Leftist Tries to Take Down Ron Paul on Constitution

Someone asked me to address Robert Parry’s article “The Right’s Inside-Out Constitution.” I do so in this video.

Note the comments on the article, by the way — everyone thinks Parry has hit a home run. And if he had read Kevin Gutzman’s new biography of James Madison (James Madison and the Making of America, St. Martin’s, 2012), he’d know that the record of Virginia’s ratifying convention pretty much obliterates his argument. That’s what makes his my-opponents-are-a-bunch-of-stupid-rubes tone so unintentionally funny.

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  • FromViennaWithLove

    Hey Tom, I’m a big fan. Thank you for all your work.

    I saw a leftist friend of mine make an amusing Facebook post on the “insanity” of this proposal by Georgia lawmakers to review and nullify federal legislation:

    I could tell the AJC article was pretty prejudiced against the idea, so I dug up the text to the Senate Resolution, SR 889. A short, smooth 4 pages brimming with intelligent arguments on the Constitution, something the AJC neglected to mentioned. It’s a pretty impressive piece of work.

    Looks like the brushfire you helped start is spreading to Georgia. Do you know anything else about this resolution or the lawmakers in Georgia? If you know anything or if you are keeping count of the states today that are considering nullification, could you make a post about what the national nullification picture looks like?

  • http://twitter.com/Henri11111 Henri

    Tom might it not be a good idea to write a book about the Virginia ratifying convention and explicitly laying out the arguments that were made there? 

  • Greg

    just out of interest why is Woods responding to this particular journalist?  did i miss something?  is consortiumnews a really important news source?  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Schooler/100003032488972 William Schooler

    But limited why? Because of lessons and warnings or because?


    Where did the limited idea come from?

    I totally understand and stand for limited Government but I know the exact reasons why and it is funny to me why it can never be mentioned, its almost laughable.

    We have to KNOW our foundation and WHY and this is what is missing in this country, the very basis for choice in this country as a Republic.

    We are actually comprised of a bunch of Republics (Communities) able to stand up for ourselves when allowed to, when knowing and acting to, but when we are trained under the guise of ignorance we only grow ignorance.

    I am personally working to put this connection in full view so even the people can answer their own questions without questioning themselves and I am actually appalled of the silence of it like it does not exist when in fact it very much does.

    I have even been questioning why so many historians missed this, is it because the ideas they grasp were only done in words without activity? Because it was not said out loud so there is no way to comprehend? Yet it sits in front of us, why is this so hidden in the trenches of history?

    How much secrecy took place in the time of our independence? Why was this exactly? Imagine using the weapons of your enemy against them. How brilliant were Thomas Jefferson and  Benjamin Franklin?

    I often ask what would be the point of independence without a document to secure finding ourselves in the very place we opposed? Are we there yet? What basis or principal do we use, what is that choice or defining idea that supports our idealism?

    For any idea to sustain its existence it has to have other supporting ideas so what are the rest of these, only what was spoken during these ratifications or what was put in to the constitution? But we needed limited Government for a reason and we were given reasoning why we needed it most of which was not spoken of in these meetings or in most that speak on the subject, I avoided it on purpose so others could feel the atrocity while asking all the questions that cause its very view with hints far and wide, so what were those ideas so well stated?

    Robert Perry like so many others missing the deciding factors to their own destiny or destruction depending on the choices made by themselves. Since all ideas brought into being are comprised of choice it becomes fascinating to discover the mechanics of ideas themselves, but dare not let me be the one to steer us here, LOL or attempt to stop me please…

  • Anonymous

    About the decentralization idea: As I type this, I’m looking at my reproduction manuscript of the Declaration of Independence. The title says, “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.” Note the use of “united States”: This concept carried over to the adoption of the Constitution, and additionally supports the use and validity of the Tenth Amendment. This was the genesis of the idea that the States are individual jurisdictions and separate from the agglomeration of a federal juggernaut.

  • Andy Kneeter

    Excellent & informative commentary!  The crux of the constitutional problem is summarized in Tom’s final statement; the constitution is just a piece of paper.  With the federal government enforcing the limits on its own power & wealth confiscation, any opposing arguments are essentially irrelevant.  Only a dramatic paradigm shift can remedy this; something like state nullification.

    P.S. – Tom is definitely looking thinner from his family’s primal dieting.  Congratulations!

  • http://plenarchist.wordpress.com/ plenarchist

    “Can Constitutions in the long run limit governments after all?” Nope.

    It’s interesting to me the extent that limited gov advocates seem to conflate the Fed Constitution and state constitutions. Although as the argument goes, competition among the states will keep them more restrained wrt abusing their people. But even if at the Fed level the gov actually were limited, the state govs have no such restraint.

    Constitutional republics are doomed to fail at some point because the people who break the contract are the same who enforce it. And as Artistotle pointed out, republics are oligarchical.

    I suppose a country like San Marino is an exception. That micro-state in northern Italy has the world’s oldest constitution. Then again, the country has only 30,000 people so there’s a decent chance your elected representative lives down the street. Maybe one solution to oppressive gov is to limit the size of every country to no more than 30,000…

    Kind of sad that after 2,300 years and given all the technological advances, we humans are still living our lives under the political dinosaur of republicanism… and a t-rex at that. And to all those who say we have a ‘democracy’… there hasn’t existed a democracy since the time of Aristotle. I don’t know why the word is even used today. We fight wars to spread ‘democracy’ when it doesn’t exist anywhere on the planet. Go figure.

  • Anonymous

    “Junior, I forbid you from staying out past 10pm.”
    “Junior, I expressly forbid you from staying out past 10pm.”

    Is there really a difference?
    If Junior comes home after midnight is he going to get out of hot water by pointing out that his parent didn’t use the word expressly and therefore that command was subject to complete dismissal?

    Honestly, statists argue like little children. “But… But, you didn’t say expressly, so I can come home anytime I want! Nah, nah!”

  • Anonymous

    your content is the best on the internet, so my criticism has to reach very
    deep to find something worth complaining. However…….

    Often times
    presentations on You Tube start off, “Hello everyone”, or “hey
    everyone” etc.

    I do not
    know of a single person that thinks of themselves as everyone and addressing
    the listeners as everyone depersonalizes the greeting.

    again”, “greetings from frigid Kansas”, or other such greeting
    works much better in my opinion.

    Currently reading
    PIG to history and am surprised by how much I already know from your Misses
    lectures. The stuff does really sink in.

  • Anonymous


  • http://tomwoods.com Tom Woods

    Just doing a favor for a friend.

  • http://tomwoods.com Tom Woods

    Kevin Gutzman said everything there was to say in his book Virginia’s American Revolution.

  • john

    You’re looking svelte Tom! I think the Blueprint is working. Great video.

  • Corey_pascuzzi

    Sigh…This is the kind of information that Ron Paul should be repeating during these debates.  It is so frustrating to watch the other three canditates all but laugh at him over his foriegn policy, when he could make his point so much better buy just saying “Leon Panetta said in a statement recently that there is no evidence that they have plans for a nuclear weapon”.  Instead he just makes the general statement “there is no evidence”.  I just don’t think that enough to wake people up.

  • Ron

    Is that your new “radio” wardrobe Tom?  ;-)

    Keep up the GREAT work!

  • Sam Geoghegan

    I agree with your closing commentary on
    the ability of a document to pull the reins on undelegated powers. It
    reminds me that in absence of a moral compass, civilisation simply
    cycles through the motions of tyranny and freedom, ad infinitum.

    Henning Webb Prentis said something so
    characteristic about this phenomena, and I think this is

    “Great nations rise and fall. The people
    go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to
    liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness,
    from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from
    apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”

  • StandardConny

    Great video and you’re looking ultra thin!!  You’ll have to invest in a new wardrobe as that nice shirt is hanging on you like 100 year old wallpaper in the Overlook Hotel!

    The author of the article seems to think that he wins his case simply by arguing that Madison wanted a strong central government (and allegedly Jackson did, too, 30-40 years later).

    The core idea of a constitution is that it is a written document that can be read forever-after so we don’t have to argue about what one or two or ten guys said or thought 200 years ago.

    Read the damn document and let the words speak for themselves!  In the end, I really don’t care what Madison, Jackson, Washington, Franklin, etc. were thinking on any given day.

    What’s the point of listing the powers of Congress if the list means nothing and they can do any damn thing they please?  Obviously, the author of this tripe is just working in reverse to justify a result he already knows he wants.

    I challenge anyone to read the Constitution with an open mind and conclude that this country was founded on the idea of a large central government with unlimited powers to do whatever it wants.

    The author’s explanation of why we can ignore the 10th amendment is especially stupid.  I wonder what the folks over at the TAC would think???

  • http://twitter.com/Henri11111 Henri

     Thanks Tom. I’ll check it out. :-)

  • shannontsherrill

    Tom, your closing thoughts, regarding impotence of mere paper at constraining the ambitions of men, reminded me of Scalia’s scathing remarks in his dissent in the Casey decision (referring to judicial restraint):

    Court’s statement that it is ‘tempting’ to acknowledge the
    authoritativeness of tradition in order to ‘cur[b] the
    discretion of federal judges,’ is of course rhetoric
    rather than reality; no government official is ‘tempted’ to
    place restraints upon his own freedom of action, which is
    why Lord Acton did not say ‘Power tends to purify.’  The
    Court’s temptation is in the quite opposite and more
    natural direction–towards systematically eliminating
    checks upon its own power; and it succumbs.”

  • Javeon99

    William, the answer to your question about how have so many historians have miss this…will be found in the following link.  Beware trough, some very troubling information you will read about, and it will put a lot of pieces of the puzzle together for you that you have have been missing. http://www.supremelaw.org/authors/dodd/interview.htm