Thursday, March 25, 2010

a moronic constitutional proposal from texas

So many Republicans are bent out of shape over the imposition of mandatory death at age 60 - I mean, over the confiscation of all private property and guns and our daughters - I mean, over an incrementalist health care reform package that means insurance companies can't quit insuring you if you are sick, yeah that's the one - that is is hard to keep track of them.

One particular clown, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert has raised an idea to stop the Senate from doing anything so wrong as passing legislation with 60 votes that Republicans, tea baggers, and others on the deranged right-wing fringe don't approve of. He wants a Constitutional Convention to repeal the 17th Amendment.

No, that's not the one banning slavery or giving all Americans the right to vote, though you can bet there are some on the right, including those anti-health-care-bill protesters who yelled "n****" at Congressman John Lewis on the steps of the Capitol last week, who wouldn't mind revisiting those. It's the one that gave us Americans the right to vote directly for our Senators, instead of having them elected by the legislatures of the states.

Sayeth Gohmert's overwrought press release, since "the safeguard of State legislatures electing U.S. Senators was removed by the 17th Amendment in 1913, there has been no check or balance on the Federal power grab for the last 97 years." Not even during the years that Republicans had one, two, or three out of the Presidency, Senate, and House?

Well I'll give Gohmert some points for originality in the cause of paranoia. I've heard people complaining about the establishment of the Federal Reserve, or the introduction of the federal income tax, etc. But never before have I heard an American elected official suggest that reducing the rights of Americans to elect their legislators, in this case US Senators, would be a good thing.

Isn't that TAKING power away from the American people, Congressman Gohmert? Are you implying that you don't trust the voters of Texas or Massachusetts or Oregon or where-ever to elect Senators, and you'd rather give that power to the politicians in Austin, Boston, and Salem?

Well this is a loser on several levels. First, Gohmert's press release asserts this convention would cover ONLY the 17th Amendment. Can't do it like that: there is NOTHING to prevent a Constitutional Convention from addressing ANY issues that it wants. So the whole shebang would be open for renewal and revision.

And again, I don't think that taking electoral power away from the voters and giving it to STATE legislators is a terribly pro-democratic thing.

Finally, has Gohmert looked at the control of state legislatures. Currently, the Democrats have a 27-16 edge, with 7 states divided. So let's give the Democratic Party two senators in states they control, and split the other 7... and we have a 61-39 Democratic majority.

Control of state legislatures can change, of course. But I fail to see what Gohmert really thinks this would address.

Gohmert also refers to "the usurpation of the rights of states" in decrying the passage of health care reform.

Rights of states. States' rights. Ah, that seductive call of those who are too afraid, too devious to openly describe themselves for what they really are: supporters of the elite conservative moneyed ruling and business classes, and allies of racists.

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Blogger Bill Walker said...

For reference. All 50 states have already submitted over 700 applications for an Article V Convention call. Congress has refused to obey the Constitution and call the convention as it required to do. You can read the applications at

Please note as a member of Congress the congressman is fully aware of the fact Congress is currently obligated to call a convention. His proposal may or not be a good idea but he obviously believes in obeying the Constitution.

4:17 PM  

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