Babalu links to an intriguing article in the Wall Street Journal which resurrects the idea of a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution.
As the author of the essay points out, Article V of the Constitution provides that "‘on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states,’ Congress ‘shall call a convention for proposing amendments.’ Before becoming law, any amendments produced by such a convention would then need to be ratified by three-quarters of the states.”
Now, let us survey the political terrain: a popular president who is hell-bent on transforming America into the kind of social democracy that has been the ruin of Europe; a Democratic congress that is rotten with corruption and is shamelessly dedicated to looting the productive classes; Supreme Court justices who have demonstrated little or no reluctance in turning the Constitution into legal Play-Doh, squeezing and shaping the law to create doctrines that are nowhere to be found in the original document; a dispirited and rudderless Republican Party, too many of whose members have surrendered to the notion of historical determinism, and who believe that the great principles that made the United States the freest and strongest nation on earth have irretrievably lost their appeal. There is the genuine threat of a sudden, cataclysmic change to our society through the rapid aggrandizement of power by the national government. Under the leadership of Obama, we are looking at the possibility of nationalized (which is to say “rationed”) health care, gun control, the replacement of the idea of American exceptionalism with multicultural balkanization, and permanent checks on the growth of private capital.
The tea party demonstrations of April 15th were the first significant ripple of public dissatisfaction manifested by citizens who know what’s at stake. The present weakness of the Republican Party is good in at least one respect: people who see their liberty and security slipping away are going to have to start rallying around ideas rather than around mere parties and personalities, and the habit of thinking intelligently about our future will sharpen the focus of a national discontent that is still largely unorganized and leaderless. A constitutional convention designed to restore respect for the rights of the states and of individuals, that permanently removes the power of the federal government to monopolize capital and to bankrupt generations yet unborn, could serve as a natural channel for the kind of political energy that gave rise to the tea parties. Such a convention may be beyond our reach for now, but it’s something that may be worth working for as the ultimate check to the power-lust of a national government that gives every sign of having slipped the leash of citizen control.