A Constitutional Convention is a Really Bad Idea (For Now)

Dylan, subbing in for Ezra Klein, makes a sad but true point I’ve been thinking about for a while: In the abstract, a constitutional convention sounds like a really good idea because we desperately need some sweeping reforms right now, but in reality it would probably be disastrous because those proposals would be shoved to the side in favor of crazy bullshit concocted by crazy people.

The fact of the matter is that drafting a constitution–or even tweaking one–is an impossibly demanding, complicated task that should only be undertaken by brilliant people. That is, in part, why I think a lot of post-revolution governments don’t look so great. And sadly for us, we’ve got more Michelle Bachmanns than Thomas Jeffersons right now. So I think the more worthwhile project is, rather than trying to solve the difficult problems, solving comparatively the easy problems (climate change, financial reform, etc.) and trying to get ourselves to a place of basic sentience/functionality where we can tackle the difficult ones.

That, incidentally, is why I haven’t quite figured out how I feel about Romney’s potential candidacy in the GOP primary. I’m assuming right now that he’ll lose the general either way, but would the GOP nominating him get us closer to or further away from the possibility for interaction between two relatively sane political parties? On the one hand, if the Republicans nominated, say, Sarah Palin or someone, that might be the final nail in the coffin for them as a party governed by adults (or indicate that the nail already got hammered in awhile ago). On the other hand, if he did get nominated, he would lose, and the GOP base might take that as an indication–as they did with McCain–that their candidate was insufficiently nuts. I guess right now I’ll tentatively root for him as the Republican candidate least likely to blunder us into a nuclear war.


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