There is a lot of talk in certain circles of the possibility of an upcoming Constitutional Convention. The public push for this effort is being led by right-wing talkshow host, Mark Levin, who gets a lot right when it comes to the preservation of liberty and the Constitution. In fact, I have to say he is the second-best host on conservative talk radio, primarily for the grounding of his arguments in a legal and historical understanding of the Constitution.
Where Mark Levin is wrong is that he only believes the Constitution limits government when it comes to leftist issues, or issues he doesn't care about. For example, despite his passionate attacks on political issues like Obamacare or illegal immigration, when the political class decided it was time to redefine marriage, Mr. Levin refused to utter a word on the subject until the Supreme Court rendered its state-sovereignty-destroying opinions on DOMA and Prop 8, and only on that day did he give it a brief 5-minute treatment that was not overly critical.
The next day, he happily took a call from an unrepentant homosexual who called himself a "conservative," and received praise from Levin for having exemplary values. While I credit Levin with calling out phony Republican politicians who are really leftists operating under the conservative brand, his inability or refusal to take a scripturally observant position on moral or religious issues is alarming. Like most "Constitutionalists," he forgets or ignores that the District Clause gives Congress the same power to legislate for the citizens of DC that State legislatures have for their own citizens.
Mark Levin is also wrong about an Article V Convention and its appropriateness to solve the problems with our National government. Levin presents himself as opposed to the Statists, but accepts the big-government ideology that is typical of the right wing. So long as a topic deals with warfare, policing the world, or stripping U.S. Citizens of their privacy and due process rights, he supports such a power being exercised by Washington. He even supports an unprincipled Direct Tax on the citizens of the several States, advocating an Amendment which clearly grants the National government the authority to bypass State governments and act directly upon individuals outside federal jurisdiction. This tax, though limited to a 15% top rate, benefits the wealthy & business owners while continuing to cripple individuals of modest means, and is therefore even more destructive than the 16th Amendment.
But Levin's greatest error is in thinking that either his right-wing supporters or his left-wing opponents are idiots, assuming that with enough brow-beating or trickery, either group will accept a deal that is detrimental to their own interests. All of the Amendments Mark Levin proposes support conservative ideals. I also believe conservative groups working with Mark Levin have amendments on the way as well. We are told that a Convention of the States can be called for limited purposes, and only to consider certain subjects. Can we truly expect today's Progressives to agree to a meeting where only conservative issues are on the table?
According to JBS writer Larry Greenley, "the Article V convention advocates need to fool huge numbers of people into believing that the provision for Article V conventions was included in the Constitution only for making limited changes."
My first instinct, like most I have talked to, is to oppose an Article V Convention because the Progressives have vastly more power than conservatives—not to mention Tea Partiers—in the country right now.
A ThinkProgress article from 2006 by Judd Legum contemplated the religious right trying to use an Article V Convention to stop same-sex marriage. It noted: "states such as Maine, Rhode Island, Oregon and Nevada are probably not ideal places to win such a fight, although not all would be unwinnable," and also that such a convention would give liberals the opportunity to write their own amendments." Progressives have already given this some thought, and if they agree to such a convention, they will do so with their own plans for socialism and bigger government already drawn up. Since it is conservatives who are asking for the convention, Progressives will have the advantage—able to walk away at any time and void the whole effort if conservatives don't give them what they want. I also have to wonder if States that wish to define marriage as between a man and a woman should even be contemplating continuing in a Union with States that do not. Mark Levin doesn't care about that issue, so it is one he is almost certain to concede to the left.
An Article V Convention is largely unlikely to happen. Huffington Post writer John Celock notes that "Forty-nine of the 50 states have filed at least one resolution with Congress calling for a constitutional convention. In order for a convention to be held, at least 34 states must pass a resolution on the same subject." If a groundswell of national sentiment emerges to overcome Congressional interference or opposition to a convention, the opportunity to write "Social Justice" into the Constitution will be irresistible to the left. Progressives do not need such amendments with the way things are now, as the 14th Amendment and the General Welfare are easily misinterpreted to achieve redistributionist goals.
I disagree with Larry Greenley when he writes, "Our problem is not the Constitution. Our problem is a federal government that is operating outside the confines of the Constitution." If the purpose of the Constitution is to restrain government and it fails to do so, then the problem IS the Constitution. There are ways to fix this, but an Article V Convention is merely working within the broken system, when the problem is not one of Amendments, but an understanding how federalism is supposed to work.
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