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The Constitution provides an institution for deliberation, a place for reasoned and thoughtful debate to occur, for rationality to triumph. With the arrival of the mass media and the Internet, however, something unexpected has occurred: instead of reasoned exchanges, our population has segregated itself into like minded and self-confirming cliques of opinion that have bred extremism and irrationality rather than rationality.

Don't you think it's time We The People had a national discussion? Not afraid of all fifty states holding elections for delegates are you? The Article V Convention is a three-part national discussion.

1) Electing delegates.
2) The actual deliberative assembly.
3) We The People lobbying our states to ratifiy cherished amendments.

Don't you think this would serve the nation well? We've been led to believe the convention clause of Article V entails a re-write of the Constitution. This is untrue, it's a deliberative assembly which, via Robert's Rules of Order, finds common ground, it breaks through compartmentalized media cliques. Ideas are then put on the table and the nation discusses what ought to be ratified. This constitutional process will re-educate the entire nation about governmental processes while reactivating the Constitution itself, restoring the founding principles.

It's Politics as Usual which is killing us, allowing the corporate media narrative to provide cover for corruption. The Article V Convention stops that dead in its tracks. Consensus fails to happen today because members of Congress are actors worrying about the latest polls and shaking hands for funds. Delegates to the Article V Convention won't have that baggage. They're there to propose and hammer out constitutional language, and return to civilian life.People invision a "constitutional convention" as people screaming and yelling and throwing chairs--the Article V Convention will be exactly what it's meant to be, and truth be told, it is the supreme principle of all the principles--that of providing a way for the people to deliberate over late events.

Let's trust the Constitution and the People. The alternative is to continue to watch Congress and corporate interests destroy America. Institutionalized corruption cannot continue on forever without an inevitable conclusion.

Think about how the convention process throws governance out into the sunlight; there are distinct differences between a candidate for a seat as delegate, and your favorite flunky in the U.S. Congress. For those of you who fear and/or indignantly revile corporate power: Corporate Power Can't Control A Convention, in fact, corporate power has done all that’s possible within its power to prevent one (going on four decades now).

For those who want a new amendment, such as stripping corporations of civil rights, the only place you'll be able to voice the idea, and where you should properly be proposing such, is at convention. The Framers considered this common sense. The reason we are so badly in need of amendment(s) is because the current Congress will never dispose of certain matters--thus, the convention clause. Once proposed, we then lobby our state for most cherished amendment(s) to be ratified (mine is one that creates a federal standard for voting and voter registration).

Look at the differences in what a delegate discusses, and what a member of Congress discusses. The delegate discusses the Constitution, the flunky discusses their new bill set afloat in a cesspool of institutionalized corruption. Congressional debate these days is orchestrated nonsense. The Article V Convention will be the exact opposite. It will be a grand assessment of where we came from, where we are today as a nation, and what non-partisan ideas might prevail. It will be community leaders discussing amendment language--term limits for members of Congress, for instance--and then voting it up or down in a unicameral assembly. There are thousands and thousands of Americans alive and well across the land, interested in making a real difference, who will leap at the chance to be delegate to America's first Article V Convention.

What's our alternative? Watch what we've been watching since the Reagan Revolution of deregulation? Media without a Fairness Doctrine? It took all the Clinton years, and all the Bush years, and now the Obama years to take the sharp edge off the nation's sword. Exactly how long do you think institutionalized corruption can go on before there's no fixing what's wrong? Do right-wing fascists and corporatists and WTO wonks want 200+ million people re-educated about civics and government over a two or three year period?

The only reason an American today would advocate against a convention is that they somehow believe the way things are is the way they'll always be, even though all existence and our experience of governance shows it to be dynamic. A handful of documentaries from the last five years shows what institutionalized corruption has wrought, they all point to the convention clause of Article V.

Originally posted to John De Herrera on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 09:20 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Art V. is moot, long live Art. V ! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, vcmvo2, Rhysling

      Hi John...

      Yes, Article V is a venue.  The problem is that from a historical perspective, nationally "we the people" have ignored its potential, and settled on the insistance that interpretational changes in the constitution occur in the venue of politics.  Unfortunately the political arena has become our "convention" under article V.  Hence we actually have 3 "constitutions", 4 if you count the Articles of Confederation, and 5 if you count the early "continental" congresses.  

      I'm not disagreeing with you, because actually I think you have a point.  I'm just saying that history is not on our side...  (As pointed out by the scholars like Randall, Ackerman, etc.)

      •  Other scholars are on our side: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Earth Ling, cameoanne

        Professors Sandford Levinson and Rob Natelson for instance.

        I have to say I disagree with you:

        1) We The People have not ignored the potential of the Article V Convention--we've been deliberately misinformed about it by coporate power for four decades.

        2) We don't have 4 or 5 high laws. We have the Constitution of the United States. It contains a convention clause. Much work has been done in articulating it over the past several years. It's utility is clear. It's power to alter the status quo is indisputable.

        The only question is: are people going to hide behind intellectual nonsense as an excuse to not openly advocate for it?

        •  Before convention, must reform delegate selection (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rhysling, cameoanne

          method.   There is in fact a method specified by law (I can't remember whether it's at the state or federal level), but it's over a hundred years obsolete and isn't even representative (suffers from underpopulated areas getting as many representatives as heavily populated areas).

          John de Herrerra, you would know this.  You would know where the laws for delegate selection are.  What would we have to do to change those laws to make sure that any delegates were honestly selected, by paper ballot, in a fashion representative of the people?  Ideally, some form of proportional representation.

          It makes no sense to call for a Convention blindly.  Just as the first Constitutional Convention was distorted by those sent as representatives to it (who were not terribly representative), just as the US Senate is distorted by massive malapportionment, just as the US House is distorted by gerrymandering, what must we do to ensure that the delegates to a Convention are actually representative?

          Let's fight that fight first.  Because it's crucial.  I can imagine crooks running a convention under rules where each county got one representative, or something equally dangerous and designed to disenfranchise the vast majority of the US population (the urban population).

          Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

          by neroden on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:01:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Ackerman is always a strong proponent (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        David Kroning II, trashablanca

        of the Ackerman view of constitutional "amendment."

        Smart guy, but sometimes he moves from scholarship to pure sales.

        Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

        by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:16:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  OK, John, since you're here in the big time (13+ / 0-)

      and many will be unfamiliar with your song and dance, I issue you two challenges:

      (1) Please present what you understand to be the arguments commonly made against your thesis and why people believe in them.  I can do this with reference to you.  Can you do it with reference to your critics?

      (2) Please identify the auxiliary assumptions you need to make in the second step between

      1. "Hold an Article V convention"

      and

      3. "Political paradise (or whatever) achieved."

      I'm not asking about the procedural steps, I'm asking about your assumptions about how things will operate.  You know, like "if we do A, B will happen because C and despite D."  Good luck.

      Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

      by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:21:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  wouldn't such a convention, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane, trashablanca

        be held under current, prevailing campaign finance laws?  I am not so confident we wouldn't get a worse outcome.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:35:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There would be no law at all governing (6+ / 0-)

          contributions to those campaigning to be delegates to such a convention, assuming that they weren't hand-selected (by people influenced by these very corrupt interest John thinks he's fighting), so far as I can tell.  Maybe John can identify any relevant law.  If not, "stacking the deck" barely begins to describe what will happen.

          Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

          by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:46:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Even if so (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Earth Ling, cameoanne

          what would it matter? Delegate and member of Congress are two distinctly different positions, with two distinctly different tasks, terms and conditions.

          •  But what makes you think that... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trashablanca, James Allen, Deep Texan

            ...it wouldn't be the same corporate-sponsored political ideological hacks who get elected or appointed as delegates? It seems like the best-case scenario would be something like the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission, with no actual consensus but some minority plans that end up as political footballs.

            •  What do politicians talk about? (0+ / 0-)

              In other words, what do members of Congress talk about? Their shitty bill in a cesspool of institutionalized corruption.

              What would delegates talk about? About language for amendment to the Constitution. Language on how to stop members of Congress from being shitty politicians.

              Get it? One group talks poltitics as usual, the other group doesn't.

              •  Why would the delegates talk about that? (0+ / 0-)

                Why on earth would delegates talk about "how to stop members of Congress form being shitty politicians"? The delegates will be the same kind of corporate/partisan hacks that serve in Congress.

      •  Part I: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Earth Ling, cameoanne

        Anti-Conventionist arguments commonly made:

        1) A convention will re-write the Constitution
        2) A convention will be overtaken and controlled by corporate forces which currently have us enslaved
        3) We don't have people smart enough today to deliberate about what amendments to propose
        4) We're too uneducated as a nation to hold a convention

        All of these arguments are invalid. Not because I say so, but because the facts do.

        Part II :

        1) Convoke the Article V Convention
        2) The nation engages in a three-part national discussion which opens up political discourse from outside the current corporate charade; the nation is re-educated in one fell swoop.
        3) Political paradise--an informed public.

        •  That's interesting (10+ / 0-)

          Unless you simply see this as inviting a debating society (which I think you've denied previously when I pointed out that if so it would almost surely be ineffectual and not have the desired effect), I don't see anyone arguing that I-1 isn't true (or at least that it may, or may lead to it.)

          I-3 and I-4 are basically the same point -- addressing intelligence versus education -- and it's one that I don't think any critics actually make.  We have plenty of smart and good people -- who are continually outmaneuvered and outvoted.

          So you really only recognize I-2 -- except that by saying that corporations "enslave" us you imply that things get any worse.  But they could get worse -- and you've offered a way that they could get much worse.

          II-2 is the rub.  If all it leads to is "an informed public," rather than to amendments then it doesn't really require a formal process.  (If it requires a formal process, that process can be hijacked.)  Your unstated assumption -- which I really hoped you'd notice -- is that it would "open up political discourse from outside the current corporate charade" in a way not already possible.  (We're having such discourse here on this website!)  This is the part where you are counting on magic.

          I won't convince you, because it takes more than argument to undo an idée fixe, but I hope that Community Spotlight will take note.

          Gotta go to work, John; so long.

          Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

          by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 12:10:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  lol (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Earth Ling

            You've failed to explain how things can get much worse. And you've failed to explain how the process can be hijacked. Simply because you say so? Good work Mr. Lawyer.

            •  You fail. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              grog, happy camper

              You wrote a thoughtful diary then showed your pettiness and lack of intellectual honesty in the comments.

              All of us here are dumber for having read this.

              I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

              The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

              by Rick Aucoin on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:46:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rick Aucoin, Seneca Doane

                the diary John always writes. And usually how the comments go.

                "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                by happy camper on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 02:14:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry--wrong: (0+ / 0-)

                Where is the intellectual dishonesty? And what you percieve as pettiness is actually late comment in a discourse spanning years. So no, it's not pettiness, it's battling ignorance in the face of intellectual dishonesty and pettiness of others. You're ignorant of the context, and fail because you don't know what you're talking about. You would have been less fail if you would've simply asked why you perceive such.

                •  Sorry, wrong. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Seneca Doane, Whimsical

                  See... I didn't write a diary to convince anyone of something.  You did.

                  Your goal was to reach someone, like myself, and get them to consider your proposal.

                  Your petty snarky comments (be they part of a long running discussion or not) in response to NON-petty comments by others means... you have failed in your endevour.

                  By your own hand.

                  So, you can either ignore commenters like Seneca (which you sort of do already, looking at your failure to address the points he/she brings up) or you can respond to their points with some rigor.

                  Or... you can engage in ad hominem and straw-man arguments and... fail.

                  The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                  by Rick Aucoin on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 03:07:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's all in the archives going back years (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Rick Aucoin, Hedwig, Whimsical, zbbrox

                    if you're interested.  I used to wonder if John might be a plant who was here to distract people (and, if ever successful, create an unparalleled opportunity for corporations to rewrite the badic rules if society, undet tge bullshit banner of "job creation.") Then he got himself arrested over it, so I believe that he's sincere, but once you get down to the brass tacks and see that the plan requires several metric tons of pixie dust to work then you become part of the conspiracy.  (To which I welcome you, by the way.  We meet the third Monday of every month, 12:01 a.m., in an abandoned graveyard.)

                    Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

                    by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 04:14:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You're a lawyer, (0+ / 0-)

                      and a poor one when it comes to the rule of law. What a life.

                      Aren't you going to remember the debate years ago where you spent hours composing a rebuttal which in essence said: show me law backing the assertion the applications on record are valid.

                      And then I replied saying, no, sho law backing the assertion they're somehow void or expired.

                      And you couldn't and can't.

                      Don't look in the mirror thinking you're just and honest.

                      •  Here's a lawyer question for you: (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Whimsical

                        You have a bunch of resolutions on various topics, stretching back (if I recall correctly) a century or more, representing calls for a convention.  And as I remember the discussion, I said something like "they would all have to address the same substantive topic or at least make clear that they wanted a fully open convention" -- and I think you disagreed.

                        Now: is the burden on me to prove that they aren't valid or on you to prove that they are?

                        Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

                        by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 07:15:36 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The only law (0+ / 0-)

                          which addresses the Article V Convention applications on record is the Constitution itself. You will find no terms or conditions, same-subject, contemporeneous, or otherwise in Article V.

                          Case closed officer of the court.

                        •  And yes-- (0+ / 0-)

                          I understand your just a lawyer, and not an officer of the court. I meant "case closed" to any officers of the court who may be reading.

                          •  Lawyers *are* "officers of the court," John (0+ / 0-)

                            You apparently think that the meaning of the Constitution unpacks itself.  You would benefit from some reading on constitutional interpretation.  Then you might have an inkling of what is and is not implied by the litany you present in your previous comment.  Where the law is silent, we turn to what are called "gap-fillers," and "it means whatever John de Herrera thinks it means" is not one of the highly respected ones.

                            By the way -- at the Constitutional Convention, they took notes on debates; we also know what the understandings of people were from later debates in the states.  The notion that passing one call for a constitutional convention on topic A in 1810 could be combined with one asking for a convention on topic B in 1910 and a third asking for a convention on topic C in 2010 does not -- whatever your intuition may tell you -- mean that they can be composited into a call for a convention that need not address topic A, B, or C -- but that may instead address topics D through Z.  You seem to think that it does -- but you are doing something that we in the trade call "making it up."

                            Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

                            by Seneca Doane on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 01:29:20 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry, lawyer, (0+ / 0-)

                            wrong. Watch.

                        •  Rule of law, SD (0+ / 0-)

                          Get with it, or get lost somewhere you actually don't want to be lost as a human being.

                  •  I didn't make any comments to you (0+ / 0-)

                    or anyone else I'm not familiar with. So you assumed I was making commets to people who just showed up out of nowhere, no back history.

                    The information and reason in the diary, and the rebukes in the comments are obvious. But you can go on being a simpleton all you want, you can go on deficient in judgment, good sense, and intelligence. And then we we finally coerce the call out of the Congress we can then be bored to tears by people like you who just couldn't figure it out when it mattered most.

          •  Well, my argument ? Abolish the Senate. (4+ / 0-)

            I think a Convention is the only way to pass an amendment to abolish the powers of the goddamned US Senate, because I can't imagine the Senate passing such an amendment.

            Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

            by neroden on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:06:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Abolish the Senate? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Seneca Doane

              Now there's a proposal with considerable merit. I believe the Swedes did this very thing, and seem none the worse for it.

              "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

              by happy camper on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 02:16:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I actually took steps to try to set up (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                happy camper

                a non-profit group to promote this idea back in the mid-90s.  I had a conversation about it with a more politically wise friend (people might know him so I won't mention it -- but if you read this, buddy, howdy!), which went something like this:

                Him: So, this group.  What exactly would you be doing?
                Me:  We'd try to convince people to abolish the Senate.
                Him: And you'd raise money from people for this?
                Me: Yeah, sure, I guess so.
                Him: And you'd be the Executive Director?
                Me: I think so, sure.
                Him: And do you think you'd, ahhmm, get anywhere towards this?
                Me: Probably not.  It would be very tough.
                Him: And would you tell that to the people you're trying to raise money from so you can pay yourself a salary as Executive Director?
                Me: Ummmm, I haven't really thought about it.
                Him: And you don't know what you'd actually do to accomplish this?
                Me: No, not really.
                Him: Well, whatever state you live in, you'd better become good friends with the Attorney General, because I think that anyone who doesn't like you could probably find a way to put you in prison.
                Me:  Oh.

                This was before the invention of IOKIYAR, or I'm sure that would have been part of his answer.

                Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

                by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 04:00:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Oy! It's April Fool's day on dkos (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Got a Grip

            and in rescue as well!

            Noted and proper steps have been taken.

            In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

            by vcmvo2 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 02:28:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I resent your statement (11+ / 0-)

    that the only reason to be against a convention is that I am for the way things are.

    I think you are shortsighted and hoplessly naive in your belief that corporate money will not persuade a majority of a highly gullible American public to create and ratify entirely unacceptable amendments.

    I am NOT for the way things are, but trusting the gullible and ignorant (who, for the most part, allowed the creation of the mess we are currently in) to mess things up further under the guise of "saving us" is certainly NOT the answer.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 10:26:42 AM PDT

    •  You might want to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Earth Ling

      stop making knee-jerk assessments in order to back your position, in order to feel better about yourself and your failure as an American citizen. And I wouldn't say that to just anyone, but to you because we've debated this for--what? Years, now?

      The Constitution, and all that we the living know about human nature and the human condition say you're wrong.

      It's you who is short-sighted coupled with an inability to think critically.

      It's convention or bust.

      •  Someone was asking me a while ago about (9+ / 0-)

        what I meant by a "conclusory argument."  Behold.  All conclusion.  Well, some of it is just insult disguised as argument, but that's a different problem.

        Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

        by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:23:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wow. Just wow. (0+ / 0-)

        1) The Constitution says NOTHING about what to do if a significant portion of the populace becomes not just ignorant, but willfully, proudly ignorant. It's one of the Founding Father's greatest failings.

        2) As for your malarkey about "all we the living know" unless the commenters  in this thread are zombies, it looks like the majority of "we the living" know enough about human nature to know that a convention right now is a TERRIBLE idea.

        So lets recap

        1) The Constitution is silent on the issue.

        2) As usual, a majority of "we the living" agrees with my position. I thought you would've learned after I clobbered you in your poll.

        You have offered nothing in the way of facts, in large part because you have no facts to offer, just an admirable if naive and misplaced faith in your fellow man.

        2- 3 generations from now is the earliest a convention might be a good idea.  By pushing for one now, instead of doing the work necessary to start the re-education process that might prepare future generations for a convention you are wasting your time and energy and hurting your cause.

        "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

        by Whimsical on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 07:30:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You might want to read the diary (0+ / 0-)
          1) The Constitution says NOTHING about what to do if a significant portion of the populace becomes not just ignorant, but willfully, proudly ignorant. It's one of the Founding Father's greatest failings.

          The Article V Convention is a process which re-educates the nation.

          In my opinion you're lack of reason and imagination is cause to say Wow, just wow.

          •  Except of course it cannot do that. (0+ / 0-)

            Seriously, what are you going to do- send armed guards around to everyone to force them to pay attention?

            Sit everyone down and correct each and every one of their wildly incorrect opinions- by force, if necessary?

            And what are you going to do with the tea party folks and others who refuse to recognize the actual facts- and their billionaire backers who have unlimited funds to pour into phony attack ads designed to convince the mis-informed un-informed and just plain stupid that up is down, black is white, oh and an amendment abolishing the income tax is a great idea that wont cause any trouble at all?

            Once the population voluntarily re-educates itself/reaches an educated level via attrition, then a convention will be viable, not before.

            But you've made it clear you refuse to take your blinders off on this subject and look at the American people with your brain instead of your heart.

            "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

            by Whimsical on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 07:42:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Look (0+ / 0-)
              Seriously, what are you going to do- send armed guards around to everyone to force them to pay attention?

              I trust the America's first Article V Convention will command sufficient attention all by itself, no guns/guards needed.

              •  And the reason you believe that (0+ / 0-)

                is because you insist on viewing the American public with your heart instead of with your brain.

                "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                by Whimsical on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 10:00:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No: (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm not viewing the American public with my heart, but humanity. If we as a people are champion of freedom on Earth, that's where my heart is. My heart's where the truth is. There's no denying Anti-Conventionists have nothing. Not with what's happened over the past twenty years. Nothing.

                  •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    zbbrox

                    You've just proved my point.

                    This particular anti-conventionist has plenty and the fact that you refuse to acknowledge that does not change it.

                    Hearts see what they want to see, always. It's only the brain that sees where the truth is.

                    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                    by Whimsical on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 07:33:23 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  I don't want a constitutional convention (5+ / 0-)

      ...run by the people currently running Wisconsin, Indiana, Texas, etc.

      That is EXACTLY what would happen.  You know how dumb the average Fox News viewer is?  More than half of them are dumber than THAT.

      We don't have any Jeffersons around anymore.

      America, we can do better than this...

      by Randomfactor on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:07:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, Community Spotlight ... (13+ / 0-)

    Really?

    Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

    by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:05:34 AM PDT

  •  I do not trust the masses... (5+ / 0-)

    to look after my best interests, the nation's bests interests or to simply be able to put cohesive thoughts on paper. The larger the group that gets involved in the discussion, the faster the intellectual "whole" drops. You wind up with the loudest and pushiest untimately bullying things through. The vast majority of well-reasoned people in this country will simply go about their lives while the process takes place, having neither the time nor inclination to join in. You'll have the extremes from both sides fighting over the unrepresented middle.

    The Constitution is the least of our worries.

    •  You trust corporate politicians (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, Earth Ling

      over delegates who have no care for polls and/or future campaign funds?

      I encourage you to re-read the diary and think about it beyond what you have.

      •  Look at the 2010 elections (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, Whimsical

        ... when the riled up vote en masse and the majority stays at home. Personally, I'm not ready to see the Constitution written with an iron clad ban on abortions or gay marriage. I'm not ready for one that is loaded with corporate-favoring wordings, or one that bans collective bargaining on a national level. No, the Constitution has has a coupel hundred years of starting humble and growing slowly with the nation. To do a rewrite now, during these times of divisiveness, you'll wind up with a horrible mess. You'll see morons like that governor in Texas deciding this is a good time to declare Texas it's own nation, or as least wording that makes it easy for that to happen if the loudest group of asshats decides they don't like how things are at the moment.

        Bad ideas are bad, but fortunately this will never come to pass.

        •  Please re-read the diary: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Earth Ling

          there's no way 38 states today are going to agree to re-writing the Constitution. They may however agree to a 28th Amendment. Say, something like term limits for members of Congress?

          And wouldn't openly discussing such a thing be a good in and of itself?

          •  LOL! (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zbbrox, jethrock, Seneca Doane, Whimsical

            Term limits? Really? In MI we have had term limits for almost twenty years, and they are the worst possible idea, and cause far more problems than they solve.

            Don't like your congresscritter? Vote his ass out. Term limits rob the institution of a memory, they devolve power on to professional staffers and longtime lobbyists, they make leaders out of morons with little experience... the list of drawbacks is long.

            "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

            by happy camper on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 02:26:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Is your state legislature (0+ / 0-)

              the federal legislature? Is it all the same game?

              Term limits rob the institution of corruption its memory.

              Nice parroting of bogus memes.

              •  Bogus memes? (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jethrock, Seneca Doane, Whimsical, zbbrox

                I have lived through this. I have watched it happen. This is not a theory I read about somewhere.

                Our legislature gets nothing accomplished, because they're all rookies who have no clue how to work together to govern the state. Special interests have more power than ever, because all these elected officials must prepare for life as a former officeholder find a new job sooner rather than later.

                You attack anyone who disagrees, and blow off someone who has direct experience with what they speak of.

                Why do you bother to post if you don't want discussion?

                "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                by happy camper on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 03:58:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  They get nothing accomplished (0+ / 0-)

                  because they're all rookies? Rookies at what? Common sense? It is a bogus meme to think legislating takes years of experience: there's a problem, and a best way to remedy. The reason you think term limits are bad is because you've been led to believe it's an excuse for getting nothing done. I don't mind conversation when it's intelligent. Why don't you read the diary closely and come back? Pay particular attention to the next to last paragraph: if not a convention now, when? And if not, what's our alternative?

                  •  OK. (0+ / 0-)

                    I'll believe you, rather than what I have seen happen in my state for the last 20 years.

                    I don't mind conversation when it's intelligent.
                    I read your diary. It's the same one you always post. And as usual, anyone who doesn't agree with you is a fool.
                    It is a bogus meme to think legislating takes years of experience: there's a problem, and a best way to remedy.
                    That has to be the most naive statement ever on a political blog. If everyone agreed on the "best way to remedy" we wouldn't need more than one political party, would we?

                    I won't waste any more time here.

                    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                    by happy camper on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 05:08:42 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Thomas Jefferson (6+ / 0-)

    thought that the Constitution should be reviewed at least once every generation. Such a review process would be a golden opportunity to update the framework for our government in light of new developments in the ongoing Enlightenment Project.

    Since the last time the Constitution was reviewed, people of color and women have become full citizens.

    We might also want to reconsider the special interest rights granted to those strange persons called corporations within the interpretation of the current form of our Constitution.

    However, despite the outcry of many liberals, I personally  think that we should leave the Second Amendment alone, perhaps even strengthen it. Although I am of a relatively pacific nature, I recognize Jefferson's assertion that an armed citizenry is the last defense that we have against a despotic government. We have needed to exercise the firepower of an armed citizenry only rarely in America, but it has been essential to the success of revolutions elsewhere. The lack of it has been instrumental to their failure. As the oligarchy takes further control of and subverts our republic, we may need to exercise that right of free citizens at some future time.

    These are just some ideas that come immediately to mind.

    We cannot win a war crime - Dancewater, July 27, 2008

    by unclejohn on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:27:27 AM PDT

  •  Somebody go get Armando (5+ / 0-)

    I'd pay to see what came next.

    Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

    by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:28:08 AM PDT

    •  I oppose a Constitutional Convention (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper, vcmvo2, Seneca Doane

      at this time.

      I would have favored one in 1936 though.

      I do not knpow if that is what you are referring to.

      •  No, but that's an interesting notion (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2

        I presume that you mean in regards to the problem of the Supreme Court blocking the New Deal, which FDR threatened to solve by court-packing.  It's an interesting cointerpoint in that it highlights the conditions under which might even consider it.  Then, you had a discrete and specific problem to solve (as opposed to an amorphous and general one like "corruption"), Capital was on the ropes and the liberal President was at the height of his popularity and influence.  I think that this is something tou only ever consider if the fish is that securely in the barrel.

        I have to wonder, though: wuth Southern Democrats holding the balance of power between Northern Dems and conservatives, I'd have expected them to hold our fir something like enshrining the holding of Plessy into the Cobstitution.  You need no more frightening counterfactual about the potential mischief of conventions.

        Was JDH after your time?  He's a lot like RealityBias was, but with a different hobbyhorse.  You may enjoy checking out some of the archives sometime.  (Or you may not.). You can glean the best of him from the diary and the worst from the comments.  ("Worst" if you don't count getting arrested so he could argue the idea in court.  His recounting of it is pretty good reading,)

        Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

        by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 04:35:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're a poseur, (0+ / 0-)

        and have no idea what the differences are between a "constitutional convention" and a federal convention on the authority of the Constitution. Consider yourself part of the problem.

    •  Oh no! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Got a Grip

      That's not fair! I'm ashamed enough as it is. You're mean!

      In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

      by vcmvo2 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 02:37:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not to worry! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2

        As you'll see just above, Armando actually (and unsurprisingly) brought a useful and fresh perspective to the conversation!  Now I feel bad for whoever chose it; I realize that it does have a surface attractiveness to it and I should not have been snarky.  I forget sometimes that nit everyone has been here for years.

        Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

        by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 04:39:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well I have to say (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane

          that your comments were very instructive for those that don't understand all the ins and outs of the Constitution.

          Having said that I am way too familiar with this diarist.

          Back in the day i just thought that he was enthusiastic but naive. Now I know differently.

          Some Rangers just learned that today! ;)

          But then RealityBias has made a return so anything is possible!

          In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

          by vcmvo2 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:55:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Uh-oh -- hidden backstory here? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vcmvo2

            Add "extremely" before each adjective and I'd go along with it.  But -- there's more?

            Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

            by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 07:18:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Seneca Doane

              No...just found it funny  & strange that some of our more unusual diiarists have come back. So who knows, who might show up.

              And that is one scary thought!

              In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

              by vcmvo2 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 08:16:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think JDH ever left (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                vcmvo2

                I can think of some, though, that I don't want to see back.  Others, I would.

                Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

                by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 08:23:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I know (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Seneca Doane

                  But do all these bannees know that they can come back? If they do, it could become a real crazy place.

                  Is this a general amnesty? Enquiring minds want to know... :)

                  In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

                  by vcmvo2 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 09:01:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Back by unpopular demand (3+ / 0-)

    "New coke version"

    Easy on the eyes version

    The Classic

    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon

    by trashablanca on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:35:39 AM PDT

  •  I'm having a little trouble with your argument (4+ / 0-)

    If you think the Constitution is a sound and noble basis for this country, but it has become encrusted with a corrupt political system, then having a convention to discuss changes to the Constitution in this environment sounds rather like doing surgery on a patient that's lying in a trash pile.

    •  I can see by your comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Earth Ling

      that you haven't thought about this subject very deeply.

      The current system of governance has become corrupt precisely because it's prevented the calling of a convention for decades now. I encourage you to re-read the diary.

      •  I've read the diary. (3+ / 0-)

        And I can see by our diary that you haven't thought about this subject very well.

        Explain to me how the calling of this convention would result in rational discussion and a more informed population. Really, explain the process. Start with: How would each state elect its delegates?

        •  Reply: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Earth Ling
          Delegates will be elected to their positions of office. In Hawke v Smith (253 U.S. 221 (1920)) the Supreme Court addressed the issue when it discussed ratification conventions saying: "Both method of ratification, by Legislatures or conventions, call for action by deliberative assemblages representative of the people..." The court thus defined what the word "conventions" means in the text of the Constitution: deliberative assemblages representative of the people, and equates that with legislatures, all of whom are representatives elected by the people of the state.

          Beyond this, the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause as well as Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution make it clear that all citizens are entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states. The Constitution requires that all members of Congress must be citizens of the United States and that they must be elected to that office. The Fourteenth Amendment creates two citizenships for all citizens of the United States: citizens of the United States and citizens of the state in which they reside or, state citizenship. Citizens, whether elected to Congress or to an Article V Convention receive, as a result of that election, the privilege to offer amendments to the Constitution and therefore the 14th Amendment requires that both sets of citizens, members of Congress and delegates to a convention must receive equal protection under the law. This means as members of Congress are elected and receive the privilege to offer amendment proposals, delegates who are given the same privilege to offer amendment proposals, must also be elected.

          More Info: http://www.foa5c.org/...

          If you read the diary carefully, you'll see that Robert's Rules of Order ensure rational discussion: Someone proposes and idea, it suffers debate, the question is called, it's voted up or down.

          The Article V Convention is a three-part national discussion which re-educates and reactivates.

          •  This isn't what I mean... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan, Rick Aucoin, Seneca Doane

            There are elections, okay. How will the states run and regulate them? What guarantees that corporate money doesn't flood the election process? What stops election-day shenanigans? Why, in short, is this better than a Congressional election, which routinely produces horrible results?

            As to Robert's Rules of Order: RRO is always subordinate to the rules of a particular parliament. Congress doesn't follow RRO to the degree that Congress sets its own rules, which I assume you view as a problem. But what on earth will stop this convention from immediately establishing its own rules contrary to RRO as the House does every two years?

            Further, even given that, why exactly do you expect that to have an impact on "We the People"?

            •  What will delegates be platforming on? (0+ / 0-)

              What do members of Congress platform on?

              I thought the diary mentioned how the two elections are for two totally different things.

              Use your imagination and comprehend the nation as two different nations. The one we have now, with institutionalized corruption, and the one after the convention call is issued. The call creates a political dynamic that currently does not exist. It throws everything out into the sunlight. Insincerely and/or duplicity will be exposed.

              •  Members of congress platform on... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Whimsical

                ...being on the right team. The American people eat it up.

                The two elections may be theoretically for totally different things, but in practice the political parties and the media will turn any convention into another horse race, between the culture clash (an amendment to outlaw abortion!) and big or small government (an amendment to repeal the income tax!).

                Exactly what will prevent this? If we have an election for delegates, what stops the same people who have power now from running to be delegates with their political machines and their media behind them?

                •  Absolutely nothing. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zbbrox

                  But John's faith in the pure heart of the American people.

                  Luckily those of us that know better, know better, you know what I mean?

                  "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                  by Whimsical on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 07:35:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We happen to have two choices (0+ / 0-)

                    in which to place our trust: corporations (fast becoming a single corporation), or We The People. Is there some other third choice?

                    •  Why yes, actually. (0+ / 0-)

                      Begin the hard work of dismantling the media conglomerate that keeps a substantial portion of the American electorate uninformed as well as changing the American mindset back to one that values education and being informed over intransigence and ignorance.

                      This will take TIME; quite possibly generations. But it is the only way to ensure that the American people are actually ready to have a convention and that it will prove beneficial instead of disastrous.

                      See, cause I agree with you in theory- a convention is a great idea. Just not NOW. And if you looked at the current populace with your brain instead of your heart, you'd find yourself agreeing with me.

                      "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                      by Whimsical on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 07:39:21 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  No, not "theoretically"-- (0+ / 0-)

                  the elections for an Article V Convention Delegate and a flunky for Congress are two different things. One is how to become part of the status quo, the other, how to reform it. The Framers of the Constitution weren't making idle chat on a cigarrette break when they placed the convention clause in Article V.

                  •  So they're two different things. (0+ / 0-)

                    ...how do the elections differ?

                    If Sarah Palin runs as a delegate from Alaska, what prevents her from winning? What prevents the corporate/political machines from putting up an array of familiar faces and ambitious up-and-comers that are no different than the people we have in power now? And what prevents Americans who vote for our current congress from voting for these ringers?

                    •  What is delegate S. Palin (0+ / 0-)

                      going to have to platform on?

                      Not vague, forked-tongue rhetoric, like candidates to Congress do, but specific amendment language. And say she drafts something that says all Americans will be Christian whether they like it or not, you think she'll have 75%+ of America agree? Do you really fear 38 states agreeing to a civil amendment?

                      The only thing with a hope of being ratified today is structural amendment and non-partisan (electoral reform). Touchy subjects are dead on arrival. The Framers were not idiots.

                      •  She platforms on... (0+ / 0-)

                        ...her popularity. That's all she needs. Really.

                        She'll say that she wants to be a delegate so she can vote against crazy liberal amendments, she'll get in. That's all it takes. She might throw in a few ideas about abortion or school prayer for good measure, and it's a lock.

                        As to whether any amendment she drafts will get ratified, so what? I'm not worried delegate Sarah will end the union, I just think that the exact same dynamics we have in congress will take place in this convention. Like I said: best case scenario is nothing happens except more nonsensical bickering.

                        •  You can be popular (0+ / 0-)

                          but whatever you say at the Article V Convention will have to groove with 2/3 of the hundreds of other delegates (operating within a unicameral assembly), or your shit ain't goin' nowhere. And even if you're so smooth of a delegate before the entire nation at it's first federal convention, you're still going to have to be so right, you get a captive audience of 200+ million into your shit too.

                          See how it works? Won't it be exciting? I know there's good Americans out there--many of them here on DKos--that will make their way there and ignore civil amendment advocates.

                          •  So what if it goes nowhere? (0+ / 0-)

                            These delegates are just going to be more Republican and Democratic operatives looking to preserve the power of their parties. They'll be fine if nothing happens.

                            As to the "captive audience", what makes you think Americans will pay any more attention to this convention then they do to the elections where they routinely vote in incumbent members of their corrupt teams?

                            I don't see how this convention would change anything without you simply invoking magic. We hold delegate elections, and magically people decide not to vote for the usual crowd they vote for in every other election. The usual crowd goes to meet, and magically 100 million people who don't even vote decide they care about the convention and won't accept anything but honest deliberations from their delegates.

                            The thing is, it won't be exciting. It will be business as usual, because the whole thing will be organized by the usual parties, covered by the usual media, and voted on by the usual electorate who vote in the current crop of disappointments.

                          •  It's impossible for it to go nowhere-- (0+ / 0-)

                            I guess that's what you're not getting. The constitutional process will have its affects. If you think that's going nowhere I don't know what to say but good luck in life.

                          •  What affects? (0+ / 0-)

                            People meet. They propose amendments. They deliberate. All of this will very closely resemble what happens in Congress all the time. It will be many of the same people--no rule says delegates can't be members of Congress after all--and others who plan on being in Congress one day. Amendments will be proposed, probably most of them totally insane. They will be debated, probably in the same farcical, partisan, way that they are debated in Congress all the time. The electorate will tune out, the way they do for Congressional debate. No consensus will be reached. The end.

                            What happens in this process to suddenly change the game?

                          •  What? (0+ / 0-)
                            What happens in this process to suddenly change the game?

                            As I understand it our government, i.e. our plutocracy, has been very hard at work in conditioning Americans since the deregulation era under the Reagan Administration. You do realize the Reagan Administration is of historical fact, right? Certain things happened then in American history that we see the consequences of now here today. The Article V Convention is the only thing that will restore us to our true nature as a free people. Does the thought of a free people frighten you? It doesn't frighten me. In fact I really like it :)

                          •  You are talking nonsense now. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm asking how this makes anyone freer. What does Reagan have to do with this?

                            You say:

                            The Article V Convention is the only thing that will restore us to our true nature as a free people.

                            How does this occur? Be specific. What exactly happens, and why? I see absolutely no reason that such a convention would make any difference to how free anyone is or how the plutocracy operates in any way.
                          •  Effects too-- (0+ / 0-)

                            long-term like.

  •  Where Are All The Patriots Now? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    john de herrera, Earth Ling

    Every argument for any against an Article V Amendments Convention has been made again and again, yet too many responders seem perfectly happy supporting institutionalized corruption over and above any attempt by We The People to offer possible solutions to the overwhelming problems brought on by corporations and bogus politicians.

    Why would corporations want to "take over" an Article V Amendments Convention(?) -- they already have the entire game rigged, and they're playing everyone for a sucker!  They have almost everyone cowed in their stall, afraid to square off with them on an even or uneven field.  The corporate bullies know they're got everyone -- except a few -- by the cajones.

    It's time to stand up and be counted -- you can't hide in your foxhole forever, it's time to fight!  Save the Republic.

    •  Of COURSE they'd want to take it over (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rick Aucoin, Earth Ling

      The corporatists/kleptocrats try to take over EVERYTHING.

      It doesn't mean it's a bad idea -- I think if done right it's the only way to get rid of the undemocratic fossil which is the US Senate - - but it does mean that we would have to plan carefully to make sure that the convention delegate process was actually run in a democratic fashion, which means (as far as I'm concerned) proportional representation and paper ballots.

      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

      by neroden on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:04:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't get this "We the People" stuff. (0+ / 0-)

      "We the People" still have the opportunity to vote in this country. If "We the People" were in a position to make our voices heard with a convention, we'd have the opportunity to make our voices heard with an election too.

      So the plutocrats control the parties and the media, right? So what's going to stop them from controlling the convention, too? They'll still control the media that convinces people who they should vote for, the delegates will still be endorsed by the parties the plutocrats control, etc. etc. And the masses brainwashed by the media will still line up to vote for the people the political parties tell them to.

      And then, when it's all said and done, most of We the People won't pay a whole lot of attention.

      •  Vote on electronic voting machines? (0+ / 0-)

        80%+ of all votes cast nationwide are tallied by the proprietary source code of two private corporations (ES&S/Diebold).

        If you don't have transparent elections you don't have a free society.

        If the plutocrats can control a convention why have they done everything in their power for the past forty years to prevent one?

        •  Hmm, I see... (0+ / 0-)

          ...so because our electronic voting machines are fixed, we'd better hold a convention made up of delegates we elect via....

          •  Yes, (0+ / 0-)

            I see, delegates might be platforming on the dangers of electronic voting sparking a national discussion about it all.

            •  I'm beginning to think... (0+ / 0-)

              ...you just aren't quite in touch with reality. The dangers of electronic voting machines have been discussed, and most people don't care. No delegate is going to ride a surge of public opinion over establishment candidates because of their preaching on the dangers of electronic voting machines. That is just magical thinking.

              •  Will You Still Be Keyboarding... (0+ / 0-)

                ...When They Knock on Your Door?

                "And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
                          --John F. Kennedy

                Your arguments tend to support the status quo and defend institutionalized corruption -- when will YOU get pissed-off enough to come out of your foxhole and fight?  When?  Your country is being torn apart from the inside out; we're quietly being turned into a third world country by wealthy people and corporate taskmasters who are not good enough to polish your boots!  Stand up and be counted -- stand up and fight like hell for an Article V Amendments Convention  OR  get ready for a real revolution like you see on your big-screen HD TV every night as you sit comfortably in your recliner!

  •  Here's the essence of your problem: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, sanglug, zbbrox, vcmvo2, Got a Grip

    1. The government isn't listening to the desires of the people.
    2. To fix this we need to have a convention.
    3. The reason we haven't had a convention is because the government isn't obeying the actions of the people to have one.  So: return to step 1.

    If the people you need to activate the convention are the same people you're trying to address with the convention, there will be no convention.  

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 12:40:50 PM PDT

    •  Every revolution/reformation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Earth Ling

      the world over, since history began, has always come down to a tipping-point joined in a common cause; or, the right idea, at the right time.

      As you can see by looking at the closest calendar, it's 2011, and a lot has happened politically since the modern era discussion of the convention clause.

      It is only within the last year that blog posts and activist groups have begun taking a shine to the idea of a federal convention.

      The question is: are you sincere? If you are, you too would begin advocating for the solution.

      •  But you're not advocating a revolution, (5+ / 0-)

        you're advocating using a tool that's in a locked toolbox to open the very same toolbox it's locked in.  Think about that for a moment.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 12:53:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Earth Ling

          it's not locked in a toolbox. The toolbox is open and always is, it's simply a matter of as soon as enough citizens say they want to take out use the tool in it.
          Having been advocating for the tool the Framers left us for several years, I can tell you that it's only within the last year that something approaching mainstream discussion is occuring.

          Are you sincere? Or are you a citizen who will shirk your civic duty by hiding behind intellectual nonsense? That this is someone else's cause, not yours. Think about it.

          •  Congress has to call the convention. (5+ / 0-)

            Ergo, the box is locked.

            If you sincerely think that there's serious mainstream consideration of this issue, you're going to be sorely disappointed for a long, long time.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:06:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Congress will (0+ / 0-)

              issue the call as soon as enough of us become aware of what a federal convention actually is.

              The name of the game of Congress and corporate interests and other assorted fascists has been to frighten Americans away from their Constitution and its convention clause.

          •  How is the V Convention called? (0+ / 0-)

            You didn't address that in your diary, which is a very odd sort of thing to leave out.

            The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

            by Rick Aucoin on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:54:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The constitutional requirement (0+ / 0-)

              for the Article V Convention call has been met.

              http://foavc.org/...

              •  Could you just answer the question? (0+ / 0-)

                For fuck's sake, man.  Just answer the god damned question.

                The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                by Rick Aucoin on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 05:56:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What's the question? (0+ / 0-)

                  State it plainly, I'll answer it.

                  •  Gah. (0+ / 0-)

                    What is required for this sort of Constitutional Convention to actually take place?

                    Does it take Congress to make it happen?  Does it take a majority of Governors?  What?

                    And if you say "it's already been done" well, it hasn't, 'cause last I looked there was no such Convention going on.  

                    So, what's required to have this ACTUALLY happen at this point?

                    The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                    by Rick Aucoin on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:00:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  A tipping-point of Americans for it, (0+ / 0-)

                      that's what it takes to happen, and that's happening now. As soon as the truths of a federal convention dawn on enough the plutocracy will manufacture the calling and all the politicians will do what they do best: dance out of the way.

                      Don't be one of the ones we are bored to tears with in the future, being one who didn't get it when it mattered most. Caveat: your children may grow to hate you.

                      •  So, 51% of Americans... (0+ / 0-)

                        ... decide in the privacy of their own homes that an Article V Constitutional Convention should take place, and suddenly there's voting to determine delegates?

                        Really?  The Constitution empowered who with mind reading abilities to know when this moment occurs?

                        That's not a serious answer and you know it.

                        Does it take an act of Congress to start this?  Or what?

                        The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                        by Rick Aucoin on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:11:39 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Our high law (0+ / 0-)

                          currently mandates we join together as a nation in a deliberative assembly of the states. The states have cast hundreds of applications, and the constitutional requirement has been met: http://foavc.org/...

                          The reason Congress has never carried out its constitutional obligation to issue the call is because it and its funders have been fightening Americans to think the Article V Convention is a constitutional convention which can re-write the contract.

                          This is false, the Framers were not idiots, they didn't place a self-destruct button in their masterwork.

                          If Congress and its plutocracy could say outright to the American public--take the Constitution and shove it, it's over, don't mention it ever again, they already would have. But they can't because we're a nation with a 2nd Amendment, and they'd have hell to pay.

                          So the question: do you consider yourself true and for the objective truth for all? If not you're an Anti-Conventionist, or out of irrational fear will make up excuses why the convention clause of Article V is no good, then still, in my opinion, you'll have hell to pay. The hell of real live human beings who do have common sense indignant at your ignorance.

                          •  So.... (0+ / 0-)

                            ... I'm trying to work my through your proselytizing bullshit, but from what I understand Congress is petitioned by the citizens to enact an article V constitutional convention, but they refuse to do so?

                            Is that accurate?

                            Is the answer to my question "congress enacts this convention"?

                            The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                            by Rick Aucoin on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:30:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Upon the application of 2/3 of the states (0+ / 0-)

                            Congress shall call a convention. The states have cast hundreds of applicaitons. Succesive session s of the legislative branch has failed to issue the federal convention call. The government in power, in terms of the rule of law, is rogue.

                          •  So why didn't you just say so? (0+ / 0-)

                            Congress, when receiving application of 2/3rds of the states (and what form does that application have to take, request by Governor?) can or shall enable a Constitutional Convention.

                            Why beat around the bush?  Why not include that in your diary?

                            Why even WRITE such a diary without suggestion action on the part of the reader?  You know, "Click here to write your congressman" or "Here's a list of each state that has an active petition for application" or whatever?

                            Your diary is uninformative, your answers even more so, like you KNOW it's bullshit and want to avoid giving the answer.

                            If you think Congress is going to enact a Convention which has the power to make Congress irrelevant then you ARE smoking something.  What power would compel them to do so??

                            The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                            by Rick Aucoin on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:38:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  He's also got his facts wrong. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Rick Aucoin

                            The Constitution reads:

                            The Congress ...  on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments...

                            The reason Congress has failed to call a convention is that this passage has been interpreted as requiring the states to all file an application on the same topic at the same time. That's never happened. John here is relying on the idea that because the states have filed a variety of different applications on different topics at different times, cumulatively they add up to the Application cited in the Constitution. Virtually no one interprets the law this way, because that would be stupid.

                          •  Ah. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            zbbrox

                            Another item he has deliberately left out and obfuscated.  "... on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States..."

                            Getting actual information here is like pulling teeth, which is a red flag to anyone.

                            Couple that with the "well, are you really a believer or are you a heretic" style hyperbole and what you've got here is a classic case of Winger Whack Job.

                            I know plenty like this on the Right.  Guys who argue they aren't required to pay taxes, that registering their vehicle is unconstitutional, etc.

                            Doesn't work for them either.

                            Good luck, Anton, in your Quixotic campaign.  

                            The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                            by Rick Aucoin on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 10:43:46 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Way back in the archives (0+ / 0-)

              we discussed the point he makes in the comment just above this one.

              It's not entirely baseless, as I recall, but I wasn't convinced.  As I recall, it required counting every call for a convention on any specific topic as a call for a convention that would be open to any topic, period.  But that memory is hazy.

              Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

              by Seneca Doane on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 05:21:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Abolishing the Senate would require... (0+ / 0-)

    that Article V Convention for sure.  Because you just know the Senate is never gonna vote for it.

    Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

    by neroden on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 12:54:33 PM PDT

  •  Hmm. (4+ / 0-)
    ...a place where reasoned and thoughtful debate could occur, ...

    Not in today's polarized climate.  Why would this be different from any other gathering of opposing viewpoints?

    Oh, there you are, Perry. -Phineas -SLB-

    by boran2 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:11:56 PM PDT

  •  John, (3+ / 0-)

    You and I exchanged a few comments recently in another thread (I just replied to one of those comments, BTW, but perhaps the conversation would be better had here) about the idea of the Article V Convention. I haven't really had a chance to give a thorough look at the web site you linked to, but what I have read, particularly in the FAQ, reinforces my belief that you and other A5C proponents haven't really given a lot of thought to (1) the feasibility of achieving a convention, (2) how delegates to such a convention would be chosen, or (3) what those delegates would do once convened. The A5C proponents seem to rest their case on  more than a few shaky assertions and overly broad assumptions about what the Constitution requires and does not require in order for a convention to be called, but my focus is on what would happen in the unlikely event that you and your fellow A5C proponents got what you wanted.

    From the web site you provided, this table lists the issues that have been cited in the past by states that have filed Article V applications. It seems clear to me, at least, that there would be a great deal of danger in convening a constitutional convention, if one even could be convened. You'd have delegates proposing amendments to:

    *Get rid of the 16th Amendment, which provides for an income tax

    *Outlaw abortion

    *Allow for organized prayer and religious proselytizing and harassment in public schools

    *Get rid of the minimum wage and the 40-hour work week

    *Roll back the Supreme Court's authority to interpret the Constitution

    *Get rid of direct election of senators

    *Allow for the restriction of flag-burning and other forms of expression

    *Get rid of the protections provided in the Fourth Amendment

    *Outlaw same-sex marriage, and define marriage as between one man and one woman

    *Get rid of birthright citizenship, as provided for in the 14th Amendment

    And that's just scraping the surface of what these people could do, because they certainly wouldn't be limited to what's been proposed in past applications. Most of the Article V applications have been submitted by red states in pursuit of a hard-right agenda. By supporting an Article V Convention, you're not only wasting time and energy that would be better spent elsewhere, you're also working to give our enemies on the right a valuable tool to achieve their ultimate goal of turning this country into a theocratic, neofeudal hellhole.

    The artist formerly known as Big Tex

    by Maikeru Ronin on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:38:34 PM PDT

    •  At work, (0+ / 0-)

      let me get back to you in a couple hours or so....

    •  All the amendments you fear (0+ / 0-)

      have already been proposed. Repeat: all the amendments you fear are already awaiting ratification and they're going nowhere. Why? Because no one has the desire or energy to get them ratified. It doesn't matter what's proposed at a convention because it's going nowhere fast unless it gets 75%+ of the nation behind it.

      Whether or not an amendment idea is conservative or liberal it will have to get all one side of the poltical spectrum signed on, PLUS AT LEAST HALF OF THE OTHER. That means that asterisked list you post above, half the hard-core Daily Kos liberals here are going to have to agree with it before it's even close to ratified.

      Do you realize how non-partisan an idea has to be to achieve ratification in a nation as polarized as ours is this moment in history?

      If you're sincere and honest as an American you recognize the need for the nation to hold a formal national discussion to find its common ground.

      There was recently a documentary on a PBS station I caught. It was a documentary about Dolly Madison. If you can, watch that, and then ask me if we ought to convoke a deliberative assembly on the authority of the Constitution.

      •  Late on replying to this, (0+ / 0-)

        but I have to correct you on something: it wouldn't take 75%+ of the nation to ratify the amendments that an A5C would propose, just 75%+ of the elected officials who would be voting on ratification. And as I hope you're aware, the elected officials in this country tend to be more conservative than the general public. If the right wing could get 2/3 of the state legislatures in this country to support an A5C (and that's a big if), I don't think it's that much of a stretch to believe that they could get enough votes in an A5C to pass the amendments they want, and block the ones they don't. And I don't think it's much more of a stretch to think that, having gotten the support of the 66.67% of state legislatures that they would need to call an A5C, they would be able to scrounge together the other 8.33% that they would need for a 75% supermajority for ratification of at least some of the amendments they pass.

        A national discussion isn't what we need. What we need is a right wing in this country that isn't hellbent on destroying the country and rebuilding it to their specifications, and an A5C isn't going to get us any closer to that; indeed, I'd argue that it would merely embolden the conservative fifth column that has been working for the last several decades to turn this country into a theocratic/corporatist dictatorship. Our enemies on the right are, for the most part, malicious, uneducated bigots, and there is no point in seeking common ground with them. In any event, if a national discussion is what you seek, there are much better ways of achieving it that don't involve opening up the constitutional foundations of this country to radical alteration by right-wing primitives.

        The artist formerly known as Big Tex

        by Maikeru Ronin on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 12:16:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This again??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jethrock

    Sorry, but your obsession with a Convention that will NEVER be called is beyond obsessive - it really seems pathological. And sad.

    The Congress would not vote to call a Convention, and couldn't be forced to do so. Since there's no precedent for an Article V Convention, it gives them even more reason to ignore the drumbeat from the wahoos that obsess with this 'fix' to the system we have.

    BTW, shouldn't we have something on a NEW or current topic in the Community Spotlight???

  •  This idea would gain much more traction in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carbunkle Rugburn, Seneca Doane

    Tea Party communities than it will in Liberal circles.

    Just Google "napitano contitutional convention" and see how many times Glenn Beck and Judge Napalitanos pop up.

    I'm afraid a constitutional convention wouldn't achieve what you would want it to. But it may make the Glenn Beck's of the world very, very happy.

    This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
    --Ian Curtis

    by jethrock on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:48:14 PM PDT

    •  P.s. works even better when I spell (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Carbunkle Rugburn

      "constitutional" correctly.

      Yes, I caught my own typo... although a little late.

      This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
      --Ian Curtis

      by jethrock on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:55:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A poem been working on, (0+ / 0-)

    really excited about it. In working a book of translations of Shakespeare, key lines of a play are crafted into an overarching idea of the play. There's a form of poetry where lines from a poet's letters are crafted into a poem. Maybe we should have another form which takes the ideas of play and composes them into poetry.

    Untitled Prose Poem

    What is it you would see? If it be woe or wonder, cease your search, and let the following be told to the unknowing world how these things came about--of carnal and bloody acts, of accidental judgments, casual slaughters, of deaths put on by cunning, and plans of deceit fallen upon the deceiver's heads. All this can truly be delivered, so let it be told, even while minds are wild--words for the ear to make us dumb. Let us recount the occasion of our sudden and strange return lest more plots and errors of mischance happen.

    Oh how stale, flat and without purpose the world seems--a garden gone to seed, weeds rank and gross posses it. That it should come to this, rendered beasts in comparison to gods of the sun we are meant to be. Must we remember? Break, our altogether heart, and you our sinews, grow not old, but bear us stiffly up, for we must hold until in dreadful secrecy the dreadful knowledge is known--until the apparition appears no more upon the battery where we watch.

    Some say ’tis but our fantasy, this dreaded sight that fills us with fear and wonder--this specter that appears when the stars have made their course to light the parts of heaven where they now burn. We would not have believed it, this strange eruption in our state. Why is there so much brass going to cannons, ships being built seven days a week--what threat and purpose accounts for all this sweaty haste day and night? Who can answer the question of these wars? ’Tis a mote which troubles the mind’s eye, for when Rome was high and triumphant before it fell, they say graves opened up and the shrouded dead went shrieking through the streets. Stars with trails of fire, disasters in the sun, the watery moon sick almost to doomsday with eclipse--harbingers of fates coming on--such feared events have heaven and earth demonstrated to us now.

    ’Tis very strange, give it an understanding but no tongue. All is not well, we suspect foul play, and foul deeds will rise though all the earth would overwhelm them to our eyes. Oh angels and ministers of grace do not let we who delight in truth as much as life itself burst from a lack of understanding, but tell why this specter has been cast up again. What does this mean, this visitation shining by the light of the moon--making night hideous and we fools of nature--shaking us with thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls. Oh say why this is--our fate cries out and makes each petty artery as hardy as the lion.

    Caught round in a net of villainies, sorting the plot and play through to the end--is it not damned to let this canker come to further evil? We must defy thoughts and feelings of fear when examples evident as earth exhort us. We put on our antic disposition--God’s jester--while putting up with the calamities, bearing the whips and scorns of time, the injustice of tyrants, the arrogance of authorities, the law’s delay--we bear these ills rather than fly to others that we know not of. Consciousness makes cowards of us all! Were these bones begotten for no better purpose than to be used for playing games? We are no more than sheep and calves to think a document of law alone will secure us. Do we stand in its way even though it would blast us? Where is this knowledge which our knowing would help a fate avoid?

    We’re asked to cast off our melancholy and look upon the rule with kindness, for the excuse that everything passes through nature into eternity. Yet is it not an offense to heaven, the dead, and nature, to subvert this potential so? Our woe is yet to be proved of no avail--oh heaven direct our course, that we, with wings as swift as thinking and thoughts of love may sweep to our revenge; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is, than honesty could ever translate beauty into its likeness; and in the corrupted currents of this world the gilded hand may shove justice aside, as ’tis often seen, the wicked prize itself buys out the law. But ’tis not so in heaven above: there, there is no shuffling, no trickery, there every action lies in its true nature and we ourselves are compelled from the teeth to the forehead of our faults to give evidence in all.

    Who comes to chide our tardiness? Do we not have the bile to make oppression bitter? Is this late visit but to whet our almost blunted purpose? Let us confess ourselves to heaven, repent what’s past so we may avoid what is to come in times as obscene as these where virtue itself begs the pardon of vice--bows and begs to do what is right.

    This rule, whom we trust as we would fanged serpents, bears its mandate to sweep our path and marshal us to our doom. So be it--’tis sport to have the engineer blasted up with their own bomb. And it shall go, but we will delve one yard below its mines and blow it to the moon. Oh ’tis most sweet when in one line two schemes directly meet; oh that from this time forth our thoughts be bloody or nothing worth--where not even the ocean overpowers the flats with more haste than our rebellion sweeps it aside, as if the world begins now, former order be damned. Our state cries so loud to be heard, from heaven to earth, that we must question it all--and where the offence is, let a great axe fall. Oh treble woe fall ten times treble on the cursed head whose wicked deed deprives us of our most fine sense. A desperate disease requires a desperate remedy for relief or there is none at all.

    Whose grief bears such an emphasis, whose words of sorrow would cause the wandering stars to stand still like a wonder-struck audience? Humanity. And what a piece of work--how noble in reason, how infinite in ability, in form and movement--how exact and admirable--in action how like an angel, in apprehension, how like a god--the beauty of this world--we will fight for this until our eyelids no longer blink. Our skills shall indeed stand out like the most fiery star in the darkest of nights.

    Perhaps heaven has pleased itself with us, that we may be its minister and scourge. Then venom to its work, and let it be told, that from here the day will arrive where all shall appear as clear to judgment as day to the eye.

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