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How to stop the future filibuster of nominees and restore control of the Senate where it belongs
1789 | Framers of the Constitution

Posted on 11/14/2003 1:21:17 PM PST by Political Junkie Too

Amendment XXVIII.

Section 1.

The seventeenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote. If Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

Section 3.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the term of any Senator elected before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

Section 4.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: constitution; filibuster; judicialnominees; senate
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The Senate has become a rogue political body, answerable to no one except monied special interests. It's time to enforce real campaign finance reform by eliminating 33 of the most expensive elections that occur every two years.

The House of Representatives was supposed to be the chamber of Congress that was sensitive to the whims of the people. The Senate was supposed to be the deliberative body that was insulated from the people (the "cooling saucer"). Instead, through gerrymandering, the House has become protected and the Senate has become beholden to national bloc politics.

This proposed amendment to the Constitution will return real power to the states and restore their position at the federal table.

-PJ

1 posted on 11/14/2003 1:21:22 PM PST by Political Junkie Too
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To: Political Junkie Too
If the 17th amendment were ever repealed, the liberal bitching and whining about Republicans destroying democracy would be unrelenting.
2 posted on 11/14/2003 1:25:49 PM PST by Democratshavenobrains
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To: Political Junkie Too

3 posted on 11/14/2003 1:26:58 PM PST by sourcery (No unauthorized parking allowed in sourcery's reserved space. Violators will be toad!)
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To: Political Junkie Too; Chancellor Palpatine; TheAngryClam; ambrose; Poohbah; My2Cents; Catspaw; ...
I haven't given it much thought, but on first glance I can't say that I disagree.
4 posted on 11/14/2003 1:27:25 PM PST by onyx
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To: Democratshavenobrains
If the 17th amendment were ever repealed, the liberal bitching and whining about Republicans destroying democracy would be unrelenting.

Then Republicans had better learn how to counter and nullify such childish tantrums. Until that happens, the party is doomed to continue the country's otherwise inevitable slide to both socialism and tyranny.

5 posted on 11/14/2003 1:29:07 PM PST by sourcery (No unauthorized parking allowed in sourcery's reserved space. Violators will be toad!)
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To: Political Junkie Too
Another option would be to make them actually filibuster rather than just bending over every time they say they will.
6 posted on 11/14/2003 1:30:10 PM PST by thoughtomator ("A republic, if you can keep it.")
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To: thoughtomator
Another option would be to make them actually filibuster...

I disagree. That would just be playing their game. The issue is the legality of the filibuster of nominees (encroachment of separation of powers). To make them filibuster just endorses the legality of the filibuster. The root cause is the rogue Senate. The fix is to restore the Senate to its original form.

-PJ

7 posted on 11/14/2003 1:35:27 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: Political Junkie Too
That makes sense, I can agree with that reasoning. How then, to explain to Joe Public?
8 posted on 11/14/2003 1:39:10 PM PST by thoughtomator ("A republic, if you can keep it.")
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To: Political Junkie Too
how would things be better if the California legislature appointed Sheila Kuehl to the U.S. senate?
9 posted on 11/14/2003 2:00:28 PM PST by ambrose
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To: Political Junkie Too
The 17th Ammendment:

Amendment XVII

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislatures.


When vacancies happen in the representation of any state in the Senate, the executive authority of such state shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, that the legislature of any state may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.


This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.
10 posted on 11/14/2003 2:05:21 PM PST by The Bronze Titan
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To: ambrose
how would things be better if the California legislature appointed Sheila Kuehl to the U.S. senate?

Voters would become much more interested in who might be elected to the State legislature. Most people today couldn't name their state legislators. That would change.

11 posted on 11/14/2003 2:07:51 PM PST by sourcery (No unauthorized parking allowed in sourcery's reserved space. Violators will be toad!)
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To: ambrose
how would things be better if the California legislature appointed Sheila Kuehl to the U.S. senate?

Even if California appointed Feinstein and Boxer instead of us voting for them, their motivations would be tied to their perception of the willingness of the legislature to send them back, instead of what Hillary! and Terry McAuliff tell them to do. Boxer and Feinstein are currently more focused on the Democrat national bloc politics as dictated from Chappaqua, not Sacramento.

If the legislature keeps sending back Senators that the public disagrees with, grass-roots politics will change the state houses in order for the legislatures to change the Senate.

Furthermore, you would get the big money out of the Senate.

-PJ

12 posted on 11/14/2003 2:12:59 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: Political Junkie Too
I would propose the following revision to the 17th Amendment:

Amendment XVII - (revision)

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for 3 years, with maximum of 3 terms lifetime; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any state in the Senate, the executive authority of such state shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, that the legislature of any state may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

Back in 1776, with the technology (or lack thereof) back then, it took much longer to carry out duties, correspondence, etc... which is why they established a more prolonged term (6 yrs) for Senators.

However, now with today's modern technology, you can accomplish in seconds, hours, what took days, years in those days. Consequently, the "6 year" term now allows Senators to influence and impact 'more' of our everyday lives.

Therefore, the reduction from 6 to 3 years, is plenty of time for them to oversee and do, an even greater amount of activity than what could be accomplished in 6 yrs back then.

13 posted on 11/14/2003 2:19:52 PM PST by The Bronze Titan
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To: Political Junkie Too
Count on my support and vote.
14 posted on 11/14/2003 2:32:00 PM PST by auboy (If frogs had wings, it would be raining warts.)
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To: The Bronze Titan
Back in 1776, with the technology (or lack thereof) back then, it took much longer to carry out duties, correspondence, etc... which is why they established a more prolonged term (6 yrs) for Senators.

Are you sure about this?

Don't you think that the entire Constitution was seen as a tapestry of checks and balances, where if you pulled out one thread the whole thing begins to unravel?

Consider that the House has two year terms, the President has four year terms, and the Senate has six year terms. Perhaps this was intended to maintain a level of consistency to government by overlapping terms amongst the branches rather than overcoming distance and lack of technology?

Furthermore, the two year House term was meant to completely turn over the House every two years in order to make it sensitive to the people. The six year Senate term, staggered into three classes that are two years apart, was meant to allow for deliberation of larger issues of longer-term impact (beyond the span of the House) rather than to allow for distance of communication. The idea was to have representatives to make decisions, which still holds true today despite instantaneous communication technology.

-PJ

15 posted on 11/14/2003 2:34:42 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: Xthe17th
Ping.
16 posted on 11/14/2003 3:03:41 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: Political Junkie Too
The Elegant Campaign Finance Reform.

-PJ

17 posted on 11/14/2003 4:26:25 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: thoughtomator
Yes, it would be nice if they really had a filibuster! They should have held it into the weekend then the dems would have to chose whether to stay and fight Bush's judicial nominees or go to Iowa!
18 posted on 11/14/2003 4:39:38 PM PST by mtnwmn
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To: The Bronze Titan
They would just have to campaign more!
19 posted on 11/14/2003 4:43:02 PM PST by mtnwmn
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To: Political Junkie Too
What could motivate 2/3rds of the present Senators (or any group of future Senators) to propose a repeal of the 17th? My sense is that they like the system just the way it is.

The alternative of having 2/3rds of the states requesting a Constitutional Convention is a bit frightening, who knows what would come out of that (tightening tinfoil hat).

20 posted on 11/14/2003 4:46:27 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: Cboldt
What could motivate 2/3rds of the present Senators (or any group of future Senators) to propose a repeal of the 17th? My sense is that they like the system just the way it is.

Absolutely.

It would have to start in the House of Representatives. Then, a grass-roots campaign in the states would have to cause a ground-swell of support in their Legislatures. Finally, the Senate would have to be confronted with the question, "Why are you afraid of your own state legislatures? Why do you think that your own state would refuse to appoint you?"

-PJ

21 posted on 11/14/2003 4:50:16 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: Political Junkie Too
But I think state governments like the system the way it is too. It gives everybody a chance to blame the other guy. Grassroots lacks the wisdom to request such a change, and in fact, IMO, is inclined to go the other way, e.g., even abolishion of Electoral College.

I'm afraid the people have lost control of their government, and they don't even know it.

22 posted on 11/14/2003 4:57:55 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: Cboldt
The biggest complaint that state governments have is that they don't get enough money from Washington. I doubt the Senate would pass unfunded mandates on the states if the states control the hiring for the Senate. Furthermore, I doubt you'd see so much money leaving the states to be returned as federal funding with strings attached if the states chose their Senators. The money would never leave the state in the first place.

-PJ

23 posted on 11/14/2003 5:01:21 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: Political Junkie Too
I agree completely, it would be great for the states. But it would also make the state governments more accountable to their citizens. Now, the state governments can blame the Feds, and vice versa. THey like that system because it dilutes accountability. My point is that state governments are about as likely to clamor for a repeal of the 17th as the Senators themselves are.

It's discouraging as all get out, because repeal of the 17th would have lots of benefits.

24 posted on 11/14/2003 5:19:00 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: Cboldt
Now, the state governments can blame the Feds, and vice versa. THey like that system because it dilutes accountability.

I wonder if Gray Davis would agree with you.

I agree with you that this is just tilting at windmills. However, if ever there were a time to strike, it is now.

-PJ

25 posted on 11/14/2003 5:23:30 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: Political Junkie Too
Heheheheh ---- well, Grey Davis did try to blame the Feds!

It's tilting at windmills now, sort of, but the discussion is turning on a few minds that didn't even know the balance between State and Federal governments, reinforced by the system of selecting Senators envisioned by the founders.

26 posted on 11/14/2003 5:37:57 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: Cboldt
I've been trying to pay attention to references to this over the past few years, but I have not seen a discussion of the 17th amendment and campaign finance reform in any medium except for writings linked on Freeper Xthe17th's homepage. I'd love to hear talk-radio take this up as a way of fixing the Senate.

-PJ

27 posted on 11/14/2003 5:49:01 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: The Bronze Titan
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for 3 years, with maximum of 3 terms lifetime
I agree that, as a practical matter, we'll never stop popular election of senators. And I agree that the six-year term is not sacrosanct.

I would however propose that the compromise solution is to make the senators' term 8 years and make him/her run as the runningmate of the governor. Alternatively you could make the senator's term 4 years, followed by four years' term to be filled by the governor (or, if he isn't available, his appointee). Either way, the gubernatorial election is what determines the senator. Especially in the latter version, the governor unambiguously becomes influential in the Senate. It doesn't give the state legislature a voice, but it does link the Senate to the state government in the person of the governor, who has the incentive to opppose unfunded mandates and so forth.

But in cases of impeachment of PotUS I would prefer that the governors be the 'peers' of the president who sit in judgement. I wonder how many governors would have accepted x42 standards of conduct for executive office?


28 posted on 11/14/2003 5:52:29 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The everyday blessings of God are great--they just don't make "good copy.")
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To: Political Junkie Too
I think it's interesting to see what State Legislatures are controlled by what party, and how this would affect the makeup of the Senate. (Of course, this is a mere snapshot of state legislature party control as it exists right now, and any Constituional amendment would not be enacted for a while, and only a third of Senators are up for reelection every 2 years.)

The following states woud be affected:

Alabama -- State House and Senate are Democrat-controlled. The two current Republican Senators would face losing their seats.

Delaware -- State House is Republican-controlled. Therefore, one or both of the two current Democrat Senators could face losing their seats, depending on how Delaware's legislature chose to appoint its U.S. Senators.

Florida -- State House and Senate are Republican-controlled. The two current Democrat Senators would face losing their seats.

Georgia -- Both the state's U.S. Senators and State House & Senate are split Democrat/Republican, so it's unclear how that would affect Georgia's representation in the U.S. Senate.

Illinois -- State House and Senate are Democrat-controlled. The state's lone Republican Senator would face losing his seat.

Indiana -- Both the state's U.S. Senators and State House & Senate are split Democrat/Republican, so it's unclear how that would affect Indiana's representation in the U.S. Senate.

Iowa -- State House and Senate are Republican-controlled. The state's lone Democrat Senator would face losing his seat.

Kentucky -- State House is Democrat-controlled. Therefore, one or both of the two current Republican Senators could face losing their seats, depending on how Kentucky's legislature chose to appoint its U.S. Senators.

Louisiana -- State Senate is Republican-controlled. Therefore, one or both of the two current Democrat Senators could face losing their seats, depending on how Louisiana's legislature chose to appoint its U.S. Senators.

Maine -- State House & Senate are Democrat-controlled. The state's two Republican Senators would face losing their seats.

Michigan -- State House & Senate are Republican-controlled. The state's two Democrat Senators would face losing their seats.

Minnesota -- Both the state's U.S. Senators and State House & Senate are split Democrat/Republican, so it's unclear how that would affect Minnesota's representation in the U.S. Senate.

Mississippi -- State House is Democrat-controlled. Therefore, one or both of the state's Republican Senators could face losing their seats, depending on how Mississippi's legislature chose to appoint its U.S. Senators.

Montana -- State House & Senate are Republican-controlled. Therefore, the state's lone Democrat Senator would face losing his seat.

Nebraska -- State legislature (unicameral) is Republican-controlled. Therefore, the state's lone Democrat Senator would face losing his seat.

Nevada -- Both the state's U.S. Senators and State House & Senate are split Democrat/Republican, so it's unclear how that would affect Nevada's representation in the U.S. Senate.

New Mexico -- Both the State House & Senate are Democrat-controlled. Therefore, the state's lone Republican Senator would face losing his seat.

New York -- The State Senate is Republican-controlled. Therefore, one or both of the state's Democrat Senators could face losing their seats, depending on how New York's legislature chose to appoint its U.S. Senators.

North Carolina -- Both the state's U.S. Senators and State House & Senate are split Democrat/Republican, so it's unclear how that would affect North Carolina's representation in the U.S. Senate.

North Dakota -- Both the State House & Senate are Republican-controlled. Therefore, both of the state's Democrat Senators would face losing their seats.

Oklahoma -- Both the State House & Senate are Democrat-controlled. Therefore, both of the state's Republican Senators would face losing their seats.

Oregon -- Both the state's U.S. Senators and State House & Senate are split Democrat/Republican, so it's unclear how that would affect Oregon's representation in the U.S. Senate.

Rhode Island -- Both the State House & Senate are Democrat-controlled. Therefore, the lone Republican Senator would face losing his seat.

South Carolina -- Both the State House & Senate are Republican-controlled. Therefore, the state's lone Democrat Senator would face losing his seat.

South Dakota -- Both the State House & Senate are Republican-controlled. Therefore, both Democrat Senators would face losing their seats.

Tennessee -- Both the State House & Senate are Democrat-controlled. Therefore, both Republican Senators would face losing their seats.

Vermont -- The State House is Republican-controlled. Therefore, either the Democrat or Independent Senator could face losing their seats, depending on how Vermont's legislature chose to appoint its U.S. Senators.

Washington -- The State Senate is Republican-controlled. Therefore, one or both of the state's Democrat Senators could face losing their seats, depending on how Washington's legislature chose to appoint its U.S. Senators.

Wisconsin -- The State Assembly & Senate are both Republican-controlled. Therefore, both Democrat Senators would face losing their seats.

29 posted on 11/14/2003 6:00:19 PM PST by rightcoast
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To: Cboldt
I'm afraid the people have lost control of their government, and they don't even know it.

The Founder's in all their wisdom, said that it would take an upright, moral, and God fearing citizenry, to make the Republic work. The liberal ideology, and their modus operandi, are the antithesis of the Founder's wishes, and if their agenda prevails, you are oh so right.!

Scoundrels, crooks, and moral degenerates, are not paying the price in elections, and along with a complicit press, their influence is permeating the electorate. I am not trying to be over zealous, but we are in a battle for the heart and soul of this great Nation, a battle we have to win.

30 posted on 11/14/2003 6:01:32 PM PST by woodyinscc
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To: Political Junkie Too
One thing you might notice is this. Having senators elected by the state legislatures might eliminate much of the effect of vote manufacturing by the demnocrats since manufacturing votes is clearly most effective in statewide or nationwide elections.

One question people were asking in 2000 was how a state like Floriduh with a state legislature which is so overwhelmingly republican could even come close to voting for Algor for president. The answer near as I can tell is that the dems can manufacture all the votes they want in their own precincts and it won't keep the republicans from winning theirs. It's only in a statewide election that manufacturing votes really counts.

31 posted on 11/14/2003 6:08:54 PM PST by judywillow (the supposed Kr)
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To: rightcoast
Based on my breakdown, there would be a +3 net gain for Republicans (and a corresponding -3 net loss for Democrats) in seats in the U.S. Senate. This is of course, assuming that politics and party divisions stay exactly the same from now until the time of the amendment, and for the durations of 3 elections past that. Which would never happen.

The point is that the real shift would not be realized in Republican/Democrat power grabs nationally. Instead, the Senate would be a more State-centric body, in tune by design and political necessity to the needs and desires of each Senator's State and State Legislature, and to its people by their election of their own State Legislature.

Federalism, overnight, would cease to be dead. Which, of course, is why this amendment would never see the light of day unless it is started by a Constitutional Convention of states.
32 posted on 11/14/2003 6:09:15 PM PST by rightcoast
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To: Political Junkie Too
The subject has been around a looong time. Xthe17th's homepage has most of the good links. Dean's articles ask "why" the change was made, but the explanation is really more "how" to dupe the voters/citizens/subjects. Promise the voter "a free lunch," or support for a pet principle (e.g., prohibition), voila. It's an age-old formula, proven to work.
33 posted on 11/14/2003 6:27:33 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: rightcoast
Yup. It would be a radical change all right. More power to the states, right pronto.
34 posted on 11/14/2003 6:31:34 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: Political Junkie Too
Your thinking on this confuses me. Your solution will take power from the people and give it to the elite. And the elite in this country are liberal.

The liberal elite has done everything possible to take certain issues out of the hands of the people by using unelected judges. These judges are nominated by the president and approved by 51 senators, after which these unelected philosopher kings can overturn elections, outlaw abortion and do anything they wish. They are unaccountable to no one and have life time tenure. That is the problem.

Electing senators by State legislators will simply make the senate more unaccountable, elitist and unaccountable. That’s why we changed the constitution in 1913.

The founding founders were wary of democracy since they did not want a majority that had no property oppressing the minority that had property. In those days land was property and vice versa. We past that years ago. Today the millionaires and billionaires (look at Soros) are in favor of income distribution.

If you wish to control the senate, reduce it term from 6 years to 4, write in term limits, and make the filibuster unconstitutional.
35 posted on 11/14/2003 7:00:00 PM PST by rcocean
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To: thoughtomator
Considering Joe Public thinks we live in a democracy versus a republic, I think we would be in for a long haul.

My 13-yr-old tried to explain to her history teacher that our country was a republic and he disagreed with her and told her that he refused to discuss it any more. She even recited the pledge of allegiance to show him where it states that we were a republic ---- no luck.

When we talked about all this tonight.... I told her my opinion of the current state of teachers in this country and ended with the old saying --- "those who can do, those who can't, teach"

She understood 100%

36 posted on 11/14/2003 7:08:21 PM PST by coder2
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
I would however propose that the compromise solution is to make the senators' term 8 years and make him/her run as the runningmate of the governor. Alternatively you could make the senator's term 4 years, followed by four years' term to be filled by the governor (or, if he isn't available, his appointee). Either way, the gubernatorial election is what determines the senator.

The main objection I have with this is the distinct difference between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch. I don't think you want to tie them together, and I think there would be Constitutional issues (both federal and state) with separation of powers if you tie the selection of one branch to the other branch's success at the polls.

I assume that the intent of the Framers was that the state legislatures would send one of their own (presumably experienced in the art of debate and legislation) to the Senate. The role of an executive is different than that of a legislator, and it should take a body of legislators to select their federal representative.

-PJ

37 posted on 11/14/2003 7:12:06 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: rightcoast
Nice analysis. I didn't want to do it. ;-)

As you point out in your post, I too am less interested in the makeup of the Senate as I am the conduct of the Senate. The current structure has created a rogue body that must be reined in by the states.

-PJ

38 posted on 11/14/2003 7:15:28 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: rcocean
There are lots of intertwined points, only one of them being the advise and consent function of the Senate. PJ's suggestion (which I strongly support) would have many ramifications, ultimately reducing the power of the Federal government, and increasing the power of state governments. Less money flowing to DC for redistribution would be a good thing.
39 posted on 11/14/2003 7:16:19 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: Political Junkie Too
"chosen by the Legislature thereof"

Can a Governor veto that election? What if the legislative houses disagree?
40 posted on 11/14/2003 7:16:31 PM PST by narses ("The do-it-yourself Mass is ended. Go in peace" Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria)
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To: judywillow
Having senators elected by the state legislatures might eliminate much of the effect of vote manufacturing by the demnocrats...

True. There are other benefits as well. For instance, you wouldn't see a carpetbagger like, oh, let's say, someone from Arkansas swooping into, say for example, New York, and claiming the Senate seat as his or her own. You'd think that the legislature of New York, in this example, would be grooming one of their own for the Senate.

-PJ

41 posted on 11/14/2003 7:19:45 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: rcocean
Electing senators by State legislators will simply make the senate more unaccountable, elitist and unaccountable.

I don't know about "elitist", but I disagree with the presumption that having senators actually picked by state legislators (as the founders wrote) would reduce accountability.

Seems to me it would make senators 1000 times MORE accountable. Could you explain your reasoning?

42 posted on 11/14/2003 7:19:48 PM PST by Principled
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To: Principled
rcocean's reasoning is simple (pardon me for stepping in), and on reflection, you'll agree. Right now, YOU can call your Senator, and your Senator is apt to listen, because you vote directly for the office. If the state legilature chose the Senator, you'd be looking at your state reps, not so much directly at the Senator. You'd still have influence, it would be less direct. See, e.g., judges, which you don't elect, but have to rely on the good judgement of an executive and Senate for selecting. The system created by the founders is awesome!
43 posted on 11/14/2003 7:26:37 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: Cboldt
Thanks for jumping in, choldt. I appreciate the reply. Perhaps we're saying the samething ... sideways.. <;)

While I understand and agree that a particluar Senator chosen by his state legislators would very likely be less accessible to citizens in his state - save those of his own district - I think the senator would be very responsive to the needs of fellow state legislators. Those other state legislators are very accessible and accountable to their constits.

So while a senator appointed the original way is less accountable to ME, he is WAY accountable to my state rep - who is WAY accessible and accountable to me.

Of course I omit the arguments pertaining to strengthening state's rights.

44 posted on 11/14/2003 7:34:58 PM PST by Principled
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To: Political Junkie Too
I'm thinking, the democrat senators are getting away with something that is entirely unprecedented and against the US Constitution, of course, but not likely, they may have conveniently forgotten they solemnly pledged to protect and uphold, so why doesn't President Bush do the same unprecedented thing and go down to the floor of the Senate and filibuster them with the "flick of his pen, the law of the land" and change their stupid senate rules.

Hey, didn't Lanny Davis say the same about his buddy, Clinton's love affair with Exec. Orders?

45 posted on 11/14/2003 7:35:13 PM PST by harpo11
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To: harpo11
Section 5

You cannot serve in the Senate of the United States of America if you have killed (by drowning in auto accidents) any female aids.

46 posted on 11/14/2003 7:46:14 PM PST by phil1750 (Love like you've never been hurt;Dance like nobody's watching;PRAY like it's your last prayer)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
- "I would however propose that the compromise solution is to make the senators' term 8 years and make him/her run as the runningmate of the governor. Alternatively you could make the senator's term 4 years, followed by four years' term to be filled by the governor (or, if he isn't available, his appointee). Either way, the gubernatorial election is what determines the senator. Especially in the latter version, the governor unambiguously becomes influential in the Senate. It doesn't give the state legislature a voice, but it does link the Senate to the state government in the person of the governor, who has the incentive to opppose unfunded mandates and so forth.

I see your point ('States' interests more forcefully represented directly in the Federal legislative body) by having the Senate legislators tied to the Governorships.

My only hesitation is the 8 year term - too long for so much power. I would lean to 4 year terms.

6 years is definitely too long in today's world. The decision-making and activity process (yes 'deliberation' as well) can be accomplished very efficiently in much less time than the 6 years originally established by the Founders.

Remember, it took several days to get correspondece between the colonies to the capital back then (it takes seconds today). No wonder they needed 6 years to deliberate.

47 posted on 11/14/2003 7:48:52 PM PST by The Bronze Titan
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To: rcocean
Your thinking on this confuses me.

I'm going to take this one point by point.

Your solution will take power from the people and give it to the elite. And the elite in this country are liberal.

First of all, this isn't my solution, it's the original intent of the Framers back in 1789. If you recall, Madison originally objected to a bicameral Congress (he wanted true democracy of the people), but ultimately came around to the idea that the separation of a people's chamber and a state's chamber was an ingenious invention.

As I see it, there are reasons why the states are the way they are. Those reasons are geographic; there are mountains and valleys and rivers and such that naturally segregate people into regions that develop into symbiotic cities and towns that have common interests within their geographic boundaries. In fact, the main objection was that the states became their own countries after Independence, and they were hesitant to give up their autonomy under a new federalism.

The separation of Congress into a people's chamber and the state's chamber allowed for both the fickle will of the people and the long-term interests of the state to share in the governing of the United States.

The liberal elite has done everything possible to take certain issues out of the hands of the people by using unelected judges. These judges are nominated by the president and approved by 51 senators, after which these unelected philosopher kings can overturn elections, outlaw abortion and do anything they wish. They are unaccountable to no one and have life time tenure. That is the problem.

The solution to that problem is elsewhere in the Constitution. The Constitution only defines the Supreme Court of the United States. The lower courts are left to the Congress to define, and eliminate, and limit scope, as they choose. That is one of the threads of the tapestry of checks and balances.

Electing senators by State legislators will simply make the senate more unaccountable, elitist and unaccountable.

Actually, that will reconnect the people, the several states, and the federal government. Today, people do not pay attention to politics because they think that they can't do anything to influence what happens in Washington. How would they feel if they learned that what happens in Washington is influenced by what happens in Sacramento, and Austin, and Albany, and Tallahassee? If people don't like what is happening at the federal level, they first have to change what happens at the local level and then those changes will ripple to the federal level.

That’s why we changed the constitution in 1913. The founding founders were wary of democracy since they did not want a majority that had no property oppressing the minority that had property. In those days land was property and vice versa. We past that years ago.

In an earlier post, the influence of modern technology on our government structure was cited as an agent of change. I submit that that was what was happening in 1913, but the 17th amendment was the misguided "solution" to the perceived problem.

Remember what was happening at the time. America had just settled the Wild West. The telegraph connected remote locations with "instantaneous communications" (the first internet?), and railroads made cross-country travel safer and quicker than Conestoga wagon trains. Range wars were being waged between cattle barons, rail barons, farmers, and settlers. Western territories were becoming states. Eastern industrialization was transforming the economy. There was a lot of corruption taking place, both in eastern politics and western territorial angling for statehood. By 1913, it all came to a head.

Today the millionaires and billionaires (look at Soros) are in favor of income distribution. If you wish to control the senate, reduce it term from 6 years to 4, write in term limits, and make the filibuster unconstitutional.

Look at Corzine and other millionaires that bought their Senate seats via the money to wage a media campaign. Look at the failed campaigns of Michael Huffington and Al Checchi, where millions were spent but they failed to win the seat. Where is all that money going? It's going to NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FNC, and all the other media outlets that run the ads that are necessary to win a campaign today. Eliminate the campaigns and you eliminate the money in federal politics. Eliminate the money spigot and you eliminate a source of funding to the "elite" media that they count on every two years.

Any money that is spent will be spent at the local level for House seats which have smaller constituencies. Furthermore, with the Senate campaings removed, there is more "air in the room" for Representatives to get their message out and not lost in the rhetoric of national bloc party politics that dominate the Senate today.

No, I think that returing the selection of Senators to the states is the ultimate solution to what's wrong with our government today.

-PJ

48 posted on 11/14/2003 8:04:05 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: narses
Can a Governor veto that election? What if the legislative houses disagree?

Federal Constitution trumps State Constitution. A governor cannot veto the selection of a federal appointment that is Constitutionally designated.

If the legislative houses disagree, then the state goes unrepresented until they do agree. That should be sufficient motivation to reach a consensus.

-PJ

49 posted on 11/14/2003 8:09:07 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: Principled
Sorry, I should have written "accountable to the people". For instance, right now I can vote against Senator Boxer in the next election. And I can also vote for a conservative in the primary to run against her. The people (i.e. me) can hold her accountable.

If she was elected by the state legislature, how could I vote her out? How could I make sure conservatives were elected?

I could vote for a republican state house and senate, but what if the state legislature is gerrymandered? What if 50.1% want a democratic legislator based on local state issues? What if people don't understand the relationship between the state legislature and the senate? They may dislike the senator Boxer but like their local democratic legislature.

And even if we get a republican house and senate in Calf, what if the RINO’s grab hold of the process (or cut a deal) and put a RINO in office?

The problem NOW is that a lot of senators and federal judges are not accountable. This may be what the founders wanted for the senate, but they did not intend for federal judges to become kings who overrule the legislatures at will. IMO, this powergrab by the judges in past 50 years is unconstitutional. They have again and again ignored the plainly written laws and constitutional rights. And they have written in rights and laws that do not exist.

Why have hey have gotten away with? Not because of too much democracy but it because political elite supports them. Making the Senate less accountable to the average voter (who is conservative) will end up in a more elitist – socially liberal – senate.
50 posted on 11/14/2003 8:12:47 PM PST by rcocean
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