The 7,000 or so state legislators in this country have a power, and a responsibility, that most of them neglect. The Framers of the Constitution selected this body of elected officials as the ultimate defenders of our liberties. The power granted them by Article V is virtually limitless. They could, if they so chose, return this country to the Constitution, or even write a new one.
This neglect is the result of ignorance. State legislators don’t even know they have this power. When they realize its extent, many of them get nervous. They revere the Constitution and the men who wrote it. They know that our current political class, including themselves, cannot bear comparison with the Framers. The magnitude of the power cries out for caution.
Especially because Article V has never been used. What would a Convention look like? How would it function? What rules would it operate under? How would voting be conducted?
In order to address these concerns 100 or so state legislators met in Mt. Vernon almost two years ago, and under the title the Assembly of State Legislatures has met twice since. On Wednesday in Salt Lake they meet again to consider adoption of a set of Proposed Rules for the Convention. 30-35 states may be represented. It is expected that final action on the Proposed Rules will take place at this meeting.
The ASL’s executive committee has a proposal which will be considered first. Unfortunately, it contains provisions which require supermajorities for actions to be taken. This is in violation of the absolute one state, one vote principal which has been the operating assumption of everyone I’m aware of in the Article V movement, from Lew Uhler on down, for the last 35 years.
The leadership of the Idaho and Wyoming legislatures will be in attendance. If this supermajority rule is adopted, it is highly unlikely that we’ll get through either state. It’s that important.
On the other hand, if a set of rules is adopted which is strictly one state, one vote we have a political winner. We can go to our target states, explain all the work which has been done by the Assembly of State Legislatures, and present them with the Proposed Convention Rules. Believe me, this will help. Fruth thinks this will get us to 34, but then he’s prone to bouts of wild enthusiasm. If we get this set of rules, hats off to the ASL for a big, important job well done.
Ever on the prowl for contrary indicators I read a piece from the Guardian by deep thinking Democrat Stanley Greenberg. This guy’s as old as I am, and has been thinking deeply for a long time. He’s a hard core partisan, so I want to hear what he’s got to say. Demographics. That’s it.
People, I’m telling you, that’s all they’ve got.
And then I run across a piece by Matthew Iglesias at Vox which is right on the money. This guy gets it, and he’s a lefty, I believe. The Democrats are just flat out screwed. It’s amazing.
Social issues are supposed to hurt us. That’s questionable on gay marriage, but not on transgendered rights. On that issue, and it’s the hot one right now, we’re on the right side. The motto is real simple “No confused men in women’s bathrooms.”
What’s wrong with these people? The whole thing is crazy. It’s hard to figure out what’s going on in the left right now. They keep getting nuttier and nuttier. What’s causing this? Do they think that this is as far as they’re going to get, that they are at the peak of their power, and they have to use it while they’ve got it? Or is it somehow like the madness of crowds? It’s disturbing.
Politically, though, it only strengthens the tide.