There I was this evening, brimming with pride that I had just installed my first wax ring on a leaky vintage toilet, cleaning up tools and the workarea with Fox’s “Huckabee” on in the background. I heard Mark Levin’s distinctive voice suddenly erupt from the TV’s speakers, and wondered if he was promoting his new book, “The Liberty Amendments.”
After reminding myself that I need to go out and buy a copy of it, I then saw Mike Farris, a long-time conservative activiist, promoting a Website, www.conventionofstates.com.
And to my surprise and delight, learned tonight of a grassroots movement to get the Liberty Amendments moving!
Levin, Farris, and the others involved in this–Mark Meckler, cofounder of the small group Citizens for Self-Governance, out of Austin, Texas–seem to have gamed out what it will take to get this wonderful end-run around the corrupt bastards in D.C.
I am genuinely excited about this. I’ve been in Washington conservative politics for almost 20 years, and I know a great idea when I see one. When I first heard about the Liberty Amendments, I thought, “Yeah, Levin will sell a few books and then this marvelous idea will be consigned to the files. A great idea, but soon forgotten.”
But once you add a grassroots push behind this…yeah, this is doable! I’ve worked grassroots campaigns out of associations, and have been part of some real grassroots action that heavily lobbied Congress on Second Amendment issues and other business topics, so I know with the right kind of citizen’s push, Congress will listen to the hustings.
But any decent sized national grassroots movement will be magnified when it is focused on a state legislative body, especially one that would be naturally in tune with the Liberty Amendments (#LibertyA).
Okay, I have advised associations on how to conduct these kinds of things, so here is my advice for Citizens for Self-Governance. I hope you listen, because this is how the pros do this (and I am kind of looking for a job right now, you know):
1. Focus initially on three state legislative bodies that would be extremely receptive to this movement. Idaho, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, Kansas come to mind. These are Republican, small-town, pro-business legislatures that will be responsive to this plea to stop Washington from spending us into oblivion.
2. You have your message points–now activate some pre-established grassroots networks from sympathetic organizations and see what happens! Obviously, one must wait for the legislatures to be in session before this push, but this initial roll out over the next four months until the start of the 2014 sessions is good. You’ve got national talk radio excited about this, the right shows on Fox are talking about it. Heck, Levin even said on his show that Glenn Beck and he have joined forces to promote it.
3. Once you get your first legislature to pass the LibertyA’s–one or some or all, it doesn’t matter–that’s when it starts getting serious, and that’s when the Washington Establishment and the Left will start their attack campaigns. Until that first bill passes on a majority vote in say, the Montana House, this will be seen as a stunt by the Powers That Be. But once this thing gets rolling WITH MAXIMUM MEDIA COVERAGE, it will start to take off in the realm of legal, binding laws. Forget the dying MSM, this battle will be spread across the nation by social media, radio, and Fox.
3a. Every Amendment in modern times (with the exception of the 27th A) started out with a big push, racked up the states fast, and then within three years was enacted. The losers in this process–the 1970s Equal Rights Amendment is a good example–started out big but than eventually failed as the seven-years ran out. That doesn’t matter at this stage–just get the things into the sate legislatures and get them to pass them one after the other in 2014. You only need 38 states to do this! California, New York, Massachusetts won’t pass them, but they won’t matter, we don’t need every state. I bet it comes down to Ohio, Indiana or Arizona to get this over the top.
That will be a memorable day, and open up a new set of headaches as the Left and MSM come up with every conceivable idea–including violence–to block this movement.
4. Legislative co-sponsors in each state house need to be found over the next four months. And given if you look at friendly houses in select states, you will find them in droves.
5. Once you start getting four, five…six states on board, this will become a national movement. Money will flow in, you will pick up earned media left and right, and you will start to get Congressional supporters who see this as the next big movement. It will take off, but you have to start somewhere smart.
This is a brilliant strategy to clip Washington and tell the Establishment to get stuffed. Levin clearly is the brightest one on right-wing talk radio today. While there is always the spectre of court challenges if this thing starts to take off, the Liberty Amendments will be the earthquake Washington needs. It may not solve everything, but you know, it will solve a LOT of it.
Now, about that Constitutional Convention fear that I first had about this movement. In the mid-1980s Phyllis Schafley wrote a piece that she updated in 2010 that spoke about the real danger of a runaway convention. And I believe we still face to an extent that danger with what Mr. Levin has proposed.
He has argued that the 38 states would have to adopt any proposed Amendment, and he is right. But he hasn’t cogently answered to the dilemma of what happens if this convention decides to scrap the Constitution altogether, as what happened in 1787 when the states sent delegates to Philadelphia, Penn. to revise the Articles of Confederation. Although the states’ representatives to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were only authorized to amend the Articles the representatives held secret, closed-door sessions and wrote a new Constitution, the present one we have today.
Thanks to the Internet and the Dept. of History at the Univ. of Wisconsin, here is a Webpage with PDFs of all 13 colonies’ instructions to their delegates about what to do in Philadelphia to fix the Articles. To quote:
Virginia began the process of authorizing the election and then selecting delegates in November 1786. By mid-February 1787 six states had elected delegates in response to the report of the Annapolis Convention. In early 1787 the legislatures of New York and Massachusetts instructed their delegates to Congress to push for congressional authorization of a convention, which culminated in a resolution passed on 21 February 1787. The congressional call for a convention was narrowly constructed stating that the convention’s purpose was “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.”
Guess the delegates told Congress to “fuck off”, as history eventually wrote when our new Constitution was adopted by all 13 states just three years later.
That runaway convention is the greatest fear of this excellent idea. And I would contend it would not matter if it happened, for the simple idea that a convention that, say, repealed the Second Amendment, or global governance through treat law, eliminating the Electoral College, mandating single-payer universal health care, would simple not be accepted by 50 pct of the nation.
And that non-acceptance would not be just refusal to follow the law–it would be the spark of the Second American Revolution (SAR).
Scoff, you sniff? We barely missed the beginning of the SAR earlier this year, with the fear of passage of new gun control legislation. As some of the militia blogs wrote, with the enormous increase in sales of firearms, and a six-month long shortage of ammunition, this nation was not buying items that could be banned–this nation was preparing for war. War to preserve our Liberty, our freedoms, and our Constitution. Nothing could be nobler than that.
I’ve argued in the past on this blog and elsewhere hat we are close to a stage in our nation’s history where that SAR, bloody as it may be, would be short, violent, and necessary if we are to protect our Constitution from the Marxist Left operating in this nation. And that ugliness is a damned shame that it would come to that in our nation in the second decade of the 21st century. It disappoints me to no end that sad conclusion seems to be where we are heading.
And that is why I think the argument about a runaway convention doesn’t matter. We are almost there anyway in abandoning our Constitution and replacing it with some socialist nightmare. So let’s try one more legal method, prescribed in our 1787 Constitution, to try and fix the process before we begin shooting at each other.
The Liberty Amendments idea has to be better than slaughtering our neighbors, brothers, soldiers, and politicians, doesn’t it? I think so. And that’s why I support Levin’s idea enthusiastically.