A Rather Arrogant Suggestion
Could we ever amend the Constitution in a manner that would put further limits on Congress? There are always statesmen who will put the interest of the nation ahead of their own political considerations, but if we were to want an amendment for term limits, or a balanced budget, or let's say requiring that the states pay their own congressmen and women as they see fit rather than the federal government, would it pass? Not when 60% of both houses is needed and it restricts the power of the people who make the decision. A handful of real statesmen might do it but not anywhere near enough.
There needs to be a way to amend the Constitution that completely bypasses the politicians. It would need to meet several criteria. It would need to be possible but very difficult. It would require a super-majority of Americans from several viewpoints. In other words it would require much more than a majority decision.
I would like to see the following.
Step 1: The people collect signatures on petitions which must be collected at stations and would require, I don't know, maybe a number of signatures equal to 10 to 25% of the number of people who voted for any presidential candidate in the last election. (Requiring the signatures to be collected at stations would mean that people are putting more thought into it and would also make fraud just a little more difficult.) All who sign them must have proof of citizenship and a valid voter ID which the signature collector must see and verify. The needed number of signatures must be obtained within 180 days in 4/5 of the states. The voter must sign in the same precinct they live in or, in sparsely populated areas, the same county.
Step 2: At least one year after the signatures are collected and verified (the minimum of one year is to allow debate, reflection, and reconsideration) but no more than three years later the amendment shall be included in the general election. In order to pass the vote must meet both of the following conditions: at least 3/5 of the electorate must say yes and it must have a majority say yes in at least 3/4 of the states. (The double super-majority combined with the reflection time would make it quite difficult to pass an amendment thus keeping foolish fads from passing.) If it fails in either respect it does not become part of the Constitution. If successful it officially becomes part of the Constitution when the next New Year officially begins at the nation's capital.
Step 3: If an amendment fails, its supporters may not try again for at least 10 years. (This will prevent the We'll keep trying till we succeed people from making a nuisance of themselves.)
There are things that we need that Congress will never approve of.
Making it a felony to vote illegally or knowingly register an unqualified voter.
Requiring all campaign funds to be spent in the same state they are collected in and making it illegal for candidates for congress to take funds from sources outside of their district for the house, and outside of their state for the Senate.
We need these and the only way we can get them is to go over the head of Congress and directly amend the Constitution when you have a super-majority willing to do it.