Joe Wolverton is one of the leading lights among the gifted writers and investigative journalists regularly having his articles appear in The New American magazine and its companion website, TheNewAmerican.com.
A constitutionalist attorney who not only writes but speaks around the country for the John Birch Society (the publisher of The New American), Wolverton saw the dangers inherent in efforts by Mark Levin to promote a constitutional convention – a “con-con” – in order to rein in out-of-control government spending. Levin's book, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, has formed the basis for a movement to call a convention of the states that would be limited in scope to addressing just the issue of spending.
Wolverton disagreed and wrote about it last August, naming those who seemed to be unconcerned about the possibility that such a convention would turn into a “runaway” convention that could throw out our present Constitution and replace it with one more in tune with the Progressive songs being sung across the land and throughout the media.
The article served as a source document for efforts by members of the John Birch Society working to oppose such a call, reminding citizens that the 1787 Constitutional Convention was in fact just such a “runaway” convention, setting in place the precedent that no doubt would be followed in the event Levin's present efforts succeed.
Wolverton's article was cogent, articulate and persuasive:
Before state legislatures vote for an Article V con-con proposal that could cause real and radical damage to our Constitution, they should first consider whether a balanced budget amendment is necessary and whether it would actually steer our Republic away from the fiscal problems we are facing.
The fact is that determined citizens and state legislators could rescue the United States from its financial peril without resorting to opening up the Constitution to tinkering by state-appointed delegates, many of whom would be bought and paid for by special interests and corporations.
He added that the present Constitution would work just fine if it were adhered to by constitutionalist statesmen instead of rent-seeking politicians, and consequently would scarcely be improved by an amendment that could also be ignored:
There is no historical proof that a balanced budget amendment would drive Congress back to within its constitutional corral. Even the most conservative estimates indicate that about 80 percent of expenditures approved by Congress violate the U.S. Constitution. That fact wouldn't change by adding an amendment to the Constitution.
Wolverton spent time reviewing the history of the 1787 convention, noting that it was supposed to be limited to revising the Articles of Confederation but those Articles were discarded almost immediately and the delegates started over. He gave credit to Levin and his supporters for wanting to do something about such spending, but he criticized their method:
While Levin, Meckler, Dranias, Natelson, et al, are educated men who desire to do something to demolish the Leviathan that is consuming our country and shredding our Constitution, their method is poorly chosen and potentially fatal.
To begin with, rather than expose the Constitution to the whims of special interest groups, political action committees, corporations, and the politicians they pay for, why not enforce the Constitution as written?
Wolverton concluded his first article:
By seeking out and electing federal representatives committed to never voting for a single spending bill that violates the enumerated powers of the Constitution and refusing to reelect those members of Congress that do vote for such measures, the federal budget would be balanced — by following the Constitution, not “fixing” it.
As momentum for the Article V convention gained traction, Wolverton discovered that hard-core leftists and totalitarians were beginning to infiltrate and help fund the movement. Last week he wrote about his findings, still giving credit to those wanting to shrink Leviathan:
Fighting for the Constitution as given to us by our Founders is a noble goal and the anxiety of the conservative con-con collaborators is understandable. We at The New American and The John Birch Society welcome the help of all those courageous enough to enlist in the battle to defeat the forces of federal absolutism.
We part company with those pushing for an Article V convention, however, and we believe that a constitutional convention is not the right way to stop the federal assault on our Constitution and the freedoms it protects.
And then he pulled back the covers:
Within the ranks of those clamoring for an Article V convention are found numerous extremely radical, progressive, and socialist organizations that otherwise would have little in common with the conservatives fighting on the same side.
He names a few of the groups: Wolf-Pac, Alliance for Democracy, Center for Media and Democracy, Code Pink, Independent Progressive Politics Network, Progressive Democrats of America, the Sierra Club among others. And just who is paying their bills?:
George Soros — the financier of global fascism — is pumping millions of dollars into the same Article V campaign that is being promoted by Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and other popular conservative spokesmen.
Conservatives should shudder at the specter of a convention endowed with power of this magnitude, populated by activists who have a Soros credit card in their pocket and a commitment to “social justice” as their purpose. All the good intentions of the conservatives in the Article V camp would not be enough to force all these devastating changes to the Constitution back inside the progressive Pandora's Box.
Wolverton respectfully ended his article:
The startling information set out in this article is not meant as an attack on Mark Levin or anyone else working to call a “convention of the states.” Rather, it is intended to help the thousands of committed constitutionalists who find themselves believing in the Article V gospel he's preaching to realize who's sitting in the pews with them and whose money built the church.
The reaction to this “startling information” was in itself startling. Rather than explore the many links provided by Wolverton to his original sources, supporters of Levin's convention attacked Wolverton personally and The John Birch Society in general. Most notable among them was one of the founders of the Tea Party Patriots, Mark Meckler. Meckler, himself an attorney, took umbrage at Wolverton's Juris Doctor degree, putting quotes around the “J.D.” as if to suggest that Wolverton was attempting to deceive his readers with false credentials. He titled his article “Joe Wolverton and the JBS – LOL”and claimed that it was “being circulated like one of those bad Nigerian email scams.” He said it was “impossible to take Joe's [now he's on a first-name basis with his nemesis] post seriously … I'll do my best in this short post to suppress my laughter (but not the mockery) and provide some perspective.”
Continuing in the same condescending manner, Meckler said that lots of scholars support Levin, and so therefore Wolverton's discoveries must be discounted if not ignored altogether. After all, said Meckler, they were too smart to be taken in by Soros and his mob:
Joe wants all the incredible, brilliant and dedicated conservatives in the Article V movement to know that we're just simpletons who've been duped by the radical left and the evil George Soros into supporting an Article V Convention of States to restrain the scope, power and jurisdiction of the federal government. Really. That's his point. We're all just unwitting tools of the radical left.
Of course that's not the point at all. Wolverton is merely exposing what he discovered on his own, perhaps thinking he might get a little sugar from such as Meckler for shining some light into corners of the movement that hadn't previously been exposed. But, no. Wolverton, says Meckler, is condescending (!), arrogant (!) and insulting (!):
Joe's condescending and arrogant attitude towards all these great conservatives is both astounding and insulting.
And so, says Meckler, one has to make a choice: believe Wolverton, or follow Levin and his legion. Notice his phraseology in describing that choice:
On political matters, one is often faced with a choice of which camp to choose, even among those on the same ideological side. In this case, liberty loving citizens can either choose to align with well-known conservative Constitutional scholars, educators, experienced Supreme Court litigators, and the leading media figures on the right, or Joe Wolverton and the John Birch Society.
What about Soros? What about the sources that Wolverton offered and even invited skeptics to explore for themselves? Not one word. Nada. Nothing.
What appears to have happened here is that Levin's followers, like Meckler, have drunk the Kool-Aid and are long past taking in new information to inform their discretion: “Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.”
This isn't the first time the JBS has been smeared for bringing inconvenient truths to light. The Society, founded three years before Meckler was even born, has been attacked, at times unrelentingly and mercilessly, over various positions and actions it has taken concerning vital issues of the day. So members aren't surprised, just disappointed.
Speaking as a 50-year member of the John Birch Society, I'd like to address some of this from a personal perspective. We aren't afraid of getting our uniforms dirty. We recognize that the freedom fight is for all the marbles. This is no game of patty-cake, and certainly no battle for the faint of heart.
We really don't care what people think. What we care deeply about instead is getting the truth out to as many people as possible, and let them make up their own minds. That doesn't mean that we're always right. When we are found to be in error, we apologize, mend our ways, and carry on.
The Constitution is our True North. It's been clouded by Progressives' attacks over the years and decades, but just the like sun is sometimes clouded by storms, the sun is still there. And so is the Constitution. And we take umbrage not only at attacks on it by the left, but also by the stark unwillingness of so-called “conservatives” to consider what writers and researchers like Wolverton have uncovered.
In the instant case, we will continue to resist the efforts of totalitarians like Soros to influence the Article V conversation, and we grieve over people like Meckler who mock our efforts, when he, and they, should know better. All Meckler is doing, whether he knows it or not, is strengthening our resolve and commitment to the freedom fight while exposing him as the waffler and wimp that he really is.
In a perverse way we welcome attacks by establishment conservatives like Meckler for the simple reason that not everyone is taken in by the Levin movement and will do some digging on their own to find out the facts. That's worth getting our uniforms dirty. They are our badge of honor.