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Madison Condemned Abuse Of Constitution Powers, Kevin Gutzman

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Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript “Mike: There are probably eight people on the planet — me, you, and the six other guys that wrote books about Madison, and maybe Tom Woods — that knew what you meant when you said Jefferson got it right out of Madison’s mouth.  Kevin Gutzman:  No.  Of course, when he says this is the way the people had understood it, he’s exactly right.  There were leading Federalist figures in at least eight states I know of who explained the Constitution during the ratification process exactly as Madison explained it in the House debate on the bank.  We have no reason to think that anybody adopted the Constitution on any other basis.”  Check out today’s transcript AND Clip of the Day for the rest….

Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

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Mike:  There are probably eight people on the planet — me, you, and the six other guys that wrote books about Madison, and maybe Tom Woods — that knew what you meant when you said Jefferson got it right out of Madison’s mouth.  He got it right out of Madison’s mouth because Madison said it on the floor of the Congress on February 2nd and 3rd, 1791.  I went and pulled up, from the Library of Congress, the actual photocopies of the transcriptions from the secretary that day as they were recorded.  Then I digitized them and put them into text form so that we can all use them now.  I have transcribed that speech.  It is brilliant.  In that little speech right there is everything you and I have ever talked about on this program about original intent, ratified intent, about the Constitution being something that was supposed to limit the actions of government.  Madison’s exposition is especially useful.

I’ve told everyone that listens to this show: If you want to follow this program and me and Kevin and others that think the way we do about the Constitution, go to MikeChurch.com.  It took me eleven hours of hard labor to digitize that text.  Print it out and read it and keep it with you.  There is no finer of an explanation of the Constitution and its powers than James Madison’s explanation to his colleagues.  The amazing part is we can’t really fault today’s politicians for not getting it because Madison’s colleagues didn’t get it.  He lost the vote.  He made the most sense that day.  Fisher Ames certainly didn’t, but he lost the vote.  Hamilton’s bank bill passed anyway.  What do you have to add to that?

Kevin Gutzman:  Not all the people who were in the first congress had anything to do with adopting the Constitution, that’s true.  People that want to see an explanation of that speech and Jefferson’s memo and so on can find it in James Madison and the Making of America.  That’s one of the chief contributions of the book, I think.  People are only talking about Jefferson’s bank bill memorandum, but essentially nothing in it had not already been said by Madison in the House.

Mike:  It was so matter-of-factly and succinctly put.  The conclusion, just read the conclusion.  James Madison:

[reading]

It appeared on the whole, he concluded, that the power exercised by the bill was condemned by the silence of the Constitution; was condemned by the rule of interpretation arising out of the Constitution; was condemned by its tendency to destroy the main characteristic of the Constitution; was condemned by the expositions of the friends of the Constitution, whilst depending before the public; was condemned by the apparent intention of the parties which ratified the Constitution; was condemned by the explanatory amendments proposed by Congress themselves to the Constitution; and he hoped it would receive its final condemnation, by the vote of this House.

[end reading]

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Mike:  I envision little Jimmy Madison, if I ever get around to making a Madison movie, I imagine him pounding his little fist into his little hand and just saying: It is condemned!  He used the word condemned.  There is no stronger of a verb, I don’t think, to apply to the ill-constitutionality of the bank bill and everything that’s happened sense than the word from the author of the Virginia Plan, condemned, is there?

Kevin Gutzman:  No.  Of course, when he says this is the way the people had understood it, he’s exactly right.  There were leading Federalist figures in at least eight states I know of who explained the Constitution during the ratification process exactly as Madison explained it in the House debate on the bank.  We have no reason to think that anybody adopted the Constitution on any other basis.  Even Alexander Hamilton himself in The Federalist said it was going to be a government with limited enumerated powers, before he, of course, as Secretary of Treasury turned around and asked Congress to exercise an un-enumerated power.  I told the story in The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution of the almost immediate and apparently now permanent career of people in the federal government acting outside the Constitution.  Here you’ve given us a good illustration.

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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