Sen. Tom Coburn is pushing for a national convention to amend the Constitution.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."
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.
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).