(from email 11/22/13)
Yesterday, the New York Times gleefully proclaimed “democracy returns to the Senate” after Senate Leader Harry Reid used a parliamentary trick to push the button on the so-called “nuclear option,” changing the rules to allow court nominations to be pushed through using a simple majority vote instead of the minimum sixty required to end debate.
Think about that for a second. A hundred years of Senate tradition was obliterated with a simple 52-48 majority vote, stripping the minority in our “most deliberative body” of the ability to filibuster presidential court nominees that do not have bipartisan support. That’s the equivalent of removing nine of our senators. Yet in 2005, Harry Reid called such a move “illegal” and told us, “To change the rules in the Senate can’t be done by a simple majority. It can only be done if there is extended debate by 67 votes.”
Said the New York Times, “The only exceptions are nominations to the Supreme Court, for which a filibuster would still be allowed. But now that the Senate has begun to tear down undemocratic procedures, the precedent set on Thursday will increase the pressure to end those filibusters, too.” In other words, they’ll let us filibuster legislation and Supreme Court nominees for now. . .until they decide they won’t let us filibuster legislation and Supreme Court nominees. Get the picture?
Lest you think this could work to our advantage if conservatives reclaim the Senate in 2014, think again – our side is already preparing to give up, saying “it’s a sad day” instead of being outraged. Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona says he’s “afraid” Republicans will be tempted to use the same tactics. (Yes, that’s the same Jeff Flake who promised he would limit himself to three terms, but has been reelected four times since.)
WE NEED A SOLUTION, AND FAST
Last night at the Independence Institute Article V meeting, Robert Berry, author of Amendments Without Congress, likened our broken federal government to the situation faced by NASA during the Apollo 13 mission. Remember in the movie after the oxygen tank aboard the spacecraft exploded, and everyone at mission control was getting swamped with malfunction messages? NASA flight director Gene Kranz took charge of the situation, saying “Let’s look at this thing from. . .a standpoint of status. What do we got (sic) on the spacecraft that’s good?” He rallied the team to start working on a solution to get the astronauts back, instead of just focusing on all the bad stuff that was happening.
Our government may be in shambles, but we still have the Constitution. And the Constitution is the only way to get our freedoms back.
A RETURN TO FEDERALISM
Politicians and unelected bureaucrats epitomize the modern version of Lord Acton’s dictum: “power corrupts, but absolute power is kind of neat.” It is clear that Congress will never vote to shrink their power. They will only vote to expand it. That is precisely why our founders granted the states authority to amend the U.S. Constitution in Article V, so that if we ever found ourselves in a situation like we do now, we could rein in the federal government.
Thanks to the scholarly research of Rob Natelson, as well as the efforts of organizations such as Convention of States (COS), the process of calling a convention has been set in motion. The state director for COS in Colorado John Hopper was at the meeting last night, as was the Article V Caucus co-chair Colorado State Senator Kevin Lundberg. Other Colorado legislators were present as well.
We already have sixteen Colorado state legislators who are members of the Article V Caucus, which is more than any other state – so we have a real opportunity to take the lead in the calling of a convention of states.
Here are some ways to get involved (from COS email):
The Millennial Generation has been called lazy and entitled. It’s time to get off the couch!
Both Democrats and Republicans agree: A Convention of States is the ultimate non-partisan solution.
Plus, get to know us by checking out our new ad running on The Blaze TV, download a free step-by-step handbook to get our nation back on track, and join the 135 other Americans who have taken a stand.