Advice to Obama: Endorse a Constitutional Convention

09Sep11

I just saw an interesting quote, apparently posted by a Republican in 2008, regarding the possibility of a constitutional convention (i.e., a national assembly to discuss possible revisions to the U.S. constitution):

The majority of U.S. voters just elected a dedicated leftist as President. Republicans are at their weakest right now! This is a horrible time to try such a crazy scheme. We cannot control the debate right now! Don’t for one second doubt that delegates to a Con Con wouldn’t revise the 1st Amendment into a government-controlled privilege, replace the 2nd Amendment with a “collective” right to self-defense, and abolish the 4th, 5th, and 10th Amendments, and the rest of the Bill of Rights. Additions could include the non-existent Separation of Church and State, the “right” to abortion and euthanasia, and much, much more.

I’m not necessarily in favor of all of those things, and I sure don’t think Obama has turned out to be a “dedicated leftist.”  But I’m thinking, you know, this person has a point.  Now is precisely the time when people who are disgusted with the malfunctioning of our effectively nonrepresentative government should be calling for a constitutional convention.

The advice to President Obama is just this:  the politics of reconciliation require two willing parties.  You haven’t had that.  I do think Republican Party tactics are much of the problem, but I’m not convinced that Democratic politicians have provided an especially worthy alternative.  Your interest in mutual progress is great, but it depends upon conditions that do not exist.  To get to where you want to go, you will have to create those conditions.

President Obama, it preliminarily appears that a constitutional convention would be a helpful step toward creating an American political environment that would value your approach to politics.  Without this or some other comparably drastic measure, however, you are destined to be seen as a failed president.  You’ve tried the right approach at the wrong time.

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