Boaz’ s Blog 009 Seven Reasons why a President Clinton Will Likely Support an Open Article Five Convention.
Let’s assume that President-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton, after winning a convincing election against Donald Trump, accompanied by the Democrats winning the Senate, continues to faces an intractable Republican party in control of the House; opposing Clinton’s programs for funding for jobs/infrastructure, sustaining a stalemate on immigration reform; opposing free college for students from families with low to modest income and restructuring student loans.
In addition, in order to pass anything of significance in the Senate, 60 votes are required. Remember just a few years ago (2012) when 90% of the people wanted background checks for all gun purchases? The legislation failed to reach the floor of the Senate because it could not muster 60 votes to pass a motion of cloture. The Senate cloture rule—a kind of a fast-track filibuster without any of the boring monologue that accompanies a traditional filibuster—enables the minority on an issue to require the majority to come up with 60 votes (the number required to pass a motion of cloture to stop a hypothetical filibuster) in order for the bill to be heard. When the cloture rule is invoked it’s like saying to the opposition—show us you have 60 votes to force the issue to be heard by the full Senate and if not, let’s move on. Not only does the its use or threatened use prevent important legislation from being considered by the Senate and publicized to the public, its threatened use extorts amendments which dilute legislation so that achieving the original intent of a bill is no longer possible.
If the above scenario is played out again as it was during the terms of President Obama, and the ugly specter of a gridlocked Congress becomes a Deja Vu reality, numerous groups will begin agitation for an open Article Five Convention for the proposal of various amendments to the Constitution. Those same groups will apply pressure to President Clinton to offer her support to an Article Five movement. Here are seven good reasons why President Clinton would choose to support an Article Five Convention:
- Negate the holding of Citizens United by prohibiting the use of private funds from funding public elections. President-elect Clinton has repeatedly said she wants to overturn Citizens United to stop the flow of unregulated money influencing elections. It would be easier to remove all private funding of elections. (The prohibition would not be applied to initiatives or referendums as the private sector is responsible for the majority off initiatives and referendums.)
- Provide that only humans have human rights. This would negate the concept off “corporate personhood,” which, as a legal fiction, enables corporations and other groups to invoke the protection of human rights to further their cause. In Citizens United, corporate personhood enabled the prevailing party to argue that its first amendment rights were being violated because the restriction of campaign funding in elections is the equivalent of an unconstitutional restriction of free speech.
- Abolish the Electoral College. Just days after the 2000 presidential election, Senator-elect Hillary Clinton vowed to work to abolish the Electoral College which, as it turned out, enabled George W. Bush to become President even though he lost the popular vote to Al Gore. There is no valid reason to continue this constitutional impediment to democracy.
- Abolish the anti-democratic filibuster and cloture rule for both houses of Congress. (If the filibuster becomes prohibited in the Senate, the House of Representatives might try to reinstitute it.)
- Institute Universal Health Care. Bernie is correct. Health care is a fundamental right. There are three major flaws in Obamacare: Obamacare does not prevent the exorbitant rise in annual premiums. Obamacare does not provide health care for all persons. The responsibility for health care belongs to government, not business. (Lest we forget, President-elect Clinton led the aborted fight for Universal Health Care in President Bill Clinton’s first term and will likely return to her earlier position.)
- Require background checks on all firearm sales and transfers of gun ownership. This should have been dealt with by legislation, but is now too important of an issue to risk leaving it in the hands of Congress. (President-elect Clinton has already announced that she will support such legislation and if that fails, she may be willing to support a constitutional amendment.)
I’ve just given six good reasons why President-elect Clinton would support an open Article Five Convention. (The Convention must be open because there are multiple reasons for amending the Constitution.) The seventh reason is practical. I anticipate three years of congressional gridlock during President-elect Clinton’s first term. The level of frustration among President Clinton and many citizens will be so great, that there will be many clamoring for an Article Five Convention; especially from progressive millennials who supported Bernie Sanders in his bid for the presidency. President Clinton will want the support of millennials to increase her chances of winning a second term and will likely lend her support to the movement for an open Article Five Convention.
I apologize for neglecting my blogging responsibilities for more than three weeks. I have been working on galley proofs and revisions for Seven Rights for Citizen Slackers. That process is now over and the book will be available on Lulu.com within two weeks and on Amazon by the middle of December. In the book, I propose more than thirty amendments to the Constitution. I will now return to a schedule of writing about one blog per week for a5a.
Next blog: Blog 10. A Comprehensive Body of Rights for Government and Society.