Friday, January 08, 2016

THE NEW PHASE IN THE CONVENTION OF STATES PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN IS MAKING THE IDEA SEEM MAINSTREAM

The proposal to hold a "convention of States" to amend the U.S. Constitution is a favorite on the right, but most political observers continue to regard it as a fringe idea. It looks as if powerful forces want to change that.

Today, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced his support for the idea:
Ar­guing that the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has “run amok” and trampled over states’ rights, Texas Gov. Greg Ab­bott on Fri­day un­veiled a plan to over­haul the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion through a con­ven­tion of the states.
Ab­bott, the first-term Re­pub­lic­an, rolled out nine amend­ments that he said would “re­store the rule of law in Amer­ica.”
Here's what he's proposing:



This comes two days after Marco Rubio wrote in USA Today that he also advocates a convention of states.

The idea has been promoted by Koch-affiliated organizations as ALEC and Citizens for Self-Governance. And when you look at the amendments Abbott is pushing, you can see why this would be a pet idea of the Kochs:
... in a speech Fri­day be­fore the Texas Pub­lic Policy Found­a­tion ... Ab­bott spe­cific­ally took is­sue with the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency’s rules lim­it­ing car­bon emis­sions from power plants, which he has long op­posed. Ab­bott said the rule moved by “un­elec­ted bur­eau­crats” would cost the state and con­sumers bil­lions of dol­lars each year in high­er elec­tri­city costs....

Ab­bott said that his con­sti­tu­tion­al plan would let states re­buff the Clean Power Plan (which was based on the EPA’s au­thor­ity from the Clean Air Act) and would open up more room for states to sue....

Ab­bott also pro­posed amend­ments to block Con­gress from reg­u­lat­ing activ­ity oc­cur­ring en­tirely with­in one state (for ex­ample, cer­tain En­dangered Spe­cies Act reg­u­la­tions, he said)....
Someone clearly thinks that it's time to associate this idea with mainstream officeholders rather than talk-radio cranks. Someone clearly thinks it's time for this idea to go mainstream. Will it? Will right-wing billionaires succeed at this? Will more high-profile Republicans join Rubio and Abbott? A few months from now, will Chuck Todd and Ron Fournier be asking whether we should take this idea seriously?

9 comments:

Unknown said...

I think increased talk & pressure towards this is inevitable.

Why? Because I see the GOP taking a near-absolute pasting in this November, losing the WH to the Dem nominee (overwhelmingly likely to be HRC) but some absurd percent exceeding 10, ceding back the Senate to the Dems with at least a workable margin of 2 or more, and cutting down the GOP's control of the House to the point where there'll be effectively 5 groups: the largest single one made up of rational Ds that Pelosi can deal with, a smaller one of more difficult Ds comprised partly of the last dregs of the Blue Dogs and the new entries that'll be full of piss and reform vinegar the fine make-up of which is just too unpredictable, the second largest group being the more-or-less scaredy cat establishment Rs who've been able to fake and pretend being "conservatives" when they're really just lobbyists, the second largest R group being the FreeDumbers, and the smallest R group being a few newbies able to scrape in under the same sort of 'reform' cloud that the newbies D group will be feeding off. What will matter then won't be party ID so much as workable coalitions and no one is better at working with that than the team of Pelosi and Hoyer.

But I don't like it's chances of working, because the same sort of in-fighting we're seeing in the GOP Clown Car Contest isn't just replicated within the GOP Congressional caucuses, it's also a big feature among GOP state pols. They're not unified, they're not smart, they're not quick, and all they've got going for them in terms of 'unity' is Koch-fueled ALEC, rising up against an emerging increasingly non-white voter demo that's not putting up with that. By the time the forces work sufficiently to organize some sort of bullshit constitutional quasi-conference, we'll be headed towards our first hispanic president (a D, likely from California I think but maybe Texas - we'll see this summer which it is).

Unsalted Sinner said...

Just think, if these things had been in place in the 50s and 60s, there would still be segregation in the South. What a lost opportunity! But I guess that can be fixed once Abbott's plan goes through.

Yastreblyansky said...

Every one of these proposed amendments aims at a restoration of the anarchy of 1783-87, with unchecked insurgent militias and unchecked corruption in state government under the Articles of Confederation. These people have always hated the Constitution, since Patrick Henry refused to vote for it.

I think @Unknown is right about the plausibility of a constitutional convention, though, I can't imagine it could be successful. When you say "this summer" are you talking about future vice president Castro?

Ten Bears said...

I'm all for a restoration of the anarchy of 1783-87, but of course I'm heavily armed and have lists, not just of grievances. All Republicans are NAZIs, and all need to be summarily executed.

Gerald Parks said...

Still fighting the Civil War and wanting to eliminate America's entire 20th Century.
States rights ...the right to enslave its non-white citizens ....make surfs and wage slaves of the rest.

Unknown said...

So when I first read those 9 (or IX, I guess) propositions that Governor Abbott proposed (or propositioned, or propped; it's not clear to me what process he's, uh, proposing), I thought, you know, each of these looks, even at first glance, a bit 'off', or slightly 'bent', especially coming from the governor of a state that's as fucked up as Texas is (and has been now for several decades, under a general what I'd called Bushiness in their political mindset), and someone as a public official has already distinguished himself for saying and supporting some awfully anti-democratic, theocratic and decidedly ignorant and stupid things. But I've allowed each of the IX to ferment or mull or whatever inside my brain for a number of hours now, and it's become clear to me that, even tho I don't suggest I'm anywhere near the brightest sparkler on the cupcake, every single one of these lies between a) on balance, unsound, and b) totally fucked.

What's disturbing, of course, is that the guy who signed the paper with these IX props on it is the duly elected, or elected at least, governer of the third - no, actually second - most populous state in the Union, so big that, if it were a stand-alone country, it would be just above North Korea (really) as the 50th most populous country of humans period.

So now I'm well on my way to the conclusion that Greg Abbott, governor of Texas, is, both in fact and as a matter of combined legal standing and belief, an Enemy of the People, of which I am one.

Can someone smarter than me convince me that this conclusion is wrong in fact or in law?

Redhand said...

This really is trying to bring back the Articles of Confederation. It underscores just how insane the Republican Party has become, and how these sick ideologues really are enemies of our form of Government.

As for Governor Abbott, I thought Rick Perry was bad; Abbott makes him almost look good. I think LBJ must be turning over in his grave seeing how much his home State has regressed to neo-confederate mode.

mervis said...

What did Steve ever do to you, Ten Bears, that you've chosen to become a regular in his comment sections?

Ten Bears said...

Has something to do with not being nice, with being "hateful and totalitarian". And turning it back in their faces. It's rude, it's crude, but...