Thursday, January 26, 2017

COS Campaign's Shady Tactics Cause Setback

The effort to initiate an Article V convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution encountered a setback recently when investigators for Secure Arkansas discovered that HJR 1001 listed co-sponsors who never agreed to co-sponsor the bill. One of those listed as a co-sponsor, Republican Trevor Drown, said he was against it. Proponents were hoping for a pass out of committee, but due to the flap its been tabled. Sources tell Arkansas Watch that an identical resolution, SJR 2, has strong support in the Senate Committee so the house side is probably the best place to stop it.

I am not going to hold back here. I don't believe that this is an anomaly. It is not a one-time mistake from a group which normally does things right. The "Convention of States" movement has been dishonest all along. This is not an an exception to how the operate, it is an example of how they operate. And they have taken in some of the finest people in the state with their deceptions, and that makes me angry. I hope the legislators and activists who have been sold a bill of goods get away from these people as fast as they can.

Even their name is a deception. There is no "Convention of States" in Article V of the U.S. Constitution. Those words do not appear in that order in the article. It is a marketing slogan, not something that actually exists in the Constitution. The states can only petition congress to call a convention, Congress writes the call, not the state's. You can't trust this Congress to represent you on their regular job, just look at Congressman Womack who is crusading to shake us down for more sales tax collections on internet sales. Who thinks that's what most of his constituents want him to do? And make no mistake, Washington's hand will be all over this if it happens. And if there is any doubt about whether or not they are overstepping their bounds the issue will not be decided by you or I, but by employees of the Federal government in D.C., the Supreme Court who just decided they were smarter than God and now mandate that all states recognize their new idea about what constitutes "marriage."

Trusting today's ruling class in D.C. to alter the constitution and expect it to be something better than it is now is madness. But even if the states really did run this thing, we can't trust the ruling class in our state government either. Thanks to the present party system, every state party is connected to D.C. Conservatives can't count on Asa Hutchinson, and they can't count on a legislature that is increasingly coming to be controlled by him.

We are all only human. We all tend to reach for easy answers instead of facing up to painful choices. The real problem is that our two-party system does not represent us anymore. They have insulated themselves from the people. But a lot of activists have emotional attachments to what they mistakenly think of as "their" party, so they don't want to face the fact that what needs to change is that the national parties need to go away. We need a new decentralized approach to electing the people who are supposed to represent us.

But that would involve We the People changing our political habits. So the snake-oil salesmen come and tell you "you don't have to change, the constitution is what has to change". As if the same people who are ignoring the constitution now will respect it if you just add more to it. When failure of the ruling class to respect the constitution is the problem, adding to it can't be the solution. We have to replace the ruling class, even if that means we have to quit seeing ourselves as "team red" or "team blue" to do it.

Deep down, people know this if they would just think it through, but the salesmen keep offering this so-called COS thing as a magic "cure-all". If the debt is your issue, they promise it would fix the budget. If Congressional Term Limits is your issue, they promise it would fix that. If a Flat Tax is your issue, they will say it will fix that. If a new issue comes up in the news tomorrow that has people up in arms, they will say that an Article V will fix that too. Dr. COS's healing tonic will fix you right up! That is why I am OK with using the term "snake oil" to describe their tactics. They sound just like the tonic peddler stereotypes. And very smart people are falling for it, because they are anxious and desperate for a cure. If the fake cure wasn't offering such easy answers they might even be willing to make the hard choices they are going to have to make for the real cure.

Another thing. They don't win the debate. Here is one big debate I had with them. The audio for their side is not good on this second one but here is another. Listen for yourself. They don't win the argument, but they have big money behind them from somewhere and they want to win on volume what they can't win on reason and intellect. This audio highlights some of the arguments they have no good answers for. The other side does not have full time paid employees to go around and make claims and influence people. We don't have national radio talk shows as platforms. But don't mistake "loud" for "right".  We just had some protests in DC that were loud and got lot's of media coverage, but that did not make them right, or even sane.

The thing they keep coming back to is "this is the only constitutional answer", which is just as fake as their list of cosponsors. First of all, its not the "only constitutional answer" because its not a real answer. Its a fake one so long as we have the ruling class that we do. The current ruling class would control the process. They are not going to cut their own political privileges for you. They would love for you to be distracted by this process for another three, four, five years because it means that you are not focusing on the real problem- them and the unitary national party system they have developed which shifts all of the influence away from you and towards them. The centralization of political power.

Adding names as co-sponsors without their knowledge or consent smacks of an attempt to create a false "band-wagon"effect. That is, it gets people to support something not because they have independently and rationally evaluated evidence from both sides and decided that its a good idea, but just because "all of my friends are for it". But its not true. Conservative, Conservatarians, and Classical Liberals, I am your friend too. I am the contrarian friend who tells you what I think you ought to hear, even if it doesn't resonate in an echo chamber. I hope they don't pull it off, but if they do I want you to mark this day well. If I am wrong and the results of an article V convention really are good for the country then quit listening to me. If they are wrong about an issue this big, then maybe you should quit listening to some of them.


Blogger Hal Shurtleff said...

In New Hampshire, COS accussed State Senator Kevin Avard of taking a bribe and me indirectly of offering the bribe to change his vote on the subject. It was a total lie. I found out about it through a friend who was receiving COS NH's E-mails even though she didn't signup to be on their list. Kevin confronted the COS rep and the COSer said that he needs to have thick skin to be in politics.

Here is an interview I did with Attorney Edwin Vieira on the subject of Article V Con

12:25 PM, December 13, 2017  

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