Article V Of The Constitution. The Final Straw?

Article VJames Madison, a Federalist, and therefore a proponent for passage of the Constitution and of a stronger central government, affectionately known as the “father of the Constitution”, in arguing for the Constitution’s passage and in trying to alleviate the fears of those citizens skeptical about giving more power to a central government, said in Federalist 45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and infinite.” That was a mouthful of a sentence, huh? Again, that promise, of a limited federal government, was written by an advocate for a stronger central government, and by the man who was said to have written much of what came to be our Constitution. It really goes to show you how generally united both Federalist and Anti-Federalists were in their belief in limited government, despite the Constitution’s formation.

Does anyone really think we have anything close to resembling such a governmental model today, where the powers of the federal government are few and defined, and where most power rests exclusively with the states? Ya, me neither. I think it would be fair to say that we have strayed, more than a little, from the original intent of the Constitution. So how do we get back on track? Is all hope lost? Have we exhausted every mean available to us? What can we possibly do about our current state of affairs that hasn’t already been tried, and failed? Maybe we just need to elect a few more Republicans? That will solve everything! After all, it has in the past, right? I want to suggest another course, and it’s one the authors of the Constitution very specifically furnished for us, the advantage of which we have yet to exploit.

For those of you unfamiliar with Article V of the Constitution, it lays out the method by which to amend the Constitution. Actually, it lays out two methods to do this…one of which has never been used. The only method used up to this point in history has been that two-thirds of both branches in Congress propose an amendment(s) to the Constitution, and if the legislatures of three-fourths of the states ratify it, the Constitution, that is, the absolute highest law in the land, is therefore amended. The other method, which has yet to be used, but which nonetheless has a very specific reason for being included in the Constitution, is the method whereby two-thirds of the states call for an amendment(s) to be made to the Constitution, which if ratified by three-fourths of the states, also effectively amends the Constitution. Did everyone catch the important difference there? The latter method, which, again, has never yet been used, completely cuts out the federal government from the process…completely. Congress is a moot point in amending the Constitution. It’s wholly done by the states. Congress doesn’t have a say; only the states have a say. Now, I don’t know about you, but as a state’s rights advocate, that sounds pretty intriguing to me!

Why the two different methods for amending the Constitution, and why has only the one ever been used? In giving a reason for including the latter, and yet to be used method of amending the Constitution, during the Constitutional Convention, George Mason said, it “would be improper to require the consent of the Natl. Legislature, because they may abuse their power, and refuse their consent on that very account.” Mason added that, “no amendments of the proper kind would ever be obtained by the people, if the Government should become oppressive.” Sound logic if you ask me. In other words, if the federal government ever gets to a point where it becomes oppressive and ignores the states, then the states can, under the Constitution, take matters into their own hands! Think we’re at that point yet? I certainly think we are getting there. Using this method of amending the Constitution is nothing other than the ultimate lever in the preservation of state’s rights. Now, whether we are at a point in history where there is enough clamor to utilize it is another matter, but it certainly makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing we have that lever; again, a lever that completely bypasses the federal government.

So how do we start? We already have! We just need to follow through. If you haven’t yet heard, on Friday, Georgia passed a measure, 107-58, calling for a convention of the states to amend the Constitution! There has been a popular movement, pushed in large part by radio host Mark Levin, to hold a convention of the states, in putting the federal government back in its place, and many states and even some congressmen are starting to take notice. The lever is there for taking back our country. All we need do is decide to utilize it. Pretty amazing, isn’t it, that the authors of our Constitution would think to include such provisions in the Constitution? It almost seems like…they saw that this might happen!

The true brilliance of the Constitution, that’s right liberals, I said it, brilliance, is that it is a document that takes human nature into consideration in its general formulation of how our government was to operate. The men who created it were not only statesmen, they were philosophers. In Federalist 51, and it was such reasoning that was largely responsible for winning the votes of the Anti-Federalists and is what led to the eventual passage of the Constitution, Madison said, “The great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachment of the others…ambition must be made to counteract ambition…It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

Why do I mention that last quote of Madison’s? Even though the logic of that statement is sound, our system of checks and balances seems to be unraveling before our eyes. How is that possible, and where is the chink in the armor? How and why is the firewall Madison referenced being breached? Maybe Congress is not acting sufficiently in its own self-interest. Certainly the executive branch these days is claiming more and more power for itself and constantly bypassing Congress with the ever-expanding role of the mass of regulatory agencies we now have (the fourth branch of government, as some people have come to call such agencies). There are probably a lot of different reasons why, over time, the balance has become upset. But the point is, we have a remedy put in the Constitution for a reason, to correct such imbalance! I for one think its high time we use it.

We’ve all heard the saying, “desperate times call for desperate measures”. I do think we are in desperate times, and I don’t believe an Article V convention of the states is a desperate measure. I think it’s a necessary one, and a prudent one. Because it’s never been done, I’ve heard some apprehension that a convention of the states might be co-opted and used against conservatives. To that fear I would simply say, if you haven’t noticed, the “progressives” are already winning, and they are winning BIG. I happen to believe they have sufficiently co-opted government to an extent that there really is no turning back through channels normally used, in trying to limit the Leviathan that has become the federal government . Progressives have gradually been diminishing the Constitution and its intent for the last hundred years in their attempt to centralize power because of a belief that such must be done to produce the greatest good for all, and its high time we invoke, draw attention to, and use the Constitution like it was meant to be used.

I think its worth asking: If you do think a convention of the states sounds like too risky a proposition, what does it say, deep down, about how you presently view this country? Does it show a contentment to some degree with things as they are, even if you want to perhaps shrink the federal government, a bit? I happen to believe when you weigh the risks and the rewards, the rewards of an Article V convention of the states wins, hands down; a convention process by the way that, according to the Constitution, is only for the proposition of amendments, and cannot be used for any other purpose, according to the Constitution.

Is all this just a moot point? Can we really muster the sort of super-majority needed for such an endeavor? Maybe, maybe not. But even if, even if, a convention of states were to fail, and enough support were not garnered for it to take place, in the process, wouldn’t we be drawing attention to the Constitution, which is a good thing, and further paving the way for such a convention to take place in the future, when such a convention might be especially needed? I happen to believe good policy makes for good politics, and even if such an attempt were to not succeed, it’s still worth fighting for, for the reasons just given. I can’t help but think of the line from the movie Braveheart, in this regard, when Gibson admonishes the Nobles and says, “Don’t you at least wish to lead your men into battle and barter a better deal with Longshanks before you tuck tail and run!”

Please, don’t get me wrong. I’m not admitting defeat here already. Far from it. This is a process that as a conservative, and advocate for state’s rights, truly excites me like few others have. All I’m doing is pointing out that the result of pushing for things for which you believe do have an impact, whether you think you have succeeded at that time or not, and whether you at the time realize it or not. The calculation should never be that if you might fail at a cause, that you shouldn’t even try. In fact, it has been the case throughout American history, and world history for that matter, that whenever a given policy venture or movement seemed to fail, at the time, they in many cases eventually paved the way for the future and were incorporated into this or that platform or this or that political ideology despite, and eventually bore fruit.

The battle to end slavery in this country wasn’t just fought from 1861-1865. I know, I can hear the progressives now, “A conservative invoking the abolition of slavery in his promotion of state’s rights!!”. The Civil War was fought out in proxy-wars, much like the Cold War had, for decades and decades before that time. It was fought by abolitionists, and Supreme Court decisions for and against slavery, in acts of Congress and in the movements of borders. The point is, great things always happen through perseverance, one step at a time, and not necessarily all at once.

Need another example of the power of perseverance, though it be from the left side of the aisle? William Jennings Bryan, Democratic presidential nominee, ran 2 or 3 times I think, unsuccessfully, against Republicans who came to win their presidential bids against him. But his popularity, and the popularity at the time of the popular/progressive movement, eventually came to be wholly incorporated into the Democratic party despite his losses. Up until that time, the Democratic party especially had always been the party of the little guy, specifically by means of limiting the government. It’s at this time in our history however that the Democratic party, though of course still claiming to be for the little guy, changed the means by which they would fight that battle, and those means turned to using the hand of the federal government rather than limiting it. This eventually led us to the first progressive president, Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, and his next of kin, FDR (Gee, thanks Bryan!). Course, if it wasn’t for Bryan, it would have been someone else because of popular sentiment at the time. But the point is, win or lose, some battles do bear fruit down the road.

This constitutional movement matters. Do you all remember around the time that Obamacare was being debated in 2010 when someone asked Nancy Pelosi where it was in the Constitution that granted Congress the authority to enact Obamacare? Remember her response? She said, “Are you serious?” We have come a long way since then, and in just a few short years. There is a movement in response to the explosion in the growth of the federal government back to the Constitution, when it was at one time, not so long ago, completely ignored. I believe we need to continue on course in advancing the cause of the Constitution. We need to continue driving this debate and advance an Article V convention of the states so we can really start to turn this country around. What other recourse do we have with the bureaucracy so firmly entrenched as they are? If you believe in local, self-rule, we need to exert the rights that have been secured for us in the Constitution, while we still have rights, and while we still have that power.

If you agree, lobby your state legislature, not your congressman. If you are lobbying your congressman, then you didn’t read this article! And if you want to support the cause of limiting the federal government by means of exerting our constitutionally guaranteed state’s rights, and the means by which the Constitution guarantees the furtherance of those rights, visit Convention of States.

About Sir Publius

Sir Publius has written 2 posts in this blog.

I've been putting finger to key now for a few years, whenever I have the spare time. I, like many people out there, think this country has gone adrift, and I want to do my part to put it back on course! There are a lot of people like us out there. More than you may think. We just need to act. A big thanks to LDJackson for inviting me on to be a contributor at Political Realities, and all the other patriots out there spreading the gospel of limited government and individual freedom!

27 comments to Article V Of The Constitution. The Final Straw?

  • First of all, welcome to Political Realities. I’m glad you came on board.

    An excellent essay, Sir. I fell relatively comfortable making the assumption that a great number of Americans have no idea there are actually two ways to amend the Constitution. It should give us plenty of food for thought.

    I shared your post on Free Republic and one of the first comments there was raising the concern you addressed about a convention of states being taken over by the liberals. While that is a valid concern and a possibility, I fail to see how that should stop us from acting. Many of us care deeply about the rights of the states and individual liberties and freedoms and I can’t think of a better way to emphasis and highlight that than by convening the states in an attempt to point our country back in the direction it needs to be heading.

    Again, well done.

    • SirPublius

      Thanks. I appreciate that. I understand the timidity with such a process I think. It seems it comes FROM and because of a reverence for the constitution, which is a good thing. People say, “hey, we need to change Washington, not the constitution.” I also revere the constitution. For me, the emphasis is not on any flaws the constitution has. Amendments to the constitution don’t at all infer that the constitution is somehow flawed, as it is the constitution itself that sets up the process of amending! It was set up to be amended. Unfortunately, we just stopped following it a long time ago, so who cares if its amended or not, right? That seems to have been the thinking. If people look at all the various amendments we have, many of them are actually pretty trivial except the Bill of Rights and a few others like abolishing slavery and such. The first amendments to our constitution seemed a lot bolder than many of the subsequent ones have been. Perhaps that’s because the constitution was thought of early on as something to be worked through rather than ignored? I was reading a book on the presidents the other day, and do you know early on in this country, most early presidents thought of the federal government as so limited in power that it was unconstitutional to use it for internal improvements like roads and canals? Congress enacted laws doing so, and numerous presidents, including Madison, vetoed them! And it was Madison who suggested that if that were to be done, the constitution would have to be amended to allow for it. Otherwise, that was a state matter! The thing that excites me about this process is we all know that year after year after year nothing gets done in congress to fix the ever-increasing bureaucracy of the federal government, which is stripping us of our freedom, and its inability to get our fiscal house in order. In short, congress is broke, and we are all going down with the ship because of that. BUT, knowing that there is a lever that completely bypasses congress and invokes our local legislatures, but which still needs super-majorities to be finalized, not just some mild majority…I like knowing that lever exists. And I think one of these days its going to have to be pulled.

  • Michael

    ” If you do think a convention of the states sounds like too risky a proposition, what does it say, deep down, about how you presently view this country?”

    It says that I think that people are generally idiots, and that you can’t trust most of them to wipe themselves correctly after going to the bathroom, let alone design a new government (because that’s what would happen, of course: the government we now have would be, essentially, thrown out and replaced with the whims and fancies of whichever pressure group or political party wangled the greatest number of delegates to the convention.

    The reason that a convention has never been called to amend the Constitution is that it would be the end of the Constitution as we know it.

    • SirPublius

      I disagree. The end of the constitution as we know it happens EVERY time the Constitution is amended, technically. This is not a constitutional convention. It’s not. Article V is clear about that. I do understand your trepidation however. After looking deeper into this matter before I wrote this article, I did find out that Madison had some reserve about Article V not being specific enough, as pertains to how exactly we go about conducting it. THIS I believe is mainly the reason that particular method has yet to be used, as well as the fact that in the past, states had more autonomy than they do now, so there simply wasn’t the reason for them, or as much reason for them to act as there is today. But again, it is not a constitutional convention. It’s simply an amendment process. I will also say, that since I believe in local self-rule, while people as a whole are a times….not too bright, isn’t that the case on the federal level as well? Why not further empower the state legislatures AGAINST the federal government? The broad-based support that any amendment would need is the same with this process as the one that has always been used, except with the states process it approaches the amendment process from a different angle, from the angle of the state legislatures rather than congress. All I know is as it stands, with the course we are on, we are on course to a total eventual loss of freedom to the federal government and to bureaucracy, unless we assert ourselves boldly. That is why I am for this process. The Constitution as it is written is a great thing! I don’t want to change it….I want to reassert it and take back our freedom, according to guarantees already present in the Constitution that are being ignored. The problem is not the Constitution. The problem is the branches of government that are not following the Constitution. And they need to be pushed back by we the people through this process. That is what its there for. At least that is my thinking.

    • SirPublius

      Further Mike, when I say “what does it say, deep down, about how you presently view this country”, I am in no way questioning anyone’s patriotism at all if they happen to wonder whether or not this particular method of Article V is used. All I really mean is, for me, I do see a very desperate situation in this country, especially with things like our debts and deficits, which are driven largely by the federal government and unsustainable promises that go on and on and on without end, by the feds. And congress isn’t solving it. They just aren’t. And because of this desperate situation I think we need to act boldly and reassert the cojnsitution, by means laid out IN the constitution. If someone thinks calling such a convention is too….risky, that says to me that such a person doesn’t want to risk what we have right now, whereas I see the way things right now as not working, and not sustainable.

      • Michael

        I’m afraid that the method of amending the Constitution you envision using would inevitably throw out the baby with the bath water. Government isn’t working well, but if the Constitution is the document that everyone wants to hold up as a shining example of what the country should be, the goal should be enacting the ideas laid out in that document, not changing it.

        • SirPublius

          You know, and I knew I wasn’t addressing this in the article, but I really didn’t give any attention at all, beside simply drawing general attention to limiting the federal government, to actually writing about WHAT I would offer up as an amendment. Whatever amendments would have any chance of passing would have to have very deep support across the board, even if it is a different process and state-driven, just like any other of the 27 amendments we already have. There are things that could be tried, like a balanced budget amendment, or term limits perhaps. Perhaps an amendment to increase congressional approval and oversight of the million executive regulatory agencies that are running a muck? But it certainly wouldn’t be some mindless free for all that would fundamentally transform the constitution, again, as it would not be a constitutional convention. At any rate, recognizing the the constitution is actually our highest authority, and to be followed, is a great place for this country to be working from in my opinion, and this would help get us there. To most “liberals” the constitution just basically sort of set up our government, and it is a “living breathing” document that means nothing to them. I think we need to try and change that thinking and to win people over to our side by working from the constitution first and foremost. We are a nation of laws, and we need to stay a nation of law…not regulations and a federal dictatorship.

  • With so many states already having joined the National Popular Vote compact, and even the Senate here in very-red-Oklahoma attempting to do so, I would be extremely wary of a convention of the States. It seems far too many people, even those holding offices in the States, do not understand the concept of federalism. I can easily believe that those intent on such a change, or others that would destroy our federalist system, would hijack a convention. And yes, I know exactly what that says, deep down, about how I presently view this country. The populace has just elected a foreigner and a communist to the presidency. Twice. I no longer have any faith in the people.
    The true conservatives who hold offices in the States have other recourses to push back against the federal government. Nullifying federal laws under the Tenth Amendment, for one. I do not believe we have seen enough attempts to do such things to warrant calling for an extremely risky convention of States, that I believe would end up being controlled not only by the progressives, but by the establishment GOPers who are essentially progressives lite. No thank you.

    • SirPublius

      I appreciate the comment. I certainly understand your distrust and skepticism about the American people after electing Obama twice. And I think you are right that far too many people don’t understand the concept of federalism. This is precisely why I think its a good idea that we be promoting the constitution in this way, with a convention of states, to promote both the constitution and states rights. How else are we going to educate people than we ourselves working with and through and bringing attention to the constitution like should be done? I thought I understood it, but to be honest, I don’t think I do understand the level of fear people have for such a meeting. It WOULDN’T be a convention to rewrite the constitution. And anything that has a chance of passing would need super-majorities by the American people, like is always needed. We have amended the constitution 27 times in our history. This is just a method of doing so that bypasses the feds. But its still we the people doing the amending. If people are SO stupid that they would try and hijack it, illegally, and think it could stand, or that people would stand for it, if tried, I guess we are doomed already, and just don’t know it yet. Don’t you trust local authority more than federal authority?? The federal congress at ANY time could try and offer an amendment or two to the constitution…ANY time as it is, and I don’t worry that if it were tried the constitution would be dissolved somehow. As far as the tenth amendment, the courts and the legislature have ignored it for SO long, I don’t see being able to invoke it, though we should absolutely be able to, its just that its invocation has never worked, so I don’t see how it will NOW as opposed to in the past. But, with a convention of the states it is something that has NEVER yet been invoked, yet it is there, in the constitution, for us to use. As far as nullification, it is something very very early on in our history that was rejected. The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions put forth by Madison and Jefferson called for Nullification of the Alien and Sedition Acts of John Adams, which WERE unconstitutional. So, they said, this is unconstitutional, so, we don’t have to follow it, and, rightly so! BUT, the MEANS by which we have come to “nullify” things in a sense, the route rather, whether people agree or not, has been that the Supreme Court is the one who has the power to nullify/declare a law unconstitutional. If you think about it, if a state or whoever, everything time they SAID something was unconstitutional, just ignored a federal law, that wouldn’t be much of a federalist system. It would mean federal laws were just unenforceable suggestions. Even Madison, who authored the Virginia resolution later said that nullification, as people had come to understand and support it, was not his intent. I just don’t see another route here to try and take back the country. I really don’t. I appreciate the perspective though. I think we need to air these things out like we are doing.

  • “The other method, which has yet to be used, but which nonetheless has a very specific reason for being included in the Constitution, is the method whereby two-thirds of the states call for an amendment(s) to be made to the Constitution, which if ratified by three-fourths of the states, also effectively amends the Constitution.”

    If that were the case, I’d be more likely to support it, because then the amendment would be clearly defined in advance, it would require support from 2/3 of the states before it was even subjected to ratification..

    But that is not what the Constitution says:

    “on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments”

    The Congress calls for the convention of states… from there anything can happen.. Our current Constitution is a product of a similar convention.. It was convened to make a couple of Amendments to the Articles of Confederation.. Instead they came up with a new Constitution that included it’s own terms for ratification..

    There is nothing to prevent that from happening again.. and if you do a bit of digging you’ll find George Soros is willing to spend billions to make sure it does, He wants the Convention, and he’s prepared for it with over 200 selected progressive and new world order groups ready to participate.

    • SirPublius

      Grumpy, you have made the strongest, clearest, most cogent case against a meeting of the states that I have seen, and I can’t really imagine much of anything anyone could add to it to be frank. You are right that the constitution doesn’t require a specific amendment before such a convention would take place. It was not my intent to say that was the case, though as I wrote it, and you quoted what I wrote, it was poorly worded. But that was not my intention. In trying to include the singular and plural of “amendments”, since such a convention could technically pass more than one amendment, it wasn’t that clear. I should have just used the plural and said “whereby two-thirds of the states call for amendments to be made…”. But, you bring up a point that is valid that I didn’t address nonetheless. I will note that with Georgia, they were specific in calling for a convention specifically to limit federal power and to enact term limits. They did do that. Now, is that unconstitutional for them to do that, or, just superfluous? I don’t know if you saw in another comment that I pointed out that Madison WAS a bit skeptical, not about the substance of being able to have the states call a convention, but on how broadly the article was stated, and how non-specific it was as to the process. So it absolutely is a good point that since this has never taken place, how exactly it is executed is sort of up in the air, but nonetheless the constitution does specifically say it would ONLY be for making amendments. It does say that.

      It’s also absolutely true that the original constitutional convention was called simply to revise the articles of confederation, and a whole new constitution emerged. That is absolutely true. But I happen to believe those were very very different circumstances. Just my opinion. The articles of confederation began to be ratified during the civil war and were made official at the end around 1781. What came to be known as the constitutional convention happened only 6 short years after the articles were made official, because they just weren’t working! And when called, as you know, there was a thorough debate for a couple of YEARS before it was passed. We have had our constitution for over 200 years….not 6 years. I think its a different situation, where our constitution as a whole is pretty safe in these regards, even if the method used to pass amendments is different than used in the past. Our constitution DOES work….it just needs to be followed! I think amendments could add….clarifications. Anything can happen at any time, granted. I just don’t see how it could be hijacked in such a way.

      And yep, I have heard about some left-wingers wanting to use the process as well. I think these people however are far far left and do not have the same understanding of what the constitution even IS as we do. They don’t like it, and so they want to change it in a way I don’t see support for. I think MOST liberals don’t want ANY talk of such a convention because they DO know that the purpose of the constitution is the diffusion of power, and they would rather not bring any attention to it. In short, I think such a convention would be working from within the confines of what we have already established as our constitution. That’s what I believe. But I don’t have a crystal ball. Again, I weigh the risks and advantages of such a meeting, and personally I think there is much more to be gained than lost. I appreciate the comment though. It was a good one.

      • SirPublius

        I said civil war in the second paragraph….of course I meant revolutionary war!

        • I figured that part out, but I was scratching my head for a couple seconds.. (You’ll get the bill for hair loss later)

          Would love to agree with you about the far lefts beliefs, but way to much that I was taught could never happen here.. The ability of the left to misconstrue things and sell it is amazing..

          Right now I’m playing with a lefty on another forum who’s saying Obamacare is completely justified demanding men’s insurance policies must include medical practices and devices that are exclusive to females because of the 14th Amendment “Equal Protection Clause”

          Never thought I’d see it applied that way..

          • I can attest personally to how lefties twist things around. I run into that every time I try to explain why a Christian photographer or baker should not be forced to provide services for a same sex marriage. They manage to give “discrimination” an entirely new meaning.

            • SirPublius

              Liberals are masters of propaganda. I know there are lying cheating politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle, but it seems the left are particularly tricky for some reason. Perhaps their means justifies the end mentality better allows them to say, what they have to say, to get a thing done. Course it doesn’t help that they have the media in their back pocket who spout their talking points for them, and who take their ques from the left shamelessly. Its why Obama is the Teflon president….scandal after scandal after scandal, and they just aren’t covered!! Its not because he’s a master politician. It’s because our media is a disgrace. Remember when for some reason, and that reason is beyond me, the media actually COVERED Obama’s broken “keep your plan” promise?? Obama’s numbers PLUMMETED. Then they dropped it, and you know they must have said to themselves, “Oops”. That is the power of propaganda. People just don’t know any better unless they are fed something, too many just really don’t, way, way too many people. It’s kind of scary.

          • SirPublius

            This is a process controlled from A-Z by the state legislatures. There aren’t enough states controlled by liberals to somehow pass some leftist amendment/agenda. There just aren’t, and haven’t been for a long long time. Constitutional amendments are very very hard to come by, even with a state convention. Three quarters of all the states….that’s a lot of states. Even if something were wildly popular, it would be tough to pass. Maybe a balanced budget amendment or term limits or something, maybe, but I think that would be a good start. Maybe just establish the process as a first step? We are talking, again, state legislatures, not some popular vote of the state or something like that. And because of that, I just don’t see how some leftist amendment could pass. They would need a lot of conservative legislatures to agree with them for that to even have a chance of happening as I see it.

            • If the Constitution gets re-written, so do the terms of ratification..

              Conservatives are at best, lousy at messaging, the media will support any and all liberal ideas, If Congress is any indication, the conservative side will surrender rather than risk bad press..

              Besides Soros you’ll have Chamber of Commerce dollars to content with. Those folks now see a way to “fix” Obamacare for their benefit. They love the idea of government being able to mandate people purchase stuff. One of their primary targets now is education.. via the Jeb Bush version of Common Core.

              To make matters worse, instead of a mix of farmers, small businessmen, clergy and a few part time lawyers, mostly practical people with a little common sense, the convention will be dominated by full time lawyers..

              You can expect a product that will be lengthy, difficult to understand and guaranteed to keep lawyers busy for years.

              • SirPublius

                I guess anything can happen, technically. Do we trust self-government anymore? That’s the question I think. If we simply can’t trust THIS process, can we trust any process anymore? If people aren’t following the Constitution right NOW, and we aren’t, and its only getting worse, are we really risking as much as people think we are by simply trying to assert our state rights? If we are afraid to try and do that, I think the left has won. I think a lot of good folks out there are so deeply disappointed by Obama getting elected not once, but twice, that they just don’t trust anything anymore and are shrinking back. I don’t think now is the time to shrink back. And whoever is out there writing that this is not just an amendment process, but that it is a Constitutional convention, where all bets are off and the whole Constitution is going to get re-written. I just don’t know where they are getting that. I really don’t. Seems like classic scare-tactics to me.

                • Historically the only thing close to an Article V Convention was the Convention to Amend the Articles of Confederation. That makes it our only way to gauge what might happen.

                  The Blue States have already set a precedent for nullification– both with our immigration and pot laws. That becomes one starting point.. Probably a better idea is the creation of a third party, it should have happened between the 2010 and 2012 elections when it became obvious the GOP wanted us to crawl back in our caves and STFU until our votes were needed..Only took from 1854 to 1860 for the GOP to form and get Lincoln elected, and they didn’t have the internet for mass communication..

                  Another strategy would be for conservatives to get “shadow candidates’ on the ballots in as many Congressional districts as possible.. It does not require a primary to run as an indie.. a lot of districts only require 1000-1500 petition signatures and a filing fee.. Depending on who wins the primary, and what kind of nonsense Boehner pulls after the primary, the shadow candidates could either actively campaign, or sort of sit it out… Just knowing they were there would scare both parties..

                  The last one may be the simplest.. Back during the Stop – SOPA internet fight, Congress got 5.5 Million emails in one day.. and an unknown number of phone calls. Capitol Hill email servers, website servers and the phone system all crashed.. Harry Reid and Suntan Boehner looked awful pale that night when the announced SOPA and it’s House companion bill would be shelved forever..

                  There’s supposed to be around 30,000,000 serious conservatives.. if 20% of them engaged in an email campaign once a week… I’d like to the nearest store to Capitol Hill selling adult diapers..

                  Jackson– I apologize for writing a mini blog on your site

                  • Hey, I have no problem with the length of your comments. This is what I like to see on Political Realities and one reason I asked Sir Publius to write for the blog. A fresh and different perspective, even if we do not all agree. Nothing wrong with that, or the discussion it is fostering.

                    • Thanks Jackson, appreciate it..

                      I’ve been known to tell people if they want to post a blog.. to set up their own website.. On the other hand, I told one guy to start posting his comments as blogs on Grumpy..He did for about a year, His comments averaged about 1500 words..

                  • SirPublius

                    As far as the third party thing, I love studying history, particularly American history, and I can tell you, they almost ALWAYS end with giving the election to the other side. I’m NOT saying not to vote for who you want, and I’m not saying to vote for a Republican party that disagree with. Follow your conscience of course. I’m just saying, as a matter of historical fact, third party bids in this country have pretty much always failed, like it or not. In fact, I can’t off the top of my head think of a successful third party bid, though I’m sure one probably exists. Woodrow Wilson, the first truly progressive president, was elected because Teddy entered the party against Taft, who was the most conservative of all the candidates. So Taft lost. How about Ross Perot? That didn’t work so great. Reagan, then we had H.W., in a time of peace and prosperity, and we gave the election to Bubba, who reaped the benefits of a great economy, forever cementing in most peoples minds the good ol’ days of Bill Clinton, when he had not much to do with that. Now, I was pretty young, but I remember liking Perot, and my parents certainly did…but what happened? I could list another 3-4, but they weren’t prominent races. Well OK, I suppose I’ll mention Lincoln. I like Lincoln, but he only got 40% of the vote when was elected, did you know that? And it was because of third parties that he won largely. Breckinridge of the southern Democrats got almost 20% of the vote, and John Bell got 12 or 13% of the constitutional party. Douglas got about 30%. I think we need a revitalized Republican party personally. I don’t think our electoral system is set up for successful third party bids. It might not be an easy task, but REFORMING the GOP is I believe a better option that abandoning it and splitting the party. With that comes certain defeat.

                    • the GOP currently holds about 25% of the register voters, democrats 33 or so.. NPA/Indies 41 or 42%.. That tells me Americans are disgusted with both parties.. At least during my lifetime Indies have always been the minority..

                      In 1854 the GOP was the 3rd party– in 1860 they got Lincoln elected..

                    • SirPublius

                      Ya, but Lincoln won BECAUSE the oppisition was split into thir d parties!! Thats my point!

                    • Yep then like now, people were feed up with the existing parties.. the Republicans, founded in 1854 were the new kids..

                      People are fleeing the GOP, and to a lessor extent Democrats.. I little over 40 years ago I was the only registered Indie in a county of about half a million.. Now 41% of the population is Indie/NPA

                      20 years ago, a short guy with big ears and a squeaky voice stood on a stage with 2 made for TV candidates.. Ross Perot ran an insane campaign, dropping out for months then coming back with a story about the CIA threatening his family, that virtually no one believed. Throughout the campaign the media blasted him as badly or worse than they attack the TEA Party…

                      He still pulled 19% of the popular vote.. If he hadn’t dropped out, you could easily add several points maybe 5 or 6, You can add at least as many if he’d had a television friendly appearance and voice.. A little actual political campaign experience might have added a few more..

                      33 becomes the median in a 3 way race, he’d have been close.

                    • SirPublius

                      I don’t see a platform, Libertarian or otherwise, that is going to NOT disproportionately garnish votes from one party and help the other party. Unless you form a party that takes equal votes from both parties, it IS going to help one party and hurt the other…and what platform can accomplish such an equal draw? Are you REALLY going to get JUST as many Democrats as Republicans with a conservative third party of some sort?? I don’t think so. I absolutely could see something in the future happening, some unknown thing, that would change the political landscape and put it on its head. But not in today’s political atmosphere. I don’t see a third party working right now, at all, not toward victory. Unless you think, hey, just sacrifice another 4 years and maybe next time, and then maybe it will take root? I still think the best option is a revitalized Republican party, with a good candidate, and that view comes from looking at a few hundred years of American history and third party tries. PARTIES have changed what they stand for over time in our system, but the major party candidates are the only ones who ever win, historically. Perhaps the “oh no you can’t” attitude I have about third parties will put a charge in some people to try and start a third party? I sure hope not. I hope we fight this fight within the confines of the party that already has lots of conservatives….and just make more of them rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater. That’s my two cents about a third party.

                    • I’d rather risk anothe 4 years and the destruction of the GOP than the destruction of the Constitution and the destruction of the country

                      Bad Amendments like bad law are generally forever, Prohibition being the exception


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