Georgia, Tom Coburn Call for Constitutional Convention

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 6 2014 10:08 AM

Georgia, Tom Coburn Call for Constitutional Convention

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Tom Coburn is pursuing a higher calling than being a senator. And no, we don't mean growing this cool goatee.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Two months ago, Emma Roller and I wrote about the possibly historic Assembly of the States in Mount Vernon. Momentum had been building oh-so-slowly on the right for a new, state-led constitutional convention, which could pass amendments far quicker than the Congress could. (And no one sees a scenario, any time soon, where there'll be 67 conservative votes in the Senate to pass amendments.) The reaction: Largely just a lot of doubt that this would come to anything.

Well, maybe it won't, but that's never stopped anyone trying a bold idea to save America. Kristina Torres reports on the Georgia Senate's passage of Resolution 736, which just happened this week. The meat of the thing:

WHEREAS, the federal government has created a crushing national debt through improper and imprudent spending; and
WHEREAS, the federal government has invaded the legitimate roles of the states through the manipulative process of federal mandates, most of which are unfunded to a great extent; and
WHEREAS, the federal government has ceased to live under a proper interpretation of the Constitution of the United States; and
WHEREAS, it is the solemn duty of the states to protect the liberty of our people, particularly for the generations to come, by proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States through a convention of the states under Article V of the United States Constitution to place clear restraints on these and related abuses of power.
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In related news, Jon Ward talked to retiring Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, who'll be a private citizen in 10 months. His plans? "I'm going to be involved with the Convention of States. I'm going to try to motivate so that that happens. I think that's the only answer. I'm just going to go around and talk about why it's needed, and try to convince state legislatures to do it."

That would be helpful to the cause. Glenn Beck has his audience, but the mainstream media sees him as a duplicitous clown. (Really, how many times can he make news for apologizing about his tone, from back when he was famous?) Mark Levin is an icon on the right, but a shrill radio host who refers to the next Democratic presidential nominee as "Hillary Rotten Clinton" and "her thighness" might not be an ideal intellectual ambassador. But Coburn? There's a chair molded to fit him on the set of Morning Joe.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.