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NO to An Article V Convention (AKA Con Con)

Stock Photo of the Consitution of the United States and Feather Quill

In a recent series of articles, my CDN colleague Bruce MacIsaac has argued for calling a Constitutional Convention (AKA an Article V Convention) and has proposed, by his own admission, „numerous amendments to the Constitution.”

Among these (admittedly laudable) amendments are ones to repeal the 16th and 17th Amendment, but also the monstrous „Balanced Budget Amendment.”

But even if all of his legislative proposals were good, it wouldn’t matter. The hell is paved with good intentions.

The fact is that an Article V Convention (AKA a Con-Con) would mean the end of the current Constitution, of the liberties of US citizens, and of the Republic as we know it.

Firstly, who would call the tune?

Firstly, let’s ask ourselves: who would appoint the delegates to an Article V Convention, and in what manner? How many delegates would be appointed? From what backgrounds? And what would their mandate be? To amend the current Constitution or to write an entirely new one?

Who will answer these questions?

Answer: the Congress. Specifically, the CURRENT Congress.

The same Congress that gave America a $17 trillion debt, nearly brought America to a first-ever default on its obligations in August 2011, and which utterly refuses to the blatant usurpations of power by the Executive and Judicial Branches. The same Congress where John Boehner is House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi the Minority Leader (and potential future Speaker), Harry Reid the Senate Majority Leader, and Mitch McConnell the Senate Minority Leader. This is the gang you’d be entrusting with appointing the delegates and setting their agenda.

Are those people really the ones you want to entrust your, your family’s, and your country’s future to? Because that’s EXACTLY what you’ll be doing if you support an Article V Convention.

And even if the delegates’ mandate is very narrow, what’s to stop them from writing, proposing, and adopting a new Constitution? Nothing.

Remember that the original Constitutional Convention’s mandate was only to amend the Articles of Confederation. Yet, it went far beyond that mandate and proposed an entirely new Constitution that created, for the first time ever, a federal government.

There’s nothing to stop a new Con Con from doing the same.

But if it is called and does so, you can bet it will propose a socialist constitution that will ban the private ownership of guns and limit religious freedom for Christians. You will be doing away with the greatest Constitution the world has ever known, and replacing it with a socialist system.

You say, „Oh, don’t worry, anything that a Con Con proposes would have to be ratified by ¾ of the states!” Really? Where does it say so? In the current Constitution. But the new, socialist constitution could have an entirely new method of ratification (just like the current Constitution did) – e.g. by a simple majority vote in both houses of Congress, or just the Senate.

I’ll say it again: if a Con Con is called, the current Constitution – the greatest document the world has ever known other than Magna Carta – will be done away with. Forever.

Finally, let’s remember one simple fact. Who is it that governs this country? Who is it that calls the tune in the US of A?

Why, of course the Congress, the President, the SCOTUS, and all the lobbyists and special interest groups on which the elected branches of government depend.

Look at how much power they have – over you, your family, your community, your state, and the country as a whole.

DO YOU REALLY THINK THEY WILL GIVE AWAY THAT POWER, OR SHARE IT WITH THE COMMON CITIZEN, OR ALLOW AVERAGE AMERICANS TO DESIGN AMENDMENTS TO TAKE THAT POWER AWAY FROM THEM?

OF COURSE NOT!

And that defeats the whole point of a Con-Con. If anything, the federal government will get even bigger, more intrusive, more oppressive, and more expensive if a Con-Con is called.

Anyone who, at this point, calls for an Article V Convention is either a shallow, ignorant idiot or a deceitful, lying bastard.

But nonetheless, I’m still amazed how easily Tea Party People are fooled and manipulated by wolves in sheep’s clothing like Tom Coburn and Mark Levin (both of whom support a Con-Con). It seems that Tea Partiers are so naive that all a wolf has to do to fool them is to put on his sheep’s clothing and start lying – and they will listen to him and blindly follow him.

Folks, do not allow wolves in sheep’s clothing to manipulate you! Do not support an Article V Convention. For if you do and it is called, there will be no turning back. The current Constitution will be consigned to the dustbin of history, and YOU will be co-responsible.

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Comments (21)

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  1. Zbigniew Mazurak says:

    “So, then, from what country do you plan on finding these “politicians who are determined to bring the federal government back into line with the Constitution”?”

    From nowhere. America is hopelessly doomed. Period.

  2. Mark Ross says:

    I would, fully, support an Article V Convention, which, completely, “excluded Congress.”

    I totally agree with Mark Levin on this one. I posted about it back in August: http://www.conservativedailynews.com/2013/08/article-five-and-the-liberty-amendments

    • Zbigniew Mazurak says:

      No “Article Five” Convention could completely “exclude Congress.” Anyone claiming that it could is either ignorant or lying.

      Under Article V, CONGRESS would be calling the Convention, and since it would, it would also appoint the delegates and determine their agenda. Mark Levin is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Clearly, to fool you guys (other than Derrell), all that a wolf like Mark Levin has to do is to put on his sheep suit and start lying.

      • Mark Ross says:

        If we go right to the actual (Article V) text, it says this:

        “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

        In the “first method,” it is explicitly says, “The Congress…”

        Then, in the “second method,” it says, “or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States…”

      • Mark Ross says:

        Congress, in other words, gets to decide the “Mode of Ratification”:

        “..when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, ‘as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress.’”

        In the second method, Congress does NOT get to determine if We, the States, can do it – it only states that Congress can chose the method. In fact, it only says, “may be proposed by the Congress”; it does not say, must be proposed by Congress.

        • Zbigniew Mazurak says:

          ““..when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, ‘as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress.’”

          In the second method, Congress does NOT get to determine if We, the States, can do it – it only states that Congress can chose the method. In fact, it only says, “may be proposed by the Congress”; it does not say, must be proposed by Congress.”

          Oh yeah? Where does it say so? Ah-ha – in the current Constitution! But the new, socialist, anti-Christian constitution that the con-con would inevitably produce could have an entirely different method of ratification – say, by a simple majority of both houses of Congress – just like the ORIGINAL Constitution had an entirely different ratification method from that of the AoC.

          Once the Con Con comes up with a new constitution, there is NO WAY to stop them from creating a new method of ratification – just like there was nothing to stop the delegates to the Philly Convention.

          • Mark Ross says:

            I have already addressed that question! It says that Congress MAY select the Mode of Ratification – it does not say that Congress must select it.

            You, also, unlike the others in this thread, completely ignore the second method, “or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States…”

            If Congress was the ONLY method for proposing Amendments, then, CLEARLY, the Founders would not have needed to include a second method.

            This is NOT rocket science!

            Here is a very insightful post, by The Heritage Foundation: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/02/article-v-congress-conventions-and-constitutional-amendments

            While the author agrees with you that, this method could be “potentially” dangerous, unlike you, they do acknowledge that the States can act independently of Congress.

          • Mark Ross says:

            There has been 27 Amendments to The Constitution, all of which derived in Congress; there has also been 100s of proposed Amendments. To date, no one, to my knowledge, has ever suggested changing the method of Ratification.

            Not only that, 3/4s of the States are not going to ratify an Amendment that takes away THEIR POWER to ratify.

          • Mark Ross says:

            Also, nowhere in Article V does it say anything about a “Constitutional Convention.” It would be a Convention to “propose Amendments.” The Ratifying Conventions would take place in the respective State Legislatures. And, We, The People, then, would have our say.

            This process would also be a great way to bring our States back into the game. It would re-awaken the people to the fact that the States are where the true Power lies – or should lie.

          • Robert says:

            Your premise is utterly false. The original Convention changed the modse of Ratification BUT as required by the Articles of Confederation, every state, as in all of them, approved that change.

            The equivalent in an Article V Convention would be for the delegates to propose an amendment to change the method of ratification, have that ratified by 38 states and then put forth an amendment to be ratified by the new method.

            There was no “runaway” convention in 1787. Congress called the convention. Congress unanimously approved of the work of the convention and moved to send it to the state legislatures. Each state approved the new ratification method and held conventions as called for. Even Rhode Island, which initially rejected the constitution, did so by holding local conventions around the state.

            What is nuts is nullification. Not because it is not legal, I agree it is legal, but because the logical end is Civil War. Washington WILL go to war to get its way. The last Civil War meant 600,000 dead. The next might mean 10 million dead.
            Maybe we wind up there anyway but it seems reasonable to suggest we try the method the founding fathers put into the constitution specifically to create a non-violent path to reining in federal excess.

  3. Derrell Poole says:

    The voice of common sense is often called an idiot.

    I stand with Zbigniew on this one. I do love much of the Tea Party platform but this is a really bad idea.

    Yes I am enticed with the “promises” of a Con-Con. I utterly despite the 16th Amendment – which is outright illegal as it contradicts the Constitution (Please review Article VI).

    I utterly despise the 17th Amendment which ended States rights and left the void of authority of their numerous and indefinite right for BIG Fed to absorb and they have been gobbling up ever since!

    But Tea Partyers, the Original Constitution is already perfect. And somehow making Congress accept something new is a pipe dream. You are not patient enough nor are you willing to really work hard at the real solution to this countries loss of freedom – the moral bankruptcies of our youth. It’s too hard to doggedly take back our rights and our country thru long-term determination – I applaud you for what you are doing to the GOP. But you fast food junkies now want the McAnswer to our National crisis!

    We the people can stop this Progressive insanity without risking our very nation being destroyer. We can repeal bad Amendments thru dogged hard work beginning at the level of our state legislators. The Con Con sounds like the marvelous snake oil of the old west but when you get into it you can bet none of what you want is gonna come to pass. Zbigniew has hit the head of the nail. Your Conservative voices are going to be vehemently opposed note for note by just as passionate Progressive Liberals who have the money and the political upper hand right now no matter who is right about what the Constitution says in Article V!

    Don’t do this! Don’t FALL for this. Roll up your sleeves and apply your effort the good ol’ American way! VOur system DOES work! We the people just need to get our hands back on the wheel and get our nation back on the highway!

  4. Robert says:

    You are simply wrong about who appoints the delegates. Congress has never called the delegates. In the original federal convention that produced the current constitution, delegates were appointed by state legislatures. In every national or regional convention ever held in US or colonial history it was the states that appointed delegates. It would be that way again.
    If congress controlling an amendments convention really concerns you perhaps you should reread Article V. CONGRESS IS IN CONVENTION every single day it is in session. They can propose ANY amendment, at ANY time. They haven’t proposed such because they know the insane amendments you suggest, would never be ratified. They will also NEVER propose amendments that limit their power. Only an Article V Convention of the states would ever do that.

    Next you are wrong about the conventions ability to change the rules of ratifying its proposed amendments. First, the original federal convention did change the rules concerning ratification BUT EVERY SINGLE STATE APPROVED THE CHANGE OF METHOD. This met the unanimity requirements contained in the Articles of Confederation. RI, which originally rejected the new constitution still approved the new ratification method. Second, as the discussion at the time made quite clear, states that did not ratify would resume all of their independence and become separate nations. So nothing was forced on any state. Any state could have said no.

    There is no possibility an Article V Convention can write a new constitution AND a new method for ratification that bypasses the 3/4ths requirement.

    It is also extremely unlike any radical, liberty defeating amendments could ever make it out of the convention. The delegates appointed by state legislatures, quite tired of being trampled on by Washington, are not likely to appoint delegates who will then act to make Washington stronger. Currently the majority of states are Republican controlled but even Democrat states like here in WV are not likely to give power to Washington.

    Since each state gets one vote, nutjob states like CA, IL, MA and NY will not dominate.

    Even if a bad amendment came out of convention it would still face the aforementioned 3/4ths requirement which means 13 states are enough to stop it. But even more in our favor, it does not take 13 states, it takes ONE legislative chamber in 13 states to stop it. So any mix of state houses or senates in 13 states kills a bad amendment.

    The most dangerous part of an Article V Convention is not that bad amendments will be adopted, it is that good amendments won’t be ratified making the whole thing a waste of time.
    Which means being exactly where we are now. With a federal government that has already written a new constitution. One we can never see or know. It changes every time congress meets, every time SCOTUS votes, every time the president issues an executive order.

    • Zbigniew Mazurak says:

      You are the one who is wrong here. Not only that, you clearly know nothing about what you’re talking about.

      1) Yes, in times past, BEFORE the current Constitution was adopted, the states appointed delegates. But under the CURRENT Constitution this would no longer be true. The current Const. is different. Under it, CONGRESS would call the Con Con, and therefore, IT – not state legislatures – would appoint the delegates and determine the Convention’s agenda. America no longer lives under the Articles of Confederation.

      2) Yes, the AoC required unanimity in order to be changed. But they are no longer the law of the land, and have not been for over 220 years. The Const., which replaced them, required the consent of only 9 states (out of 13) to be ratified. Such consent was obtained on June 21st, 1788, when NY ratified the Constitution.

      Likewise, a new, socialist Constitution that the Con Con would come up with would almost certainly have an entirely new method of ratification – e.g. a simple majority of both houses of Congress. Once a Con Con is convened, there’s NO WAY to stop its delegates from coming up with a new constitution and a new method of ratification.

      And remember: the delegates to the Philly Convention of 1787 were NOT supposed to come up with a Constitution! Their mandate was STRICTLY limited ONLY to amending the AoC – and any amendments were to take effect only if all 13 states ratified them!

      Yet, the delegates went FAR beyond their mandate and came up with an entirely new document with an entirely different method of ratification! There’s no way to prevent the delegates to a new Con Con from doing the same, in a sinister way.

      3) You’re saying, “But the Constitution says any amendments would have to be ratified by 3/4 of all states.” Yes, that’s what the CURRENT Constitution says – but as I demonstrated above, there is NOTHING to stop the delegates from coming up with a new Constitution with an entirely new method of ratification – just as there was nothing to stop the delegates to the Philly Convention from doing so.

      4) But in today’s America, there are no Madisons, Hamiltons, Washingtons, or Masons, so there is no way that the Con Con would come up with anything good. Anything they’d come up with would almost certainly be evil. Any delegates to the Convention – whoever would appoint them – would be either evil (Democrats), ball-less (Republicans), or shallow and ignorant (virtually all ordinary Americans). It is really idiotic to believe that today’s generations of Americans could come up with smth even nearly as good, let alone better, than what Madison, Hamilton & co. came up with.

      5) The fundamental problem with, indeed, the ORIGINAL SIN of American politicians, is that they either don’t know the Constitution or they willfully VIOLATE IT and spit on it. Does ANYONE REALLY believe that this problem – of ignorance or of blatant violation of the Constitution – can be solved by amending the Constitution?

      Does anyone really believe that people who nowadays deliberately violate the Constitution will suddenly start obeying it once it is amended? Or will they continue with their George W. Bush mindset (“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face! It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”)

      Does anyone truly believe that ignorant people who don’t know the Constitution will, upon it being amended, suddenly understand it or bother to learn it?

      6) Does anyone really believe that – even assuming (wrongly) that states and not Congress would appoint the delegates to a Con Con and determine their agenda – the powerful forces of evil that are destroying America would step aside and let the American people strip them of their power and rein in the runaway federal government?

      Does anyone really believe that the abortion, gay, environmental, agricultural, and other lobbies, and powerful Democratic bankrollers and action groups like ActBlue, ADA, and George Soros will graciously step aside and let the delegates write, and states pass, amendments that would limit their power?

      Obviously, the answer to all these questions must be “no.”

      • Robert says:

        If “THEY” wanted to “THEY” could.
        Congress is able to propose amendments for ratification at anytime.
        If an amendment could change the method of ratification for the amendment that contained the change, why hasn’t congress adopted the new socialist constitution already?

        If they merely wanted the cover of a “Convention of the States” they have between 400 and 700 applications in hand. They could call the convention, appoint only CFR and Illuminati members as delegates, propose a new wacko constitution and then define a new amendment ratification process where only Red Chinese are allowed to vote.
        WHY HAVEN’T THEY DONE THAT?
        Did they just not see how easy it would be?

  5. chad roberts says:

    this guy is an idiot, there are two ways to amend the constitution, one as he describes is for congress to do it, the other is for the states to do it without congress. the current congress wouldn’t appoint the representatives, the STATE congresses would. This was purposely put in place by out founders for the event that the federal government overstepped their authority because our founders understood that a tyrannical congress would never amend the constitution to limit their own authority and the states needed a way to do go around them. Maybe this genius should go back to college or at least read the constitution.

    • Zbigniew Mazurak says:

      Oh, so I’m now an idiot bc I disagree with your methods?

      There is NO way to amend the Constitution without Congress. Any Con Con would have to be called by Congress, and since Congress would be calling it, it would also be the one appointing the delegates and determining their agenda. State legislatures would have no role whatsoever to play, other than “applying” (i.e. asking) for a Con Con in the first place. Art. V does not give them any other role, except ratifying proposed amendments… under the current method of ratification.

      And once Congress calls a Con Con, states will have NO control over its delegates, proposals, or agenda. And you can be sure that they will outlaw Christianity and the private ownership of guns.

      • Mark Ross says:

        In such a Convention, amendments may ONLY be proposed; it still takes 3/4s of the States to ratify such amendments. That, imho, is a sufficient check on the fear-monger claim that some rogue leftists could unilaterally amend our Constitution.

        I am of the opinion that, anyone who is opposed to this method, either has a complete lack of faith in the Founder’s wisdom, or a complete lack of faith in our citizenry.

        Either way, unless we are willing to do something out-of-the-box, we will continue down this “current path” of Constitutional destruction. We are NOT, imho, going to vote our way back to wholly Constitutional, Federal Government.

        The States must do something fairly radical, if we are going to rign in this ROGUE Federal Government.

        • Zbigniew Mazurak says:

          “In such a Convention, amendments may ONLY be proposed; it still takes 3/4s of the States to ratify such amendments. That, imho, is a sufficient check on the fear-monger claim that some rogue leftists could unilaterally amend our Constitution.”

          Garbage! That says so in the CURRENT Constitution – but the new, socialist, anti-Christian constitution that the con-con would inevitably produce could have an entirely different method of ratification – say, by a simple majority of both houses of Congress – just like the ORIGINAL Constitution had an entirely different ratification method from that of the AoC.

          Once the Con Con comes up with a new constitution, there is NO WAY to stop them from creating a new method of ratification – just like there was nothing to stop the delegates to the Philly Convention.

          “I am of the opinion that, anyone who is opposed to this method, either has a complete lack of faith in the Founder’s wisdom, or a complete lack of faith in our citizenry.”

          Well, for one, I do not have ANY faith whatsoever in the American citizenry. I believe at least 90% of Americans are uneducated, ignorant, intellectually shallow idiots. On that, you got me Guilty As Charged. These morons don’t even know the text of the current Constitution, yet you expect them to produce wise people who will then wisely amend the Constitution crafted by the Enlightment’s brightest minds while resisting all influence from the forces of evil?

          “Either way, unless we are willing to do something out-of-the-box, we will continue down this “current path” of Constitutional destruction. We are NOT, imho, going to vote our way back to wholly Constitutional, Federal Government.

          The States must do something fairly radical, if we are going to rign in this ROGUE Federal Government.”

          No, there is no need to do anything of the sort. It will suffice to simply STOP REELECTING THE SAME POLITICIANS OVER AND OVER AGAIN! And, from this moment forward, elect ONLY politicians who are determined to bring the federal government back into line with the Const. thru the ordinary legislative process.

          But the American people won’t do that, because they want to continue receiving their SS, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare rolls, farm subsidies, etc.

          • Mark Ross says:

            OK, so let’s get this straight:

            You “do not have ANY faith whatsoever in the American citizenry.” You “believe at least 90% of Americans are uneducated, ignorant, intellectually shallow idiots.”

            So, then, from what country do you plan on finding these “politicians who are determined to bring the federal government back into line with the Constitution”?

            The people we elect to Congress, are The American citizenry!

          • Mark Ross says:

            “But the American people won’t do that, because they want to continue receiving their SS, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare rolls, farm subsidies, etc.”

            On that, we completely agree!

            And, these things are not going to be reformed by these same fools, who derive their power, and win elections, by continually bribing the citizenry.

            Fundamental reforms must be made; and, this needs to take place “outside of The Federal Government.” The Federal Government will not reform itself.

          • Mark Ross says:

            “In questions of powers, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson (from The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798)