Monday, August 26, 2013

The Liberty Amendments = my thoughts

I finally finished Mark Levin's The Liberty Amendments today. What do I think? Glad ya asked. heh

I don't listen to talk radio, so I'm only familiar with Levin through the various snippets that get posted to other people's blogs. He always seemed so animated about a particular subject, that I just assumed he was this high-octane purveyor of conservative philosophy. The book liner notes say he is an attorney with a B.A. from Temple and a J.D. (no idea what that is) from Temple Law School. His writing is remarkably literate and I love his knowledge of the founders/framers, whether it is natural or he has to dig out references, it's pretty impressive to this layman.

As I mentioned in an earlier post on the book, it is a fairly cumbersome read only because of the copious quoting from the founders. I imagine that many readers will simply gloss over that stuff, feeling it to be redundant or not necessary to one's understanding of what Levin is proposing vis a vis his Amendments. I enjoyed reading the quotes throughout, as I mentioned, and it actually makes me want to read more of their thoughts on the framing of the Constitution. Whether that was Levin's purpose or not, I think there is value in everyone re-acquainting themselves with the thoughts of the founders/framers during these trying times.

That said, Levin's idea is to use a little known part of Article V that allows for the States to propose and adopt Amendments to the Constitution, bypassing Congress altogether. There is gridlock in Congress to be sure, though I do not subscribe to the lie of Republican obstructionism peddled in the left-wing press. But the assault on our personal freedoms and the "death by a thousand cuts" of the Constitution must be halted some way. I think Levin might be on to something here.

Levin also proposes a series of Amendments (hence the name of the book) to restore the country to the idea of the founders/framers. He has stated in interviews that his Amendment proposals are just his idea, and he hopes they are a jumping off point for debate on the idea. But they are pretty well thought out in this layman's opinion.

Two of my favorites are term limits for Congressmen and term limits for Supreme Court Justices. The latter also comes with a mechanism to overturn Supreme Court rulings via super-majority override by the States or Congress. He makes the good point in the book that the country is not supposed to be held hostage to a tiny cabal of un-elected jurists who legislate from the bench with impunity.

He also suggests the usual conservative/libertarian favs about balanced budget and a flat tax, limits to the size of the Federal bureaucracy and protecting the vote via i.d.'s.

If there's anything that might cause problems it is his continued use of ObamaCare as an example of legislation run amok. Now, granted that is totally correct, but lefties and those in the press that will seek to demonize Levin and his work, should this get any traction, will complain that it is more of the usual Republican haterism directed at the President's signature program. Their complaints will be that Levin seeks to completely overhaul the government simply to shut down Obamacare, so look what a wacko nutjob he is, etc. It just seems like a bit of a mis-step to me in an otherwise well thought out book.

Conservatives should read this book and I think that Libertarians will be drawn to Levin's ideas as well as he is promoting much less government interference in our personal lives, seeking to return the country to a minimal central government with more power at the state level where it is most responsible to the people.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. And after reading it, you should share it with your friends and probably suggest it to your Congressmen and State Legislators as well. Not unlike the Tea Party of three years ago, we need a ground-up, grass-roots wave of activism if we're going to save our country and ourselves from what looks like a disastrous slide into bankruptcy and chaos. And Levin's ideas here are an excellent platform to build from.

Here's a little something I ran across today. It is John Hayward's review of Levin's book. Like most, I came across Hayward's writing when he first appeared under the nom de web of Doc Zero. He's an excellent, insightful writer and his review of Levin's book is much better than mine. Below is a podcast of Levin reading Hayward's review word for word. If you've never heard Levin on the radio, you'll see what I was talking about in the beginning of my review -- his vocal projection seems quite at odds with the quiet deliberateness of his writing.
Enjoy :-)

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