Monday, August 01, 2022


Over the weekend, Insider (aka Business Insider) published a long story designed to persuade readers that a constitutional convention is coming and there's nothing evil big-government libs can do to stop it:
... interviews with a dozen people involved in the constitutional convention movement, along with documents and audio recordings reviewed by Insider, reveal a sprawling, well-funded — at least partly by cryptocurrency — and impassioned campaign taking root across multiple s.

Notably fueling them: success.

... This isn't an exercise, either. State lawmakers are invited to huddle in Denver starting on Sunday to learn more about the inner workings of a possible constitutional convention at Academy of States 3.0, the third installment of a boot camp preparing state lawmakers "in anticipation of an imminent Article V Convention."

Rob Natelson, a constitutional scholar and senior fellow at the Independence Institute who closely studies Article V of the Constitution, predicted to Insider there's a 50% chance that the United States will witness a constitutional convention in the next five years. Whether it happens, he said, is highly dependent on Republicans' success winning state legislatures during the 2022 midterm elections.
Right-wingers can have their convention if 34 state legislatures call for it. So far they have ... 19. Over the years they've failed to get support in blue states, of course, but also in states such as Wyoming, Kansas, Kentucky, and Ohio.

But we're told that they might be close to unstoppable.
What's new now is the ever-evolving power coupling of a corporation-backed ideological juggernaut led by ALEC, a nonprofit organization with close ties to large tobacco and drug companies, and a determined Republican Party increasingly dominating many of the nation's 50 statehouses.

If they were successful, a constitutional convention led by conservatives could trigger sweeping changes to the Constitution.

Their goals include gutting federal environmental standards, nixing nationwide education requirements, and creating an incredibly high threshold for Washington, DC, or a territory to earn statehood. Some would like to make it difficult, if not impossible, for someone — National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, for example — to work for decades within the federal government.
It's true that Republicans have seized control of many state legislatures. But while it takes 34 states to call for a convention, and to pass amendments, it takes 38 states to actually ratify those amendments. Legislatures in most of the Northeast are too blue to vote for right-wing constitutional amendments, as are legislatures in Maryland, Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, California, Washington State, Oregon, and Hawaii.

But the Insider story insists that the right is poised for victory even if nothing happens after the midterms.
... the movement's most devoted supporters, like [former senator Rick] Santorum, say they are in for the long haul — and they argue that changing the Constitution is a goal existential to America's existence that looms larger than a single election cycle.

"Yeah, we'll have a good election. But the movement is inextricable. Why? Because every institution in America is against us," Santorum said, invoking the founders and their vision of federalism. "I say to you, as Republican state legislators, that you actually have the key."

Activists also say that with Congress sharply divided, a convention would send an unmistakable message to Washington that lawmakers need to change their way — or be prepared to get run over.

"The states have sort of lost their voice, and all we can do now is beg from the cheap seats and say, 'Hey, don't do that," said state Rep. Bill Taylor of South Carolina, who led his state's push to pass a call for a convention....

"The idea of states coming together is going to scare the living hell out of Washington," Taylor told Insider. "They are going to be terrified of the states."

... [Arn] Pearson [of the Center for Media and Democracy said] that a convention just passing a polarizing amendment would allow conservatives to play the long game and "dominate the political debate in the country for the next decade" with contentious ratification battles in the states.

"It's a brilliant strategy for controlling a political agenda for quite some time," he said.
No, actually it isn't. If you pass crackpot amendments, blue states will simply vote them down, and once you get to 13 rejections for an amendment, it's dead. This will be a reminder that the GOP is an extremist party.

Telling the readers of Insider that the libs will really be owned if Republicans do well in state legislative elections is a clever way to get out the vote and open donors' wallets. But I just don't see how any of these amendments will pass.

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