Mini Dubisode: Blowing Up Democracy The GOP’s Secret Plan to Rewrite the Constitution
“You take this grenade and you pull the pin, you've got a live piece of ammo in your hands; 34 states - if every Republican legislator votes for this, we have a constitutional convention..." --Rick Santorum at an ALEC meeting, December 2021• Sept. 16, 2022
Republicans are pushing for an unprecedented constitutional convention to re-write our constitution, the US legal bedrock since 1778. And so far, 19 states have joined this rapidly growing GOP movement to call for a new convention. If you like our content, please become a patron and get exclusive access to our premium episodes, as well as our public episodes ad-free.
This effort to end democracy was meant to be a behind the curtains endeavor, with plans being discussed at the American Legislative Exchange Council and other similar meetings among influential republicans. Thanks to the Center For Media and Democracy, we now know what the GOP is working towards, with many supporting organizations like COSA and mega donors like the Koch and Mercer families. 1
According to a New York Times article, “Jodey Arrington, a conservative Texas Republican, believes it is well past time for something the nation has not experienced for more than two centuries: a debate over rewriting the Constitution.” 2
Arrington then shifted from “debate” to I quote “I think the states are due a convention”.
In July, Arrington introduced legislation to direct the archivist of the United States to tally applications for a convention from state legislatures and compel Congress to schedule a gathering when enough states have petitioned for one.
Russ Feingold, the former Democratic senator from Wisconsin and president of the American Constitution Society told the New York Times that a constitutional convention is an exceptionally dangerous threat from the right and suggests it is closer to reality than most people realize:
“We are very concerned that the Congress, if it becomes Republican, will call a convention. This could gut our Constitution. There needs to be real concern and attention about what they might do. We are putting out the alert. If you think this is democracy’s moment of truth, this is one of those things.”
What the republicans hope to achieve is taking advantage of Article V of our current constitution, more specifically a certain aspect of it that was never used before. Article V says in part that Congress, “on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments.” The danger is real: "No one five years ago would have said that Roe vs Wade would be overturned. No one in this room. For the last 25 years, people in the pro-life movement did the blocking and tackling necessary for this day to come" – Rick Santorum.
Throughout our country’s history, 27 amendments have been added to the Constitution BUT ONLY by another complicated route, with the amendments originating in Congress subject to ratification by the states. What the republicans want now is pretty much unchecked control, in line with how totalitarian regimes operate.
1. Alex Kotch. The Right Is Trying to Rewrite the Constitution to Cement Minority Rule Forever. Center for Media and Democracy. December 2021. ⇤
2. Carl Hulse. A Second Constitutional Convention? Some Republicans Want to Force One. New York Times. September 2022. ⇤
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