Skip to main content

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) holds up a copy of the U.S. Constitution during the Senate nomination hearing of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito on Capitol Hill in Washington January 11, 2006. Roman Catholics would be the majority on the U.S. Supreme Court f
'I've marked up this version myself.'
Oh, sure. That's exactly what we need.
Sen. Tom Coburn is pushing for a national convention to amend the Constitution.

The Oklahoma Republican, who has grown disenchanted with gridlock in Washington, will officially launch his effort after he retires from the Senate in a few months. [...]

“I think we ought to have a balanced budget amendment, I think we ought to have term limits. I think we ought to put a chokehold on regulation and re-establish the powers of the Congress,” he said.

I had hoped at this point that we no longer needed to explain why a "balanced budget amendment" is a terrible idea and always will be—see economists for that one. Those people pushing for term limits, ostensibly to reduce influence-peddling and corruption, should look at the statehouses where term limits have put in place and how it has elevated the creature known as the "lobbyist" to ever-increasing amounts of power. Then again, that may be the point, if you also intend to "put a chokehold on regulation."

An Article V convention has never happened before, because getting two-thirds of the states to agree to such a thing is hard, and is not bloody likely to be happening based on yet another of Tom Coburn's personal tantrums. And while it's a noble idea for, say, gutting the Citizens United decision and clarifying that our top 1 percent of the 1 percent are not allowed to install their own government, in practice anything that needs a constitutional convention in order to be implemented is going to be so hardly fought that it would make the current Congress look efficient and the current "patriot" movements sane. Just think how Fox News would play that one—you'd have Sean Hannity cleaning his rifle on camera.

So again, it's vanishingly unlikely that Coburn's idea will be successful. But who knows—like we see in so many of these cases, it may be that the first black president was all that was needed to convince American conservatives of this one, as well. Perhaps it is the natural culmination of freakouts about lightbulb efficiency standards (written under Bush), and maps of American waterways compiled by the government (an update of already-existing maps), or the thought that any random soccer jersey left near the American border is evidence of encroaching sharia (or soccer).

Originally posted to Hunter on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 10:08 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site