The would-be rewriters of the Constitution do not merely propose amendments to remedy a problem, as allowed for in Article V. They seek structural change after hurling put-downs such as archaic and out-of-date.
The latest to imagine that he can write a 21st century improvement on our great Constitution is University of Virginia professor Larry J. Sabato, whom the Washington Post once dubbed "the Mark McGwire of political analysts." His rhetoric might be on steroids but his ideas for a "more perfect" Constitution sound like warmed-over Rhodes-scholar dissatisfaction with impudent American revolutionaries who dared to reject the British system and write an original document.Here are some of Sabato's 23 proposals to revitalize our constitution, which he set forth in his new book entitled "A More Perfect Constitution" (Walker and Co., $25.95).
Sabato wants to make all former presidents and vice presidents "National senators." I guess the prospect of Bill Clinton as first gentleman in the White House isn't a sure thing, so we should meanwhile guarantee him a speaking platform in the Senate.
Sabato would erase the great compromise of our Constitution that produced a federal union: the bicameral Congress with the House of Representatives based on population and the Senate based on state representation. He wants to give the 10 most populous states two additional senators, the 15 next most populous states one additional senator, and the District of Columbia one senator.
Of course, Sabato doesn't like the Electoral College. Liberals have been carping about the Electoral College system for years, and when Hillary Clinton celebrated her victory as U.S. senator from New York, her first pronouncement was that we have "outlived the need for an Electoral College" and it should be abolished.
Sabato wants to manipulate the Electoral College in a way he claims will reduce the chances that a president will win without a majority of the popular vote. Because of third parties, we've had many elections (including three of the last four), when no presidential candidate received a popular-vote majority.
Sabato can't prevent this unless he bans third parties. We are fortunate that we now have a proven system that allows the president to achieve an Electoral College majority that validates his election.
Sabato would abolish the constitutional provision that the president and vice president shall be "a natural-born citizen." That will bring cheers from the open-borders crowd eager to build a majority of diverse people unfamiliar with American rule of law.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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