Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Article V Con Con, by Gary Marbut

Gary Marbut writes:
"I have less enthusiasm than some of my friends for an Article V Constitutional Convention (or “convention of the states”; here “ConCon”) (yes, I've read Mark Levin's Liberty Amendments).
I agree in spades with all ConCon proponents that our Nation is in very dire straits, and that we must do something soon to tame the runaway federal monster or give up on the idea of individual liberty. However, the Article V ConCon idea seems to me to be grasping at the ...wrong straw, for two primary reasons:
1) I don't imagine that a federal government which ignores the current Constitution would pay much more attention to an improved Constitution – at least it would quickly create workarounds for restrictions that block or reverse expansion of federal power, and
2) for the process to be ultimately successful depends on five, serial, political successes, political successes in a Nation which elected Obama as President.
These essential political successes would include:
a) The threshold number of states enacting exactly the same call;
b) A hostile Congress scheduling the ConCon in a timely manner and without monkeying up the process;
c) The people of the states electing the right type of ConCon delegates to enable success at the ConCon;
d) The ConCon's assembled delegates approving the right stuff (from our perspective); and
e) The threshold number of states approving the work of the ConCon.
I see each one of these necessarily serial steps as being unlikely to succeed. Linked in series, as they necessarily must be, I see the odds of ultimate success for the whole series as being effectively zero.
For example, even suppose we assign a 50% chance of success at each step (I wouldn't rate the odds that high). Arithmetically, that gives the entire effort a .015% chance of success. That's less than 2/100ths of 1% chance of success. Because of that, I hate to see the people of the US invest any effort or hope into this effort, as that might sidetrack or forestall other efforts with greater likelihood of success.
I don't quarrel at all with the ConCon proponents that we are in dire straights, and that we must rise to the occasion to DO SOMETHING, but I believe it must be something with a greater likelihood of success that doesn't waste what may be the last opportunity of this critical historical crossroads.
Certainly, I would be glad to be proven wrong in this assessment.
I do have an alternate idea which I believe would have a greater chance of success at leashing the federal monster than an Article V ConCon.See: http://www.marbut.com/csc 

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