THINKING ABOUT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF OUR VOTE

branches of governmentHere is a thoughtful email from Delegate Scott Lingamfelter. He sent it out Friday, but I thought it best to hold over for Monday morning.

Scott Lingamfelter

Don’t be Fooled: You’re Actually Electing a Government

This is a bit long, but I hope you will take time to read it.  I think it’s important.

People have said to me, “Good grief, we have 320 million people in the US and look at the choices we have for President!”

True.  On the one hand we have a fellow, Donald Trump, who is brash, outspoken, politically incorrect, and one of the most successful businessmen in the US.  On the other hand, we have a person, Hillary Clinton, who is contemptuous of the military, thinks Americans aren’t smart enough to manage their own lives, wants to raise taxes even when the economy is growing at an anemic 1%, was a horrible Secretary of State, and jeopardizes our national secrets with an illegal email system (and then lies about it to your face).  But worst of all, she has become wealthy by duping money out of Clinton Foundation donors or through pay-to-play schemes using her government position to give access to those donors for their support of her political objectives.

Trump’s and Clinton’s view of foreign policy, the economy, jobs, the role of government, and the Supreme Court could not be more different.  It’s a stark contrast.  A brash outsider vs. a corrupt insider.  He insults.  She lies.  He says what he’s thinking instead of thinking what he’s saying.  She says what she thinks you want to hear and thinks what she says is truth, even when it isn’t.  His mind “arcs” from one politically controversial comment or thought to another.  Her mind “short circuits”, her way of justifying her lies.

Moreover, Clinton’s view is that if you’re supporting Trump, somehow you are a “deplorable” person at best and filled with “implicit racism” at worst.  This is an insult to all Americans, and it says a lot about how Clinton will approach the Presidency: with a smug moral superiority that says she is better and far smarter than the rest of us.  She isn’t.

Which brings me to this point.  You may be in a place where you are not happy with either candidate.  I understand.  But you need to remember this.  We’re not just voting for a person; we’re voting for an administration.

Much in the same way that a parliamentary system “votes-in a government” that will control the policy of the country, maybe we should look at this strange election through that lens.

Trump has chosen a strong, effective, and conservative governor in Mike Pence to be his Vice President; which is a good indication of the kind of solid people he will choose for his cabinet. And don’t be fooled, we’re not only voting for a Vice President, but also a cabinet; the senior people who will run the government, the administration that will choose judges, the policies that will be ended or begun, and the executive structure that will work with or oppose Congress.  We are voting for an administration in the fullest sense of the word.

A Trump or Clinton administration will take dramatically different paths.

  • He has made clear that he will work with the conservative Heritage Foundation and the Federalists Society in choosing Supreme Court nominees.  She will depend on the likes of left-looney Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to pick judges.
  • He will lower taxes, Clinton will raise them.
  • He will take on ISIS, she will be as weak as she was as Secretary of State.
  • He will grow jobs; she will grow government.
  • He will shift power back to the states. She will create a vortex of power from state capitols to Washington.
  • He will be about us; she will be about her.

That’s what their respective administrations will look like, folks.  So as you consider the choices, think beyond the two candidates before us.  Because who we elect will have a bigger impact than you may think beyond their personalities.  You are electing an entire government. In that regard, this election may be the first that is truly about an entire approach to government, an administration.  Don’t forget that when you ponder what to do in November.

Share this with a friend and VOTE!

Sincerely,
Scott

CONVENTION OF THE STATES SUFFERS A SETBACK IN VIRGINIA

constitution1.pngHere is what the Richmond-Times Dispatch is reporting.

House sponsor scraps bid for convention of the states

Virginia will not join the short list of states that so far have urged Congress to call for a convention of the states to propose amendments to the Constitution.

Following several days of delaying a vote in the House of Delegates, Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Prince William, realized that his resolution had lost momentum and today asked for it to be struck from the calendar.

“George Washington used to observe that in war you must see things as they are, not as you wish them to be,” Lingamfelter said on the House floor. ” (continued here)

It would have been interesting to see how people voted, but perhaps Lingamfelter feared the vote would be so lopsided it would be a pointless embarrassment. Virginia gets lots of Federal Government money. So the politicians here have a big incentive to promote big government spending.

What’s The Alternative?

Consider that Conservatives on both sides of the Article V Convention fight agree on one thing. They agree our government is out of control, but neither side has done a good job of answering this question.

Why is our government out-of-control?

If we want to solve a problem, we first have to define the problem. Until then, we cannot rightly define a fix. Well-meaning people like Delegate Scott Lingamfelter and Michael Farris can question the good sense of well-meaning people like Senator Dick Black. They can even rightly demand an answer to this question.

Senator Dick Black, what is your plan to stop the abuse of power in Washington, D.C.? (from here)

Nevertheless, Article V Convention advocates still have an obligation to define the problem before they propose a solution, and they have not done that. What they have been doing instead is trying to show why their solution will not blow up in our faces. Because they are always on defense, that’s why they cannot get the states to approve a call for an Article V Convention.

So what’s the alternative? I think our government is out-of-control because We the People don’t know enough and don’t care enough to run it properly. We point to the government and say it’s broken, but we are the government. That’s the nature of a republic. And yet most of us cannot explain what a republic is and why we have one. That’s why those opposing an Article V Convention have every right to be frightened of this “solution.”

Nevertheless, I favor the call for an Article V Convention. We live in desperate times that call for desperate solutions. We must do everything we can to make our fellow countrymen understand now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

Other Views

CONVENTION OF THE STATES OR CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION? — AN ADVOCATE’S VIEW

constitution1.pngHere Delegate Scott Lingamfelter replies to Senator Dick Black in an email dated 01/31/2015.

Fairness to Black requires we remember one thing.  We have never had a Convention of the States. We only know how it will work in theory.

Fairness to Lingamfelter, however requires we remember this. The founders intended that the states use the Article V process to bring an out-of-control Federal Government back under the control of the People.

Convention of the States: Important Update‏

Dear Friends,

I am sorry for the length of this, but it’s really important.

For those of you who are in support of an Article V Convention of the States, please read this important rebuttal by Michael Farris to Senator Dick Black’s email sent yesterday that is, I am sad to say, utterly untrue.

First, many of you know that I am the Chief Patron of this effort (HJ497) in the House of Delegates.  http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=151&typ=bil&val=HJ497&submit=GO

Those who are opposed to the states coming together to rein in Federal power have panicked, because we are on the verge of victory.  They are putting out blatant distortions to make people and their Delegates fearful.  Consider this:the following conservatives SUPPORT a convention of the states:

Ken Cuccinelli, Mat Staver, Governor Bobby Jindal, Randy Barnett, Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, David Barton, Colonel Allen West, Senator Ron Johnson, Retired Senator Tom Coburn, and countless other conservative leaders.  And we are joined by very brave Delegates in the House including Delegates Anderson, Morris, Ware, Berg, Bloxom, Cole, Cox, Edmunds, Fowler, Garrett, Greason, Head, Jones, LaRock, Massie, O’Bannon, Peace, Poindexter, Webert and Wilt.  They have the courage to take a stand and I hope you will also.  Others are signing on too as they come to realize that we must act now.

Do you think these conservative leaders are trying to scare you?  No, they are conservative leaders and they have the courage to stand up to Federal overreach and not cower to the fear tactics of the John Birch Society.

Second, there is an utter lie being circulated that the NRA opposes the Convention of the States.  The NRA has NOT taken a position and in fact their chief Counsel supports our effort.  So let’s be straight. Lies to scare folks won’t work.  Please call your delegate and senator this weekend, and tell them that this week when this comes up for a vote, to please act boldly and support HJ 497 and SJ 269, calling for a Convention of the States.

ANSWERING DICK BLACK: Michael Farris, J.D., LL.M., Constitutional Lawyer & Chancellor of Patrick Henry College

At the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, George Mason of Virginia insisted that there would come a day when the federal government would abuse the authority it was given under the Constitution. Mason therefore insisted that the States be given the power to propose amendments to the Constitution to rein in the Federal Government. Mason said that Congress would never propose amendments to restrict federal power. And he has been proven right.

Dick Black’s “Urgent” Appeal is false, deceptive, and demeaning to all Virginians. Here’s why:

1. BLACK CREATES A FALSE IMPRESSION OF IMPENDING CHANGE TO THE CONSTITUTION.

Black claims that “Virginia will vote to change the Constitution of the United States in a few days.” This is a far cry from the reality both as to the timing and as to the scope of the Convention. Virginia is set to vote on whether to begin the process of considering the proposal of specific amendments to the Constitution. We are years away from making any amendments (34 states must first approve the call, the convention must be held, and 38 states must ratify any proposals coming out of the convention before any change is made to the Constitution.

Black claims that Virginia could be the “tipping point” to get to 34 states. This is based on the idea that many states have already called for a convention, and that adding Virginia to the list would bring us to the needed number.

This claim is demonstrably false and nothing better than a blatant attempt to incite panic.

The two specific resolutions in front of the Virginia General Assembly are for an Article V Convention to limit federal power and jurisdiction (HJ 497) and an Article V Convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment (HJ 499).

Three states have passed the first application, and 24 states have passed the second. Virginia would not be the 34th state for either measure.

Black’s assertion that Virginia could be the tipping point is based on the clearly erroneous assumption that Article V applications can never be rescinded.

Every serious Article V legal scholar understands that rescissions are valid. I personally litigated a case regarding rescissions of ratifications of proposed constitutional amendments under Article V. The federal court holding is that rescissions of ratifications are indeed binding. Idaho v. Freeman, 529 F.Supp. 1107 (D.Idaho 1981).

The simple truth is that we are years away from voting on actual amendments to the Constitution. If these applications pass, Virginia will be the 4th state to call for a Convention of States to restrict federal power and the 25th state to call for a Balanced Budget Amendment. These applications can only trigger a convention where amendments will be debated, drafted, and then sent on to the states for ratification. They will “change” the Constitution only if ratified by 38 states.

2. LIBERAL ORGANIZATIONS CITED BY DICK BLACK ARE NOT “PUSHING FOR THIS.”

Black claims that George Soros, Code Pink, MoveOn.org, New Progressive Alliance and 100 other liberal groups “are pushing for this.”

None of these entities have endorsed or “pushed for” the Convention of States (HJ 497) or a Balanced Budget Amendment (HJ 499) in Virginia or any other state.

Not one of these entities even mentions Article V on their website (georgesoros.com, codepink.org, moveon.org, occupywallst.org, and newprogs.org). Not once. Moveon.org mentions Article V of the Wisconsin Constitution and Article V of the Geneva Convention. The Occupy Wall Street website includes reader comments discussing Article V. But not once is there any mention of Article V of the U.S. Constitution by these organizations. Pure silence.

Dick Black’s source for this claim is a website operated by a group that is seeking an Article V convention for a wholly different purpose. This group seeks to repeal the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court. The organizations listed are endorsing the repeal of Citizens United. No organization with that movement has “pushed for” or endorsed either the Convention of States (HJ 497) or a Balanced Budget Amendment (HJ 499) in Virginia or any other state.

Black’s claim that these liberal organizations are “pushing for this”-referring to the bills slated to be voted on by the Virginia General Assembly-is a blatant falsehood.

3. WE DO KNOW HOW DELEGATES ARE CHOSEN

Dick Black says that there is no law which states how delegates to the Convention are chosen. There was no such law in place in 1787 when Virginia chose its delegates to the Constitutional Convention. The legislature had the inherent power to appoint delegates-who represent Virginia-and it did so. The Virginia General Assembly has that same power today, and it comes from Virginia’s sovereign power and Article V of the Constitution.

4. THE CONVENTION WILL BE LIMITED TO PROPOSING AMENDMENTS THAT LIMIT THE POWER OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

Black claims (citing a video by the John Birch Society) that a convention cannot be limited to the subjects identified in the state applications, but will necessarily throw open the entire constitution. In fact they claim that our original Constitution is invalid because it, too, was adopted by a “runaway convention.”

This argument has been thoroughly discredited.

Dick Black needs to explain why he is listening to and promoting these dangerous people, who have admitted that they will pursue secession if their “plans” for nullification are unsuccessful.

5. CONGRESS HAS NO CONTROL OVER THE CONVENTION ONCE IT IS TRIGGERED.

You can see from the text of Article V itself that Congress only has two duties with regard to the Convention mechanism. It aggregates the applications and “calls” the Convention once 34 states apply for a Convention to propose a certain type of amendments. Then it chooses between two specified methods of ratification for any amendment proposals that come out of the Convention-each of which requires 38 states to ratify.

The term “call” used in Article V is a legal term of art with regard to the Convention process. To “call” a Convention is not to control it, determine its rules or decide who represents the parties! Rather, to “call” a Convention is to announce the date, time and location for it to facilitate its occurrence. Virginia “called” the Constitutional Convention in 1787. But did it unilaterally determine the rules or select the delegates from other states? Of course not!

Some of the arguments made by Dick Black are matters of opinion, and as such, are not untruthful per se–even if they have been rejected by most legal scholars. But when he says that Virginia could be the “tipping point,” and when he says that George Soros and Moveon.org are “pushing for this,” he has spoken untruthfully about material facts.

If Black is not willing to play straight with the facts, then his opinions do not merit serious consideration.

The “questions” Black poses about the Article V Convention process have answers that are grounded in fact, history, and law. For him to suggest otherwise is to purposefully sow confusion and fear.

The conservatives who have endorsed this effort include:

Ken Cuccinelli, Mat Staver, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, David Barton, Col. Alan West, Sen. Tom Coburn (ret.), and many others. These are the people who, in fact, are “pushing for this.”

Senator Dick Black, what is your plan to stop the abuse of power in Washington, D.C.?

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T VOTE? — DELEGATE SCOTT LINGAMFELTER

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter sent out an email today too.  He suggests we need to vote.

Scott Lingamfelter

What Happens When you Don’t Vote?

Dear Friends,

If you’re like me, you have become increasingly frustrated-even angry-with the dysfunction and deafness of Government.  The President and the US Congress have let us down.  Politicians in Washington simply don’t listen.  How can we have representative governance when the government neither governs within their constitutional limits nor represents us with common sense policies?

It is time for a change.  Really.  Some would say “well, just vote them all out; Republicans and Democrats alike”.  I would suggest that would be completely unhelpful.  To be sure-as a Republican-I recognize that many in my own party are guilty of failing to represent us.  But I also know this: If the US Congress is placed firmly back in the hands of Democrats like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, there absolutely will be NO change at all.  Moreover, a liberal US Senate will be there to assist President Obama as he increasingly moves toward unconstitutional “rule by executive order”.  We must put the US Senate in conservative hands and build on the Republican majority in the House so that they can advance policies we must have to get the country back on the right track.

For me, I plan to vote for my Congressman Rob Wittman http://www.robwittman.com/and my friend Ed Gillespie for US Senate http://edforsenate.com/.  That’s my choice.  But what about you?  I hope you are not among folks who say “it doesn’t matter”.  It does matter.  It matters because of two words:  Harry Reid.

Reid has bottled up over 300 bills the House PASSED in the US Senate to “protect” Democrat Senators from voting one way or the other.  He has turned the US Senate into one of the most dysfunctional bodies in legislative history.  He is a partisan beyond words and completely out of step with you and me.

So please, do not stay home.  Do not succumb to cynicism.  Don’t fall for the line, “It doesn’t matter what you do, things won’t change”.  That is precisely what liberals and so-called progressives WANT you to do.  Please vote.  And vote Republican because when you vote for third parties you are actually helping the liberals, like it or not.

Finally, for those of you who are motivated to vote-like I am-please go to a neighbor or friend and enlist them to vote too.  Tell them that this is a key moment in the history of the nation.  Let them know that inaction IS action that will keep us on the same horrible path we are on today.

This Election Day must be known as the day America said “Enough!”  The way we do that is simple.  VOTE!

Best,