A Conversation With Mark Levin About “The Liberty Amendments”
Here’s the transcript of today’s interview of Mark Levin about his new book, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic:
HH: Morning glory and evening grace, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt. The number one book in America is The Liberty Amendments Restoring the American Republic by my friend, the great one, Mark R. Levin. It is linked at HughHewitt.com. It finishes the call to arms that Mark has put out in four parts, a quartet of important books Liberty and Tyranny: followed by Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America and, of course, Men in Black started it off, but the Liberty Amendments is the most intensely, practical and provocative of the four. Mark Levin, welcome back my friend.
ML: My brother Hugh Hewitt, how are you?
HH: I am terrific. Congratulations, number one on Amazon!
ML: Well, it beats number two.
HH: It does. The heck with Avis.
HH: Look, last week on this show, you’ve started something. John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, said we need a convention of the States for a balanced budget. Mike Farris of the Homeschool Legal Defense Network said the same last week. Our friend Mark Mekler has been dialoguing with me. I think you’ve thrown a match on the fire here, Levin.
ML: Well, you know, Hugh, at least we really ought to start talking about this and think it through because if you agree with me that we are so unmoored from the Constitution, not just with this president, but the way the federal government operates, that there really isn’t recourse. You know, the checks and balances exist in the breach and the state’s have sovereignty and the breach and you’ve got this massive administrative state kicking out 3,000 laws a year, yet as call ourselves a representative republic. I’ve just decided to, to take all that varnish off, Hugh, and you know, I’ve written about the political philosophy and conservatism. My callers ask. and I’m sure yours do too, “What can we do?” Well, there is nothing we can do immediately except at least start the process of looking at the Constitution, where there is at least a road that should be considered.
HH: It’s the Article V road and we’re going to talk about that in the course of this hour and, specifically, Mark’s proposed 11 Amendments to be considered by a convention of the states. But let’s quickly review the need, which you do very well, very compactly. Congress is “operating in the shadows,” the federal leviathan is enormous and it’s growing. The non-delegation doctrine that tingles the legs of Con Law lawyers out there is dead. The Supreme Court is out of control, and here’s the most chilling thing, perfect line, page 6 quoting Mark Levin: “The United States government is the nation’s largest creditor, debtor, lender, employer, consumer, contractor, grantor, property owner, tenant, insurer, healthcare provider and pension guarantor.” That’s stunning. I hadn’t thought of it in those terms.
ML: Well, and it’s only getting bigger. You know, as it implodes, it expands, which is kind of bizarre but its true and, you know, week after week we get these reports from different parts of the federal government: The General Accounting Office and others are saying this is unsustainable, that it is unsustainable, whether it’s Medicare, whether it’s Social Security –nothing is being done about it. Ninety trillion dollars in unfunded obligations, so many departments and agencies, Hugh, no member of Congress even knows how many departments and agencies there are and they go fund them, fund them, fund them and they operate almost rotely and I don’t know I just feel it’s time that we get back to our heritage and the progressives have spent a 100 years pulling us off the Constitution, and I think we have to acknowledge that they’ve done a pretty damned good job of it.
HH: They did. Unfunded liability of $90 trillion is hard for people to get their arms around, but in the short form, its San Jose, I mean its Stockton, California, its San Bernardino, California, its Detroit, it’s what happens when a government makes promises it cannot keep. Of course, the United States could print $90 trillion dollars, but if it does, that would mean the world-wide economic collapse of capitalism.
ML: So, what happens when pensions can’t be paid? What happens when Social Security is all of a sudden non-existent? What happens when medical bills aren’t going to be paid after decades and decades of persuading people to rely on them, and what happens when you have economic dislocation? I’m not doom saying, I think this is just historical fact: You have a collapse of a society. And the so-called Arab Spring and “Democratic Revolution,” that wasn’t because Bush or somebody was pushing it. The price of wheat in Tunisia went through the roof and same with Egypt and the people revolted.
ML: And, you know, when people, or look at tiny countries like Greece and so forth, you know, the government seizing assets and this, this is what happens. Suddenly private property is not private and the circle of liberty around every individual is shrinking and shrinking.
HH: Now, Mark, I want to cover with you, the basic Constitutional law is laid out by Mark Levin in the Liberty Amendments. It requires two-thirds of the States to make an application for a Constitutional revision convention and any amendments adopted by that convention must be ratified by three-quarters of the states in order to be adopted as amendments. I want to walk through in this segment, before walking through your 11 amendments, the three objections. And my first objection is this one: 2014. We have to win the Senate back, because we have to be to be in a position to block new SCOTUS appointments. Every minute spent not organizing for Tom Cotton or Mead Treadwell or even Mark Steyn in New Hampshire, my movement to get Steyn to run…
ML: [laughing] Oh, I see, so that doesn’t distract us at all.
HH: [laughing] So, what do you think about that? Every moment between now and 2014, we need to win the Senate.
ML: You know, I thought a long time ago that we conservatives can chew gum and walk at the same time.
ML: And here’s the thing. It’s not like we’re spending every moment on the U.S. Senate. Ah, I just feel like what I’m talking about doesn’t preclude battling it out in Republican primaries, winning national elections and so forth and so on. People can still do that and people will still do that. What I’m saying though is this is a systemic problem. I can’t think, is there a Republican Senate somewhere that blocks some Supreme Court nominee other than Harriett Miers coming from a Republican President?
HH: No, but we’re getting better. The Mike Lees and the Rand Pauls and the Rubios and the Ted Cruzs –I think, are spoiling for a fight if they have a few more reinforcements in ’14 like Tom Cotton.
ML: Well, they’re going to need a lot more reinforcements than that, aren’t they?
HH: Yeah, they are. That’s why we need that…
ML: They’re probably going to need 20 or 25. I’m not opposed to it. I’m just saying that’s not going to fix what the Supreme Court actually does.
HH: Alright. Number two: the Left is better at this than we are. They will out-organize us, they’ll capture this Convention. Your response, Mark Levin.
ML: Well, they’ve already captured the federal government. I mean, who runs the federal government? The trajectory is one direction and this was the plan and design from Woodrow Wilson forward to eviscerate the states, to destroy the buffer between the individual and the federal government. So, the Left has changed the course of the Supreme Court, primarily since FDR, the massive administrative state has been put in place. Again, primarily because of FDR. We had the President of the United States who throws down the gauntlet constantly rejecting separation of powers, and we have Congress of both parties who pass these massive bills. Just remember, Hugh, the most profligate administration prior to this one was the one prior to this one. A Republican administration, with a Republican House and Republican Senate for six years. So, I would say first of all, the biggest opponents of this, in addition, to some conservatives will be the Left, because they have what they want. Secondly, when you think they out organize us. I don’t think so. I think in the long run events are going to have a lot to say about what goes on in this country. As I say, there are certain things that are just unsustainable.
HH: Alright. I’m talking with Mark Levin, author of the number one bestseller in America, the Liberty Amendments. It’s linked over at HughHewitt.com. Last of the objections after the break we will go through. We are moving towards a confrontation with radical Islam, Putin, the PRC or all three. I mean, we are on that road right now, Mark Levin, do we have the time to turn inward and debate, or do we have to ready-up and go to Defcon One on this issue?
ML: Do you remember what our boss Ronald Reagan said? He said if this country is going to be destroyed; it’s going to be destroyed from within. No foreign force will conquer us. We will conquer ourselves. I use that quote in Ameritopia. He’s not the only one. Jefferson said the same thing, Joseph Story said the same thing. Many great men have said the same thing. If we rot from within, then we will be conquered from far out and from within, but the fact of the matter is we’ve got a lot of fixing to do here, and, by the way, they are hallowing out the military. Yeah, I mean, I get the point that we have a lot of enemies out there, but we do have to restore our Republic if we’re going to be able to stand up to them.
HH: First of the Liberty Amendments is a call for term limits for Congress of 12 years total. California has had an unhappy experience with term limits. I don’t think that that’s much of an objection because only idiots run for office in California. Talented people would still want to go to the Federal government, right?
ML: Well, that’s partly it. I mean you got one party state there.
ML: We don’t have a one party country yet, so a mutual friend of ours said the same thing, and I said well that’s California and maybe other blue states too, but it’s not the whole nation.
ML: My attitude is simple and one of your colleagues wrote quite exquisitely about this and that is [Professor] Ron Rotunda, and that is this notion of rotating in and out of office. You know why [the framers, why] they didn’t put term limits in the Constitution? Because it never occurred to them that we would have professional politicians. The Federal government wasn’t that strong. All the action was in the state and these men they were farmers and so forth and they were a part-time legislature. So, if we’re going to unravel the ruling class, Hugh, we’ve got to unravel the ruling class.
HH: With 12 year limits. I’ll be right back. Mark R. Levin the great one is my guest. His brand new book The Liberty Amendments Restoring the American Republic, bookstores everywhere. The number one book in America. It’s linked at HughHewitt.com.
HH: My guest this hour Mark R Levin, my old and dear friend, the author of the new book The Liberty Amendments Restoring the American Republic. It is indeed the number one book in America. It needs to be the number one book in America. It’s about the Article V Convention and whether it ought to convene and, if so, what it ought to consider. Mark has put 11 proposals on the table, the second of which is the repeal of the 17th Amendment. Now that, of course, changed how we pick Senators. I was writing about it in the Washington Examiner today because I think there is an argument that is allows anyone to run for any Senate seat anywhere in America, the 17th Amendment. You want to get rid of it and my one request of you is, look, we’re getting better, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul –we’re getting better at picking senators now, just as we’re starting to figure out that intellect and courage and conviction matters, to let the California legislature pick our Senators, they could actually do worse than Boxer, though it’s hard to imagine.
ML: How? First of all, you need to need to move out because this whole California thing is hurting you very badly.
ML: Meanwhile my kids moved in.
HH: Yeah. [laughing]
ML: Let me just tell you this. This is a tough one, not from a substantive point of view, but the demagouges will say we shouldn’t be able to vote our senators? Look, this is fundamental. The Constitution would never have been ratified in the first place…
ML: …if the states didn’t have a say in some aspect of this, and more than the [the causes] of theCivil War. It’s this Amendment that destroyed state sovereignty.
ML: So, again, we conservatives believe in federalism or we don’t. The idea of direct election of senators and House members it’s totally nonsensical. The Senate, what is the Senate? And so you have situations like you, let me pick my state in Virginia where the Attorney General is the first out of the box, Cuccinelli, is suing on Obamacare. The state legislature passes a law to protect the citizens from Obamacare, and the two senators from the state vote for Obamacare.
HH: Right. It is nonsense. It is crazy.
ML: In prior years they would have been removed by the state legislature, so I’m just saying that we either want a federalist system or we want [inaudible] authoritarian system and the difficultly, and not for me, but for others, is explaining to people a direct election of senators, so much of what goes on in our government, Hugh, has nothing to do with anybody’s election. You know, this massive bureaucracy, these senators vote to delegate all this authority, so if you’re voting for a senator and then they are voting to delegate massive authority to the EPA, there’s a huge disconnect.
HH: Absolutely. Now you mention my colleague Ron Rotunda from Chapman, and I think we, we actually could do an entire forum, a mini symposium on your third proposal, Supreme Court term limits.
ML: It would me against everybody.
HH: No, no, I actually, if I could figure out someway to avoid President Obama getting eight appointments over eight years. It’s, it’s, we’re up against folks like Georgetown’s Law Professor Michael Seidman who, you write, simply wants to do away with the pretense of the Constitution. So there’s a good argument in here that the Court is completely out of control, but if we get a good one, I’d hate to see popular demagogues get control of it so quickly.
ML: Well, they can get a maximum of six and I will tell you this, so do I, which is the reason I have another provision there, which is that three-fifths of Congress or three-fifths of the states can override a majority [of the] Supreme Court, just expunge [the decision], not rewrite it and so forth, just expunge it, and here’s my rationale for that. Why in the world should the entire nation, or those of us who pay attention, have to sit on the edge of our chairs every single June in hopes that the Supreme Court doesn’t do something stupid. You know, one justice swinging in one direction or the other determines what the Constitution means for all time for the entire nation. Hugh, that’s not what the Framers intended. They intended an independent Supreme Court with limited authority. There’s implied judicial review, but not a Supreme Court independent [of the other branches]. And, so, they would remain independent but in matters that effect the nation in such a significant way where the people want to take corrective action, whether its Dred Scott or Plessey or Roe v. Wade or Kelo or what have you, it would still require an enormous effort by the body politic and resources but why shouldn’t the people, the supermajority not majoritarism or popularism, why shouldn’t the people have a final say. And I think this is something the Framers would be very receptive to.
HH: This is something, where, if the convention actually met, by the way, would you want it televised? Would you want it televised if the proceedings actually commenced?
ML: Actually I hadn’t thought about that. I don’t really care. If we get to the point where we have one, then good for us.
HH: Yeah, I’m thinking this would be a fascinating debate because there might be an argument for a 20-year term here because it all comes down to how do you keep men and women of principle from political influence and not allow demagogues from overriding
ML: The average, the average term is 14 ½ years already.
HH: Yeah. Okay. Next one I love. These are the easiest ones, suspending and taxing amendments. You want a 17 ½ percent cap on total expenditures by the federal government. I’m with you. Fifteen percent cap on annual income taxable, and I’m with you on that, and that avoids the fair tax/flat tax debate. Someone else can figure that out. But let me ask you about the thing I would stand up and amend my, my, “My gentleman friend from Virginia’s proposition is wonderful but could we add a 4 percent minimum GDP on defense from that 17.5 percent cap on spending?”
ML: Well, listen. A Convention can pretty much do what ever it wants. What I’ve done here, and my knowledge, believe me, is not unassailable. What I’ve done here is I’ve suggested pretty systemic changes that promote almost in every case federalism that kind of deconstructs the federal Leviathan to a great extent, but certainly not completely. The federal government is still powerful, just not this powerful. So what I’m trying to do is trying to show people what is possible. Now, there’s a hundred things that are possible, thousands of things are possible, whatever the imagination, but I’m saying why I think from a Constitutionalist’s perspective, is important to try this route to pursue this route one day, if not today, if not tomorrow, if not 50 years from now because, Hugh, I believe this thing is going to collapse. I believe we are so far afield from what the Constitution established…I don’t know how we’re gong to get out of this unless we resort back to the Constitution. If somebody else has a great idea, it’s about time they present it.
HH: Now it would require, it either requires wholesale changes or wholesale political changes of the sort that we’ve begun to see. But I like this amendment because no one can say, Mark Levin is a wrecker. You’re not. You’re a Hamiltonian, 17.5 percent of GDP…
ML: No, not a Hamiltonian.
HH: Oh, well, close. Seventeen and a half percent GDP is more than what he would have asked for the Federal government.
ML: No question, but I’m also somewhat of a realist. For instance, not to confuse people, on the non-delegation doctrine, you’ll notice on that amendment I don’t say that there should not be a bureaucracy.
ML: What I say is the bureaucracy needs to be controlled and ultimately, major regulatory decisions with a $100 million dollar market value need to be returned to Congress. Congress already has the authority to do that but won’t exercise it. So, what I do is I put in this joint committee that requires it to come back and, if the joint committee either doesn’t vote or, or votes no, then the regulation is killed.
HH: Mark, Mark mentions in his book that the Federal Register has had 77,000 pages last year, 81,000 pages the prior two years and he requires under this amendment that every federal agency sunset after three years unless reauthorized. That’s kind of brilliant because it would oblige the case to be made, and they would be on three year probations every time they were reauthorized.
ML: And you know, states have this. Not necessarily three years, but when I was doing my research, you know, the majority of the states have sunset provisions. These are just, I don’t think these members of Congress can name all the departments and agencies they have and why not? I mean they just go on and on and on spitting out their regulation—bringing it back to Congress and they are going to have to act.
HH: I’ll be right back with Mark R. Levin. His brand new book The Liberty Amendments, is the number one book in America. Get it for your reading club. Get it out. Get it for your friends. Get the conversation begun. It’s linked at HughHewitt.com
HH: It’s Hugh Hewitt with Mark R. Levin, the great one. My colleague, my friend, his new book The Liberty Amendments Restoring the American Republic in bookstores everywhere. It’s the number one book at Amazon.com with good reason. The book meets its time. Mark Levin, Chapter 7, your next amendment, the “Free Enterprise Amendment.” I teach class tomorrow, a new semester of Con Law, and open with Sebelius and that’s the Obamacare decision for the benefit of the Steelers fans out there, and I want to point out to them that, allegedly, we have won [on the Commerce Clause], but somehow we have lost. Allegedly, we have five members on the court who agree that the Commerce Clause is limited but somehow Obamacare is the law of the land so in essence we need to return the Commerce Clause—we need to reinvent the Commerce Clause because there is no Commerce Clause. There’s nothing holding back the federal government at this point.
ML: Well, that’s exactly right and I go through fairly significant history there. As I read that opinion, I’m not sure that there are fivejJustices to hone in the Commerce Clause. As a matter of fact, Ruth Bader Ginsburg says “Why aren’t we using the Commerce Clause” and she all but says that.
ML: So, just the next decision they’ll swing right back into gear. But here’s the thing, the Commerce Clause as you and I know, was intended to promote, what? Commerce. As a matter of fact, when they first met in Annapolis some of the delegates from some of the states, they met for the purpose of trying to figure out how to promote commerce because the nation was going broke. They couldn’t compete internationally because states were interfering with states for parochial reasons so they couldn’t get enough of the delegates at Annapolis and they said okay, we’re going to meet in Philadelphia in a few months, which became the Constitutional Convention, so the original intent was to try and promote what we would call today free market capitalism. And, today as you know, the Commerce Clause has been turned on its head and is now used as justification for virtually any interference in commerce that the federal government can come up with. It’s basically a restatement of the Commerce Clause. It goes a little bit further than that.
HH: Our buddy [John] Eastman would want some Spending Clause reform in this [Convention] as well because he believes the blackmail authority of the federal government is grown so immense that that even with the Roberts’ opinion on the Medicaid provisions of Obamacare that we have to reign in Spending Clause blackmail. What do you think about that?
ML: I think he needs to be a delegate.
HH: [laughing] You’re right! Ah, listen
ML: He’d be a good one.
HH: He would be a fine. If we got this organized, it would be an amazing exercise. If you brought in Mike McConnell and Eugene Volokh and a bunch of our people against a bunch of their people, we’d win. We have the arguments. We believe in freedom. They don’t.
ML: Keep in mind, Hugh, at the point that there’d be such convention, that means the country is in such dire straights, and I believe this, that people are going to be looking for a way out and we need to find a constitutional, civil, legitimate way out.
HH: Yeah, because the alternative, of course, in Aristotle’s politics the alternative is it degenerates into a “man on a horse.”
ML: That’s correct.
HH: And that is a danger. I’ve talked about with people for years. They don’t believe it, but that is the danger when the power goes out and we had that in California again a few years ago, people start saying…or after Sandy, it was amazing, Mark Levin, people couldn’t leave their houses in New York for two weeks. They were stuck in the tenements of New York because the government couldn’t function and I began to think to myself, this is a glimpse. It’s a look forward if we do not get this organized.
Chapter 8, Private Property, near and dear to my heart. I think probably you and I first cooperated on private property cases not long after I left the Reagan Administration and you left the Reagan Administration when you were at the Washington Legal Defense Fund founding it. Takings are routine. They are everywhere in this country. They go on every day. They impoverish. They put people under the heel of government and there’s no way to fight back against them.
ML: Right, and the whole system is constructed that way. This is a very straight-forward suggestion which is if you devalue somebody’s property over $10,000, whatever method you use –regulations, outright seizures and so forth– then you are going to reimburse them. The federal government is going to reimburse them and just imagine how that would limit federal coercive activity, but you know, either we believe in property rights or we don’t, and the court system backs up the administrative state, which is backed up by Congress, and enough is enough. You know, this is a private property nation.
HH: Except that the…we have to figure out a way to accelerate adjudication because its the legal fees which kill private property owners. They can’t fight. They can’t get into court. The costs are so absurdly high.
ML: Yeah, and in I suppose it would have to be worked out, but keep in mind now, the onus is on the property owner today. Under this amendment the onus would be on the federal government.
HH: Oh, you see, that is an enormous change because that would allow, if you just even allow attorneys fees to the winning side against the federal government much would change. I’m coming right back with Mark Levin. The key amendments of his Liberty Amendments are still ahead so don’t go anywhere except perhaps to get the book, The Liberty Amendments Restoring the American Republic. It’s the number one book in America. You can find it at Amazon.com, airports, bookstores, everywhere in America and linked at HughHewitt.com.
HH: It’s Hugh Hewitt with my friend Mark Levin. His new book The Liberty Amendments Restoring the American Republic is the number one book in America. It’s at Amazon.com. It’s linked at HughHewitt.com. Now, let’s move to a beautiful idea, allowing the states to amend the Constitution directly. Now, Mark, I haven’t gone back to the notes on the Convention from Madison since reading The Liberty Amendments so I don’t know if this was ever discussed or why Article V arrived at its final version in Philadelphia in 1787, but this does seem elegant. Maybe because there were too few states in 1787, it would have been too easy and the slave states might have been able to greatly overwhelm the free states—I’m not sure why, but now, allowing the states to amend the Constitution directly just seems to me to be an obvious check on the destruction of their sovereignty.
ML: Yeah, it lowers the bar from three-fourth to two-thirds and part of my thinking on that, Hugh, is that the Constitution is being amended without the amendment process. Again, Obamacare and some of these other things the president is doing, and again this was the grand scheme of the progressives, and they’ve been extremely successful, so two-thirds is tough to get. Here’s the other point that I want to make about these “three-fifths, two-thirds,” that I talk about. If we regularize these processes, if they become more common, more acceptable gradually more in the national mindset because right now we’re in the progressive Left mindset.
Everything is top down. and unless we work in their funnel, which we can’t, we’ll never be successful, and that limits what we’re able to do. And what I’m trying to tell people, anybody who will listen,is we can get out of that funnel. We’re not stuck in that funnel. We have a constitution on our side and there are things we can do. You’ll notice I don’t really come up with abstractions here or novelties; everything is linked to the Framers and to the Framers’ purpose. That’s the point of this amendment and the other amendments.
HH: This is not…these are not radical ideas. They are 11 ideas, all of which would, to any Con Law professor, not appear as walking onto the American stage without having played a role in the past. They’ve all been around before and talked about, including number 10 allowing three-fifths of the states to overturn a federal statute. Now, the primary purpose of this is to moderate and at times confine…you write “if not undue the tumult and perplexity unleashed by society by the hyperactive governing master minds.” It would have killed Obamacare before Obamacare began to kill us. It would have been so obviously useful at such a time and probably the federal consumer nightmare, Dodd Frank, it’s an obviously useful idea. This one you might sell the Convention idea on this alone.
ML: Well, and the other thing is if you look at these amendments, they would require the Federal government to start consulting with the states.
ML: So if you’re going to pass these things, you better make sure that at least enough states are going to support it or not be offended by it or you are going to lose it. That’s important. So, in the back of the minds of the Supreme Court or president and even the bureaucracy kicking out their rules and especially Congress, they’ve got to know that the states if they, you know, must do the resources and mortification are going to check them.
HH: Now, Mark Levin, Rush has invented a term which everyone on my network uses now and Sean and you use which is the “low information voter.”
ML: No, I don’t use that. I called them drones.
HH: [laughing] Well, okay, I use, I stole Rush’s term, and this a problem. How do you, except…before we move on to the last Amendment about protecting the vote…how do you expect to maintain or even attract the attention of the drones or the low information voter long enough that they realize their lives are on the line here?
ML: Well, you don’t. You know, the American Revolution was fought with about 35-40 percent of the support of the colonists. It wasn’t fought with overwhelming popular support in the country. You had about a third of the people opposed to it. So, and if you look at, and I’m not saying this is…look, revolutions all over the world, the majority never leads a revolution. It is a committed army, a significant army of individuals pursuing what it is that they pursue. And, the fact of the matter is a lot of people sit on the sidelines under all circumstances and conditions, as what happened in this case. And yet when you look at these Gallup polls, Hugh, one after another, 40 percent of the American people are conservative, 20 percent say they are liberal, it’s the 20 percent who control the federal government in terms of an institution and trajectory point of view. While we have little gaps like Reagan for 8 years and so forth, while there may be a good Supreme Court decision from our perspective now and then, or a good law— [but] the heavy duty laws and interpretations and regulations are definitely of the Left and foot of Left.
HH: And so in 1776 the “Court Party” was in London. In 1787 there was no Court Party, but now the Court Party is in D.C. I don’t know if you’ve read Mark Leibovich’s book Our Town, but is disgusting in its accurate chronicling of Manhattan-Beltway elites and how they treasure, value, protect and preserve their power. How is this [book] being received in that Court? I know…but I just want to know: Is anyone talking to you about it? Do they understand what you’re talking about from within the Beltway?
ML: And by the way, the beauty of this is it bypasses all that. I don’t really care what they think. I don’t really care what they say. So far, nothing, but I’m waiting. The incoming missiles will be flying at one point and, Hugh, I cannot wait. I cannot wait.
HH: How can they ignore the number one book in America? I mean…
ML: They do that with all my books.
HH: I just can’t, it’s astonishing me, that Matt Lauer and Brian Williams and the rest will have not noticed that this is…
ML: But let me tell you something. Inside baseball. My publisher never contacts them because I tell them “Don’t waste your time.” If I go on Matt Lauer’s show that poor guy, you know, his head will explode. He won’t even know what to say. What is the point of wasting my time with Matt Lauer? See people, we conservatives, we have it the wrong way around –“I have got to be on with Matt Laurer.” My view is what the hell do I need Matt Lauer for?
HH: Well, I always, I want [Mark] Steyn to run for Senate just so he can David Gregory’s head explode during a debate with Jeanne Shaheen. I would like that.
Let me get to the 11th [amendment] because this is important: protect the vote. And you will oblige I.D. to be presented. There will be a 30 day limit before you get to register on presidential voting, no 90 day elections. No electronic or other tech-based systems. You are aware, as I am, that big data threatens the integrity of our elections?
ML: Yeah, there is no question about it and that’s I guess why these liberal secretaries of state are moving in that direction, but here’s my point: These are for federal elections. If states want to do something else for themselves, that’s up to them. And, also we’re talking about an amendment so the states would have input in decision-making in this process. I just feel it’s such a mess out there right now, not because of federalism, but because of manipulation by certain groups and so forth, that we need to have a very clear understanding about when and how we elect federal officials, Members of Congress, president and vice president. In my case I’m hoping we don’t have elect senators, but if we elect senators, senators too.
HH: I’ll be right back, one final segment with Mark Levin.
HH: It’s Hugh Hewitt with Mark Levin finishing up an hour on his brand new book The Liberty Amendments Restoring the American Republic. I’ve linked it over at HughHewitt.com. The Liberty Amendments is in bookstores everywhere. It’s available at Amazon.com. It is the number one book in America with good reason. So, Mark Levin, the big question: I was pretty low after November and have been picking myself up and taking heart from Cruz and Paul and others out there making good arguments. What’s your sense of where we are, and is there even a hint of optimism in Levin-land on the pathway of the country turning?
ML: Ah, I don’t have a lot of optimism if we keep banging our heads against the wall. I mean, I was involved in that Ted Cruz primary and the Rand Paul primary and the Mike Lee primary and Marco Rubio primary at the time and I just, just feel, and I say it in the book, that this isn’t about one particular election cycle or two particular election cycles. Even the most brilliant, politically muscular person we elect president, they are not going to be able to see their way through this because the system has changed so it’s not a constitutional system so much anymore. I’m not sure what it is but it is not a constitutional republic per se when you have most of the laws being written by bureaucrats with very little recourse, and on and on and on as we’ve been discussing. So, while I’m certainly not discouraging people to get involved in that and stay involved in that, the fact is that I get callers all the time, as I’m sure you do who say, “Look I vote the way you tell me. I vote for conservatives or Republicans we’re not turning this thing around and we’re moving so fast in the other direction,” and they are quite right. So, what I’m saying is, Hugh, is at some point the fact is, and we have to accept this, that unless we make some effort to breath life back into the Constitution, into the process that the Framers put in place, that I don’t see how we get out of this in the long run. I really don’t.
HH: No, that’s—I’m back to where we began which is 2014 and I want to rush troops and supplies to the Hill which we need more Mead Treadwells and Tom Cottons and people to assist with the Cruzs and the Rubios and the Pauls and the other people who are up there who will be willing to stand and talk about first principles and make these arguments, but in the meantime, the parallel track, where are people taking this idea? I know Mike Farris talked about [the convention of the states project.] I don’t know if you’re affiliated with that at all or not?
ML: I’m not, but I’m well aware of it, and I encourage people to join their local Tea Parties and get involved in that group, form their own groups, and at least start taking about this and things have a way of developing over time.
HH: Mark Levin, thanks for your time. I know you are pressed, go forward and spread the word. The Liberty Amendments, America, is available everywhere in the United States, any bookstore you go into. If you can’t find it, demand that they put it up front. If it’s not in the airport that you’re passing through, tell them they lost a sale and go to Amazon.com to pick it up. It’s linked at HughHewitt.com as well and follow him on twitter@hughheiwtt. Follow the Mark Levin Show on Twitter as well and on Facebook, Mark R. Levin.