Days of Change

Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment

November 3, 2014
2 Comments

The Washington Post published an opinion piece today by a Duke University professor of Public Policy and what I can only assume is his teaching assistant that looked up everything. The professor is also a Democrat flunky, formerly for the House of Representatives. The title of this piece (of something) is “Cancel the Midterms” which is obviously an attempt to rile up Republicans. For me, it makes my job easy on the night before the midterms because I can refute the points his teaching assistant failed to make.

Instead of block quoting the whole damn thing, I’ll hit the bullet points. You may need to read it if I didn’t fully capture the inanity of the article.

First, David Schanzer (or his wonder boy Jay Sullivan) complains that only 90 million Americans will go to the polls tomorrow, or 40% of the electorate. In 2012, less than 60% voted, which is still not all that great. Then there’s the dig about Super PACs and spending on TV ads, because unions and community organizations are pure as the driven snow.

Then there’s the tired argument that in the old-timey days of the Founding Fathers, we needed more frequent elections to match the will of the people. Now we have Twitter or something, and politicians are more accountable (but should be less removable?)

The next few paragraphs draw a line of conclusion where midterm elections put the parties in constant campaign mode, political partisans drive the spending and the president is weakened. Apparently, the last thing we want is a man who is beholden to a group who represents the people. Then again, Schanzer points out that midterm voters are old and White and are therefore wrong about everything.

The rest of it argues for a Constitutional Amendment with longer terms for the House and Senate with the possibility of term limits. The Republicans have been trying to pass a term limit Amendment forever. It’s not going to happen. What the author really wants is 4 years of an Obama dictatorship instead of the two he got.

Just over 100 years ago, the Seventeenth Amendment was passed. This ended the appointment of Senators by their respective state legislatures. The argument for the Amendment was that Senators were beholden to the petty interests of their state politicians. Now that Senators are elected directly, they are beholden to the petty interests of their national party, state interests be damned. Repeal that Amendment and we wouldn’t have to worry about Senate “elections” at all. Plus, more state legislatures are run by Republicans.

This is just another cheap tactic to call for a dictatorship of the guy Democrats want. The president is the Chief Executive. His job is to execute the laws, not create them. Maybe the people who vote in midterms are America. Maybe the people who vote every presidential election are dupes bused in by Democrats and harassed into voting because they see the president as their conduit to power. I think I’ll take the system where the people get to decide over and over.

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