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Constitutionalism is Obsolete?

16 December 2009

A great article by Hillsdale College’s current president, Dr. Larry Arnn.  He is more charitable to Mr. Obama than qb would have been in writing it.  Mr. Obama’s long and never-repudiated associations with Alinsky, Wright, and Ayers, together with his public ruminations on “single-payer” and “redistributionism,” do not permit qb to suspend disbelief as readily as Dr. Arnn has done.  Mr. Obama is systematically attempting to remake American self-understanding in his own too-much-liberty-is-politically-inconvenient image.


Speaking of Hillsdale, qb has been a big fan for a long time and wishes he could afford to send his three boys there.  In any case, this month’s Imprimis says that Hillsdale’s Kirby Center will present a web seminar on the Constitution on Saturday, January 30, 2010.  The webinar will feature faculty from Hillsdale College and promises to be substantive and inspiring for those who believe in the primacy of ordered liberty as a framework in which both private and public virtue can and should thrive.  (As opposed, that is, to coercion, which yields not virtue but something else, more closely akin to compliance.)  Check out for more details.


One Comment leave one →
  1. 17 December 2009 12:19 pm


    Arnn’s approach presumes that the land offered in the Homestead Act was the national government’s to begin with, rather than claimed by Spain, ceded to France during the Napoleonic period, bought from the French (in a transaction that was consider by members of Jefferson’s own faction as a violation of presidential power under the new constitution), and eventually conquered by force of arms. In addition, the Homestead Act was pushed not simply by altruistic largess but by, among others, land promoters, boosters, and railroad interests. In principal, it could be called a massive subsidy to these and others. That sort of thing is continued today in the form of leases to Big Oil, Big Mining, and Big Timber/Paper. I certainly appreciate both the power and the poltical realities at the time and the need to “settle” European immigrants in the former Louisiana Territory. Still, idealizing the matter as truly constitutional is sentimental and disingenuous. Even the founders couldn’t agree about what was and what was not ideally constitutional. And in the early 1860s there was a massive and bloody argument between white Americans north and south about what constituted, uhh, constitutionality and ordered liberty.

    Merry Christmas and Blessings!

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