ABOUT TOM WOODS

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Meltdown (on the financial crisis). A senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, C-SPAN, Bloomberg Television, and hundreds of radio programs... (Read More)



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Mark Levin and the Tenth Amendment Center

20th September 2013      by: Tom Woods     

Radio host Mark Levin called Tenth Amendment Center founder Michael Boldin a “kook” the other day. Par for the course; this is how Levin argues. We know that. Boldin hit back with an actual argument, noting that Levin’s cribbed arguments against nullification are exactly the same as the ones used by Rachel Maddow.

I already know what the critics will say.

(1) Why attack Levin? He’s a great guy who agrees with you on lots of things.

(2) Who cares what Levin says?

My replies:

(1) He argues like an elementary-school kid. He should be criticized for this. It’s all name-calling. Michael and I have never called him a name.

On foreign policy, my biggest issue, Levin is as much a propagandist as any other neocon. His long-exploded arguments against nullification are apparently cribbed from Heritage Foundation memos, not his own research.

He is supposed to be a defender of the Constitution. On presidential war powers, not exactly a trivial issue, he is a disaster. He has his listeners so screwed up that I actually had people calling me a left-winger because I defended the views of presidential war powers held by Mr. Republican himself, Senator Robert Taft. This is intellectual malpractice.

Levin sympathizers who tell me to leave him alone (which I normally do, by the way, unless he attacks me or a friend) should send me a copy of the email they sent him asking that he stop attacking Michael Boldin and the Tenth Amendment Center. Something tells me they never sent any such email. Their principle is: when Levin attacks you, it is wicked and reprehensible to defend yourself. That sounds reasonable.

(2) I don’t care what he thinks or says. I do think my friends have a right to defend themselves when a guy with an audience the size of Levin’s attacks them.

Unlearn the Propaganda!

  • Michael Boldin

    Nice, Tom – thanks for writing about this!

    Worse yet – it would be one thing if Levin spent all of his time personally attacking me – but he went far beyond that. For Levin, the left-wing doctrine of nullification (as he called it) is being pushed and supported by “kooks.”

    Everyone pushing nullification.

    You. Me. The 55% of registered republicans in favor of nullification.

    That’s just…kooky.

    I’d hate to listen again, but I believe he used the “neo-confederate” term as well. But I don’t think I could bear hearing him.

  • Mike

    Wait, wait. So nullification is “left wing” according to Levin, yet it’s called “right wing” by leftists like Maddow. LOL!! Do these people even listen to themselves?

    “I’d hate to listen again, but I believe he used the “neo-confederate” term as well.”

    If he did then they both do this too. Man, they all sound like they came straight out of an assembly line. These robots are two sides of the same statist coin. These people so blasted thick they don’t even know they sound JUST alike! LOL!

    Oh, I almost forgot…..racism…..neoconfederate….slavery….

    Sorry I can’t help it. I think Tom’s video every time I read this kind of junk. You couldn’t make this stuff up! You just couldn’t! :-)

  • Anonymous

    I had the misfortune of listening to the segment where he attacked nullifiers as kooks and neoconfederates. I assumed he was talking about Tom Woods and Kevin Gutzman. I didn’t know he was refering to The Tenth Amendment Center. As anyone who listens to his show knows, Levin is a very arrogant man with a big anger management issue.

    He also claims that libertarians are on the same side as conservatives, then goes to great lengths to disparage and alienate us. He has some sort of schizoid intellectual disorder. Just when I think he is starting to make sense he goes off the rails on some hateful rant about libertarians.

    What you have to understand about Levin and most modern Republicans is that they esteem The Sacred Union of The States above all. Even above liberty, prosperity, truth and decency. To them, “The Union” is a mystical, supreme alliance of force that ultimately trumps The Constitution itself. In this respect they are just like their political hero Dishonest Abe.

    Their hyper-Zionism also plays a big part in this since they see an agressive and meddlesome U.S. foreign policy as the ultimate protector of Zionist Israel. They fear that nullification will lead to a weaker national government that would be less able to defend Israel at all cost. They will do anything to defend what they believe to be the divinely blessed state of Israel.

    They also worship police and military authority in the most craven and sycophantic way. It makes me cringe when Levin kowtows to our all too thuggish enforcement class so shamelessly. There is without doubt a disturbing undercurrent of Fascistic sentiment among right wing radio talkers, including the few who masquerade as libertarians (Larry Elder, I’m calling you out).

  • Anonymous

    Cue zombie interview….

  • Anonymous

    I had the misfortune of listening to this mental midget on a long drive today (stateside).
    He was interviewing Cruz and was all gushy. then Cruz brought up his (Cruz’s) resistance to the Syrian attack insanity.
    Suddenly it’s oh, we’re up against the clock, so long Ted.
    Oh, so predictable…
    P.S. Note the possessive apostrophe, Tom…

  • Brutis

    Tom Woods is a thin skinned weenie! You call out Levin for calling names and then turn around and call him a propagandist and neocon? For god sakes man, go see a doctor

  • Franklin

    “Man, they all sound like they came straight out of an assembly line.”
    Thank you. I want to hold this line in my back pocket for future spending. Perfect.
    Maddow is the quintessential, banal, whiny feminist who congratulates herself for recognizing history’s unfairness; yet, too shallow to recognize government’s hand in oppression, large and small. When I read the terrific Wendy McElroy, I thank heavens for “feminists” who understand what liberty, individualism, and gender-neutral respect truly are.

  • Franklin

    Uhh, this is sarcasm, I hope. Shame on me if I missed the subtlety.

  • http://tomwoods.com Tom Woods

    Thanks, Greg. So you admit being a neocon is bad, such that being called one is an insult? You’re doing my work for me, man.

    Also, what do you possibly call someone who pushed the laughable arguments for the Iraq War?

  • Franklin

    Re worshipping police and authority, that is your telltale sign. Glad you mentioned it. You hear the same from neocons like Hannity who (gotta steal your apt term) kowtow to the armed forces: “You are a great American!” “Thank you for your service.” Criminimy… How about thanking my plumber too, because he just fixed a mess of mine at 5a.m. this morning. And how about thanking the commenters here for telling it like it is. Or thank my insurance agent who ensured I had coverage in a recent accident.

  • Franklin

    Excuse me if the information is readily available, but a suggestion for Tom and other historians. The Fugitive Slave laws are often cited to illustrate that nullification is on the righteous side. Very powerful. There are a few others, but unfortunately the pop culture discussions revolve around anti-gun control or dope-smoking efforts. (Now if you want to enjoy your weed that’s your right, so I am not diminishing any aspect of individual liberty via the NAP.) But is there a laundry list of nullification efforts that (are not politically esoteric) and which are as compelling as the Fugitive Slave Law example? We don’t really want just a couple of episodes whose retort is, “Fine, but what about George Wallace?!!!”
    Would be great to ratchet off a half dozen or more in one breath.

  • Smaulgld

    Michael I’ve never heard Levin offer any valid justification for the well documented A. Lincoln violations of the Constitution or any sound arguments against the policies of “Ru Paul”.

    Levin gives cogent arguments when he has them and glosses over or name calls when he doesn’t.

    The mentality that we should leave some one alone with whom we sometimes agree with is absurd.

    [insert tyrant's name] may say “it is five o’clock” when it actually is five o’clock. Does that mean because we agree that it is five o’clock that we look the other way at the tyrant’s other incorrect statements and transgressions?

    There is nothing wrong with finding common ground with those that often disagree with us.

    Its quite another thing to give a pass to someone who can’t agree to disagree but instead launches into irrational tirades and name calling and refuses any further discourse.

    With this type of person you can hardly form an alliance.

    Keep up the good work

  • Mike

    A neocon is not “name calling” but a political ideology genius.

  • Anonymous

    I still owe you a present, Mike.

  • Jason Hamby

    Levin and Hannity (and the choir they preach to) are the ones who drove me away from most talk radio (except for Tony Macrini who everyone should listen to). The truth is the whole and these guys are terrifically inconsistent on con law and government. I am tired of the blue/red team players.

  • Scott Lazarowitz

    Michael Savage has said that Levin sounds like “Groucho’s grandmother having a hysterectomy,” and Levin has had about 16 heart attacks, so I try to be understanding of him. But given his heart surgery past, he may be suffering from “pump head.”

  • TheIrishAustrian

    I am forced to listen to Levin nearly every single day of my life. My boss listens to him at work. I could literally keep an open thread on the stupid things that he says minute to minute. Just yesterday I heard him talk about how fedralism needs to be restored and in the exact same sentece he praised Joseph Story and Abraham Lincoln. I am constantly amazed at the line that Levin walks as he attempts to defend liberty and the sovereignty of the states, but also keeps his audience off the trail to the truth by defending MIC icons and insulting anyone that challenges his version of history.

  • Jason Hamby

    You could have your own tagline, “Listening to Levin, so you don’t have to.”

  • Jason Hamby

    The Tenth Amendment Center, Doing the Thinking That Mark Levin Just Won’t Do.

  • TheIrishAustrian

    Haha! That might not be a bad idea. I would never run out of content, but the agony of actually having to focus on what Levin has to say intead of trying to tune him out might give me some serious depression. My temper already gets the better of me some days when he is being particularly misleading and I have to do my best not to go on a hisorical rant to my co-workers.

  • Joe Pesci on helium

    His argument against Ron Paul was based around calling him “rupaul” over and over in his joe Pesci on helium voice (credit to will grigg for that line), and repeating progressive talking points straight out of Obama or Woodrow Wilson’s mouth about foreign policy.

    He has the most obnoxious voice I have ever heard! Not to mention that he used to pretend to be a tough guy! That is prob the funniest of all when someone as out of shape and nerdy as him threatens people over the radio that he would kick their ass! Lmao

  • http://www.praxacademy.com Rothbardian

    Not too long ago I quit saying “United States” and instead say “United State”. It is more accurate for these people like Levin, because like you said, they love the ‘Union’ above all else. As evidenced by attacking the tenth amendment center, they don’t believe in individual states.

  • http://www.praxacademy.com Rothbardian

    Is calling someone a ‘human’ considered name calling?

  • Aerospace Engineer

    I have always found it amusing whenever I happen to be listening to Levin on the way home from work (you know, because I like the sensation of my ears bleeding) when, in discussing fiscal policy, Levin cries and laments that our overlords aren’t spending enough on military spending after he just got done lambasting the government for spending too much domestically. He goes on and on about how Obamacare/entitlements/whatever will bankrupt our nation and put in jeopardy the future of our children and grandchildren in one breath and then whines and complains that “Obama is cutting out defense spending to the bone!” in the next.
    I can’t help but chuckle everytime I hear this.

  • Mike

    Yeah, $600 billion a year is “cutting defense spending to the bone” (actually it’s offense spending). LOL! Levin is an idiot.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Tom, unfortunately http://www.tomwoodsradio.com (which redirects to Peter Schiff’s page dedicated to your show) – the link doesn’t work. Not live not Sept 23, nor “Archives”. Have someone look at it :) best

  • Gamble

    I stopped listening to Levine, Beck and others about 2 years ago. I have never been happier.
    Their half libertarian, half lie/statist mindset was driving me crazy.
    Schizoid disorder is painful…

  • Direhippo

    Sounds like No Agenda

  • Anonymous

    I will thank you for using “ensured” correctly. I would have expected someone to confuse “ensure/insure,” especially when referring to an insurance agency.

    You are a great American!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think it’s difficult to understand why people like him love and revere “The Union.” They love and revere centralized authority. Where their faith should be in the authority of God and natural law, they have instead placed it in a government made of men.

    Personally, I consider government itself to be the antichrist. Christ himself was anarchist, refusing to lend any legitimacy to the rule of men. Government exists as an institutional opposition to the Golden Rule, or the NAP. It uses violence and coercion to achieve its goals, whereas Christ stressed cooperation and love.

  • Jonathan

    I only hear Levin on Sirius XM radio….the only two people on that channel that I find anything agreeable with are Mike Church (who has had Tom on before and promoted Liberty Classroom) and to a lesser extent Andrew Wilcow.

  • Jonathan

    Levin is the one who needs a doctor…I keep waiting for that guy to go into heart failure with the way he can send his blood pressure through the roof within about 15 seconds of each new radio segment

  • Guest

    Mark Levin is a statist Neocon posing as a conservative. His Lincoln worship forces him to defend the very things he says he hates. He repeatedly rants, calling Lincoln, “A great man! A great man!!!” He is a man talking out of both sides of his mouth at once, as is his partner in crime, Sean Hannity.

    This bit of brainwashing regarding Lincoln apparently happened to him in his youth, and it blinds him from seeing the truth about Lincoln and the consequences of Lincoln’s policies and presidency. As a consequences, he feels compelled to attack libertarianism and those who are TRUE advocates of subsidiarity and the sovereignty of the states.

    This Lincoln worship also causes Levin to turn to absurd, convoluted and IMPOSSIBLE processes and procedures in an attempt to wrestle the states and the people free from the tyrannical centralized monstrosity we have in Washington–the Behemoth that is the direct result and logical consequence from Lincoln’s vicious and unnecessary war of consolidation ––– a war Levin repeatedly and unreservedly applauds.

    Rather than turn to common sense checks on Federal power, such as the ones Madison and Jefferson used in their famous Resolves, he writes a book like the Liberty Amendments, which recommends a protracted and impossible process that no sane man could see as feasible–a process than cannot succeed.

    This Lincoln worship clearly creates a condition of schizophrenia in Levin’s thought.

    I’ve written about this myself, providing a commentary on his most recent book. If anyone cares to see it I’ve posted it here:

    http://avengingarmadillo.blogspot.com/2013/08/americanconservatisms-schizophrenic.html

    Levin’s Lincoln worship is the source of the cognitive dissonance and incoherence of Levin’s message. Lincoln destroyed the free and voluntary nature of the Constitutional Compact, and he is apparently well on his way to destroying Levin’s sanity.

  • jon

    Ok Levin is confusing me again. Is he arguing for us or are we “French Republicans?”http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/09/23/mark_levin_the_people_have_had_enough_of_these_french_republicans.html

  • Guest

    Mark Levin is a statist Neocon posing as a conservative. His Lincoln worship forces him to defend the very things he says he hates. He repeatedly rants, calling Lincoln in sermonic terms, “A great man! A great man!!!” Levin is a man talking out of both sides of his mouth at once, as is his partner in crime, Sean Hannity.

    This bit of brainwashing regarding Lincoln apparently happened to him in his youth, and it blinds him from seeing the truth about Lincoln and the consequences of Lincoln’s policies and presidency. As a consequence, he feels compelled to attack libertarians, those who are TRUE advocates of subsidiarity and the sovereignty of the states, who cut through the Lincoln myth and expose him for the tyrant he was.

    This Lincoln worship also causes Levin to suggest absurd, convoluted and IMPOSSIBLE processes and procedures as means of wrestling the states and the people free from the tyrannical, centralized monstrosity in Washington–that Behemoth that is the direct result and logical consequence of Lincoln’s vicious and unnecessary war of consolidation ––– a war Levin repeatedly and unreservedly applauds.

    Rather than turn to common sense checks on Federal power, such as the ones Madison and Jefferson used in their famous Resolves, he writes a book like the Liberty Amendments, which recommends this multi-generational, protracted and impossible process that no sane man could see as feasible–a process than cannot succeed, whether in whole or in part.

    This Lincoln worship clearly creates a condition of schizophrenia in Levin’s thought.
    I’ve written about this myself, providing a commentary on his most recent book. If anyone cares to see it I’ve posted it here:

    http://avengingarmadillo.blogspot.com/2013/08/americanconservatisms-schizophrenic.html

    Levin’s Lincoln worship is the source of the cognitive dissonance and incoherence of Levin’s messaging. Lincoln destroyed the free and voluntary nature of the Constitutional Compact, and he is apparently well on his way to destroying Mark Levin’s sanity.

  • William Thomas Ridenour

    Mark Levin is a statist Neocon posing as a conservative. His Lincoln worship forces him to defend the very things he says he hates. He repeatedly rants on his radio show, calling Lincoln in exalted, sermonic tones, “A great man! A great man!!!”
    (Thanks be to God, the medium of radio spares us from having to behold the image of him frothing at the mouth while delivering such a proclamation.)

    Levin is a man talking out of both sides of his mouth at once, as is his partner in crime, Sean Hannity.

    This bit of brainwashing regarding Lincoln apparently happened to him in his youth, and it blinds him from seeing the truth about Lincoln and the consequences of Lincoln’s policies and presidency. Therefore, he feels compelled to attack libertarians like Dr. Woods and Tom DiLorenzo, those TRUE advocates of subsidiarity and the sovereignty of the states, who cut through the Lincoln myth and expose him for the tyrant he was.

    This Lincoln worship also causes Levin to suggest absurd, convoluted and IMPOSSIBLE processes and procedures as means of wrestling the states and the people free from the tyrannical, centralized monstrosity in Washington–that Behemoth that is the direct result and logical consequence of Lincoln’s vicious and unnecessary war of consolidation ––– a war Levin repeatedly and unreservedly applauds.

    Rather than turn to common sense checks on Federal power, such as the ones Madison and Jefferson used in their famous Resolves, he writes a book like the Liberty Amendments, which recommends this multi-generational, protracted and impossible process that no sane man could see as feasible–a process that cannot succeed, whether in whole or in part.

    This Lincoln worship clearly creates a condition of schizophrenia in Levin’s thought.
    I’ve written about this myself, providing a commentary on his most recent book. If anyone cares to see it I’ve posted it here:

    http://avengingarmadillo.blogspot.com/2013/08/americanconservatisms-schizophrenic.html

    Levin’s Lincoln worship is the source of the cognitive dissonance and incoherence of Levin’s messaging. Lincoln destroyed the free and voluntary nature of the Constitutional Compact, and he is apparently well on his way to destroying Mark Levin’s sanity.

  • Gamble

    “Levin is a man talking out of both sides of his mouth at once, as is his partner in crime, Sean Hannity. ”
    Nuff said…

  • Richard

    Tom,

    Last week on the way home from work I was looking for some kind of radio that would rightly speak out against the madness of the current administration. I stumbled on Levin. He proceeds to scream to his audience like a cult leader “We are constitutional conservatives! We are not neo-confederates!”

    I just laughed and turned the radio off. Silence is, indeed, golden.

    It’s interesting, and possibly telling, that Mr. Levin dismisses the idea of states nullifying unconstitutional laws passed by the federal government simply by tossing out the term “neo-confederate”. I wonder if Mr. Levin knows how much he is in line with The Southern Poverty Law Center on this issue.

    Anyway, it’s disappointing to hear someone that very well may have good intentions conduct himself like Mr. Levin does.

    Regards,
    Richard

    P.S. I almost forgot. Mr. Levin came back from the commercial break and he started his segment introducing his latest work. He said “Booooooook!”

  • Richard

    It always baffles me that a person who is such a strong advocate of the constitution goes on angry rants attacking those who advocate for his liberty, namely libertarians.

    Unfortunately, Levin is often inconsistent in his arguments and philosophy. This is clear just about any time I have heard him do a segment on domestic policy followed by a segment on foreign policy. Double standards everywhere.

    I genuinely try to give conservative talk show hosts the benefit of the doubt. I am not sure why. However, they always seem to veer off into some Plan for a New American Century thing…or they elaborately rationalize some incredibly statist policy.

    However, I enjoy Walter E. Williams when fills in for Rush Limbaugh. He’s a pleasure to hear.

  • Richard

    Good observation. Levin has stopped mentioning Rand Paul. Telling. Levin likes liberty…but not too much liberty.

  • Richard

    Sorry, Brutis. With all due respect, comparing Mr. Levin’s conduct with Mr. Wood’s conduct is silly. It only takes a short time to see one conducts himself like a neo-conservative Al Sharpton and the other conducts himself as a gentleman and scholar.

  • F. Yakamochi

    The task of a neoconservative such as Levin is to channel political discontent in a safe direction – a direction unthreatening to the current ruling class. In other words, his job is to preserve the status quo. He does this by engaging in mock-heroics in the cause of liberty, while constantly raising the specter of “terrorism”. He is always careful to bundle the words “conservative” and “patriot” with unquestioning support for whatever criminal military operation being proposed in Washington.
    Nullification is a constitutional, legal, Made in America tool for wresting power away from the Establishment and giving it back to the people. This is why Levin and his friends are in a panic. Like hostile movie critics, they are trying to kill the Nullification Project before the public has a chance to see it. Their tactics are hateful but predictable.

  • Missouri Tenth


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