A recent Washington Post article about some "conservative Republican" Virginia state legislators who want to amend the U.S. Constitution via an Article V constitutional convention — what they call a "convention of the states" — includes a couple of very telling lines near the bottom of the piece that should chill the blood of constitutionalists.
Those lines are a quote from a Democrat in the Virginia House of Delegates who says he's opposed to calling a constitutional convention. “I’m against it, but if we have one, I want to be a delegate,” the Post quoted Delegate Mark D. Sickles (D-Fairfax) as saying. “There’s a lot of problems with this Constitution. I’ll just get up to this convention and start whacking away.”
Most Americans will be unfamiliar with Sickles so perhaps an op-ed he wrote last year in the Washington Post on the subject of homosexual “marriage” will be a good introduction to his agendum. He began his opinion piece by saying:
The pre-Valentine’s Day  decision by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen declaring Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional is a historic turning point in the long struggle for equality in the commonwealth — the first state in the Old Confederacy to have its ban overturned. The ruling came on the heels of recent decisions by federal district judges in Utah and Oklahoma who found no rational basis for denying gay couples the right to marry. The centuries-old walls of discrimination are crumbling brick by brick as state legislatures, courts and the American people are accepting their LGBT brothers and sisters, with increasing speed and understanding, for exactly who they are.
And later in the piece:
Our successors will not believe we once had hundreds of federal rights and benefits denied to a sizable minority of our citizens because of whom they love and choose to share their lives with. I am fully convinced that this month’s ruling will help strengthen all marriages in the commonwealth. As Judge Allen succinctly wrote: “This is consistent with our nation’s traditions of freedoms.”
Given his understanding of what is an is not constitutional and what is and is not part of our “traditions of freedom,” there is little doubt as to what sort of “acceptance” amendment would find its way into the Constitution version 2.0 hammered out by Sickles and his fellow delegates at an Article V convention.
Of course, the gay “rights” lobby won’t be the only radical fringe represented at the proposed constitutional convention.
As I reported last year:
Within the ranks of those clamoring for an Article V convention are found numerous extremely radical, progressive, and socialist organizations that otherwise would have little in common with the conservatives fighting on the same side.
Hundreds of groups “committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy” are anxious to take their axes to the Constitution's basic structure.
The Washington Post piece about the con-con debate in Virginia claims that it is an internecine battle between fellow conservatives. Perhaps that is so and perhaps it will force Americans to redefine what it means to be conservative.
The various purportedly unrelated efforts by self-professed conservatives, socialists, and progressives to call for a new constitutional convention are moving forward. Many otherwise well-meaning state legislators — not just in Virginia but elsewhere — are falling for their common line that such a convention is the only way to save the Republic.
The self-professed conservatives, on one hand, insist that if a new convention isn’t held, the growth of the federal government will go on forever until all power is consolidated in Washington, D.C.
Their socialist and progressive collaborators, however, are pushing for an Article V convention as a means of finally changing all the things they believe are wrong about our form of government.
Rhetoric and political leanings aside, the result of either scenario is a new Constitution.
Lately, the promoters of the Compact for America have pointed out that the Constitution has its flaws. They point to the 16th and 17th Amendments as examples of two parts of the Constitution that need fixing rather than following.
To the would-be second generation founding fathers, the best way to get out of the mess we’re in is to cure the Constitution.
Their diagnosis of the problem is accurate, but their treatment is terrible.
Imagine you went to the doctor with an infected arm. Would you follow that physician’s advice if he recommended amputation of all your limbs or the removal of your kidneys?
Make no mistake, if the Constitution is opened up to the tinkering of these tin horns, the monied interests will be present and their irresistible influence will shape the product of the Article V process.
Take a look around the country and one can see what a new constitution would look like. With courts forcing states to recognize gay “marriage” in one jurisdiction after the other, there is no limit to the panoply of “rights” that would be pursued by the con-con 2.0 delegates.
Furthermore, balanced budget amendments (which overlook the fact that most of the spending is unconstitutional), term limit amendments, and the various other “power to the people” amendments backed by the socialist wing of the Article V movement are all, in one way or another, contrary to the intent of the Founders and to the principles of liberty they enshrined in the Constitution.
Remember, no matter how “conservative” or “constitutional” a group or individual claims to be, if their proposed amendments change the basic structure of the Constitution or alter the delicate balance of power created by the Constitution, then you should realize that although their lips draw near to the Founders, their hearts are far from them.
Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American. Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton.