It started on February 9th, 2009, three weeks after Obama was inaugurated. CNBC reporter Rick Santelli went on a rant, and inspired the creation of the Tea Party. In the 2010 Tea Party election the Republicans picked up six Senate seats, 63 seats in the House (almost a record) and 680 state legislative seats — and that was a record. Republicans now had full control of 25 State Legislatures, up from 14. In 2012 they picked up two more, giving them 27. In 2014 three more, up to 30. In 2016 three more, to 33.
Beginning in the 1970’s, Lew Uhler’s National Tax Limitation Committee had accumulated 32 Article V BBA Resolutions by 1983. At that point House Speaker Tip O’Neill and the AFL-CIO teamed up with the Alt Right John Birch Society and Phyllis Schlafly to start a rescission campaign. Sixteen States rescinded their Resolutions, and it wasn’t until 2010 that the tide began to turn. Florida and Alabama passed Resolutions, bringing the total back up to eighteen. These were the first such Resolutions passed in 27 years. The BBA Task Force teamed up with the NTLC and in 2012 convinced New Hampshire to reverse course, cancel its previous rescission, and once more pass an Article V BBA.. It was quickly followed by Ohio and Michigan, and today the Resolution count stands at 28, with just six to go. With nine target States under Republican control, 2017 should be the year when the magic number of 34 is reached, and the first Article V Convention in American history should take place later this year. It will be nothing less than a peaceful and constitutional political revolution. For the first time since 1787, the States will exercise their sovereignty over the federal government.
None of this had anything to do with Donald Trump, with one exception. It’s fair to say that his campaign in Minnesota gave us the Minnesota Senate, and our ninth target State. So, thank you Donald Trump. But our campaign for Article V and the BBA is opposed by Trump. Shortly before she passed on, Phyllis Schlafly was able to convince Trump to oppose us, and he has, consistently. Which is fine with us, because we’re bigger than Trump. He may have a 50% approval rating, our cause is more like 75% approval. We don’t have his baggage, and we don’t want it.
The international rebellion against the Ruling Class began with Brexit, continues with Trump, and may very well spread all across Europe. The nations of the world want their national sovereignty back. And so do the States of our country. It’s all about taking power away from the Center, and returning it to the States, and the people.
Trump may think he’s leading this parade, but he’s just a part of a much larger political phenomena. That’s not to denigrate his importance, it’s just to put it into perspective. Almost all of the serious Republican Presidential candidates of 2016 promised to rein in the federal government. But Trump spoke with the loudest voice, and won as a result.
I don’t want the Article V movement associated with Trump because I want it to be bipartisan, and there are too many Democrats who will despise Trump no matter what he does. I’d like some of those Democrats to join the Article V movement. We’ll need them to help ratify the Balanced Budget Amendment, for one thing. It takes 38 States, and Republicans will never control that many. We also want them to join us as full and equal partners in the campaign for Article V Term Limits Resolutions. With Democrats on board, we should get 34 States for Term Limits very quickly. The runaway Convention bugaboo will have been discredited, and we should get Term Limits by 2020.
As Trump is showing with his Cabinet picks, he’s turning the ship of state around, and good for him. But permanent change is beyond his power. Anything he does can be overturned by an election. The Article V movement is about institutional change. Just as the 16th and 17th Amendments institutionalized the Progressive political revolution of 100 years ago, the Balanced Budget and Term Limits Amendments will institutionalize the 2016 Revolt Against the Ruling Class.
The 45th President will come and go. The 28th and 29th Amendments to the Constitution will be forever. And there may be more to come.