Comment: I don't really get this argument

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I don't really get this argument

The ratification of the original constitution was a rather unique event that made sense in the context of the times.

The states DID all unanimously embrace the constitution. What happened was that the Articles Congress dissolved itself in the face of the new Constitution. Maybe they should not have, since there was no unanimous adoption originally. But, no state that didn't originally ratify the Constitution was forced to participate in the new government.

There was chicanery, certainly, and many states bit off more than they can chew - since the new government functioned almost nothing like as planned (judicial review, political parties, etc.). But the states essentially wanted a new government and got one.

Maybe with better communications, there would have been differences, but it's not as if this thing was slid under the noses of the people.

The problem, as many note, now is that the Constitution we have is being ignored. There's no electoral fix for that. We either disregard the constitution in response to 'their' disregarding of it, and engage in a sort of civil disobedience, or we revise the constitution.

Some of Levin's amendments make decent sense. For example, supreme court tenure of 12 years, and the ability for 3/4 of Congress to (without possibility of Presidential veto) overturn any ruling of the Supreme Court sans any further judicial review. This is a provision that would have certainly been included originally if the founders had anticipated with certainty the idea of judicial review. The more sincere (naive perhaps) of the framers like Madison supposed that this would not happen even though some predicted it.

A conservative restructuring of the Constitution could make a difference in terms of it being 'ignored'. Reining in the Supreme Court's supreme power, and giving the states power over the Senate again would probably provide enough political elasticity to restore some constitutional rule. Those two factors alone have done a lot of the worst work towards dismantling the Constitution through slow political evolution.

The only way a constitutional convention could be worse than Congress itself is if the whole thing is stuffed by unknown, hand-picked attendees who won't be accountable to anything like Congress would.

I suppose that an amendment that restricts gun rights wouldn't be proposed by Congress because many representatives would worry about reelection. Meanwhile, a con con might not have that restriction. Still, you have to buy off 3/4 of the state legislatures for any of this to work.

It's hard to imagine that the only thing stopping the dismantling of the Constitution by amendment, with 3/4 of state legislatures captured, would be the petty political ambitions of a couple of congressmen.

The benefit, on the other hand, of a con con is that unlike congressmen, a con con results from a decentralized process that is less tied to national media and the need for big money. Maybe that makes it easier to capture, but I imagine more radical anti-progressivist amendments would pass more easily on that stage than in the Washington theatre.

As for the idea that a convention to "propose amendments to the states" would turn into a new government under our noses - I think this is paranoia. The best they could do is hold the convention during a crisis, then mid-way through declare the dissolution of the American governments and hope that the people are stupid enough to think that the convention to "propose amendments" grants any legitimacy whatsoever to a total coup.

I think the probability of a convention to propose amendments resulting in beneficial outcomes is much larger than the latter alternative.