You may have been asking yourself, “Self, whatever became of Gerald ‘Deploy’ Malloy?” I mean, could the guy who was convinced he was going to beat Peter Welch (spoiler alert: he didn’t) have simply fallen off the face of the earth? Surely he’s found something productive to do with his time!
Well, good news and bad news.
Malloy has found a new cause, but it’s a complete loser. He has deployed himself into the Convention of States, a fringey conservative cause. He’s been named the CoS’ Veterans Coalition Director for the state of Vermont, whatever that means. It’s nice that he’ll have something to do with his spare time. Not so nice that he’s signed onto a doomed cause that only serves to underline his political extremism.
And he’s not alone! Fellow travelers Vicki Strong and Ericka Redic have also signed on to the CoS. Former state lawmaker Strong will be the group’s Legislative Liaison for Vermont. Redic, host of the seldom-watched YouTube series “Consistently Irritating” [checks notes] sorry, “Generally Irritable,” is the CoS’ state videographer.
To call the CoS cause in Vermont “quixotic” would be an understatement. It’s not even going anywhere on a national level; it’s DOA in Bernieland.
The CoS was first mentioned in this space in connection with one Jason Herron, who ran for local office in Guilford last spring under the guise of a humble tree farmer who merely sought transparency in town governance. Herron is the state coordinator for the CoS, which I guess makes him Malloy’s boss?
Trigger alert: Details follow on this august organization.
The Convention of States is a national effort to convince state legislatures to issue a call for a Constitutional convention. Under Article V of the Constitution, a convention can be triggered by vote of two-thirds of state legislatures. This has never happened in the history of the United States, despite at least 200 attempts to do so.
The CoS wouldn’t throw open the entire Constitution. Its convention would only be allowed to consider throttling the powers of the federal government and its ability to deficit spend, and imposing term limits on federal office. In other words, the far-right’s wet dream of a brand-new Constitution — which is quite something, since these are the same people who have a downright fetishistic view of the Constitution and see it as divinely ordained.
Yet somehow in need of improvement. Even God needs an editor.
The difference between this movement and the hundreds of previous attempts: The CoS has big money and big names behind it. The CoS claims to be a “grassroots” movement of “the American people,” which is hogwash. Major donors include the far-right Mercer family and various organizations in the Koch brothers orbit, not to mention a heapin’ helpin’ of support from the crypto-bro community. Disgraced Trump attorney John Eastman is a proponent, as are Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. In fact, Cos supporters constitute a Who’s Who of the extremist right, including Sean Hannity, Charlie Kirk, Sarah Palin, James O’Keefe, Dr. Ben Carson, Mark Levin, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson.
Thanks to the high number of deep-red states, CoS has gotten close to its goal. But it’s butted up against the hard ceiling of conservatism’s appeal. The organization had hoped for a red tsunami in 2022 which might have, under unlikely circumstances, put it over the top. Sad to say for them, the tsunami turned out to be a trickle.
Of course, if it did manage to finagle a Constitutional convention, it would still face an uphill battle. There’s no legal basis for limiting the scope of a Constitutional convention, so there’s no guarantee it would restrict itself to CoS hobbyhorses. Any amendments passed by a convention would then have to be adopted by 38 states, an even higher bar.
When it’s not focused on its core mission, the CoS takes time to oppose mask mandates and Covid-19 vaccines. Its co-leader, former Tea Party activist Mark Meckler, has labeled Black Lives Matter as “evil” and, um, “pro-transgender.” The CoS “Store” includes items on popular far-right themes like “Let’s Go Brandon,” “Woke Don’t Work,” and “I Will Not Comply With the Will of Tyrants,” by which I think they mean people like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi.
Anyway. Being part of CoS in, say, Alabama or Wyoming might be a mark of political status. In Vermont, it puts you not only outside the mainstream of our politics, but anchors you firmly in a brackish pool of conspiratorialists and extremists. Congrats to Malloy, Strong and Redic for showing their true colors for all to see.
“Congrats to Malloy, Strong and Redic for showing their true colors for all to see.”
Thanks for exposing these people and keeping up with what they’re trying to do to us.