You say you’d change the constitution

Via Greg Sargent, I see that Republicans are planning on pretending to push for a balanced budget amendment. There’s no chance it will pass, but they think it’s polling well right now.

By Jon Chait’s tally, that brings the total number of constitutional amendments proposed by contemporary Republicans to 8. Three more (they’ll get there) and it will be more than the number of amendments in the original Bill of Rights.

It’s easy to chalk this up to contemporary teatardism. Certainly, it’s true that the main appeal of these proposed amendments is that they will never be passed. But there’s nothing new here: the modern Republican party is based largely on opposition to Civil RIghts and Roe v. Wade. There’s more to this than the Glenn Beck fans waving copies of the Constitution at Congressmen.






34 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Your link to “it’s polling well right now” goes Balloon-Juice.
    I’m sure it’s Steve Jobs’ fault again.

  2. 2
    Redshift says:

    I would think that promising sixteen Constitutional amendments would take some of the bite out of the fundraising off promising an amendment to ban abortion, but I guess I’m not a senior political strategist.

  3. 3
    El Tiburon says:

    Perhaps a name change is in order to the Potemkin Party.

    The Republicans are nothing but a faux-charade with no clothes.

  4. 4
    Punchy says:

    I’ll say it again: In our lifetime (actually, forever), there will not be another Constitutional Amendment with any significant social/political value (e.g., the 27th and its arcane rule not included). There’s just no way there’ll ever be 2/3rds of either legislative body to vote in the same direction.

    Caveat: with another signficant terrorist attack, all bets off. Likely an Amendment banning Islam would pass without opposition.

  5. 5
    Bulworth says:

    I’m sure their response to the paradox of the GOP’s stated adoration of the Constitution and the reality of all the changes they want made is that it is necessary because all the dirty liberal hippy activist judges have distorted the sacred originalist strict constructionist reading of the document and that only by adding more muck to it can we Restore It.

  6. 6
    Frank says:

    Via Greg Sargent, I see that Republicans are planning on pretending to push for a balanced budget amendment. There’s no chance it will pass, but they think it’s polling well right now.

    I would like to to see the fine print of this proposal. Will it include supplemental war spending for idiotic wars? During the entire Bush era, Republicans passed the Iraq war spending via supplementals to make the deficit look better.

    Did they run this by Dick Cheney who claimed that deficits do not matter?

    And heck, just like the tea baggers, where was this proposal from the Republicans during the Bush era when they turned a Clinton budget surplus into a gigantic budget deficit?

    And finally, how do they justify a balanced budget amendment with keeping the Bush tax cuts which will dramatically increase the deficit?

  7. 7
    MikeBoyScout says:

    You know what they say, if you can’t win under the rules, change the rules.

    What are the odds on the date when they’ll propose an amendment to outlaw opposing ideas?

  8. 8
    thunderlizard says:

    Actually the original bill of rights had 12 amendments. Only 10 were ratified at the time; an 11th, saying that congressional pay raises cannot take effect until after the next election was ratified more recently.

  9. 9
    Bobbo says:

    the modern Republican party is based largely on opposition to Civil RIghts and Roe v. Wade.

    And tax cuts for the rich

    Fixed

  10. 10
    DougJ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Thanks. Fixed it.

  11. 11
    Origuy says:

    Some teabaggers have advocated reviving the Titles of Nobility Amendment, the one revoking the citizenship of anyone accepting foreign titles. They seem to think it will punish Obama for accepting the Nobel Prize. Plus, they call it the original 13th amendment, implying the anti-slavery amendment isn’t valid.

  12. 12
    General Stuck says:

    You say you got a real solution?

  13. 13
    Origuy says:

    Wikipedia has a page on proposed amendments. I don’t thing there are any Democratic proposals before Congress at the moment, unless it’s the one to repeal the 22nd Amendment, the presidential term limits. That’s been introduced in every session for some time and never goes anywhere.

  14. 14
    Gen. Jrod and his Howling Army says:

    But if you go carrying pictures of that Rand Paul,
    You ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow.

  15. 15
    catclub says:

    Shouldn’t the title be: “You say you want (to change the constitution)” ?

    In deference to “You say want a revolution”?

  16. 16
    Corner Stone says:

    @DougJ: I’m here to help, DougJ.
    I will always be here to help.

  17. 17
    Uloborus says:

    @Frank:
    Cut all ‘entitlement’ spending of all kinds. Social security, medicare, education – completely remove them.

    That’s not snark. Ask them sometime.

  18. 18
    Bob L says:

    The Republics advocating a balanced budget. This is a joke, right?

  19. 19
    Gen. Jrod and his Howling Army says:

    @catclub:

    You say you’ll change the constitution
    Well you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it’s the institution
    Well you know
    You better free your mind instead

  20. 20
    Gen. Jrod and his Howling Army says:

    @Bob L: Bush’s budget was perfectly balanced, just so long as you consider tax-cuts and war spending to be extra-budgetary. This is the position of all true patriots, BTW.

  21. 21

    A balanced budget amendment?

    Well, maybe, but not the wimpy version that’s being proposed. Where’s the enforcement provision?

    Now, it you put in a section mandating summary executions, then maybe it’ll have a chance of working.

  22. 22
    El Cid says:

    I think they need to focus on repealing Article I.

  23. 23
    ornery curmudgeon says:

    “…the modern Republican party is based largely on opposition to Civil RIghts and Roe v. Wade.”

    Actually the Republican party is based on privatizing our nation and elevating the wealthy above all … Civil Rights and Roe v. Wade are just levers that work.

  24. 24
    Mark S. says:

    Here’s the Balanced Budget Amendment:

    If ratified, the amendment would not allow the federal government to spend more money than it collects each year. In limited circumstances, such as during a time of war, Congress can waive the balanced budget requirement with a two-thirds majority. The amendment also would make it more difficult for Congress to increase the burden on the taxpayer by requiring a two-thirds majority vote to raise taxes.

    Proposing constitutional amendments that will never pass is a lot easier than doing actual legislative work, but they mostly do it to fire up the base.

  25. 25
    Gen. Jrod and his Howling Army says:

    @Mark S.:

    The amendment also would make it more difficult for Congress to increase the burden on the taxpayer by requiring a two-thirds majority vote to raise taxes.

    Cuz that worked out so well for California.

  26. 26
    TR says:

    As long as we’re messing with the Constitution, let’s clean up the 14th. The Rs are all about getting rid of birth-right citizenship for children of illegal immigrants (because the babies take up valuable day-care spots? Idk.). Give them their non-issue, and make citizenship based on at least one parent being a citizen. In exchange, just finagle the word ‘natural’ into Section 1. Then you have~

    “All <> persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. ”

    Suddenly corporations (who aren’t natural) will no longer be able to claim 1st (Citizens United), 4th, 5th, etc. amendment rights. So Walmart couldn’t claim they’re being discriminated aginst by towns voting against zoning for their store under the 14th amendment, for example.

  27. 27
    Beauzeaux says:

    Gee, I always thought the modern Republican party was based largely on providing ever greater wealth and power to people that already have far too much of both.

  28. 28
    Frank says:

    @Mark S.:

    If ratified, the amendment would not allow the federal government to spend more money than it collects each year. In limited circumstances, such as during a time of war, Congress can waive the balanced budget requirement with a two-thirds majority.

    So, they want to make an exception for war spending but nothing else. What is wrong with asking for a tax increase to cover for war costs? Heck, if the war is truly worth fighting (unlike the Iraq war) I’m sure just about every one of us would be in favor of the tax increase.

    Either you are truly for a balanced budget or you are not.

  29. 29
    ellaesther says:

    I’ve been saying it all over the webz, I might as well say it in this thread, too:

    Hey, hey, guess what? I’m a conservative! I want to conserve THE CONSTITUTION.

    Full of rage, I am.

  30. 30
    Sentient Puddle says:

    If the Republicans are right and there really is significant support for something like this, then we might as well just call ourselves a third world country. Yeesh.

    This is definitely one of those instances where the constitution grinding potential policy to a near-halt is a very very good thing.

  31. 31
    NonyNony says:

    @Frank:

    So, they want to make an exception for war spending but nothing else. What is wrong with asking for a tax increase to cover for war costs?

    If we’re talking about Constitutional Amendments, I’d be much more in favor of requiring that all military and war spending be treated as a separate budget, with separate income taxation, and that it be completely balanced every year – no money from any kind of general fund or tapping into SS or anything like that. All money spent on war and military funding must come from a specific tax that shows up as a specific line item on everyone’s 1040. If you need more money in that fund – say to fund a war – you have to pass a tax increase to get it.

    I’d even be in favor of having multiple of these line-items for income tax – not too many because then it just gets to be a pain in the ass and you lose the information in all the noise. It’d be educational – and might make some people think a bit about where they want to see their taxes cut and where they might be willing to see their taxes raised in a way that a pie chart in the USA Today just can’t impact.

  32. 32
    trollhattan says:

    During 43’s reign I frequently brought up the BBA in fiscal policy discussions with preening wingnuts, but the only place I could reliably find a reference to it was the Cato website. Otherwise it was wiped from the Republican globe (you know, the one that looks like a pizza).

    Remember: “Deficits don’t matter.” Oopsie.

  33. 33
    Stillwater says:

    I’d be much more in favor of requiring that all military and war spending be treated as a separate budget, with separate income taxation, and that it be completely balanced every year

    That idea makes so much sense it must be sociaIist or unAmerican or subversive or … something.

  34. 34
    Bender says:

    But there’s nothing new here: the modern Republican party is based largely on opposition to Civil RIghts and Roe v. Wade.

    And the modern Democrat party is based largely on “Gimme your money so I don’t have to work.”

    Cartooning is fun.

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