Political Wonk, Charity Ronin & Oracle Hack

With all of the Buffoonery He allows, God must have a great sense of humor.

Convention of States concept more terrifying than Obamacare

Posted by Mike O on January 7, 2014

Ever since Mark Levin published his politically naive book, ‘The Liberty Amendments’ there have been those pushing for a Convention of States.  I have personally sat in on several of the presentations of the advocates of this and their political naivety is absolutely stunning.  Their motto is: “Using the Power of the States to Curtail the Abuse of Power by Washington DC”.  I downloaded their handbook and you can read it here.

They are adamant their idea is not a ‘Con Con’ (a Constitutional Convention) but something different in that state legislators will appoint delegates. But their concepts of how that would work- and what kind of delegates you’d end up with- are detached from the reality of the modern political world.

First let’s address what a key fallacy on what such a convention would be like:  they state this (emphasis is mine):  “Two-thirds of the state legislatures pass applications for a convention for the purpose of proposing
amendments on the same subject.”  But this is based on Article 5 of the constitution which reads as follows:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate. “

Note a very important point: there is NOTHING in Article 5 to restrict such a convention to topics deemed appropriate by the States!  By the constitution itself, such a convention is unconstrained once called.  And not only that, there is no designation of the rules under which such a convention would operate. That would be up to the delegates.

And what kind of delegates would states send to such an event? The advocates of this approach talk about the number of state legislatures either partially or entirely controlled by Republicans. Currently, the GOP fully controls 26 state legislators, and share control in 6. However, some of these include states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan New York and Wisconsin; hardly stalwarts of conservative philosophy and limited government.  I have been dealing with the Texas Legislatures for several cycles now and desipite 11 of the 181 have R’s by their name, there aren’t 30 of them I’d trust with Constitutional rewrites (and rest assured, THAT is what a convention of States would do).  And Texas is far better than all but about 5-6 states.

And do these Convention advocates think for one minute the socialists on the other side are simply going to sit idly by and let this stuff go on without a serious attempt to take over the process?  Bluntly, liberals play this political game far better than most conservatives and I assure you, their impact will be far greater than even their numbers.  There is word of a liberal group in California all ready to take over any such attempt to change the Constitution.

No, this idea is beyond naive; it is incredibly dangerous. And I will fight it with my dying breath and should such a convention EVER get called, our family will be emigrating permanently from the disaster that will result.

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