Likely Success of Article Five Convention Efforts

A continuing series of discussions of Mark Levin’s new book,
The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic

(Discussion #24 – Can we really do this?)

It’s Monday, and that means we’re on the LAM at TheRightScoop! Unlike last Monday, when I was buried with work and <insert excuse here>, this week I have completed the article I had intended for last week. Let’s go back in time! Liberty Amendments Monday commences …now!

The Goal: Thirty Four states

That’s the number of states that must pass Article Five Resolutions in order for the US Congress to call a Convention of States for Proposing Amendments. Where else in politics are you going to find such a completely expressed, finite, manageable goal? And yet the naysayers persist. You’ve seen it over and over: “It’s too late,” “We can’t do it,” “It’s dangerous,” “Wake me when the shooting starts,” and on it goes.

So this week we’ll focus on a few items relevant to reaching the 34 state goal:

  1. How do we get the states involved?
  2. Can we count on the states to do this?
  3. Will enough states go along with it?
  4. Does anyone really read long-form articles on the Internet?

1) The first question has a simple answer: You.

You have to want this enough to call or write or tweet or text your own, local statehouse representatives. That’s the bottom line.

But one piece of good news is that your local representative is, in most states, a genuinely local person, not some permanent resident of D.C. who claims to represent you. Someone from your community or town, perhaps. So this isn’t as tough as getting an appointment with your US Congress Member. If you get together with a few like-minded citizens in your district and make an appointment, you will probably get a decent amount of time to speak with your representative in person.

Uncle Sam recruitment poster…to Call Your State Rep!

For those who prefer joining a group instead of doing the work solo, please visit the ConventionOfStates website, and get a copy of their free handbook on how to participate. You can also sign up to volunteer for a specific activity at their website.

Another bit of very good news about this effort is that it won’t cost you a lot of money or time. The expense of a phone call or letter is your main investment. If you choose to get involved, it’s up to you how much time you spend. Every letter helps, so if that’s all you can afford to do, it’s still of great importance.

Easy, inexpensive, and not very time consuming. Few political efforts can make that claim.

But here’s the most important good news of all: The Article Five Process is not politics as usual. The American people are disgusted with politics today, perhaps more than ever before (and anyone who’s looked back over the history of politics knows that’s saying a lot). Politics as usual today involves manipulations by the media and the propagandists, the interference by feckless party leaders and election fraudsters, and totalitarian abuses by lawless executives who deploy the power of government against individuals.

None of these are new things in American history. See for example Boss Rule and the Senatorial hijinks of Huey Long. But they are all being utilized at a level unseen in living memory, and much more like you’d expect in the Third World (or the early days of Statehood in the west) than in a supposedly civilized superpower.

Because it’s not politics as usual, your voice counts more than it does in most other political matters. This is why this effort has a chance to succeed: “they” can’t stop you.

One last note here: If you’re interested in how states pass these Article Five Resolutions, ConventionOfStates has a decent decription for you. Bonus: Schoolhouse rock!

2) The question about, “Can we count on the states to do this?” has two important answers:

The first answer is that people are seriously fed up with what we have now, and know we must do things differently. We’ll get into the state demographics in a little while, but what this means is that the Article Five effort has a strong chance of success because of The People. The main reason for that claim is that the vast majority of Americans are disgusted at the rapidity of decline of our nation under the past two presidents, even if they don’t understand why the decline happened, or who is responsible. This fact is shown by the following graphic from Gallup:

American Satisfaction Index Dips To New Low
Source: gallup.com

This graph merits some commentary:

First, note the apparent lack of concern among Americans throughout the period of the Clinton impeachment and on through the events of 9-11, despite the furor surrounding the 2000 elections and the intense partisan fallout from Gore’s loss. That’s worth remembering as things move forward in time.

The graph shows that people were still satisfied with the economy that Reagan’s policies brought about, which more importantly was left (largely) undamaged by G.H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Further, Americans had even more faith in the state of the nation throughout the events of 9-11 and immediately afterward. You can see the moment things peaked at a high of 59% Satisfied in late 2002, close to when the AUMF-Iraq Resolution was passed by a huge, fully-bipartisan majority of Congress. As we prepared to do what Bill Clinton and many vocal Democrats called for in the late 1990s—tackling the problem of Saddam Hussein, Americans were heartened to see our two parties working together.

Things started to slide downhill almost immediately, taking a huge jump south when Ted Kennedy issued his, “Lie after lie,” diatribe in the Senate in late 2003. This commenced the cynical politics of wartime advantage-taking, where longstanding Democrat policy against Saddam Hussein’s rule, and for openly recognizing that political Islam was the genesis of worldwide acts of terrorism, all went down the memory hole. Like erased Party Members from a Stalin photograph, it’s as if it had never existed.

The overnight rebirth of the Democrat party as having ALWAYS been against the war vastly increased the polarization in American politics. The Republicans’ hubris at this time, and George W. Bush’s failure to recognize the rise of the radical left only exacerbated the polarization. The Satisfaction Index showed a marked decline that greatly accelerated once that hubris led to a loss of Congress in the 2006 elections. (The steepness of that post-2006-elections decline marks the beginning of the volatile and rancorous period in which we are now mired.)



Of course, the media propped up Kennedy and the more vocal leftists, since sensationalism sells. But once the Democrat leadership was on board this media-propelled radicalism, you saw the rise of MSNBC’s hard-left programming, the birth of JournoList, and the gleeful acceptance of The Big Lie as a substitute for the old-school, “spin and slant” forms of journalism. The resulting, eight-year downward slide in the Satisfaction Index (and the commensurate decline in revenues at the big media companies) remained unbroken until late 2008, where you can see the soon-to-be-dashed optimism that attended the election of Obama—an openly-Socialist man of unknown work experience; a man brought forth from obscurity and declared immaculate—and therefore greatly protected by—the now-struggling and desperate media mainstream.

This misplaced optimism was almost wholly due to the fact that some people—including many leading “intellectuals” in both parties—think that focusing on skin color, one-hundred and fifty-seven years after the infamous Dredd Scott decision, is still somehow a, “Smart thing to do.” They believe this regardless of the destruction and misery such focus has always caused in the past. As you can see from Americans’ overall rejection of that optimism—a rejection that commenced immediately upon the unconstitutional passage of the ACA in 2009—skin color obsession has once again failed to create a better society.

Didn’t Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr. try to warn us about this?

Yes. Yes they did.

Clearly…Image of old CRT-type screen with crazy staticSomething Is Wrong

We The People are searching for a solution, and have seen that both Republicans and Democrats have failed to provide it.

Couple that failure with the horrendous opinions people have on Congress in general, and the President’s low approval numbers (despite having the media firmly in his back pocket), and you can tell that Americans are fairly certain the solution will NOT be coming from inside the District of Columbia.

Thus, asking everyone to work on a solution coming from the Several States is not as difficult a proposition as many critics maintain.

But the second answer to the question of “Can we count on the states to do this?” is:

What Other Choice Do We Have?

Think about it. Not only do we all know things are headed in the wrong direction, but most of us worry that the probable economic decline we face will be worse than any in American experience. This creates pressure on politicians to find or create a scapegoat. The tools of the professional “scapegoat creators” are always the same: class and cultural divisions based on fear of “the other.” They use the media and their political speech to focus the people on a target group on which they hang the blame.

This is why the recent increase in anti-semitism is not an accident— Especially on the University campus.

Further, as documented here at TheRightScoop, Conservative Christians have been added to the target list. These articles show worldwide murder and violence against Christians, but the anti-Christian hatred is also institutionalized in America, and it’s going to get worse as the economy declines.

But while this targeting alone tends to increase the likelihood of violence, it’s not only targeting that causes populations to head into protracted, physical conflict. The targeted groups are The Excuse for atrocities. And here is where those of us who are pushing hard for Restoration meet our initial resistance from the left and from the Progressive Republicans: “Atrocities? What atrocities?” they ask.

What they forget is that “atrocities” don’t begin with death camps. That’s where they end (because by then war has commenced). No, atrocities begin with small things; each an attempt to push you into accepting more and more control over your personal sovereignty; and eventually your basic freedom.

We won’t delve further into this area today, since it merits a major article on its own (see the one at the link, for example!). But each of us must bear in mind: the Jews who fled Europe before 1933 were not “lucky.” They were paying attention. It cost most of them every thing they owned in order to escape the growing holocaust.

Importantly, the last survivors of that era are few, and are nearly gone. The left has been biding its time, counting on your forgetfulness. The atrocities will increase.

Count on it.

But we did mention “demographics” above, so just a few quick things to touch on here. First, a roundup over at Gallup regarding the ratio of Conservative to Liberal populations among the states. This is about the citizenry of each state, and not explicitly about the makeup of the state legislatures, so bear that in mind while watching:

Unstated above is that more states, overall, are conservative than are liberal (good maps at that link, BTW). This explains why more states have Republican governors and Republican controlled legislatures. This will be of some help in convincing your legislator to vote for an Application Resolution. Note also that you could swing a cat every day, all over D.C., and never hit a Conservative once.

The second item is a bit strange to include, since at first, it seems at odds with what we know about America’s conservative populace, but I’ll leave it to ‘fess Jacobson to explain it:

Legal Insurrection: Liberal self-identification surges! (up 1 pt since 2008)

Jacobson breaks it down for you, but the takeaway for us is that despite the fact that Democrats continue to shift leftward (which they deny with great emphasis, while no one believes it), Conservatives haven’t shifted at all, and Independents are shifting rightward.

Given those demographics, this is a great time to be working this issue, since conservatives tend to be more engaged with the importance of Restoring the Constitution. People will listen, even through their fears, because we all know something must be done, and it will never be done by the Federal government.

3) Will the states go along with it?

The first bit of good news here is that many state legislators feel they have little choice but to take up this Great Work of our generation. They see increasing Federal mandates for which their state cannot meet the burden. They see Federal control being exerted over state sovereign territory. They see a federal judiciary declaring state constitutional provisions and laws to be null and void. They see a loss of their individual power as legislators, as the distant federal bureaucracies and congressional committees take more and more power—in direct contravention of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

No doubt many state legislators are quite happy with things as they are. But the only ones truly happy with things are the select few who hold power in each state. The average legislator in “flyover country” is someone who wishes they could do more for their state, but feels greatly restricted. These are the ones that need to hear from you.

However, partisan fears and demagoguery can only stand so long against the undeniable fact of a long train of abuses and usurpations. (You can’t hide the collapse, you can only try to make it sound fun!)

The next bit of good news about the states is that this process is entirely under the control of the state legislatures. Not the Governors, not Congress, not the President, and not the courts. As such, this is their fight, and several states have taken up the challenge already. State legislatures that have gotten out in front on this effort are:

State Recent Action(s)
Alabama

Alabama’s House of Representatives passed HJR 49 on February 13, 2014. It’s moved on the the Senate, so contact Alabama state Senators to make sure it passes.
Alaska URGENT: HJR 22–the Alaska House Resolution applying for a Convention of States is being voted on Wednesday! Be sure to call your rep in Alaska today!
Arizona URGENT: Arizona voted down the Resolution Application they had in process. But it’s not gone yet! Please read this item at ConventionOfStates to find out who to contact. It’s a close vote, so please, Arizonans, contact those representatives!
Florida Both Senate and House have Resolution Bills pending for Article Five Convention applications, and the Florida Senate has voted to move theirs (SM 0476) out of committee.
Georgia Virginia and Indiana were out in front, but Georgia crossed the finish line first! Congratulations to the Georgia state legislature for passing HR 1215 on February
Indiana Passed legislation governing the commissioning of delegates to an Article Five Convention.
Also the Indiana senate passed a Resolution of Application for an Amendments Convention, SJR18, sponsored by Senate President David Long, one of the principle organizers of the Mount Vernon Assembly this past December 7th. SJR18 was killed by the Indiana House Judiciary Committee (politics!). This is why elections matter, but so do your voices. Please contact your Indiana Senate members today!
Kansas Rep. Scott Hildabrand introduced HCR 5016 which is a general Application for a Convention, but is not worded the same as recommended by the folks at ConventionOfStates. It appears to be still in committee. Some misguided “Con-Con” folks claim they helped kill a previous resolution. If you live in Kansas, please get acquinted with the ConventionOfStates project. Scott Hildabrand needs your help!
Missouri Representative Mike Moon (District 157), and others, filed HCR 41 to Apply for an Article Five Convention. Missourians, please contact your representatives and get them to vote yes on HCR 41!
Oklahoma SJR 38 was introduced by Sen. Patrick Anderson (District 19) on February 3rd, 2014. It is not yet scheduled for a vote.
South Carolina S.C. has two bills in each house. Rep. Bill Taylor is a vocal, strong proponent of the Article Five Convention, and has been working for some time on making it happen. His bill is H 4372. S 833 by Grooms and Verdin has also been introduced. Go South Carolina!
South Dakota South Dakota legislators need to hear from you! They killed three Resolution bills in February. Looks like more than a few think this is 1972, and some numnutz is calling for a “Con-Con”. Come on South Dakota! Educate your legislators!.
Virginia Rep. Lingamfelter’s bill HJ9, has evidently been rejected by the House in a vote February 6th, 2014. News is hard to find on this one. Virginians please weigh in and let us know what’s going on!
West Virginia Rep. John Overington has introduced HR 86, a Resolution of Application for an Amendments Convention. It’s not yet scheduled for a vote.
Wisconsin State Assemblyman Chris Kapenga (co-sponsor of the Mount Vernon Assembly held this past December), introduced JR81, which calls for an Amendments Convention for the purpose of passing a Balanced Budget Amendment for the federal government. This is not the same as the Convention process we are currently engaged in, but it’s an important step, since (depending on who’s counting) Twenty-Five states have already passed Balanced Budget Resolutions.

Consider that your progress report for this week. I’ll visit it again in a few weeks or so, now that I have the initial research done and the table built.

4) Does anyone read long-form articles on the Internet?

Just you and me, my friends. We can’t help the Low Information Voters.

Please take time to update your state’s legislators at the ArticleFiveProcess scoreboard. The failures of a few early Application Resolutions (see the table, above) are simply the very earliest attempts in this long process. Once more states get on board, the other states will begin to feel the heat.

The same is true of state legislators. Keep contacting them, and please keep updating their status on the ArticleFiveProcess scoreboard. As the map heats up, so will the legislative activity. Remember: they can’t stop you!


Previously:

Discussion #23 – Because the Internet, that’s why
Discussion #22 – Just the Video
Discussion #21 – Frequently Asked Questions
Discussion #20 – Nullification: don’t do an image search!
Discussion #19 – The Kooks and Neoconfederates Edition
Discussion #18 – #Shutuppery
Discussion #17 – Why All The Lies?
Discussion #16 – A Few Quick Notes
Discussion #15: Our Cities: The Real Misery Index
Discussion #14: The Missing Balance and the Many Applications
Discussion #13: Activism, and the Scope of the Problem
Discussion #12: Cutting Back The Bureaucracy
Discussion #11: ArticleFiveProcess site news
Discussion #10: The Article Five process is how we go on offense
Discussion #9: the filthy habit of continuing resolutions
Discussion #8: Naysayers
Discussion #7: Tracking Our Progress
Discussion #6: Amendments on Spending and Taxes
Discussion #5: How much power do the states have?
Discussion #4: What If They Hijack the Convention?
Discussion #3: An Invitation to Our Friends on the Left
Discussion #2: Run Away!
Discussion #1: Zombie Doctrine, Tactics, and the Liberty Amendments

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