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tv   In Depth  CSPAN2  January 20, 2014 10:45am-1:46pm EST

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>> this event was part of the 2013 national book festival in washington d.c. for more information, visit fest. >> coming up next, author, lawyer and radio personality mark levin. the former reagan administration official talked about the role of the federal government, recent supreme court decisions and the upcoming 2014 elections. the syndicated radio talk show host is the author of five nonfiction books including "rescuing sprite," "liberty and tyranny," and his 2013 release, "the liberty amendments." ants.
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>> host: author mark with income and your most recent book, restoring the american republic, you proposed amendment to the constitution, including term limits for members of congress, a repeal of the 17th amendment or the senate, establishing term limits for supreme court justices, limiting federal spending, limiting federal taxes, limiting the federal bureaucracy. which of these and most important to you? >> guest: they are all of the same genre. ..
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>> guest: so they're all quite important, and the goal or the purpose of the book is to notbot only talk about how to revive the constitution and restore the republic, but to inform people on what the republic is supposet to look like, how the s constitution is supposed tonsti function and to move some of the decision making away from thenta centralized government back to t the state legislatures acting collectively as the framers intended.nte >> host: you write in "the liberty amendments" about the 17th amendment. 17th amendment t the public interest, but the interests of the governing masterminds and their disciples. its early proponents advance, it is not because they championed democracy or the individual, but because they knew it would be one of several important mechanisms for empowering the federal government and unraveling constitutional
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republicanism. >> guest: right. the framers didn't create a pure democracy. that would be absolute nonsense and crazy. in fact, if you look at the constitution, it's very complex, what they created here. you have a value government with limited enumerated powers, three branches, each of which is supposed to be working with each other sometimes, checking each other. and, of course, you have the states where all the plenary power is supposed to exist, and the individual where all the individual sovereignty, obviously, exists. so this idea that direct elections is what the framers intended is not correct. they intended it for the house of representatives, and madison's notes make this clear. they debated this at length, what the senate was supposed to look like. they went back and forth with different models, but when it came to the senate, madison and the others made quite clear that you could not have the direct election of senators without creating this all-powerful,
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centralized national government. they wanted a federal republic, not an all-powerful, centralized government. and they even made this case to the states when it went to the states for the ratification of the constitution. they said, look, the senate is made up of individuals chosen by the state legislatures, so you're going to have a role in the federal law making process, among other things. so the federalists used the senate, among other things, and the nature of the senate to persuade the antifederalists to support the constitution. and if we had had direct election of senators in the original constitution, there the would not be an original constitution. the states would not have ratified it. furthermore, who do the senators represent? it's the most bizarre body man has ever created. there's two from every states, we get that, that was to balance the large states and the small states, but you have situations now where senators voted for,
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say, obamacare in states where the governor and the attorney general fought obamacare in court. and the state legislatures are trying to protect their citizens from obama. it's very bizarre. the senate today really is an odd construct. so the purpose of the senate was to empower the state legislatures and the federal law making process, not to have another ability to vote. >> host: recent rule changes in the senate to limit the filibuster, do you agree with those? >> guest: no. i think in the case of harry reid and the democrats in the senate, they abuse the rules, whatever the rules are. i'll give you an example. they were using the filibuster to block judicial nominees under george w. bush like no senate in american history. period. then they complain when they're in power and they can have the majority about the republicans
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not confirming executive officials quickly enough and not pushing through obama's legislation fast enough. and the very people who abused the filibuster rule -- and taught the republicans how to do it should the republicans choose to do it -- have now eliminated it for purpose of judicial nominees, the appellate level as well as executive officials. look, what the senate is today, today, is a rubber stamp for obama. harry reid might as well be in obama's cabinet. and this is a very odd thing because rather than protect the institution of the senate and the institution of congress which is what the framers intended, you actually have the majority in the senate today doing everything it can to support the executive branch in any way it can even if it means diminishing its own authority. this would be crazy to the framers. matter of fact, it would have been crazy during franklin roosevelt's period. you may remember franklin
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roosevelt tried to stuff the court. he tried to pack the court with liberal idealogues who agreed with him and his agenda. the individual who fought it the hardest was his vice president who'd been the former speaker of the house and many democrats opposed it, the democrats in congress, and they wouldn't go along. so you have to have people of integrity, people of virtue in whatever level of government we're talking about. we clearly don't have that in the senate or in most of our institutions today. >> host: one other issue that's come up is whether or not it's fair that a state like california, 50 million or so people, two senators; wyoming, less than a million people, two senators. >> guest: well, that's exactly the point. the two-senator issue dose to the fact -- goes to the fact that the constitution never would have been ratified by all the states, ultimately, if only the big states -- virginia, massachusetts and pennsylvania, to name three -- could have as many senators as they wallet. and this goes back -- as they
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want. this goes back to the point where the house of representatives is the house of the people, quote-unquote. direct elections, states based on their population. that's how you determine the number of members of the house. senate is a different institution. matter of fact, the senate was supposed to be considered in many ways, and i hate to shock people, as the house of lords. but it hasn't worked out that way. >> host: some of your other liberty amendments, to promote free enterprise, to protect private property, to grant the state's authority to directly amend the constitution, to grant the states authority to check congress and to protect the vote. number nine, to granted the states authority to directly amend the constitution. what do you mean by that? >> guest: that three-fifths of the state legislatures would be able to amend the constitution. look, today it takes one justice to amend the constitution, and
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they're doing it all the time. today it takes the president of the united states, as this president does, refusing to uphold the law, refusing to adhere to the law, refusing to acknowledge certain aspects of a particular law, changing a law like obamacare. they're constantly amending the constitution and amending statutes. congress passed obamacare, dodd-frank, these are blatantly unconstitutional laws that confer power on the administrative state and do other things that are outrageous. so the notion that three-fifths of the state legislatures should be able to amend the constitution should hardly be radical when the supreme court is, in essence, a constitutional convention every time it meets, same with congress, same with the president and his cabinet. in order for that to happen, we'd have to amend the constitution in the first place to allow the states to do that, which is one of the things i propose in my book. >> host: in your fist book, "men in black," you write: the supreme court in particular now
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sits in final judgment of essentially all policy issues, disregarding the constitutional limitations, the legitimate roles of congress and the president and the broad authority conferred upon the states and the people. >> guest: yeah. the progressives have won. and i don't know why they're complaining or challenging what i'm writing, you know? since before woodrow wilson and franklin roosevelt and so forth, they made clear what their objectives were; an all-powerful, central government. they didn't like this idea of checks and balances, they didn't like this idea of state sovereignty, and they did everything they could at the time to undermine that, to usurp that. so we have a supreme court now that sits in decision of virtually anything it wants to consider. look, whatever your opinion is, look what happened in california with proposition 8. hook what's happened with doma, with all these issues. we all sit restlessly, how's justice kennedy going to go,
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how's justice this one going to go, that one going to go? these are nine individual human beings. they're as imperfect as the rest of us. they're of blood, they're of skin, they're of bone, they're of brain matter, and the idea that a great republic with 310 million people has to await the decision of really one justice depending on how that justice swings or five justices to determine, you know, a particular social or cultural issue for the entirety of the nation is absurd. and the idea that there's no recourse whatsoever is absurd. and nobody, nobody can point to anything that took place at the constitutional convention or any of the state ratifying conventions that supports such a judicial oligarchy. there would be no constitution if that's what the constitution created, and it didn't. so one of my amendments, actually two of them, attempts to address this by term limiting supreme court justices, because my view is 12 years is enough
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whether you're a great justice or, in my view, not such a great justice. it's gotten way too political, and the other is that three-fifths of the state legislatures -- if they act within a two-year period -- can override a supreme court decision. and why shouldn't in this be recourse beyond one justice with the body politic, where the people of the united states if they can raise the resources and drive the agenda, can get three-fifths of the legislature, a soup majority, it's not that simple, to say, no, court, you're wrong. no, justice kennedy, you're wrong. why would that be so horrible? i don't think it would be. >> host: when you talk about your liberty amendments, are you calling for a constitutional convention? >> guest: no. there can be no constitutional convention. i'm calling for what article v calls for, a convention of the states. it's not a constitutional
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convention where everything is up for grabs. it is a convention of the states where two-thirds of the state legislatures make application to congress to have a convention. congress has no substantive role whatsoever. it's clear from madison's notes during the debates at the constitutional convention, and it's also clear from federalist 85 that was written by hamilton, it's a ministerial task. so two-thirds of the states basically call for a meeting. and rather than congress itself having the power to propose amendments, two-thirds of the states sending their delegates to this meeting, to this convention, they then come up with finish if they choose to -- amendments which then have to be sent to all the states. and you still need three-fourths of the states to ratify. >> host: mark levin, are these amendments doable? >> guest: god, i hope so. if not them in particular,
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something like them because otherwise, i think we're doomed. i think the trajectory of the nation is toward an out of control federal government that is becoming increasingly more centralized. you can see the increase -- and i don't mean to panic people -- in what i consider the police powers of the federal government. the idea that the irs is now going to enforce health care laws and things of this nature is really disgusting. it's preposterous. and i'm looking for a lawful, legitimate, civil, constitutional way -- this is in the constitution. i didn't want create article 5, the framers did -- to address an increasingly repress i have and centralized government. that's what george mason was concerned about. it was unanimously adopted by the constitutional convention and by the ratifying conventions this the states. i hope at some point thai doable. i mean, we've come a long way in
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six months. there was a meeting december 7th at mount vernon called the mount vernon assembly where a hundred state delegates met from 32 or 34 different states to begin the process of talking about this. in indiana the legislature's passed two bills to prepare for this, outlining how they would choose their delegates and what the authority of the delegates would be, and the governor signed it. i mean, we shouldn't fear this. people need to understand, from my perspective we are in a postconstitutional period in respects. the system is upside down. it's top-down rather than bottom-up, and it's going to get worse. and i'm trying to say let us use the constitution to save the constitution and restore the republic. >> host: in your book from 2012, ameritopia: the unmaking of america, you with talk about you taupe yangism. what is it? >> guest: it's a whole book. briefly put, what i'm saying is if you listen to the left and if
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you really understand the left, what they keep doing is promising they're going to create these perfect systems or these magnificent rube goldberg type systems. just surrender more of your liberty and your private property. we're going to improve our financial system, just give us more and more power in washington to control it. we're going to end poverty, just give us more and more of your wealth, we'll have this war on poverty. and on and on and on. and when it doesn't work, and it won't work because it's impossible, it's impossible for a few master mienlds in washington, d.c -- master mienlds in washington, d.c. no matter how big their administrative army is to know what 310 million people know if terms of their own lives, in terms of what benefits them and so forth. but that said, the problem is that it becomes increasingly more centralized. so that's the basic proposition.
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>> host: you write: utopianism is irrational in theory and practice for be it ignores or attempts to control the planned and unplanned complexity of the individual, his nature and mankind generally. utopianism's equality is intolerant of diversity, uniqueness, debate, etc., for utopianism's purpose requires a single focus. there can be no competing voices or causes, slowing or obstructing society's long and righteous march. >> guest: that's right. and you can see the attack on free speech whether it's television, a&e, "duck dynasty," whether you see it on our college campuses, the languages being hijacked, fewer and fewer ideas are allowed to be espoused. and it's really quite troublesome, to me. but in addition to that, the
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this utopianism notion, i call it utopian statism. and it always requires the federal government to have more and more power over the individual. and you can just listen to obama. and it's not just obama. you know, if you listen to the republican leadership, today sound like neostatists themselves. but obama in particular -- excuse me. i have the flu. i just want everybody to know i've been fighting it for three days. this utopianism, i mean, and it can never fail. i'll give you an example. when obamacare fails, what's the problem? and not enough money? not enough power? not enough bureaucrats? not enough something or another. it can never fail even though it's a complete failure. and this is the problem we constitutional conservatives have in fighting it. these folks are always talking about what can be, what should be rather than reality, what they've done and the damage that
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they've caused. and, you know, it is our responsibility to try and do a better job to explain that, i think. >> host: mark levin, in your book prior that to that, 2009, you talk about statism. how do you define that? >> guest: well, i wanted to write a book, a restatement of conservativism. recruiting a stating conservativism, you need to address liberalism. and then when i started to really think about it and, you know, do an enormous amount of research, starting to pull these things together, the names, you know, marxism, socialism, social democracy, liberalism, progressivism, i just decided to reach back to aristotle and use a word that kind of encapsulates all of it: statism. and so i can remember when i used that word, my editor said what's this word "statism" mean? well, statism is essentially
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those who believe in the power of a central government and less so in the power of the individual and lower levels of governing. and statism pushes the notion that government has as its purpose a good purpose which is the devouring of the civil society. and those of us who know enough about history and tyranny and liberty and so forth, we reject that idea. but you can see today the statists as i call them, some call them progressives or liberals, what have you, utopian statists more and more are devouring the civil society. so rather than the government existing in a limited form, you know, to insure that justice occurs -- and by that we mean legal justice, justice before the law; enforces contracts, takes care of basic necessities like national security, securing the boarder and so forth -- we
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have a federal government that is ubiquitous. it's hard to think of areas of our life where the federal government is not involved in some way. >> host: should liberty and tyranny, the liberty amendments, should they with read as a trilogy? >> guest: well, as an author, i would hope so. [laughter] but, well, one does work after the other. you know, liberty and tyranny, you know, it just took off. it was, as i say, sort of from the my perspective a restatement of conservativism because i was really sick and tired of the republican party and the republican leadership and john mccain and some of these others who were really mushing up the message and really didn't stand for a hell of a lot and really weren't explaining the principles of conservatives, conservativism and juxtaposing it to the left. and so i felt it was time for that. and ameritopia takes a much
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deeper, it's really a book on political philosophy, but takes a much deeper look at the left and juxtaposes that, the central figure, to conservativism. you know, this utopian statism as an example, it's not new. it's plato's republic. it's more utopia, it's hobbs' leviathan, and i try to point that out, this most aggressive form. it's marx's perfect worker's paradise. and i youngs juxtapose that to n locke, to charles demontague, to the framers of the constitution where you can really see the genius, the brilliance of liberty and then the bleakness and the darkness of tyranny. and i make the point that the left today, the statists today, really their philosophy is nothing new. it's steeped in many of the old
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philosophers who were preaching're in a fictional or nonfictional way the power of the state. and the power of the state is our undoing. >> host: mark levin, who's your favorite philosopher? >> guest: that's impossible. it's a good question, but it's impossible. there's so many. i mean, locke would be one of them. locke, in my view, really laid out the most cohesive or comprehensive case for the civil society and the nature of man and natural law and had an enormous influence on our founding fathers. he was most-read philosopher during the revolutionary period, john locke was, by the colonists. and month skew, which is one of the reasons i have both of them in the book, ameritopia, was one
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of the most widely-read philosophers during the constitutional period. his argument for three separate branches of government, he's the one that maybe not first proposed, but most predominantly proposed it. so, and, you know, adam smith and david hume, and i can go through a whole list of them. modern day, i guess i would say that people consider them philosophers, sort of milton friedman, high yak, men of that -- hayak, men of that sort. and there are many others, i'm sure i can't remember them all. not one in particular, but all together. and by the way, the framers were well read on -- obviously, not men who didn't exist at the time, but many of the men at the time and before their time who did exist, they were well of informed about the enlightenment, about what had taken place before history. you look at jefferson, the
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declaration of independence borrows heavily from locke's second treatise on government. the constitution borrows heavily from montasgue's laws. these are the philosophers and others, many others, who should be the focus of our educational system, who should be the focus of our public discussion. but i fear other than a very small percentage of the population, most people have never heard of them and certainly don't know much about them. so i try to do my best to spread the word. >> host: who's on the other side? >> guest: the processer ifs on the other side -- philosophers on the other side? well, marx and edge ls. i think when people talk about progressivism or democratic socialism or even liberalism,of them may not realize -- many of them may not realize how much they take from marx in one form
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or another. doesn't mean you have to round up people and put them in gulags, although that clearly has been done. the european socialists borrowed heavily from marx. i think the progressives at the turn of the last century borrowed from marx. this whole distributing wealth and radical egalitarianism and so forth, these are all marxist. but that said, marx talked about the withering away of the state. the problem is as lenin himself said, we can't figure out how that works. the state never withers away, in fact, the state becomes oppressive, horrific and all powerful. >> host: and once the state is under the control of the proletariat, its objectives will generally include the following ten tenets:
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yeah. i'd say that we've covered, what, six or seven or eight of those? that's there marx. and the communist manifesto. and that's, those are his ten planks. and i think six or seven of those you just mentioned we've adopted. so, look, the so-called progressives and the progressive era, these people clearly rejected -- but let me put it to you this way, you cannot be a utopian statist and support increasingly centralized government and the diminution of individual liberty and state authority and support our constitution. i mean, it's just not possible. and this is why i say we're in a
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postconstitutional period. and the trajectory's completely in the wrong direction. it's increasingly centralized. i mean, today it's health care. god knows what it'll be tomorrow. but the fact of the matter is what these people are are pushing on the left and have been pushing is, is not within our constitutional framework. as a matter of fact, it attacks our constitutional framework. so you cannot be -- i just want the liberals out there listening to understand -- you cannot be a hard-line liberal or as i call it a statist and support the constitution. you simply can't and you don't. >> host: we've talked about statists, we've talked about utopianism. another book that you use in "men in black," originalism. and you quote robert bork, and you say, this is robert bork talking: originalism seeks to promote the rule of law by imparting to the constitution a fixed, continuous and predictable meaning. then you go on to write:
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originalists object to the judiciary grabbing power in the name of advancing a social good or remedying some actual or perceived injustice. >> guest: a couple of points there. first of all, the idea that the courts -- let's take the supreme court -- is this wonderful institution that never gets it wrong is simply preposterous. it was the supreme court that issued the dred scott decision. it was the supreme court that issued the plessy v. ferguson decision. itfrom my perspective, the supre court that issued roe v. wade, these are inhumane, horrific, in some cases genocidal decisions. because these are imperfect human beings, and that's been my point, and that will continue to be my point. i have no problem with a court system, with an implied judicial review power because it's implied. an implied judicial review power
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where the courts or the justices understand the limitations on their roles. on the other hand, when they don't, there has to be recourse to this. short of a constant national loggerhead situation where one group feels this way and one group feels another way. and that's why i propose that the state legislature, three-fifths of them, have the powers to override a supreme court decision. wouldn't it have been wonderful if three-fifths of these state legislatures had overridden the the dred scott decision, as an example? but there's a lot in there, in those one or two lines that i can address. i mean, the whole notion of the judiciary today as having the final word, um, season has to have of a final -- somebody has to have a final word at some point. i get that. but when the final word is so outrageous or so disconnected from the constitution from a
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perspective of a large segment of the community, of the nation, then the final word really doesn't have legitimacy, particularly if the court does it in a way where the court steps outside its bounds with. as for this notion of originalism, it simply means this without getting into the different disputes and there are about what it means among originalists, what it simply means as a general matter is this: when a judge or a justice is deciding a constitutional matter as opposed to a statutory matter or a matter of equity and so forth, they are to try to discern what the framers meant, first, by the words in the constitution, then by the supporting historical record. and if none of that exists, that doesn't give them the option of going wildly into the darkness, imposing their personal policy preferences on the nation. nothing gives them that power. so you can have originalists like a scalia and thomas who
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approach their job properly but come up with a different result. that happens. and that's the key. it's not the result, it's the manner in which you seek to interpret the constitution and enforce the constitution, not necessarily the result that comes from that. so the alternative to that is you have a handful of lawyers who wear black robes who you call your honor who happen to get on the supreme court who impose their own wishes, who rewrite the constitution, who do whatever the hell it is that they want to do, and that is lawlessness. so, you know, lawlessness in the supreme court is a problem. >> host: good afternoon and welcome to booktv's "in depth" program. this is our monthly program with one author looking at his or her body of work. this month it's author, radio show host, lawyer, mark levin. he has written five nonfiction books beginning in 2005, "men in
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black: how the supreme court is destroying america." and then in 2007 a book we haven't discussed yet but we will, "rescuing sprite: liberty and tyranny," came out in 2009. "ameritopia," in 2012, and this past year, "the liberty amendments: restoring the american repluck." 202 is the area code if you'd like to participate in the conversation, 585-3882 if you live in the east and central time zones, 585-3881 for those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones. and if you can't get through on the phone lines, you can send a tweet @booktv our twitter handle. you can also make a comment on our face book page, and finally, you can send an e-mail to mr. levin, where'd you grow up? >> guest: i grew up outside of philadelphia in a township
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called chel tonham for most of my youth in a community called elkin's park. >> host: why did jack and norma live there? >> guest: that's a good question, because they were born in philadelphia, and they started a nursery school and day camp right outside of philadelphia in springfield township, pennsylvania. so pulling back just a little, i was originally raised in erdenhime, and then we moved to the other township which wasn't far away. so they were small business people. my mother was a former teacher. my father was a artist, and they started that business together, and they ran it for almost 20 years. >> host: are they still living? >> guest: they are. my father's 88, my fore's 82. --
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mother's 82. they are just, you know, they're wonderful. -- >> host: still in the philly area? >> guest: they live in florida. and be i have an older brother, doug, who lives in philly, a younger brother, rob, who lives in virginia. and my parents were role models for us. i mean, my belief in this country, my love of this country, my desire to do what i can in my own role, in my own way to preserve it, that comes from my parents. the notion of hard work wasn't just taught to us, i saw it how they worked 15, 18, 20 hours a day to make it work. and after they were done with the school and the day camp and sold it, they started a small store in pennsylvania which sold furniture, things of that sort. >> host: why'd you go to law school? >> guest: because i had to. i wanted to be a lawyer. i went to law school.
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i mean, i -- i don't know why. i mean, i feel i could have been a lawyer without having gone to law school, but that's the system, so you've got to go through the system. because i wanted to deal with these issues. i mean, you need that certificate. you know, you need that diploma in order to be able to do what i do in another part of my life which is as president of landmark legal foundation. so i don't just write and talk about these things. we try and litigate around these issues, whether it's the epa or obamacare, immigration and so forth. so i felt that that degree would give me a tool i needed in order to advance that i consider the cause of liberty. >> host: and how did you use that degree? or how do you use that degree? >> guest: well, that degree -- by the way, i don't know that i could actually find the diploma anywhere. i'm sure it's hanging somewhere. why i use it? as the president of landmark legal foundation. but i also use it in my radio
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show to analyze court decisions and other issues that may come up and also in my writings. i'm not sure the degree itself really gave me an edge in terms of my own studies and drawing from scholarship and writing and so forth. it didn't hurt, but, you know, i was in a hurry. i got out of high school early, i got out of college early. i wanted to get out of law school early, but the dean wouldn't let me. so i wanted to get through all that and jump into what i'm doing to do. >> host: you worked with ed meese. >> guest: great man, great mentor. he was attorney general of the united states. i was, among other things, his chief of staff. this notion of originalism, he reintroduced it and promoted it in the 1980s as ronald reagan's attorney general, which was absolutely crucial. we had some hectic times there
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because the left hated him because he was so effective. so they would try and unleash prosecutors and so forth. but the fact of the matter is, he was a really effective, forward-thinking attorney general. so a lot of the people you actually see on the courts today or in different organizations promoting liberty and the constitution and so forth worked in the meese justice department in one unit or another, one division or another. so there's a whole army of conservatives/libertarian constitutionalists out there who got their first job or the most prominent job in the meese justice department. >> host: how did you get from chief of staff to ed meese to a radio show? [laughter] >> guest: wow. well, i'll tell you, let me put it way, i've always been
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enamored or talk radio. i'm 56. when i was a teenager, i would listen to the transistor radio outside philadelphia, to talk radio in philadelphia but more often in new york. and i would listen to various hosts there, gene shepard, barry farber, my favorite was bob grant who just passed away, and i just want to say one thing quickly about him. grant was an icon in talk radio. he was always very gracious and kind to we, and he will be deeply missed because he, he really helped blaze the trail for conservative talk radio today. so i'd listen to him, and i wrote the local radio station, it was wcau at the time, i think it's wpht now. and asked if i could do a talk show. i was 16 at the time. they let me in, i did one show, and that was the end of that. it wasn't intended to be a permanent show, but probably to get me off their backs.
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i wasn't planning on making it a career. and then over time in the '90s and in the early 2000 i was often on cable tv debating a clinton impeachment or what have you. and then, you know, i was a big fan of my friend, rush limbaugh, who's a mentor of mine, a big fan of sean hannity who's a mentor of mine. and i subbed for rush, but i subbed numerous times for hannity when he would take vacation. and the program director said, you know, i think you have a knack for this, would you like to try a sunday show? he said, now, we can't pay you anything. i said, that's fine, and i tried it. and sean kept prodding me to do it. and so i did it for a little over a year, and then i guess they wanted me to do more, to now i'm doing more, and now we have a very successful syndicated show.
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so that occurred post-reagan administration. i'm not sure if there was one specific thing that did it. it just kind of came together. >> host: what makes for a good radio talk show host? what's that key ingredient? >> guest: integrity. not being a phony. not getting on the air, listening to consultants telling you to talk about bologna sandwiches, to lighten up, talk about this, that or the other. you know, to try to get to the millennials, to try and -- be yourself. have integrity. have substance. be compelling. and all of that, hopefully, is interor taping. don't be be a -- entertaining. don't be a circus clown, you know? don't be a clapping seal. the most successful talk radio hosts, in my view, it's not something you can learn, it's
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not something you can teach. you either are or you are not. you either come through that mic and are compelling as your own personality, your own thinker, your own substantive person, or you're not. and you can tell when people are peaking. the audience -- faking. the audience, the other thing i would say is the audience is smart. the audience is really smart. particularly in talk radio. so don't act like they're stupid, and don't talk down to them, and don't try and mislead them. my radio audience the most important -- is the most important thing i have in radio. my radio audience is what makes me successful. otherwise i'd be talking to the walls, you know, i'd be talking to the ceiling. and have respect for your audience. so i try to come in every evening when i do my show hours and hours and hours of preparation, of thought, of what i might say that is interesting, that might entertain as well and
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that affect people's lives. so, you know, i crack jokes, i get angry. you'll see my, you know, all moods, personality. that's the nature of the beast. that's the nature of every human being. but as i say, integrity is crucial and having respect for your audience. >> host: you don't do much tv anymore, do you? >> guest: i don't do a lot of tv unless i want to do it or need to do it. i figure what i have to say, i say on the radio every day. people want to hear it, they can hear it. i'm not into tv that much. it's not to say i don't like it when i do it, but, you know, the nearest studio's 40 miles away. that's an 90-mile round -- 80-mile round trip. and to sit there for five minutes and listen to some liberal in my left ear while i'm trying to get some comment out, it seems like a waste of time to me. you never know, maybe i'll do more of it.
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we get invitations all the time, and i do appreciate the invitations, i just don't accept many. accepted yours. >> host: we appreciate that. how much anonymity do you have? >> guest: well, my face is on all these books, so the last one i asked them to take it off. >> host: why? i noticed that. >> guest: well, how many of my faces do people need to see? [laughter] and if you google me, there's a sal pictures -- southbound pictures of me. i don't go to a lot of parties, i don't want go to a lot of events. maybe i'll speak three or four times a year. i don't do paid speeches, even though i get the offers to do those. you know, i like my anonymity, but on the other hand, i understand the times where i don't have anonymity. i have a great life. i'm blessed. i enjoy every aspect of it. anonymity or no anonymity. >> host: well, mark levin is our
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guest, and now it's your turn to talk to him. by the way, his most recent book is the liberty amendments: restoring the american republic. that is our featured book this month on booktv's book club. you'll see book club at the top of click on book club, and you'll be able to participate in the conversation with other viewers, other readers of the liberty amendments. as, and this will be for the entire month of january. laura in new york city, please go ahead. you're the first call for mark levin. >> caller: hi. i've listened to mark levin's show every night for years now, and from what he means by liberty is the criminal elite looting this country clean, impoverishing the middle class and paying no taxes on the wealth they've stolen. what he means by liberty is to public money for social security, medicare, medicaid,
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education or the rebuilding of our crumbling infrastructure. he is a prop begannist for the criminal elite posing as a right-wing conservative. and his liberty amendments are to bring to an end once and for all in the united states of america any political representation for anyone in this country by the criminal elite. >> host: that was laura, new york city. >> guest: she figured me out. i confess, i'm part of the criminal elite. , i confess. i get callers like this all the time. one of the things that c-span does is you give 'em 60 seconds. i give 'em about 6 seconds. so what do you want me to say? there's -- yeah. >> host: why do you give them six seconds? >> guest: because air time is precious. i take the .. kooks, you know, i could play a kook for ten minutes. that's are entertaining.
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i could go back and forth with her, but what's the point if is she's a kook. >> host: because she disagrees with you? >> guest: not only because she disagrees with me, as most kooks would with, not that they necessarily disagree with me, but that they're kooks. no, but that i don't believe in any public spending what so far. i believe in the constitutional system. there is public spending under the constitutional system. i'm not an anarchist or anything of the sort. the other thing is the criminal elite taking everybody's money, i'm not in the government. how am i part of the criminal elite, i'm not in the government, hell am i taking everybody's money,e so like i said i could sit here and try to respond to that but it's like another institution and someone is passing of but the demise of us to do, have a conversation? it's entertaining that i'm not going to have a conversation. >> host: this e-mail is from
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andrew of wisconsin. i've been a listener of the radio show for years. recently have been listening to lectures on youtube and i was struck that the language was strikingly similar to that used by mr. roth levin. i find it interesting these men will use such similar language to be on opposite sides of the political spectrum. wondering if you would comment. >> guest: he should stop using the words i used. that's right professor, you are dressed up like a professor, he and he is a radical statist. why is it - responsibility to bring rationality to a rational people? i can't explain chomsky. to my understanding he hates america and its institutions.
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he would disagree with me but i don't see how. so how am i supposed to make sense of him or that? i can't. i don't know how the guys like him get tenure -- actually, i do because the full people like that, that he can use whatever words he wants. i can express myself and he can explain himself. >> host: janice is calling from utah. hello, janice. >> caller: first of all mr. levin, a great admirer of yours. you are a national treasure so don't let the kooks get you down. >> host: why do you think he is a national treasure? >> caller: i just think he has got so many things right, and he's got a wonderful mind. i just add my ear his wonderful mind. as a conservative, i'm concerned about the division among the conservatives not over the goals, but over the tactics that
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seem to be kind of creating things that are going to be very detrimental in the success of the goals that we all want to achieve such as obamacare and stuff like that because we argued among ourselves over the tactics of how to get there and i just wonder if he felt like that was a concern or what your answer to that is. >> guest: that is a good question. the problem is in the republican establishment, they've got their way. they nominated romney and the lost. mitch mcconnell and the blaze and the senate are pretty much the same. some of us had just drawn the conclusion that the country is close to the abyss. when you look at a trillion dollars of unfunded obligations, you know, when i finished the
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liberty amendments that came out in august we were talking about the 17 trillion-dollar fiscal operating debt and now is 7.3 and rising. these are unsustainable. the social security trustees say that social security fund is the state well who they say that is unsustainable. obamacare is unsustainable. unless and until the republican leadership and the republican bureaucracy figures out a way to address this, it is not defective. the republican party is going to keep losing. they don't win one here and there but the projector as i say will not change. from my perspective the republican party has to get back to its grassroots and become a party of principle again, not purity that principle. it has to have positions that juxtapose the left and with the president and the administration is doing. also when you look at the prior
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republican administration the debt grew in the highest in history until the democratic administration. we have to be truthful about what's taking place and what responses should be and i don't know how this is going to work out but i think that the days of the republican establishment of bureaucracy getting their way without challenge, those days are over. >> host: and mr. levin writes the government consumes nearly 25% of all goods and services produced each year by the american people and the deficits retain the exclude $1 trillion exclude the fiscal operating debt more than 17 trillion far exceeding the total value of the annual economic wealth created by the american people which is expected to reach about 26 trillion a decade. it has accumulated unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs exceeding $90 trillion
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which is growing at a 4.6 to $6.9 trillion a year do you believe, to follow-up on what you were talking about, do you believe the gop will be a line around the principles without a credible defection by the state to the third party? >> i don't support this third party stuff because that would mean endless victories by the hard left. ronald reagan didn't support it either. i think what is needed to cut to the chase is a new republican party coming and i think that you need a new republican party about every 25 years. we have people who are effectively climbing the ladder within congress and getting into a leadership positions, but that doesn't make them statesman and they are not states and. and they are not effective at articulating very much. so, my concern is that the
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republican party needs to be improved. i'm not a flag waver i've been in the republican party all my life that i am for liberty and we need an institution, a party institution that is going to represent more of us and unfortunately you have people in the party that have been leaders for 25 years and they are part of the problem. they may say something but they are ineffective so we need a new republican party. >> host: you write to the tea party movement is a hopeful sign and its members come from all walks of life in every corner of the country. these citizens have the great enthusiasm of the founding fathers who claim the principles of individual liberties in the declaration and insist on the federal government's compliance with the constitution's limits.
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the debt would be bigger and the unfunded liability would be bigger and federal government would be more consolidated said it is a crucially important movement and it needs to grow, and i think it the republican party wants to go to war, the republican party is going to lose because the tea party movement is there in america beah is nothing more than millions of citizens, taxpayers who had enough who see over the $100 trillion of unfunded liabilities and see the massive federal debt more and more and effective less -- effectiveness of the democratic party and say enough is enough. so of course both parties turn on multiparty in the attack as
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do the media which is to be expected. this is a washington mentality versus the people. that's exactly why i wrote to the liberty amendment and the whole point of the state convention process is to bypass the federal government and to bypass the federal bureaucracy and bypass the federal court exactly as the framers intended in the constitutional convention. every one of them that it tended voted for the article 5 so that we the people through our state legislatures can now least make an effort to take the republic back. that is in the same as every state legislature. not far from here you have maryland. that's a disaster. deutsch california, rhode island, i get it there's a lot of disastrous state legislatures out there but a lot of the state legislatures are good or more positive. and if we can get a movement going -- and i think it's starting. time will tell. as a worse things get in this
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country, the more likely we will pick up steam when there is two years or 25 years i have no way of knowing. but the was the only serious recourse for what's going on today. it just is and as i said in the last chapter of the liberty amendments, even the most intelligent, politically muscular conservative who is elected president cannot reverse what's going on in the country today. slow it down and try to pull some of it back. when he leaves office, george w. bush comes back in and off we go again with the ft our model. so if people are serious about that, they should turn to the framers of the constitution and look at article 5 where george mason said here is your recourse. >> host: so if he were living
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in kentuckians which is pro mitch mcconnell in the primary and for the general. >> guest: i couldn't support mitch mcconnell not that he's not a nice person and so forth, but he is an ineffective republican leader and senator. that whole immigration bill he didn't take the lead in trying to cite against it the whole notion the president had in the power of the essence and vetoed the congress to decide not to raise the debt ceiling but mitch mcconnell came up with that idea and said it should be temporary for us. they don't have the power of the constitutional power in the purse. but anybody, the president, any entity.
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i was proud of him, really was the that is the first and last thing i can remember. >> host: calling from cedar hearst new york. >> i think that he would probably call me a kooks along with that last caller. i think the person she was referring to was the koke brothers that signed the heritage foundation and the ones that fund and other organizations that create bestsellers and then they give them away and will be people want to spend the money on them and the people who pay for the
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buses that take the tea party people through their rallies and they also now are paying the people that organized who know they are being paid for by the koke brothers in order to get people to rally, which of course is a very easy thing to rally against. >> host: let's talk about tyranny. what he is arguing about is the utility comes from people organizing that while in the preamble it says we should be promoting the general welfare and there are 3 million people in the country he cannot accept the possibility -- he cannot
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accept that i am a kook who can't speak on the show because i can't get through the screening. >> guest: we have a line here on c-span now it's called the kook. let me remember some of this because i can't remember all of it. number one, they don't find anything, number two, no groups buy my books. number three, overall i can't remember everything. i have no idea about the leaflets but so what, they never use big money to fund anything. let's see, what was the everything he said, do you remember it? i can't think of everything that he said. >> host: he couldn't get through the screeners.
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>> guest: sometimes they sneak through and sometimes they don't. but everything that he said is a lie. >> host: back to the larger issue or another issue of talking with and reading people you disagree with. >> guest: i have conversations with people disagree with, substantive intelligent conversations and if someone calls me and says somebody finds something that they didn't found if and if they are pushing the left-wing conspiracy cravath, what am i supposed to do? sit there and have a discussion? i cut them off and i say get the hell off my phone. call somebody else and have a good time. if you want to discuss the amendment process, the constitution, unemployment, the debt, we will have a serious discussion about those things.
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but the accusations, what am i supposed to do? i cut them off. >> host: do you enjoy the writing process? >> guest: i love it. it's a lot of work. i research and i deutsch the scholarships. and i have to spend every weekend and every night after my show working on these things. it takes time away from other things but it's just something i believe very strongly in. there's a discussion at least in part of the country about the amendment process. and i don't know that would be occurring accept that this is a "new york times" best-seller. >> host: she visited mr. levin at his home and talked to him about his writing process.
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>> there are a hundred things i want to write about. it's hard work, but the business part of it doesn't really drive me. on the other hand, i'm not comment on -- gandhi leaders. what drives me is to get my books into as many hands as i possibly can. because my books are intended to try to affect people's thinking come to give them ideas, maybe things they haven't thought about triet and as i say, i can't imagine others thinking the same way but that is certainly where i'm coming from. i had one of the greatest editors and publishing. his name was mitchell and he really is terrific and he has an eye for this. so he might say you may not want to use that sentence or you
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might want to reorganize this chapter or that chapter. but he's also gracious about how he does it. knowing full well that i'm a little stubborn, like i think most authors are coming and i certainly am so he may say he may not want to include that. or he might say you don't want to include that and i will say you're right. but in the and i make those decisions. has there ever been head butting? no pity to have returned in a book where they say good lord? no, they say they are thrilled to have the book because i hand them a complete book with all of the end notes in the book and all of the sourcing in the book and all the arguments in the book and all the chapters in the book, i put it together and i handed to them and at the end of the desk they have returned a few of them to me and i don't know that other authors do that, i just don't know, but in my
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case because i have no ghost authors or co-authors of the store they are just glad i turn them in on time. there's things i want to write about and talk about and life is short. they don't need to say you've missed your deadline. i'm excited to get my book and by the deadline and get on to the next one. it's hard work, it is because i do the radio show and i'm not done until 9:00 at night eastern time and i'm working until three in the morning on the book and i work on the weekend, and so it does have an effect on your social life and so forth, but this is what i do. this is what i love. people say what you do for a hobby? of this is what i do. it's a hobby and its work and i love it. >> host: so mr. levin, what is the next book? >> guest: i am working on the next book and i'm not going to reveal what it is yet.
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i'm not going to get into it. >> host: are you allowed to discuss when it's coming out? >> guest: no. >> host: we will get back to calls and this is jim in georgia. you are on book tv with mark levin. >> caller: hello, mark and i think it's peaked. one thing they are good at is projecting. you mentioned earlier how you use to be a talk-show host and so one thing now i'm always frustrated when i'm listening is i agree wholeheartedly but want to hear one of you recount the
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conversation or anybody who gets in front of a camera somewhere and says stuff that is absolutely not true. the platform that you have, are you able to not necessarily put them in front of the camera, but to speak to them and say what you said on such and such a date and time is flat out wrong. >> guest: they don't talk to me anymore pbs i never talked to him in my life i don't think. i met him once accidentally several years ago. but i haven't heard from john bader and i used to get calls. as you might imagine, i don't support his reelection. i don't initiate calls with politicians. some of them try to initiate
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calls with us. sometimes i take them and most the time i don't because some of them are my friends but i don't want to get friendly with many of them because it becomes much more difficult to speak about them and what they are doing. so i limit that as much as i can. >> host: so if they say i would like to talk about mark levin on the air. >> guest: we have invited him to come on the air multiple times. we would love to talk to him. >> host: do you ask marked up the left pointing to the general welfare clause to justify? >> guest: that's what i forgot, the general welfare. it's funny that was discussed and flanked in the liberty amendments. so people who say they are familiar with me and my books and so forth, many of them are not.
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the general welfare clause is not intended to neutralize all the rest of the constitution. you will hear the left talk about all the time and say the general welfare calls talks about this. what about the rest of the constitution, and it's interesting because this did come out and the framers made it quite clear that it is absurd to say that it would neutralize all of the rest of the work that went into drafting and establishing the constitution, the specific powers and branches and the limited powers of the government and the bill of rights and so forth. you can't just pass all and say because it affects the general welfare and i am going to pass it. but what they meant by that is that it has to affect the general welfare and then it has to meet all of the other standards. so in other words they cannot pass fell law that is specific
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to say the township in pennsylvania when it comes to xy and z to read it has to have a purpose. it's in the state of pennsylvania to address the parochial issues. so that is what was meant by the general welfare calls and not to the rest of the constitution and as i said i discussed it at great length in the liberty amendment. and people who follow this note this isn't even an argument anymore to know that the general welfare clause gives the power to the federal government to do what it wants to do. >> host: jd says the problem relying on the framers refuting the constitution is that the sanctions of slavery. >> guest: they didn't sanction slavery in the constitution. as a matter of fact when the british kept importing the slaves and to the united states in the colonies, because we didn't have much control of the borders then either, there's a
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provision in the constitution that specifically in this the importation in a certain period of time after the adoption of the constitution. but i would tell the gentleman to read abraham lincoln who is also cited in my book and abraham lincoln praises the framers of the constitution. many of whom were slave owners and he knew it and he said because they could not resolve this issue there and then they left it to their progeny to do it and that's what the declaration of independence the eyes as i have explained in my books, as abraham lincoln explained over and over again the same men who wrote and adopted the declaration of independence which talks about the natural any legal rights of the individual, not just white men, not just men but every
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human being. set the stage for at some point the abolition of slavery. it is the only rational position that there is. but i would say why would you condemn the constitution? you can condemn the due process rights of the probable cause and the fifth amendment, do you condemn the first amendment and speech and religious liberty, do you condemn all of these amendments which were also adopted by many of the framers were sleeve owners -- slave owners the position should be what did these men create that is beneficial to the nation and what is beneficial is a society that couldn't be completely free of slavery then is free of
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slavery today and that is what the declaration of independence set forth. i reject the idea that these men are to be dismissed. one of the reasons he didn't assign the constitution is because he didn't think that it went far enough. as a matter of fact it came up very early during the convention in georgia and south carolina threatened to withdraw. so here they were trying to put a nation together and they couldn't resolve some of these difficult issues at that time and i would say one other thing, if the constitution had failed, there wouldn't be a united
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states, would there, there wouldn't have been a civil war, and slavery wouldn't have been eliminated in the states. no. those states would have been off on their own. maybe they form their own country. who knows what the future of the states would have been. but because of the constitution, because we had a union and ultimately because of the civil war it ended slavery if not just in parts of the northern states but throughout the united states >> host: tauter on twitter wants to know if you would never run for office. >> guest: know. from my own perspective i think i could be more effective not being in the office. imagine all the sound bites they pull from my radio show. i give it no thought whatsoever. when i was younger i thought
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about it. matter of fact i ran for office when i was in law school. i was 19 and i got elected to the local school board. i was 20 and i did that for about three years. i've calmed down since then. >> host: why the school board? >> guest: they were raising taxes on the community but the only property taxes could they do it and i could see how was hurting my parents and other people when i decided to run and i guess in my own little community of i created something akin to the tea party group but for the tax limitation and while i was running in the republican party primary, also established this committee for tax limitation we would go from door to door and i would work the community day in and day out and
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i worked among others i won the primary and the general election and i served about three years until i left pennsylvania. >> host: but that got rid of the desire to run for office? >> guest: i thought about it. i sat in a state delegate running against him because i thought she was spending too much money and he got nervous. but no, i thought about it but not in the last 20 years. >> host: to politicians come to you for endorsement? >> guest: yes. >> host: do you ever endorse? >> guest: yes. >> host: who is your favorite politician today? >> guest: that will get me in trouble. i have a number of different politicians today. ted cruce and mike leigh, and i like rand paul. i can't think. i'm going to get in trouble. there are members of the house and the senate -- >> host: marco rubio? >> guest: i strongly disagree
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on the immigration issue but i like him on other issues of spending, taxes coming and he's introduced a bill to prevent obama, he hopes come from subsidizing the insurance companies which will clearly have to be done and it shouldn't have to be done. so there are aspects of his record by like as well. >> host: 2016, jeb bush verses hillary clinton. >> guest: disaster. a disaster for everybody. i don't know if that will happen or not. i hope not. i hope both parties do better than that. i mean, hillary clinton was a disastrous secretary of state. the middle east is burning. obama likes to say or even before john kerry was appointed that she was the best secretary in history. what the hell is he talking about? her record is a disaster. john kerry of looks like he
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wants to one of her and me get even worse, constantly putting the pinch on is rell and -- israel and appeasing the islamic regime in tehran. it's a complete disaster and you can see they are not taken seriously. the egyptian military that runs egypt now is building ties with the russians, something the democratic presidents have prevented. you can see we are losing turkey as it is becoming increasingly islamist. saudi arabia is fed up with this president and the secretaries of state and so forth and the chinese have moved into the china sea and there's all kind of things going on globally that are usually problematic. and that is because of the disastrous policies of this president and his secretary of state. as for jeb bush, how many more
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do we need? we've got jeb bush trashing people who don't support amnesty and he's pushing for this common core federal education mandate on the state. we've been there and done that. it's a disaster. how about we do this, we pick somebody that is more in line with ronald reagan and how about we try to win the presidential election and talk about liberty and private property rights and free market capitalism and opportunity and wealth creation and obama is having a big picture today or tomorrow with unemployed people behind him which is funny cents probably most of them are unemployed as a result of his policy. why do we have people who can stand it confidently and coherently, they don't have to be purists, just conservative. i don't think this is asking too much.
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why reject the one example of the massive national landslides and keep increasing the losers? i don't know. but i think bush's is enough. >> host: chris christi. >> guest: i don't care for him. he is a truly terrible record in new jersey and among them the highest property taxes in the country. they did when he came in and they still do today. he is weak on limited government. all of these governors and the states' attorneys general signed the brief against obamacare and chris christie refused and he still want to explain why he did it other than a lame argument that he didn't want to spend the money. it doesn't cost him anything to sign that he's expanded medicaid now which is a disaster for the state. one out of every $4 the state's budget is spent on medicaid and will go through the roof and two or three years after the federal subsidies stop.
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he is pro amnesty and pro-gun control. again, why would the republican party go to another northeastern republican? they went to mitt romney and that field. chris christy isn't going to work. i don't think the temperament is going to fly in much of the country. >> host: who is so sprite? >> guest: he was a shelter dog that leone, the first shelter dog that we ever had. how many years ago now? i guess it was 2004. we adopted him and brought him into our home. he was sort of a blond white dhaka said the family called him sprite because we had a dog that was black and white and we called him pepsi, so we had
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pepsi and sprite, like the drinks and we only had him for two years and he was a wonderful, wonderful dog and companion to our dhaka pepsi and i have a huge heart for dogs come animals in general but dogs in particular. and about a year in, he got sick part of his skulls tava danny and he had a tumor and it was just very sad at the end. we had to put him down. never put down a dog before. it was extremely emotional and very upsetting and to be honest i got very down about it for period of months and what's interesting about that naming is i had in early discussions with simon and schuster about writing
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a book on conservatives that became liberty and sold 1.3 million copies well then sprite passed away and i told him i wasn't interested in writing, and then -- i just wasn't in the nude, you know, because it hit me hard so they said how about you write a book about your dog and then write the book on conservatism because we really want you to read this book on conservatism. so why did and it's rescuing sprite. it took me about three months to write and it was very difficult to write, but it was fairly quick and then when it came out i remember my editor saying to me you need to work on another book and then he called and said
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slowdown. let's focus on talking about rescuing sprite because it took off and went to number two or three on "the new york times" bestsellers list and it's a very personal book. people who have adopted shelter dogs or even if they haven't they've lost a doll or animal and had to put them down they get much solace out of this book and i'm glad they do. the brothers had nothing to do with it and every penny i get from that book goes to animal shelters. >> host: do you have a dhaka today? >> guest: i do. he is a shelter dhaka i have had about two years and he used four or 5-years-old. he was turned in bye somebody to an animal shelter if and they don't keep them that long, one
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or two days. they were going to put him down but a volunteer called friends of mine at a shelter and very close to and i support called lost dog and cat in arlington virginia and they said their van over and picked up 67 of them and they go to these adoption things from time to time, i still do, and i lost pepsi. he died about six or seven months earlier and a friend of mine we were on the floor playing with dogs and this one in particular was receptive to us and he wanted to take him home but his wife said no and then i wanted to take him home. they had him for weeks, said he is my little buddy and he is a bundle of joy and i think when
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i'm done with radio and all this i'm going to spend my time trying to save as many of these dogs as possible. >> host: sean in hawaii heat kuran less author mark levin. >> caller: i agree with most of what you have been talking about and i would like to know if there is a public that ever existed in our history and how long did it last or does it still exist? thank you. >> host: thank you, sean. >> guest: yes. the public was established and with some of us are trying to do is restarted. it's not perfect. no country is meant to be perfect, no government is keen
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to be perfect but we are not talking about perfection. we are talking about completely out of control and getting increasingly out of control. so some of us have kids and grandkids and want to take steps today to try to avert -- the public part of it will end and that's important. no nation is guaranteed existence in perpetuity and none of them really do exist forever. while there has never been a perfect society -- we just talked about the framers. they were not perfect, but the word genius and they were patriots and they put everything on the line to establish this nation. and i think that the next generation and generations behind us we need to do everything we can to restore this republic and reestablished
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the constitutional government. we have young men and women overseas 18, 19, 20, 25 years putting their life on the line in afghanistan and other places around the world. they don't have these discussions you and i are having. they are there because they are americans and they protect america to protect the liberty and the constitution. they are not fighting putting their lives on the line for obamacare or dodd-frank or unemployment compensation. they're putting their lives on the line because of america the republic and it seems as we civilians who aren't putting our lives on the line, the least we can do is make the case at home before it's too late before we highlight our society and defend our principles.
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>> host: steve on twitter. does mark purposely exaggerate his views on the radio? this book and interview display more self control. >> caller: i don't purposely exaggerate anything. i am a guest here on c-span. it's like being the guest at a wedding. you conduct yourself as a guest. c-span is not talk radio. when i do my show, as i said earlier on this program, the host has to have integrity. so if you are as passionate as i am about these issues and the future of the country, that comes across on the microphone. i don't do npr where people sit there and speak like zombies. that is what they do.
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i myself on the radio, you are asking intelligent questions and i'm giving you straight answers. if eighth kook calls, i call him a kook. there is in that much difference but as i said i'm a guest here and i know how c-span conduct said. >> host: this is hour in that program featuring one author and his or her body of work and this month it is marked kook. brenau in arizonan you are on the air. >> caller: i enjoy your books immensely. i have all of them cut i do have a question about the liberty amendment because there was something that i've been thinking about since we have an occupant in the white house that change the law and spends money driving us into oblivion and does whatever he feels like she wants to do if he wants to be a
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dictator and we have a senate where harry reid is carrying his water constantly. i know that other than elections , obama won't be impeached. if you have another idea that can be incorporated into the convention of the state that would allow the people to take other action to get rid of a person like obama because obviously right now we don't have a way of getting rid of him and they are waiting until 2016 we may not have a country left and allows for that guy that was complaining about the coke brothers i don't know if he realizes that they had about 100 or so left-wing organizations that are stepping up to destroy this country. but i really am interested in your idea -- >> host: let's get an answer.
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thanks for calling in. >> guest: i should say i'm a big fan of the coch brothers. they are successful businessman who contributed to society and our katulis which is why they are heated by the left and they see the country going to help and want to do something about it so i want to salute the coch brothers and salute them for all they do even though i don't get any money from them. number two, what else can we do? well, i don't know what anything else we can do. article 5 in the state convention process is that it bypasses obama and kerry reed and john boehner and the massive bureaucracy and somebody might say how is it if they don't comply with the constitution today what makes you think that they will apply -- comply with these amendments and that is the
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brilliance of the process. the states will decide what the states comply with so if we say to the states to overturn a federal statute and obama wants to continue to implement a federal statute then he is violating the constitution and the states need not to comply. if you are going to have a president that this seóul call lists that they violate something of the sort there is no reason the states have to adhere to let the president. we are making the constitutional argument coming and the others are not. so hopefully people -- my hope is that people will talk about this process and the more we learn about it we will be compelled to support. >> host: you quoted whitaker chambers talking about the new deal on fdr. it was not a revolution. it was a revolution by
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bookkeeping and lawmaking in so far as it was successful. this is the basic power shift of all of the pollutions of our time and this shift was the revolution. >> guest: absolutely on that comment in particular. the revolution has already occurred in the progress of revolution of 100 years ago. we are living in and right now. and what i try to do in all four of these books, liberty and tyranny, and the liberty methods is to discuss at some length to make the case and we do live in a largely period they are perfectly happy with this and are prepared to accommodate it so they come up with proposals on the tax cut here or a little
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something on the edge over here but they will not address these constitutional issues of the foundational defect of the left and these other things that they have created so there is some of that to the extent there is a movement but you will see that more and more and they will quote edmund burke as an example then they supported the american revolution and that was a part of the status quo and then post the french revolution for reasons that i agree with. but the american revolution was considered pretty radical at the time. he did believe in experience. he didn't believe in going one direction or the other.
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he believed and moderation, but it is from some of these folks to mean accepting radical or a trajectory that is unacceptable and that in my view would alter or transform the country. i don't think that he would sit still and say all we need is another tax cut. i don't think that he would do that. i think that he would agree with george mason that it is so much of what it does with regulations for taxation's to dictate and so forth that the people need a constitutional and non-violent civil option. >> host: man in black how the supreme court is destroying america followed by rescuing sprite and then liberty and timoney the conservative manifesto with 29 and the mayor to be a was the first nonfiction
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book the unmaking of america in 2012 and just this last week is the liberty amendment restoring the american republic that came out in august of 2013. he is working on another book but he won't tell us anything about that. you are on with mark levin. >> caller: i was wondering what you thought -- it seems to me the senate treats the house as the minor leagues. i've never heard of a senator running the house. >> guest: that is a very good point. i haven't thought that through. maybe there is one somewhere hon quincy adams, but a former senator? i think it's happened but i can't remember off the top of my head, but it's a good point because the house of representatives really is meant
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to be the people's house, and the senate really is meant to be the house of the state legislature, and the senate really isn't the people's house. it's not the house of the state legislatures. we don't know what it is. it's a mess. and that was pushed in 1913 by the progressives as was the federal income tax, those two amendments adopted the same area. progressives were republicans, too. taft, roosevelt -- excuse me -- and -- this is great, because now we're enfranchised. we can vote for our own senator. the problem is you're voting for a senator who is anxiousable -- answerable to whom? they treat the states like just another group. so they'll spend as much time dealing with -- a governor, say. they feel no obligation to these state governments, t state no obligation to
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the state government whatsoever so that was quite revolutionary when that occurred. and i think that's right. i don't think that there is any justification for that, but you have a lot of the members that think it is a step up to run to the senate and a lot of the senators that look down in the house it shows you how screwed up the system has become. >> host: mr. levin, you often talk about class warfare in america. the study by the congressional budget office found that the top 1% of households increased their income by about 280% after the tax was over between 1979 to 2007 and at the same time the average income of the bottom 90% of americans basically stagnated just 8% over the same period. doesn't this prove that there is class warfare going on the very wealthy against everyone else?
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>> guest: let's assume we round up the wealthy and take everything they have. how is that going to improve his life? it's not going to improve it at all. it seems to me the opposite is the problem. the more government is the more skew of the income. we've had obamacare and dodd-frank and the poverty and medicare we have social security and a thousand other programs and a thousand agencies and millions of bureaucrats with a goal of the government now is the redistribution of wealth, yet the gentleman talks about, let's just assume for argument that they are, the top 1%. so this is a free society. we need to embrace private property rights and capital some more so that there is more opportunity for people that seek opportunity, not less.
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there's more government where the apparently created what he's talking about. >> host: hank in maryland, please go ahead tell me what qualifications this president had to be president of the united states of america. anybody that has ever done anything. my question for you is do you think the education system for purposely dumbing down the young people anything about the country like this unqualified man that we have now. thank you. i think it has become a huge
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issue. social engineering is being used in the school system and i've been fighting the national education association since i was a school board member, and now the landmark legal foundation has fought for them. what's interesting about the antitrust law, the antitrust law is used against the corporation but the unions are exempt. i think that they need to be broken up and into 10,000 pieces. that's what i think that that isn't to say that all teachers are bad. i know some are bad the problem is too many of them are of the union mentality and the schools are controlled by this agenda and the more the federal government gets involved the more you'll see this happen. what isn't controlled by the federal government in the system right now? even the cafeteria is controlled. it's amazing.
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>> host: i had a little quote que said the total food production is controlled by the federal government at this point the regulations, and i can't find what a book that is an a. >> guest: that would probably be in marital -- maritopia. let me explain that. what's grown, how it is packaged, how it's shipped and offered in the supermarket and so forth. the federal government has a hand in every aspect of it. >> host: rob of new york. how did you get him the nickname the great one? that came from sn hannity. not a moniker i gave myself, i can assure you. i had one liberal caller who once called me the great big one
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and i thought that was funny, i didn't hang up on that person. i laughed. that's where that comes from, from hannity. >> host: another e-mail is there an antireligious bias in america? >> guest: is there an -- there's an antireligious bias in the government and an antireligious bias in hollywood. it's quite obvious. obamacare is the epit me of -- epitomy of an antireligious bias. we had the hart amendment and the federal government did not spend a penny of federal resours on abortion, and that was a negotiated agreement that had served this country well for a long time. obamacare is going to subsidies it, even though the president said it was not. you have religious entities -- that doesn't necessarily mean churches and so forth, but business people or individuals who are religious in and of themselves who do not well-to pay for policies -- do not wish
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to pay for policies that support payments for abortion or contraceptives or whatever you have, and they're being told, you must. it's mandated. that's clearly a violation of first amendment. we'll see what the supreme court decides at the end of our -- another june will come and we'll hope that five justices rule the right way. but this president, this administration, and this congress, they pushed the edge of the envelope as far as they can and there's an antireligious bias, and let me be even more specific. there's an antichristian bias in my view. certain things you can't say about certain religious groups and so forth. but if you're a traditional, practicing christian, you're written off as aut as a nut. as a fundamentalist and, it's funny how ignorant people are who make these al probations, ben when you go back to our
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founding. the framers were very involved in and knowledgeable about the judeo-christian background, ethics, principles and people try to, well, jefferson was a deist and franklin, yes they were but they weren't atheists and the constitution is an extremely tolerant document, particularly when it comes to religion and particularly when it cops to the first amendment which we all know was adopted later but, and we are in a extremely tolerant country with respect to all religions and religious practices. that is because of the judeo-christian ethic at the time of the framing, so yeah, i think there is hostility in mass media and by the government against religion generally but particularly against christianity. i say this as a jew. >> host: in mark levin's most recent book, the liberty amendment, he has several proposals for amendments to the
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constitution. number one, establish term limits for members congress. restore the senate by repealing the 17th amendment. establish term limits, 12 years for supreme court justices. limit federal spending. limit federal taxation. limit the federal bureaucracy. promote free enterprise. protect private property. grant states authority to directly amend the constitution. grant states authority to check congress and protect the vote. professor william green, an instructor in political science at south texas college, emails in, mr. levin, why do you continue to claim that james madison opposed nullification when he clearly stated in that document you referenced that thomas jefferson's idea of the right of nullification is the natural right. what is nullification? >> guest: , you know, this happens from time to time, there's a relatively small
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fringe effort out there to push an agenda. nullification is one of them. there are others too. even a little sessization movement going on. i would ask the professor in one place, madison's notes, most comprehensive notes of the constitution where nullification is mentioned? he can't. can the professor point to anywhere in the constitution where nullification is mentioned? he can't. what he does and others do, they try to construe the 10th amendment, which leaves all powers not specifically conferred on the federal government to the states as a nullification amendment? there is no such thing. they act like liberals the way they twist and spin and reinterpret what took place. he talks about jefferson. i have great admiration for jefferson. jefferson wasn't at the constitutional convention. so that's interesting but so
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what? what did he have to say about it? nothing. he was at the constitutional convention. what did madison have to say? he was at the constitutional convention and had a major role. when you point out a letter that he wrote to everett in 1830, a rather lengthy letter in which he provides exposition on this, at great length he goes into it. he also endorses article 5 which we imagine he would because he voted for it. he comes out squarely and strongly against nullification. but then they say, oh, no, that relates to south carolina. another letter in 1832. there is no winning this argument because it becomes circular. so i entertain myself now and then, then i move on the point is this, nullification is the notion, again deponed who is promoting it because they have different arguments. it is the notion that a state can on its own nullify a statute of the federal government if the
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state legislature concludes that the federal government doesn't have the power to do it. now as a practical matter, putting aside all history, where would that take us? let's say maryland doesn't like a particular statute passed by the federal government and says you know what? that doesn't apply to us. we're nullifying that. we concluded here in maryland that is unconstitutional. what if 10 states take that position? in other words, you can't, this is called anarchy. on top of that, i view these folks, they may not like it, as sort of neoconfederates. i'm looking at the constitution. language in the constitution. something that was actually adopted at the constitutional convention. trying to encourage people to take a look at it. some state legislators are starting to take a look at it. it is right there we know who proposed it. we mow who wrote on it. we know what madison said on
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later but we have the movement that says no, it is an impossibility, let's go for state nullification. the big nullifiers out there as far as i'm concerned have been on the left. they have been nullifying the constitution left and right as far as i can tell which is one of the reasons why i think it needs to be re-established and revived. so, professor, if you can show me anywhere in the constitutional convention where nullification was addressed, you can send it to me, if you can show me anywhere in the constitution where nullification is mentioned, rather than your implication or your, your interpretation, you can send that to me too. which means you won't be sending me anything. >> host: brian, pikesville. jon: maryland, good afternoon to you. >> caller: i thoroughly enjoy watching c-span booktv and i regularly watch it on a sunday and i recall some time ago you had a lady by the name of
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melanie phillips from england who mass written a book, the world upside down. and i was very impressed by the remarks you made as to the one word, the progressives do not wish to hear and that is the truth. i think that really hits the nail on the head. i was at a party not so long ago. i was mentioning something about the obamacare problem, there was a problem. as soon as i mentioned that, without my further discussion i was told i was right-winger. i was a fascist. so, but, what i would like to ask mr. levin, who i respect very much is, what is the, what is the mentality of people of different ideologies? people of equal intelligence who agree with his concepts and people on the other side of the issues?
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i really like to hear some discussion on that. thank you very much. >> guest: what is the mentality, i'm not sure i understand but let me use this as an opportunity to say something that relates to it in terms of this word ideology. i don't believe conservatism is an ideology. i believe conservatism is what naturally flows from human experience. conservatism is based on human experience. conservatism is based on reality. it's based on practicality. and it's based on reason and knowledge. that's why so many conservatives opposed obamacare from day one. it is not an idealogical thing. we know all this power over the individual and individual health care and decisioned about medicine and so forth, in a centralized government, run by
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politicians and bureaucrats is a dangerous thing and it is also an impossibility. in other words, it won't work well. and so, we don't say that for an idealogical reason. we say that based on human experience and on the other hand, those promoting obamacare they're idealogues. they reject human experience and reality and knowledge and all these things that are important in making rational decisions. so i would say conservatism is not an ideology. it's a way of life. it is a way of thinking. it is a way of being based on human experience and statism or liberal system an ideology and it is based on utopiaism. that's why you dare to say at the party some of the examples of why obamacare fails or is going to failure called a right-wing whatever. so the truth is you're probably being questioned by a cook. then again i have already
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discussed that. >> guest: martin l wants to know what mr. levin thinks of the club for growth? >> guest: what now? >> host: the club for growth. >> guest: i like these conservative groups, free market groups, voluntarily operate, raise money in the private sector, no government support whatsoever, use it to elect conservatives. i think we need more of it. i like the koch brothers and i like the club for growth and these other organizations. why not? >> host: marine, flushing new york, go ahead with your question or comment for mark levin. >> caller: mark, i enjoy you very much. i have a couple questions what is going on with the nsa what is your opinion about the overreach of government in that aspect. and the other question is at the very beginning of the formation of this country, great minds all got together, agreed to
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disagreed and move the ball forward. who do you have now who you think is of the same mind set that we have another renaissance in that regard? >> guest: i think there is a dearth of such people at this point to be honest with you so i don't know. when you look at congress, what a disaster. i mean i could go around the country and pick people who are smarter, wiser, better judgment. who would look at what is going on in earlies of the debt and deficit and not securing the border around all these other things and make more rational and intelligent decisions than these people yet there they are. so i don't know. i hope that there are some at some point. that is why i rely on state legislatures. not all of them, but a majority, supermajority of them. i think we have to work from the bottom up. what was the, oh, in the sa.
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-- the nsa. my position on. nsa is simple. i don't think nsa should be collecting anybody's phone numbers or phone patterns and i think it is a complete waste of resources and time. i don't think they can point to a single example where this stopped any terrorist event. every time they're asked whether by a committee or by this obama commission or whatever it was, they don't come up with the supportable positions. i think it is unlikely that it violates the fourth amendment. i guess we're going to find out but i think it is stupid and it ought to stop and i do think the fourth amendment or no fourth amendment it does violate our individual rights and, you know, i'm a strong supporter of intelligence-gathering. i'm a strong supporter of law enforcement. i mean, heck, i worked with the meese justice department in the reagan administration but this goes way too far. i do not like this kind of,
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these police state tactics. and i certainly don't like them in the hands of this particular administration as we see with the irs and so forth. so, no, i don't accept that this is a, a justifiable national security endeavor. i see this as outof control bureaucracy who has gotten into this and people defend it in a knee-jerk way as some kind of a national security intelligence thing and it's not in my view. it would be like the local cop, he is on a murder scene, what does he do? in manhattan and grabs the manhattan phone book and starts looking at phone numbers -- you don't work a case that way. you find out what the specific, you look for specific issues, specific patterns and so forth. then maybe you go to the manhattan phone book and so forth which is probably why despite all the effort and resources and manpower they can't show one example where this actually stopped somebody.
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>> host: so, edward snowden, whistle-blower or traitor or somewhere in between? >> guest: probably somewhere in between. luckily i don't have to make that decision but i will say this. i don't like the fact that he ran to china. i don't like the fact that he's in russia. those are two of our enemies. on the other hand people say all he had to do was go to a congressman or senator with information? are you kidding me? you go to a congressman or senator with this kind of information, they pick up the phone and call the fbi. they probably should. otherwise they might be prosecuted too. there is no immunity to them. so, i think there should have been another way to do this rather than running off to enemy countries. i'm also concerned about what he has revealed to them. i don't know what he told the chinese and russians and anybody else for that matter. but, the existence of this program, i'm glad we do know about it. because i oppose it. i think it ought to be shut down. but i do believe in a robust
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intelligence gathering snags security, law enforcement operation of the federal government because, you know, our national security is certainly one of the primary objectives of the federal government. >> host: mike, norwalk, connecticut, could mark expound on any personal anecdote between him and president reagan? guest guest a personal anecdote. well, i didn't see him a lot of times. i think i saw him total of in my lifetime maybe five times and i think, i don't think i ever mentioned this before. one of the times that i was with president reagan, in the oval office, i was also with attorney general meese. and, and a handful of others, including some members of the attorney general's family and justice department.
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and, attorney general meese just decided to leave office. and president reagan said to attorney general meese, who was coming under attack bit usual radical leftists and so forth, and president reagan said to him, i want to apologize to you, ed. all these attacks that are aimed at you are really intended for me. i'm sorry that you've had to go through this. that's what ronald reagan said. that is what kind of man ronald reagan was and ed meese too. great men. absolutely great men. >> host: one of the things we like to do with our "in depth" guests, what they're reading, influences, what their favorite books are. here are some of mark levin's answers. ♪
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♪ ♪
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♪ >> host: mark levin, ahn of the authors you list as your
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favorite, raymond aaron, the opium of the intellectuals. >> guest: raymond aron. he was french. he is absolutely great book and great thinker. there is a philosopher i didn't mention. and he wrote particularly about the cold war and the iron curtain and but he, but he skewered in a brilliant way the elites, so-called intellectuals and it's just a tremendous book and i learned a great deal from him. you know, these masterminds, not necessarily words he used, i'm using but he, and i gave great examples of it and the danger of it and he would talk about the communist elite and liberal elite and academic elite. while i didn't agree with every exact thing but the mentality and it was just superb.
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he is not the only one to do that. joseph shumpeter, is another one, great economist and philosopher. he did the same thing and he is not alone either. hayak did it in some of his books too. so this is the problem with centralizing all these decisions. we accept the fact that men and women are imperfect. we accept the fact that all our institutions are imperfect. well then why would we give so few people so much power? so few imperfect human beings in such a narrow number of institutions, so much power over the rest of us to impose their imperfect decisions on rest of us. >> host: from your 2009 book, liberty and tyranny, you write, if words and their meaning can be manipulated or ignored to advance the statist's political and policy preferences what then
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binds allegiances to the statist's words? why shoulda's laws bind future generations if yesterday's laws does not bind this generation? >> guest: right. in other words, if the constitution is subject to change based on what a particular court says or a particular president says or even a particular generation says then why are we bound by what they say? i mean if we're not bound to the constitution, why am i bound to a supreme court decision? why am i bound to a federal edebt? why am i bound to a presidential executive order? if the founding document, excuse me, if the founding governing document isn't to be revered, then why do we honor all these other decisions and statutes and so forth and so on? why should we? that's the point. >> host: mark levin is our guest this month on "in depth." we have a little less than an
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hour to go. bill in manhattan beach, california, you're on the air. good afternoon. >> caller: i love c-span. you guys are great. mark levin, you're a great asset of liberty. please take care of your health to begin with. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: secondly allow me to appeal to you to bring your terminology down to the average voter. the average voter is not a business owner. he is not working wall street, et cetera. he is an employee, by and large and change capitalism to free enterprise, change income redistribution what it is, theft and vote-buying. change entrepreneurship to job creation. so appeal to the folks who, who want to go with you, but they don't talk like that. thank you. >> guest: by the way, i don't think i know anybody on wall street come to think of it. maybe the koch brothers but i don't really know them either.
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>> host: have you ever met them? >> guest: met them once. wonderful people. like to meet them again. i saw george soros's photo once too. the man makes a good point and i do try to do that. i'm not always successful at it. but the gentleman makes a good point and i work at it as much as i can, we want to use terms that people can identify with. >> host: ashley, on our facebook page posts this comment. who do you think was the best and worst presidents and why? >> guest: well, i have to go with some of the obvious. i think, i think washington was our greatest president. if washington wanted to be a dictator, washington would have been a dictator. you look all over the world after these so-called democratic revolutions. you look at castro. look at these other places
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zimbabwe, so forth, that's what these men did, they became dictators. washington was not only a brilliant general who helped lead the revolution against all odds and win, he was a brilliant statesman and while the framers were united in their desire for liberty and representative government there were a lost opinions on how to get there and washington knew that he could push it one way or another and he understood that he needed to, to be sort of the invisible hand behind the process. i mean the fact that he agreed to even go to the constitutional convention. he had to think about that but decided he would go. he wanted to go back to mount vernon. that is where he wanted to stay but he cared about his country deeply where to the point he went broke as many of these men did because they were busy in public affairs.
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but so much of what washington did and said and so forth set the nation on the proper course in my view. that's why i give it to him, very close second would obviously be lincoln, even though the nullifiers would disagree with me and some of the neoconfederates. lincoln did some things we would question today? yeah. but on the other hand the nation was, all hello was breaking loose and he wanted to make sure in the end there was a nation. we can debate the particular issues and so forth but there have been few men like lincoln and there will be few men like him in the future. and i would consider reagan one of our greatest presidents too. people forget, for a half century or so the cold war was a very serious matter. soviet expansion was a very serious matter. nuclear threat was a very serious matter. among other things reagan defeated the soviet union.
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he defeated them through a variety of policies and he rejected detente and he wanted victory. and he got victory and also his economic policies. you know, 25 million jobs created. president obama stand at white house with unemployed people lined up behind him arguing for more extended unemployment. 99 weeks apparently isn't enough. maybe under this president that's the problem. but what reagan would have done is stood behind, let people stand behind him who found new jobs. reagan created such an economic dynamo it went through to the clinton administration. so as a matter of fact, i don't know that this nation has ever seen anything like it. certainly not in 100 years. so, and of course he brought confidence back to a country that desperately needed it after jimmy carter and the disaster that he was. there have been a number of good presidents too. coolidge was a very, very good
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president. in my view, james polk was a very, very good president. some people will attack him, calling him imperialism. i guess they better leave california and some of the other states but i thought he was a very good president. there were others. i can't remember all of them. there have been some very, very poor presidents. . . oh, i'm no fan of fdr. but on the other hand, he helped bring us through world war ii, so you can't dismiss that. although the aftermath was a disaster. him and truman, as far as i'm concerned. but i think obama has to be in the top ten of disastrous presidents, if not in the top five. what he's done to this country,
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>> what he's done to one his rhetoric, his propaganda, i just think he's been a destructive and divisive force x it's too bad because, you know, he's the first blackd president, and he could have done so many great things not only in bringing the country together, but advancing the cause of liberty and propertygh rights, all these other things that were so crucial, you know,, to our thinking and to our country. and he's done the opposite. he's done your knee-jerk, hard-left, radical, left-wing agenda, and it's been a complete disaster. and i think 50 years from now, um, when we look back on this or other people look back on this, i think it'll be viewed that way. >> host: mark high school hand posts on our facebook page, mr. levin, when will the republican party give up the
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marriage amendment and the right-to-life amendment? they are both losers for the gop. >> guest: i don't think we lose votes over the marriage amendment or the right-to-life amendment. i mean, how many votes have we lost on that? in terms of losers for the gop, reagan was strongly pro-life and supported an amendment. obviously, the president has no role, only congress can or the states, state legislatures. and this terms of the marriage amendment -- in terms of the marriage amendment, it takes three-fourths of the states to ratify an amendment. well, you now have, what is it, 15 or 17 states that have made same-sex marriage legal, something like that, some legislatures have done it, some courts have done it. but, so i'm not sure how that would work out. but i have no problem with people arguing for and proposing these amendments because it is the quintessential nature of
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federalism. in other words, as i said, it takes three-fourths of the state legislatures to ratify them. so a loser for the republican party. i don't think it's a loser for the republican party. i think what's a loser for the republican party are people who lead it who, who have no agenda, who have few principles and very little confidence in anything. basically, are hanging on for their own sake. but i don't think those are losers. this always amazes me, the social issues, we call them. the social issues. okay, well, call them the social issues. i don't want call them social issues. they're human issues. they're cultural issues. who keeps bringing them up? who's fighting for same-sex marriage? who keeps bringing it up? activist groups, state legislatures, um, courts.
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so people who object to a particular position, they're told stop talking, stop standing for what you believe in? if your faith tells you to fight it, just give it up, it's a loser. i mean, these arguments are absurd. why should people give it up? they should fight for what they believe. and if the republican party doesn't stand for traditional values, who the hell will? so i have no problem with people fighting for these things. and i don't think it's a political loser. i think the moderates who stand for virtually nothing, they're the political losers. i mean, mccain didn't lose because he supported either of those amendments. romney didn't lose because he supported east of those amendments -- either of those amendments. they lost because they didn't have an agenda that connects with the people, and it is the liberty, free enterprise as the gentleman said of wealth creation, job creation, business creation agenda, the growth agenda among other things. and, yes, the traditional faith agenda that i think will get
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people to the polls and win. i know it, as a matter of fact. reagan did it twice. >> host: pot sales in colorado, is that part of a liberty agenda? [laughter] >> guest: oh, lord. so all the potheads are going to move to colorado right now. something interesting has happened now. the federal government, to some extempt i think -- extent, i think holder announced, that they're not going to enforce a lot of these pot laws. colorado has passed a pot law. would i vote for it? no way. but they voted for it, and that's the law. that's the law in colorado. i live in virginia, what the hell am i supposed to do it, other than stay out of colorado? but that's -- and, again, the federal government has decided that it is not going to enforce the relevant federal statutes with respect to that. and that's a different issue to me. whether or not you support those laws, how in the world does the attorney general decide i don't like that law, i'm not going to enforce it? when did he get that power?
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never. so that would be my issue there. if colorado wants to legalize pot, then colorado will legalize pot. i think it's stupid. i do fair decriminalizing it though. in other words, i don't think a 17-year-old or 20-year-old, a college student or some pizza delivery guy who's caught with a joint smoking a joint should have to do prison time or jail time or be charged with a misdemeanor. that bothers me. and i will tell you right here, i don't have a bible to swear on, but i've never done drugs. i've never done pot. but i still find it troublesome that if some young person has had a joint or something like that and they're caught, that they should -- i don't know what the answer is, but i do favor decriminalization. not no criminalization, but decriminalization. >> host: from "liberty and tyranny," all cultures are not
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equal with as evidenced in part by the alien fleeing his own country for the american culture and the american citizen staying put. if someone were shopping for books and they came across "liberty and tyranny, "ameritopia and the liberty amendments they could only buy one, which one should they buy? >> guest: liberty and tyranny, ameritopia, and the liberty amendments. you know, i have two children -- >> host: these are books. >> guest: i know, if you could only have one, which would you have? i couldn't do that. remember what solomon did? yeah. the cutting of the baby in half? well, he wouldn't agree to that, would he? so it depends what you're looking for. let me put it to you that way. "liberty and tyranny" is basically a primer on a restatement of conservativism. which i felt in 2009 and feel
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today is sorely needed. and it provides a, my conservative manifesto at the end, and i call it that to mock marx and the communist manifesto. ameritopia, which is probably the most important to me, is most difficult. it is political philosophy, and and to me, it gets to the heart of the problem with the left. and the conflict with those who believe in liberty. and the liberty amendments, i think, is crucial because i have callers to my show and others who say, okay, mark, this is all great, now what do we do about this? what do we do about this? and rather than give the usual phony, superficial response, let's elect more republicans, that's not good enough. maybe that's good enough for some, but it's not good enough because we are unmoored from our constitutional system. we elected more republicans under george bush from 2001 to 2007. they controlled the congress and
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the presidency. what happened? more federal involvement in education, more federal involvement in health care, the expansion of medicare, expansion of virtually everything. the massive increase this the debt -- in the debt. i mean, that alone is not going to be enough. so the solution, i think, is rather than be superficial about it and say, oh, well, i'll just elect more of these folks -- although i favor electing many more conservative republicans -- the solution is a systemic one, and the answer is in the constitution which is the purpose of the liberty amendments. >> host: and speaking of the liberty amendments, booktv's book club is reading that this month. so if you go to, you'll see a tab up there that says "book clubment" you can go in there, you can see some video of mark levin, some reviews of the liberty amendments, and you can post your comments. it's very simple. so go ahead and read along and post your comments, and you can have a discussion with other readers and other viewers of
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booktv on "the liberty amendments." todd in winstead, connecticut, thanks for holding. you're on with mark levin. >> caller: well, thank you very much for taking my call. i listen to mark levin. i don't always agree with everything he says, but one of the problems i see with our political system is -- [inaudible] they debate issues ask ask them questions and all i get back is -- [inaudible] and with that said, that's the only pining i'm going -- opining i'm going to do, i've got three specific questions for mark, and i'd like to get his knowledgeable opinion on these areas. corporate funding of elections, doing away with the electoral college and, um, gerrymandering, doing away with gerrymandering. i'd like to hear what mark has to say about those three -- >> host: thank you, todd. we'll have to see what mr. levin says. >> guest: what was the third
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one? >> host: gerrymandering. >> guest: all right. let me start with corporate funding of elections. well, there are no -- there is no corporate funding of elections. what the citizens united case did was allow corporations to fund advocacy ads. so they concluded that not only should unions be able to do it, but corporations should be able to do it too. why not? as long as it's public. as long as we though who's contributing what to these campaigns. and it ought to be online so you can get it immediately, and in many cases it is. i don't have a problem with that. i have a problem with the shadowy stuff that goes on with members of congress and so forth. but out-front donations is fine. and i say this as somebody who has a real problem with how the u.s. chamber of commerce conducts itself and is now getting into republican primaries for the purpose of defeating conservative candidates and pushing big government, corporatist
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republican candidates. so, but that said, principle is principle. free speech is free speech. as for the electoral college, of course i support it. there's a movement now to get rid of it just as the progressive movement got rid of the state legislatures choosing members of the senate. and, of course, they want to get rid of the electoral college and have the direct election of presidents. let us remember the mindset of the framers. the framers did not want a purely populist, majoritarian government. they didn't want a purely democratic government. they wanted a representative republic. so the purpose of the electoral college is not only to give some of the smaller states some footing in the presidential process, but as a check just in case you have the election of somebody who is a complete and utter tyrant. so we talk about we need checks, and we need balances, and we need such things.
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that's the electoral college. and it amuses me, pete, that we have some senators who oppose the electoral college, and they want the direct election of the president. and i think to myself, wow, so why do we have two senators from every state? why don't we get rid of them, too s and just have a house of of representatives? here we have senators who by constitution exist two in each state, but we don't need them. we'll just have like a parliamentary system. i don't support this, i'm being sarcastic. as for gerrymandering, i don't know how you would get rid of that. i mean, these good government types pretend they'll take care of it. i don't trust most of them. but gerrymandering, it's something that's gone on for an awfully long time, and it's something that i think we're stuck with. >> host: robert has saved us. he mails this claude pepper of florida was in the senate, then the house. >> guest: he's right.
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good deal, bro, that's right. i think there were others, but that's for sure. >> host: nick is calling from los angeles. you're on booktv with author mark levin. >> caller: thank you, c-span. hello, mark. you help me drive home every day and help me keep the rage on your show and not on the other drivers, so i've got to thank you for making me a better driver. but you do claim that james madison rejected nullification, but in the same document that you cite, he was actually talking about a specific process of nullification that was advocated only by south carolina. and then later james madison said that, and i quote here: nullification is the natural right which all admit to be a remedy against insupportable oppression, unquote. so, um, with that my real question for you is, um, you know, i appreciate that you talk about the constitution outlining a republic not a democracy, but you share a utopian foreign policy outlook which is
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unconstitutional. anyone can look up your statements on presidential war powers and put them up against thomas e. woods or louis fisher which c-span has also fish featured. >> host: nick, are you a fan of mark levin? [laughter] >> caller: yeah. and i'm also a fan of george washington, as he is. if you quote george washington, he said the nation which indulges toward another as an habitual hatred or an that establish wall fondness is in some ways a slave -- >> host: nick, why are you a supporter of so-called nullification? >> guest: well, i'm a supporter of nullification because i think it runs to the heart of what a constitutional republic is all about. and i think you can't have a republic and an empire too. so i think mark levin's blind spots on foreign policies and nullification really undermine what, you know, he purports to be about. and i think -- >> host: all right. we'll get an answer. just, mark -- or, nick, just a little bit more from you though.
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what kind of of work do you do? you say mark levin is on your raid slow on the way home. what kind of work do you do? >> caller: well, i'm struggling in this obama economy, so i have a few different part-time jobs. i work at a couple convert venues and ucla, also an inalternative with a nonprofit organization. so, you know, i'm very passionate about what's going on in the world. i think it affects my generation. i'm 28 years old, it affects my generation very much. so i pay attention to all the voices and rye and stay involved but also got to pay the bills with some part-time jobs too. >> host: nick, thank you very much for calling in. mark levin. >> guest: well, here we go again. let's see. people have to read this 1830 letter on their own. there's nothing, it's not a narrow letter. it's a very long letter. of he's addressing more than what nick has to say. he also is engorsing article v
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which nick doesn't endorse. he didn't say it, but he doesn't. they can quote professor this or professor that all they want, there are a lot of knuckleheads who are professors too. and so what? the fact of the matter is, and there's an 1832 letter that madison also wrote, but they say it's specific to south carolina. there's nothing i can say that's going to dissuade nick or others because he didn't tell you what nonprofit group he works for. there's a couple groups that keep pushing nullification. i'm surprised you haven't had a call for secession yet. i'm not in favor of destroying the republic. i'm not in favor of eliminating the union. i believe we fought a civil war over this. but nullification is not in the constitution. nullification was not brought up at the constitutional confession -- convention. it was discussed leiter. there are some -- later. there are some definitive letters about it. but nub of that matters -- none
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of that matters. there is no historical support from this. you know, these guys who are originalists who claim to be, well, except in this case because they're so angry at the federal government, they're willing to turn to anything including this what i call neo-confederate agenda. the fact of the matter is it doesn't work, and you can't pursue it, and it won't work. the neoconservative agenda that i speak to is they want to see states split off from the union. and, good lord, are we going to go through that again? i mean, sorry, folks, don't count me this in on that. i'm considered pushing the edge of the envelope with the liberty amendments, but these guys are already on the other edge of the envelope, and those are the talking points that are argued, that are put out there time and time again. ignore this letter, madison didn't mean this. the tenth amendment means nullification. and yet they interpret this stuff like the liberals interpret the constitution. >> host: all right. well, we have taken two calls on
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it now and had good discussions, so we'll end our discussion of it there too, as well. but here's an e-mail from warren who's in los angeles as well. kabc radio in l.a. airs the mark levin show with a three-hour time delay. 95% of the h.a. audience is prevented from calling in and participating in your discussions, what can we do to convince kabc to carry your program live? >> guest: well, what can i say? i guess i'm just glad i'm on kabc. yeah, i tell all the affiliates we only have a relative small percentage that run the show tape-delayed, and they do it, i think, often to run a local host in the slot. but the vast majority of our affiliates we are live. well, you can tell them. but there are also other -- here's the thing. some of us in talk radio have other platforms you can listen to. i'm not talking specifically about this particular writer and
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kabc. but i have an app, mark levin app, which has half a million people who use it. the i heart radio app is another way to listen to the show live, you can be your own program director. obviously, we do a live stream on the internet, and i'm on satellite, the patriot. so we're on terrestrial radio like kabc, we're on satellite, i've got two apps where you can pick i us op on your smartphone and on the internet. so if you want to hear us live, you can listen to us live. >> host: tony is calling from woodburn w new york. go ahead with your question or comment for mark levin. >> caller: yeah, hi. this is tony -- [inaudible] i'm not going to be as long-winded as your previous caller. i have one very simple question, i'm not going to give too much background,and i just want your opinion. here's the question. what, if anything, should we do about the 14th amendment? >> guest: in what way? what do you mean?
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>> host: he is now gone. >> guest: well, it depends -- the 14th amendment's not the shortest amendment, so i, i would need to know more what he means. >> host: do you write about the 14th amendment? >> guest: very little. but there's a number of things he could mean by that, so rather than me doing this, just throwing out three, four or five things, i -- he should have been more specific. >> host: garrett is in cumberland, maryland. hi, garrett. >> caller: hi. and hi, mark, thank you so much for all you do. i i want to thank you for giving us the solution, because i've with just been talking to fellow conservatives and libertarians, this is contributing to a lot of excitement among the grassroots. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: i want to thank you also for forwarding along my article on the hi eleven y'all. i recently got a letter published in the local paper spreading the word and talking about this to people. i find that there is a lot of excitement. there are also two kinds of people that seem to have some reservations about it. one is the runaway convention
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crowd, and i believe that those people will come around to it. the other is this crowd that has been a couple times today that's talking about nullification. and i wanted you to speak to, have the opportunity to speak to the superiority of article v to a nullification strategy and also that nullification, um, is it even finish would it not put the court system in, um -- >> guest: yes. >> caller: -- in charge of that. >> guest: all right. first of all, you're exactly right. the brilliance of mason and the framers at the constitutional convention with the state convention process is that they're proposing, they're allowing the proposal of actual amendments to address things that have occurred in the structural abuses of the constitutional system. nullification doesn't address any of that. that's number one.
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number two, the supreme court will allow nullity case, already said it won't allow nullification. so what are they going to do about that? under the amendment ross, state legislatures can override a supreme court decision. but the nullification, it's an ark call. it's not -- there is no constitutionallal basis for it. now that said, one of the callers earlier -- what did he say, neo-con and also that i, i support american empire and stuff of this sort. i don't know where these anytime wits get these ideas. why, because i supported the troops during the iraq war? which i did and i do and would coagain today? do again today? so we're talking about an extreme fringe element here. like i said, the neo-confederate element. not even mainstream libertarianism. there's extreme fringe. there's a couple of groups out
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there. they're flooding your phones out now, they're nod flooding your e-mails, this is what they do. but they have absolutely zero impact on the body politic for the american people. the american people are not going to support secession. the american people are not going to support one state nullifying a federal law, 12 states nullifying -- they're not going to support that kind of anarchy. in my view, what the american people want is a return to constitutional government. or where the state legislatures have power, and the federal government has less power. that's what we're talking about. not destroying the constitutional system or the constitution, not destroying the republic, not destroying the union, but addressing it. and reestablishing the constitutional system. i have nothing in common with these other folks, and i think the vast majority of americans would have nothing in common with these other folks. >> host: where did this movement thing begin? >> guest: it's a couple of groups and a couple of
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professors. but i don't know the history of it. >> host: why have they chosen you as -- >> guest: they haven't just chosen me. they do this all over the place. it's just that i happen to be on c-span2. >> guest: gary e-mails in to you i'm an african-american man with conservative views, mostly a social and small government conservative. never voted democrat in my entire life. what is your message to african-americans and, for that matter, other minorities in the u.s.. while many african-americans are social conservatives on the major issues, same-sex, abortion, etc., how can conservatives and republicans reach minorities that vote traditionally democrat? >> guest: i think the general categoryies of promoting individual liberty, free enterprise and wealth creation which brings opportunity and
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traditional american values which would include the power of state legislatures to make many of these decisions, in applying them to current events and current issues is the way to go. and i think that's what a campaign needs to do to be successful. it's not a question of what do you give to minorities, the hispanics are over here, the blacks are over here, the whites are over here, the straight people are here, the lesbians are -- that's not the way we should look at america. we shouldn't look at america like liberals do and break us down into physical features and sexual preferences. we should talk about america as americans, and we should, in fact, state publicly to the left during these campaigns that we reject their efforts to divide us along all these different lines. and i think a conservative republican candidate can talk about bringing people together
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to advance the cause of liberty and opportunity and wealth creation and let the liberals talk about extending unemployment insurance and doing all these other things while we're talking about a positive, forward-looking, growth-oriented agenda based on good old american values. >> host: from "ameritopia," have the pennsylvania love yang appeals to equaltarianism and the fomenting of action through class warfare conditioned the people to accept or even demand compulsory uniformity as just and righteous. >> guest: well, that's the question i ask. is it too late? and i don't think it's too late, but i think we're getting to a late time. but i do have open that we can avoid it, that we can avert this. you can see the reaction to obamacare. people do not like uniformity
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and conformity, because it does not address their own specific needs and interests and motivations. and obamacare is all about uniformity and conformity and top-down authoritarianism. so at least in regard to that, that's a positive. but on the other hand, a majority of those who voted also voted for the man who pushed the very legislation that they detest. so we have a problem here, and i think part of the problem is that the republicans have to offer the american people a serious alternative. >> host: robert calbert in chicago e-mails in to you mr. levin, you listed several great libertarian thinkers, friedman, hayak, where do you, a thoughtful conservative, differ with libertarians? >> guest: i would say on economic issues i agree with libertarians mostly. i would say on some of the so-called social issues i would disagree with them.
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for instance, if a libertarian believes that some guy on the corner should be free to sell heroin, i'm not sure i can endorse that position. as a matter of fact, i wouldn't. so i'm not saying that's all their positions and so forth. but i would say in the main i'm probably a conservative/libertarian. but i like to call myself a constitutionalist. and i believe there is a movement, a reinvigorated if not new movement of constitutional conservativism which is something that i am proud to be part of and something i'm crowd to be pushing. constitutional conservativism. not secession, not nullification, not destroying our country, not destroying the union, not destroying the constitution, but reinvigorating i. >> host: richard e-mails in: mark levin's live coverage on his show of the capture of the boston marathon bombers earlier this year was compelling, exciting, accurate and entirely lacking in the speculative,
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opinionated, talking head speak that is so wearisome in the mainstream media. >> guest: that was a remarkable day not only because of the horrific terrorist attack and all those people who were maimed and killed, but, you know, when you're a talk show host, you have to decide how to cover these things. and most talk show hosts, if they can't find reporters on the scene, they're watching one of the cable networks or something and reporting what -- they're regurgitating the news that is somewhere else. well, my call screener and producer -- and i have two great guys, rich and mike, and they've been with me from the beginning. well, they were listening to the police scanner. so we were listening to the police scanner, i believe it was the local police and the state police. two police scanners. so as things were actually breaking, i mean, breaking, they
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were telling me exactly what was being said on the police scanner, so we were breaking news on our coverage because of the great radio station wrko among my affiliates -- and it is a wonderful station in boston -- so we were breaking the news without any opinion whatsoever as we were hearing it. and then near the end somebody figured it out. i don't know if it was the local police or the state police. and they said, you know, careful what you're saying on the monitor. i also made clear that nothing we were saying was endangering what they were doing. nothing. because, obviously, terrorist number two didn't have access to a radio and had no idea what i was saying on the radio. so that was a very compelling evening. it was quite remarkable. >> host: lee, rockville, b maryland. please go ahead with your question or comment for mark levin. >> caller: good afternoon, gentlemen.
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enjoying the discussion. mark, you and i are both natives of the city of brotherly love, and we're both roughly the same age. and i think a lot of what you say makes a great deal of sense; limited government, libertarianism. it's, it makes an awful lot of sense. but you and i remember decades ago when 40, 50 or more thousand people were getting killed on highways. you know, automobile accidents. well, what happened was the department of transportation came in and put in safety regulations. now it's half that. so those were very, very good government interventions, from my perspective. and that's why i'm so completely amazed, and i support conservative republicans a great deal. guns, mark, are dangerous. they are very, very dangerous. and the position of the republican party, as far as i
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can tell, is give everyone a gun. no background checks. if someone is wearing a viva osama bin laden sweatshirt and goes up to a gun show and says -- in an arab head address and -- head dress and goes up to a gun show and, you know, that person can order, you know, can walk away with the -- >> host: all right -- >> caller: -- an ak-47. >> host: i think we get the point. >> guest: is that caller from colorado? i just wonder if he's into the the new movement there. >> host: rockville, maryland. >> guest: the suburbs. what was his question? oh, safety. let me explain something to this gentleman. the deaths on the road today are not significantly reduced because of safety belts. but let me tell you something, the automobile that most people drive is lighter now than it ever was due to cafe standards.
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and i explain this in "liberty and tyranny." all of the deaths and all of the casualties on our highways as a result of cafe standards -- and it's remarkable to me that you wouldn't call this program because you're so concerned about human life particularly on our highways and reject government intervention in that case with the cafe standards maiming and killing so many of our fellow americans on the streets, and they keep making these cars ligher and smaller and smaller and lighter. so i'm sure you would join with me in objecting to that. that's number one. number two, the republican party supports giving everybody a gun? well, that's not true, but the -- and i can't speak for the republican party. i'll speak for myself. we have something called a second amendment, sir. just like we have a fourth amendment and a first amendment and a fifth amendment and a ninth amendment. it's nice that you don't like guns, it's nice that you have an opinion about guns. that's all well and good.
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but you don't have the right to tell law-abiding citizens who want guns for safety or hunting or whatever the reason is as long as it's lawful that they can't. i'm sorry, that's what the constitution provides. just like i can't say see that guy in rockville, maryland? he doesn't deserve due process because, you know, due process for a guy like that endangers the community. so this is the problem with the left. they can't decide which parts of the constitution they like, if any of the constitution. and there have been study after study by, among others, john lott and so forth that contradict your premise. whatever i say here won't matter to you anyway, but it may matter to somebody out there. >> host: doreen e-mails in: people from all political persuasions cite tokeville's great work. is that because de tocqueville was unclear in practical implications or because of
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something else? >> guest: well, i don't see him being cited that often by harry reid or nancy pelosi, and i don't even know if they've read the two volumes of democracy in america or have them read to them. i have no idea. these are people that said you have to read the obamacare law to though what's in it, and apparently none of them read it including the president, because they didn't know what's in it. so i doubt that the left, many, cite alexis de tocqueville. i cite him in the at least two of my books because what he said so pertinent to what's going on in this country today. he was prescient. and he was a man who was very concerned about little d democracy and was a great fan of america as he traveled this country but also saw some weaknesses that he feared. and was very, very concerned about centralized government. so i don't know if the left cites him or not or what they cite him for, but he was a brilliant man and very worth
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citing. >> host: and he's features prominently in "ameritopia." ed's calling from toledo. >> caller: good afternoon, gentlemen, and shalom. what i wanted to bring up, i'm a 76 article iv, section 4 republican. and i don't have much respect for the republican party, although i do can belong to it since it's near ohio. but the northwest ordnance and what allowed ohio to become a state, it had to have a republican constitution and a republican government. article iv, section 4 gash -- guarantees me and my descendants a republican form of government. now the big lie is that we're a democracy. so i guess noah webster, who could write a dictionary, defined republican because it gives sovereignty so we have no king but king jesus -- >> host: so, ed, we're running
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low on time here, what's your point? >> caller: my point is that you like democrats and -- liken democrats and republicans. mark, why don't we go back to these original words? we have a republic with a republican form of government because it grants sovereignty to the individual. >> guest: i don't know what to say. i'm not sure what the question is. you asked me in the first hour, somebody did, why do i cut people off? now you know why. >> host: dorothy, ocean township, new jersey. please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: mr. levin, it's a privilege to speak to you. i had the honor of seeing you speak at a -- [inaudible] a few months ago. and you are an inspiration and a true patriot. i wonder, it bothers me when liberals never fail to demonize conservatives as much as they can, and it gets very
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disheartening when i'm in a discussion with a liberal and the topic of the president and his policies come up. and right away the response is, oh, you're a racist, you're saying that because he's black. and is there a solution to this, or is there no solution? it's just something we have to live with until the end of the term? >> you know, in life there are people who you can communicate with and try and have a rational discussion with, and then there are the drones. so if you happen to be confronted with the former, then take the time to really have a discussion. and and try and persuade the person or learn from the perp. if, on the other hand, you're confronted with a drone, my suggestion is move along, be done with it. >> host: dan, st. paul, minnesota. got just a couple minutes left here on our program. >> caller: yeah. i'm just calling to say, comment about the general welfare clause. a couple of, i think, liberals had previously mentioned using
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the general welfare clause to enforce government action. i read a wonderful work on that. in -- [inaudible] v. davis the supreme court used the general welfare clause to justify taking money from one group of people, giving it to another to justify transfer payments. yet in the 1780s the word "general" as an adjective which was in all kinds of writings meant to apply to everybody or nobody. the supreme court changed the usage of the word "general" from the authors' intent to justify taking money from one subpart to a group, giving it to another. i just give that as one example to come to the point in mark's book in the liberty amendments, the excellent point that we need to be able to use the legislature, the congress to override these ridiculous supreme court decisions. >> host: all right, dan, thank you. we got the point. >> guest: and he makes a very good point. there are many more who makes
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that point, madison, jefferson, joseph story, i could go on and on and on. the perversion of the general welfare clause is almost comical and yet, you know, the left uses it because it's a simple -- hey, the general welfare. it just demonstrates their contempt for the constitution. >> host: what do you think of john roberts? >> guest: not much. nothing he can do from here on. can, in my view, justify what he did in the obamacare decision. he was part of the reagan administration. he was a fairly conservative lawyer in the justice department before i got there. and he knows better. he knows what he did. i read his majority decision. it is a disgrace. it's incoherent. it's illogical. and it was result-oriented. so he, he's going to have to live with that. that will be his historical reputation. that'll be his epithet. and he helped unleash this
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disastrous law on in this country. it's unconstitutional in numerous ways. and for him to turn the tax section of the constitution on its head and to rewrite the statute and rewrite the history where obama and the democrats said this is not a tax, it's a penalty, and he says, oh, no, no, it's a tax, and and under our tax clause in the constitution, it's just so outrageous, what he did, that i had a lot of respect for him. i have zero respect for him now. >> host: bill beatty asks via twitter, will landmark legal join with the 11 attorneys general in court on president obama's legal authority to change the 2010 affordable care act? >> guest: we don't -- we provide advice, and we are provide advice. -- we will provide advice in a lot of these areas. for instance, there's over 40 cases on the liberty issue under obamacare where we're working with other groups. we've got several pieces of
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litigation going against the environmental protection agency. so, yes, we will provide whatever support they want from us. >> host: for the last three hours, mark levin has been our guest on booktv's "in depth" program. he is the author of five nonfiction books and working on another one as well. his first book came out in 2005, "men in black: how the supreme court is destroying america." "rest pewing -- rescuing sprite" came out in 2007. not a lot of public policy in that one, but a best with seller. "liberty and tyranny," in '09. "ameritopia" in 2012, and "the liberty amendments" just came out this past year, "restoring the american republic." by the way, "the liberty amendment" is booktv's book club selection for the month of january. so if you're a booktv watcher and want to read along with
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other booktv viewers, go to you can pick up the liberty amendments, you can read along, and then you can post your comments at it's very simple, just click on the book club tab up at the top of the page, and you'll see there there's a format for posting your comments, and you can read along all month on your own time. we'll be posting questions and comments as we go throughout the month on the liberty amendments. mark levin, thanks for your time today on booktv. >> guest: great honor, pete, thank you." >> c-span, created by america's cable companies in 1979, brought to you as a public service by your televisioning provider. >> next, robert gates at the national constitution center in philadelphia. he discussed his m


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