Mark Levin, who hosts one of America's top radio talk shows and is considered by supporters to be the people's pundit on the Constitution, is rallying his 8.5 million-strong audience to demand an historic convention of state governments to halt the "oppressive power" of the federal government.
The author of two New York Times bestsellers on the threats to the Constitution, Levin hopes his latest, "The Liberty Amendments," out mid-August, will spark the state lawmakers to tap a rarely used Constitutional provision to institute measures that would brake President Obama's use of executive orders, bar thousand-page laws and collar inventive judges.
In a copy provided to Secrets, Levin writes that his book is an appeal "to rebalance the constitutional structure for the purpose of restoring our founding principles."
Levin's proposal for a grassroots, "We the People" effort focusing on state legislatures is especially appealing to Tea Party members and conservatives riled at Obamacare, snooping scandals and immigration reform. One Tea Party insider said the new book has the potential to reignite the movement.
He is likely to have a big impact. The reason: While Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have bigger audiences, Levin's is extremely loyal, especially within the Tea Party movement. They helped make his book, "Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto," a mega seller at 1.3 million sold.
For Levin, who is also a lawyer and conservative legal activist through his Landmark Legal Foundation, the idea of a convention of the states to control Washington's "ruling class" is actually an explicit constitutional option, not a radical idea, established in Article V. He writes that the framers feared the federal government might become oppressive and they provided future generations with a way out. The amendment process enables two-thirds of the state legislatures to convene a convention for the purpose of amending the Constitution, and then requires three-fourths to approve the proposals before they become the law of the land.
His book predicts a war raining down from the Washington establishment and the mainstream media if the states take action because keeping the federal government powerful is in their interests. "There is no doubt that their resistance will be stubborn and their tactics desperate as they unleash the instrumentalities of the federal government and the outlets of a corroboratory media to vanquish such a movement and subdue the public," he writes. But Levin also insists it is a battle, albeit long and daunting, which can and must be waged and won to restore the republic.
Levin blames an entrenched, professional "ruling class," including governing masterminds in the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court and the bureaucracy, for promoting the form of centralized government, with concentrated power, the Constitution was established to prevent.
"What was to be a relatively innocuous federal government, operating from a defined enumeration of specific grants of power, has become an ever-present and unaccountable force," he writes.
"It is the nation's largest creditor, debtor, lender, employer, consumer, contractor, grantor, property owner, tenant, insurer, health-care provider, and pension guarantor. Moreover, with aggrandized police powers, what it does not control directly it bans or mandates by regulation. For example, the federal government regulates most things in your bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen, as well as the mortgage you hold on your house. It designs your automobile and dictates the kind of fuel it uses. It regulates your baby's toys, crib, and stroller; plans your children's school curriculum and lunch menu; and administers their student loans in college. At your place of employment, the federal government oversees everything from the racial, gender, and age diversity of the workforce to the hours, wages, and benefits paid. Indeed, the question is not what the federal government regulates, but what it does not. And it makes you wonder — how can a people incapable of selecting their own light bulbs and toilets possess enough competence to vote for their own rulers and fill out complicated tax returns?"
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.