Time Out from Real Issues: RC/SF Events Discuss Article V Constitutional Convention

I’ve criticized the notion of an Article V Convention to rewrite the Constitution as an easy way for ALEC and other Legislature-buying corporate tyrants to trash the Bill of Rights and quash the government’s ability to regulate the excesses of big business. Ken Santema alerts us that the School of Mines College Republicans (what?! you engineers and geologists have time for politics? your demanding profs may not be pleased) and the apparently Sioux Falls-based Restore Liberty Alliance are hosting Arizona State Senator Andy Biggs to talk about the dangers of holding an Article V Constitutional Convention. Senator Biggs speaks on the Mines campus in Rapid City tonight, then at the South Minnesota Hy-Vee (have the meatloaf!) in Sioux Falls Friday.

I don’t know if Senator Biggs can can can—

—but he’s surely con Con Con. His cleverly titled self-published book, The Con of the Con Con, argues against a Constitutional Convention out of fear that leftists would take it over and do more things counter to his conservative Mormon beliefs. Biggs shares the fiscal conservatism of the deficit hawks who want an Article V Convention to add a balanced budget amendment—an “accidental millionaire,” Biggs in 2011 proposed ending Medicaid in Arizona, even though he conceded that “the health care system collapses” without socialized medicine—but Biggs says we can rein in the federal government without risking an open, Lefty-hijackable Constitutional Convention.

Biggs’s book draws plenty of Teapot tempest:

From the title through the very last page, Andy denigrates and misrepresents his opposition (folks who would normally be his traditional conservative supporters), and offers non-sequiturs and straw arguments in order to disparage a tool which our Founders devised for reining in an out-of-control federal government: Article V of the US Constitution [Jeff Utsch and Barney Brenner, “Book Review of The Con of the Con Con by Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs,” Western Free Press, 2015.06.15].

His hosts in Sioux Falls, the Restore Liberty Alliance, aren’t exactly folks I’d want to run with. Their Facebook shares indicate they think Donald Trump is cleaning the political stables of manure, not simply spreading manure. The Restore Liberty Alliance also considers it important to read an essay that likens immigrants to “Third World Garbage” and asserts, “Since Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Muslims will eventually become the predominant races in America, the chances of America remaining a Constitutional Republic are slim to none.”

I don’t want to have to wade through either side’s muck. The only energy I will exert in the South Dakota Legislature on any call for an Article V Constitutional Convention will be to cry “Nay!” during roll call.

3 Responses to Time Out from Real Issues: RC/SF Events Discuss Article V Constitutional Convention

  1. Wouldn’t it be nice to write into the constitution the right to privacy that is already implicit in the constitution? I would think that a group called the Restore Liberty Alliance would be all for that.

  2. Nick Nemec

    I’d be afraid that a Constitutional Convention would be hijacked by right wing kooks and their corporate handlers.

  3. Good article. It doesn’t hurt to show up, though. The above comments do show that there would already be plenty of people lining up to push this or that amendment. Lawrence Lessig has also been a big proponent with an amendment or amendments that are attractive to many of the progressive persuasion. It’s just that here in SD, to get legislators to buy into the idea, you’ve got to appeal to mainly Republicans on conservative sounding populist issues.