(AP/Tony Gutierrez)

Koch brothers protégé and Founding Father wannabe Gov. Greg Abbott wants to amend your Constitution 9 ways

Texas' governor, backed by the Kochs, wants the Constitution amended to balance the budget, elevate corporate power


Jim Hightower
December 4, 2016 6:00PM (UTC)

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 protégé of the Koch brothers' 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 United States.

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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 pretensions 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. The American Legislative Exchange Council, 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 Koch-istan, and ALEC is spearheading a hodgepodge of right-wing groups that, believe it or not, are alarmingly close to succeeding.

An ALEC and Koch affiliate called the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force (with the cumbersome acronym of BBATF) 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, it 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."

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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 Kochs want to bend the will of the people as well. They recently started a new program that they call the Grassroots Leadership Academy that gives how-to lessons in everything from mounting successful protest actions to recruiting middle of the road voters.

Applying Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals," thousands of people are being trained to become organizers and political activists. This "grassroots" outfit has been set up by the gabillionaire Koch boys to train cadres of right-wing corporatists to spread their ideological laissez-faire dust across the land. The academy is run through Americans for Prosperity, Charlie and Davie Koch'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 is good. 2. Social Security, unemployment benefits and other social programs are bad.

Koch College 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.

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Jim Hightower

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