Liberals War on the Constitution

Nancy Pelosi won’t let an opportunity to weaken the Constitution pass.  What opportunity?  Why it’s the People’s Rights Amendment that she and congressional democrats are pushing.

The phrase “stunning development” is used far too often in our politics, but here is an item that can be described in no other way: Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats, frustrated by the fact that the Bill of Rights interferes with their desire to muzzle their political opponents, have proposed to repeal the First Amendment.

That is precisely what the so-called People’s Rights Amendment would do. If this amendment were to be enacted, the cardinal rights protected by the First Amendment — free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances — would be redefined and reduced to the point of unrecognizability. The amendment would hold that the rights protected by the Constitution are enjoyed only by individuals acting individually; individuals acting in collaboration with others would be stripped of those rights. — Boston Herald.

What triggered this anti-constitution action by the democrats?  Their loss in the Citizens United v. FEC suit before the US Supreme Court.

Business Nancy Pelosi Wants to Change First Amendment to Allow Regulation of Corporate Speech

The Democratic party’s temper tantrum over Citizens United v. FEC has ratcheted up to a new level – now, instead of arguing that the ruling is wrong and the constitution doesn’t protect corporate speech, they’re arguing that the first amendment does protect corporate speech, so they’re going to change it! At least this time, they’re following the process prescribed by the Founders. The problem is, if you listen to Pelosi‘s explanation for why they’re doing it, it’s a bit…strange:
The bill in question is called the “Peoples’ Rights Amendment,” and its goal is to explicitly allow Congress to regulate corporate speech however it wants:

The effects of this amendment would effectively eliminate Free Speech.

Rep. Donna Edwards, a Maryland Democrat, nonchalantly concluded that the amendment would of course strip even political campaigns of the First Amendment rights: “All of the speech which, whether it’s corporations of campaign committees and others engage in, would be able to be fully regulated under the authority of the Congress.” The entire point of having a Bill of Rights is that there are some things Congress may not do. “Congress shall make no law” is a phrase that Democrats cannot abide, apparently. — Boston Herald. 

But this act would have an even further reach.  It would effectively eliminate the free press, if there is such a thing anymore, as well.

The so-called People’s Rights Amendment would have some strange consequences: Newspapers, television networks, magazines and online journalism operations typically are incorporated. So are political parties and campaign committees, to say nothing of nonprofits, business associations and the like. Under the People’s Rights Amendment, Thomas Friedman would still enjoy putative First Amendment protection, but it would not do him much good inasmuch as The New York Times [NYT] Co., being a corporation, would no longer be protected by the First Amendment. — Boston Herald.

Attacks against the Constitution also start at the state level, too.  One such attack is the so-called, “Direct Election of the President/Vice President.  That movement wants to eliminate the Electoral College.

JEFFERSON CITY, February 2012 — The National Popular Vote bill (HB 1719) was introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives by a bipartisan group including House Speaker Steve Tilley (R), Minority Leader Mike Talboy (D), House Elections Chair Tony Dugger (R), as well as Representatives Pat Conway (D), Stephen Webber (D), Clem Smith (D), Dave Hinson (R), and Sue Entlicher (R).

In April 2011, the National Popular Vote bill (HB 974) was introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives by a bipartisan group of five Republican and five Democrats, including House Speaker Steve Tilley (R), Minority Leader Mike Talboy (D), Assistant Minority Floor Leader Tishaura Jones (D), Minority Caucus Secretary Sarah Lampe (D) and House Elections Chair Tony Dugger (R) as well as Representatives Pat Conway (D), Dave Hinson (R), Lincoln Hough (R), Todd L. Richardson (R), and Stephen Webber (D).  — National Popular Vote.

This movement would effectively eliminate one of the last bastions of State’s Rights—the ability, as a state bloc, to elect the President and Vice-President.  The result would be the elimination of the balance of power between the larger, more populous states and the smaller or less populous states.  There is a reason, besides the poor travel conditions in the late 18th Century, for the creation and power of the Electoral College.
I am ashamed that some so-called conservative state representatives actually signed this state bill.  The 10th Amendment was been marginalized since the Civil War.  This “popular election” tactic is another attack, not directly against the 10th Amendment, but at another provision of State’s Rights.  The states have already lost a major facet with the 17th Amendment that created the direct election of US Senators.  Let’s not repeat that error with eliminating the Electoral College.

Remember, if it weren’t for the Electoral College, Al Gore would have won the 2000 Presidential election.  He had a small popular vote margin but he didn’t have the Electoral votes to win.

History: it’s not for dummies.  Learn it or rue it.

7 thoughts on “Liberals War on the Constitution

  1. Toto…
    Where to begin. Just about every thing you have stated is wrong. What the Direct Vote does is make the populous states more powerful at the expenses of the others. What you propose is an extension of a mobocracy. This nation was NOT founded to be a democracy but a representational republic.

    There is a difference. Pure democracy lead to such "progressive" ideas as the welfare state where people can feed at the public trough. That's not for me. At you state, you want whomever has the most popular votes to be Prez. There have been a number of cases, such as the one I mentioned, where the candidate with the most votes did NOT win.

    That's a good thing, in my opinion. If your wish becomes law, state will lose more of their effective rights. It's time to reverse that trend and restore the constitution to what it was originally intended.

    What you should be supporting is a winner-take-all selection for Electors instead of proportional allocation.

  2. With the current state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes, winning a bare plurality of the popular vote in the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population, could win the Presidency with a mere 26% of the nation's votes!

    But the political reality is that the 11 largest states rarely agree on any political question. In terms of recent presidential elections, the 11 largest states include five "red states (Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia) and six "blue" states (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey). The fact is that the big states are just about as closely divided as the rest of the country. For example, among the four largest states, the two largest Republican states (Texas and Florida) generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Bush, while the two largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Kerry.

    Among the 11 most populous states in 2004, the highest levels of popular support, hardly overwhelming, were found in the following seven non-battleground states:
    * Texas (62% Republican),
    * New York (59% Democratic),
    * Georgia (58% Republican),
    * North Carolina (56% Republican),
    * Illinois (55% Democratic),
    * California (55% Democratic), and
    * New Jersey (53% Democratic).

    In addition, the margins generated by the nation's largest states are hardly overwhelming in relation to the 122,000,000 votes cast nationally. Among the 11 most populous states, the highest margins were the following seven non-battleground states:
    * Texas — 1,691,267 Republican
    * New York — 1,192,436 Democratic
    * Georgia — 544,634 Republican
    * North Carolina — 426,778 Republican
    * Illinois — 513,342 Democratic
    * California — 1,023,560 Democratic
    * New Jersey — 211,826 Democratic

    To put these numbers in perspective, Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes). Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

  3. In 1789, in the nation's first election, the people had no vote for President in most states. Only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote. Since then, state laws gave the people the right to vote for President in all 50 states and DC.

    The Electoral College is now the set of dedicated party activists who vote for presidential candidates. In the current presidential election system, 48 states award all of their electors to the winners of their state.
    The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method.

    In 1789, in the nation's first election, only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

    Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution– "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

    The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the state's electoral votes.

    The National Popular Vote bill would end the disproportionate attention and influence of the "mob" in the current handful of closely divided battleground states, such as Florida, while the "mobs" of the vast majority of states are ignored. 98% of the 2008 campaign events involving a presidential or vice-presidential candidate occurred in just 15 closely divided "battleground" states. 12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes), that are non-competitive are ignored, in presidential elections. 9 of the original 13 states are considered “fly-over” now. Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). Similarly, 98% of ad spending took place in these 15 "battleground" states.

    The current system does not provide some kind of check on the "mobs." There have been 22,000 electoral votes cast since presidential elections became competitive (in 1796), and only 10 have been cast for someone other than the candidate nominated by the elector's own political party. The electors now are dedicated party activists of the winning party who meet briefly in mid-December to cast their totally predictable rubberstamped votes in accordance with their pre-announced pledges.

    If a Democratic presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state's dedicated Democratic party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. If a Republican presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state's dedicated Republican party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. The winner of the presidential election is the candidate who collects 270 votes from Electoral College voters from among the winning party's dedicated activists.

  4. Toto. If you want to preach, use your own blog. Don't use mine. I mistakenly deleted your first two comments. For that I apologize. But, this is my blog. The size of your four comments is larger than my single post.

    Get your own blog. Don't use mine to press your case.

  5. Again, National Popular Vote is NOT direct election of the President.

    With National Popular Vote, the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ Electoral College votes from the enacting states. That majority of Electoral College votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.

    The Republic is not in any danger from National Popular Vote.
    National Popular Vote has NOTHING TO DO with pure democracy. Pure democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly. With National Popular Vote, the United States would still be a representational republic, in which citizens continue to elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes, to represent us and conduct the business of government in the periods between elections.

    National Popular Vote has nothing to do with proportional allocation, either.

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