Skip to comments.Mark Levin and The 17th Amendment III (We canít continue like this)
Posted on 06/22/2013 12:58:51 PM PDT by Jacquerie
As his fans know, Mark finished another book. Every night it seems, he wants to bust out and talk about it, but his publishers have put the ixnay on too much disclosure. Still, he shows a little leg now and then. That happened yesterday, in the first hour of his show.
I want to explain an aspect of this that hasnt been discussed. We have United States Senators, and we have for a hundred years, since 1913, . . . and the 17th Amendment, which I believe must be repealed. We now have individuals in the US Senate who have absolutely no allegiance to their states, none. And you get very perverse results, and I think theyre very destructive. Ill give you an example. Arizona has been at the forefront of fighting the federal government and the Obama administration on its refusal to enforce existing federal law. And the people of Arizona and the state of Arizona are paying a very heavy price for the governments refusal to enforce existing federal law. Meanwhile, the two senators from Arizona, John McCain and Jeff Flake, they are part of the gang of eight, . . . well theyre one fourth of it, both senators. And theyre plotting and scheming with Obama and Harry Reid and these other groups and so forth, in ways that are detrimental to and undermine the state of Arizona.
But Mark, they were elected by the people, . . . it doesnt matter.
This is not the kind of representation in the Senate that the Framers put in place. The direct election of Senators was part of the progressive movement, along with the so-called progressive income tax. The point was, and there was an enormous amount of debate about this at the constitutional convention, AND in the state ratification conventions, the federalists made the case over and over again, that the states not only had plenary power under the constitution, and the federal government was limited to specific powers, but the states were right there at the table in Congress in the United States Senate.
Meanwhile, the states are not at the table anywhere now, and when the states try to assert themselves, its Whoa, look at that, theyre trying to undermine federal law. We know about the supremacy of federal law, so the whole thing is out of whack. So federal law preempts, federal law is supreme, but now who is making federal law, the states have no say in it, none whatsoever. So there you have two senators, McCain and Flake, conducting themselves in ways that are harmful to the people of their state, and the state cant do a damn thing about it. You have a state legislature in Arizona that has passed tough immigration laws, but theyre not tough, theyre appropriate and proper. And, and look, the states senators who are supposed to represent the states, are the worst senators when it comes to state government in Arizona. Something has to be done about it. The idea that we . . . seventy or more senators are going to support this bill, when I dare say, half if not more of the state legislatures in this country reject it, says a hell of a lot, doesnt it? It tells you the system is broken, and here we are, oh, as if were really going to toughen up border security with the same people who refuse to do it, now telling us theyre going to do it.
I want to continue on this theme, that Washington cannot reform itself; Washington will not reform itself. The system is broken.
The system of checks and balances are less in place, and instead of Congress, the President, and the Courts checking each other, and despite their propaganda, Oh if Congress doesnt act I will, the fact of the matter is, putting aside the politics, the nation is heading in one direction and one direction only, and that is hard left. And that is because the checks and balances really dont work anymore.
In fact, fundamentally, the three branches of the federal government work together. Fundamentally they work together against the states, and more importantly, we the people.
Im not into populism, Im not into majoritarianism, Im into constitutionalism. So we are paying a price for what these statists have done. Woodrow Wilson and his ilk had targeted the Constitution. FDR targeted the Constitution. They needed to break down the barriers to break the checks and balances, the protections that were placed in the Constitution, the states were supposed to be a buffer between we the people as individuals and the federal government. All of that, for the most part, is now gone. Nobody even talks about it anymore, . . . I hear these pseudo conservatives, and they write and they write and endlessly and relentlessly about things that dont even matter. And if you raise these things as I have, its Oh, gee, the world started with the New Deal, you have to accept these things. I say NO. If youre really honest with yourself, and you are somebody who looks at the facts and experience, and are rational, you know we cant continue this.
We cant continue this.
Seventeenth Amendment Ping!
We should have every public official determined by popular election of the general public.
Supreme Court Judges, Ambassadors, head of the EPA, dog, catcher, all of them.
Then we would reach the leftist goal of being a true democracy.
Is that what you REALLY want? A “true” democracy? Rule of the mob? There is a reason that a REPUBLIC was put in place by the Founding Fathers: to avoid tyranny of the majority. If you want a democracy, head to Europe or elsewhere. We are a constitutional republic (at least we used to be) and not a democracy.
End of discussion.
I like the fact that Mark is addressing this and that he is drawing attention to Woodrow Wilson who I have said countless times here was the worst American president in our history as a nation.
The 16th, 17th and 18th Amendments were all passed quickly in the first term of Wilson. The 18th we know was repealed because it intruded into the personal lives of Americans as an original ‘nanny state’ intrusion.
The 16th Amendment started out taxing Americans 1% AFTER exemptions for living expenses and so 98% of the electorate was left untaxed. So nobody much cared about the effects of the 16th Amendment because it didn’t appear on anyone’s personal radar. It was a stealth amendment. Today the Left still tries to impose income taxes in states without an income tax, and they always say “but it’s only 1%”. I kid you not, they always propose it at 1%.
The 17th Amendment was different because popularly elected Senators found themselves in a new world where they need not listen to state legislatures any longer. It didn’t affect voters but it had an immediate effect on states. By the time it was firmly ensconced in electoral politics the voting public couldn’t see the downside as they do now. We have become effectively the United State of America and tending to the United Socialist State of America.
For sure, both the 16th and 17th Amendments had historical problems before Wilson. But the remedy via was akin to surgically removing the larynx to cure a case of strep throat.
Pre-16th Amendment tax provisions had problems arise as an argument to the ‘disproportionate burden’ issue among taxpayers. This has been remedied brilliantly by the architects of the FairTax legislation bill HR 25 in Congress.
Pre-17th Amendment provisions had problems arise in cronyism and absent seats in the US Senate. This is easily remedied by leaving popular voting in place but giving power to the states to recall the Senators with a higher bar to run again.
Both the 16th and the 17th were ill thought out, not worthy of the brilliant minds that established the US Constitution. The 16th Amendment must be repealed entirely and replaced with the FairTax which is constitutional without the 16th Amendment. The 17th Amendment needs only modification to give the States a powerful control over non-responsive Senators.
Wasn’t there a theory that the 17th was never really legally ratified? I don’t remember where I read about that, but apparently in several states there were shady things going on, and all of a sudden they just decided, voila that it had passed.... Need to look that up again.
I’m sure it’s too long ago to try to bring that back up, but if true, it shows that the majority even at that time did not want it and believed no good would come of it.
The 17th Amendment did not simply mean the people vote for members to both houses of Congress. It meant member State republics no longer shared in the larger government. The States lost the single structural weapon to limit the national government to enumerated powers and keep it out of their local matters. For practical purposes the 10th Amendment no longer exists. As feared by the Federalists over two hundred years ago, without State participation, a national government would inevitably expand, become despotic, oppressive and soon snuff out our freedoms.
Consider the following warning from James Madison. At the Virginia ratification convention on June 6th 1788, he responded to Patrick Henrys charge that the Constitutions enumerated powers would be usurped and our freedoms destroyed by a national government that would quickly seize all power.
Madison: If the general government were wholly independent of the governments of the particular states, then, indeed, usurpation might be expected to the fullest extent. But, sir, on whom does this general government depend? It derives its authority from these governments, and from the same sources from which their authority is derived.
Indeed. The 17th removed State agency from the federal republic. As predicted by Montesquieu, Federalists and Anti-Federalists alike, we slipped into an overwhelming, consolidated national government that oppresses both the States and us with raw force.
From what I recall, the states willingly slit their throats with the 17th.
IMO, repeal of the 17th is a prerequisite (not a panacea) to restoration of our liberties.
Who’d a thunk that I would be mistook, what with my screen name and all?
So is it possible it could be repealed? What would it take? Who would be on the side of repeal, and who would advocate for keeping it? How could the argument be made in public. Levin’s book will be a good first step, but how do you get an amendment or a movement for repeal of an amendment rolling? I’m trying to remember, hasn’t it been since the repeal of prohibition that we’ve repealed an amendment?(Actually I think it was the only one repealed). Just trying to think who the big power players in this would be and how it could happen.
With so many horrible things happening in our country, could we get enthusiasm going for something that might seem like an abstract idea? Even though fixing it might go a long way to sorting out a lot of other problems? If we could go back to the framers’ ideas, we could have a country made up of many states that are more like individual countries, with their own culture and flavors, rather than this monolithic government that imposes it’s will across this huge geographic area. It would allow each state to develop their own personality of liberalism or conservatism or libertarianism without all being unhappy at being forced into one mold. I think actually liberals, conservatives and libertarians would all be happier in this model and we could support again “ThESE (plural) United STATES of America” as it used to be more commonly called.
We'll take flame thrower heat over this. Reform must come from us/the states, meaning the threat of a constitutional convention if Congress does not propose repeal.
Recall the FR posts on state nullification, polls on Obamacare and Mark's comments regarding Obama's abuse of the states. Also, didn't 26 states join in the lawsuit against Obamacare? There is more than a whiff of resistance in the air, and it isn't just from the stomped on Tea Party groups.
Mark is not only a genius, he is a practical street-fighter. I cannot imagine he will not have substantive ideas to make reform happen.
Perhaps the National Conference of State Legislatures is a place for our local reps to start.
There is also supposed to be a balance between majority rule and the rights of the individual. Today there is no majority rule, it is all the rule of the individual, unless you are part of the majority. The popular vote of the low information voter lead to this mess because we can vote for ourselves and our own money. In the beginning the vote should have been for the state, or what was good for the nation. This nation is no longer Christian where we believed it was good to think of others first. Until the people realize that they are actually a part of this nation and it is not all about them, politics will continue to cater to the selfishness of the individual.
Sorry... Missed the /sarcasm... It was sort of a hit-and-run post between chores this afternoon. I spotted it later on...
Are there arguments that would also appeal to the liberal states? If it can be framed as a win/win for the whole country, it will have a better chance. Right now, our US Senators must be elected by populations larger than some countries. So the amount of money poured into their campaigns means almost inevitably they will be answering to some sort of big money interest, whether it is big banks/ big corporations/ or big unions. If there is a way to make the case that it is better to have the state legislators decide who will represent the state, and that actually it will bring the power back down closer to the common person, maybe that would be an argument that would fly with both liberals and conservatives (not liberal and conservative politicians because they will want the status quo...)
Wonder which side the media would take if this actually became a matter of national debate?
The 17th will never be repealed. We are hurtling towards another secession and nobody can see it coming.
Well I believe we should try everything, but that may be the ultimate ending. The problem is, we really aren’t as cleanly divided geographically as in CWII. There are good conservatives in blue states, and leftist communists in red states. Then if amnesty passes there will be a whole huge infusion of un-American people flooding in, and they will hit southern red states first because that is the nearest proximity to where they are coming from.
A new civil war will mean civil war in every city and even between neighborhoods, more like Bosnia, with no clear cut geographic “fronts” and lines to divide. Obama would love to see our country in a bloodbath with neighbor fighting against neighbor. I think we should try every possible legal means before that happens. You may be right though, it may be unstoppable if every other option is forbidden to us.
I don't think so. Any secession will cause a migration of socialists to socialist states and individual freedom lovers to the little 'r' republican states. Probably no war. No need for one. Secession doesn't equate to war, it just means "to leave".
I recall reading about that as well, but forgot the details. It required 36 of the 48 state legislatures to ratify, and in a few states, the ratification may not have occurred properly. Perhaps there is some discussion of this on the Internet.
I believe there were similar questions attached to the ratification of the 16th Amendment as well.
In a letter to my state rep, I painted a quick hypothetical regarding his interest in 17th repeal.
"Is it reasonable for me to assume you would oppose seating a federal judicial nominee whose writings and speeches reflected hostility to the states? Is it also safe for me to assume you would impress that view on our senators?"
The American psyche has been corrupted these past hundred years, so I don't promise a world of chocolate and cute puppies with repeal. The fact will be that even the most corrupt state legislators, perhaps especially the most corrupt, liberal state legislators would be the most focused on keeping the feds out of state matters. James Madison saw it that way, a matter of disparate interests doing what they do best, . . . protect their interests.
I think the big difference is that political corruption at the state level is closer to the people, and the states cannot print money to fund Utopia.
Absolutely not. I would not trust my neighbors to elect a dog-catcher... they will (as they have twice already) sooner elect a dog-eater.
Thank you both. Please ping me to any future articles on this subject.
From that article,did you notice which states did not ratify it? Almost no southern states did, plus many others
Mark, you are so right! I only pray that we can fix it. Without God’s help, we will NOT, though. THAT you can take to the bank, as they USED to say!
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