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It seems clear to me that people once thought (or at least if they bothered to think about it all) that The U.S. Constitution presented basic and sufficient protections for our political system from a Sheldon Adelson, etc. Boy, did Citizens United shoot that one all to hell. The fact is that every wealthy person in this country is more equal than any of the rest of us.

And I probably shouldn't "complain" about being more equal than a woman. And wouldn't even have the chance to, except for the fact that I am. Doubt that? Well, if there was some way to get The Equal Rights Amendment passed, I think that the resulting clarity might well be quite sobering to many.

What else did the original constitutional drafters leave out (and this is just my own "short list")? The real biggy is "The Right to Privacy", and we're perilously close to being only one "test case" away from learning exactly how fundamentally critical that particular ommission was. Ever wish we could get some true derelict unelected from Congress? No "Recall" possibilities. Mundane citizen protections like "Initiative", and "Referendum"? As far as I know they hadn't even been invented back in 1787.

Neither we, nor even President Obama (now even "Recess Appointments" no longer work) can force the Senate to forgo Filibuster idiocy? Which, of course, only plagues us today because our admittedly brilliant "Founders" were of a time and place which inevitably left them completely unprepared to forsee and account for 200 plus years, 50 states, 300,000,000 people etc., etc., etc.

But, hey, we don't even need to get rid of our current Constitution because of everything that got left out. I mean, if it was still possible to get important Amendments done, and if we had the time, money, and energy to finally push a gob of them through, we might even have something that would allow our government and our society to limp along. Sure, it would look like it was being held together by duct tape and bailing wire, but that's only because that's exactly what we would end up with.

But what about all of the useless crap that would still be sitting there starring all of us in the face every day?

Oh, what a wonderful tansition into all of that funky shit that the Repulicans are gearing up to mug us with by reinventing the "Electoral College"? You know, that little brain fart their resident genuises had that would allow them to gerrymander a Mitt Romney to victory with only X% of the vote (and I use X here because no one yet knows exactly how low they might be able to go with this one). Just exactly (to a Constitutional certainty, of course, because that's what would be the applicable standard if we allow them to keep going) what in the hell is an "ELECTORAL COLLEGE" anyway".

Read The Constitution much? Yeah, I'd rather do that than take a trip to the dentist, but I haven't really touched it that much since I completed my last Constitutional Law class. Some of the verbiage is just dreadful to the modern eye. "Emoluments", "grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water", "for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful buildings", "Bill of Attainder", "Capitation", "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States", "Duty of Tonnage", "The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation", "appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls", "no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture", and on and on, and on. Plain english? Hardly! Easily comprehensible? Well, easier for me after 5 hours of law school credits, and not insurmountable, but still.

What is, in my opinion, insrmountable are things like exclusice reliance upon the term "he". No form of "gender neutrality" for those old boys. And that's still far better than "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons". "Three fifiths of all other persons", boy, is that an oldie but a goody. OR NOT!

Sure, this stuff did pass for "positive, inspirational, and uplifting" hundreds of years ago, but now? Really, it's entirely possible to argue that "pathetic" is an understatement.

If some folks wanted to look at the deficiencies and call them "offensive", well, I, for one, could provide no intelligent rejoinder. And, doing the math, the "some folks" who could comfortably qualify to react that way would constitute a large majority of our modern population. Lending very strong support to the reasonable conclusion that we can and should do better.

THE SECOND AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indycam, JeffW, Bisbonian, Pluto, koNko, annieli, Kevskos

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:00:52 PM PST

  •  The consitution is perfect (9+ / 0-)

    in each and every way .
    Always has been and always will be .
    It was written on titanium by god like people with laser beams .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:07:52 PM PST

  •  Lincoln once said that Constitution is organic law (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Calamity Jean

    And SCOTUS has ruled in the past that the 9th Amendment gives us the right of privacy(Griswold v. Connecticut).  

    As imperfect as the Founders were, the Constitution is a marvelous work and it can evolve as society does.   I don't see how writing a second Constitution would really mark any improvements over the current one.

    I agree with President Obama, our country's journey is not yet complete. We must continue the work that our forebearers at Seneca Falls started, and put the Equal Rights Amendment into our Constitution.

    by pistolSO on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:49:02 PM PST

    •  The constitution is entrenched (5+ / 0-)

      ...and can no longer be amended in any practical sense.

      The legitimacy of constitutional entrenchment was most famously challenged by Thomas Jefferson in a series of letters, the best known of which is his September 6, 1789 letter to James Madison. In the course of exploring a wide range of generational sovereignty issues, Jefferson asserted:

      "We seem not to have perceived that, by the law of nature, one generation is to another as one independent nation to another."

      "[N]o society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation."

      "Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the tend of 19 years [the period by which Jefferson computed that the majority of the voting public is replaced, by the natural processes of birth and death, with a new majority]. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force and not of right.”



      Denial is a drug.

      by Pluto on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:03:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  See, the beauty of a Constitutional Convention (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, annieli, Pluto, Kevskos

      is that if we try to create a dramatic improvement, and fail, then nothing needs to change. Even only the mere effort has nothing but upside.

      (Uh, you and I both know that Griswold only exists at the continued whim of the SCOTUS. Not alot there to hang your hat on these days. And a true "Right to Privacy" would require ending the WOD. Griswold doesn't.)

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:06:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why I would oppose a 2nd CC (3+ / 0-)

    I think in the end we think "this is what we need, to refresh the document".

    But here is the outcome of a 2nd CC:

    Many states would view it as an option to leave the union free and clear for failure to ratify.

    While we morn the "great compromise" in the constitution which was later changed, the kind of alterations many would want in the constitution would be sickening.  And, just like Republicans in the house, they would refuse to negotiate them.   You'd hear calls for English as a national language, border controls, abortion rights controls...

    Oh, those all sound laughable.. but that would absolutely not stop people from proposing them.  And, in a CC where ratification would take more than a simple majority, the number of states would simply say they would bail if they couldn't get there way.

    There are times I think: revision is smart.  And then I think about the people who would be in charge of making the changes, and decide against it.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:54:21 PM PST

    •  Why would the ratification process chosen by (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos

      the new Convention leave States with the right of leaving or staying? It's a vrtual given that the whole archaic concept of "State Sovereignty" would be done away with, to be replaced by something(s) far more democratic.

      A Con-Con would be a highly public process, but not a highly political one. If it ever did devolve into that, people would be so  negatively impacted that ratification would fail, and the current document would simply continue on unaffected.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:15:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you've missed my point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, CwV

        The new constitution may not allow for it.   But while a convention is going on, any state that refuses to ratify.. what do you propose happens?  

        You're making the argument in a way that says: we can ratify and change this.  I'm saying the representatives from such a convention would be the same putz we have running around meaning you're going to get a drawn out convention that does not get what you want.

        Get what you want, and states refuse to ratify.  Then you have nothing.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:19:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The reason why we have grid lock today is that (0+ / 0-)

          "none of the above" literally get as many votes, or nearly so, as all other choices put together. try to force aradical departure in a worse direction and our society simply will not make the move. That's our ultimate protection, and why we really should make the broadly collective effort to get some of this shit finally starightened out.

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:25:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The Word "Sovereignty" Appears Nowhere In the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, Kevskos, oldpotsmuggler

        words of the Constitution or all of the amendments.

        "Rights" appears nowhere connected with states.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:44:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nothing is a "virtual given" in second ... (5+ / 0-)

        ...constitutional convention. How would the delegates be picked? Would states as they are currently constituted choose them? Would there be a national plebiscite to ratify the document? Would states as they are currently constituted hold individual state referenda on the new document? Or would the legislatures do the voting? Would it be one vote for the whole thing or would each section be voted on individually whether the legislatures or the citizens did the voting? Would there be a Bill of Rights? Would every get to pick and choose which parts of that bill to vote yes and no on?

        Very little at a con-con would be a given.

        As for "The fact is that every wealthy person in this country is more equal than any of the rest of us." Yep. But it wasn't Citizens United that achieved that. The Founders weren't exactly paupers and they didn't believe in anything approaching equal suffrage or equality under the law except for each other and those Americans who they counted as their peers.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:57:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, it has to one of those "go big, or stay (0+ / 0-)

          home" things. Minimum 5,000 delegates with selection rules guaranteeing a broad political base, every conceivable faction. DKos would clearly be there, as would, for example, NRA, and both in roughly equal proportion (based on overall political activism and impact). Unlimited resources, which should result in unlimited exposure. A true once in several centuries event, with more popular appeal than anything anyone has ever witnessed. Literal life and history changing potential, the very fate of humanity hanging in the balance. (Not to mention the only potential we have for getting the job done.)

          The Con-Con, the collection of the best and brightest minds the world has ever seen, produces the Document. If the process is what it can and should be, the result will be popularly accepted, because it will be sufficient to the demonstrated and understood need. The process for acceptance also must be sufficient, or, again, the end result will be nothing ("nothing" in this context, of course being the perpetuation of the status quo).

          A handful of guys sweating it out in secret was both manageable and logical the first time. Now, of course, that would never fly (which, by the way, is more than sufficient reason for us all to take a breather, sit down, and try to figure out where we want to go to next, and what will be required for us to undertake the journey.)

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:20:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Nations refresh their constitutions all the time. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, oldpotsmuggler

      The drafters work on the new document for a year or so. Then they send it around to be ratified or voted on.

      The old constitution is still in force until a broad agreement is reached. sometimes it takes years and many rewrites. There are excellent constitutions in the world, which is generally what they look at.

      All constitutions follow one rule:

      They are written to benefit the people.

      ::

      If that is not the goal in the US -- and the people are too terrified of each other to elevate themselves -- perhaps the US should break up into region nations where people can live with a government they honor and respect. Indeed, that is a human right, as well.



      Denial is a drug.

      by Pluto on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:18:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "No" to the breakup, but for strictly practical (0+ / 0-)

        reasons. We're either all going to make it together or we're all going to not. (With the caveat being that, really, the risk of extinction is not to the species, but even having civilization collapse is a fate dire enough that working to prevent it makes eminent good sense.)

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:33:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I read the constitutions of all nations. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpotsmuggler, koNko, Gooserock, Kevskos

    The US Constitution is a disgrace for the 21st century. Furthermore, it directly confers no human rights upon the people. It's the oldest and most obsolete constitution used in the world today; little more than an appeasement treaty for slave holders. That's why our brand of capitalism is predatory.

    No other nation would put up with this. They all have modern constitutions that incorporate human rights. And they certainly don't use the US Constitution as a model.



    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:58:29 PM PST

    •  Using the U.S. Constitution as a model elsewhere (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, Gooserock, Kevskos

      would be a theoretical impossibility. It is simply incapable of addressing the complications of the modern world.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:17:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So true. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, Kevskos, oldpotsmuggler

        Our high court rulings are generally ignored on the world court stage as well. At one time the Supreme Court used to be cited around the globe. But now, the big decisions -- like the health care reform mandate -- elicit a "Wtf is that about?" at the global level.

        It's embarrassing.



        Denial is a drug.

        by Pluto on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:23:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Or Its Own World. We Had Depressions and panics (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, oldpotsmuggler

        frequently since the ink was still wet. Press freedom, a freedom for corporations, is the single greatest disaster ever to hit civilization.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:49:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i hope that populism is a concept that will (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto

          finally catch on here. Rule by people certainly couldn't be any worse than rule by dollars.

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:37:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  If some (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldpotsmuggler, Pluto

        nation we just invaded to establish a democratic government brought a document like our constitution to us to approve as their governing document we would laugh at them.  Our constitution does not gives us a democracy, it is a republic.  Not everyone is equal in a republic.

        I am with you oldpotsmuggler, lets get a real constitution written (I would prefer a parliamentarian government) and throw out the old one.  

    •  When about half of the population votes for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto

      those who are anti-science(who say things like the Earth being 6,000 years old, deny evolution and deny climate change), would end birthright citizenship if they could(and I don't want to imagine how they'd define a citizen of they were rid of the 14th), and want English to be the official language of the country so they can impose English-only on everyone.   Granted, many European countries also have official languages and don't have birthright citizenship.   But I have trouble seeing certain understood human rights being enshrined in a new Constitution like health care.

      I agree with President Obama, our country's journey is not yet complete. We must continue the work that our forebearers at Seneca Falls started, and put the Equal Rights Amendment into our Constitution.

      by pistolSO on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:18:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  At ALL times, HALF the people (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos, oldpotsmuggler

        ...are horrified by their government.

        It is a recipe for disaster in a nation where the civil war never ended and everyone is increasingly armed and dangerous.



        Denial is a drug.

        by Pluto on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:28:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  "Half of the population votes for" - The numbers I (0+ / 0-)

        see say that about half of the population doesn't vote at all because none of it seems really relevant to them, and that leaves closer to 20% of the population who are just incapable of sorting through things well.

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:43:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, you can keep it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto
      (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
      (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
      (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
      Some restrictions apply, void where prohibited, valid while supplies last, subject to change without notice, cannot be combined with any other offer.

      Oh, and there's that male pronoun again!

      the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:35:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Where Have We Ever Created a US-Constitutional (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, Kevskos, oldpotsmuggler

      system in a nation we occupied? Don't we always give them civilized parliamentary systems?

      What major nation ever copied our system?

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:48:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whenever a country writes a new constitution (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos, oldpotsmuggler

        ...about every 30 years or so -- they look at all the world's current constitutions as well as the UN constitutional models. That's the process that everyone follows.

        When South Africa wrote their (really terrific) new constitution -- Justice Ginsburg told them "Whatever you do, don't copy the US Constitution. Look at modern constitutions that incorporate new ideas."

        Generally, the US constitution is ignored because it is too stingy with human rights.



        Denial is a drug.

        by Pluto on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:56:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It took human rights for granted (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos

      They didn't need to be conferred. Hence the 9th amendment.

  •  I think your quotation mark (0+ / 0-)

    key is stuck.

  •  Would Congress be involved? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CwV

    Any way to bar elected officials from the convention?

    Otherwise, the result would be no change or something worse.

    Seriously.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:21:23 PM PST

    •  No. I don't think the sitting government (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, koNko, oldpotsmuggler

      ...is involved. It is not a contentious process, contrary to popular belief. Constitutions have been pretty codified. They are designed to answer specific questions about government processes and rights. Everyone knows what those are.



      Denial is a drug.

      by Pluto on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:34:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please Show How Corporations or Their Owners (6+ / 0-)

        could not dominate the staffing.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:50:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  From my lofty perch as (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koNko, Kevskos, oldpotsmuggler

          ...President of the World?

          If you think about the very public process and discussion, which is ongiong throughout the world as all nations update or rewrite their constitutions, you would see how battered you are, to flinch so.

          Americans have been rode hard and put up wet. It's sad.



          Denial is a drug.

          by Pluto on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:48:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If the 1% did dominate the delegate body (in (0+ / 0-)

          whatever way, shape, or form), the popular adoption ("Ratification") would crash and burn.

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:58:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't bank on that. (0+ / 0-)

            The 1% seem to have little trouble getting their agenda across.
            That is the dealbreaker for the ConCon, that it would open up the process to the very same people that currently wield too much power, there's nothing to stop them from writing a new Constitution that sets CitizensUnited in stone.
            The full court press of the Corporate and Inherited Wealth elites would way overwhelm the will of the masses and with their total control of mass media, the low info voters would go right along with them, just as they do for GOP candidates. Doesn't sink in that they are voting against their own interests.
            The amount of energy it would take to keep the Con in the hands of the people would be better spent on amending the document issue by issue and as someone who worked hard for the ERA and saw it fail, I am under no illusions that it would be a slam/dunk.

            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

            by CwV on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 09:32:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  did you actually watch what happened in Nov.n/t (0+ / 0-)

              There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

              by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:12:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, participated in it too. (0+ / 0-)

                What are you referring to?
                Because I saw what should, in a reasonable world, have been a clean sweep, blowing out the Republicans at all levels, end up with divided government and far too many Republicans in Statehouses. We just barely added a few seats in Congress, but not enough for a filibuster-proof Senate and we still have Agent Orange as Weeper of the House.
                Yes, the billions spent didn't actually buy the GOP the seats, but the Obama team spent almost as much, canceling out Adelson and Koch, and the rest of us worked our tails off to counter the standing propaganda and the Corporate Media.
                They proved that they have zero scruples and will tell any lie, bribe anyone they can, bully those they can't buy, bend the laws, even break them if need be to win for the 1%.
                And the temptation, the goal of a Constitutional Convention is just too juicy, they'll swamp any citizen action, any grassroots organization that dares challenge them for it.
                It would be a very dangerous move, in the current climate, to open it up to a total rewrite, unless we can be sure that corporate interests and inherited wealth are in some way prevented from involvement.
                And the first step in that direction is Move to Amend.

                If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

                by CwV on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:00:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, it's not any grass roots organization, it's (0+ / 0-)

                  all of us put together if the opportunity to divide and conquer is eliminated. We have to take advantage of our greater numbers, and that can only happen if we present a unified front.

                  The weakness of the right is that, because of low popular support, thay can't fight us on every issue, all of the time, everywhere. We have to engage the overwhelming power of our numbers.

                  There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

                  by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:47:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  IF we could present a unified front (0+ / 0-)

                    but that's a big IF. Do you have some kind of majic motivator? We can't even get agreement that slaughter weapons should be kept away from thugs and nuts, how are we going to get mass majority agreement on changing the structure of government?

                    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

                    by CwV on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:13:33 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  By doing something that EVERYONE will (0+ / 0-)

                      immediately pay attention to. A Con-Con would be a true once in a lifetime event, and I simply have no reason to not trust my fellow citizens to react appropriately to that broadly encompassing reality.

                      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

                      by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:37:13 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Politicians, sure, and even some office holders, (0+ / 0-)

      because the whole society needs to be mirrored. But, above all else, brain power needs to be stressed and selected for.

      The real problem would be if we did another bad job, and then needed another 200 years before we tried the next repair.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:55:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Engineering (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, Kevskos, oldpotsmuggler

    The Federalist Papers are insightful and utterly fascinating reading.

    The Founders took a deep historical knowledge of what works and what doesn't with flawed human beings in the system, and invented something that met the requirements of the time.

    That's good engineering: have a large library of knowledge about good practices, and carefully match the solution to the problem.

    As the diarist points out, the requirements have changed immensely. We're less worried now about more powerful foreign countries playing "divide and conquer" with the states. We now have concentrations of wealth the Founders could not have conceived of.

    "Clean sheet of paper" designs carry a lot more technical risk than does simply revising something that used to work.

    •  I would envision us being eminently capable of (0+ / 0-)

      building something that incorporates the best we now have, with fixes for obvious flaws, and, most importantly, helps create the desireable future that we can reasonably anticipate.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:02:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I happen to agree with Citizens United (0+ / 0-)

    That it was correctly decided that is, not the result; though, I do like that CU finally ended a century of kabuki around the whole business of "progressive" electioneering reform).

    We have this notion of "fair" elections that roughly boils down to "you shouldn't be able to drown my preferred voices out with your damn, dirty money."  That's been the rallying cry of "people's candidates"--perennial ne'er do wells  who can count their base on two hands--for as long as we've had a country.  But let's not pretend Framers and any such notion.  They were planters, shipping magnates, lawyers, bankers and wealthy presbytrs; they restricted to as much as the franchise to themselves from the start, extending it only when it was advantageous to do so (or public discontent contraindicated defending the status quo).   We're talking about people who carved an electorate of 60,000 people out of a population of 4 million.  There was new media, people's media, whatever.  If you wanted to influence people through argument, you needed enough dough for the printing press and distribution.  It was probably easier just to schmooze (the DC circuit party is no recent innovatin) and, where corruption set openly, bribe.  

    The arch of history is long and curves towards justice, but let's not pretend that progressive reforms a century and a population explosion later changed the fundamental equation.  Maybe buying votes or  politicians outright was falling out of style, but you still had machines to mobilize the expanded franchise with the lowest possible incentives, and those machines were lubricated with money.  Running a press was still a rich man's game.  Fast forward to the pre-CU present; just what percentage of the electorate has $2,000 to give away to a candidate?  For all the talk of the rise of small donors, they account for less than twenty percent of the stash accumulated in the last two election cycles.

    Citizens United didn't blow up a fire wall between the political system and Sheldon Adelson.  There was no wall to blow up.

    •  I take this as a vote for Con-Con?n/t (0+ / 0-)

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:53:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can't even do that. (0+ / 0-)

        I can't think of a solution for this at all.  I don't want the rich hogging the system, but I also don't officials deciding who gets to speak for or against them, when and how.  My choices are last year's election or Christina Kirchner nationalizing newprint paper, at least as far as I can see.

        •  A co-opted Con-Con could never create a broadly (0+ / 0-)

          acceptable work product. Meaning, of course, that we would end up back where we started. Meaning, of course, that there is nothing to lose from the effort. Oh, and a virtually unlimited upside potential.

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:09:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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