Roman term limits

They had a lot of them, and when they were ignored it was the beginning of the end.  In 133 B.C. Tiberius Graccchus unconstitutionally overruled a veto by his fellow tribune, and to protect himself from retaliation he violated the Roman Constitution by running for reelection.  His victory meant the law was a dead letter, and the death of the Republic was assured.

After victory over their Persian enemies, the Greeks lost their edge, and began their long decline.  The same with the Romans and their defeat of Carthage.  I used to think our defeat of communism might mean our best days were over, as well.  But radical Islam is enough of a challenge to keep us going, and it will assure our vitality for generations — as long as we keep the Constitution.  The left is contemptuous of the Constitution, and without the exercise of Article V they will torture it to death.

Yes, Article V is the last line of defense.  

Worst case scenario

Maryland could rescind, and another state’s Resolution might not hold up, leaving us with 22.  I strongly believe we’ll get at least Wisconsin, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming, giving us 28 next year.  That means we would get Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, South Dakota and Idaho (no mean feat) and still be one short. 

Maine may be our best bet.  It went Republican in 2010, and I haven’t been able to find a reason it might not do so again this year.  Next best bet is Oregon.  The R candidate for Senate is likely to energize the entire Republican party of Oregon.  The Senate looks very doable, and with the embarrassment of Cover Oregon, the House could fall as well.  I had read somewhere on the internet that Washington went R in 2010, but that was wrong.  24 year Senate veteran Pam Roach called this morning and set me straight.  She got the pledge letter and wanted to talk about it.  I was impressed with her.  She says she’ll run for Congress in two years, and I’ll bet she could win.  She also said the Washington House Republicans are pretty dysfunctional, and are very much a long shot to win a majority.  Minnesota is off the radar, because, like AZ and SC, state senators only run in Presidential years.

So without Maine or Oregon this, conceivably, would not get done until after the 2016 election.    But that would in no way mean that it could not be an issue that defines the 2016 election.  If we’re at 32 or 33 it would be close enough to be a big story.  Close enough that Republican Presidential candidates, and the eventual nominee, would embrace and fund this thing. 

Round 2

If it was up to me the whole Article V push would have been for Congressional term limits, not a balanced budget amendment.  I’ve been working on the BBA because it had a head start — 17 states.  I’ll take Article V where I can find it.  Now Yvette Herrell of New Mexico has put me in contact with a Kansas City lawyer named Aaron Cook, who is trying to start an Article V term limits campaign.  I’ll get involved, but not at the expense of the BBA Task Force.  First things first.  But if we do get to 34, I want Round Two — term limits — to take off immediately, feeding off the success of the BBA movement.  Like the BBA, an Article V term limits movement would have broad, bipartisan support.  If an Article V movement is supported by both Democrats and Republicans, it has a chance.  If not, fuggedaboutit.  That’s a cold fact.  Maybe sometime in the future you could do something like repealing the 16th Amendment, but not for Round Two.  The people, and the politicians, must grow familiar and comfortable with Article V, and bipartisan support is necessary for that.

I’ve got a little ego in volved here.  25 years ago I introduced what I believe is the first Article V Reso dealing with congressional term limits.  So if Lew Uhler is the Father of the BBA, I want to be the Father of term limits.

If that happened I would die a happy man.