Friday, July 9, 2010

Caution For Would-Be Constiutional Reformers

Like a lot of liberals, and probably a lot of Americans, there are significant things I'd like to change about our government and that would require Constitutional Amendments. There is occasionally pie in the sky talk of, "What if we could call a Constitutional Convention?"

The obvious disclaimer that appended to any of these conversations is that a Constitutional Convention would be politically very difficult given our highly polarized politics. I'm not sure that it would be more difficult than what we went through in 1787 but it is an obvious concern.

The other less obvious concern is, as Matt Yglesias shows us today, that lots of people have really terrible ideas about how our government should be setup; thing like term limits for Congress and election of Federal Judges.

A Constitutional Convention would be one of those classic, be careful what you ask for scenarios. While I think we have room for significant improvement in the structure and functioning of government we could also do much, much worse. And somehow I think the much, much worse ideas would be quite popular.

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