A Conservative View

Praying that Donald Trump can save Americas freedoms!

Archive for the tag “terrorists”

GOVERNMENT LUNATICS!

THE SWAMP IS 100% UNITED AGAINST TRUMP!

The Federal Courts have been stuffed with Progressive Liberals for the past twenty four years. Couple this with our entire Federal Government workforce and you have every decision made for political rather than lawful purposes. Common sense in all government operations has been ignored far too long.

I purposely failed to include Congress and the Executive Branch of Government in the above historical facts primarily because they are the reason this imbalance has happened. Congress has become the most unstable group of supposed leaders I have observed in my nearly 87 years. When Trump was elected, like a majority of Americans, I sighed with relief that finally the Republican Party would stop all of the madness. The “Folks” were ready to watch the GOP rush to help our new President, “Drain the Swamp”.  Unless you are deaf, dumb or blind you are watching the Republicans in Congress overtly oppose the actions they have been promising the people for over a decade. These ingrates hate Trump more than the lock-step Democrats.

Watching the Republicans destroy each other with envy rather that actions is worse than watching Obummer, Reed, Pelosi, Schumer and the Clintons flood the country with Muslims. Unless you are a raving idiot with no intelligence you would know that these people will never become law abiding Americans. Congress and the Judiciary Branch are so self-absorbed with their drive to make America a Socialist Democracy they ignored what Sharia Law will do to deny just basic freedoms.

I watched intently last night the latest Muslim exhibition of how much they love thy neighbor in London. If the fact that these animals could be assimilated into any other society was possible I might understand. Europe has been allowing these inbred imbeciles to ignore their laws far too long. We have watched Obummer, our Judicial and Congressional forces race to catch up with Europe by ignoring just simple vetting methods. This ignores even basic common sense that no true Muslims can never salute our flag, follow our laws or assimilate into our society.

We watch as these people kill each other, slaughter Christians, go wild like three of them did in London last night and the Liberal Judges still prevent our President from protecting the American people lawfully.  

When will enough be enough for Congress to stop fighting itself and enact laws to remove these Federal Judges from obstructing the laws for no humane reason? God forbid, but maybe these Judges desire acts of inhuman killing and maiming of Americans for some sick reason? One thing is certain “Common Sense” is no longer a requirement for any decision our elected, appointed or employed government employee makes.

If the people  fail to stand behind Donald Trump in his promise to drain every swamp in America, we will deserve these senseless acts of terrorism we are watching in Europe. Those who foster these liberal movements better get themselves badges that say “We Love Muslim Terrorists”. This will be a great advantage for all women and if they wear Burkas it will accelerate their standing place in society.

Folks I’ve been there, seen it happen and have enough sense to never go back.  C Brewer  June 4, 2017     

JUVAL AVIV – TERROR ATTACKS!

My old Florida friend Bob McGraw just shared this interesting article that has no mention of who wrote or published it. I spent many years and over three million miles traveling around this world in my life time and witnessed many different security methods and warnings used long before 9/11. Before I decided to post this I did some research as I had never heard of Juval Aviv so here is a brief background I found on Wikipedia.

Juval Aviv (Hebrew: יובל אביב‎‎; born Yuval Aviof;[1] February 24, 1947), also known as Yuval Aviv, is an Israeli-American security consultant and writer. He may be best known for his work with Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, and for having conducted the counter-terrorist operation as detailed by George Jonas in his book, Vengeance (1984). Since 2003, Aviv has published four books related to security, two of which address notable mysteries. He writes under the nom-de-plume of Sam Green.

I checked the article Bob sent me and Snopes listed it as false. I have edited out material I can’t confirm. What I am sharing is important for all Americans to read and I don’t care who wrote it. CB

 Currently, our government only focuses on security when people are heading to the gates. Aviv says that if a terrorist attack targets airports in the future, they will target busy times on the front end of the airport when/where people are checking in. For example, it would be easy for someone to take two suitcases of explosives, walk up to a busy check-in line, ask a person next to them to watch their bags for a minute while they run to the restroom, and then detonate the bags BEFORE security even gets involved. In Israel, security checks bags BEFORE people can even ENTER the airport.

My last visit to Europe was at least 27 years ago. I can vividly remember as it was on Thanksgiving Day and extremely windy and cold at the airport in Frankfort Germany. In addition to the usual security at that time we were individually escorted to the tarmac and identify our checked luggage before it was loaded on the airplane. I also remember it was the first time in my life I was served roasted “Goose” for my Thanksgiving dinner. CB

Aviv says the next terrorist attack here in America is imminent and will involve suicide bombers and non-suicide bombers in places where large groups of people congregate, such as Disneyland, Las Vegas casinos, shopping malls, subways in rush hour, train stations, etc., as well as in rural America this time (Wyoming, Montana, etc.). The attack will be characterized by simultaneous detonations around the country involving at least 5-8 cities, including rural areas.

Aviv says terrorists won’t need to use suicide bombers in many of the larger cities, because at places like the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, they can simply valet park a car loaded with explosives and walk away.

Aviv says all of the above is well known in intelligence circles, but that our U.S. Government does not want to ‘alarm American citizens’ with the facts. The world, however, is soon going to become ‘a different place’, Aviv says, where issues like ‘global warming’ and political correctness will have become totally irrelevant.

On an encouraging note, Aviv says that Americans don’t have to be concerned about being nuked. He says the terrorists who want to destroy America will not use sophisticated weapons. Instead, they like to use suicide, as it’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s effective and they have an infinite abundance of young, ignorant, fanatic militants more than willing to ‘go see Allah’.

Aviv also says the next level of terrorists over which America should be most concerned will not be coming from abroad. They will instead be ‘home grown’ meaning they will have attended and been educated in our own schools and universities right here in the U.S. These young terrorists will be most dangerous because they will know our language and will fully understand the habits of Americans; but that we Americans won’t know/understand a thing about them.

So, what can America do to protect itself? From an intelligence perspective, Aviv says the U.S. needs to stop relying on satellites and technology for its intelligence. Instead, we need to follow Israel ‘s, Ireland ‘s and England’s hands-on examples of human intelligence, both from an infiltration perspective as well as to trust ‘aware’ citizens to help. We need to engage and educate ourselves as citizens; however, our U.S. Government continues to treat us, its citizens, ‘like babies’. Our government thinks we can’t handle the truth’ and are concerned that we’ll panic if we understand the realities of terrorism. Aviv says this is a deadly mistake.

These next two paragraphs may be fabricated and I can’t confirm their validity but even if they are fabricated they are important knowledge and warnings.

****Aviv recently created/executed a security test for Congress by placing an empty briefcase in five well-traveled spots in five major cities. The results? Not one person called 911 or sought a policeman to check it out. In fact, in Chicago, someone tried to steal the briefcase!

******In comparison, Aviv says that citizens of Israel are so well ‘trained’ that an unattended bag or package would be reported in seconds by citizen(s) who know to publicly shout, ‘Unattended Bag!’ The area would be quickly & calmly cleared by the citizens themselves. But, unfortunately, America hasn’t been ‘hurt enough’ yet by terrorism for their government to fully understand the need to educate its citizens or for the government to understand that it’s the citizens who are, inevitably, the best first-line of defense against terrorism.

Aviv also was concerned about the high number of children who were in preschool and kindergarten after 9/11, children who were basically ‘lost’ without parents being able to pick them up, and schools that had no plan in place to best care for the students until their parents could get there. (In New York City, in some cases this was days!) He stresses the importance of having a plan that’s agreed upon within your family, to respond to in the event of a terrorist emergency. He urges parents to contact their children’s schools and demand that the schools, too, develop plans of actions, as they do in Israel. He says we should all have a plan that is easy enough for even our youngest children to remember and follow.

Does your family know what to do if you can’t contact one another by phone? Where would you gather in an emergency? Bottom line, you need to have a plan!

I really don’t care whether you believe what you have just read or not. If you do, you should feel compelled to forward it to everyone you know. If you feel this to be unimportant just deleted it as trash. Thanks Bob, I decided to share it.  

C Brewer

AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY EXPLAINED!

Are you confused by what is going on in the Middle East?

Let me explain.

We support the Iraqi government in the fight against ISIS.

We don’t like ISIS, but ISIS is supported by Saudi Arabia who we do like.

We don’t like Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but ISIS is also fighting against him.

We don’t like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIS.

So some of our friend’s support our enemies, some enemies are now our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, who we want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win.

If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they could be replaced by people we like even less.

And all this was started by us invading a country to drive out terrorists who were not actually there until we went in to drive them out.

It’s quite simple, really.

                                        Do you understand now?

ANON

Thanks Turkey as everyone should now be perfectly clear on the true facts. I’m sure Hillary and Obama understand.  CB

AMERICA – A LAND OF LAWS?

Obama and Holder took another step in destroying our Constitution. “We never negotiate with Terrorists” bit the dust this weekend. The Obama administration has decided to completely re-write all laws and operate the government without Congress completely. By 2016 we will be “regulated” to destruction. Folks he promised “change”, I hope the Americans that elected and re-elected him are ready for Sharia  laws to eliminate women’s rights and sell some Burka’s.

When women can’t be educated and vote, America may have a chance to re-install sanity, religion, freedoms and laws destroyed or ignored by our President. Until then just keep the Democrats in power so he can finish his mission.

Agree or disagree?

C Brewer  

DEMOCRATS – HOW TO DISTORT FACTS!

Also how to politically change the focus of the news.

Let me explain how the exchange of facts you are about to read can portray how the Democrats create confusion. Some 20 years ago I made a business trip to Melbourne Australia and I met a couple and we became great friends, Baxter and Delyse Henderson. Subsequent trips brought them to my home and in February when they were here again.

Ron Jenkins, a retired Air Force Colonel, also met the Henderson’s while working in Australia and he is married to an Australian, Doreen. They reside in a military retirement complex in San Antonio. Ron was here when the Henderson’s visited in February. Baxter, Ron and I have corresponded for many years. Ron and I are conservatives and Baxter has lived a more liberal life beginning in Scotland, Canada and eventually Australia. We are all three well educated, lived successful professional lives and have all traveled the world.

Our exchanges about politics, healthcare or most other subjects have been honest, emotional, and educational. We are all still great friends. It is apparent that Baxter watches several of our news networks besides FOX NEWS and the next two paragraphs are his request for Ron and myself to respond to his concern. CB

Message

Fox is making a huge deal out of 4 people dying in an embassy attack (not to downplay those deaths), yet during the Bush administration there were 13 embassy attacks that killed 87 people. Fox news said nothing and there were no investigations requested by the GOP. There have been 13 congressional hearings over this, and none have found any “conspiracy” of any kind.

What I suspect is that bad decisions were made in the heat of the moment, but not that the President and all of his staff, military and administrative, decided to collectively ignore the problem. Maybe now, since as they have to duck and weave because they made those bad decisions, but not at the time. Why does Fox News continue to have Benghazi as one of their lead items every morning, over here at least? It has taken the heat off Obamacare!

Baxter

My response was rather short and terse but Ron took more time to properly explain why the Benghazi incident was worse than Watergate and the worst Democratic political cover-up in American history. Sadly Fox News is the only American news source with the courage to supply the entire story. Hopefully our Congress can overcome the Democratic resistance to expose why four Americans were sacrificed to make sure President Obama could get re-elected. CB

Ron Jenkins response to Baxter.

Dear Friend,

The point of the criticism of the current Administration is focused upon the lies by the political operatives of the President and the President himself.

The ensuing suppression of various forms of communication between gov’t agencies and the withholding of them from Congressional investigators have made prior inquiries and investigations virtually useless.

The issue is broad and spans several administrations, that is true! So let’s focus on the period beginning in 2001, post Sept 11th. Terrorists, world wide, had been emboldened in the years leading up to and including the Iraq war in 1991. The lack of gov’t outrage or retaliation, after the attack on the USS Cole and the debacle in Somalia further exacerbated that attitude amongst the world’s terrorist’s; can you spell Osama??

The majority of attacks on US Embassies, Consulates and personnel had been sudden strikes, in one off attacks, where the perpetrators were small groups of fighters. The series of attacks, starting in Jan 2002 in Calcutta, India, cited by some commentators, starting in Jan 2002, in Calcutta, India, and including the bombing in Sana’a, Yemen in Mar 2008, continued through the Bush administration and were in countries that were either allied or friendly to the US and where the gov’t’s actively pursued the terrorists. The US gov’t has to do their investigations with the cooperation of those gov’t’s, sometimes covertly or by other means. We, the public, don’t really know how much or what was done in those years by our law enforcement agencies. The GOP, a political party, did not receive a rash of complaints that nothing was being done to find out who did what, in many cases, the perpetrators were either killed or jailed. In others, Al Quaida was identified as the responsible group and usually impossible to further identify and apprehend.

The Benghazi attack was entirely different. Libya was definitely not an ally or a friendly place to the USA, before, during or after the attack. The attackers were armed with machine guns (AK 47’s), mortars and rocket propelled grenades (RPG’s). The attack spanned more than half a day and included several diplomatic compounds. Hardly a group of guys, out for a walk one evening, that decided to kill some American’s, as Mrs Clinton claimed during her testimony before a congressional panel.

The Administration was engaged in a re-election campaign. They had a policy narrative that tried to convince the American public that the foreign policy of the President was distinctly better than that of the prior administration, in that our gov’t preferred to embrace Islamist nations, from Morocco to Indonesia. Any event or occurrence that belied that narrative was pooh poohed and suppressed by the Presidents spokesmen and the liberal media.

So, after a succession of riots, and protests across the region, and in Cairo, the prolonged attack in Benghazi was mis-characterized as a “spontaneous, political protest”, rather than what it really was, a planned and coordinated attack on our Consulate, its staff and the Ambassador.

The attack was announced to the various departments in the US gov’t in the middle of the afternoon. The State Dept and the Defense Dept, as well as the NSA, CIA and FBI were all in the loop. The President was informed and briefed before 5 pm. So was the Sec of State. Where they went and what they did after that hour is either unknown or murky. What is clear is that the Presidents political advisors and staff were involved and had input throughout the process.

The stink begins when it became known that calls for help, re-inforcements, support of any kind, was denied!! The excuses for not doing so were ludicrous and unbelievable. Again, the announcements, the “talking points” the statements by our UN Representative (MS Susan Rice) and the President himself, at the UN, were Bull Shit, period!! The attacks were not mere protests a result of an anti-Islamic video, produced by an American and aired in a few isolated TV stations in some Muslim nations.

So, the big deal is that the majority of American’s (62% at the latest Pew Poll) believe that a phoney cover up story had to be concocted and served up to the American public, they think the President and his minions then lied about the whole affair.

Again, it’s not the initial screw up that is the big problem, it’s the lying and subsequent cover up.

What is even more problematic is the way the Obama Administration deals with these screw ups or scandals. He has lost the trust of a majority of us American’s.

We American’s heartily hate a lying hypocrite. Ron

 The next exchange was Baxter’s response.

 Ron

I hate lying hypocrites as well Ron and thanks for your explanation. I don’t think Clinton said they were a group out for walk. She did say those words, but in context and not as the only cause of the attack! I also have some issues that with so many departments being involved as you outlined, not one person has come forward and given a different story. Similar to why troops in Diego Garcia could not have shot down Flight MH370. As you say, they stuffed up the whole thing and now they are lying to cover there rumps. Could this yet end up like the Nixon resignation? Since Nixon have the tape recorders been taken out of the Oval Office which could prove they are lying?

Stuff them all anyway. How is your health. By the length and detail of your reply I am assuming you are well. Is that so?

Baxter

Someday, likely after the elections in November, everyone but the Democrats will know the truth about the Benghazi killings. Has anyone ever noticed how the Democrats create another crisis like sacrificing American veteran’s lives with politically managed healthcare to take the heat off of the Benghazi fiasco? Even Fox News falls into this trap every time.

Unfortunately the Democrats never accept responsibility for anything and no one is prosecuted for any criminal actions. The veteran healthcare issue is criminal and Obamacare will eventually end up with the same result. Politically rationed healthcare will never work in a free society. Thousands of veterans have died and Obama is pissed off. Not one government employee will go to jail for killing these Americans who offered their lives to protect the very people who killed them. American government sucks but Americans will likely never see major changes. The Republicans are just as leaderless but some individually do care about freedoms.

Why should any Democrat resign Baxter, when the majority of Americans really don’t give a big rats ass as long as they get their welfare checks and the multitude of other Obama Democratic freebies? Liberals  will buy enough Senate seats and news network bias to maintain control of the Senate in November and probably get Hillary elected in 2016. 

C Brewer   May 2014

THE CONSTITUTION: WHO NEEDS IT?

Progressive politicians, including our President and educators who twist minds have done more to destroy America that all of the terrorists in the past or the future.

If you are not concerned about losing your freedom or the future of the United States of America, don’t waste your time reading this message. Most people will not take the time to read over 4000 words to understand anything. Our Congressional representatives are a perfect example as most have never even read our Constitution, much less understand it.

My good friend Ron Jenkins sent me three articles related to the Constitution recently to stimulate my thinking. Due to the length and the importance of the subject I will publish just one of the articles. I hope as many people as possible will take the time read this work. Sane people will be able to see the impact our educators have used to manipulate our children’s minds. I hope this scares the daylights out of enough people to wake up and do something.

I sincerely hope enough true Americans will awaken to the impact of the Progressive movement to destroy our form of government and our free society. C Brewer

 The Constitution: Who Needs It? By Alexander C. Kafka

It’s a Monday evening in October in a warm lecture hall a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. In front of a couple dozen students in an introductory course on constitutional law, a low-key, shirt-sleeved Georgetown University professor, Louis Michael (Mike) Seidman, summarizes the ways the Constitution can be interpreted.

It can be read according to our best guesses as to the founders’ original intent. Or by how the public first understood the document, in 1789. Or by the meaning people ascribe to it now. Or by the meaning that produces the best outcome.

“Even when we can reach consensus on what the Constitution’s articles mean, there is always the question in front of us,” says the bearded 65-year-old scholar, “as to whether we should obey them.”

This former clerk for District of Columbia Circuit Judge J. Skelly Wright and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall just told a group of law students that there are times when we should ignore the Constitution?

“When you see how the law works up close, you just cannot miss the tremendous gap between the story law tells about itself and the way things actually function,” says Louis Michael Seidman, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown U.

Seidman doesn’t harp on the point. He moves on, as his listeners sip coffee and tap away on their laptops, to a detailed discussion of Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, a 1952 Supreme Court ruling, concerning a steelworkers’ strike during the Korean War, that limited presidential power.

But he explores his constitutional skepticism in depth in his forthcoming book from Oxford University Press, On Constitutional Disobedience, part of the publisher’s big-picture Inalienable Rights series of constitutional critiques.

Seidman’s argument boils down to this: We the current American people are not the people who agreed in the 18th century to be governed by the Constitution (that’s assuming that the colonists themselves agreed, a proposition about which he is also dubious). More practically, politicians, judges, and advocacy groups contort the Constitution’s often vaguely worded precepts to match whatever they’re pushing for. That makes citizens cynical and distracts us from considering what policies would be best for the country in regard to health-care finance, gun control, antiterrorism, and countless other matters.

Invoking the Constitution, Seidman says in an interview, is often “a disguised way of fighting out the merits” of an issue and is usually “profoundly beside the point.”

Although Seidman is willing to bypass the Constitution, he still teaches it thoroughly, nuances and all. “There is this complicated body of constitutional doctrines,” he says, “and I view my obligation as to make sure the students understand it and use it to write briefs and opinion letters—all the things that lawyers do in constitutional cases.”

“At the same time, I do want the students to think, and think hard, about what I take to be really fundamental questions about the role the Constitution ought to play.”

Without wanting to get specific, Seidman says his experiences clerking at the Supreme Court and a few years working in the D.C. Public Defender Service helped inform his constitutional wariness. “When you see how the law works up close, you just cannot miss the tremendous gap between the story law tells about itself and the way things actually function,” he says. The Supreme Court “is more arbitrary, more at the mercy of eccentric views of individual justices, … less principle-driven” than one would suppose or hope.

Seidman doesn’t ask us to forget that the Constitution exists. It could be, he writes, “a symbol of national unity if we focused on its commands at the most abstract level.” For instance, “almost everyone supports liberty and equality in the abstract.” He urges embracing “the Constitution … as a work of art, designed to evoke a mood or emotion, rather than as a legal document commanding specific outcomes.”

Seidman knows that his viewpoint might be perceived as insane—”utopian at best and just plain crazy at worst.” Among mainstream politicians, it will be considered heresy, perhaps traitorous. Even among scholars, who debate the nature of constitutionalism, “very few people think that we should give up on it altogether,” he writes.

Sanford Levinson, a law scholar from the University of Texas at Austin who is at Harvard this semester as a visiting professor, says he’s “probably more moderate than” Seidman, but that “most people would consign both of us to the far end of the spectrum.”

Levinson argues in Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance, his recent book from the same Oxford Press series, that new federal and state constitutional conventions could cure at least some of the documents’ problems. The federal Constitution’s “deep structures,” like bicameralism, are good and mendable, he says.

But like Seidman, Levinson thinks that Americans are waking up to the basic dysfunctionality of government, even if they haven’t properly recognized the Constitution’s role in creating some of those problems. He cites, for instance, an October 2011 New York Times/CBS poll that found that “not only do 89 percent of Americans say they distrust government to do the right thing, but 74 percent say the country is on the wrong track and 84 percent disapprove of Congress.”

While high-profile constitutional debates focus on interpretations of controversial amendments about, say, free speech or gun control, some of the biggest obstacles to effective governance, Levinson says, are hiding in plain sight, in the Constitution’s specific, even mundane-sounding “settled” basic articles—the Electoral College, age restrictions for political office, term limits, and so on.

To realize how far out there Seidman’s and Levinson’s views might appear, consider the cautions voiced in 2001 by Kathleen Sullivan, then a law professor at Stanford, now chair of the national appellate practice at the firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, and sometimes mentioned as a possible nominee to the Supreme Court. In “Constitutional Amendmentitis,” published in The American Prospect, Sullivan responded to a rash of Republican-sponsored amendments “that would impose Congressional term limits, authorize laws against flag burning, give the president a line-item veto, abolish the Electoral College, outlaw abortion, prohibit remedial school busing, and authorize school prayer, to name a few.”

Those proposals, she wrote, are “cause for alarm, even apart from any of their individual merits. For there are strong structural reasons for amending the Constitution only reluctantly and as a last resort. This strong presumption against constitutional amendment has been bedrock in our constitutional history, and there is no good reason for overturning it now.”

And that was on the question of tinkering with the Constitution, never mind ignoring it.

There are, says Stephen Siegel, a professor at DePaul University’s College of Law, longstanding, reputable veins of critical academic commentary about the Constitution—on how rulings are affected by popular opinion and judges’ ideological backgrounds. Seidman’s occasional collaborator Mark Tushnet has critiqued judicial review, for instance. A recent book by Lee Epstein, William M. Landes, and Richard Posner, The Behavior of Federal Judges (Harvard University Press), argues that rulings reflect a complex blend of judges’ ideology and legalistic reasoning.

In From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality (Oxford, 2004), the Harvard law professor Michael Klarman scrutinizes the push and pull between court rulings and activism in favor of and in opposition to civil rights. In his 2010 book, The Living Constitution (also part of Oxford’s Inalienable Rights series), David Strauss, of the University of Chicago, writes about how law can evolve free of the constraints of constitutional originalism without turning into an anything-goes jurisprudence. And so on.

In other words, says Siegel, there is a long tradition of discussion about how constitutional ideals fare in the real world. That includes arguments, like Seidman’s, regarding what hold an 18th-century document should have over modern Americans, and regarding how much guidance the Constitution can offer in creating effective public policies in an ever-changing society. During his 2005 confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, John Roberts famously compared judges to umpires calling balls and strikes. Siegel says that any legal scholar offering that view would be laughed off the lectern.

But Seidman’s approach, calling for a reassessment of whether the Constitution is fundamentally valid and should be obeyed, goes beyond that. And if Seidman’s argument is not something that’s ripe to be acted on in some short-term way, Siegel says, neither is it to be shrugged off as if from outer space. Seidman and Levinson are, he says, “very senior, very established, very credible, and very respected people in this field,” and their “analysis is to be taken seriously.”

Seriously, maybe. But with alarm and some suspicion from the perspective of constitutional originalists, who think the document’s meanings can and should be found in the intents of its authors. If Seidman is toward one end of the spectrum of constitutional interpretation, originalists might be seen as at the opposite end.

Michael Rappaport, director of the Center for the Study of Constitutional Originalism at the University of San Diego School of Law, is less sanguine than is Siegel about dismissing Roberts’s balls-and-strikes metaphor. Yes, it’s too simplistic, but that’s in part because the academic and judicial establishment has been so smitten over the last 75 to 100 years with “living Constitution” interpretations that sufficient historical work hasn’t been done to understand the context and intent of the framers’ wording.

Although he and Seidman “look at the world very differently” from a political standpoint, Rappaport says, he shares Seidman’s frustration over the way the Constitution is stretched to fit any and every policy argument. However, that’s not the fault of the Constitution, he says, but largely of the living-constitutionalists who have manipulated its meanings.

In seeking a legal and societal basis other than the Constitution, Rappaport says, one quickly encounters the daunting, even insurmountable “we” problem. “Part of the reason to have a constitution is to allow people of different political stripes to feel comfortable living together,” he says. Who is the “we” that will decide the rules that should substitute for the philosophy and processes our system has been built on over hundreds of years?

Seidman’s views may be extreme, but they didn’t occur suddenly. He has taught law since America’s bicentennial. And over the past 36 years, he’s had ample time to anticipate critics’ objections to disobeying the Constitution. Here are his top 10 rebuttals, very roughly summarized:

1. Article VI makes the Constitution the supreme law of the land.

 That just begs the question. It’s the supreme law of the land only if you obey it, and that’s what we’re debating.

2. But why would you frame a Constitution if you weren’t planning to obey it?

Of course the framers wanted to be obeyed. Anyone asserting power wants to be obeyed. But we can’t obey any and every authority who seeks to rule us.

3. “We the People” consented to the Constitution by ratifying it, and so are bound to obey it.

Constitutional disobedience may seem a radical notion, but it is a centuries-old American tradition.

Did we? Many of the framers were genuinely concerned about the country’s future. But the convention was also driven in part by speculators who had bought up Revolutionary War debt and wanted a strong federal government that would enforce taxes to ensure that the debt was paid. Other markedly unlofty considerations during constitutional negotiations included navigation rights on the Mississippi, whether states with ports would be able to collect fees from their neighbors, and whether Massachusetts Governor John Hancock would receive the founders’ support for his re-election. Even if, despite the parochial concerns, we deemed the document’s precepts worthy, remember that women, slaves, American Indians, and those without property were excluded from participating in ratification. Assent that flimsy should have no binding power over us 223 years after the Constitution took effect.

4. We can always amend what we don’t like.

Not really. Amendment is a bear, requiring two-thirds vote by both houses or a call to convention by the legislatures of two-thirds of the states. Then it needs ratification by three-quarters of the states—not the 13 original ones, but the 50 wildly disparate current ones. Out of some 11,000 proposed amendments, only 27 have been ratified. Ten of those, encompassing the Bill of Rights, were necessary to get the original states on board, and the 13th through 15th Amendments entailed a Civil War that almost destroyed the country and were essentially forced on the Southern states as the price of readmission to the Union. More fundamentally, the amendment argument is again circular, because at issue is whether we should obey the Constitution that sets out its provisions.

5. The framers were wise and gave us a great document to build on.

They advanced political theory in key respects, no doubt. But the framers were products of their time, and many of their notions now look weird, if not actually repugnant. Many thought it was OK for people to own other people; to ignore women, nonwhites, and people without property; and for small or sparsely populated states to carry the same authority as large and/or populated ones. “On this view,” Seidman writes, “constitutional obligation amounts to an intergenerational power grab that modern Americans should resist.” To the extent that the framers were wise, there’s nothing stopping us from keeping the provisions we like not because we have to but because we think it would be smart.

6. If we don’t obey the Constitution, anarchy will ensue.

Why? England and New Zealand function quite nicely without constitutions, don’t they? Also, we’ve often, in practice, violated, or at least dramatically stretched, constitutional precepts—sometimes, indeed, in an effort to avoid anarchy. Think of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s clashes with the judiciary over New Deal programs during the Depression. People don’t generally like anarchy and are usually good at taking sensible measures to avoid it.

7. Through Americans’ experience as a nation, we have come to believe that it is wise to obey the Constitution.

Really? How many Americans have actually thought about whether constitutional obedience leads to smart policies? And once more, the assertion is circular; it seeks to avoid the argument by claiming thatit’s not an argument worth having.

8. The framers were wise enough to write the Constitution so vaguely that we don’t need to disobey it.

That’s lukewarm praise at best. Where the Constitution is vague and ostensibly benevolent, as in the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection language, it is harmless but also toothless (see No. 10). And on some matters, it’s very specific and arguably silly—mandating, for instance, that someone who moved here as a baby can’t be president, or that someone under 30 can’t be a senator. Article I is “pretty clear” on the point that as presiding officer of the Senate, a vice president would have to “preside over his own impeachment,” Seidman notes. Grist for a Marx Brothers routine, but hardly evidence of the fathers’ wisdom.

9. The framers took the long view, whereas we might change something impulsively, in a fit of passion or a moment of crisis.

See No. 3. You’re overestimating the founders’ wisdom, and quite possibly underestimating ours. More than that—if we don’t make our best judgments about what America needs now and in the future, we’re not living up to our responsibility as citizens.

10. Well, OK, maybe the Constitution is flawed. But it’s still vital because it protects our civil liberties.

Sadly, no. In times of crisis, it hasn’t. It didn’t protect slaves. “When slavery was eventually overthrown,” Seidman writes, “it happened not because people felt bound to obey the Constitution, but because they were willing to fight a devastating war to change it.” The Constitution didn’t protect African-Americans during Jim Crow, either. It didn’t protect dissenters during the early years of the Republic under the Alien and Sedition Acts, during World War I, or during the McCarthy era. Nor did it protect Japanese-American internees during World War II.

Laws nominally protecting civil rights in 1954 didn’t truly protect minorities until civil-rights activists, a decade later, persuaded Northern whites that Southern bigotry was intolerable, Seidman argues. In The Federalist Papers, James Madison presciently doubted the ability of mere “parchment barriers,” laws on paper, to resist “the encroaching spirit of power.”

Is the Constitution currently protecting, from conservatives’ standpoint, states’ rights against federal regulations and mandates? Or, in liberals’ view, the rights of the 2.5 million Americans in prison (the highest incarceration rate in the world)? Maybe. Maybe not. The Constitution’s influence in such matters is, to say the least, murky.

How it’s interpreted, Seidman says, depends whether you’re looking at it from “classical liberal premises,” with freedom “associated with individual choice and the absence of public coercion,” or “classical republican premises,” with freedom associated with collective, democratic governance without threat of “the co-optation of state institutions by narrow, self-interested minorities.”

Even when the Supreme Court does arguably defend citizens’ rights, as in Brown v. Board of Education or Roe v. Wade, or more recently in decisions on affirmative action, women’s rights, gun control, and the death penalty, it usually isn’t acting in bold defiance of populist views, but rather reflecting those views. Why judicial decisions adhere to shifts in public opinion is mysterious, Seidman writes, but legislative sway in the courts’ budgets, or the executive and legislative workings of nomination and confirmation are probably more powerful factors than any constitutional rationale.

Yes, the Supreme Court has sometimes protected minority rights, Seidman concedes. In various eras, it has upheld the rights of slave holders and those of criminal defendants. It has outlawed prayer in public schools and upheld the right to sexually explicit expression. It has ruled in favor of white foes of affirmative action, for political speech by corporations, and picketing by a fringe group at soldiers’ funerals. But those can be considered counterexamples only if they reflect constitutional obedience and not the justices’ “own policy preferences.” And that, says Seidman, is a big if.

Constitutional disobedience may seem a radical notion, Seidman says, but it is, itself, an American tradition. Authorities have for centuries bent, if not outright broken, what they saw as constitutional edicts, usually because they considered their actions, rightly or wrongly, the wise things to do.

Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory despite his own doubts about the move’s constitutionality. Justice Robert Jackson signed Chief Justice Earl Warren’s anti-segregation opinion in Brown v. Board of Education, but records show that while Jackson felt his concurrence was politically justified, he did not, in fact, see segregation as violating the 14th Amendment. More prosaically, while senators from new states are supposed to serve six years, ever since Vermont joined the Union, in 1791, one senator from each new state has had a term shorter than six years so that elections could be staggered.

Sometimes different branches and levels of government simply disagree on what’s constitutional. In Cooper v. Aaron (1958), the Supreme Court ruled, amid widespread resistance to Brown v. Board of Education, that its decisions were binding on all government officials, regardless of whether or not they saw the rulings as constitutionally just.

More often than not, showdowns between branches and levels of government are avoided because of a tradition of judicial supremacy. But that tradition is just that—not, Seidman says, a clearly stated constitutional foundation. We accept it, he writes, “because in some situations, we cannot have both law and order.”

As you burrow further into such questions, they become metaphysical. Perhaps, you say, it is the myth of constitutional order that’s necessary to ensure an approximation of justice and order. Seidman dismisses that notion as “an extraordinarily cynical and elitist view,” which “assumes that it is legitimate, possible, and necessary for the cognoscenti to manipulate the masses.”

But “without a constitution, how would we know that a measure passed by Congress is a law and not just meaningless ranting by a bunch of pompous and superannuated poseurs?” Ah—that is an existential jurisprudential quandary, Seidman admits, but not one that a constitution can resolve. For a constitution to legitimate laws, the document itself must be legitimate, and that brings us back to the arguments we started with.

Without constitutional grounding, on what basis would court rulings be made?

Well, on what basis are they made now in cases involving limits on affirmative action, say, or the freedom to have gay sex? Those decisions, Seidman writes, are “at best tenuously tied to the constitutional text,” and reflect, instead, a mix of policy judgment, interpretation of tradition, moral boundaries, and so on.

Without a constitution, for better and for worse, he writes, “the Supreme Court would no longer be able to hide behind the pretense” of mere constitutional interpretation. “Instead it would have to defend openly the proposition that an elite, deliberative, and reason-giving body should have a check on the political branches.” In lieu of constitutional foundations, Seidman suggests that we sort through rationalist, existentialist, Rawlsian, and contestation theories, the last including the requisite that any foundation “must preserve the possibility of legitimate contestation” rather than prejudge outcomes.

It is the Constitution’s role as a point of contestation—a fulcrum, however historically arbitrary—that Seidman ambivalently championed in his 2001 book, Our Unsettled Constitution (Yale University Press). In the new book, his argument evolves in search of better, more honest grounds.

Seidman hopes his reasoning will elicit a glimmer of recognition from a populace already wary of how the Constitution is manipulated in the course of everyday policy discussions. “The abstract Constitution is said to be a symbol of national unity, while the actual Constitution does no more than mirror our national divisions,” he writes. “The situation is unstable and is ripe for exploitation by constitutional skeptics.”

Indeed it is, says Levinson, the Texas law professor. He has his own favored constitutional reforms—eliminating the Electoral College, creating nonrenewable 18-year terms for Supreme Court justices and a single six-year term for the president, allowing Congressional no-confidence votes in the president, letting members of Congress serve in cabinets. But he knows that in a new constitutional convention—attended by representatives selected by lottery, he proposes—some of those ideas would fly, others wouldn’t, and, in seeking best practices, all sides would inevitably have to make compromises.

If the political system is left as is, he says, “more and more power will accrue to an already very strong presidency, … or in some areas the courts will make decisions because Congress can’t.” The so-called fiscal cliff is a high-profile short-term example. But it’s the longer run Levinson is worried about. He finds “something ominous” in legislative stalemates followed by strong executive or court actions.

“If you’re concerned about the retirement system, medical care, immigration, … you’ve got to have legislation,” he says. And the legislative engine just isn’t running properly.

“We’ve got a public discourse going on entitlements or the debt,” says Levinson. But “there is currently no public discourse going on about the Constitution.”

Seidman knows that a cultural shift away from the Constitution seems unimaginable—but so, until recently, did a black president or gay marriage.

“I don’t want to be grandiose about this book,” he says. “I count myself lucky if my wife reads what I write, let alone starting a national conversation.” But “I do think what we’re talking about here is cultural change.” America is “at a stage where there is a growing realization that a lot of constitutional law is empty posturing.”

“A majority of the American people think justices use political considerations in deciding important cases,” and on both sides of the aisle the assumption is basic to the way confirmation hearings are run, he adds. Such cynicism “uneasily cohabits the same space as this reverence for the Constitution.”

“That’s not a stable situation.”

How does a new conversation about constitutional legitimacy begin? Well, maybe through books, Seidman says. But more immediately, “at the granular level, it is produced by ordinary individuals who challenge conventional wisdom.” When someone claims that something’s unconstitutional, he argues, “each of us should answer with a perfectly straightforward, but deeply subversive, two-word question: ‘So what?'”

Alexander C. Kafka is deputy managing editor of The My Chronicle Review.

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