On radio Thursday, Glenn discussed a Politico article by Rich Lowry, which Glenn called "really, really good and right on the money."
The article sheds light on Trump's apparent unfamiliarity with the U.S. Constitution, questioning how the real-estate mogul has gained the support of so many Tea Party conservatives.
The opening line reads, "No one will ever mistake Donald Trump for a student of James Madison."
Listen to Glenn's commentary and decide for yourself.
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
GLENN: No one will ever mistake Donald Trump for a student of James Madison.
GLENN: The real estate mogul has demonstrated about as much familiarity with the US Constitution as with the Bible, which is to say none.
Trump has captivated a share of the Tea Party with a style of politics utterly alien to the Constitution. In the year of Trump, the right is experiencing a post constitutional movement and moment. This wouldn't have seemed possible just a few years ago. In 2010, the newly arrived Tea Party produced a class of constitutional obsessives like Rand Paul, Mike Lee, who were not focused just on what government shouldn't do, but on what government couldn't do and why.
After the passionate conservatism of George W. Bush and the earmark happy excesses of a congressional Republican in the Bush years, the Tea Party rebaptized the G.O.P. in the faith of limited government and constitutional constraints.
If you weren't down with the Tenth Amendment, you weren't down with the Tea Party. Glenn Beck earnestly explored the Founding Fathers with his audience. It was a time once again of first principles. Rand Paul who sells autographed copies of the Constitution is a Libertarian. He makes constitutional persnicketiness, he takes it to a high art. Paul, by the way, is the guy who objected that closing down part of the internet, as Trump has proposed, would be unconstitutional, not that it has seemed to have made much of an impression on Donald Trump or anyone else.
Trump exists in a plane where there isn't a Congress or a Constitution. There are no tradeoffs or limits. There is only his will and a team of experts who will figure out how to do whatever it is he wants to do, no matter how seemingly impossible.
The thought, "You can't do that never seems to occur to him." He would deport the American-born children of illegal immigrants. He has mused about shutting down mosques and creating databases of Muslims. He has praised FDR's internment of the Japanese-Americans in World War II. In Trump's world, constitutional niceties, indeed any constraints whatsoever, are for losers. It's only strength that matters. It shouldn't be a surprise that he expresses admiration for Vladimir Putin, as a powerful leader who is highly respected within his own country and beyond.
Trump's call to steal Iraqi's oil and kill the families of terrorists are in the Putin-esque key. For some, on the right, clearly the Constitution was an instrument, rather than a principle. It was just merely a means to stop Obama. And it has been found lacking.
Trump is a reaction to Obama's weaknesses. But also to his exaggerated view of executive power. Trump rejects the former, but is perfectly comfortable taking up the latter. Progressives have been perfectly willing to bless Obama's post constitutional government. Trump's implicit promise is to respond in kind, and his supporters think it's about damn time.
What he has done is to unmoor conservative's populism from its traditional ideological commitments, including those to constitutionalism and limited government. Pure populism is inherently intentioned with constitutional conservatives. The Constitution is a device for frustrating popular enthusiasms, as are federalism, checks and balances, and the rule of law.
It's why impassioned factions usually have very little patience for those things and why they are so central to checking government and protecting individual rights. If the right's devotion to these things wanes, it will not only be a loss for constitutional conservatives, but also for America.
Rich Lowry. Really, really good and right on the money.
STU: And a huge part of the frustration, I think with people who work so hard with the Tea Party and work so hard to focus us on constitutional principles and limited government -- I mean, just because Trump says things that you generally agree with, does not mean he gets to trample over the Constitution to do them.
Featured Image: Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump interviewed by journalist Wolf Blitzer for The Situation Room on CNN on January 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Regine Mahaux/Getty Images)