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(Slate)   Federalism would be weakened if conservatives are allowed to try to strengthen federalism   (slate.com) divider line 52
    More: Obvious, Senator Ted Cruz, federal, Georgia State Senate, police board, repeal  
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1045 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Feb 2014 at 8:55 AM (22 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-28 08:31:26 AM
Of course they want this, they've managed to gerrymander themselves into taking over the house, they want to be able to take over the senate too.  I just wonder what tortured logic they use to sell it
 
2014-02-28 08:56:14 AM
As is the case with most of the things they try to "improve."
 
2014-02-28 09:03:56 AM
I'm completely okay with them repealing the 17th Amendment...IF they also lift the cap on the number of representatives in the House. If we're going to go back to how the Constitution was originally set up, then we need to go all the way with it.
 
2014-02-28 09:05:50 AM
I guess the 7 and the 3 are  kinda close on the keyboard when you look at it right
 
2014-02-28 09:14:12 AM

EvilEgg: Of course they want this, they've managed to gerrymander themselves into taking over the house, they want to be able to take over the senate too.  I just wonder what tortured logic they use to sell it


Exactly, just another scheme to get around democracy.
 
2014-02-28 09:16:24 AM

Yakk: EvilEgg: Of course they want this, they've managed to gerrymander themselves into taking over the house, they want to be able to take over the senate too.  I just wonder what tortured logic they use to sell it

Exactly, just another scheme to get around democracy.


Well, having the state decide how to select senators is a form of democracy.
 
2014-02-28 09:16:46 AM
The headline makes no sense, which is outlined in the article.  A repeal of the 17th amendment undermines local control and cedes it to a centralized state government.

Which is exactly why it was so bad.  Senators were mostly governor's sons and other forms of bullshiat insider cronyism with no accountability to anyone.
 
2014-02-28 09:19:24 AM
I work with a bunch of devout tea party nuts and I've never once heard them mention repealing the 17 amendment. In fact I'd bet money on them being strongly against that.
 
2014-02-28 09:20:31 AM
I've always found this to be one of the dumbest ideas from that subset of dumb ideas.
 
2014-02-28 09:20:51 AM
Taxed Enough Already!  Direct Representation!  Small Government!  Will of the People!

Wait we are losing that battle?

INDIRECT REPRESENTATION!  More Government process!  Will of the Legislature!  State's Rights!  3/5ths Compromise!
 
2014-02-28 09:20:57 AM
Conservatives' illogical, inconsistent effort to repeal the 17th Amendment.

Their efforts are neither illogical nor inconsistent.  They only appear so if you believe their stated aims and reasons for desiring the repeal of the 17th Amendment.  However, if you look at their true aims - to gerrymander the Senate at one remove by allowing senators to be appointed by gerrymandered state representatives instead of the people of an entire state - then their efforts are completely logical and consistent with their other aims of disenfranchising anyone who doesn't vote Republican.

Dumbassed, self-centered, and blatantly partisan.  But not illogical or inconsistent.
 
2014-02-28 09:22:00 AM
The author of the article makes the difficult to accept assumption that tea party conservatives who advocate such amendment to the Constitution do not fully consider the potential implications and consequences of their actions. The entire conclusion of the author's work is based upon the assumption that these conservative will not take steps to mitigate any harmful side-effects of implementing their agenda.
 
2014-02-28 09:23:16 AM

qorkfiend: Yakk: EvilEgg: Of course they want this, they've managed to gerrymander themselves into taking over the house, they want to be able to take over the senate too.  I just wonder what tortured logic they use to sell it

Exactly, just another scheme to get around democracy.

Well, having the state decide how to select senators is a form of democracy.


I'd hope after they repeal the 17th they ratify a new amendment where state senators elect state governors and congressmen, that way we can have a true democracy, of the government, for the government, and by the government.
 
2014-02-28 09:23:23 AM

To The Escape Zeppelin!: I work with a bunch of devout tea party nuts and I've never once heard them mention repealing the 17 amendment. In fact I'd bet money on them being strongly against that.


Hmmm... my original thought was, "Well you must live in a solidly blue state."  But you don't according to your profile.  I wonder if the pockets of teabaggery have slightly different marching orders dependant on their geography.

Maybe the controllers behind the tea party movement in your neck of the woods understand that gerrymandering is awesome, until it isn't and then it all comes crashing down hard.  Since the GOP is doing such a good job of subverting democracy at the state level in most places that allow gerrymandering, I wonder if they're a little gunshy about making major changes that could disrupt that delicate balance.
 
2014-02-28 09:25:42 AM

EvilEgg: Of course they want this, they've managed to gerrymander themselves into taking over the house, they want to be able to take over the senate too.  I just wonder what tortured logic they use to sell it


They believe (well, claim to believe), that when Senators were elected by state representatives, then the Senators were more concerned about the needs of their state and would restrict the powers and scope of the federal government.  And that after the 17th Amendment, when Senators were elected directly by the people of their state, then the Senator no longer cared about the wishes of that state, and that those Senators would then go against the wishes of their constituents and no try to get pork-barrel projects directed to them.  Because apparently those Senators would never have to run for re-election.
 
2014-02-28 09:27:09 AM

Dimensio: The author of the article makes the difficult to accept assumption that tea party conservatives who advocate such amendment to the Constitution do not fully consider the potential implications and consequences of their actions. The entire conclusion of the author's work is based upon the assumption that these conservative will not take steps to mitigate any harmful side-effects of implementing their agenda.


For the sake of what is essentially a thought experiment, I think it's a good idea to assume that a group of people who haven't bothered to mitigate harmful side effects of their ideology in the past would continue to do so in the future.  Why would the tea party caucus suddenly give a shiat about fallout from their nonsense?

Unless you meant harmful in the sense of "harmful to the tea party".  In which case I would suggest that probably most people believe that a majority could always be gerrymandered.
 
2014-02-28 09:30:41 AM

Mercutio74: Dimensio: The author of the article makes the difficult to accept assumption that tea party conservatives who advocate such amendment to the Constitution do not fully consider the potential implications and consequences of their actions. The entire conclusion of the author's work is based upon the assumption that these conservative will not take steps to mitigate any harmful side-effects of implementing their agenda.

For the sake of what is essentially a thought experiment, I think it's a good idea to assume that a group of people who haven't bothered to mitigate harmful side effects of their ideology in the past would continue to do so in the future.  Why would the tea party caucus suddenly give a shiat about fallout from their nonsense?


[thats_the_joke.jpg]
 
2014-02-28 09:32:07 AM
I wonder who would benefit from repealing the 17th Amendment:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_state_legislature s

The party composition of the legislatures (and party summary of the individual chambers), as of January 31, 2014, is:
27 | Republican-controlled legislatures
17 | Democratic-controlled legislatures
6   | Split legislatures

Hmmmmm...
 
2014-02-28 09:44:14 AM
The Republican truism is expanding beyond economics.  The economic version is: If you want to strengthen the economy, all you have to do is enact those policies that Republicans claim will destroy the economy.

The federalism version is: If you want to strengthen federalism, all you have to do is enact those policies that Republicans claim will weaken federalism.
 
2014-02-28 09:46:21 AM

Arkanaut: I wonder who would benefit from repealing the 17th Amendment:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_state_legislature s

The party composition of the legislatures (and party summary of the individual chambers), as of January 31, 2014, is:
27 | Republican-controlled legislatures
17 | Democratic-controlled legislatures
6   | Split legislatures

Hmmmmm...


There are two mitigating factors I can think of.  Firstly, if suddenly people were voting for both their state gov't AND their federal senators, it might increase voter turnout which would favour the Dems.  Secondly, GOP support is waning.  Both through their nutjobbery and by the fact that their strongest supporters are dying of old age and not being replaced by equally ignorant people.

Gerrymandering can get you a lot of places, but the numbers have to be close.  If there's too much of a swing towards the minority party, not even gerrymandering can keep the flood back.  When a state that has lines drawn so that one party can barely squeak by in several different local elections, that's a double edged sword.
 
2014-02-28 09:46:39 AM
The Tea Partiers are just another bunch of socialist pansies. They only want to repeal the 14th, 16th and 17th amendments. It's too late for that! These united States have wandered too far from the ideals of our Founding Fathers and it's time to return to the tried and true system of government, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, that served our country so well between 1777 and 1789. We must restore the noble traditions of the 18th century--chattel slavery, voting restricted to property owners, disenfranchisement of Jews, Papists and women--if we are to restore our country.

Let Jefferson ("all men are created equal" indeed!) and Washington (the traitor who put down by main force the entirely legal Whiskey Rebellion) be stricken from the history books. Once the Articles are restored, sovereignty will be returned to the states as the Founders intended. The Washington Monument should be renamed the Hanson Monument in honor of John Hanson, the first President of the United States in Congress Assembl'd. Paupers and vagabonds will be relegated to the workhouses, as they deserve, the rapscallions. Colonial dress will be mandatory and thofe funny looking efses that look like effs will be obligatory in all mifsives publifhed in thefe United States.

Let the united States be reborn as God intended them--a safe haven for true citizens, such citizen being white, male, Chriftian, and rich. No Irifh need apply.
 
2014-02-28 09:49:05 AM

clambam: such citizen being white, male, Chriftian, and rich. No Irifh need apply.


Well played on many levels.

/I ask you, fellow farkers, for every one of you who says that fark is an intellectual wasteland, how many news forums on the internets could this post play in?
 
2014-02-28 09:50:30 AM

Mercutio74: Arkanaut: I wonder who would benefit from repealing the 17th Amendment:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_state_legislature s

The party composition of the legislatures (and party summary of the individual chambers), as of January 31, 2014, is:
27 | Republican-controlled legislatures
17 | Democratic-controlled legislatures
6   | Split legislatures

Hmmmmm...

There are two mitigating factors I can think of.  Firstly, if suddenly people were voting for both their state gov't AND their federal senators, it might increase voter turnout which would favour the Dems.  Secondly, GOP support is waning.  Both through their nutjobbery and by the fact that their strongest supporters are dying of old age and not being replaced by equally ignorant people.

Gerrymandering can get you a lot of places, but the numbers have to be close.  If there's too much of a swing towards the minority party, not even gerrymandering can keep the flood back.  When a state that has lines drawn so that one party can barely squeak by in several different local elections, that's a double edged sword.


So how did one party get to gerrymander the country in its favor and not the other?
 
2014-02-28 09:56:58 AM

DeltaPunch: So how did one party get to gerrymander the country in its favor and not the other?


The Dems have done it as well, just not to the same extent as the GOP.  The GOP has this down to a science.  Gain a majority (or use an existing majority) in a state where gerrymandering is permitted and redraw districts to make that majority "safe".

An easy way to tell if a state is properly gerrymandered is to look at how many votes it took to elect one congressperson from one party vs how many it took to elect one from the other.  Even easier, is looking at electoral maps with illogically shaped districts and looking at the demographic make up of those districts.
 
2014-02-28 10:04:51 AM
Fun historical fact: for those saying you can't gerrymander a state, check out the history of New Mexico - the state borders were drawn to keep the Mexicans in one place.

// I know that's not gerrymandering as we understand it, just an interesting thing I learned
 
2014-02-28 10:29:52 AM
It's just really weird that this is even an issue. Who the hell votes on this issue?
 
2014-02-28 10:31:46 AM

DamnYankees: It's just really weird that this is even an issue. Who the hell votes on this issue?


Probably no one.  Amending the constitution in this political environment?  Yeah, that's going to happen.
 
2014-02-28 10:32:19 AM

TomMalory: I'm completely okay with them repealing the 17th Amendment...IF they also lift the cap on the number of representatives in the House. If we're going to go back to how the Constitution was originally set up, then we need to go all the way with it.


lol, which would only add about 10,000 seats to the house of representatives... sheesh can you imagine the cluster f@#$ that would cause?
 
2014-02-28 10:34:10 AM

keldaria: TomMalory: I'm completely okay with them repealing the 17th Amendment...IF they also lift the cap on the number of representatives in the House. If we're going to go back to how the Constitution was originally set up, then we need to go all the way with it.

lol, which would only add about 10,000 seats to the house of representatives... sheesh can you imagine the cluster f@#$ that would cause?


If we did that, I think we'd essentially have to put in place some much stricter party rules. The party would probably put in rules which say "if you vote against the party on any issue, you're expelled from the party". It would remove the individuality of the Congressman and basically just mean you're voting for a party, not a person.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it would have to happen I think.
 
2014-02-28 10:34:24 AM

keldaria: TomMalory: I'm completely okay with them repealing the 17th Amendment...IF they also lift the cap on the number of representatives in the House. If we're going to go back to how the Constitution was originally set up, then we need to go all the way with it.

lol, which would only add about 10,000 seats to the house of representatives... sheesh can you imagine the cluster f@#$ that would cause?


Nothing would ever get done.

So...it wouldn't be that big a change.
 
2014-02-28 10:50:55 AM

DeltaPunch: Mercutio74: Arkanaut: I wonder who would benefit from repealing the 17th Amendment:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_state_legislature s

The party composition of the legislatures (and party summary of the individual chambers), as of January 31, 2014, is:
27 | Republican-controlled legislatures
17 | Democratic-controlled legislatures
6   | Split legislatures

Hmmmmm...

There are two mitigating factors I can think of.  Firstly, if suddenly people were voting for both their state gov't AND their federal senators, it might increase voter turnout which would favour the Dems.  Secondly, GOP support is waning.  Both through their nutjobbery and by the fact that their strongest supporters are dying of old age and not being replaced by equally ignorant people.

Gerrymandering can get you a lot of places, but the numbers have to be close.  If there's too much of a swing towards the minority party, not even gerrymandering can keep the flood back.  When a state that has lines drawn so that one party can barely squeak by in several different local elections, that's a double edged sword.

So how did one party get to gerrymander the country in its favor and not the other?


It may not be purely gerrymandering -- the tendency of Democrats to get their support in densely populated cities, and the Republicans from suburban or rural areas, is also a big factor:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/26/opinion/sunday/its-the-geography-s tu pid.html

(One of the researchers is from the Hoover Institution, so I would take it with a grain of salt, but I can see how the math would work out.)
 
2014-02-28 10:54:12 AM

TomMalory: I'm completely okay with them repealing the 17th Amendment...IF they also lift the cap on the number of representatives in the House. If we're going to go back to how the Constitution was originally set up, then we need to go all the way with it.


I've been arguing for the repeal of the 17th Amendment for years.  If a person takes the time to actually study the history of the Senate prior to the passing of the 17th Amendment the lesson learned is that the Senate would always act as a deliberate body rather than one encumbered by ridiculous rules (filibusters, nuclear options, etc).  The Senate was always on top of paying down the National Debt (post WWI is a prime example).

Why did the above happen?  Because Senators were representing their respective State and looking our for the needs of the country instead of being concerned with re-election.

Ted Kennedy, Robert  Byrd, Strom Thurmond, and any others who made a career out of the Senate are prime examples why the 17th Amendment should be repealed.
 
2014-02-28 10:54:50 AM

Gary-L: I've been arguing for the repeal of the 17th Amendment for years.  If a person takes the time to actually study the history of the Senate prior to the passing of the 17th Amendment the lesson learned is that the Senate would always act as a deliberate body rather than one encumbered by ridiculous rules (filibusters, nuclear options, etc).  The Senate was always on top of paying down the National Debt (post WWI is a prime example).


Is this a joke?
 
2014-02-28 11:10:43 AM

Mercutio74: I wonder if the pockets of teabaggery have slightly different marching orders dependant on their geography.


Of course they do. You don't see the deep red states trying to split their electoral votes by congressional district.
 
2014-02-28 11:15:17 AM

DamnYankees: keldaria: TomMalory: I'm completely okay with them repealing the 17th Amendment...IF they also lift the cap on the number of representatives in the House. If we're going to go back to how the Constitution was originally set up, then we need to go all the way with it.

lol, which would only add about 10,000 seats to the house of representatives... sheesh can you imagine the cluster f@#$ that would cause?

If we did that, I think we'd essentially have to put in place some much stricter party rules. The party would probably put in rules which say "if you vote against the party on any issue, you're expelled from the party". It would remove the individuality of the Congressman and basically just mean you're voting for a party, not a person.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it would have to happen I think.


Yes, it is, in fact, necessarily a bad thing.  I think we should be moving the other way. Hell, I think that parties should be taken off ballots entirely, especially in primaries, where they're so partisan most states will have segregated ballots whether you register with one party or another.
 
2014-02-28 11:21:34 AM

IlGreven: Yes, it is, in fact, necessarily a bad thing.  I think we should be moving the other way. Hell, I think that parties should be taken off ballots entirely, especially in primaries, where they're so partisan most states will have segregated ballots whether you register with one party or another.


Oh please. Can we work in reality now?
 
2014-02-28 11:23:08 AM
I agree with the premise of the article that it would devalue local elections by making them into de facto show-races for the Senate seats.  Like in a lot of parliamentary systems where your "local representative" is some party hack that doesn't even live in your district.... you're voting for the party and the Prime Minister.

Of course, the whole federalism/states power debate is all pretty academic at this point.  I have infinitesimal power in DC, naturally.  I also have infinitesimal power in Jefferson City, Des Moines, or Trenton. (Remember, when the founders were writing the Constitution there were fewer than 4 million Americans, much smaller than many current states).  Since I have absolutely zero effect in either, what bloody difference is it to me where that power resides?
 
2014-02-28 11:25:26 AM

Lawnchair: Since I have absolutely zero effect in either, what bloody difference is it to me where that power resides?


Power resides where men belief it resides. It's a trick. A shadow on the wall.
 
2014-02-28 12:06:35 PM

Gary-L: I've been arguing for the repeal of the 17th Amendment for years. If a person takes the time to actually study the history of the Senate prior to the passing of the 17th Amendment the lesson learned is that the Senate would always act as a deliberate body rather than one encumbered by ridiculous rules (filibusters, nuclear options, etc). The Senate was always on top of paying down the National Debt (post WWI is a prime example).

Why did the above happen? Because Senators were representing their respective State and looking our for the needs of the country instead of being concerned with re-election.

Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd, Strom Thurmond, and any others who made a career out of the Senate are prime examples why the 17th Amendment should be repealed.


You may want to go back and study things out some more.
The 17th Amendment became part of the Constitution on May 31st 1913.
World War 1 didn't even start until 1914.
 
2014-02-28 12:07:48 PM

clambam: The Tea Partiers are just another bunch of socialist pansies. They only want to repeal the 14th, 16th and 17th amendments. It's too late for that! These united States have wandered too far from the ideals of our Founding Fathers and it's time to return to the tried and true system of government, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, that served our country so well between 1777 and 1789. We must restore the noble traditions of the 18th century--chattel slavery, voting restricted to property owners, disenfranchisement of Jews, Papists and women--if we are to restore our country.

Let Jefferson ("all men are created equal" indeed!) and Washington (the traitor who put down by main force the entirely legal Whiskey Rebellion) be stricken from the history books. Once the Articles are restored, sovereignty will be returned to the states as the Founders intended. The Washington Monument should be renamed the Hanson Monument in honor of John Hanson, the first President of the United States in Congress Assembl'd. Paupers and vagabonds will be relegated to the workhouses, as they deserve, the rapscallions. Colonial dress will be mandatory and thofe funny looking efses that look like effs will be obligatory in all mifsives publifhed in thefe United States.

Let the united States be reborn as God intended them--a safe haven for true citizens, such citizen being white, male, Chriftian, and rich. No Irifh need apply.


Purfuit of happineff?

/may be obscure to youngsters
 
2014-02-28 12:09:26 PM

Mercutio74: DeltaPunch: So how did one party get to gerrymander the country in its favor and not the other?

The Dems have done it as well, just not to the same extent as the GOP.  The GOP has this down to a science.  Gain a majority (or use an existing majority) in a state where gerrymandering is permitted and redraw districts to make that majority "safe".

An easy way to tell if a state is properly gerrymandered is to look at how many votes it took to elect one congressperson from one party vs how many it took to elect one from the other.  Even easier, is looking at electoral maps with illogically shaped districts and looking at the demographic make up of those districts.


And I think that's what has lead to this problem.  The Democrats have done it in a few states when they were in charge and that's, frankly, wrong and immoral.  But when they do it, it's a state party initiative.  Republicans are doing it nationwide as a central policy and doing it far more extensively.

And when called on it, their response is that there's one gerrymandered district in Illinois outside of Chicago so that means it's ok for the Republicans to do it nationwide.
 
2014-02-28 12:10:19 PM

Gary-L: Ted Kennedy, Robert  Byrd, Strom Thurmond, and any others who made a career out of the Senate are prime examples why the 17th Amendment should be repealed.


Can you offer a good reason as to why the residents of Massachusetts, West Virginia, South Carolina, and other states should be precluded from re-electing the representative of their choice? Also, why are you assuming that a repeal of the 17th would automatically prevent people from serving in the Senate for extended periods of time?
 
2014-02-28 12:16:44 PM

Tyrone Slothrop: clambam: The Tea Partiers are just another bunch of socialist pansies. They only want to repeal the 14th, 16th and 17th amendments. It's too late for that! These united States have wandered too far from the ideals of our Founding Fathers and it's time to return to the tried and true system of government, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, that served our country so well between 1777 and 1789. We must restore the noble traditions of the 18th century--chattel slavery, voting restricted to property owners, disenfranchisement of Jews, Papists and women--if we are to restore our country.

Let Jefferson ("all men are created equal" indeed!) and Washington (the traitor who put down by main force the entirely legal Whiskey Rebellion) be stricken from the history books. Once the Articles are restored, sovereignty will be returned to the states as the Founders intended. The Washington Monument should be renamed the Hanson Monument in honor of John Hanson, the first President of the United States in Congress Assembl'd. Paupers and vagabonds will be relegated to the workhouses, as they deserve, the rapscallions. Colonial dress will be mandatory and thofe funny looking efses that look like effs will be obligatory in all mifsives publifhed in thefe United States.

Let the united States be reborn as God intended them--a safe haven for true citizens, such citizen being white, male, Chriftian, and rich. No Irifh need apply.

Purfuit of happineff?

/may be obscure to youngsters


Technically, "purfuit of happinefs." Starting and ending efses and the second efs in a double set don't get the long efs.

http://babelstone.blogspot.com/2006/06/rules-for-long-s.html
 
2014-02-28 12:22:23 PM

Lawnchair: Since I have absolutely zero effect in either, what bloody difference is it to me where that power resides?


Three words: Senator David Koch
 
2014-02-28 01:00:36 PM
I like the idea of repealing the 17th Amendment. It's healthy for any society to strip power from the hands of voters, and concentrate it into the hands of politicians. Because state legislatures are so heavily populated by lawyers, repealing the 17th will also have the beneficial effect of concentrating more power into the hands of lawyers.

Repeal the 17th: because politicians and lawyers should have more power.
 
2014-02-28 01:10:44 PM

DamnYankees: Lawnchair: Since I have absolutely zero effect in either, what bloody difference is it to me where that power resides?

Power resides where men belief it resides. It's a trick. A shadow on the wall.


Degree in history. Minor in political science. Yet the deepest political insight I know of comes from the movie Miller's Crossing.

Explaining the principle you just described in different words, Tommy Regen said to the "chief political boss with more hair tonic than brains:"

"You only run this town because people think you run it. The minute they stop thinking it, you stop running it."
 
2014-02-28 02:56:53 PM
Once again, Republicans wanting to do something when they haven't thought the consequences through. Sheesh, what idiots.
 
2014-02-28 04:17:32 PM
Most voters are ignorant anyway, regardless of the level they are electing, and this applies at least as much, if not more, to Federal elections, where the voter pool is larger, the pool of representatives is smaller, and special interests have a much easier time getting their way, only having to bribe one powerful central legislature with 535 members instead of 50 less powerful ones with a few thousand members.  If anything, the idea of direct democracy that the Progressives were pushing in the early 20th Century (which included the 17th Amendment) turned out to be a mirage.  Look at California, where the progressives put in all sorts of direct democracy - initiative, referendum, elected judges, recall, everything.  Today the state is a farking basket case, heavily in debt, practically ungovernable, "run" by political machines and billionaires with the money to fund ballot initiatives for their pet causes.  In other words, precisely what the Progressives were trying to fix.  Oops.

The big argument in favor of repeal - one that TFA ignores completely - is the incentive structure of Senators before and after the 17th Amendment.  When Senators were elected by the states, they had an incentive to restrain the powers of the federal government versus that of the states.  After the 17th Amendment, that incentive went away. (So too, I'd argue, did the 10th Amendment, which in no uncertain terms said that all powers not delegated to the federal government "are reserved to the states, and to the people).  Where before, it was primarily the states that had the power to tax, spend, and regulate for the general welfare, increasingly those powers went to the Federal Government, particularly during the Great Depression, via the tax power and the legal Silly Putty of the "necessary and proper clause," which turned everything into a federal problem. Eventually, by 1980's the states were so addicted to federal grants and money that Congress could legislate whatever the fark it wanted by attaching conditions to grants to states, and the states would have no choice but to go along, even with laws that were transparently B.S. pandering to national-level special interests with plenty of lobbyists.  The states, who once were equal sovereigns that did not blanche at telling the feds to shove off, are basically wholly-owned subsidiaries of Washington, D.C.  And I, for one, don't think it's an improvement.
 
2014-02-28 04:49:40 PM
The Republican party, as we know it, is on its way out, and they know it. So they're going to do everything they can to change the rules, to prevent themselves from getting swept into the dustbin of history.

Voter suppression, gerrymandering, repealing the 17th...They're all attempts to keep hard-right extremists in power, in a nation that's becoming increasingly liberal.
 
2014-02-28 04:54:43 PM
grumpfuff: Nothing would ever get done.

So...it wouldn't be that big a change.


Except for the number of worthless sacks of shiat sucking on the taxpayer's teat for their undeserved salaries, pensions, health care, protection, benefits, etc.
 
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