It seems that an idea that has gained traction recently in some conservative circles…to call for a convention of the states for the purposes of amending the Constitution, has just been endorsed by one of the leading contenders for the GOP presidential nomination.
According to a Washington Times story…..
“One of the things I’m going to do on my first day in office: I will announce that I am a supporter, and as president I will put the weight of the presidency behind a constitutional convention of the states so we can pass term limits on members of Congress and the Supreme Court and so we can pass a balanced budget amendment,” Mr. Rubio said in Iowa.
Given that all of the other GOP candidates, including [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ], have already expressed support for the idea, is it possible that Rubio’s climbing aboard the bandwagon might be an attempt to further his conservative “bona fides,” and also to crawl back from his rather inane statement that the reason he supported the Senate “Gang of 8” comprehensive immigration bill was his hope that “House conservatives would….do something better.”
Yup…what he said….
Allahpundit, over at “Hot Air” has a good discussion of the convention issue, including the chances for successfully calling the convention, as well as what might in fact be accomplished by it, given the high threshold needed to ratify any amendments.
He correctly points out that there are potential dangers here for conservatives, such as weakening the First and Second Amendments.
I want to focus on two points that I feel are germane to the issue, but haven’t been really addressed:
1. Most people who favor the idea, say that the parameters for it need to be tightly drawn, to limit the scope of the areas to be addressed.
In exactly what dream world do they live? Once the convention is called to order, it is bound only by what it chooses to do, or not. It can work its will, or not. NOTHING is off the table.
2. While some aspects of the idea of a convention are very appealing, such as the opportunity to mandate term limits for Congress and the Judiciary, as well as the Balanced Budget Amendment, there is one potential issue that scares the dickens out of me.
I believe that any constitutional convention would result in the abolition of the Electoral College. Polls have shown that 75% of Democrats and Independents want the popular vote to decide the presidency. Indeed, 60% of Republicans support making the change. (though that is likely due to how the question is phrased)
This is something that Democrats desperately want to achieve.
They are presently attempting an end-around to the Constitution via something called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. This would require that the electors in the states that are signatory to the compact vote for whoever wins the popular vote nationwide, regardless of who won the vote in that state.
At present, 11 states, plus the District of Columbia, have enacted the compact. They have a total of 165 electoral votes. Legislation is pending in states with another 46 EVs. That’s 211, folks…and it takes states passing the compact, totaling 270 EVs, to put it into effect.
But take a gander at the list of states that have passed this back-door Constitutional bypass:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
That folks, is the bluest of the blue.
So why are they so in favor of this? Especially since Democrats appear to already have a nearly insurmountable “blue wall” in the Electoral College, in that they start out every four years with a near majority of the 270 electoral votes needed already firmly in the bag.
If a constitutional convention is called, I do not think it will be able to avoid dealing with the Electoral College, and once that is up for discussion, it is as good as dead.
And given the rapidly changing demographics in our country, brought about in large part by the Democrats desire to admit, legalize, and register to vote everyone and anyone who can manage to get boots on the ground in the US, that would make it almost impossible for us to elect a conservative in future years.
So, on balance, I have to say NO, and emphatically so, to a constitutional convention of the states. The potential risk outweighs the rewards. I think we can elect a conservative president this time out, and elect an even more conservative Congress, and assuming that we elect Senate and House leadership with “cojones”, we can accomplish much of our agenda, without the attendant danger.