When you think of America’s great Constitutional originators, names like Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton and Franklin come to mind. And, of course, Abbott.
This past January, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the multimillionaire protege of the Koch brother’s Plutocratic Kingdom and American Legislative Exchange Council darling, revealed to a startled nation that he has penned not one but NINE new amendments to the Constitution of the USA. Forget the Bill of Rights, Abbott is proposing a Bill of Sale, effectively transferring the title of our national government from The People to The Plutocrats. The upshot of his “tweaks” would be outlawing government actions that restrain corporate abuse of workers and consumers, while also preventing future Congresses from meeting crucial public needs such as health care, voter rights, and restoration of our national infrastructure.
One could call Abbott and his Founding Father pretentious and ludicrous – which both are – but he’s not the force behind this diabolical, ideological tampering with our Constitution and our people’s ideals of fairness and justice. ALEC, at the direction of the Kochs and their corporate cohorts, wrote this Bill of Sale.
Convening an explosive convention, permitted under Article V of the Constitution, is a longtime dream of those elites seeking an American Kochistan, and ALEC is spearheading a hodgepodge of right-wing groups that — believe it or not — are alarmingly close to succeeding. An ALEC/Koch affiliate with the cumbersome acronym of BBATF (Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force) came out of the Tea Party maelstrom in 2010 and is now aggressively pushing governors and state legislatures to endorse such an Article V convention. At the convention, they would attempt to rewrite our nation’s fundamental governing document by adding a balanced budget amendment, along with Abbott’s other eight. Together these changes would enthrone the “moneyed corporations” that Jefferson and other founders abhorred as destroyers of America’s democratic possibilities.
Absurd? Of course. Even the late Phyllis Schlafly who was the head of the right-wing Eagle Forum, called this push “a prescription for political chaos,” adding, “Alas, I don’t see any George Washingtons, James Madisons, Ben Franklins, or Alexander Hamiltons around who could do as good a job as the Founding Fathers, and I’m worried about the men who think they can.”
Well, ALEC and the Kochs sure do think they can. But their diabolical schemes don’t stop with Gov. Abbott and changing our constitution, they want to take over our country’s entire political system. Having already spent hundreds of millions of dollars to get their policy pushing puppets like Abbott into office, the Koch’s want to bend the will of the people as well. They recently started a new program that they call Grassroots Leadership Academy that gives how-to lessons in everything from mounting successful protest actions to recruiting middle-of-the-road voters.
Using Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” they are training thousands of people to become organizers and political activists. This so-called “grassroots” outfit has been set up by the gabillionaire Koch boys to train cadres of right-wing corporatists to spread their ideological laissez-fairydust across the land. The academy is run through Americans for Prosperity, Charlie’s and Davie’s political wing, which put up $3 million to get it going. About 10,000 people have gone through some of the training sessions in three dozen states. The brothers’ grandiose scheme is to take over the Republican Party and use it as their tool to rebuild America itself into a Kochlandia, ruled by the superrich.
The academy’s curriculum is loaded with such corporate nonsense as a course titled “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.” Attendees are indoctrinated with two overarching lessons: (1) freewheeling corporate power — unrestrained by labor, environmental or other public protections — GOOD; (2) Social Security, unemployment benefits, and other social programs — BAAAAAAD!
Koch Kollege for right-wing social engineers is peddling a status quo agenda of corporate elitism and trickle-down ideology, which the vast majority of Americans have openly rebelled against. It’s like trying to sell chicken salad made out of chicken manure.
IMAGE: Texas Governor Greg Abbott/Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com
Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker and author of the book Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow (Wiley, March 2008). He publishes the monthly Hightower Lowdown, co-edited by Phillip Frazer.