I’ve alluded several times to Mark Levin’s new book,The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, and the strategy Levin lays out for retaking the American constitutional republic from the strangling, tyrannical grasp of the Washington Leviathan and the 100 year old Progressive assault on our liberties and the Constitution that purported guarantees them.
I’m going to give you a look, over the next several days, at his proposed amendments, and talk a bit about his thinking – and mine – on each of them.
If you want the whole discussion, complete with copious cites to the thinking of the Founders and Framers, buy the book. Which you really should do anyway.
Okay, let’s start:
An Amendment to Establish Term Limits for Members of Congress
SECTION 1: No person may serve more than twelve years as a member of Congress, whether such service is exclusively in the House or the Senate or combined in both Houses.
SECTION 2: Upon ratification of this Article, any incumbent member of Congress whose term exceeds the twelve-year limit shall complete the current term, but thereafter shall be ineligible for further service as a member of Congress.
There was a time when I opposed term limits, on the theory that the right to vote guaranteed the application of term limits if constituencies desired to do so. In other words, while term limits might automatically remove “bad” legislators and executives, they might also force the removal of “good” ones against the wishes of their supporters.
I no longer feel this way.
We have created a political and cultural situation – or, rather, the progressive movement, expressed through both of our major parties, has created it – that more or less guarantees the impossibility of removing any legislator at the federal level, no matter how atrocious their record or behavior, by means of the ballot. Only in the smallest and most egregious instances do we ever see malefactors in high office removed by vote, and even when that happens, voting districts have been so gerrymandered that a more or less carbon copy is guaranteed to achieve succession. And in the end nothing ever changes, and the progressive project marches ever onward to greater and greater power, and greater and greater tyranny.
The only way to break this endless daisy chain is to break it. Progressives would claim that term limits are aimed exclusively against them, and they might convince the weak-minded of this, but term limits would apply to all. It is true that the effects would be felt disproportionately by progressives and tyrant wannabes, because, sadly, such comprise the vast majority of our electeded governance at the federal level.
Even worse, as Levin points out, those few politicians who seek federal office soon learn that the road to permanent success and reelection is to represent the Washington Ruling Class and Permanent Ruling Party against the interests of their own consitutents. In other words, while they may start out representing those who elected them, in the end they represent only the powers and interests that guarantee their reelection.
The Framers did not envision the sort of professional political class under which our liberties groan and break today. It is no accident that the first President to break the unofficial tradition of no more than two terms set by George Washington was uber-progressive Franklin Delano Roosevelt, an explicit enemy of the U.S. Constitution. In the wake of his four-term reign Congress and the states made the two-term limit constitutionally explicit, but unfortunately they did not do likewise for themselves.
We need to change that now. Washington, Jefferson, Adams all would have been appalled by the vast and permanent political superstructure our Ruling Class has created for itself. But they gave us the means to break it up and vastly lessen its qualities of permanence.
Let’s use those means and impose term limits on those who think they should personally rule us forever.