We’ll be ‘competing” with the CS people in a number of target states, including Wyoming and Montana. The policy of the Task Force is “all of the above” — we don’t discourage legislators from voting for the CS plan. And, logically, there’s no reason a CS advocate to withhold support for the BBA. We’re 21 states ahead of them, and if we win we’ll be setting a precedent they can use to their benefit. So in theory there should be no conflict.
I’m thinking we should be magnanimous and praise the CSers. Their plan is much more comprehensive than ours. We want an Amendment Convention to propose a balanced budget amendment, and then adjourn. They’re much more ambitious. Any amendment which reduced the power and scope of the federal government would be allowed. Want to get rid of abortion in this country? Propose an amendment stripping the federal courts of jurisdiction over abortion. Don’t like the IRS? Pass an amendment to repeal the 16th Amendment. If you’re in the mood, abolish the EPA. Oppose nation building overseas? Pass an amendment to make it unconstitutional. And when would a CS convention adjourn? Why would it adjourn at all? It can be a permanent fourth branch of the federal government.
There’s a radical streak in me that this all appeals to. But I’m 69, and I’ve learned over the course of my life that radical change freaks people out. They’re afraid of the unknown, and doubt their capacity to control it.
So I say we praise the CS proposal to the skies, stressing that its possibilities are limited only by the imagination. God only knows what could come of it. But also point out that there will be a great more opposition to a CS, and that, practically speaking, an orderly BBA Convention is a necessary precondition of their own success.
Why can’t we all just get along?