Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

“…if that’s what you believe, then all of this talk of revolution suddenly doesn’t seem so crazy, it seems almost mandatory.”

Written By: Bob - Feb• 26•13

For some reason, I just don’t get juiced by the idea of listening to an hour long podcast from an economist, but I’m glad that Ed Driscoll did.

He transcribed the part where Glenn Reynolds, law professor at the University of Tennessee and blogger of Instapundit fame, dropped the boom on the socialist supporters of Georgetown law professor Louis Michael Seidman, who advocates giving up on the constitution.

REYNOLDS: Here’s the problem with public officials — because that’s really [Seidman’s] audience — deciding to ignore the Constitution: If you’re the president, if you’re a member of Congress, if you are a TSA agent, the only reason why somebody should listen to what you say, instead of horsewhipping you out of town for your impertinence, is because you exercise power via the Constitution. If the Constitution doesn’t count, you don’t have any legitimate power. You’re a thief, a brigand, an officious busybody, somebody who should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail for trying to exercise power you don’t possess.

So if we’re going to start ignoring the Constitution, I’m fine with that. The first part I’m going to start ignoring is the part that says, I have to do whatever they say.

ROBERTS: But his argument is that we already ignore the Constitution; it’s not really much of a binding document.

REYNOLDS: Oh, well, then I’m free to do whatever I want! And actually, that is a damning admission, because what that really says is: If you believe Seidman’s argument; if you believe that we already ignore the Constitution anyway, then in fact, the government rules by sheer naked force, and nothing else. And if that’s what you believe, then all of this talk of revolution suddenly doesn’t seem so crazy, it seems almost mandatory.

Reynolds wrote a column on Feb 4th explaining those views in more detail.

Americans are out of sorts, and increasingly they’re unhappy with the government. According to a Pew poll released last week, more than half of Americans view government as a threat to their freedom.

And it’s not just Republicans unhappy with Obama, or gun owners afraid that the government will take their guns: 38% of Democrats, and 45% of non-gun owners, see the government as a threat.

Add this to another recent poll in which only 22% of likely voters feel America’s government has the “consent of the governed,” and you’ve got a pretty depressing picture — and a recipe for potential trouble. Governments operate, to a degree, by force, but ultimately they depend on legitimacy. A government that a majority views as a threat, and that only a small minority sees as enjoying the consent of the governed, is a government with legitimacy problems.

We’re rapidly approaching a point where Americans are going to have to make a choice to gut the power of the federal government, or the federal government is going to gut us.

Professor Reynolds suggests a constitutional convention will be the best way out, and indeed, it may be.

Myself, I have the same wary view of a convention that Matt Bracken does. Would-be elites who can steal elections can steal constitutional conventions, and I don’t think for a second that the GOP wouldn’t collaborate with the socialists to stay in power to keep feeding off the corpse of the Republic.

Judging by the continued arms an ammunition shortages, that appears to be a fairly common belief.

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  1. Dave says:

    If this were true the people would be out in force to reduce government. What happens is everybody thinks this way until it comes to their ox being gored.

    We must accept that we must suffer to fix things for the future. In other words..MAN the HELL UP Americans.

  2. Veeshir says:

    if that’s what you believe, then all of this talk of revolution suddenly doesn’t seem so crazy, it seems almost mandatory.”

    That’s what I used to say during the dark days of the Chimpy McBusHitler dictatorship.

    If I believed what those idiot lefties claimed to believe, I wouldn’t have just sat there whining.

  3. Arthur says:

    They can pass anything in a ConCon. Now try and get it ratified by 3/4ths of the states…

    But I still think a ConCon is way overdue. Let’s air it out!

  4. Comrade X says:

    I have been advocating a constitutional convention for many years now, most of my friends are against a CC because of their fear of the lost of the 2nd amendment.

    The question I must ask is do we have the CC before or after it’s lost?

    My opinion of a CC is that it is a firewall to the coming revolution &/or a torch which will light the road to freedom. It is the only thing that can get us off the track we are on that may not (I said may not!) cause bloodshed.

    Death before slavery!

    • I’d rather we have the revolution and get it over with before the tyrants trash our right to self-defense and other rights further, then steal a con-con in an attempt to lend themselves some facade of legitimacy.

      • Comrade X says:

        I hear you on that but exhausting every peaceful avenue fits in with how our founders did it, however you do see how that ended up too!

        Death before slavery!

      • Tonto says:

        I have to agree. I’d like to see the 17th amendment gone but there is not really much wrong with the Constitution—just that the People need to put the fear of God into the ruling class and remind them about first principles of a republic.
        Recall that this current bunch honestly believes that Rights are bestowed on the People by benevolent rulers.

  5. Treker says:

    I have great faith in the hand of Providence . We are far more debauched than Soddom or Gomorah . This has spread around the world and will increase. Not all of America has succumbed and will not . Prepare and watch the signs of the times.

  6. Rob Crawford says:

    I simply do not trust the corrupt class to run a Constitutional Convention without simply filing the signatures off the Soviet constitution then imposing it on us by fiat.

    I want the one we have.

    • Comrade X says:

      But if the constitution we have is being misinterpreted to the point it is being disregarded and made worthless don’t you think it is time to make some improvements? Improvements like term limits, a balance budget, a clarification of the commerce clause to mean not everything under the kitchen sink, etc etc.?

      I agree we would be taking a big chance of losing it all but the way I see it we are losing it all now just more slowly, and there is a plus side; we could solve the problem and get our beloved country back on the right track!

      The only negative side is war and revolution if we lose everything and that is the way I see us headed now without a CC anyway.

      I just like an alternative that does not have to have bloodshed in it if possible, tell me another way other than a CC and I am listening.

      Death before slavery!

      • Comrade X says:

        Add one more word; slavery;

        I just like an alternative that does not have to have bloodshed or slavery in it if possible, tell me another way other than a CC and I am listening.

        Death before slavery!

      • It’s the people in power that are the problem, not the Constitution. Those bastards should be dragged out and be hanged or shot, plain and simple.

      • Comrade X says:

        Terms limits can drag out most of them, the worst of the lot, just think what our future would be with no term limits on our president?

        Death before slavery!

  7. Orion says:

    There is no ‘process’ way out of the mess that we have created. You cannot expect a group of criminals to somehow process themselves out of power and graft. All they will do is process themselves more of both.

    There is only one way. Many of us are just waiting for it to start – we won’t start it, but we’ll sure as hell finish it and be there to clean the mess up and restore the Republic.


  8. RangerLou says:

    America is at an awkward place, too late to stop the socialists from destroying the Republic, but too early to shoot the bastards.

  9. theBuckWheat says:

    Are we close to holding a Constitutional Convention yet, or are people still worried that a Convention will take away their RKBA? For my part, we still have at least on peaceful option left and we are obligated to discuss it. And know that the more serious the discussion about a Convention becomes and the more people join in, the more frantic it will make the left. And keep in mind that whatever a Convention passes must also be ratified by a super-majority of the surviving states.

    A convention could also address the other defects and weaknesses in the Constitution that allow an EPA that has run amok, has allowed the seizure of private property for the benefit of corporate interests (like the Kelo decision), has lead to regulatory tyranny like the raid on Gibson Guitars over the wood it imports, and the conviction of a sea food importer for the horrible crime of shipping lobsters in a styrofoam container rather than a cardboard one. More important, we could stop the federal government from placing us all in debt-serfdom through infinite money printing and perpetual debt. And last but not least is the outrage of ObamaCare. It is time to redefine the federal government. The only issue is if this will be a peaceaful or a bloody process.

    Did I mention that serious talk about a convention would drive the left into apoplexy?

    see also:

    State resistance to rogue post-constitutional federal government: the last best hope

    A Bill Of Federalism
    Randy E. Barnett, 05.20.09,

    • Orion says:

      And these are the same states following the same ‘electoral’ process that resulted in the last two HIGHLY questionable elections with rampant fraud from one end to the other and a State Propaganda Arm masquerading as media.

      You seriously think this has some hope of producing a Constitution that guarantees individual liberty? I have a bridge to sell you, my friend…Very lightly used, very scenic…


  10. Cole says:

    What would a constitutional convention look like? A bunch of people who support big government out of ideology or greed wasting time producing nothing that would pass the states. That is until Obama floods all the states with enough illegals to turn them blue.

    Why would Obama or any other tyrant bother to follow the new constitution any more than the last? The document isn’t the problem. The problem is that we’ve allowed the worst of us to lead the rest of us. Time to clean house.

  11. Another Anon says:

    A con-con is simply not possible in the current political situation.

    There are too many disagreements on issues and those disagreements run too deep.

    Also one misstep on either side could start CW2, assaults on the 2nd and 1st and 5th and 4th ammendments are obvious triggers but again eliminating Roe V. Wade or Miranda v Arizona, Immigration or any of a host of other things.

    The Left too has issues they consider serious enough for revolt and acts tey’d consider illegitimate. And while yes they aren’t as likely to be armed or have military experience , they are as history shows quite capable of organized and irregular collective violence.

    If it came to that we’d be better off going the way of Czechoslovakia or the former USSR and forming seperate, hopefully friendly Republics in some non violent fashion

    One con-con driven end of the Union scenario here

  12. Al Reasin says:

    We have had one constitutional convention to revise the Articles of Confederation and look what happened. Yes, what we got was much, much better, but there is no guarantee of that being the case the next time. We had statesman then, who put the country ahead of personal gain. Think about Pelosi and her gang running the convention!
    Other than the general rules in the Constitution, there are no details on how to run a convention and how to select the attendees. In 1971 and 73 there was a senate attempt to address the rules problem, but the House never passed either of them.

  13. styrgwillidar says:

    Well, my proposal for the next revision of the constitution is to eliminate elections for members of congress and instead intitute representatives by draft. No more politics as a career, no more allegiance to a party for advancement in the career, no more dependence on big contributors to stay in the career, no more congress consisting of primarily lawyers and the wealthy. No more passing laws just to show you’re producing something regardless of whether it makes any sense or not.

    The congress consisting of a drafted group could spend the majority of the time auditing/monitioring the various departments to determine if they are enforcing the laws as congress intended, and determining if the regulations promulgated make sense and within their authority.

    Just my .02, but I think my local WalMart checker can balance a damn budget on time better than the lawyers in congress now.

  14. Comrade X says:

    Well there is one thing most all of us can agree on, that the country is in the toilet and has been for a while, I know there are those of you who think that a flushing is the only solution, but with that; what do you have left?

    I would rather look at it as a computer that is locked up and needs a reset, with that you still will keep your operating system unless you decide to go for all new software. I like what our founders gave us, IMHO they were smarter men than we, but a CC could allow our cream to rise to the surface just as in 1776 & 1791 and I have faith they will & thus be giving us the corrections we need to again have freedom and opportunity in the land. If not then who would argue about the sword being the only way?

    With a CC what do we have to lose that we have not already lost or will be losing soon, is the question. Bloodshed and revolution no matter what other path is taken in between may be the only way to restore liberty, at least to part of this country some parts of the country may be lost for at least a few generations, a CC seems to be the only peaceful way it could be done?

    One other thought, if the CC was hijacked by evil, having evil major players located in one place; could not that make for the recognition of evil easier and it’s elimination more convenient?

    Death before slavery!

  15. Gayle says:

    Obama’s “civilian national security force” ?

    “There has been speculation regarding President Obama’s “citizen army”. In 2008, President Obama made statements regarding a “civilian national security force”. Since that day, many have been curious as to what President Obama had in mind when he made that statement. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY13) may have just given a bit of insight into what was meant when he introduced H.R. 748 last week.

    H.R. 748 would “authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, to provide for the registration of women under the Military Selective Service Act, and for other purposes”


  16. chowthen says:

    The constitution was ratified after a violent revolution so I say lets have the revolution first before having CC; otherwise, it will just be hijacked and made worst by the elites. Those who say avoid bloodshed and lets have CC are just sheeps dressed as patriots.

    • Comrade X says:

      Avoiding bloodshed until it can’t be avoided is not a bad policy no matter what clothing one might wear IMHO, but by no means do I pretend that a CC doesn’t have real pitfalls involved with it and it would also be a very risky venture. If our current ruling class was able to rig the rules for it as they seem to do for everything else then it would be a totally useless venture for sure and a complete waste of time.

      Death before slavery!