Get PJ Media on your Apple

Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments: A Blueprint, and a Truth Laid Bare

America exists to stifle leftists. Levin’s book forces its critics to address this.

by
David Steinberg

Bio

August 31, 2013 - 12:00 am

The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic

By Mark Levin

Published by Threshold Editions (August 13, 2013)

 

The Liberty Amendments spent its first two weeks of sales at #1, and I presume #2 wasn’t close. Don’t miss the subtext: Mark Levin’s perspective and interests relate directly to him being America’s best-selling political author. His choice of topic bears as much relevance to his books’ worth as does the content. Levin appears to primarily interest himself with overarching concerns — philosophy, law, the nature of the state and man’s behavior — and he then references daily matters of governance in such terms. His heart is in “statesman” stuff; his sales are evidence that conservatives’ hearts are, too.

As a response to Obama — and to the century of disregard for the Constitution that preceded him — Levin has drafted proposals for a series of constitutional amendments intended to reinforce the Founders’ intent. As such, this is obviously not FDR’s Second Bill of Rights, yet bafflingly, noting that Levin offers nothing that opposes the Founding motives has become necessary since the book’s publication (Rush Limbaugh mentioned on Monday that even some conservatives have misread Levin’s intent). Each of Levin’s proposed amendments provides additional safeguards for liberty of which the Founders failed to foresee a need, and nothing more.

Of course — via extensive deliberation regarding “known unknowns” — the Founders did foresee a need to install an amendment process allowing future citizens a means of clawing back unintended power from a governing class. The amendment process has been successfully completed seventeen times following the initial ten amendments composing the Bill of Rights, but all seventeen instances involved initiation of the amendment process by the federal government. This is only one of two processes of amending established by Article V of the Constitution; the other method has never been successfully administered. Levin makes the case that this second method bears much promise today.

The following is an excerpt from Article V, with the key passage in italics:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress.

Levin suggests that current political realities make any federally initiated “liberty amendment” unlikely, but that the state-initiated process holds tremendous potential for restoring individual liberty, and is the proper path for conservatives to consider expending their energies.

Is he correct? Is this book and suggested tactic useful?

Two weeks in, I’ve noted that favorable reviews of the book universally employ descriptors like “concrete,” “blueprint,” and — most telling — “finally.” Conservatives’ perennial revulsion towards congressional GOP members as a whole rests on the inability to use these words. “Weak-kneed,” “directionless,” and “Democrat-lite” are more like it. Should the entire GOP platform be enacted tomorrow, would the needle hardly budge towards liberty? The Liberty Amendments is a tangible, concise representation of conservative ideals, for which conservative voters have been waiting for some time.

Nineteen years, to be precise — the party has been unable to offer concrete platforms in the interim. As to why, the answer is about as depressing and dull as the GOP’s recent product, and not worth discussing now that a blueprint has emerged.

In addition to this, The Liberty Amendments has a second benefit. Maybe I would best classify it as secondary, but it’s there, blaring red, the book’s greatest potential to be a weapon in the restoration of constitutional supremacy.

Pretend — assuming you must pretend — you are a leftist reviewing The Liberty Amendments with an eye towards dismantling it. Through Levin’s arguments for supporting his proposals and the accompanying references to the Founders’ intentions, you cannot avoid the conclusion that America was founded for the sole purpose of combating the inevitable, predictable rise of statism.

That is, America exists — the Founders and their contemporaries fought and died — to provide their descendants with tools to crush what became known as the Democratic Party. You may remain a leftist knowing this, but you cannot remain a patriot, and any leftist reviewer would need to sustain considerable intellectual honesty to avoid this conclusion.

Now that’s a useful book.

David Steinberg is the New York City Editor of PJ Media. Follow his tweets at @DavidSPJM.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I read Liberty and Tyranny, and Ameritopia, and am sold on Mark Levin's grasp of American history and its founding purpose. Can't wait to read this book as well. If America is to pull back from the precipice, it will have to be done by We The People. The elites that we send to Washington are making far too much money to care.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A couple of things: It is wrong to use the words Republican and Conservative as interchangeable. The TEA party was created to illustrate the ideological divide.
Regarding Levin's suggested amendments: there is a glaring omission. There absolutely must be included a prohibition of the "omnibus bill". Until this happens there can be no assignment of responsibility. We have all heard congress weasel out of a questionable vote with: "I was actually opposed to that facet of the bill, but in order to get .....(you fill it in) passed, I had to vote for the entire bill!" And so we get bridges to nowhere. Another benefit to eliminating the omnibus is a forced focus on important national issues as the time involved in the legislative process would limit the number of bills to be considered.
One last thing, Conservatives are constantly pilloried for failing to have a plan to substitute for a liberal proposal. There is nearly always a substitute plan. It is simply to allow the free market to work. The concept of allowing the exercise of personal choice (liberty) to solve a problem for which the statist always have a legal solution.

More at: "Obama and the Destruction of America" Scribd.com
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I haven't read the book.. Now I suppose I absolutely have to.

My favorite thought is the crystalizing hope of the impact of returning selection of Senators from the popular vote to the legislatures. Would any Senator vote for an unfunded mandate again if he new the legislature reappointing him would resent and go into further debt in order to enact it?

I'll have to read the book to see what Levin says on this.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (39)
All Comments   (39)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I do not have to read the book. I cannot conceive there being any space between Levin's motives and proposals for amendments and my own. However, his means are problematic. He wants to move amendments through the states rather than the federal route. Let's go have a look at any map of the U.S. depicting the Red/Blue divide. Now, find me 3/4 of that mess that will agree on anything as momentous as a constitutional amendment, particularly of the weight and import of those we need and I completely presume, Levin has made in his book. This is the intractable fault in Levin's book. He needs to address this problem for the book to be more than a best seller; to be a history maker, a modern Common Sense. Have at it Mark. I wish you would.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I read Liberty and Tyranny, and Ameritopia, and am sold on Mark Levin's grasp of American history and its founding purpose. Can't wait to read this book as well. If America is to pull back from the precipice, it will have to be done by We The People. The elites that we send to Washington are making far too much money to care.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why not pursue (as a first step toward implementing Mark's idea) a much easier route? It will still take time and a massive effort, but I think The Coolidge Project makes a heck of a good point here: http://thecoolidgeproject.wordpress.com/mark-levin-and-article-vs-second-option/

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem I these people no NOTHING about building a movement for social change. This CANNOT be done as a 'Tea Party operation. Think about it-EVEN if the Constitutional conservatives take every branch of government and replace the Repew-Bick party we will STILL not get the Liberty Amendments!

WE NEED LIBERALS AND LIBERTRIANS to pull this off. There are MANY State based civil rights organizations, medical marijuana groups, gay rights groups that could be brought along with the notion of limiting federal power and rolling back this federal Leviathon that is swallowing our society. Mark's book is exceptional and should be required reading for all voters but it often reads like a conservative wish list. Most of these Amendments are not going to see the light of day. BUT....it is possible we can do a few of them- enough to save the country.

We need a BROAD BASED COALITION of organizations.
We need a dedicated web site for the Liberty Amendments (LA)
We need a heavily moderated official discussion forum for the LA.
We need 5013c organizations in EVERY State.

We need a steering committee for the national organization- Perhaps a 3 member committee with a prominent Conservative, Libertarian, and Liberal. Yes, a liberal- a civil rights leader who loves America and recognizes what is happening.

If Mark's book is the opening salvo in a long national conversation we can win. If we cannot find any right thinking liberals and libertarians to support this we will not win.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem is that most of the so-called activist groups may gripe about big government but they are right on board with using the law to force their agendas down everyone else's throats. Even many libertarians are cool with big government in the end because many are really more libertine than they are actual libertarians. They want all the vice and none of the responsibility it carries, so they want that big government safety net.

Small government, limited government means just that. No laws to force others to live your way, no safety net to catch you if your vices bring you down.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"No laws to force others to live your way, no safety net to catch you if your vices bring you down."

Unfortunately, way too many people simply don't have the stomach for that. Big gov't is a fix for too many people.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A couple of things: It is wrong to use the words Republican and Conservative as interchangeable. The TEA party was created to illustrate the ideological divide.
Regarding Levin's suggested amendments: there is a glaring omission. There absolutely must be included a prohibition of the "omnibus bill". Until this happens there can be no assignment of responsibility. We have all heard congress weasel out of a questionable vote with: "I was actually opposed to that facet of the bill, but in order to get .....(you fill it in) passed, I had to vote for the entire bill!" And so we get bridges to nowhere. Another benefit to eliminating the omnibus is a forced focus on important national issues as the time involved in the legislative process would limit the number of bills to be considered.
One last thing, Conservatives are constantly pilloried for failing to have a plan to substitute for a liberal proposal. There is nearly always a substitute plan. It is simply to allow the free market to work. The concept of allowing the exercise of personal choice (liberty) to solve a problem for which the statist always have a legal solution.

More at: "Obama and the Destruction of America" Scribd.com
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That rarest thing on blogs: somebody who knows something about governing! The single greatest thing that could be done with the federal government is impose a single subject rule on legislation. Many states have such a rule, mine does, and, yes, bureaucrat weenies like me can come up with 200 word sentences for a bill title, but single subject bill titles really limit the horse-trading and reduce the hiding places. The Republicans in the House could show they actually know and care by doing it as a rule change any time they could tear themselves away from the Georgetown cocktail parties.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One of the proposed amendments in the book is that all bills with their amendments have to be available in their final, unchangeable form available for reading for a minimum of thirty days before they can be voted on. If something dire happens needing an immediate vote, a 2/3 vote by both the House and Senate can waive this waiting period for a specific bill. Secondly, it gives a very difficult, but possible way for state legislatures to collectively veto a federal bill, executive orders or Supreme Court (Dred Scott?) decisions.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
'Single Subject Rule'. 'Line Item Veto'. Tomato, tomaato.

Used to be called Log Rolling... then Earmarks... Graft, corruption and vote buying by whatever name.

Sad thing is our votes are bought so cheaply.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Two things I'v heard Levin say: One, only thirty persent of the Colonial population involved itself in the Revolution, and two, the people will ultimately get the government they want.

Somewhere in between these two poles offers a slight but, until now, improbable window of possibility.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I haven't read the book.. Now I suppose I absolutely have to.

My favorite thought is the crystalizing hope of the impact of returning selection of Senators from the popular vote to the legislatures. Would any Senator vote for an unfunded mandate again if he new the legislature reappointing him would resent and go into further debt in order to enact it?

I'll have to read the book to see what Levin says on this.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Of considerable value are the Conversations, discussions and arguments started and to be started by the book and upcoming effort.

All sides will have to read the existing constitution...as well as many of the founding documents and discourse that took place during its writing and ratification.

I do not have to remind anyone here that very few libs, including constitutional adjuct prof Obama have actually read and studied the document. They have only read and been taught from watered down commentary by ideologues.

(Their Biblical Knowledge, such as it is, is third hand as well)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I too am a Californian and know well the pain of living in the
Bluest of Blue states. However, we conservative Californians do have the tool of the citizen-written Proposition Process. It is conceivable that we could create and even pass a Proposition that would REQUIRE the state Assembly to join the call for a convention of states to amend the Constitution for the purpose of restraining the power of the Federal government.

The first step that each of us, not just Californians, needs to take is to go to the website: ConventiuonOFStates.com, established by Citizens for Self-Government and the Tea Party Patriots. There you can sign-in for the struggle. And make no misstate, it will be a struggle to reach the group’s goal of signing up 40 states to call for a convention of states as provided by the Article V of the Constitution. The Statist, with their allies in the media, will fight this with every breath they take.

But what are our choices? If we don’t use the tool rein in the over-reach of the central government the Founders provided under Article V, we are either destined to watch Obama and his army of “Progressives” continue to transform the “Last ,Best Hope” for the liberty of mankind, or employ our Second Amendment rights in the streets of America. I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit reluctant for a face-off with the U.S. military armed only with my Winchester Model 70 deer rifle.

The second step is to buy, borrow or share Mark Levin’s new best-seller, “The Liberty Amendments” where Levin proposes nine new amendments that would constitutionally roll-back the ever-growing power of our Federal Overlords. I would humbly add one more amendment to his thoughtful list: I would amend the Constitution to make it an impeachable offence for any federal officer, such as the President, Senator, Representative or Supreme Court Justice to violate any article of the Constitution.

Each of these offices requires a solemn pledge to “support and defend the Constitution” so why should there be no real penalty for violating that oath?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The Statist, with their allies in the media, will fight this with every breath they take."

That they will, and they will come up with a derogatory name for those who push for it like "denier" or "birther" or "racist". Don't ask me what that derogatory name will be, and I'm not about to suggest something for them, but they will come up with a derogatory name and all sorts of politicians will run for cover.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The IRS intercepted your post and misspelled the url. I think you meant to say www.conventionofstates.com
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Each of these offices requires a solemn pledge to “support and defend the Constitution” so why should there be no real penalty for violating that oath?"

According to Ted Cruz, there simply aren't the votes in the Senate to hold anyone accountable.

I otherwise agree with your post. I'm from CT but we have a fairly robust Tea Party movement so all is not lost.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This book is a gift to the generation that's now in high school and college. They're the ones without a future who will ultimately become angry enough and hungry enough to demand change.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All

One Trackback to “Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments: A Blueprint, and a Truth Laid Bare”