Written by Richard Falknor
On Tuesday Phyllis Schlafly declared (click here) that conservative authors (such as Mark Levin and his “Liberty Amendments”) “are fooling themselves when they suggest that Article V creates a path to bypass Congress with a ‘convention of states.’”
“Phyllis Schlafly is a great American and a great leader, but her speculations about the nature of the Constitution’s ‘convention for proposing amendments’ are nearly as quaint as Dante’s speculations about the solar system. Those speculations simply overlook the last two decades of research into the background and subsequent history of the Constitution’s amendment process. They also ignore how that process actually has worked, and how the courts elucidate it.”
But let’s look at the larger, immediately pressing crisis: the thrust of Levin’s argument is that we must engage delegates and state senators in a national effort to restore the Constitution. Levin gives us a place to start and maps out a path forward — using, as author Levin points out, the amendment path incorporated by the framers into the Constitution itself.
This effort will gather thoughtful Democrats and independents to our cause.
It will also throw in sharp relief the constitutional failures of recent Congresses as well as the expanding peril of the Administrative State.
By the time national popular support for constitutional restoration has grown sufficiently for a convention to be called to consider a specific agenda, the Congress will have little choice but to respond. A future Congress itself might even send to the states for possible ratification one or two of the Liberty Amendments – no doubt cherry-picking the most popular and least threatening to that branch’s overreach.
We have already entered a post-constitutional time.
Whatever supposed dangers may attend Levin’s course of action are trivial compared to any more inaction to fix a Congress and a House GOP Leadership that is shamelessly Constitution-indifferent.
To declare that the Boehner-Cantor circle is supine in using the power of the purse to protect our liberties is to view them in the most charitable way.
More realistically, this Congressional cabal is likely guided by major donors (click here) and apparently believes they can have “understandings” with a president whose revolutionary politics they simply cannot grasp.
They believe “governing ” is about making “deals,” and seem to agree with senator John McCain that constitutional “niceties” and principled legislating are the concerns of “wacko birds.”
Virginia conservatives are in a strong position to rein in Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and to discourage Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte — whose panel handles immigration matters — from following the GOP Leadership on their devious path to amnesty.
Yet what Maryland or Virginia GOP elected officials or Party leaders are speaking up on the constitutional and policy abdication of the House GOP Leadership?
And Maryland Representative Andy Harris, this year appointed (click here) by this GOP Leadership to the House Appropriations panel, has just sponsored a Maryland fundraiser for the Speaker (click here).
Moreover this House GOP Leadership simply doesn’t see their job as expanding the circle of liberty.
Only Representative Frank Wolf — in fighting for a select committee on Benghazi — stands up to the Boehner Machine. Yet most Virginia Republican politicians don’t “get” even the national importance of revealing all the facts on what happened nearly a year ago next September 11. If they did, they might loudly talk up Wolf’s select committee proposal.
Making The Liberty Amendments part of the conservative conversation is already energizing our brothers and sisters badly demoralized by the GOP Leadership’s betrayal of the November 2, 2010 Tea Party-enabled victory.
And highlighting, then explicating, each of The Liberty Amendments enables the grass roots to see precisely where the Congress and the Court and the Administrative State have gone awry. Levin’s well-crafted recommended amendments can serve as a unifying and positive program.
That is where our immediate efforts should focus — on explaining each proposed amendment and encouraging state lawmakers to make them part of their public back and forth.
We should not let the runaway-amendments-convention fear freeze us in place.