By Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet, November 9, 2017
While Democrats on Wednesday were feeling encouraged and empowered by Tuesday’s coast-to-coast rejection of Trumpism, Republican legislators who control Wisconsin did what the GOP does best in elections: voted to rig the system to favor their agenda. Only this time the target wasn’t voter suppression; it was the U.S. Constitution.
On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Legislature voted to call for what’s known as an Article V constitutional convention, becoming the 28th state to do so in recent years. Thirty-four states are needed, according to the nation’s founding document, to launch a process that would open up the foundation of American’s rights and laws to revision.
“Sadly, this is not fake news,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. “The specter of an Article V convention to rewrite the Constitution remains one of the most alarming threats to our democracy that nobody has ever heard of before.”…
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by Maria Panaritis, Philadelphia Inquirer, January 19, 2017
Those who turned out for the gathering organized by Democratic State Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County had come following two months of anger and frustration over Donald Trump’s win in November.
They were told to form Facebook pages with like-minded friends and try to expand followers; consider putting their “bodies on the line” in acts of civil disobedience in the years to come; and, in the words of one Democratic political consultant, start to mirror the tactics that Republicans have used to win power in Washington and in a majority of state capitols across the country.
The goal of Daylin’s Resistance Forum, he said, is to preserve policies and institutions that progressives hold dear and that Republicans appear poised to dilute or dismantle.
“The end of democracy is not inevitable,” Leach said, “but there are warning signs.”…
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by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, July 4, 2016
That term “failed state” (I prefer “country”*) is often tossed around in news reports to describe other countries, the most dramatic of which are predominantly Muslim countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, and Pakistan (one of the three pieces of what was one country on independence from Britain).
Then there is Latin America, where two of many examples are Venezuela (an example of pure government incompetence leading to breakdown in vital services and widespread starvation) and Brazil (whose infrastructure and services are collapsing under corruption, impeachments, and the 2016 Olympics).
You know: countries with governments that can’t govern, countries riven by ethnic and ideological strife and about to fall apart, countries with leaders on the take and huge gaps between the wealthy and the impoverished, countries whose citizens can’t get along because they lack the long tradition of respectful democracy founded long ago in Europe, of which it is accepted wisdom that we are the greatest exemplar.
And Europe? Come to think of it, Germany was split in two states after World War II. Czechoslovakia split into two parts and Yugoslavia into, eventually, seven. The USSR collapsed into its 15 constituent republics. Belgium periodically looks like the Flemish and French speakers are breaking up. The UK again is threatened by possible Scottish independence and Spain by the long-standing Catalan and Basque independence movements. And Greece, the birthplace of democracy, has been undergoing a bit of turmoil itself recently….
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