The remote northern edge of the American Rocky Mountains, in northern Idaho and western Montana, is the last stronghold of the John Birch Society. These two States are where passage of any Article V Resolution is the most difficult. Because of the political power of the Birch Society, we lost Montana two years ago, and we lost Idaho today in the State Senate, 11-24.
At this point, the only hope in either State is for legislative leaders such as Idaho Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis and Montana Senate President Scott Sales to come to the Nashville Convention of States in July. Instead of imagining what might happen at an Article V Amendment Convention, they will be able to see, in person, who would be there, and who will lead it.
They will find, to their delight, that the leaders the State Legislatures of this country, those who will control any Convention of States, are cut from the same bolt of cloth that they are. From Florida to Alaska, and from Texas to North Dakota, the people Davis and Sales will meet are as dedicated to the Constitution as anyone in Idaho or Montana. An Article V Convention will not be a leap in the dark. It will be a conclave of patriots.
In the mean time, the Task Force must soldier on, adding as many States to our total as possible. The closer we are to 34, the more relevant the Nashville Convention becomes.
It hasn’t happened yet, and it may never come to pass, but another hope is that some reasonable Democrats will realize that the BBA is not a partisan issue. The whole movement started with two Democrats, from Maryland and Mississippi. Trump’s State of the Union was, among other things, a spending wish list of enormous size. Does it make sense for Democrats, frozen out of power in Washington, to sit back and watch the Republicans balloon the debt? Of course not, but counting on the good sense of the modern Democratic Party is not a good option. The Democrats are in a political hole, and until they stop digging they’re doomed.
There may well be resistance to all this added debt from some Congressional Republicans. At that point, the Trump administration might want to push aggressively for a BBA, to show a light at the end of the spending tunnel. Article V is the only way we’ll ever get a BBA. A call from Vice President Pence to Idaho and Montana might be enough to carry the day. All he needs is a green light from the boss. With Trump, who knows?
Article V works when there is a national consensus. There is such a consensus on forcing Congress to balance its budget. But the fear of Article V may prevent the safeguard represented by Article V from ever being used. Not what the Framers had in mind, but the political leaders we currently have may, in the end, simply be too timid.