About twenty years ago Newt Gingrich and the Republican party foisted upon the people something called “the contact with America.” It was a typical hollow pledge to do great things – cut the budget, reduce debt, make life freer and happier, etc. It was a gimmick and for that purpose only it was a success. I think every single provision failed. In fact, we got the exact opposite – less freedom but more of everything else government.
The masses love a good gimmick. They also have short memories. This makes for good political sport. As carnival goers flock to one rigged, losing game after another so do the people cheerfully fall for a never-ending assortment of grandiose election schemes.
All this leads me to Jonathan the Tortoise. At age 183 this remarkable reptile is the world’s oldest living animal. Over the long-span of his blissful, apple eating life Jonathan has outlasted dozens or scores of Presidents, Prime Ministers, Congresses, Kings, Queens and various other con artists and criminals. Maybe by the time the spry, jolly turtle turns 283 the world will have outgrown the foolishness of the state.
All this leads me, back around from Jonathan, to the current governor of Texas, Greg Abbott. Greg has proposed the nuclear option of the political gimmick world – a Constitutional Convention.
Actually he has called for a convention of the states which is really the same thing but substitutes idiots in Congress with idiots in state capitals. It’s in Article Five of the old parchment.
“If we are going to fight for, protect and hand on to the next generation, the freedom that [President] Reagan spoke of … then we have to take the lead to restore the rule of law in America,” Greg said to a gathering of policy hacks in the Lone Star State. He proposed to restore that rule of law by adding yet more laws. (What’s a little more sand on the beach?)
His proposal itself ran on for 70 pages and outlined a host of new Constitutional Amendments (more laws). Tully once reminded us that more laws mean less justice. Truly, it only ever results in more government. Fuel on the fire and such.
I would happily support, even participate in, a convention if its sole purpose was to abolish the United States. Of course, even that would only buy a few generations of liberty. People like government and heaps of it. Anyway, here’s a look at Greg’s potential amendments and what they would and wouldn’t do. (All following proposals taken from Dallasnews.com; my remarks italicized).
Prohibit congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one state. We already have this protection; it just doesn’t work. Congress can only regulate activities affecting interstate commerce which, over the past century, has been defined as anything. Stating something twice does not deter tyranny.
Require Congress to balance its budget. I almost like this one but I imagine there would be no controls on the amount of the budget nor on how the balancing might be achieved. The thieves could always print money or pile on more taxes as necessary and without end. If the current state system must be maintained, then a better limit would be to ban debt, establish a private gold currency, and abolish taxation completely. In other words, and as it once was, Washington would be left to beg the states or the people for funding without guaranteed results.
Prohibit administrative agencies from creating federal law.
Prohibit administrative agencies from preempting state law. These agencies are not allowed under the Constitution in the first place. Better to put an end to them and their Byzantine rules altogether.
Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Congress has the power to override the Court or even preempt it as is. It just doesn’t use the power. The States gave up their claim on Congress via the 17th Amendment. States would be free to ignore Court decisions but that might endanger their federal funding. They gave up their money with the 16th Amendment. Almost like a plan or something.
Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law. See my answer immediately above. Also, every once in a while the Supreme Court needs to rule on important Constitutional issues, democratic or not. Democracy, mob-rule with a fancy name, should be shunned in civilized places.
Restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments by limiting the former to the powers expressly delegated to it in the Constitution. This might mean repealing 16 and 17 Amendments. It might also mean the exact same as the 10th. The Empire is already so limited on paper, by law. Again, there is no magic in redundancy.
Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds. Proper redress under the existing law is carried out in Congress. On paper, that is. In reality, there is no redress. Given the self-imposed legal interference I noted previously, I do not see the value in shifting venue between the branches. Also, as Greg seems to have an aversion to federal courts, this one seems self-defeating.
Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a federal law or regulation. I think I’ve covered this already. Those states have essentially given up their authority for cheap federal fiat money. It’s called getting what you pay for. Any state is free to override or ignore any act of Congress it finds offensive. However, the cost is generally prohibitive, monetarily speaking. A really offended state is free to leave the union. But, then, there was the long, painful lesson of 1861-1865.
Another thing to consider is the woeful quality of the people who might attend and vote in the convention. The men who debated the Constitution of old may just as well done so eons ago on a planet long destroyed in some celestial cataclysm. People today obtain their worldview from babbling, paid for nitwits on television. Their “representatives” are the most loathsome, self-absorbed, and corrupt rodents to emerge from the political sewer since Roman times. Knowing who these people are there is no knowing what evil they might do given the chance.
As I have repeated here, repeatedly, repeating laws and policies does not make them stick. It just gives the vampire class more to feed on. One hundred years hence some other governor would likely call, again, for the same failed limitations already set forth in the failed Constitution. Einstein and insanity or something similar.
It would be refreshing if this turned out to be an honest effort, misguided as it seems. I judge this a gimmick and unlikely to survive November’s slave suggestion box election. But for my reminder who would remember the GOP’s Contract? At any rate, these conventions move at a snail’s pace. It’s more likely than not the next big change in American law will be the implementation of Sharia.
Long live Jonathan!
Jonathan and friend. Dailymail. I would trust this dinosaur with my government more than any current politician.
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