Patterico's Pontifications


The Constitutional Vanguard: Article II and Presidential Power

Filed under: Constitutional Vanguard,General — Patterico @ 5:00 am

The Constitutional Vanguard is my group that promotes liberty, free markets, and the Constitution. I started it on May 3, the day I left the Republican party, and it is now my main vehicle besides this blog for spreading the word about principles I worry that Donald Trump will ignore. More than just an entertaining and informative newsletter, the group has its own private Facebook page — and I have now created a private forum for members of the group, at Instructions for joining the Facebook page and the private forum are available in the newsletters.

This week the newsletter will focus on Article II of the U.S. Constitution, which deals with executive power. What does Article II actually allow Presidents to do? Do Donald Trump’s plans fit within Article II? And if they don’t, will he be the first President of all time to go beyond the powers specified in Article II? (Hint: hell no. Not by a longshot.)

To get an idea what the previous emails are like, browse the archive. If you decide you want to join up, you can do that here. Right now, that’s the only way to join the forum or the private Facebook page.

The group is growing all the time. At least count, we had 233 members in the private Facebook group, and 835 members in the group as a whole. Maybe it’s time for you to join us! The Article II newsletter goes out tomorrow morning, so sign up in time to be part of the discussion!


Join the Constitutional Vanguard!

Filed under: Constitutional Vanguard,General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

The next newsletter is planned for tomorrow. In it, I will announce the principles of the Constitutional Vanguard.

And next week, we’ll get rolling for real.

If you want to keep up, but for some reason don’t want to submit your email, I am going to archive the emails at this page. Signing up for the emails is best, but I don’t want anyone to feel left out.

If you want to sign up, go to this very short and easy form. We have had over 100 new subscribers in the last 48 hours, and we’re closing in on almost 500 subscribers in less than a week, which I think is absolutely fantastic. I want to see if I can get above 500 by the time tomorrow’s email launches!

I’m already getting ideas from the members, for blog posts and projects of various sorts to promote the Constitution. I want to have as many folks as possible on board for tomorrow’s all-important announcement of principles. Sign up today!


The Constitutional Vanguard Has Launched

Filed under: Constitutional Vanguard,General — Patterico @ 6:30 am

The first email for the newsletter “The Constitutional Vanguard” went out this morning at 6 a.m. Pacific, to some 340 subscribers. It’s little more than an introductory message, setting forth where we are. It’s the first step on what I hope will be a long and interesting journey.

I hope all readers will consider joining. It’s been wonderful to read the emails I have received so far, in particular because I am meeting long-time lurkers I never knew were out there. It’s easy to think of the blog as reaching only the people who comment, but an exercise like this is a great reminder that there are many more people out there who are fully engaged, but simply don’t want to comment, for whatever reason.

My current conception for the list is to give people resources and ideas to spread intellectual support for the Constitution, liberty, and the free market. I already have letters planned about our mission statement, and about Mike Lee’s book The Lost Constitution, which provides a prescient blueprint for dealing with the dire situation we now face.

Along the way, we’ll probably discuss strategy, strengthen our ties to one another on social media, and hopefully have a little fun. As Larry Elder used to say on his radio show: we’ve got a country to save.

If you want to join, please note that I have created an automated sign-up form for the list. If you’re interested in joining, please use that signup form, available here.


Kevin D. Williamson: “Why the Left Hates Jews”

Filed under: Constitutional Vanguard,General — Patterico @ 12:44 pm

Kevin D. Williamson:

The Arab–Israeli conflict is a bitter and ugly one. My own view of it is that the Palestinian Arabs have some legitimate grievances, and that I stopped caring about them when they started blowing up children in pizza shops.

Treat both sides equally. So says the Republican standard bearer.

I’m happy to say that he’s not my standard bearer.

P.S. Are you more motivated by limited government and free-market principles than by the prospect of trying to put a charlatan in the Oval Office who kinda sorta pretends to be a Republican? If so, join the “Constitutional Vanguard” project. Hopefully I can start emails next week. Thanks to Michael van der Galien for the shout-out at PJ Media, and for joining the vanguard. We’re well over 300 strong so far, and we’re just getting started. Some people have already begun to share their thoughts, and I’m impressed with the thoughtfulness of what I have received so far. It’s clear that many of us are thinking along the same lines. Join us! If you haven’t signed up yet, send me an email at with the word “Constitution” in the subject line.

UPDATE: I have created an automated sign-up form for the list. Please use the signup form here if you’re interested in joining.


The Constitutional Vanguard

Filed under: Constitutional Vanguard,General — Patterico @ 11:39 pm

Stop the emails! No, just kidding. Keep them coming.

I am heartened and a bit overwhelmed by the response to my call for people to join a vanguard of people advocating constitutionalism. I thought about waiting until I could figure out how to automate the signup, but then I figured I needed to go ahead — because the time is right. “People are frustrated today,” I told myself, “and they need to channel that energy into something productive.” Then I told myself: “I’ll just do the first few signups by hand.” Hmmm. Now that almost 200 people have signed up in about 16 hours — with the emails continuing to flood my inbox by the hour — there’s a tiny voice in my head saying: “You should have waited.”

But that tiny voice is wrong. The time is now.

I ask for your patience. I just had this idea this morning, and there are some things I need to put in place before the first emails can go out. I won’t bore you with all the details, but for example: I need to set up a post office box, for example, to have an official mailing address in the emails to comply with spam laws. (Who knew?)

Meanwhile, I heard from many sources today that Glenn Beck read my post yesterday, Goodbye, Republican Party, on his radio show . . . and concluded by saying: “That’s exactly how I feel.” I’ve had posts (or portions of them) read on Rush Limbaugh’s show and Mark Levin’s show before, and I’ve been on Glenn Beck’s show, but this was still a welcome bolt of lightning out of the blue. As I tapped out that post yesterday while watching Ted Cruz talk, filled with different emotions, I didn’t realize I was going to be speaking to hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions, of people. But such is the wonder of the Internet.

I don’t know if I’m feeling the freedom of being unshackled from public opinion, or the challenge of an uphill battle, or what . . . but I feel invigorated and alive. Just watching the emails pour in over the last few hours, each with the word “Constitution” in the subject line, has been inspiring. I sensed you folks were out there before, but now I feel it more directly. And I look forward to talking with you more directly. Stay patient as I work through the logistics. I’ll keep blogging (and working long hours at my day job) as I prepare this effort, but now that I see the response, I know it’s worth it.

If you haven’t yet, email me at and put “Constitution” in the subject line. We’re building an army, for liberty and the Constitution. Join us.

UPDATE: I have created an automated sign-up form for the list. Please use the signup form here if you’re interested in joining.

What Is To Be Done?

Filed under: Constitutional Vanguard,General — Patterico @ 7:33 am

[UPDATE: If you want to be a member of the Constitutional Vanguard, sign up here. It takes about ten seconds.]

A few days ago I was chatting with a blogger and author whose name you would recognize. We were talking about the increasing likelihood that Trump was going to win Indiana and therefore the nomination. I asked him: “So what happens next?” He is giving a presentation on his new book this week and was planning to talk about this very issue in his talk. The problem is, he doesn’t know.

Neither do I. But I think we’ll figure something out, we constitutionalists who believe in limited government and liberty.

In coming weeks, my decision to leave the Republican party will be confirmed, as the majority of Republicans “rally around” an obvious con man who would be the ruin of limited government and constitutionalism. I won’t encourage a vote for or against Donald Trump. The presidency is not the way to fix the mess we face.

So what is?

Astute readers with a knowledge of history might recognize the title of this post as the title of a tract by Lenin published in 1902. His idea was to create a “vanguard” of Marxists to spread Marxist ideas. It is little known that the Bolsheviks were a relatively small movement of activists when they took over. What they lacked in numbers, they made up for in zeal and organization.

Constitutionalists hate Lenin, but there is no reason we can’t emulate his idea of a vanguard of people committed to a cause. His cause was an economic system designed to oppress and ultimately kill millions. Our cause is protecting our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Trump has made it easy for us to identify one another. If you hate Trump, it’s probably because you believe we should return to the system of our founders: a system where federal government respects the limits prescribed by the Constitution; where bureaucrats cannot form a shadow government where they act as lawmaker, judge, jury, and executioner; and where our God-given rights are truly respected and cannot be taken away at the whim of a leftist, whether they call themselves Republican or Democrat.

One thing I think I want to do is get us together in some way. I want to have a way of talking more directly to those of you who really care about changing this country and bringing us back to constitutional principles. I’ll have to figure out the logistics of this in coming days, but if you’re interested, use the signup form here, and I’ll add you to the list. You’ll be part of the vanguard.

What will we do? I don’t know yet. But whatever we do, we’re going to strike blows for liberty, the free market, and the Constitution.

UPDATE: I’m heartened by the response. In just 20 minutes, we’re already getting a head start on gathering together a group of people who care about liberty and the Constitution. There’s something about seeing the emails roll in that reaffirms one’s faith a little.

I think just having the group will mean something.

UPDATE x2: I have decided to call this group the Constitutional Vanguard. Thanks to Ted Frank for the name.

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