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Grasping at Poison Straws – Part One – Convention of States


Book_Liberty_Amendments_1There is a move afoot, brought to the mass of grassroots tea party participants by Mark Levin, whose book, “The Liberty Amendments,” is all the latest rage. Glenn Beck, who was NOT on board, has been convinced to take on the job of pushing the idea of a Constitutional Convention, but renamed “Convention of States.” I can’t imagine why. Don’t be fooled by the branding experts, a Constitutional Convention and Convention of States (COS) are one and the same thing.  Yet, Levin and the other pushers on this idea are insisting you don’t “get it” if you think other than what he is selling. Oh, no….”It isn’t the same thing!” they adamantly proclaim. “It’s Article V!!” “We can do this!” “The framers gave it to us!”

The sales pitch is incredible. Pie in the sky and all the candy you could ever consume. The sellers of this are preying on tea party conservatives who are literally desperate to do something BIG to rein in the federal government. I get the desperation part….really, I do. They tell you nothing else is working, so you might as well go for the brass ring and grab the Constitution and amend it. They tell you the process has NO chance of being hijacked by the leftists / socialists. (Do they know who was behind the 25th Amendment? Hint: Birch Bayh with Rockefeller money.) They tell you the 10th Amendment using nullification is too cumbersome and doesn’t solve the problems we face. They tell you the whole thing is driven by state legislators, those closest to the voters. They tell you this is perfectly legitimate through Article V of the Constitution and that the framers handed this golden opportunity for moments just like the one we face today. They tell you this, knowing that right now our federal government doesn’t follow the Constitution as it was written anyway, but they insist that the federal government WILL listen to new amendments that curtail the wrack and ruin being done now.

O.K. Here is why I am saying the COS and Constitutional Convention are the same thing. Yes, Article V is the prescription for amending the Constitution….which IS CHANGING the Constitution by amendment(s). (Note the plural.) The argument the COS people are pushing is that at no time has there ever been a Constitutional Convention but the first one that created the Constitution. Otherwise, the COS people will tell you, there can be no such thing as a Constitutional Convention. So why didn’t they just ask for one or two amendments ONLY as part of this process? Why didn’t they call this effort a Call to Amend? They aren’t specific. What they are doing is asking for a Convention of States (state legislators) to propose amendments, but no one knows what those amendments would be. This could be limitless. Several are floating around from left and right and all could be on the docket. Sounds like an open convention to change the Constitution to me. But wait… the Call to Amend under another name already exists….keep reading.

Unknown to many of the tea party people getting pulled into this is another effort to change the Constitution called “Move To Amend.” COS was not first out of the starting gate to do this. “Move To Amend” has been at this a while. The backers of that one are all the usual suspects from the global communist / socialist left. It looks, from what I can find out, COS and Move To Amend are joining forces, each to accomplish the same goal, changing / amending the Constitution to suit their own aims. (I see that Mark Meckler has been coordinating the effort with the Aspen Institute. Look them up please.) I hear the promotions for “bipartisanship” in both the COS and Move To Amend. This is going to end in a free for all, with state legislators being bought off right and left. (pun intended.) There is no restriction on how many amendments or the subject of these amendments. The amendments can come from anywhere and about anything. I can guarantee you, the Move To Amend people are salivating at the chance to do this. Social Justice is on the agenda.

“Formed in September 2009, Move to Amend is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy that is genuinely accountable to the people, not corporate interests.”

First of all, the Constitution set up a democratic REPUBLIC, not a democracy. Secondly, EQUAL JUSTICE is what we are guaranteed under the Constitution. NOT social justice or economic justice. But oh well…

Levin has said, in an interview I heard (but can’t cite right now), that if the left hijacks this, then we know where we stand and that America is over anyway. He says, “that’s the risk we take.” I’m here to say this is already hijacked by both the left and the right. I will note to my friends that no where in this discussion from COS am I hearing a move to completely restore the Constitution as written. Is there an Article V move to reclaim the Constitution? Not seeing that. Nor am I seeing something that somehow holds elected officials accountable for ignoring the Constitution. (Legally we have that already…again not enforced.) I heard from a friend that what he (the friend) wants to do is remove the 16th amendment and replace it with “The Fair Tax.” I have heard the “real” amendment behind this is a “Balanced Budget Amendment.” Then, I am hearing the amendment most desired is “Term Limits” for Congress. (Which sounds very appealing to those who hate career politicians, but we have the ballot box to remove them already. There is the term limit for the Presidency that was added by amendment, so is that the answer? The power of the Presidency has grown beyond Constitutional limits anyway, so did that help? How’d that work out? ) Move to Amend wants an amendment to restrict campaign contributions, but as you see above they have much more stated in their mission. There is another one about the federal government granting “parental rights.” Folks, this is the tip of the iceberg.

The next question I hear is, “Well, what would you do?” “The situation we are in is DIRE!” “We MUST do something!” These cries of desperation, again I understand completely, are missing the point that the same people conservatives wish to corral are behind the COS and Move To Amend propositions and want to use this opportunity to finally destroy and replace the U.S. Constitution. I believe it is a deceitful distraction to preoccupy the malcontents, while the forces behind the efforts are busy shredding the Constitution, taking down the economic structure of the U.S., running the cultural rot industries, and dumbing down the American public even more! The whole idea is to take more power away from the American people, hand over more power to the federal government, not restore the LIMITED powers of the federal government. Both projects allow or require the government to grant government authority not included in the Constitution.

Maybe this is over the head of some of my friends and most people. I don’t know. But it fills me with dismay to see people grasping at straws that will not fulfill their dreams of America that we once had and want returned to us. It saddens me for more personal reasons as well, my heartfelt concern for the futures of my children and grandchildren.

I refer you all to this article written by William F. Buckley in 1979. And if you read this, ask yourself what is really going on here? Do you honestly think the financial backers of the COS and / or the Move To Amend are doing this to restore the Constitution or to further erode the freedoms we were originally given? It is pretty easy to see from the proposed amendments.

Is this the time for amending the Constitution with multiple amendments that, in my view, contradict the limits of the federal government? Given what I have just told you? I could go on with my disapproval and will continue to address this again. Meanwhile, I hope my friends who have bought into this will step back, take a deep breath, and really really dive into the weeds to discover what is lurking here to trap us all.

‘Two-thirds of the state legislatures, or 34, must approve an application for a convention to occur, according to the Constitution’s article five. State legislatures would then send delegates to the convention, each state getting one vote on proposed amendments. For an amendment to pass and become a part of the Constitution, it would have to be approved by three-fourths, or 38, of the state legislatures.”

Article V
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.

Did Levin take Citizen Initiatives’ idea and then run with it? What is the connection here? If you poke around you will find it says it is a “public private partnership” and some advisors were Wall Street traders and also from ALEC. For all the angst among Tea Party folks regarding ALEC and the corporate cronyism in this nation, I wonder if they even know that ALEC is involved in this. The interesting thing that red flagged me right away about this site was the promotion of “single amendment” initiatives, but they have written several amendments ready to go. This site calls the project “Single Issue Amendment Convention.” But they have written multiple amendments, linked for you to read. It’s obvious the plan is for MANY amendments….not just one. Strangely enough, Grover Norquist (member of the CFR) shows up again and again in this push for a Convention. He and Michael Farris are partners in another organization: Parental

SINGLE ISSUE CONVENTION ENDORSEMENTS: Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform, Al Cardenas, Chair, American Conservative Union, David Keene, Chair Emeritus, American Conservative Union, Ted Cruz, Former Solicitor General of Texas, David McIntosh. Co-Founder of the Federalist Society, Colin Hanna, President Let Freedom Ring Lew Uhler President, National Tax Limitation Committee, Charlie Black, Chair of the McCain 2008 Campaign, Michael Farris, President Parental, ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council), Goldwater Institute, Dr. Robert G. Natelson (Sr. Fellow ALEC and Goldwater Institute), Roman Buhler (Fdr BBA Task Force) plus many others. Members of Congress and State Legislators: Rep. John Culberson (R, TX), Rep. Henry Cuellar (D, TX), Rep. Rob Bishop (R, UT), Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R, WY), Rep. Tom McClintock (R, CA), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R, TX), Former Rep. Walt Minnick (D, ID), Del. John Overington (R, WV), Rep. Glen Bradley (R, NC), Sen. Josh McKoon, (R, GA), Sen. Bruce Tutvedt (R, MT), Rep. Peggy Mast (R, KS), Sen. Art Wittich (R, MT), Sen. Josh Brecheen (R, OK), plus hundreds of State Legislators.

Sources of interest:
Regarding the 25th Amendment – Birch Bayh Amendments
Move to Amend Endorsing Organizations
Excellent article here from Freedom Outpost
Secure the Republic – blog post on the COS
Grover Norquist
Michelle Malkin on Grover Norquist

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