraw your consent. Ignore it when you can, ridicule it when the occasion arises, and undermine and cheat it at every opportunity. Fight it in a million little ways and watch it slowly bleed to death.

It’s already begun. The resistance is growing.

Anonymous Passinthrough January 06, 2013 7:06 PM  

The Constitution of the United States is as outdated as the Ten Commandments. The Creator God is not dead nor doth he sleep. He had not rescinded the Ten Commandments. He created all men free to choose that men may be judged for their own choices and not blame it on "the king made me do it."

Anonymous paradox January 06, 2013 7:32 PM  

Cultural Marxism has finally achieved it's goal, just a little longer and the finalization will be complete.

Blogger James Dixon January 06, 2013 7:42 PM  

> No, Tad is not lying, but he is being intellectually dishonest.

Tad is always intellectually dishonest. But in this case he's also lying.

> Why, we obey whatever parts liberals agree with and disobey whatever parts liberals don't agree with.

With the caveat that which parts they deem necessary will change to suit their needs, yes.

Anonymous The other skeptic January 06, 2013 7:43 PM  

Gun control in Central America is so successful

Anonymous David January 06, 2013 7:59 PM  

The US Constitution does serve a purpose beyond whatever minor resistance it enables for those seeking to limit further government usurpation of power. It provides legitimacy for the US government, which is why politicians still pay the Constitution lip service. If they followed this fool's advice and did away with it, more Americans would view the US government as illegitimate, which undermines its power.

Anonymous Asher January 06, 2013 9:44 PM  

@ David

It provides legitimacy for the US government, which is why politicians still pay the Constitution lip service. If they followed this fool's advice and did away with it, more Americans would view the US government as illegitimate, which undermines its power.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner. Been saying this for well over five years.

Blogger Log January 06, 2013 9:46 PM  

On the balance, Tad seems to get the better of the Ilk consistently, by appearing more rational and reasoned than his respondents.

Anonymous BillB January 06, 2013 9:47 PM  

ANy serious student recognizes that we have not followed the Constitution since the first Congress met and passed the Alien and Sedition Acts. The process to destroy the extremely limited government created by the real Constitution has been on-going since the beginning. The Federalists lied to the People to force through the Constitution, then were elected in large numbers to the Congress, and simply changed their story on what was what.

If the People really know the Constitution, the People may not want it. Those of us who believe in the limited, really weak central government may never live to see it actually established. Any serious student recognizes that 99.99% of what the feds do is unconstitutional from setting their own salaries to providing aid to the victims of disasters to running armies all over the world.

Anonymous Asher January 06, 2013 9:53 PM  

@ Log

On the balance, Tad seems to get the better of the Ilk consistently, by appearing more rational and reasoned than his respondents.

Can you cite examples? I obliterated Tad in our disagreement over the meaning of the Second Amendment. He ran away fussing that I "misconstrued me, ideology, wah, wah, wah".

Anonymous BillB January 06, 2013 9:55 PM  

Another POV:

http://constitution.i2i.org/2013/01/04/a-response-to-professor-seidman/

Anonymous Asher January 06, 2013 10:00 PM  

@ Log

Notice that when Tad is given specific challenges to specify his premises he simply quits the thread. His main tack is to poke at inconsistencies and ideas that have not been completely thought out and then piously declare his "common sense" solutions to be the reasonable ones, and he's rather good at it.

The reason to respond to the Tads of this world is to improve one's game and one does this by challenging him to specify his premises. If someone make an ass out of you then that means you need to come up with better arguments.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 06, 2013 10:29 PM  

"We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation."

Yeah, kinda' like if you live in an area under Mob or Gang control, because they have a lot more money and guns and have many employees running around ready and willing to use them against anyone who gets out of line and breaks their "law". That's about how legitimate the current regime is starting to look from where I live.

Anonymous Tad January 06, 2013 10:52 PM  

@Vox Day

Regarding the status as "poser", I'll agree to disagree with your assessment.

As to your questions:


1. Did Seidman declare there was no obligation to follow freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property?

No. He declared that we ought follow these principles out of respect, to begin with, but he prefaced that with "This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands."


2. What limitation on government does Seidman support and by what mechanism does he suggest limiting it?

It's pretty clear he supports freedom of religion and religion, and due process for all—all leading to very clear limitations on government. However, he also would limit the terms a president can serve. But also, he notes "Nor, finally, should we have an all-powerful president free to do whatever he wants."

3. If Seidman recommended legalizing rape and getting rid of all sexual assault laws, then said rapists should not rape women out of respect, would you similarly conclude that he supported limiting the occurrence of rape?

No.

Anonymous Tad January 06, 2013 11:03 PM  

@Loki

I merely wish to mock him until he cries like the woman he wishes he were.

Don't hold your breath.

Anonymous Red Comet January 06, 2013 11:10 PM  

It's pretty clear he supports freedom of religion and religion, and due process for all—all leading to very clear limitations on government. However, he also would limit the terms a president can serve. But also, he notes "Nor, finally, should we have an all-powerful president free to do whatever he wants."

If this professor truly supports these freedoms and limitations to government, and the Constitution of the United States already provides for them, I'm forced to ask why has he written an article titled "Let's Give Up on the Constitution?"

Anonymous Tad January 06, 2013 11:22 PM  

@Asher

Either Seidman is being incoherent or duplicitous, and my money's on duplicity.

Professor Siedman isn't a Marxist. Isn't a communist. Doesn't want unlimited government. And he doesn't support totalitarianism.

He is, with this editorial, attempting to provoke a discussion, and a needed one at that.

Professor Seidman is using rhetorical extremism to make the case that our tradition and practice of intellectual genuflecting at the Constitution and the Founders prevents us from taking a serious look at the various ways we might improve the structures that govern our political interactions. He's making the case that a Constitution designed under political, cultural, economic and international circumstances and conditions is, unsurprisingly, so archaic that it can't begin to address the innumerable ways the early 21st century is different from the late 18th century and this reality isn't be addressed because of our hyper fealty to the document and founders.

Those of you who want to accuse Professor Seidman of wanting unlimited government or the imposition of some sort of totalitarian regime simply don't understand what the man is attempting to provoke with this editorial and with this book. Siedman believes serious structural changes are necessary to our governing document in order to inspire a more efficient, 21st century form of debate. The first step is diminishing what is clearly a slavish adherence to many of the ideas, structures and notions in the Constitution.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 06, 2013 11:35 PM  

Tad,

The Constitution was written to target human nature, and in that respect is still relevant. We are still the same arrogant, vain, avaricious human beings, but with better technology.

Saying the Constitution is outdated because it was written 240 years ago is evidence that our arrogance is still here in full force, thus proving its relevance.

Anonymous pdimov January 06, 2013 11:39 PM  

Those of you who want to accuse Professor Seidman of wanting unlimited government or the imposition of some sort of totalitarian regime simply don't understand what the man is attempting to provoke with this editorial and with this book.

Tell us what.

Siedman believes serious structural changes are necessary...

Do tell us what.

Anonymous The other skeptic January 06, 2013 11:58 PM  


"2. What limitation on government does Seidman support and by what mechanism does he suggest limiting it?"

It's pretty clear he supports freedom of religion and religion, and due process for all—all leading to very clear limitations on government. However, he also would limit the terms a president can serve. But also, he notes "Nor, finally, should we have an all-powerful president free to do whatever he wants."


It seems clear that you do not understand the word "mechanism."

Passing a law is clearly not a mechanism to abridge the power of government when the government (or at least the administration) picks and chooses which laws it will enforce and which it will simply ignore.

Anonymous The other skeptic January 07, 2013 12:10 AM  

It seems that women's media is picking up on this story about a mother who defended herself and her children against an intruder with a gun.

Anonymous elmer January 07, 2013 12:45 AM  

I'm not a constitutional scholar, so I will point you to one...

To begin, IS THE CONSTITUTION DEAD ?

Plainly, the Constitution is anything but "dead" with respect to certain individuals' access to and employment of political power that affects the lives of every American every day...

...many things done procedurally in the name of the Constitution are substantively unconstitutional. But no one in or seeking office in the General Government or the States dares to admit that he is acting outside, with disregard, or in contradiction of the Constitution, that he intends to violate it, or even that he may be justified in doing so in any particular future circumstances...

...That criminals violate a law does not negate it. So how is it that the powers the Constitution grants--and all too many that it does not grant--are fully alive; whereas the limitations on power that the Constitution also prescribes, in language no less intelligible and forceful, are supposedly "dead"?

...Of most practical concern, if "the Constitution is dead" with respect to its limitations on governmental power, then how can anything that public officials do be legally wrong? If public officials refuse to obey the Constitution as to its limitations--and supposedly need not do so because it is to that extent "dead"--then how can Americans criticize, challenge, and condemn what they are doing? On what grounds can Americans chastise them for their misdeeds? If "the Constitution is dead" as to its limitations, then no public official violates his "Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution" (Article VI, Clause 3) when he disregards those supposedly ineffective restraints. Similarly, if "the Constitution is dead" as to its limitations, then it is "dead", too, as to the individual rights it guarantees, because these rights establish fundamental constraints on governmental power. Thus, no public official violates even Congressional statutes ostensibly protecting civil rights (e.g., Title 18, United States Code, sections 241 and 242) when he disregards those rights as nonexistent.

...Moreover, if "the Constitution is dead", how and with what should or could patriots attempt to replace the present political apparatus that oppresses them? A viable strategy for reform outside of the Constitution must posit some alternative legal structure. Any reasonably intelligent individual can determine what the Constitution means (or ought to mean, perforce of its "original intent"), and how it has been misinterpreted and even perverted over the years...

What is "dead" is not the Constitution, or constitutionalism, or the Declaration of Independence, because they embody ideas and ideals that cannot die.


I don't know what I can add to this, except as a layman, stand in awe of this individual's legal acumen. On this subject, it best we plebs stand aside, and let the Dr. Vieira's and Judge Napolitano's speak, and absorb their wisdom, and fervently hope and pray these gifted men are correct, and there is some hope left, at least for temporal and mortal humanity. At least, as the Timekeeper gives or allows it time.

We better hope and pray that our Constitution, and with it our constitutional protections still exist, and are alive and well. There will probably be nothing like it again. [the Articles are another discussion]. I don't believe there is a "reset" button to go back to anything but our current Constitution. Without out, humanity is dead. And, the next event is Judgement Day...

Anonymous elmer January 07, 2013 1:14 AM  

As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken.

The system is broken, not because of inherit flaws in the system, but because of those criminal elements in charge at present. Remove the criminals and the system will do just fine. Thank you, very, very much indeed...

To amplify, as of this practically very nanosecond, aside those details we are not all privy to:

It can now be reported that IMF President Christine Lagarde has set up a financial mechanism (reference European banking agreement Basel III) that will effectively separate U.S. and European banking institutions.

This will pave the way for the final Wanta-Reagan-Mitterrand Protocols implementations on European soil.

Final Protocol implementation aka the bilateral tax agreement ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will use Austrian banks as the final receiver of the funds in the amount of $30 TRILLION.

At this hour we can divulge that European INTERPOL and IMF officials have issued Red Notices for the arrest of nineteen (19) criminal bankers in Europe and the United States involving the theft and misuse of $18 TRILLION (a great deal of these funds were tied to the aforementioned Wanta-Reagan-Mitterand Protocol funds).

The 19 criminal bankers are currently employed at UBS Switzerland, Swiss bank Credit Suisse, and last, but not least, the now financially decapitated German Deutsche Bank.


What does one think when a [global] economic organism, when [not if] that entity gets a shot of $30 TRILLION USD ? When $828 TRILLION of worthless cross-collateralized derivatives are cleared from an entity's books? Not if, but WHEN. Only the upper echelons of the kosmokrators, the Third Force, the Divine Council will prevent this, and then Armageddon will surely ensue...

Anonymous Red Comet January 07, 2013 1:19 AM  

Those of you who want to accuse Professor Seidman of wanting unlimited government or the imposition of some sort of totalitarian regime simply don't understand what the man is attempting to provoke with this editorial and with this book. Siedman believes serious structural changes are necessary to our governing document in order to inspire a more efficient, 21st century form of debate. The first step is diminishing what is clearly a slavish adherence to many of the ideas, structures and notions in the Constitution.

And again I ask: if the Constitution of the United States provides the power limitations this professor already seeks (according to you) plus the amendment process to change it to fit evolving society, which he already seeks (according to you), then what was the point of this article?

Anonymous elmer January 07, 2013 2:32 AM  

Siedman believes serious structural changes are necessary to our governing document in order to inspire a more efficient, 21st century form of debate. The first step is diminishing what is clearly a slavish adherence to many of the ideas, structures and notions in the Constitution.

Then one does this via the amendment process. (Article V) If that is not sufficient, where Congress fails, then a constitutional convention must be called by the individual state's legislators. The amendment process calls for 3/4 of the states ratification. That is 38 of 50 states. Good luck with that one. Individual states secession would be far more profitable to all.

The last constitutional convention was in Philadelphia in 1787. To call for a new one, will take 34 of 50 states (2/3) to agree to assemble. I guarantee you that those 16 states rescinding, will proceed with individual secessions. We don't need another civil war.

Professor Siedman needs to sit down, shut up (as you should tadpole) and listen carefully to his superiors, Dr. Vieira, Judge Napolitano, et al. Again, the problem is not the structure, but those [criminals] governing the structure. Remove the thugs (which is in progress as we speak), and problem solved.

Siedman is brutally and painfully a sophomore in these respects at the best. He does not know his history, nor does he posses the acumen necessary for the task. At worst, he is a willing participant, and in collusion with these same thugs. Enough said here...

Anonymous scoobius dubious January 07, 2013 3:20 AM  

Seidman lost me the moment he announced his name was Seidman. It's that simple. I don't have to listen to what he says, I don't have to study it, I don't have to engage, I don't have to try and understand his perspective (I already knew precisely what it was, the moment he told me his name), I don't have to contend with his arguments in good faith. The only reason I would ever study his thinking with seriousness, would be to learn how best to defend myself against it, because at present, he and his kind have far too much power over me.

There is never any reason whatsoever for an American to assume good faith in the political pronouncements of a Jew. Period. End of discussion. Perfectly nice people, get along splendidly with them, don't wish a hair of their heads to be harmed. But there is no reason to trust them nor to assume good faith on their part when discussing the common weal. Because we do not share the same understanding of what the common weal is. It's like discussing water rights with a Martian.

When a creature named "Seidman" says things like "let's" and "we" and "us" and "our", he does not mean the same thing by these words that you or I might mean. And since there is no common language, and no common interest, there can be no legitimate grounds for honest discussion, just a series of chess moves.

btw, who cares whether the Constitution is "democratic" or not? Its purpose is not "democracy". Its purpose is "to secure these Rights". This is simply one illustration in a hundred thousand, of the gulf between Americans and people named Seidman, who are merely US citizens as a technical legal matter, but not Americans as a going concern. By their fruits, etc etc.

Anonymous VD January 07, 2013 3:48 AM  

1. Did Seidman declare there was no obligation to follow freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property?

No. He declared that we ought follow these principles out of respect, to begin with, but he prefaced that with "This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands."


You're provably wrong. He expressly declared "We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation." No one, including the government, will be OBLIGED to follow the requirements.

2. What limitation on government does Seidman support and by what mechanism does he suggest limiting it?

It's pretty clear he supports freedom of religion and religion, and due process for all—all leading to very clear limitations on government. However, he also would limit the terms a president can serve. But also, he notes "Nor, finally, should we have an all-powerful president free to do whatever he wants."


You did not answer the question. By your own admission below, his claim of support is not credible considering that he is advocating the removal of the only tangible means of supporting the limitations on government. Furthermore, he has already said no one should be obliged to follow the very examples you gave. So, I repeat the question: What limitation on government does Seidman support and by what mechanism does he suggest limiting it?

3. If Seidman recommended legalizing rape and getting rid of all sexual assault laws, then said rapists should not rape women out of respect, would you similarly conclude that he supported limiting the occurrence of rape?

No.


Now you're contradicting yourself. You cannot claim that Seidman supports limited government if, given the analogous situation, you do not conclude that he supports limiting the occurrence of rape while simultaneously advocating its legalization.

Have you not yet realized that you're significantly outclassed here, Tad? Your dear Seidman isn't up to the level of critical discourse here, so why would you think that you are? The fact that he can successful snow the average 100-IQ population and win the admiration of mid-wits doesn't mean that what he is doing isn't perfectly obvious to the more intelligent.

Anonymous AdognamedOp January 07, 2013 4:09 AM  

The NYTimes is hurting. They're looking to gain readerhip and stay relevant by adapting to the environment created by "social media". They know the reactionist right will glom onto these types of stories and they know the drones firmly encamped in the hive will not be swayed by logic.
They have an unlimited supply of useful idiot foot soldiers willing to sacrifice their careers, reputations, and even their lives, to further the cause. No ones ever heard of Seidman and no one will remember him tommorrow. His assault on the constitution, in light of recent debate over a particular amendment, is transparent. The agenda's been exposed.
Were dealing with a suicidal lot bent on scuttling the ship

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 6:01 AM  

@ Tad

"Nor, finally, should we have an all-powerful president free to do whatever he wants."

Notice that you dodged the question, which was for you to specify mechanisms to limit government power. That is the crux of this entire conversation.

Professor Siedman isn't a Marxist. Isn't a communist. Doesn't want unlimited government. And he doesn't support totalitarianism ... a Constitution designed under political, cultural, economic and international circumstances and conditions is, unsurprisingly, so archaic that it can't begin to address the innumerable ways the early 21st century

I make this same case, but it's not based on some vague "the times have changed" hand-waving. No, it's based on the reality that the mongrel, cultural polyglot can never be a republic and, thus, can never have a constitution. "Republic" comes from the latin "res publia" meaning "for the public" implying that a republic requires one, homogeneous public.

But America is not one public but many different publics, meaning that it cannot be a constitutional republic. Therefore, constitutionalism simply cannot exist in the multicultural miasma that is the so called American People, i.e. there is no such people but there are many different peoples ruled by the American Empire.

America only exists as an empire and empires cannot be ruled by a constitution.

You claim that we do not understand Seidman. Oh, we understand him, and understand him better than he understands himself. Seidman wishes to rule us. Leftists wish to rule us. You wish to rule us. Yes, you think that you can rule us better than we rule ourselves, and that is your opinion, to which you are entitled.

But the heart of constitutinalism is self-rule and ifSeidman were intellectually honest he would not be calling for a new constitution. No, he would be calling for a breakup of American Empire.

In the end, there is no axiomatic definition of what constitutes totalitarianism. I certainly consider Seidman a totalitarian because he wishes to rule those who consider him foreign and alien, namely myself and those like me. I suppose that might be the closest thing one might get to a value free definition of totalitarian.

Instead of calling for a new constitution wouldn't you be better suited calling for an end of the American Empire?

Blogger James Dixon January 07, 2013 6:04 AM  

> Professor Siedman ... Doesn't want unlimited government. And he doesn't support totalitarianism.

If his position is serious, then yes, he does. If it isn't, he's lying.

> ...attempting to provoke a discussion, and a needed one at that.

No, it's not needed.

You don't like the Constitution, Tad. We get that. As I noted in another thread, there's a simple solution to that that's entirely under your control. Leave.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 6:04 AM  

@ Tad

Totally new tack. you consider the constitution outdated. Give me some sort of ideas of the types of things you'd like to see in this new constitution and the enforcement mechanisms for them. Seidman certainly doesn't do this.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 6:16 AM  

@ James Dixon

If his position is serious, then yes, he does. If it isn't, he's lying.

Sort of. Seidman, Tad, et al, engage in a neat little mental trick. It goes something like this:

A) Totalitarianism is bad
B) What we want is good
C) Therefore, what we want cannot be totalitarian.

Of course, there is no a priori definition of totalitarian so the reasoning is faulty and moot. But that's what they believe.

As I noted in another thread, there's a simple solution to that that's entirely under your control. Leave.

They hold all the cards under the current rules. Why would they leave? Most non leftists, even many on this blog, don't seem to understand this reality as evidenced by their adherence to the game.

Anonymous Stilicho January 07, 2013 6:20 AM  

Asher: No, Tad is not lying, but he is being intellectually dishonest. He has internally convinced himself that any policy that he advocates is good and that totalitarianism is bad. Therefore, anything he advocates can't be totalitarian. He genuinely believes this so it can't be lying but it is intellectually dishonest.

Tad: understanding that the debate is never fully over, but merely evolving.

Do what Tad wilt shall be the whole of the law? Is it good for the Tads? Reform Tadism teaches that the Law was just a construct used to prepare a primitive people for the full flowering of Tadism that we see today, therefore, Reformed Tads are free to ignore the Law because their hearts are in the right place. Our Queer Tad does not come to overthrow the Constitution, he comes to fulfill the Constitution...

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 6:22 AM  

@ All social conservatives

Has anyone ever considered why it is that God told the Israelites to kill the Canaanites rather than conquer and rule them? It is because God did not want the Hebrews forcing his law on peoples who rejected his law. There is simply no sanction in the Bible for that sort of thing.

If the Israelites had attempted to rule the Canaanites under the banner of God's Law the Israelites would have been totalitarians.

Anonymous Stilicho January 07, 2013 6:22 AM  

You don't like the Constitution, Tad. We get that. As I noted in another thread, there's a simple solution to that that's entirely under your control. Leave.

It's not Tad's fault that he is asked to leave every community that he sneaks into or otherwise attaches himself to. Nope. Nosiree. No way, no how.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 6:32 AM  

@ VD

You cannot claim that Seidman supports limited government if, given the analogous situation, you do not conclude that he supports limiting the occurrence of rape while simultaneously advocating its legalization.

This is a losing line of reasoning. Governments don't need a constitution to enact laws punishing rape. Hell, the current government punishes men for looking funny at women. Rape is the state of nature. Governments form to suppress the state of nature.

WTF would "legalize rape" even mean??? Mandating that men go to prison if they don't rape??? C'mon you're better than this.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 6:37 AM  

@ VD

It just occurred to me that you're sounding like a feminist. They seem to think that rape is something that civilization dreamed up to suppress women. Please don't tell me you're on board with all that "rape culture" nonsense.

Anonymous scoobius dubious January 07, 2013 6:37 AM  

"Totally new tack. you consider the constitution outdated."

Tad and Seidman and their landsmen consider the constitution 'outdated' not because it has somehow become historically irrelevant or obsolete, but rather, because it wasn't written by them, and with their particular interests foremost in mind. That is always what turns out to be the crux of this sort of thing, if you look long enough.

Most Jews are indeed Marxists but often without even realizing it, but not because they necessarily believe in all that loopy folderol about class struggle and dialectical materialism. Jews couldn't give a rat's ass about the "working class" and the "masses", let alone something as bizarre as "equality". Are you crazy? Their chief goal is to never, ever have to BE the working class and the masses. They're way too special for that. No.

Jews are drawn to Marxism and its offshoots because a) it attacks and destroys existing power structures, any ones you like or care to name, thus making room for new power structures, to be controlled by... guess who? and b) Jews are highly attracted by the idea of dictatorial rule by a revolutionary vanguard of intellectuals who will get to tell the workers what they're REALLY thinking (since the goyim are clearly too stupid to think for themselves), because that vanguard of intellectuals will somehow always turn out to be... guess who?

Anonymous Tad January 07, 2013 10:26 AM  

@Vox Day

No. He declared that we ought follow these principles out of respect, to begin with, but he prefaced that with "This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands."

You're provably wrong. He expressly declared "We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation." No one, including the government, will be OBLIGED to follow the requirements.


Actually, I'm absolutely correct. When your mother sits you down and says, "Now, Voxie, you know it's wrong to stick firecrackers in a cats bottom. You know we should respect cats". She's not telling you there should be no laws against tormenting cats. She's saying that might be the secondary reason to not put firecrackers in your cat's ass. In the same way, Seidman is saying that principles as important as freedom of speech, etc should be followed out of respect first. We know this is true because he says it straight up: ""This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands."

It's pretty clear he supports freedom of religion and religion, and due process for all—all leading to very clear limitations on government. However, he also would limit the terms a president can serve. But also, he notes "Nor, finally, should we have an all-powerful president free to do whatever he wants."

You did not answer the question. By your own admission below, his claim of support is not credible considering that he is advocating the removal of the only tangible means of supporting the limitations on government. Furthermore, he has already said no one should be obliged to follow the very examples you gave. So, I repeat the question: What limitation on government does Seidman support and by what mechanism does he suggest limiting it?


It's absolutely clear that Professor Siedman supports, for example, much of the restrictions inherent in the Bill of Rights. In addition, he clearly notes that the term of the President ought be contained to two years. Since these are all restrictions on governmental power, and since they are clearly expressed in the context of a constitution, we can say definitively, that Professor Siedman at least supports these restrictions on goverment power and he supports them via the mechanism of a Constitution.

No.

Now you're contradicting yourself. You cannot claim that Seidman supports limited government if, given the analogous situation, you do not conclude that he supports limiting the occurrence of rape while simultaneously advocating its legalization.


No.

Now you're contradicting yourself. You cannot claim that Seidman supports limited government if, given the analogous situation, you do not conclude that he supports limiting the occurrence of rape while simultaneously advocating its legalization.


My apologies. IN my zeal to get you your answers with brevity, I incorrectly answered this question. The answer is YES, I could concluded he wanted to limit the occurrence of rape.

Vox Day, your extremism and ignorance on this subject and your misplaced belief in your ability apply unstated intentions to someone, even when you don't understand the topic they indulge in will continue to you look terribly unprepared to comment. Yet you still do comment.

It's probably the same set of circumstances that leads you to misread how Americans will vote in elections. It's what makes folks look at your words, your reactions to words and note a posing stance.

In the end, you fall into the same trap as Professor Seidman. You attempt to use extremist rhetoric to make a point, when it's not necessary at all.

Anonymous Tad January 07, 2013 10:34 AM  

@Asher

@ Tad

Totally new tack. you consider the constitution outdated. Give me some sort of ideas of the types of things you'd like to see in this new constitution and the enforcement mechanisms for them. Seidman certainly doesn't do this.


Now this is a good question. And leave it to you to finally get there as it is exactly where this opinion piece by Professor Seidman should lead.

I was thinking about this while driving yesterday evening. Honestly, I'd start with how campaigns for federal office are financed. It is a very tricky subject because when ever you start to think about substantially new rules for how campaigns are financed you inevitably have to think about how candidates are chosen.

Either way, my experience is that the current methods of financing campaigns for federal office are monumentally flawed as they provide a very tiny number of extraordinarily wealthy and powerful people who have a much heightened interest in the outcome of elections with far more power to direct the results. At the very least, I'd start with limiting the amount of money that could be contributed to a given campaign by individuals and groups. Second, I'd devote significant time on the public airwaves to electioneering by candidates...for free.

I think i'd also alter the way the president is elected, perhaps abolishing the electoral college.

Anonymous Stilicho January 07, 2013 11:17 AM  

Actually, I'm absolutely correct.


Not so much. You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

your extremism and ignorance on this subject and your misplaced belief in your ability apply unstated intentions to someone, even when you don't understand the topic they indulge in will continue to you look terribly unprepared to comment. Yet you still do comment.

Projection, thy name is Tad. This quote pretty much sums up the entirety of Tad's brief time here. I'm starting to suspect that Tad isn't one of the midwitted, he merely apes them in hopes of appearing more intelligent than he is.

My apologies. IN my zeal to get you your answers with brevity, I incorrectly answered this question. The answer is YES, I could concluded he wanted to limit the occurrence of rape.

Half answer and dodge.

Anonymous Tad January 07, 2013 11:20 AM  

@Stilcho

I understand if you are unable to gather your wits enough to go beyond..."Nuh Huh!" in your retorts. This isn't the simplest subject.

Anonymous Stilicho January 07, 2013 11:27 AM  

This isn't the simplest subject.

It is quite simple. Your failure to understand this is indicative of your relative lack of intelligence. Now, go back to doing your bunny hop. It is amusing.

Anonymous Polycarp January 07, 2013 11:52 AM  

Tad: "He is, with this editorial, attempting to provoke a discussion, and a needed one at that."

Oh please, fool. If he only wanted a discussion he need not call it "evil".

This is a time honored progressive tactic - spew the most vile, authoritarian garbage you want and then use your academic credentials to claim that you don't really believe the stuff that you just wrote but were just making a purely academic argument.

If intellectual debate were all Seidman was after he could have framed his side of the debate intellectually - without all the emotion stirring rhetoric about "evil shackles" and such.



Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 12:17 PM  

@ Tad

LOL. Those things can't be a constitution because those are things governments already have by virtue of having power. Such things just require legislation. You are conflating legislation and constitutions.

Try again Tad, and this time give me an example of something that isn't already in the legislative powers of the state.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 12:20 PM  

@ Tad

You're also not even disputing my contention that a constitutional republic is impossible with crazy quilt of divergent societies that we erroneously call "the American people". There is no such thing and none has existed for quite some time.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 12:32 PM  

@ Tad

Here's another way of putting it. If the First Amendment were repealed the government could legislate whatever campaign finance laws it wanted. They wouldn't require a constitutional obligation for it.

Therefore, you have a route to passing the campaign finance laws you want already written into the current constitution: start calling for a repeal of the First Amendment.

See, the problem for you is that you just want a constitution that gives a fig leaf of legitimacy for whatever you want government to legislate.

This is why everyone here considers you, as well as Seidman, a totalitarian.

Anonymous Tad January 07, 2013 12:34 PM  

@Asher


LOL. Those things can't be a constitution because those are things governments already have by virtue of having power. Such things just require legislation. You are conflating legislation and constitutions.


I never said these things could BE a constitution. They are things I'd like to see PLACED in a constitution, exactly what you asked. I'm willing to discuss this issue with you as it is interesting. But if you want to discuss it in the context of a parallel universe, as you seem to want to, then I'm going to have to let you go it alone.

But in the spirit of dialog, what would your updated U.S. Constitution look like.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 12:37 PM  

@ Tad

I never said these things could BE a constitution. They are things I'd like to see PLACED in a constitution, exactly what you asked

I'm applying Occam's Razor to politics. If something can be addressed by legislation then it almost certainly does not belong in any constitution. Campaign finance restrictions is legislation not constitution.

Try again, kid.

Anonymous Tad January 07, 2013 12:41 PM  

@Asher

Here's another way of putting it. If the First Amendment were repealed the government could legislate whatever campaign finance laws it wanted. They wouldn't require a constitutional obligation for it.

I presume you say this under the assumption that campaign contributions or campaign funding falls under the category of speech. Correct? If so, then I agree.

Therefore, you have a route to passing the campaign finance laws you want already written into the current constitution: start calling for a repeal of the First Amendment.

True, but that amounts to using a Machete when a scalpel will do the job. Plus, repealing the first amendment goes beyond the issue of speech. One could address campaign financing issues easily with a simple amendment and not by repealing others. The situation isn't similar to the 18th/21st Amendments.

See, the problem for you is that you just want a constitution that gives a fig leaf of legitimacy for whatever you want government to legislate.

No, not really. I think of "legislation" as "Small Ball", whereas the kind of structural changes imagined with regard to financing of elections and the electoral college to be just that, structural rather than remedial.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 12:42 PM  

@ Tad

In other words, anything that gives additional powers to government is redundant because power is already the very essence of government. Anything in a constitution that smacks of giving government power indicates that the so-called constitution in question is simply a fig leaf for the purposes of giving legitimacy to exercise of governmental power.

Campaign finance laws may or may not be a good thing but they cannot be part of any constitution because they are about conferring power on government, which it already has by its very nature as a government. Campaign finance cannot even be PART of a constitution or it isn't even a constitution for a republican form of government.

Anonymous Tad January 07, 2013 12:44 PM  


I'm applying Occam's Razor to politics. If something can be addressed by legislation then it almost certainly does not belong in any constitution. Campaign finance restrictions is legislation not constitution.


You mean if something can be addressed by legislation in the context of the current governing structure laid out in the current constitution? If that's what you mean, then I would agree. But doesn't it seem to you that both campaign finance as well as the way by which a president is elected (electoral college), goes beyond what can be addressed via simple congressional legislation and still stay within the confines of the Constitution's demands? (Granted, the Electoral College issue seems far clearer than the issue of campaign finance/free speech)

Anonymous Tad January 07, 2013 12:53 PM  

@Asher

Campaign finance laws may or may not be a good thing but they cannot be part of any constitution because they are about conferring power on government, which it already has by its very nature as a government. Campaign finance cannot even be PART of a constitution or it isn't even a constitution for a republican form of government.

I want to be clear I understand your position because it feels like we are talking past each other and I really don't want to do that.

What I understand you to be saying is that a Constitution in a republic must restrict power of the government, by definition. Therefore, provisions that GIVE government more power (or that don't primarily serve to restrict govt. power) a not legitimate elements of a constitution addressing republican forms of government.

Is that essentially what you are saying?

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 12:57 PM  

@ Tad

True, but that amounts to using a Machete when a scalpel will do the job.

LOL. Are you even paying attention to this conversation??? You want an entirely new constitution and I'm just pointing out that your desired campaign finance legislation is entirely possible by repealing one currently existing amendment and leaving the rest of the constitution alone.

Occam's Razor, Tad, Occam's Razor.

Tad, your blatant inconsistencies show up from one comment to the next, leaving everyone to conclude that Tad just wants government to do whatever Tad wants it to do. That's why we call you a totalitarian. Your own words betray you. Now you certainly don't consider yourself a totalitarian and that's because you do the following neat little mental trick:

A) Totalitarianism is bad
B) What I want is good
C) Therefore, nothing I could ever want could be totalitarian

Yes, I am quite sure you genuinely believe this, but the reasoning is faulty. In most cases, before people can lie to others they first must lie to themselves.

No, not really. I think of "legislation" as "Small Ball",

Uh, right. So things like the recent healthcare act, social security and other apparatuses of the vast, imperial welfare state are just "small ball". Basically, what you're saying is that "constitution" is stuff that is "big", while "legislation" is stuff that is "small". The distinction is completely arbitrary and there's no real functional need to distinguish between the two other than as a fig leaf to confer legitimacy on government action you consider desirable.

Which is why what you and Seidman really want to do is a government that has the ability to exercise unlimited discretionary power in legislation. Because there is no distinction, in your world, between "constitution" and "legislation" other than as a rhetorical trick.

Just get on with it and be honest that a mongrel nation, like the US, is incapable of being governed by any constitution. The reason you don't is that you're not stupid and you understand that this would usher in an era of pure power politics. And the right would utterly smash the left.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 1:02 PM  

@ Tad

I have a good metaphor for the difference between "constitution" and "legislation". I am sitting in a room with a cool basketweave pattern painted on the wall. That wall stands up because it is supported by 2x4s. The paint is like legislation and the 2x4s are like the constitution.

They are categorically different things. They perform entirely different functions. You cannot substitute one for the other.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 1:21 PM  

@ Tad

But doesn't it seem to you that both campaign finance as well as the way by which a president is elected (electoral college), goes beyond what can be addressed via simple congressional legislation and still stay within the confines of the Constitution's demands?

Um, there's a simple solution for this. Do away with the constitution. Just be honest about it. Again, are you even paying attention to your own words? Earlier in this thread you stated that you consider the constitution "outdated", which to everyone else implies that you think it is no longer relevant. If that's not what you meant then you need to change your wording.

But if you consider the constitution "outdated" then why in the world would you give a crap about staying within its confines. Uh, a little consistency, please. Jesus.

What I understand you to be saying is that a Constitution in a republic must restrict power of the government, by definition. Therefore, provisions that GIVE government more power (or that don't primarily serve to restrict govt. power) a not legitimate elements of a constitution addressing republican forms of government.

Almost. The only problem is your use of the word "legitimate" which is primarily about what people believe. I am saying that anything that is not about limiting the powers of government is categorically not a constitution, regardless of what anyone believes.

"constitution" and "legislation" are logically distinct categories and are completely independent of any particular mind apprehending the distinction.

Yes, I understand that the original articles were about the powers of government but the underlying premise was that all governments tend toward tyranny and that the only legitimate government was one that was restricted to a strict set of enumerated powers.

Go back and read Seidman's article. He clearly thinks that governments don't tend toward tyranny by his assertion that the US government has flagrantly violated the constitution without becoming totalitarian. But if governments don't tend toward tyranny anyways then why do we need a constitution in the first place?

Back in our conversation on the Second Amendment you advocated "common sense" regulation of arms. What about "common sense" regulation of speech? Sex? What you spend your money on? Etc. Just remember that what one person considers "common sense" is likely to be diametrically opposed to what another considers. Someday someone might just come along and propose "common sense" regulation that you consider a violation of your "fundamental rights".

So, yes, logically constitutions can only be about limiting government action and that criterion is mind-independent.

Anonymous Tad January 07, 2013 2:35 PM  

Almost. The only problem is your use of the word "legitimate" which is primarily about what people believe. I am saying that anything that is not about limiting the powers of government is categorically not a constitution, regardless of what anyone believes.

I meant "legitimate" as a reference to the notion of limiting government is the only "legitimate" function of a constitution."

Ok, thank you. I get where you are coming from and your end point. That's very helpful.

Based then on your conception of a constitution, a dictatorship with no restraints authorized by the people could not at the same time possess a constitution in the way you understand them? Correct?

Following from that, could this form of dictatorship issue a "constitution", under your understanding of a constitution, that had one clause reading: "The Dictator shall not pee outside the castle grounds" and would you consider that to be a legitimate form of a"Constitution"?



Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 2:38 PM  

@ Tad

Here's another problem. In a constitutional government the constitution exists prior to government. A Constitutional Convention would have the effect of both dissolving the current constitution as well as the current government. If you are calling for a constitutional convention then you are allowing any of the states to leave the Union without a fight.

So, presumably, you aren't calling for a constitutional convention since that would greatly diminish the power of your cherished imperial welfare state.

You claim that you simply want to limit the emphasis we place on the constitution when considering legislation or making rulings in court. But I don't see you advocating any sort of mechanism establishing criteria where we have a guide on how much weight we should give the existing constitution. The effect would be to invoke the constitution when one wants and ignore it when one doesn't, and that would be, in practice, doing away with the constitution. Therefore you are effectively advocating abolishing the current constitution and not calling for a new convention to replace it. Which is why we are calling you a totalitarian.

Also, Seidman's nonsense about "respect" is just hilarious. How would a Constitutional Law class work? Everyone sitting around talking about "respect"? That's not a law class, it's a group therapy session. I know let's change the name of the country to the United States of the Self-Esteem Movement or the United States of Deepak Chopra.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 3:26 PM  

@ Tad

I meant "legitimate" as a reference to the notion of limiting government is the only "legitimate" function of a constitution."

Occam's Razor, Tad, Occam's Razor.

No. A document that does not limit government is simply not a constitution. "Legitimate" has nothing to do with it, and using the term in that context is what philosopher's call a "category mistake". For example, the government of South Africa has a document titled "The Constitution of South Africa". IIRC, it is over 500 pages and contains a laundry list of things voters would like the government to provide like education and healthcare. But it is not an actual constitution, regardless of what anyone in South Africa thinks, even if they consider it legitimate. All that means is that it is possible for citizens to consider a non-constitutional government legitimate.

Now, you could say that it is illegitimate to call a non-constitutional government "constitutional", which is what I claim you and Seidman are doing. But there is a better word than "illegitimate" describing what yyou are doing, and that word is "incorrect". Even were a majority of voters consider your non-constitutional form of government "legitimate" that would still not make it constitutional.

You are engaging in the following mental trick:

A) Constitutional government is good
B) Whatever I want is good
C) Therefore, whatever I want is constitutional

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 4:31 PM  

@ Tad

Following from that, could this form of dictatorship issue a "constitution", under your understanding of a constitution, that had one clause reading: "The Dictator shall not pee outside the castle grounds" and would you consider that to be a legitimate form of a"Constitution"?

Not by itself, no. Constitutional government must meet three criteria:

A) There must be some limiting mechanism we call "the constitution"
B) That constitution can only be set by the people and exists prior to government, so it exists independent of and before government. It dissolves all currently existing government and establishes a new government
C) The people who institute this constitution must, certainly, be culturally homogeneous and, probably, ethnically homogeneous. If, over time, the population experiences a large degree of cultural divergence then this criterion ceases to be met and you no longer have constitutional government.

Notice how criterion C directly follows from criterion B. "A people" is not some arbitrary assortment of individuals but an actual people with a shared understanding of the world.

I have said and keep on saying that the Constitution is no longer applicable to the current political situation, but my solution is to divide the US into several different countries and then let those countries self-determine, which is really the heart of constitutional government. You, on the other hand, wave around vague, and probably incorrect, observations like "outdated" and even vaguer solutions like "respect". I say incorrect because if the US broke up and one of the resulting states was overwhelmingly white and christian then the constitution as written two centuries ago would be perfectly applicable to that people.

So, no, the constitution is not "outdated", but it is "currently inapplicable".

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 5:35 PM  

@ All pro-lifers

You are all examples of why "limited government" advocates are failing in their arguments. If the constitution is only about limiting the power of government then the constitution, any constitution, cannot contain a right to life, no more than it can contain a right to "not get robbed". The government punishing theft or abortion is an exercise of government power, not its limitation. Get it straight.

Now, we may find abortion horrifying or distasteful and want government to pass laws that punish it, but that would be a legislative and not a constitutional imposition.

That you all cannot see this distinction is prime evidence for inferring that so called limited government advocates are going to lose the war. You can advocate government power via legislative action and still be an advocate of limited government but you cannot advocate government power via constitutional action and be one.

Jesus, no wonder you guys are losing.

Anonymous Tad January 07, 2013 5:44 PM  

@Asher

I am saying that anything that is not about limiting the powers of government is categorically not a constitution, regardless of what anyone believes.

Forgive my brevity. I'm not ignoring you. I just have a variety of interesting thing to care for today, among which is this dialog.

Surely, a constitution will not limit the power of the government entirely. There would be no government. Surely the government and mechanisms for governing described in a constitution put some power into the hands of the government.

That being the case, one measure of a constitution would be the amount of power a citizenry chooses to invest in its government. So we are arguing over what degree of limits make for an effective constitution.

Your solution to the issue of campaign finance (revoking the first amendment) is indeed one method of doing so. But of course it isn't necessary. Simply amending the constitution to take campaign finance out of the realm of Free speech is a much more elegant and delicate way of doing this.

Furthermore, a citizenry can, under the terms of most constitutions, re-arrange the limits of power bestowed upon its government. It can take power away or gift more. And there is nothing about either that removes the document from the definition of constitution.



Anonymous Tad January 07, 2013 5:48 PM  

@Asher

C) The people who institute this constitution must, certainly, be culturally homogeneous and, probably, ethnically homogeneous.

Why?

And, what do you mean by "culturally homogeneous"?

Anonymous Tad January 07, 2013 5:50 PM  

@Asher

For the sake of clarity, would you agree that inserting definitions within a constitution might be helpful?

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 6:17 PM  

@ Tad

Surely, a constitution will not limit the power of the government entirely. There would be no government.

Sure. I am just setting up the categorical distinction between a constitution and legislation.

So we are arguing over what degree of limits make for an effective constitution.

I'm not really sure at this point. Sometimes it seems like we are and then you seem to turn around and want to pack a checklist of legislative wishes into a constitution.

Simply amending the constitution to take campaign finance out of the realm of Free speech is a much more elegant and delicate way of doing this.

Fine, but now you're contradicting yourself. I mean if the current constitution provides an amendment process whereby the people can extend additional enumerated powers to the government is not one that is "outdated". I suspect that you consider campaign finance a pressing concern, too pressing to suffer the protracted process of the amendment process. Clearly, Seidman's talk of "respect" indicates that he would like to see significant campaign finance restrictions without being subject to the iffy and arduous process of amendment.

But, at that point, Seidman is simply advocating legislation, just like any other legislation. Now, we're getting into the realm of unlimited, non-constitutional government.

Furthermore, a citizenry can, under the terms of most constitutions, re-arrange the limits of power bestowed upon its government. It can take power away or gift more. And there is nothing about either that removes the document from the definition of constitution.

This is a bit vague. The people cannot really give power to governments, as the very nature of government is power. It can provide further limitations than already existing or it can remove existing limitations on the exercise of power. For example, a restated first amendment might go something like "free speech rights shall not extend to financing political campaigns", but not "the government shall impose restriction on the financing of political campaigns". The first text would be constitutional and the second legislative. Under the first, government might be allowed the power to regulate campaign finance but not actually end up passing legislation to do so.

If the main goal is to inhibit corruption of the political process then I think campaign finance restriction perform very poorly

For the sake of clarity, would you agree that inserting definitions within a constitution might be helpful?

Not sure. My initial instinct is no. Either the plain language will have overwhelming agreement on what it means or we have a situation that fails my third criterion for constitutional government, which is a high degree of cultural homogeneity.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 6:25 PM  

@ Tad

Why?

And, what do you mean by "culturally homogeneous"?


Because the heart of constitutional government is self-determination by distinct communities of people. Imagine you took the original congress and the original constitution and transported them to some african region and tried to govern it. Sure, you'd have limited government, but that government would not be "of the people".

Now, let's say you have a political entity that is comprised of two very distinct cultures with very little in common. One of them contains 51 percent of the population and the other 49 percent. How do you form a constitution from that? Presumably, the 51 percent will dictated the constitution to the 49 percent and that violates the concept of self-determination for that minority culture.

It seems silly to claim that you have constitutional government when that constitution has been imposed by a foreign and alien people.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 6:57 PM  

@ Tad

Would you not agree that the peoples of Sweden and Nigeria comprise very distinct cultures and have vast differences? Let's say they decide to politically unify and form one country. How in the world would they form a constitution? It would be impossible, and any government ruling this new country could not be consitutional. Physical discontiguity can't be the reason as Hawaii is located thousands of miles off the coast of North America.

Anonymous Tad January 07, 2013 8:26 PM  

Fine, but now you're contradicting yourself. I mean if the current constitution provides an amendment process whereby the people can extend additional enumerated powers to the government is not one that is "outdated".

Sure it can be. The constitution can be both outdated and amendable at the same time.


One of the points that Professor Seidman and others is making is that the intellectual (spiritual?) fealty many feel toward both the constitution and the founders is a roadblock to both debate on procedure and government structure.

Clearly, Seidman's talk of "respect" indicates that he would like to see significant campaign finance restrictions without being subject to the iffy and arduous process of amendment.

Maybe he does. But the likely more salient point he would make is that some jurists, overtaken by an illegitimate "originalist" view of constitutional interpretation have incorrectly placed campaign giving limits in the realm of "free speech".

The first text would be constitutional and the second legislative. Under the first, government might be allowed the power to regulate campaign finance but not actually end up passing legislation to do so.

Under this construction (which I agree with) how would you propose the "might" be dealt with in a constitutional manner?

Not sure. My initial instinct is no. Either the plain language will have overwhelming agreement on what it means....

I too think this kind of agreement is preferable, but then we have to deal with the issue of "Might", which always comes up. And having written a few drafts of legislation, I can tell you that definitions are almost always included...for clarity's sake. Still, I agree that were constitution writing is concerned, I'd prefer simple, unambiguous, time-tested and reliable language.

Anonymous Tad January 07, 2013 8:38 PM  

@Asher

Would you not agree that the peoples of Sweden and Nigeria comprise very distinct cultures and have vast differences? Let's say they decide to politically unify and form one country. How in the world would they form a constitution? It would be impossible, and any government ruling this new country could not be consitutional. Physical discontiguity can't be the reason as Hawaii is located thousands of miles off the coast of North America.

This goes back to your contention our present constitution is "no longer applicable to the current political situation".

But we are not talking about combining two different countries like Sweeden and Nigeria. What we are talking about is a country that has seen a slow and steady integration of different peoples over two centuries. It's not a matter of being a shocking combinations of peoples. Rather, it's a matter of being a slow and steady evolving of people.

Further I'd argue that none of the peoples living in the U.S. today have much of anything directly in common with the culture, politics, economics or understanding of the world that those who lived in the 18th century possessed. In that respect, all the people of the U.S. have something in common.

What I don't see as clear are the types of people you seem to be referring to in concluding that our constitution is ""no longer applicable to the current political situation" other than the world has changed mightily since the late 18th century. And I don't think that's what you are referring to.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 11:30 PM  

@ Tad

Sure it can be. The constitution can be both outdated and amendable at the same time.

No, you're just miffed that the voters aren't out to amend the constitution to allow the campaign finance restrictions you want to see. Your beef isn't with the constitution but with the voters.

the intellectual (spiritual?) fealty many feel toward both the constitution and the founders is a roadblock

Again, this has nothing to do with the constitution but with the voters. Take it up with them. What Seidman wants is to have the effect of amending the constitution without having to undertake the tedious process of amending it per the process.

how would you propose the "might" be dealt with in a constitutional manner?

I suppose you would just pass an amendment stating that political spending isn't protected by the "free speech" clause in the first. The problem is that there is no clear distinction between what is political spending and what is just dissemination of information, and do you really want to give government the power to make that distinction? That's going to be the functional effect of severe restrictions on campaign spending.

This is the real argument that Scalia makes in Citizens United. Do you think the film makers should have been prevented from showing the film despite that there were no direct ties with the campaign? If you think they should have then you're just going to have the campaigns undergoing contortions to evade the laws and they'll quickly become irrelevant. If not, then you're going to see an all-out war over what is considered political spending.

Are you seriously advocating going down that rabbit hole?

But we are not talking about combining two different countries like Sweeden and Nigeria.

America, as it exists, is not a country but an empire ruling over many different countries within its borders. America, unlike my scenario, is not just comprise of two countries but of many.

Anonymous Asher January 07, 2013 11:31 PM  

What we are talking about is a country that has seen a slow and steady integration of different peoples over two centuries.

Let me pick myself up off the floor and stop laughing. You're kidding, right? Integration? Are you taking psychoactive drugs? Hell, back when I was a standard conservative I used to argue with liberals that immigration was fine so long as it was coupled with integration. I was compared to nazis for even suggesting that integration was desirable. Given that political environment the idea that we've had consistent integration of new populations is laughable.

But there's an even bigger problem: disintegration. The descendants of the original founding stock have disintegrated into different cultures, each with little to no feelings of reciprocity with each other. during the past campaign a Democratic PAC inadvertently gave this game away by running ads claiming that "the government is the only thing to which we all belong". I agree, but if that's the case then there is no American people but many distinct peoples ruled by a central and culturally distinct ruling class.

Today, America is similar to the Persian Empire. The difference is that as long as the subjects paid tribute to the Persian masters the distinct subject peoples were pretty much left alone to manage their own affairs.

I'd argue that none of the peoples living in the U.S. today have much of anything directly in common with the culture, politics, economics or understanding of the world that those who lived in the 18th century possessed.

Today's Christian conservatives come pretty damn close and the evidence for this is that they would be perfectly content being ruled by an understanding of the constitution as it existed two centuries ago with the addition of most of the subsequent amendments. But this is simply an argument that the American Empire needs to be broken up for that its various peoples can form their own particular countries and constitutions.
@ Tad

the world has changed mightily since the late 18th century. And I don't think that's what you are referring to.

The change in the subject peoples make up 90 percent of that change. Human behavior on the individual level has changed very little

Anonymous Tad January 08, 2013 9:23 AM  

@Asher

Again, this [fealty to the founders and constitution] has nothing to do with the constitution but with the voters. Take it up with them. What Seidman wants is to have the effect of amending the constitution without having to undertake the tedious process of amending it per the process.

First, the "fealty" comment was not aimed at the constitution (obviously), but at the people. So, while I appreciate you repeating my point, it just sound argumentative in this case. As for Seidman, you mainly misunderstand him I'm sure.

However, it's not as though Textualism is an option where constitutional interpretation is concerned unless you are willing to live with Absurdism too.

I suppose you would just pass an amendment stating that political spending isn't protected by the "free speech" clause in the first. The problem is that there is no clear distinction between what is political spending and what is just dissemination of information, and do you really want to give government the power to make that distinction? That's going to be the functional effect of severe restrictions on campaign spending.

Yes, It could be the effect if written poorly. But I have great confidence in our men of political letters. That it might be difficult to write the amendment well isn't my main concern. My primary concern is that until either an amendment is passed or the court comes to its senses, we have a federal campaign system granted ownership to the highest bidder.

Anonymous Tad January 08, 2013 9:53 AM  

@Asher

When the Irish began to people the country, we heard the argument you are making now. When the Italians came en mass, we heard the same argument. When the Eastern European Jews came to America, we heard the same arguments. When Blacks were taken out of bondage, we heard the same argument: These peoples are not governable under out constitution.

And yet, today we don't hear much of this about these peoples except from the likes of the Wheelers and Scoobious', who believe a Jew born to a third generation Texan family with long ties to oil extraction and healthcare industries are somehow culturally and spiritually incapable of playing well with others and enslaved to a Marxisim. Now you seem to be making a similar argument, though I'm not exactly sure about whom.

More importantly, you need to explain how these peoples, once vilified as not being "American Stock" somehow have come to integrate just fine into the American political fabric.

And of course the "government" is not the only thing that brings us all together. There are a number of different affinities that bring us together in one way or another that are demonstrable: Regional, concerns for national defense, common histories, religion, common enemies, the embrace of various rights. It goes on an on.

That there are differences among the people isn't anything new. Consider the south and north in the late 18th century. Consider all the various pockets of unique communities from the Amish to the Acadians. All the evidence suggests that America quickly became a place where many different peoples came and integrated well into the political system, all adopting the customs and the concerns that define this system.

Today's Christian conservatives come pretty damn close and the evidence for this is that they would be perfectly content being ruled by an understanding of the constitution as it existed two centuries ago with the addition of most of the subsequent amendments.

Hogwash. Today's conservative christians are nothing like the folks that made up the founding generation. They are made wholly different by being tainted by modernity. Even their God is different, not to mention their practices, their concerns, their experience with politics, economics, and everything else.

Finally, you've not indicated the mechanism or personality/cultural motivations that make (apparently) conservative Christians so much more capable of being governed under the current constitution any better than me (a jew) or me(an atheist) or me (a gay man) or anyone else that does not self identify as a Conservative Christian.

Our constitution, despite it partial vagueness, despite its archaic nature in part and despite its remarkable "foreign-ness" to most Americans is quite obviously a governing document capable of appealing to many different kinds of people.


Anonymous Asher January 08, 2013 4:22 PM  

@ Tad

But I have great confidence in our men of political letters.

You understand that this claim just reeks of sanctimony, right.

My primary concern is that until either an amendment is passed or the court comes to its senses, we have a federal campaign system granted ownership to the highest bidder.

The do-something disease. Often cures are worse than what they're trying to fix. Politicians buy voters via social programs. That is as easily as corrupting as campaign donations. The problem, Tad, isn't corruption via the campaign finance system but the systemic corruption that has filtered into every aspect of American life. The default today is corruption and in order to avoid it one has to walk around constantly asking themselves "am I being corrupt".

The corruption spans from the most haughty to the most lowly and can't be addressed by picking and choosing the particular flavor of corruption you dislike.

When the Irish began to people the country, we heard the argument you are making now.

It was a legitimate concern. Fortunately, the elite at the time understood the need for integration. Today's elites openly reject integration, opting for concepts like "diversity" and "multiculturalism". AT the time of Irish immigration everyone agreed that strong cultural affinities were vita for constitutional government and that the debate was whether or not integration was possible.

Today's elites seem to reject the very notion of integration, so this line of reasoning you are taking is absurd. You can't simultaneously claim that integration is possible while touting "diversity" and "multiculturalism".

the Wheelers and Scoobious', who believe a Jew born to a third generation Texan family with long ties to oil extraction and healthcare industries are somehow culturally and spiritually incapable of playing well with others and enslaved to a Marxisim.

Culture isn't reducible to race or ethnicity. There are millions of people living in America who are descended from northwestern european stock with whom I have zero cultural affinity. The problem isn't just with the lack of integration but with active disintegration, something I already pointed out.

Also, you seem to be studiously dodging the issue of whether or not strong cultural affinity is required for constitutional government. You seem to be taking up the following line of reasoning:

A) We don't need to be concerned because integration happens easily
Therefore
B) Integration isn't necessary

You can't have it both ways. Either strong cultural ties between voters is important or it is not, but using the old "they said it about the Irish too" bit is just rhetorical hand waving.

Anonymous Asher January 08, 2013 4:23 PM  

@ Tad

once vilified as not being "American Stock" somehow have come to integrate just fine into the American political fabric.

No one is talking vilification. Difference doesn't mean "bad", but a political entity with a vast variety of distinct cultures can't be a constitutional republic. Such a political entity is analytically speaking, an empire. What you are doing is treating the form of a constitutional republic as if it had some intrinsic metaphysical good and not just as another type of political form.

"Constitutional republic" doesn't have any more intrinsic value than "empire". They are just different and they are appropriate for different situations. America is an empire and it will be an empire so long as it is presiding over a vast diversity of distinct cultures.

There are a number of different affinities that bring us together in one way or another that are demonstrable: Regional, concerns for national defense, common histories, religion, common enemies, the embrace of various rights. It goes on an on.

This is the atomistic, individualistic understanding of human nature. It is incorrect. Everyone in all times and places has been concerned about defending their tribe, nation, etc. That is not what brings them together to form a society and never will. People are interested in defense of home and heart precisely because they already have home and hearth.

They are made wholly different by being tainted by modernity.

Leftism IS that "taint". Notions such as rights without responsibilities are readily apparent and can be undone.

you've not indicated the mechanism or personality/cultural motivations that make (apparently) conservative Christians so much more capable of being governed under the current constitution any better than me (a jew) or me(an atheist) or me (a gay man)

This is the crux of your problem. You are implying that different implies there is some metaphysical yard stick that allows for the assessment of "better". The Constitution as it was written is only appropriate for a people that is culturally Christian and western. Other people can have their own modes of governance and none of them has any greater or less intrinsic worth.

The simple solution is to break up the American Empire and let the distinct people form their own modes of governance, none intrinsically more valuable than any of the others.

As long as you are wedded to the metaphysical notion of intrinsic worth this conversation is pointless.

Anonymous Tad January 08, 2013 5:13 PM  

@Asher

It was a legitimate concern. Fortunately, the elite at the time understood the need for integration. Today's elites openly reject integration, opting for concepts like "diversity" and "multiculturalism".

There are still Irish Day and Italian Day parades in a number of countries and there were back then. Back then, protestant politicians eagerly pandered to the the Italians and the Irish on the terms of the Irish and the Italians. The calls for "diversity" today result in the same thing the calls for integration back in the day did: Pols and other organizers went to he immigrants on the terms of immigrants and those traditions and cultures of the Irish and Italians survived and still do.


Also, you seem to be studiously dodging the issue of whether or not strong cultural affinity is required for constitutional government. You seem to be taking up the following line of reasoning:

A) We don't need to be concerned because integration happens easily
Therefore
B) Integration isn't necessary


First, I don't see the problems you point to with regard to a lack of cultural affinity. There have almost always been a diverse set of cultures here and further I see no evidence that any significant cultures in this country can't continue to exist and function just fine under our constitution and in the service of the constitution. But I'm willing to look at the evidence if you have any.

Further, my line of reasoning is simpler than you portray:

1. Integration has happened, is happening and will happen.

Anonymous Tad January 08, 2013 5:21 PM  

@Asher

No one is talking vilification. Difference doesn't mean "bad", but a political entity with a vast variety of distinct cultures can't be a constitutional republic. Such a political entity is analytically speaking, an empire

Absurd. How do I know. Because we have a constitutional republic and we have different cultures living within it. Further, America isn't an empire within its borders until you redefine the word "Empire".

The Constitution as it was written is only appropriate for a people that is culturally Christian and western.

And yet somehow jews, atheists hispanics, Russians, chinese and other non-christian and non-westerners have fared remarkably well under the constitution, prospered and contributed mightily to the country and body politic. Now you are sounding like those who claim this is a "Christian Country" and yet the founders never once invested the Constitution with such wording. It's crazy talk. Unless you can demonstrate that a Jewish Atheist is somehow improperly formed by nature for life under the U.S. Constitution, then you claim is without merit.


The simple solution is to break up the American Empire and let the distinct people form their own modes of governance, none intrinsically more valuable than any of the others.


The "simple solution" to what? Your discontent?

Anonymous Asher January 08, 2013 5:26 PM  

@ Tad

One of the core concepts of the form of a constitutional republic is that of political self-determination for distinct peoples. Tens of millions of people wish to be free of the vast, corrupt, bloated welfare state which violates the concept of political self-determination.

Let me ask you a question: if several states overwhelmingly wanted to secede and form a separate nation, would you support them.

Anonymous Tad January 08, 2013 8:35 PM  

@Asher
One of the core concepts of the form of a constitutional republic is that of political self-determination for distinct peoples. Tens of millions of people wish to be free of the vast, corrupt, bloated welfare state which violates the concept of political self-determination.

Whether it is corrupt or bloated is an issue to debate. But the various welfare programs are hardly violations of the principle of political self determination. They are in fact the direct consequences of political self determination.

Let me ask you a question: if several states overwhelmingly wanted to secede and form a separate nation, would you support them.

No.

Anonymous Asher January 08, 2013 8:41 PM  

@ Tad

1. Integration has happened, is happening and will happen.

No, not only have diverse peoples been imported without integration but the original stock have disintegration into distinct peoples. The american empire is far more culturally diverse than a country that would be an amalgam of Sweden and Nigeria.

we have a constitutional republic

Incorrect. We have not had a constitutional republic for many, many decades, possibly even over a century. I gave my definition of what makes a constitutional republic different from other forms of government, and now it's your turn. How do you define constitutional republicanism?

a Jewish Atheist is somehow improperly formed by nature for life under the U.S. Constitution

Any particular Jewish Atheist? No. I am an atheist. But millions of Jewish Atheists are not suited for it. I don't resent them. I invite them to agitate for their own country for their own culture or accept that they will be living under a constitution that is dictated to them by the ruling culture.

America is not a Christian country, but it was. That it was not mentioned in the Constitution was irrelevant. Like a fish in water it was just a given.

The "simple solution" to what? Your discontent?

This is what's so dishonest about you. The entire conversation is about Professor Seidman's discontent. do you consider the constitution relevant or not? If so, then you want to tweak it around the edges and you have the amendment process for that. If not, then you are advocating for a completely new constitution and everything is on the table including breaking up the American Empire into separate countries for its various separate peoples.

It's ridiculous that you make a snarky reference to "my" discontent when the entire context of the conversation is Seidman's discontent (and yours).

Just retarded, and intellectually dishonest.

Anonymous Asher January 08, 2013 8:51 PM  

@ Tad

he various welfare programs are hardly violations of the principle of political self determination.

No, they're predicated on politicians buying votes, no different than ruling elites in other forms of governments buying off the masses with bread and circuses. Welfare programs are just things politicians and elites in all varieties of political systems use to keep power. They are completely orthogonal to political self-determination.

Let me ask you a question: if several states overwhelmingly wanted to secede and form a separate nation, would you support them.

No.


If you're envisioning large-scale changes to the constitution that would entail a constitutional convention. This involves dissolving the current government and, with it, any claims to sovereignty over the states. But you want it both ways: you want to retain the claims of sovereignty and to completely overhaul the constitution.

You can't have both. Choose. I mean if the constitution is outdated then so is the supremacy over and sovereignty of the federal government over the several states.

Anonymous Asher January 08, 2013 9:03 PM  

@ Tad

Let's say some state held a referendum and 80 percent of the voters voted to leave the union. Would you advocate using the military to force them to stay?

Anonymous Asher January 08, 2013 9:09 PM  

@ Tad

If you're answer to my last question is "yes" then political self-determination is merely, for you, a means to advance other ends that you desire. Tens of million of Americans certainly hold political self-determination as an end in itself, and that very dichotomy is evidence of the disintegration of the American people into many, diverse peoples.

Also, I found it hilarious that your notion of "culture" focuses on people dressing in green and getting drunk once a year. Culture is what you do on a minute by minute basis, the customs and habits that inform who you are.

Anonymous Tad January 08, 2013 9:20 PM  

a Jewish Atheist is somehow improperly formed by nature for life under the U.S. Constitution

But millions of Jewish Atheists are not suited for it.


Why?

Anonymous Tad January 08, 2013 9:37 PM  

@Asher

No, not only have diverse peoples been imported without integration but the original stock have disintegration into distinct peoples

Which have not integrated and of those that have not, what evidence do you have to suggest they wont, particularly when you consider that all others have?

How do you define constitutional republicanism?

I'll define the Constitutional Republic as a form of government in which powers are limited by a constitution put into force by the people.

America is not a Christian country, but it was. That it was not mentioned in the Constitution was irrelevant. Like a fish in water it was just a given.

YOu mean it was a christian country because the majority of people were christian? Really? Were there any specific consequences to this? Did the founders identify any consequences to this? If not, then you are merely engaging in rhetorical game. Fun. But a game.

Just retarded, and intellectually dishonest.

The problem here is that YOU are the one that just suggested that the "simple solution" is to break up the country into some sort of grouping of peoples, presumably based on christian and all others. Yet you've failed to explain what this is a solution to other than some sort of absurd reference to "empire", when in fact the U.S of A could not be considered an empire. The you go off in this crazy idea that Jews and other non conservative christians are unsuited to be governed by the Constitution, yet you've provided absolutely no explanation for this claim, which by all accounts is demonstrably untrue.

No, they're predicated on politicians buying votes...Welfare programs are just things politicians and elites in all varieties of political systems use to keep power. They are completely orthogonal to political self-determination.

Absurd. Prior to social security huge percentages of senior citizens lived in poverty. Today, they do not. It's a simple program to address a simple program. More importantly, Social Security is a program that was supported by citizens via their representatives. You may not like it. You may prefer elderly living in poverty and eating their boot straps, but it is decidedly not a violation of self determination. You use words well Asher, but I won't let you get away with redefining them to make your point.

Anonymous Tad January 08, 2013 9:42 PM  

@Asher

@ Tad

Let's say some state held a referendum and 80 percent of the voters voted to leave the union. Would you advocate using the military to force them to stay?


Well but of course I would. That would be akin to stealing on the part of he secessionists. Given the chance to weigh in on the issue, I'd vote no. But without the consent of all the states, no state should ever be allowed to leave the union. Let them make their case to the rest of their fellow American citizens. If they can convince all the other states to let them leave, then away with the....after they return on federal property and carve out Guantonano-like enclaves for U.S. occupation.

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