Skip to comments.Coburn: Convention of States Needed Because Washington Will Never Fix Itself
Posted on 03/05/2015 10:54:59 PM PST by Art in Idaho
Washington is never going to fix itself, said former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), explaining why he intends to spend the next few years trying to cheat history by helping to organize the nations first-ever Convention of the States.
The purpose of the convention will be to rein-in a federal leviathan that he says has overstepped its constitutional bounds.
Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, two-thirds of the state legislatures can call a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution that limit the scope and jurisdiction of the federal government.
Alaska, Florida and Georgia passed Article V resolutions last year. Two dozen other states are also considering that option.
On January 6, the House of Representatives passed House Rule XII, Section 3(c) ordering the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to keep track of all Article V Convention applications and have the Clerks Office make them publicly available in electronic form, organized by State of origin and year of receipt.
Its a difficult job, Coburn, who recently signed on as a senior advisor to the Convention of the States project, told CNSNews.com. You have to get 34 states to agree. But the group is very well-organized and has over 200,000 grassroots activists helping them.
Coburn admitted that calling a convention of the states is a tacit admission that Washington is unable to solve the huge problems facing the country, but believes the United States has few options left.
Most people know Washington is broken, he told CNSNews.com. Politicians there care about the next election, not the next generation. The career politicians make promises knowing they will be out of office when the bills come due. And I dont see that theres any way Congress is going to fix this in the next 10 or 15 years.
Thats why I left early, added Coburn, a family physician who retired from the Senate two years before his term expired after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
I identified $400 billion of waste, fraud and duplication, but none of it was eliminated. Nobody had the courage to eliminate it. And thats why we need a Convention of the States: to diminish the power of the federal government.
The CBO [Congressional Budget Office] and OMB [Office of Management and Budget] are not using real numbers and are not telling Americans the truth, Coburn continued.
We have $144 trillion in unfunded liabilities and were $18 trillion in debt. When you divide that by the population, its more than $500,000 for each American, which nobody has, he said.
Three thousand businesses closed last year. That hasnt happened since World War II. Whos going to loan the United States money knowing we cant pay it back? Coburn asked.
The U.S. financial system will collapse if something is not done about the federal governments out-of-control spending, he pointed out. Nobody knows when this will happen, but it will happen sooner rather than later, he said. Unless we unwind this, were going the way of the Romans and the Greeks.
CNSNews.com asked Coburn why his fellow Republicans, who supposedly support limited government, have gone along with the vast expansion of federal power.
The Republican Party is not the party of small government, Coburn replied. Ive been in Washington for 16 years, when Republicans controlled Congress and the White House, when Democrats controlled Congress, and every combination in between. There is no difference. Theres no difference, he emphasized.
No matter which party was in charge, the federal government continued to grow and Americans liberty continued to diminish, he pointed out.
Theyve already stolen the future from the next generation, he said, adding that the current policies will continue until the power is taken away and given back to the states.
It is testament to the wisdom of our Founders to have included the Convention of States provision in Article V in the Constitution because they knew someday government might grow too big, take on too much debt and promulgate reams of regulation that stifle American prosperity. There is no question that is the Washington that exists today, Coburn wrote in a recent oped.
Moreover, the Founders trusted the states and the people to step up and defend their own liberty and sovereignty. So do I.
Coburn dismissed claims that an Article V Convention would open the door to malicious tampering with one of the nations founding documents, pointing out that just 12 states can stop any amendment from advancing to ratification.
What I hear from conservatives is Oh, we cant do it. We might not be successful. It might be runaway, Coburn told Greta van Susteran. You know, 69 of the 99 legislative bodies in the states are controlled right now by Republicans.
But forget that. People in the country, outside of Washington, have a lot of common sense. Theyre not about to let our First Amendment, our Second Amendment, our Fourth Amendment, our Sixth Amendment rights be taken away in some runaway convention. And besides, it only takes 25 legislative bodies to stop anything that would come out of that, he said.
If they go crazy, its not going anywhere, Coburn told CNSNews.com. Not doing anything is worse than the worst outcome of an Article V Convention, he added.
Go. Let’s see what happens.
It is our responsibility to make Article V the most understood aspect of the US Constitution.
Please see this summary video from Alabama first: Convention of States - Alabama Way to go Alabama! A great introduction!
The Case for an Article V Convention. Great explanation of an Article V convention to the Massachusetts State Legislature.
Convention of States Lots of information here.
Call a Convention A call for a Convention of States
Article V Project to Restore Liberty Another good source.
A Summary of Mark Levins Proposed Amendments by Jacquerie
States, the Natural Second Party by Jacquerie
Congress Present Duty to Call a Convention:
Ulysses at the Mast: Democracy, Federalism, and the Sirens' Song of the Seventeenth Amendment by Jay Bybee. Repeal the 17th. Shorter Abstract here: Ulysses at the Mast, one page Abstract
Article V Handbook - for State Legislators An important resource.
State Legislators Article V Caucus State Legislators, Join up at this site!
Most State Legislatures are in session now. Send this list of links to your State Representatives and Senators here: Contact your State Legislators.
Excellent Article V Letter to a State Assemblyman by Jacquerie
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke.
Lets all work together to get this going.
[Two dozen other states are also considering that option.]
I wonder which ones?
Three thousand businesses closed last year”
Only 60 per state not including D.C.? I find it hard to believe the number isn’t quite a bit higher than that.
Must not be including small businesses and locations of chains.
I'm unclear about what the plans are for this convention. All I've been hearing
is Convention without any fundamentals of which actions are to be taken to reign
in the Feds. The point of promoting is to sell it to the public, or is this another
snow job "Pass it to see what's in it" composition.
Are any of the leaders talking about the specifics? If this isn't clear then the
Constitution could be smashed into fragments so small nobody would recognize America.
When impeaching a POTUS the case must be made clear and sold to the public.
I'm not seeing this at all.
That's the beauty of Article V, "they" will not be involved in any substantive way with any form of change to our Constitution.
Tom Coburn sounded like one of the good guys when he first went into the House and then the Senate.
My problem is that when Obamacare became law Coburn’s response was to advocate for a more market friendly version of Obamacare, for amending Obamacare not eliminating it.
Coburn wanted Romneycare, in other words.
“Heath Care Reform” was needed to pump more cash into an ailing industry by making everyone buy private medical insurance in a government regulated market. The alternative is taxation to pay for Medicaid for the poor which is expanded under Obamacare administered by private insurance companies again.
OBAMACARE LIKE ROMNEYCARE IS A BAILOUT FOR HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES AND BIG HOSPITAL GROUPS, THE PHARMA INDUSTRY ETC.
You have to wonder about people like Coburn.
Will an A 5 convention reverse Amnesty, Obamacare, Common Core or even Gay Marriage or is it just a diversion to keep us from forming a third political party?????
This soft language is what I'm concerned about. No facts on how they mean to justify
this convention without giving us the point of it.
Maybe somebody will clarify this, but if the casual Freeper like myself
doesn't know, I can only imagine how much in the dark Americans are.
I think we're being sold down the road on this. By now we should all know
what is being planned, and their case laid out perfectly. This is not the case.
They're not worried about a third party, if anything they're worried about
True Patriotic Americans taking back the GOP. The last election was the shot
across the bow, imo. And they got the message but they're fighting back.
Do you mean Boehner, McSenator and Obama? I’ll need to read up on Article V.
And they hold a lot of cards including people whose words you believe to be sincerely conservative-patriotic.
I guess 95 percent of elected officials in the GOP are not on our side with many emotional speechmaking fakers in the ranks.....
Fox News is the GOPe network of record using conservative guests as shills alongside the RINO guests like Peter King, Lindsay Graham etc. etc.
There are websites, talk hosts etc. that are not sincere, using a conservative message for selfish reasons or to fool people for the GOPe.
He is right, but who is going to do anything about it?
Same as atheists becoming preachers.
Article V ping!
Note: such a convention of states could prove to be a two edged sword if and when the Democrats and RINOs subvert the process and enable people like this:
Obama Supporters Petition to Repeal the FIRST AMENDMENT Seriously! Watch!(Mark Dice)
The Framers never considered two popular houses in congress, for they knew, and designed the constitution around, separation of interests. A wild and crazy House of Reps representing the mass of the people was to be countered by a distinct interest, that of the states. Their wisdom is reflected in history, for the government was pretty well kept in its constitutional box before the 17th amendment.
Therefore, to restore our FreeRepublic, we must acknowledge our mistake, return to congress an interest distinct from the people and refederalize the government.
Now, back to your concern. When a convention is looked at through the prism of political parties, I agree the sight is less than comforting. The media and culture have largely trained us to ignore government and focus entirely on politics, which is the way men use the instruments of power.
Since the states have interests distinct from those of Washington DC, and wouldn't be calling for a convention if they didn't, I believe the influence of party at a convention will be minimal. The states will bind their delegates with detailed commissions which define and limit their authority. Delegates (not representatives) from the states will be serious men and women who will know the gravity of their task, and they will rise to the occasion. There is no higher honor among statesmen than that of lawgiver.
They will be in convention to reform government, which is composed of the formal institutions and procedures that constitute the framework of legal authority. That means the structure of the government must restored to one of federalism, and I think the delegates will do just that.
Oh, and since Obama is a full-fledged tyrant, there is absolutely nothing to lose. We The People have a God and Constitutionally given right to frame our government. History will not look well upon an enslaved people who had the right power to restore freedom and did nothing about it.
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