02 January 2013

Spin to Sell Books: "Abandon the Constitution"

This article sent me to this BS in the New York Times by Louis Michael Seidman (more on Seidman), which I take to be mainly a ploy to market a book. Yet, here's another constitutional law professor who doesn't seem to be able to properly assess the realities even of history, much less social dynamics.

Among the comments I found when I went to research Seidman and the article, I found this, which in some ways sums up Seidman's commentary, albeit one has to sift through sarcasm and some wandering in order to sort out "Banter's" own angle.

I really liked this comment, and WOW, and this cracked me up with the following: I dunno. Does this mean we should ignore Roe? Or Miranda? And Baker v. Carr? And if the Constitution is this obsolete and “evil,” then maybe secession isn’t off the table after all? . . . .

Again, to a large degree, I find Seidman's writing to be mostly provocation to read his book. I've never read any of his stuff other than this article, and I'm not feeling very inclined to go track down any of his books. But he's generated some buzz, and some people, in the name of respectability probably, will track it down and read it. If it reads like his article does, it'll step out with a wild statement or ten, and then spend a lot of time pseudo-backtracking and qualifying and by the time one is done, he won't really have said much, but will have managed to ruffle feathers everywhere nonetheless.

This seems to sum up the gist of his message: No sooner was the Constitution in place than our leaders began ignoring it. John Adams supported the Alien and Sedition Acts, which violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. Thomas Jefferson thought every constitution should expire after a single generation. He believed the most consequential act of his presidency — the purchase of the Louisiana Territory — exceeded his constitutional powers.

So, since there is a long standing precedent of violating the oath of office and disregarding the Constitution, even by the best defenders thereof, we should just dispense with it, basically... Such is his argument.

Yes, our government has acted outside its authority practically since the ink was dry. But that's what's WRONG with our country, not what's right about it! Seidman appears to say, "full speed ahead, let's just have the powerful do whatever they think is right, no matter how twisted their morality may be. Skip the rudder, skip the keel, just hoist the sails and see where it takes us."

Uh, been there; done that. Especially over the last 12 years.

Nope. It's time to dismantle the fiat state and get back to constitutional principles and procedures. It's time to simply eliminate any executive order that purports to or equates to establishing law, since writing and approving law is Congress' job. Congresscritters who don't stand up and blast away at the Executive's abuse of power he doesn't rightly have... such flabby congresscritters need to be blown out of office on the sails of the next election, or if possible, on recalls and the like.

No, we don't need to abandon the Constitution; we need to bolster it. And for those areas in which it needs updating, i.e., referring to blacks or natives as less than a whole person, etc. Yes, the amendment process has a use. Instead of ignoring the Constitution, which is the law over government, let's fix the pieces that need fixing. "But that's hard, so hard." Yup. That's what it's intended to be, for good reasons: the ideas of freedom from kings and other lords, etc., come from a serious understanding of history and social dynamics--something that appears to be lacking in Seidman's intellectual repertoire.

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