The Broken Constitution

For years, academics have argued that Lincoln and the Republicans maintained the Constitution during the War. This is the common tripe from Straussians and their righteous cause myth allies.

But what if those who argued Lincoln shredded the Constitution have been correct the entire time.

What if “originalism” has been the proper way to interpret the Constitution as ratified by the founding generation?

What if Lincoln led a revolution rather than a restoration?

If that is the case, then the current Constitution is not the original Constitution and any argument referencing the document is a dead letter.

As Noah Feldman argues in his new book, The Broken Constitution, Lincoln recreated the document during the War.

In other words, as Charles Beard argued in the early 20th century, we had a second American revolution.

This actually works well for the left. Eric Foner’s “unfinished revolution” needs to be finished, and if the original Constitution cannot be used to resist federal power, then the transformation from a federal republic to a national government is complete.

The left needs the 14th Amendment for this process to work, which is why they have focused so much scholarly attention on that Amendment the last several years.

I discuss Feldman’s epiphany on Episode 724 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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