Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mark Levin botches introduction to book

Let me be clear: I have not finished reading Mark Levin's book, The Liberty Amendments. However, something caught my eye in the introduction that was so perplexing to me that I had to write about it.

As you may or may not know, Levin is an influential conservative pundit, talking head, and radio host. I bought his book mainly because, at the time, it was highly rated and I was sick of what was going on in DC, and thus wanted to see some of the solutions he proposed.

Unfortunately, however, after reading his thesis, I do not know if I will be able to make it through the entire book. Why? Essentially, his entire argument is based on one giant hypocrisy!

I will start by saying something nice about Mr. Levin. He is a fantastic writer. He uses words in a way that will capture your imagination, especially if you share his political views. However, that does not mean that he speaks the truth, or that he has the best of intentions.

Indeed, in the introduction of his book, Levin rails against Congress, criticizing the way it releases gigantic and complicated bills that leave the public "lamebrained and dumbfounded." He goes on to say that Congress intentionally releases laws that are so bloated that Americans "cannot possibly comprehend them" (3). This, he argues, is evidence of the Federal Government trampling over the constitution.

Here is where the hilarity ensues. Levin, on the very next page, rails against President Obama and his tendency to "rule by executive fiat in defiance of, or over the top of, [Congress]" (4). He goes on to complain about Obama's criticisms of Congress, and equates his use of executive orders with "despotism."

Do you see the hypocrisy here? Just a page after Levin implies that Congress is ruining everything that makes America great, he decides to take potshots at Obama because of the fact that the President is trying to do something about our terrible Congress! Shouldn't Mr. Levin be praising Obama for trying to circumvent all of the inscrutable bills that supposedly leaves the public scratching their heads? Why is this "despotism," when all Obama is doing is trying to address the same issues in regard to Congress that Levin is?

Let me close by saying that I have skimmed the rest of the book, and it appears to be far less partisan than the introduction is. Still, I have to say that Levin should have caught such an egregious error, especially since it occurs so early on in his introduction. I am sure that conservative readers will not catch it, but anybody who considers themselves moderates or liberals will be immediately turned off by Levin's double standard. That is a shame, especially since he writes about some solutions that everybody would probably agree with (like term limits for Congress and the Supreme Court).

I firmly believe that Mark Levin will never read this article, but if he does, I hope he takes what I said to heart. Introductions can make or break a book, and unless you want your audience to consist solely of far-right lemmings who will always agree with you, you cannot write something like what I just cited above and be taken seriously...

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