Anyone who has followed my blog probably knows by now that I don’t tolerate liars. So when I see the public getting snookered by lies, it makes me angry. This particular subject, the Article V Convention, being promoted now in our state legislatures, is such a smoke screen of disinformation (read lies) by various groups who are attempting to remake the U.S. Constitution.
I was certain that after my last post here that there would be questions. What lies? Who are the liars? Why would they lie? Before I begin listing some of the answers to those questions, understand this convention attempt has been well organized in recent years and there are many involved. Also understand the length and breadth of the lies and the disinformation campaign is large and I can’t cover all of it in this post. I think the idea of a Constitutional Convention was taken less seriously in past decades and the powers wanting a convention were possibly not as effective for several reasons. Past efforts were also more oriented to the left, socialist side of the political spectrum. Today, the right (conservative + libertarian) powers have grabbed onto the idea using the Convention of States branding, joining in with the left who has been clammoring for this opportunity for so long. Once seeing the angst appear through the tea party groups across the nation, power brokers (i.e. people with money to spend on political issues) saw that angst as an opportunity to manipulate the situation to their benefit. I am sure there are some few altruistic conservatives who have been drawn into the fervor over a convention for all kinds of reasons. In some respects, I feel badly for them, but not so much that my sympathy allows them to destroy our founding document.
Michael Farris (a lawyer) and Mark Meckler (another lawyer) grabbed the Tea Party movement, in my opinion to enrich themselves and gain political power. But they didn’t just one day decide to go after a Constitutional Convention. I’ve explained in an earlier post that there is a billionaire named Leo Linbeck III, the son of Leo Linbeck II who was one of the instigators of the Fair Tax. “Self Governance” is a favorite phrase of Leo III. He hired Mark Meckler to head up a PAC called “Citizens for Self Governance.” Meckler was the Director of Tea Party Patriots prior to this ….or simultaneously, I’m not positive of the timing on that. Meckler stepped down from Tea Party Patriots, I think to take the job for Linbeck’s baby, “Citizens for Self Governance” which became the parent organization for Convention of States. If you ask everyday tea party members, they never heard of the Linbecks, would have no idea who they are. But they know Meckler, whose previous claim to fame before Tea Party Patriots was in the pyramid company called Herbalife. Meckler is a salesman. And he knows where to find rich people for fund raising.
In the same time frame, along came Mark Levin (a lawyer) with his book called “The Liberty Amendments.” Levin pushes emotional buttons with his radio show, screams nasty epithets at people, calls people stupid, and generally purports himself as an arrogant know-it-all. But his book sold and the tea party bought it, some of them hook, line, and sinker. As for money behind Levin, I don’t know all of that detail certainly, but I do know the advertisers on his show include Convention of States. (Coincidentally, Convention of States began to show up as the advertisers on Glenn Beck‘s pages, on Hannity’s pages, and many conservative blogs and news sites. It takes a lot of money to advertise that widely. I don’t happen to believe that money came from the grassroots. And that’s the thing….this Convention of States idea didn’t come from the grassroots. It has been led all along from the top, from big money, from people getting rich on it, from billionaires such as Linbeck who believe they can gain from it.
Enter the Koch brothers. For all the good things they have done, and I’m sure there are some, this isn’t one of them. Their money is hooked up with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC – lots of lawyers) to write applications for the states to use to further the COS push. The Convention of States cooked up an “assembly” (Assembly at Mt. Vernon) in DC to coincide with an ALEC conference. State legislators were invited, but just certain legislators, not all of course. The Koch’s were involved. ALEC was involved.
Along the way, Mark Meckler joined with the left in conference on this. The conference was called “Living Room Conversations.” Van Jones was participating along with many more on the left. Meckler’s purpose was to find common ground with the left in order to further the Convention of States. See Michelle Horstman on that. Michael Farris has been wooing tea party groups with his presentations and explaining “we” could not possibly do this without the left participating to give the whole thing legitimacy. Hmmm…..and out of the other side of his mouth he insists that “this is our chance to rein in the federal government.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t honestly remember much about the left reining in the federal government. Michael Farris insists also that this convention is ONLY to propose amendments. And then out of the other side of his mouth, he talks about restructuring the Supreme Court, changing the appointment process for federal judges, rewriting the Commerce Clause, and more. So, is he just going to propose amendments? Or is he opening up the Constitution for a rewrite? If he is going to rewrite the Commerce Clause, what else is he open to rewriting? If he truly is just about amendments or repealing amendments, there is no reason for a convention. You cannot have it both ways on these things. He’s lying….that’s all you can conclude. He is also saying he believes he is the person to head up the Convention, if and when it happens. Wow….that would most certainly be a head-slamming, boomerang, whiplash of a convention with a Chairman who talks out of both sides of his mouth.
I have a theory that the billionaires are getting tired of bribing elected officials and think, due to the tea party angst, this is the time to change the game to suit their pursuits. Possibly they think the lawyers can fix things for them. Lobbyists and lawyers have been at it a long time. But that’s just an aside…an interjection….a wonderment. Because I too, wonder why all the subterfuge and lies. If a Constitutional Convention is such a great idea, especially now, why are the money players hiding behind the operatives. Yeah, I know. That IS what they do anyway. But I digress.
There are many other conundrums. For instance, the Convention of States pushers keep saying this is such a safe idea that the people have nothing to fear. Given the fact that an Article V Convention hasn’t taken place EVER, I wonder how they think they can make that promise. Of course, they can’t. “Trust the lawyers,” they say. But if you research this at all, you’ll find that many people of good credentials are warning just the opposite. Farris says he is not afraid of the left (of Soros, etc.), but he acknowledges he is including the Soros paid operatives into the process. I don’t know a whole lot of tea party folks who are keen on slugging it out with Soros operatives over the fine points of our Constitution. Farris says (and his people say) that this Convention can be restricted to only amendments? (See above) And they have devised a method of fines and punishments for delegates who might stray from the mission at hand. Really? Who will enforce that? (Lawyers, I would assume, at this point. Can’t wait for those court cases ….more fun than a barrel of monkeys!)
Now look just at 4 of the amendments. The Balanced Budget Amendment does nothing of the kind. The Parental Rights Amendment hands over parental rights to the federal government. The Term Limits Amendment doesn’t fix corruption. The Campaign Finance Amendment causes public financing of all candidates. Others may have better attributes than this, but those are 4 of the most discussed. Reining in the federal government? Doesn’t appear so to me. So even the amendments are lies or at least unconstitutional on their face.
I could go on and on, and have, but if this isn’t enough to give you pause, to make you think or rethink the Article V Convention, then I don’t know how to warn you further than this. Please read the links in my previous posts on this subject. I know that people of good will really want to get this nation on track, but this, friends, is not the answer. O.k, now, you ask, what is the answer? Simple: find seriously ethical and moral people who know the Constitution and want to serve our nation, put them in office and return to the enumerated powers. That’s it. That’s all we need to do. (Sorry, I know that’s a big job.)
This Article V Convention is a contrivance of less than honest brokers. And these few articles I’ve written are just the tip of the iceberg.
See more notes and links below:
Call a Convention devotes its efforts to getting groups on both the Right and Left to work together in order to convince state legislatures to petition Congress to call a convention.
Point one of Call a Convention’s strategy calls for the creation of a “non-partisan collaboration with other Article V and Amendments groups.” Under the “About” menu item on the Call a Convention website, there is an “Article V Advocates” webpage with the headline “The Article V Movement — Right and Left Working Together for Real Reform” (see graphic on this page). Under the headline we are told: “We are organizations and individuals from both the right and the left who recognize that Washington is broken and will not reform itself…. [We] must call a Convention, and move forward on our common ground for the good of the nation.”
Below this explanation is a list of various conservative “Article V Movement” groups, such as Mark Meckler and Michael Farris’ Convention of States (COS), Article V Caucus (of state legislators), American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, and Compact for America. Listed along with these conservative groups are progressive liberal organizations, such as Convention USA, Amend America, ArticleV.org (“the Inter-Occupy Article V Work Group”), Call a Convention, and Wolf-PAC.
Before establishing Citizens for Self-Governance in 2012, Mark Meckler was the co-founder and national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots. In 2011, both Meckler and Lessig attended the Conference on the Constitutional Convention (ConConCon), held at Harvard University September 24-25, 2011. Meckler cohosted the event with Lessig, which, like Call a Convention, intended to bring both the Right and Left together to work toward a new constitutional convention. Also in attendance at the Harvard ConConCon was Nick Dranias of CFA.
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