Coburn: Let’s change Constitution


Sen. Tom Coburn is pushing for a national convention to amend the Constitution.

The Oklahoma Republican, who has grown disenchanted with gridlock in Washington, will officially launch his effort after he retires from the Senate in a few months.

Support for a convention of the states to overhaul the nation’s charter document has increased among conservatives, who are frustrated by Congress’s failure to reform entitlement programs.

“I think [George] Mason was prophetic that we would devolve to where the federal government became too powerful, too big and too unwieldy. That’s why he put Article V in,” Coburn told The Hill in an interview.

Article V of the Constitution stipulates that two-thirds of the states may call a convention to propose amendments to the nation’s founding document. It has never been successfully invoked.

All 17 times the nation has amended the Constitution since the adopting of the Bill of Rights in 1791, it has done so by proposing changes that won two-thirds support in the Senate and House and were then ratified by three-fourths of the states.

“I think we ought to have a balanced budget amendment, I think we ought to have term limits. I think we ought to put a chokehold on regulation and re-establish the powers of the Congress,” he said.

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Let cut out the middlemen (Congress) and get something done for once.

{I understand the irony that a soon to be retired senator is leading this cause}


A constitutional convention would be a huge money-sink, and would be just as deadlocked as the Congress is. The parties need to work together, instead of trying to one-up each other, if progress is going to be made. Extremists on both sides of the aisle have turned “compromise” into a bad word when in reality this nation wouldn’t have formed without it.


A Constitutional Convention would end up with changes that conservatives would be shocked over.

The idea that the changes would be conservative friendly is a pipe dream.



^^^This. It would be a disaster.


Agree 100%


Maybe I should change my vote. :hmmm:


NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO… NO!!!

If this were to actually happen, it would be a DISASTER. If you open up EVERYTHING in the Constitution to possible change, it would open a Pandora’s Box of changes and amendments that would change the face of our nation forever. I guarantee it.

This is a classic example of a “Monkey’s Paw” wish. Mr. Coburn wants change? He’ll get it… just not the way he wants it. What he (and we) will get is a Constitution written by and for special interest groups; a Constitution with scaled-back religious freedoms; and a Constitution that will almost certainly clear up the gridlock - in favor of radical liberals.

Coburn should completely reverse his stance on this and state publicly that this is a bad idea.


With a deadlocked Congress and a polarized electorate, what in the world makes Coburn think we can pull together and agree on constitutional amendments? That’s not a rhetorical question. I really want to know what’s going through his head, if anything.



The politicians need changing - not the Constitution.


No it’s not the politicians. We have only ourselves to blame. I’ll paraphrase Milton Friedman. We can’t expect to put good people in office. What we have to do is make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. It doesn’t make a bit of difference what you write in the Constitution. It isn’t worth anymore than the paper it is written on if the people aren’t going to hold our politicians accountable.


Ya know, funny how Coburn goes off about a “balanced budget amendment”.

Has the man EVER read a copy of the constitution? Congress has… what it is, wait, wait-power of purse.

Just because Coburn wants to have his little way, doesn’t mean he can circumvent the same document he and others continually lambast the president with.


I don’t know. This reminds me of the immigration debate: why pass new laws when the ones on the books aren’t enforced in the first place? Why have a constitutional convention when we aren’t even going by our original constitution now? I can sympathize with Coburn’s goals but I agree that a convention could open it up to all sorts of bad changes.

Constitutionalism? Si. Constitutional convention? No.

Side note: Milton Friedman was brilliant :



I said yes, if for no other reason to address the two major imbalance of powers, that of judicial review and the failure of the Tenth Amendment to balance the power of the federal government with the principle of subsidiarity. I do not think it will ever happen. This country will ride the Constitution into oblivion and irrelevancy. Rome does not change until the Barbarians change it.


The US Constitution is like the Catholic Church. It’s credibility comes from its prestige and longevity. It would be unwise to change it.


This is as good a thread as any to say that Congress has done a pretty good job of putting Obama out to pasture, oops, I mean goofing, oops, I mean golfing :rolleyes: …
You folks just don’t get it letting “fox news” brainwash y’all about Obama’s leisure time.

Anyway, I’ll try again …
we’re ~$17.5 trillion in debt which is why Obama’s stick isn’t quite as big as old TR’s was
And he needs consent from Congress for things like declaring war
And even for continuing the bombing of ISIS.

Obama’s been requesting to get help from Congress and here’s the best part, with all this going on with ISIS in Iraq, Congress has been on an 8 week recess and only into the second week of it.
Where’s the golf cracks for our Congressmen?

As a matter of fact I think Obama could insist that they convene or even appoint substitutes for them …
In any event I have no idea as to how Obama references God and I certainly have no love for the murdering ISIS scum in Iraq and Syria;
But it sure looks to me like Obama’s not the only one ducking responsibilities.

Maybe Obama should get Congress to approve sale of war bonds. :shrug:



Its not about change, its about agreement of content. And yes something needs to be done before Freedom is non existent and military policing is the norm which obviously is a failure. Civil unrest is close behind the Washington sandbox mindset. We need real leaders not political slackers and pretenders.

Executive order doesn’t seem to work very well with Americas last 50 years of failures in conflict. And now we have a President in need Congress and an absent Congress. He requested help from Congress on National television yesterday. And what happens, he gets insulted by the GOP for not defining “destroy” which his team spent the remainder of yesterday doing with the media.

So yes the Constitution needs to be address, all isn’t well in skittle land.


This is common belief, however, the majority and possibly a super majority of states are in the control of conservatives. These are the officials who would be in charge, not current members of congress or the senate. Those elected officials in Washington would be on the outside looking in.


How is he circumventing the Constitution by proposing to amend it according to the manners prescribed by the Constitution?


We don’t need a Constitutional Amendment to change Congress.

We merely have to put pressure on our elected officials to do their jobs and compromise, is part of their job, even with legislation we may not like.

Stop trying to overturn laws passed by the previous congress, just because their party wasn’t in control at that time.

Ted Cruz’s stunt of talking for 23 hours of the Senate floor, was his protest over the rule change made on filibusters in the Senate.

Before, all it took for a filibuster was a call to the Senate leader. They changed the rule so that if you wanted to filibuster, you had to get on the floor, request it, and defend why you are making it. This is the way it was decades before and the way it should be. Senate members who want to filibuster, should do so so that the people will see who and why they are doing it, instead through the secrecy of a phone call.


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