…I finally listened to the podcast that Glenn Reynolds, our friendly neighborhood Instapundit and University of Tennessee law professor, recorded recently with Russ Roberts, economics professor at George Mason University. At about 30:00 minutes into the recording, Reynolds and Roberts had the following exchange over Louis Michael Seidman’s piece in the New York Times at the conclusion of 2012, ominously titled, “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution.”
I quickly typed this up from the MP3, apologies if there are any errors in the transcription:
…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.
ROBERTS: Well, he would say – well, I won’t speak for him, but some would say that, well, there’s a social contract, we’ve all agreed to kind of play by these rules…
REYNOLDS: Oh really?!
ROBERTS: …of electing officials, and…
REYNOLDS: Well, the rules I agreed to electing these officials are the Constitution. I thought we were going to ignore that. That’s my social contract…
The entire article is at PJ Media.
H/T Ace of Spades HQ where Ace has more.
Update: Biden: No Ordinary American Cares About Their Constitutional Rights, Facebook Questions are Plants. A video at Breitbart TV.
Thursdays February 21, 2013 Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. speaking at a forum at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.