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As reported on N.C. Policy Watch recently, some advocates on the far right — including North Carolina’s own Lt. Governor — have been pushing the radical idea of late that it’s time for a second American constitutional convention.

For those who haven’t given the idea much thought, the dangers that would accompany such a move may not be readily apparent. Thankfully, veteran national policy analyst Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explained them in a recent column for the Washington Post.

As Greenstein noted, such an event could be a disastrous free-for-all:

The Constitution sets no rules for how a constitutional convention would work. What standards determine whether 34 states have called for a convention? Do all resolutions that state legislatures have ever passed count — even if they called for conventions on very different topics, or were passed 50 or 100 years ago, or were later rescinded, as some have been? Oklahoma, for instance, passed a resolution in 1976 calling for a convention but rescinded it in 2009, citing concerns about throwing the Constitution wide open to unknown changes; some proponents argue that Oklahoma should still count anyway. Can that be right? The Constitution is silent on all of these issues.

That’s just the start.  If a convention were called, how many delegates would each state get, and how would they be selected? How long could the convention last? The Constitution provides no guidance on those questions either.

He continued: Read More

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As we noted in this space last week, Raleigh played host this past Saturday to a “Nullify Now!” event at which people closely tied to powerful groups and individuals within the modern conservative movment touted some pretty radical stuff –e.g. the notion that states have the right to nullify federal laws they don’t like and even secede from the union. Talk about going back to the 60″s…the 1860’s, that is!

 Today’s Weekly Briefing has some more information and thoughts on the event and makes the argument that, as absurdly wacky as the whole thing was, there is probably good reason for caring and thinking people to take these folks seriously and pay closer attention to what they are saying.

Click here to read more.

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In case you missed it, this afternoon’s “Thankful Tuesday” event (at which supporters of the current state leadership will register their support for the impending regressive tax shift) will, according to the folks at Americans for Prosperity,  be co-sponsored by a group that calls itself the Moccasin Creek Minutemen.

As my colleague Chris Fitzsimon reported earlier this year, these are the same fun folks who, George Wallace-like, championed “nullification” of federal law at an event outside the General Assembly in January.  

The group’s website also serves as handy portal into the loony tunes underbelly of the modern far right, with easy-to-follow links leading visitors to the websites like The Blaze and NC Freedom — a site that, in turn, promotes a group that calls itself the North Carolina American RepublicThis group rejects the legitimacy of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and, indeed, the very legality of our state government.

Yikes! Should be a fun afternoon.  

 

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Today’s edition of Radical Right Reality Check provides a rather amazing example of just how far the so-called “libertarian” think tanks are prepared to take their worship of market fundamentalism.

Recently, one of the local conservative think tankers went so far as to feature a guest on his radio show who seriously argues that women from poor countries who get purchased as “mail-order brides” are better off for it.

To quote: “the end result is usually in the best interest of the women who seek a better life for themselves and later for their children.”

As you can read here, we are not making this up.

 

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There will undoubtedly be more troubling stories that will come to light in the days ahead about the group of extreme right-wingers that North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis met with yesterday in Raleigh, but here’s one that certainly ought to make people wake up and pay attention:

According to a 2010 story written by Chris Kromm of the Institute for Southern Studies, one of Tillis’ new buddies has some pretty amazing views.

The man in question is named David DeGerolamo. According to this story on WRAL.com, DeGerolamo was one of six or seven extreme conservatives who met with the Speaker yesterday. The story describes him as “David DeGerolamo of NC Freedom/NC Renegade.” You can check out NC Renegade’s post on the meeting (including a photo of the speaker with a couple of the attendees) by clicking here.

According to the Institute story, DeGerolamo appeared on a radio show with the head of a Nashville, Tennessee -based national Tea Party group on November 17, 2010 and called for the repeal of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

To quote the story: Read More