March 20, 2010

Let's Take a Meeting: Running the Numbers [Bumped]

[Bumped and updated to point to the fascinating discussion in the comments.]


Idaho first to sign law aimed at health care plan

Idaho took the lead in a growing, nationwide fight against health care overhaul Wednesday when its governor became the first to sign a measure requiring the state attorney general to sue the federal government if residents are forced to buy health insurance. Similar legislation is pending in 37 other states.

Total states involved to date: 38

State legislatures needed to convene a Constitutional Convention: 34

State legislatures needed to agree for an amendment to the Constitution proposed in a Constitutional Convention to be ratified: 38

This path to amending the Constitution has never been used, but there's always a first time. In any case, the President has no power to veto any proposal or ratification coming out of the process.

In the nearly 225 years since the adoption of the Constitution, we've never held another convention. Maybe it's time. Maybe that's why so many fear it but it seems preferable to the more contentious way of resolving Constitutional conflicts. We've done that once before... in 1861. Once was enough.


Posted by Vanderleun at March 20, 2010 10:32 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I've been thinking the same thing for over a year now. The only way to save our Republic in this mess is to risk the previously unthinkable: starting anew. If 2010's Congressional elections don't get it done, maybe 2011-2012 is the time frame.

Posted by: Jimmy at March 19, 2010 10:54 AM

In the nearly 225 years since the adoption of the Constitution, we've never held another convention. Maybe it's time.

Absolutely not. BAD idea. The Left would hijack such a convention in nothing flat.

How about we insist on observing the one we have?

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at March 19, 2010 10:57 AM

First, we impeach the Indonesian.......

Posted by: at March 19, 2010 11:54 AM

Hijack a Constitutional Convention? People have been saying this for years. With that attitude, no one would ever have trusted holding the original convention!

Considering what's unfolding, you'd rather watch the Republic descend into permanent, destructive chaos than RISK a Constitutional Convention?

I'd rather risk a Constitutional Convention than a Civil War.

But I am willing to wait for the outcome of the 2010 elections.

Posted by: Jimmy at March 19, 2010 12:16 PM

I see the states rights movement as being our best bet to get the feds out of where they don't belong.
I agree with don roderigo on the constitutional convention - hell, the A-holes have attempted or succeeded in hijacking everything else.

Posted by: Cheezburgrrr at March 19, 2010 12:41 PM

Well, fear is the little death. We outnumber them but we don't yet know how to sufficiently cow them. We are far too polite. But that can change.

Posted by: vanderleun at March 19, 2010 1:24 PM

They don't follow the one we have, why would a new one do any good.

Posted by: Fat Man at March 19, 2010 1:27 PM

I for one would much rather refresh the roots of the tree of liberty with cool, clear water and sunlight from time to time than blood.

Posted by: vanderleun at March 19, 2010 1:33 PM

Hijack a Constitutional Convention? People have been saying this for years. With that attitude, no one would ever have trusted holding the original convention!

There were no leftists at the time. Those types didn't come until the French Revolution, an ocean away. It's all well and good that America's middle class has woken up and is alarmed and organizing, but it has a long way to go before matching the clout of the left, which has insinuated itself into most of the country's institutions. If these people have no compunction about looting the treasury and "passing laws" without actually voting -- all despite the ire of a majority of Americans -- they'll think nothing of dominating a new constitutional convention.

Makes more sense to consolidate our power first, and then reintroduce the amendment process that our judicial and legislative bodies abandoned 40-plus years ago.

Replacing the current constitution with a new one reminds me of how our 'leaders' deal with violent criminals: they refuse to enforce the laws on the books, are appalled at the consequences of their own neglect, and then they pass more draconian laws against violent crime with no intention of fully enforcing those either. Why should we "convene" to toss out a perfectly good constitution in this sort of environment?

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at March 19, 2010 1:53 PM

Well, fear is the little death. We outnumber them but we don't yet know how to sufficiently cow them. We are far too polite. But that can change.

Yes it can, and yes We can.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at March 19, 2010 1:54 PM

"How about we insist on observing the one we have."
I'm afraid that will probably work out as well as "insisting" that Iran give up its nuclear ambitions. Stronger measures may be needed.
Like a bear hooked on garbage, our Federal politcal class won't give up power willingly.

Posted by: westsoundmodern at March 19, 2010 2:04 PM

Absolutely NO Constitutional Convention! There's no predicting the crazy crap that leftist delegates would try to throw in there. It would drag on for months or longer. Hech, even the right-of-center delegates wouldn't be able to agree. The whole shebang would wind up trying to re-write the whole Constitution and start over.

Remember: we do not have an Enlightenment-aware population anymore, certainly not anyone who went to a university. There would be no way to duplicate the truly unique group of delegates of the only convention we've had.

Amend, yes, absolutely, but a new convention? God save us!

Posted by: Donald Sensing at March 19, 2010 2:58 PM


Your "bear hooked on garbage" line reminded me of Reagan's A Time for Choosing.

Would that such men still walked the earth.

Posted by: Cris at March 19, 2010 3:19 PM

Absolutely NO? Okay, should we just then go straight to the "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security" phase? I don't even want to think about the level of risk in that. I mean you can't even get past thinking about the logistics.

Posted by: vanderleun at March 19, 2010 4:20 PM

I'm with the good Rev. Sensing, absolutely not!
We've got a Constitution and a Republic - we just need to keep it, or as seems likely, get it back.

Given the media and the educational system, letting the current batch of "leaders" and special interests mess with the Constitution would be an unmitigated disaster.

Posted by: Hunt Johnsen at March 19, 2010 4:41 PM

Good luck getting it back, Hunt, without a majority owning some skin in the game.

I'm on Vanderleun's team in this scrimmage. Time to reevaluate the underlying broken premise of wealth redistribution that we've been operating under for the past eighty years.

Posted by: Daphne at March 19, 2010 5:04 PM

Not OT:
We have the internet, the Wall Street Journal, and one channel on cable.

They have the networks, the newspapers, Hollywood, and the educational system from kindergarten to PhD., with additional help from labor unions.

We are the silenced majority.

"I can't hear you"

"But I can hear you. And the people who knocked this system down are gonna' hear from all of us soon."

Let us pray.


Posted by: jwm at March 19, 2010 5:51 PM

Once was enough.

Maybe it wasn't.

Posted by: Daphne at March 19, 2010 5:58 PM

Depends on how much you're committed to doing the right thing. Otherwise the silent majority will diminish with out a whimper.
I'm reading a lot of fear here.

Posted by: clue by four at March 19, 2010 6:21 PM

If the tea party people become big enough, organized enough (NOT on party lines), and therefore strong enough, a real, unhijackable constitutional convention is a potential reality. Our Constitution came out of necessity when the Articles of Confederation failed. A new Constitution will have to come after the failure of the current one.

The difficulty is that to simply amend the current Constitution presumes the fixes can be made by amendment. I could propose several, but most of them are restatements of the original. The only one I think has real merit and might, in the long run, have effect, is term limits. We did it to a Presidency that had become too powerful and worrisome, now it is Congress' turn.

The other amendment that has real merit, until one thinks of time of war, is a constitutional limit on spending. But that is a rehash of the Tenth Amendment. All of the excess spending is in violation of the Tenth Amendment. The states are finally waking up to this.

Posted by: Bill at March 19, 2010 7:03 PM

This is a way to Legislate from the People.

About time.

Each state sends its delegates.

That means a clear Tea Party Majority.

Posted by: Austin at March 19, 2010 7:23 PM

Rather than calling a Constitutional Convention, maybe we should be getting some amendments repealed instead.

Repeal the Sixteenth Amendment (which authorized Congress to levy a tax on incomes) and starve the beast.

Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment (which provides for direct election of Senators) and thereby give the states as political entities their voices back in Washington, making plain the idea that the United States is precisely that-- a union of states.

Both amendments are products of the Progressive Era mania for leveling and "democracy". I use the scare quotes because what the Progressives had in mind was tyranny, made possible first and foremost by tyranny of the majority. Only now are we realizing that democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

Posted by: Hale Adams at March 19, 2010 8:16 PM

vanderleun writ:

Well, fear is the little death.

I thought that "the little death" was something else altogether.

Posted by: WWWebb at March 19, 2010 8:25 PM

It is impossible to govern a republic without the consent of the governed.

Now RULE is a whole other thing.

"We have the internet exactly as long as the DoD says we do.

It can't be switched off. Yet.

The government is engaged in destroying the economy, destroying the faith of the citizenry in the efficacy of representative government, and is poised to destroy our sovereignty by going amnesty/open borders by summertime.

I'm giving it until the 2010 elections are in the books.

No convention. The Constitution as conceived could scarcely be improved upon; to even speculate on what today's political class would do if given the chance to rewrite it does not bear serious consideration.

We've got our Republic. Well, we did. We let it get handcuffed and ball gagged. WE did it.

Now we have to fix it.

Posted by: TmjUtah at March 19, 2010 8:47 PM

Hale Adams - I like your comment. But...

With millions on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment, government pensions, etc., we'll need a full-blown convention hall with an army outside to repeal the 16th Amendment. But that shouldn't stop us.

It's not just that "we've been doin' it wrong' for so many years (like 100).

It's that we've been doing SO MUCH WRONG for so long that makes fixing it so ponderous... so precipitous...

Posted by: Jimmy at March 19, 2010 8:54 PM

A Constitutional Convention?

Can anyone think of a half-dozen men and women of either party who understands and cherishes liberty or who has demonstrated the integrity and depth of character of a random Founding American?
Does their equal even exist to entrust such a task to anymore?

Is there yet even a single man or woman willing to sacrifice all for the sake of individual God-given Liberty when such an archaic thing would be labeled a reactionary racist, an extremist, or a traitor to be hounded out of the 'popular' culture. We have all seen how it's done by those who've deemed themselves our superiors.

Besides, has anyone talked to an "average" American lately? A proud voter with his big-assed TeeVee...One of that clear majority of informed Americans who so recently elevated 0bama and his cadre of thieves and commissars into position to deem unto law whatever fits their collective whim? This very day our superiors prosecute our soldiers for soldiering, Mirandize foreign murderers, ignore their own fraud and corruption, debase our allies, bow low to fellow travelers, seize or displace our industries, and devalue what fruits of our labors as are left after their legalized theft. All such acts are allowed, if not championed, by we the people.

Now do we debate new bounds for our freedoms? Define new rights for our governance? Tinker with the tried and true to rule upon modernized liberties? With a polity that displays near universal ignorance of what Freedom or Liberty even is; much less of the lives of those men who spilled their blood and spent their treasure to secure them for us?

At best we'd end up with a loathsome 50,000 page pile of steaming postmodern scat based on race, class, and theft. Pure Shit.

Smirking corrupt statists and their myriad dependent constituents -having hollowed out and undermined the very foundation upon which this Republic stands- are even now massed upon the near shore of the Rubicon poised to sack what's left of our shining city and collapse these United States under the weight of new and improved intolerable acts. The current circus maximus of preening fools on the hill are simple haggling over who gets to redistribute such loaves as still remain in our possession.

What I suspect will come to pass -whether we the people like it or not- is that we will either be made to emasculate ourselves before an [elected] tyrant king as broken simulacra of men who take mere license to be liberty, or freemen will arise from their exhaustion to refresh the tree and beat back the weeds.

Blood or water...

Posted by: monkeyfan at March 19, 2010 10:58 PM

We are past a time for Convention, because so many people are corrupted or ignorant, and the states are not far behind the federal government in dysfunction. California was ahead, until Obama caught us up.

What form a counter-revolution takes is impossible to say, but luck will favor the prepared, or as de Tocqueville put it--the mental habits which suit action do not always promote thought. The world is not directed by long and learned proofs. All its affairs are decided by the swift glance at a particular fact, the daily examination of the changing moods of the crowd, occasional moments of chance, and the skill to exploit them.

Also in our favor, we do not need visionaries, but historians.

Posted by: james wilson at March 20, 2010 12:03 AM

That or, not to be glib, an historic visionary.

Posted by: vanderleun at March 20, 2010 12:40 AM

I can think of a few issues that could use some clearing up. One is the "freedom of religion" clause; I think it likely that the Founders never imagined the current situation, with one of the religions (albeit a minor one in the USA) being in direct contradiction to the Constitution as that particular religion REQUIRES establishment of religion, and rejects democracy of any sort into the bargain.

The 2nd Amendment could possibly use some attention, too; the purpose clause has been causing trouble for decades and maybe it's time that the USA as a whole decided what it means and put the entire text into modern language.

On that subject, perhaps the entire Constitution ought to be put into modern language. Linguistic drift causes unnecessary confusion, as in the aforementioned amendment.

I suspect that the Founders also never envisaged that a large fraction of the electorate might one day be too ill-educated to understand the issues and, further, that another large fraction (which overlaps with the first to some extent) is dependent on government for its livelihood and therefore has a massive inbuilt bias towards greater government spending. Perhaps the issue of qualification (and disqualification) for voting rights ought to be looked at.

As perhaps ought to be the age limits for the Senate and the Presidency. Most authorities seem to agree that the intention of those limits was for the Senators and the President to be the elders of the community, in an age when the average lifespan was 30 or so. This obviously no longer applies. Raising the lower age limit for Senators might be a neat way of imposing term limits by default.

There are a number of other possibilities, some a little frivolous. One I would favour if I was an American, and do favour in my own country, is that legal qualifications ought to be a disqualification for elected office of any sort at all.

And lastly, in an age of rapid transport what on Earth is the use of the long delay between election of a President and his assumption of office?

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at March 20, 2010 3:18 AM

Mister Christian! Bravo that man.

An excellent list, save perhaps the "modern language" stipulation...."All of us male, female, GLTO, and not to exclude dogs, who live here kinda think that things would be better if...."

I especially like the part about any and all lawyers being perforce disqualified from public office. As far as raising the age qualification, nobody under 65 should even be allowed to express an opinion on the office of President.

A Constitutional amendment to provide the following provisions:

Any and all televised political speeches to be accompanied by a laugh track to be supplied by the opposition party.

A non-compete clause to be inserted in the Presidential contract providing that no former holder of that office be allowed to express themselves publicly for a period of 50 years.

Successful impeachment proceedings to be concluded with a public whipping.

That'll do for a start.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at March 20, 2010 7:22 AM

Daphne said- "Time to reevaluate the underlying broken premise of wealth redistribution that we've been operating under for the past eighty years."

Exactly - we need to ditch this crap and return to the original ideals. I still think the Constitution is not to be trifled with, but some of the recent amendments may need to be amended.

Barring that it may be time for Texas to use its option. A lot of us will join you at the barricades.

Posted by: Hunt Johnsen at March 20, 2010 7:31 AM

I don't trust a new Constitutional convention with the caliber of "statesmen" (gag) we currently have. I agree with Donald Sensing and monkeyfan above. Average people, thanks to our modern educational system, no longer have any concept of limited government or individual liberty other than "whatever I feel like doing". Hell, even Republican politicians constantly prattle on about our "democracy".

No, a new convention would be a clusterfuck of monumental proportions. Our modern scholars and law professors would leave us with an incomprehensible postmodern EU-style 1000-page charter of "positive rights", i.e., what the government must do for you. (And nobody would read it.)

And when all is said and done, it would still just be words on paper. The same elected officials who violate our present Constitution with impunity would feel free to violate the new one. Instead, ways must be found to compel them to comply with the current Constitution.

Posted by: rickl at March 20, 2010 7:42 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but is the USA not a democracy in the sense of the literal translation; "rule by the people"?

AFAIK a large proportion of the Constitution is there to prevent the possibility of abuses that might arise in a direct democracy. As an extreme example, in a classic direct democracy such as that of ancient Athens the majority rules and gets what it wants without recourse to any fixed law. Imagine a proposition in such a society: "It is proposed that Mr Albert Smith be hanged by the neck until he is dead". And if 50% (plus one) of the people voting agree with that proposition, then Mr. Smith is hanged whether he has done any wrong or not.

However, the government of the USA has the people as its sovereign. The Constitution is about checks and balances to prevent abuse of this fact. Again, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at March 20, 2010 7:53 AM

Fletcher Christian:
You're right. From their study of history, the Founders knew that pure democracy would lead to ruin. They created what is correctly called a "constitutional republic" with checks and balances so that no branch of government would have too much power and to prevent the transient whims and passions of the people from having too much sway.

The House was popularly elected and represented the people. The Senate was elected by state legislators and represented the states' interests. At first, only white male property owners were allowed to vote.

Now, nobody today is advocating a return to that standard for voting, but it seems to me that we have gone too far in the opposite direction. The Senate is now popularly elected, and even unemployed, uneducated people are able to vote themselves bigger government handouts. Today we are very close to pure democracy, and it is leading to our ruin.

Posted by: rickl at March 20, 2010 8:31 AM

de Tocqueville, 1831
On scrutinizing the Constitution of the United States....... it is frightening to note how many differences of knowledge and discernment it assumes in those governed.
I have scarcely ever encountered a single man of the common people in America who did not perceive with surprising ease the obligations entailed in the laws of Congress and the beginnings to the laws of his own state, nor who could not separate the matters belonging to the general prerogatives of the Union from those regulated by his local legislature and who could not point to where the competence of the federal courts begins and the limitations of the state tribunals ends.

Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Materiel abundance without character is the path to destruction.

Should, hereafter, those incited by the lust to power and prompted by the supineness or venality of their Constituents, overleap the known barriers of this Constitution and violate the inalienable rights of humanity: it will only serve to show, that no compact among men--however provident its construction and sacred in its ratification--can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable.

With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the details of powers enumerated in the Constitution connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character in which there is a host of proofs which was not contemplated by its creators.
If congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands, they may appoint teachers in every state, county, and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state regulation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress...Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of limited Government established by the people of America.
I am unable to conceive that the people of America, in their present temper, or under any circumstances which can speedily happen, will choose, and every second year repeat the choice of who would be disposed to form and pursue a scheme of tyranny or treachery......who would either desire or dare betray the solemn trust committed to them. What change of circumstances time, and a fuller population of our country may produce requires a prophetic spirit to declare, which makes no part of my pretensions.

Posted by: james wilson at March 20, 2010 10:36 AM

We must return the concept of responsibility as the true core of citizenship.

Everybody pays taxes would be a good start.

Teaching citizenship vice social studies would be a great second step.

Of course, teaching children how to read, how to write, and how to do maths beyond operating a calculator seems beyond the capabilities of our Federally - supervised education infrastructure. Unless that's a feature and not a bug, of course...

For the record, I support the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment. Further, the initiative process, especially as executed in California, must be critically examined and evaluated for what it really is - a back door for providing the political class with yet another tool to avoid making hard or just decisions.

I believe this weekend might be the end of the Republic as we know it. But a wise man once said that when you are caught in the flood, you must swim across the current in order to get to the shore. Then you advance from there.


Good luck.

Posted by: TmjUtah at March 20, 2010 11:47 AM

James Wilson,
May I add, "A Republic, If you can keep it"
Ben Franklin was a very insightful, wise man.

Posted by: Cheezburgrrr at March 20, 2010 12:21 PM

"Hijack a Constitutional Convention?"

The first one was hijacked. The delegates were sent there to amend the Articles of confederation, not write a new constitution. This was a coup led by Statist big government types like that piece of filth Hamilton

Posted by: Bilejones at March 20, 2010 1:43 PM

Small things lead to ripples, and an earthquake under the ocean may not be felt anywhere there is land, but a tsunami radiates out and destroys everything on the shore line. It is always the smallest of straws which will break our collective backs. We don't have the kind of smart people we used to have. We have collective historic amnesia, and we are nostalgic....not a good mix. Hard to say what will be the tipping point, but it might not be much.

Posted by: Jewel at March 20, 2010 2:14 PM

When the argument is presented that the left will hijack a convention and one hears the left saying the same thing about the right, it becomes obvious neither side will have that much advantage at such a convention. Indeed the very makeup of a convention and the fact it will be devoted entirely to the consideration of resolution of issues by amendment pretty much eliminates the left/right schism we're so familiar with. For an amendment to be successful both as to being ratified and to accomplishing its intent demands that it be as neutral as possible. By that I mean you cannot write an amendment for the next election. You have to write for all time.

The public record is clear the states have applied for a convention. Congress must call. See to read the applications.

To say the left will hijack a convention however also misses the point. It is the extreme political right which has already hijacked the Constitution by spreading lies about a convention so that people fear using it. One group, the John Birch Society, has held this nation in its iron grip of fear and lies for nearly two generations. Nothing which this group says is true except that if the states apply Congress must call. Yet, because of clever wording people fear a convention. They are asked to imagine what will happen not because they cannot think but because that is all this extreme right group can present: imagination. If you demand of them to present facts and records, they can't.

Go to the FOAVC web site and learn the truth. Then decide. You have a runaway government. The only thing that can stop it is amendments. Which is the greater fear--a convention that may propose a bad amendment or the fact of a runaway government that soon may control every aspect of your life?

Posted by: Bill Walker at March 20, 2010 2:14 PM

Rock, meet Hard Place.

To preface, I write as one who has always harbored considerable trepidation over the prospects of a ConCon, but who has recently felt that trepidation - regarding what might happen - overruled by what is already clearly happening.

Here's the thing... those who reject the notion of an Article V Convention outright - and who do so due to fear of the outcome based on an assessment of the electorate as a bunch of gullible, uneducated, easily misled cretins - may be ignoring the fact that we are already being subjected to what is effectively a wholesale rewrite of the Constitution right now, with NONE of the attendant accountability, and for the very same reason. The difference is that - right now - the People are providing no input whatsoever into the process.

An Article V Convention - even should it not succeed in passing any resolution at all - could still accomplish two important goals.

The first, obviously, is to reduce the number of gullible, uneducated, easily misled cretins who infest the electorate, by shining a bright light on the existential aspect of our need for restraints on the federal government. Think of ClimateGate, but on a national, Constitutional level. How many MORE people understand the nature of (and the danger inherent in) the AGW scam, now that the ClimateGate information has seen widespread public exposure? This same level of public awareness - times 1000 - needs to be applied to the civic process that was originally intended to drive this nation's governance.

The second - as is reflected in the bills discussed in Gerard's OP - is to specifically put the federal government on notice that its ongoing usurpation and arrogation, in direct defiance of the Tenth Amendment, is simply not going to be tolerated any longer.

Personally, I think the unprecedented nature of an Article V Convention leading up to this November or, perhaps better still, going into 2012, is the ONLY thing with enough impact to appreciably change the course of this nation, turning it away from its present destination - a Totalitarian State - and back toward Republic. While it may be preferable to wait eight months to make a statement, please realize that a simple realignment of politicos in D.C. this November is NOT going to achieve the sort of Awakening this nation requires if it is to survive.

I am, let's say, a tentative believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. As Lincoln noted, the great point is to bring them the real facts and there, of course, is the rub. To me, this says that in fearing the outcome of an Article V Convention, we may be engaging in a bit of transference - i.e., our real fear is one regarding our ability to bring the people those facts. We need to determine the truth of this because ultimately - either through gullibility and inaction or through education and engagement - the People are going to be the ones to decide our conjoined fate.

Posted by: goy at March 20, 2010 2:27 PM

You have to walk the walk ladies and gents. Not enough anymore to just talk the talk, or set on the back bench and snark away at those nasty populists. I went to a tea party rally in Sept.. I then went to the precinct caucus on election day here in Texas. Never did that before. I was elected delegate to the GOP county convention which happened today. I just got home. I applied to be a delegate to the state convention in June in Dallas and got elected alternate delegate. I voted on a great many resolutions to be carried to the state convention and met hundreds of like minded folks. We don't need no constitutional convention we just need to take over the GOP and cull out all of the dead wood. If everyone here would do what I did we could take back our rights, feed the tree of liberty with water and sunshine rather than blood, as GVD says.
Up the individual....down the collective. Noli me tangere.

Posted by: John at March 20, 2010 3:30 PM

Hale above wants to repeal the 17th amendment. That was a resolution today at our county GOP convention and it failed pretty handily. I voted with the majority, Hale, because I want to empower the individual not the state, not even the local state. We need to STOP the state, not IMPROVE it.

Posted by: John at March 20, 2010 3:38 PM

I have a question for those of you who left these astute, and thoughtful comments. Have you spoken to people lately? I mean, just talked. To the people at work. The people you meet at the local pub, or coffee hangout. The people you run into at the beach, or the park?

What I find chills me to the bone. Very few of the folks I run into have a clue about what's going to go down tomorrow in D.C. They know there's something about healthcare, and the president wants to reform it, but those Republicans are trying to stop him... They don't much like those Republicans anyway, because, well, Bush, and that war and all...

If you're getting your information on-line, or from a respectable talk radio host ie: Hewitt, Prager, Medved, then you know. Unfortunately, I find frighteningly few people who ever turn on a radio except for mainstream media rock outlets, or log onto the internet except maybe to check Facebook, Ebay, or Youtube. The networks, and newspapers still have a chokehold on information, and they are all in lockstep with the statist left. I hate to be pessimistic, but I'm afraid that this frog may be boiled. I do fervently hope I am wrong.


Posted by: jwm at March 20, 2010 6:17 PM

Hewitt is a whited sepulchre and an RNC mouthpiece. Medved is a prat.

Breaking up is hard to do, but it's past time. Scale is inimical to the individual. It is no longer possible -- nor, I think, particularly desirable -- to restore the fruits of ordered liberty while preserving the fruits of Manifest Destiny. Time to break it up.

Posted by: Ken at March 20, 2010 6:56 PM

As I remember, in a Republic, only property owners may vote.

Thats not politically correct but you dont want the leeches voting themselves the money.

Posted by: bruce wayne at March 20, 2010 7:12 PM

Gosh, Ken, that was a well thought out, and logically constructed argument. I guess the case is closed.


Posted by: jwm at March 20, 2010 7:34 PM

jwm @ 6:17:

Great comment. No, I don't talk to people. I can no longer take the smug ignorance and even smugger arrogance.

As for "respectable talk radio hosts", I greatly prefer Levin, Beck, and Limbaugh to the three that you mentioned. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with them; they're all intelligent men. Different strokes, I guess.

Listening to my three, particularly the first two, the situation may even be worse than what you said.

Posted by: rickl at March 20, 2010 7:53 PM

Okay, jwm, here's a fair sample of the wisdom of alleged constitutional lawyer 'Ugh Hewitt.

On the Crash of '08: "We have to print our way out of this. They're smart guys at the Fed, they'll know when to stop."

Kept running ads from Mortgage Minute guy the whole time, too: Refinance and get cash out! The way to solve a problem based partly on using your house as an ATM is...use your house as an ATM! I guess.

On the Second Amendment: "Intermediate scrutiny is the best you'll get."

On Harriet Miers: "Even if she would be a terrible justice -- which she won't -- it wouldn't be worth the candle, for the damage it would do to the administration."

Think about that: "Even if she would be a terrible justice, it (by which he meant fighting the nomination) wouldn't be worth the candle for the damage it would do to the administration."

The one thing Hewitt got right in my time (several years, before I had a bellyful) was opposing scamnesty. Big deal. Roman Polanski made a good movie once, too.

Hugh Hewitt is part of the problem. He wants to keep the parts of the cannibal pot he likes, and let his favored cannibals be first at the rim.

Posted by: Ken at March 20, 2010 8:28 PM

Get back on your meds. I don't have a clue what you are talking about, here. Are you late to anarchists un-united, or something? What you have written is incomprehensible gibberish.
Sit there with a straight face, and tell us you have quotes on hand from a radio program two years ago. Or that an advertiser, a sponsor of the show has any input as to the content. Mega health insurance used to advertise on Hewitt's station. They ripped me off to the bone. That is not Hewitt's fault, and I'd be a victocrat of the lowest order to believe it was. I'm not sure where you are coming from, but maybe a trip back to Comp 101 could teach you to make a point. Cannibal pot. Oh, fucking please.


Posted by: jwm at March 20, 2010 8:50 PM


Thanks for conceding via ad hominem. But since you started it...butthurt much, sweetie?

Actually, you _comprehend_ it all too well, which is why you're squealing LEEEAVE BRITNEY ALLOOOOONE!!!

When the host of the show talks buddy-buddy daily with Mortgage Minute Guy, and nods along with "get some cash out when you refi," it's fair to assume he doesn't have a problem with the content of the ad.

As far as remembering quotes, the Miers quote is actually four or five years old. As it happens, I have a good memory for jaw-dropping horseshit. I hear it from people like you all the time.

I'll say it agin, and use small words for the benefit of you and any other dullards who might be around. It was OOH-KAY with 'Ugh Hewitt for Harriet Miers to be named (almost used appointed, but small words) because fighting it might hurt the Republicans.

One more time: Better an unqualified Justice than anything that might hurt the Faction.

That your paragon of liberty? Srsly?

If all you've got to bring to the field are "meds" and f-bombs -- don't cross swords with me, sunshine. You're not _remotely_ up to it.

Posted by: Ken at March 20, 2010 10:26 PM

Ok. get clear on the concept, since you seem to be conceptually challenged. The point is not whether Hewitt, or Medved, or any other talk show host meets your standard of conservatism. We have a two party system, like it or not. What we have at hand is the Republican Party. And what we have at hand is flawed. It has always been flawed, and will always be flawed. That is life in the real world in which we live. You can hold out for ideological purity, in which case you will sit there, holding out, until the cows come home. Or consider a highly effective third party like the Libertarians. See how much gets done.
Since you managed to avoid the initial point I was making, I'll re-state it for your edification. Here it comes. Ready? The point I was making is this. Someone listening to Hewitt, or Prager, or Medved, Beck, Rush, Gallagher, Hannity, et al is informed. The vast majority of people out there do not listen, and are not informed. The vast majority listen to ABC news, or CBS news, or NBC news. The read the Los Angeles, or NY Times. They hear the party line as preached from the DNC. And they haven't a clue about what is going down in D.C. today.


Posted by: jwm at March 21, 2010 8:16 AM

How true that is, jwm.

Posted by: at March 21, 2010 8:49 AM

My point:
The public does not listen to talk radio, and is uninformed.

Kens response: Hewitt is a whited sepulchre(sp), and Medved is a prat. (isn't that one of them add hominies?)

My comment: Not much of an argument, there Ken.

Ken's response. I don't agree with Hewitt on issue A) B) C), therefore Hewitt is...

My response: You're not making much sense here, Ken (add gratuitous insult 'cause I'm in a pissy mood)

Ken's response: I REALLY disagree with Hewitt!!!111
So there, I win!
(add gratuitous insult with homosexual overtones, because Ken is a weenie)

And my initial point: People do not listen to talk radio, and are uninformed-

remains unaddressed.

You win, Ken.
(And, yes. You are a weenie.)
Gratuitous insult by:


Posted by: jwm at March 21, 2010 10:08 AM

Missing in all this discussion (or perhaps I missed it here) is the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution is our brain, but the Declaration is our soul. There are people nowadays who dismiss the Declaration as being of no consequence because it's not a "governing" document.

The Hell it isn't. It is the foundation of how we chose to be governed and why. It is also the source of the single most unique "divine entitlement" ever put into a document intended to describe a nation's vision: The Pursuit of Happiness. If that right endowed to us by our Creator isn't the ultimate example of American Exceptionalism, then I don't know what is.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at March 22, 2010 10:59 AM

Amen to that Mr Rodrigo.

Posted by: monkeyfan at March 22, 2010 2:08 PM

Ah, hell. Permit me to withdraw my intemperate comments to jwm and apologize. I failed in all three aspects of Augustine's formula:

In essentials, unity,
In non-essentials, liberty,
And in all things, charity.

There is a reason I went off on Hewitt, but it's only tangential to the topic. It _is_ relevant, but tangential.

Once again, my apologies.

Posted by: Ken at March 24, 2010 8:35 AM