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Repealing the 17th Debate

Todd Zywicki argues against an article by David Gans who points out the problems that were meant to be solved by the 17th Amendment:

[T]he system led to rampant and blatant corruption, letting corporations and other moneyed interests effectively buy U.S. Senators, and tied state legislatures up in numerous, lengthy deadlocks over whom to send to Washington, leaving those bodies with far less time to devote to the job of enacting the laws their states needed for the welfare of the people. These ills made the case for bringing the election of Senators in line with the Constitution’s fundamental values of protecting democracy and securing the right to vote to all Americans a very strong one.

Deadlocked state legislatures? You say that like it’s a bad thing. And I’d suggest we could use a more business friendly Senate these days anyway. And what’s this about the Constitution protecting democracy? I want the Constitution to protect rights. I could give a rat’s behind about democracy. Democracy hasn’t done so wonderfully for getting politicians to but their noises out of where it doesn’t belong. Truth is, I’m skeptical of the claim that repealing the 17th Amendment is going to make things any better, but if deadlocked state legislatures, fighting over who to send to Washington is a possible result, maybe I ought to get on board the repeal train.

8 Responses to “Repealing the 17th Debate”

  1. FatWhiteMan says:

    I would much rather see an organized campaign to repeal the 16th Amendment.

  2. Ian Argent says:

    Repealing the 17th amendment can only lead to a poorer set of senators. In honest states, the legislature will continue to poll the voters to elect (as some states were doing prior to the enactment) while corrupt state legislatures will appoint corrupt senators. In a situation without the 17th amendment, you get a lot lower chance of a Joe Miller, Sharron Angle, or Christine McDonald…

  3. FatWhiteMan says:

    So if we repeal the 17th then suddenly Blogo’s “I’ve got this thing and it’s golden…” stunt is Standard Operating Procedure.

  4. Ian Argent says:

    That was one of the issues that led to the passing of the 17th amendment, yes.

    My point is that, now we have intertia – the only legislatures that will go back to straight appointment are the ones that do not listen to their consituents. That would be a bigger problem than the lack of influence of state governments on the federal government.

  5. Diomed says:

    Would the appointed senators listen to the legislatures that appointed them? If yes, then the system works as intended: whether the state legislature is corrupt or not is irrelevant to this. If not, a recall option is the logical step.

    The entire reason for appointing senators is to give the states representation in the federal government. If a state likes being a vassal of the feds, then senators like Schumer, Boxer, etc. will be what they vomit forth. Same as now, pretty much – but at least the outcome is arrived at through the system as originally designed, and not as hijacked by the Progressives.

  6. Ian Argent says:

    If the states don’t want to be overwhelmed by the fed.gov, they can not take the money, Todaym the feds pay the piper and call the tune. That has precisely zip to do with the appointment of senators and everything to do with the desire of the state legislatures to get something for nothing to ensure their OWN elections.

    As I said, repealing the 17th amendment will not change things for the positive – since most states’ legislatures will continue to poll the voters; but may not bother to have primaries. This would be a negative…

  7. Laughingdog says:

    “Constitution’s fundamental values of protecting democracy and securing the right to vote to all Americans a very strong one.”

    Since this country was established as a republic, and not a democracy, and women didn’t get the right to vote until about 100 years ago, I think he’s a little confused as to the fundamental values of the Constitution.

    If you want to talk getting back to fundamental values, I’d suggest starting with the idea that you have to choose between being able to vote, or being able to receive welfare.

  8. Tam says:

    …leaving those bodies with far less time to devote to the job of enacting the laws their states needed for the welfare of the people.

    I think somebody’s mistaking a feature for a bug.

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