I don’t think I’ve ever heard Trump talk positively of federalism, and I doubt the subject interests him. Because of his dyslexia he has probably never educated himself on the subject. I believe his knowledge of American history, and the Constitution, is superficial. He’s a man of action, not thought. He wants immediate gratification, and has a will to power. His voters were disgusted with Washington, and he shares that view. But he wants to harness the great power of the federal government to accomplish his goal, of “making America great again.” He’s shown little interest in taking power away from Washington and returning it to the States, and the people.
That may explain his opposition to Article V. When he received Phyllis Schlafly’s endorsement, and repudiated Article V, I thought it was just political opportunism. But his appointment of Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana as Interior Secretary has changed my mind. Typically, a westerner is given this job. But why Zinke? He’s served one undistinguished term in the House. He’s a bad ass former Navy Seal, and thus appeals to Trump, but has no other distinguishing characteristic, except one. He’s adamantly opposed to the Transfer of Public Lands from the federal government to the States. This separates him from most of his western Republican colleagues, and, I believe, accounts for his nomination.
A lot of outdoorsmen, like Trump’s sons, don’t want TPL, and I’ll bet they influenced him on this subject. He campaigned against TPL in Nevada, and it cost him support in the northern part of that State. It also caused him to lose the Alaska primary, and was partly responsible for his losses in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, all of which went to Cruz, who campaigned in favor of TPL. Trump has shown a lot of flexibility on his campaign promises, but he’s standing by his opposition to TPL and to Article V. He just doesn’t believe in federalism.
This may not be a bad thing. I’ve volunteered to try to get the Legislatures of Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada to send delegates to the Nashville Convention of States. Washington has a coalition Senate, but the rest of these bodies are controlled by Democrats. If Trump was out in front on this, and cheering us on, it might hurt my chances. The fact that he opposes Article V may help me sell these guys on sending people to Nashville.
And, when you think about it, this President, or any President, has nothing to do with Article V. It’s purely a State function and power. The only role for Congress is ministerial, not discretionary. The States don’t need anybody from the federal government to get this done. It’s best if they do it all on their own, a bottoms up political movement. And bottoms up to that.
I believe I made a mistake a few days ago, and said Montana Gov. Bullock would be appointing a temporary replacement for Zinke in the House. That’s what the Montana Statutes call for. But whoever drafted that particular Montana Statute was unaware of Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, which clearly bars it. So this seat will remain vacant until a special election in 90-120 days or so. I believe the Party Central Committees are selecting the Republican and Democratic candidates. Our man in Montana, Rep. Matthew Monforton would be a great selection. He’d be an outstanding Congressman, and strong conservative voice. So I doubt he’ll get the nomination. The State Central Committees of political parties are filled with time servers and hacks, and are often poorly led. They’ll probably choose some mushy Republican. Unless, of course Greg Gianforte would do it. He’d only serve two years, and then run against, and beat, Tester for the Senate. That would be ideal, but maybe Gianforte doesn’t want to be a Senator. A lot of sane people don’t.
I get the impression that Tester is a real weasel. He knows he’s in trouble in 2018. I don’t expect him to toe the party line in the Senate for the next two years. It will be a real test of his weasel skills.
It’s a lot of fun watching the D’s go on and on about the Russian hacking, and trying to mess with the Electoral College. Watching your enemies make fools of themselves is one of life’s great pleasures..