Replica of the United States Bill of Rights, documenting the 10 amendments to the US Constitution (Getty Images).
By Steve Corbin
Don’t be surprised if the GOP’s next move will be to call for a U.S. Constitutional Convention.
Prior to the 2010 election, Republicans controlled both legislatures in 14 states. The GOP’s Tea Party election sweep in 2010 was – what many experts claim — the start of America turning into a permanent conservative nation.
Prior to our most recent election, Republicans controlled 30 state legislative chambers. Thirty-four is GOP’s magical number. Why 34? According to Article V of the U.S. Constitution, state legislatures have the power to call a constitutional convention if two-thirds (66.6 percent) of 50 states (34 or more) agree.
A group called the Convention of States Action was started in 2012. In summation, their goal – supported by The Federalist Society — is to persuade GOP-controlled state legislatures to call a constitution convention where far-right conservative values will become the law of the land.
How’s COSA doing? Besides raising over $10 million in 2020 alone, 19 states have passed the constitutional convention resolution, six states have passed the resolve in one legislative chamber and 12 states are trying to pass the resolution. This totals 37 states, three more than needed to call a constitutional convention.
According to Ed Pilkington of The Guardian, the assembly would promote the following policies: “limit the size and scope of the federal government, set ceilings on or even abolish taxes, free corporations from regulations and impose restrictions on government action in areas such as abortion, guns and immigration.”
Pilkington notes Mark Meckler, who founded the Tea Party Patriots and leads COSA, while a guest speaker on Steven Bannon’s “War Room” show, said: “We need to say constitutionally, ‘No (sic), the federal government cannot be involved in education or healthcare or energy or the environment.’”
Pilkington also reports that Bannon told his viewers in September, “You now have a political movement that understands we need to go after the administrative state.” Bannon’s reference to “administrative state” partially comes from his religious background of Traditionalism, an alternative far-right mystical spirituality that has extreme opposition to modern institutions.
To better understand Bannon and his influence on Republican and Donald Trump’s policies, read Benjamin Teitelbaum’s Aug. 8 article in New Lines Magazine titled, “Trump ally Steve Bannon wants to destroy U.S. society as we know it.”
Russ Feingold and Peter Prindiville’s Aug. 30, book, “The Constitution in Jeopardy,” is also worthy of reading to understand GOP’s unprecedented effort to rewrite our constitution.
Who is on board with COSA? These names may ring a bell: Gov. Greg Abbott, Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Tom Coburn, Steve Deace, Sen. Jim DeMint, Gov. Ron DeSantis, Rep. Louie Gohmert, Sean Hannity, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Mark Meadows, Sarah Palin, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum.
On COSA’s legal board of reference is John Eastman, a Trump-affiliated lawyer. The Supreme Court has been asked to suspend and disbar Eastman, “who it says orchestrated efforts that culminated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection by Trump supporters.”
Need I say any more about COSA and their minions?
Contact any Republican who represents you and inquire as to their support of COSA’s call for a Constitutional Convention. The answer received will let you know if our 1788 ratified constitution and 27 ensuing amendments will prevail or the probability America could fall to GOP-controlled authoritarian and fascist rule.
Steve Corbin is is Professor Emeritus of Marketing at University of Northern Iowa. This column first ran in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star’s sibling site, the Daily Montanan.
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