Glenn was joined by Judge Andrew Napolitano last night to discuss his new book, Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Lethal Threat of American Liberty. Napolitano's book argues that the greatest trick the federal government has ever pulled was in convincing us, U.S. citizens, to voluntarily surrender our liberties. Watch as Napolitano and Glenn discuss examples in history where the government has stepped in and tried to remove Americans freedom, and mostly succeeding.
Glenn: Okay, new book out, "Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Lethal Threat of American Liberty". Judge Andrew Napolitano is the guy who is a good friend of ours. A lot of people would like him to run for president. I would like to see Ted Cruz be president, and maybe we have a new Chief Justice. I’m just saying. I’m just saying. How are you doing, Judge?
Judge: I am well, Glenn. What a fabulous, fabulous opening segment. It made me pine for those days where I was sort of seated behind the cameras in that FOX studio watching you do that five days a week.
Glenn: Thank you.
Judge: Great, my man.
Glenn: So judge, do I have it wrong anyplace on the part—I think Americans are not revolutionaries? I think that we don’t like hatred. We don’t like any of this stuff; however, the government, both left and right—as you know, progressive started with Theodore Roosevelt—both left and right, they will seize power.
And your book talks about George W. Bush and Barack Obama. And once a few of us get out of our own skin a little bit and say hey, wait a minute, maybe I made a mistake on George W. Bush, we do see the point that the left was making, but the left hasn’t seen the point we’re making now. But it’s this game back and forth. They’re both doing it.
Judge: The first half of the book is a history of presidential lawmaking and law breaking from George Washington to Bill Clinton, and of course it touches on the hot button issues, the Alien and Sedition Acts, the progressive era, Woodrow Wilson arresting people for singing songs in German, arresting people for reciting the Declaration of Independence in front of draft offices.
The second half of the book really focuses on George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who basically took the unpunished behavior of their predecessors when they broke the law and violated the Constitution and used it to their own political purposes. I recount a scene in which the FBI was known in the Bush years to show up at post offices and intimidate postal inspectors. These are post office cops with uniforms and guns and badges, into forking over mail so that the FBI could look at the mail, put a marker in it, close the mail up, and send it on its way.
A Republican Congress enacted legislation saying you can’t break into the mail. You want to get into the mail, go to a judge, present probable cause, and get a search warrant—very fine, consistent with the Constitution, except that when George Bush signed this legislation into existence, as the ink was falling from the pen in his fingers, he raised his eyes and looked at the camera and said I have no intention of enforcing this law. You know what, we have seen that attitude magnified today to gargantuan proportions under Barack Obama.
Glenn: I will tell you, Judge, I am concerned about this president as I have been. I was concerned about the last president. I am more concerned about this one, but I have to tell you, I’m five times more concerned about the next one, because I don’t think that you can keep this money game going for very long. And when the people become hungry, we do take to the streets, and then all bets are off. Whoever’s in office has an opportunity to become absolutely a nightmare.
Judge: Here is where in my view you were right on the mark with the pendulum swinging left and right and freedom being at the heart, being at the fulcrum which never moves. And here’s the problem with leadership in the Republican and Democratic parties today.
On the three transcendental issues of our era, the Republicans and the Democrats, the leadership of the parties, all agree. They agree that our freedoms do not come from God or from our humanity, they come from the government. They also agree that we should be in a state of perpetual war, because war is the health of the state and perpetual debt because we don’t dare want to pay our bills today when we can push them off until tomorrow.
Unless and until a force in the government comes along, whether it’s Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, to break that cycle, freedom comes from our humanity, which is a gift from God, perpetual war will destroy us, and perpetual debt will destroy us. We will continue to go down and down and down.
Do you know that the government’s debt silently broke 18 trillion over the Thanksgiving weekend? Did you see that on the front page of the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times?
Glenn: We talked about it, but I know that it wasn’t talked about. It’s 70% increase in the last six years, 70%. I don’t care who did it. It was unpatriotic and un-American when this guy was running, and now a 70% increase.
Judge: It was done by a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate and a Republican House of Representatives, most of whose members condemned the concept of debt but then voted to let the president borrow all the money he wants.
Glenn: So Judge, let me take you here to a couple of recent things that are gravely concerning to me. One, the president said, what was it, yesterday or the day before, that he is going to sign an executive order, and he’s going to decide, he’s going to oversee this civilian military force that we’re building. I have no problems with cops. I am friends with a lot of cops. I love cops; however, we should not be militarizing our cops, and the president should not oversee which departments get militarized and which don’t get militarized. This is craziness.
Judge: The over militarization of the police which occurred in the last 12 years under the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, when the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Justice gave used military equipment to local police departments, brings us dangerously close to a police state. The definition of a police state, when the government’s prime concern is for its own safety, not for the lives, liberty, and property of the people it has sworn to protect. That’s a very, very dangerous place in which to be.
This president using Ferguson as an excuse sounded yesterday, with Al Sharpton seated just two people away from him, like he wants to federalize the police, like he wants to tell every police department from New York City to Ferguson, from Dallas to Los Angeles, from Sussex County, New Jersey to Omaha, Nebraska, how they should protect our lives, liberty, and property. We should say to the president stay home. Leave us alone.
Glenn: Well, a lot of people have said that, but he doesn’t listen. So when we come back, you know, your book outlines what Woodrow Wilson did, what FDR did, and quite honestly, Judge, I don’t think we’re beyond that ourselves. You know, you throw somebody for speaking German into jail, I mean, there were concentration camps in America in World War I. There were obviously in World War II with Italians and with Japanese. We don’t like to talk about them, but that’s what they are. We call them internment camps. They were concentration camps, period, and it was a gross violation of our Constitution.
I don’t think that we’re beyond that. How do we get people to see the errors of their ways, Judge, when quite honestly—and I need to take a break—when quite honestly nobody is interested? Nobody seems interested in this because they don’t believe bad things could actually happen.