Skip to comments.DE ratifies 17th Amendment--98 years later (actually 97)
Posted on 06/25/2010 5:19:09 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Delaware officially ratifies Amendment 17 of the U.S. Constitution that provides for the popular election of U.S. Senators.
98 years ago, several states had already ratified the amendment, making it a part of the Constitution, so the 45th General Assembly apparently felt no need to do so.
But the 145th General Assembly put their ceremonial stamp on it...
(Excerpt) Read more at wdel.com ...
one of the best things for this country would be to rescind he 17th and let the State legislators choose their Senators .
No, it wouldn’t.
Yes it would.
You would only ensure many of our states would never send a Republican to the Senate for the forseeable future. A VERY bad move.
Here’s another discussion of one of your favorite subjects...
I, for one, prefer to keep government as close to the States as possible.
That's precisely what it was in the era prior to this Amendment. This notion that somehow the Senate membership would improve dramatically with its repeal is pure pie-in-the-sky fantasy. I wouldn't WANT my state legislators choosing my Senators. It's bad enough I'm disenfranchised with respect to my legislative members and my Congressional district (one party for 136 years, not GOP), but take my vote away for U.S. Senate, and my disenfranchisement will be complete for both Congress and the state legislature.
You are not disenfranchised.
You still vote for the House members.
But the states - as political entities - have been disenfranchised.
I am in a gerrymandered State House district where no Republicans run (and has not elected one since at least the Reconstruction era) and is held by a crook and a demogogue.
I am in a Justice Department/Civil Rights Act-mandated racist State Senate district where no Republicans run and is also held by a demogogue.
I am in a gerrymandered U.S. House district designed to keep a Democrat in place (which it has since 1874), and no Republican usually gets over 1/3rd of the vote.
I have NO say in my viewpoint on issues with respect to the legislature or Congress, and you guys want to take my only vote away with respect to our Senators where I do have influence. To that I say “Hell, No !”
History proves you wrong. The effort to establish a fascist/socialist state in America didn’t get started in earnest until the direct election of senators. The direct election of senators allowed every horses ass across the country to influence every state’s senator. Before that, a senator pledged his fealty to his state, not some leftist cause.
Before 1917, the red flag waving proto-marxists were weak and ineffectual in this country.
Of course go ahead and give us examples of how Marxism was sweeping across the US before the 17th amendment. I’ll wait for your answer while you scrounge for answers amongst various revisionist historians.
Please, leftists were afoot in the 19th century, they didn’t magically appear with the 17th Amendment. The hijacking of the Democrats was in full bloom in the 1890s.
It’s interesting how you guys ignore what the makeup of today’s legislatures would do with respect to what would be sitting in the Senate today. You’d have bosses making sure “their people” were infested in the legislatures to keep electing them, and in those states where Republicans haven’t elected majorities in decades (if not since the 19th century, as mine was until 2009) you’d have these thugs in for eons. My state would’ve had the Gore family ensconced in the Senate for 70 years without interruption, perhaps longer.
You guys live in fantasy land if you think the Senate would improve in its demeanor, ethics, character, or makeup with its repeal. It would be even worse than it is now. At least we have a fighting chance to elect people in anti-GOP states. If Scott Brown had to run for the Senate via the imbeciles on Beacon Hill, given the makeup of the MA General Court, he’d have lost 90%-10%, because the members of the legislature from the GOP could caucus in a bathroom stall.
Wow...I thought Senators are all appointed..."until the Special Election..."
For what it is worth, that very phrase, the Senate as a "millionaires club", originated in the 1890s, well before the direct election of senators.
Indeed, at the Senate's own website, you have this recounting of the Senate under Vice President Morton (1889-1893):
The Businessman's Cabinet and the Millionaires' Club
Just as Harrison's cabinet was called the "businessman's cabinet" for its inclusion of Wanamaker and the Vermont marble baron Redfield Proctor, the Senate over which Vice President Morton presided was dubbed a "millionaires' club." In the late nineteenth century, businessmen had steadily gained control over both the Republican and Democratic parties and used their political positions to advance their economic interests. Senators became identified as spokesmen for railroads, timber, mining, and other industries. As California Senator George Hearst, who had made his millions in mining, proclaimed: "the members of the Senate are the survivors of the fittest." It seemed appropriate, therefore, that the Senate's presiding officer should be one of the nation's most prominent bankers.
(Trivia note: not only was Vice President Morton one of the nation's most prominent bankers, but the infamous community of Morton Grove was named in honor of Vice President Morton, albeit that naming was many years before he served as vice president.)
Just another reason why DE’s state government is as useless as &$&# on a boar hog.
Just another reason why DE’s state government is as useless as &$&# on a boar hog.
You are not disenfranchised.I wouldn't WANT my state legislators choosing my Senators. It's bad enough I'm disenfranchised with respect to my legislative members and my Congressional district (one party for 136 years, not GOP), but take my vote away for U.S. Senate, and my disenfranchisement will be complete for both Congress and the state legislature. 12 posted on June 25, 2010 10:15:37 PM EDT by fieldmarshaldj
You still vote for the House members.
But the states - as political entities - have been disenfranchised.
In the immortal words of Billy Martin (in a Miller Lite beer commercial) "I feel strongly both ways - I never argue."
Gerrymandering does disenfranchise people - and the advent of computerized data on voter proclivities has made gerrymandering a science. So that the state legislatures - through the medium of drawing district lines - actually have more influence on the composition of the House than they now do of the Senate. The signal advantage of the direct election of senators is that the state borders may be arbitrary and capricious, but they are permanent. If you want to run for Senate and you don't move to a friendly state to do it (insert photo of Hillary here), you don't get to choose your own voters but have to convince the ones you've got. Full Stop.The trouble with having a House strongly influenced by the states and a Senate which is not is twofold:
- The large states have more influence in the House than the small states do, and
- The Constitution assigns the authorities it does to the Senate on the assumption that the Senate represents the states, and to the House on the assumption that the House represents the people - and we now have it the other way around.
As matters now stand, with federally mandated "majority minority" districts, Democrats now participate in a gerrymander against themselves by concentrating black voters in districts which vote overwhelmingly Democrat - but which leave the other, more numerous, districts leaning more Republican than they otherwise would. That is also, of course, a mechanism for partisan polarization since the representatives of "majority minority" districts have negligible conservative opposition. I suppose that the principle of gerrymandering inherently produces a vociferous, but weak, minority dominated by a patronizing, probably self righteous, majority.At any rate, the trouble with direct election of senators is that the functions - and length of term - of senators are designed for statesmen, and the mechanism for selecting them was designed by the Framers with that in mind - and instead, we have highly partisan legislators. It is an interesting fact that if the Electoral College were to fail to give a majority to any presidential candidate then the choice would devolve to the House voting by states:
The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one voteso that in that specific case the House members would represent their states, and each state would have equal vote, as in the Senate. So by that mechanism, the House would function like the Senate normally does.
Maybe what each state needs is senators who are chosen by "senatorial electors" of that state (whose members are elected, from districts defined by the legislature, as Congressional Districts now are), and House members elected at large to eliminate gerrymandering.
There is a sense in which the ratification of the 17th Amendment by Delaware is not moot.Article V - Amendment Note1 - Note2 - Note3 The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.If you interpret "State" above to mean the government of a State - which is IMHO the clear intent, since prior to the 17th Amendment the governments of the States were what were represented in the Senate - ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment actually required unanimous consent by the States.
I believe it is self-serving politicians, such as we seem to be infested with, and lack of real statesmen that is bringing down the nation.
sounds good to me - the present modus is not dong the job, thanks to the 17th
Fortunately, we have the Amendment process to correct aspects of the Constitution that didn’t work well for the long run. Legislatively-elected Senators wasn’t working out. Although IN would benefit from it in theory (in that it would’ve been impossible for Bayh to have won a legislative vote without attracting GOP support), the likelihood is that you still would’ve had Lugar as the Senior Senator and probably another liberal RINO like the former Mayor of Fort Wayne, Paul Helmke, as the Junior Senator. Not exactly that much better. The Senate would be full of ultra-left Democrats and squish go along to get along RINOs with next to zero Conservatives.
No exaggeration intended. I’ve studied both bodies (and indeed, have reviewed every single individual to have ever served in either body, as well as Governors) and don’t come to my conclusions lightly. There is a naive sense on the part of repealers that somehow the Senate will somehow suddenly become more high-minded and respectful of state issues. Again, many choose to ignore the makeup of the legislatures as well as ignoring what was already happening in the era where support for popular election of Senators was reaching critical mass. Simply put, I wouldn’t trust virtually any legislative body with that awesome responsibility because I believe we would have an even worse situation on our hands. My state legislature elects, for example, all but two statewide officeholders (Gov & Atty Gen), and for umpteen decades, virtually all of those individuals (which from Reconstruction until 2009 were Democrats) have been party hacks. It’s for that reason that I believe more, and not less, direct accountability to the people is preferable.
Keep reading down the thread, I answered why.
This was the original discussion thread back from January on Blankley’s article. I was just as aggressively defending the 17th in that thread, making the same points as I have here, with a special emphasis on the fact that the 17th enables the Republican party to conceivably be competitive in every state to elect a Senator. Repeal of the 17th would immediately make it impossible in roughly 29 states for the Republicans to win a seat. Do the math and that means we couldn’t win but 1 more seat than we currently have — a potential permanent minority.
As for my voting with my feet, I don’t have the means or capability to do so at present.
Well, I do care what party is in, one reason to oppose this. But the other point you make is about having a Conservative Senator. Government employees (AKA, your legislature) will never elect authentic Conservatives. Even the impulses of far too many Republicans is to lean towards government expansionists. That’s why I said if the 17th were repealed, the only real change you’d see is what few Conservatives replaced with more liberal RINO types (while the Democrats would be uniformally on the far left).
Of course, the numbers for some of the legislatures change over time, but for enough of them, they don’t, and hence you’d have a solid bloc of states that would never change from being Democrat (while conversely just a few could be considered reliably GOP — Colorado used to be one, and now it is Democrat).
The issue about correction to becoming representative of the national plurality preference of Conservative also is highly unlikely, given what I stated in the first paragraph. Getting control of legislatures can be highly problematic, especially due to gerrymandering (a chronic problem in my state, for which we only recently broke through, but not entirely). Legislatures themselves have their own power structures/cliques that are difficult to broach, and those would be the small groups choosing and cutting deals to elect/reelect Senators.
But, yes, it won’t happen in your lifetime, and allowing the expansionist government types/parasites unfettered control means we’ll likely see a complete collapse before that ever occurs. The only chance we Conservatives have is to keep the 17th firmly in place, try to get as many party nominations for the Senate as possible and to aggressively and unapologetically work to shrink the size of government, something that would be utterly impossible with legislative-chosen flunkies/hacks and bosses.
Oh g*d, I don’t even wanna read the comments in this thread.
Anyway, Kegger, name a RAT Senator with a “conservative mindset”.
The most conservative one is the Obamacare deciding vote, the slag whore Ben Nelson. That party is a force of evil. I’d like to see them defeated (right now).
“... Senators still would be just as likely to be corrupted. But the corruption would be dispersed to the 50 separate state legislatures. The corruption more often would be on behalf of state interests”
First of all most of it already is if by “state interests” you mean pork. Second of all those rats in the state legislatures support every liberal and corrupt thing the rats in congress do, they’re doing the same thing at the state level. Rats in congress often got their start in their state legislature. They don’t somehow become worse when they go to Washington.
Honestly I don’t know how anyone can be in favor of shirking of the electorate for the Senate to a handful of career politicians who run the state legislatures. It’s insanity.
Ah weird old Zell the chameleon. He went from segregationist to Carter liberal to Clintonite “New Dem” to “Conservative” (moderate) Democrat to Republican-supporting literal DINO. Whatever the prevailing wind in Georgia was at the time.
Allegedly (possibly dubious) he backed Mike Gravel (liberal in the Senate, he was running as a left-libertarian and thus the least bad of the rat candidate) in 2008. If true that’s another weird shift, this time to the left.
Anyway he’s long gone. And he propped up Tom Daschle’s “Majority” for 2 years. A conservative who supports democrat control of a legislative body either
a)Isn’t really conservative
D)Cares more about their own power than anything (in the case of some members of the current still rat controlled southern legislatures)
The deceased Republican he replaced and the Republican he beat in the 2000 special election were both superior to Zell who up until his last year or 2 voted like a moderate.
Actual conservative (not moderate) democrats in congress are a thing of the past. A relic from the one party south. I couldn’t tell you the last one in the Senate who had a truly conservative voting record. Henry Byrd Jr. from Virginia maybe. He left the rats to sit as an independent but still caucused with them until he retired in 1982.
Actually I read an argument about this the other day. It was based on the premise that the Senate would have more responsibility to the State than to their own popular reelection.
They would have to think about how their actions affected the state. They would not have to be beholden to the special interests in Washington...but rather the special interests of their own homes and the impact of their actions on the states.
Kind of made sense.
I vote for E), all of the above. The Senate was split 50-50 and "conservative" Zig Zag would have made the difference in Senate control if he hadn't sided with the left. Guys like Zig Zag Zell and Joe LIEberman show where the loyalities really are when they vote to put socialist RATs in power when chips are down and we truly "need" them to deliver for us, as opposed to when they put on a dog and pony show about "endorsing" a big-government Republican presidential candidate on TV. Zig Zag Zell also endorsed and campaign hard for liberal Max Cleland in 2002 (incorrectly assuming Cleland would win due to incumbency), though his fans here quickly forgave him because he gave nice "I'm a rock-ribbed southern conservative" speeches later when he wasn't running for re-election.
I think most of Zig Zag Zell's newfound "conservativism" (which he retroactively used to claim he had been a conservative "all along") was because he was retiring and could ca$h in on the GOP riding high in the 2004 elections (controlling all three branches of government at the time), and Zell could make a killing in book sales if he got kissy with the "winning" team and played "maverick" (knowing the RAT party couldn't retaliate and/or punish him for it). When he still had to make it thur RAT party primaries, Zell would cast his vote with the left on key votes. Zell Miller, like Mark Kirk, stands for whatever advances Zell Miller's clout at that moment in history.
Note that in 2006 and 2008, when the momentum was with the RATs, Zell kept a low profile and didn't actively speak out for the "conservative" cause. There was nothing in it for him. And of course when Clinton was riding high in the polls back in 1992, Zell was Bubba's BFFF.
>> The deceased Republican he replaced and the Republican he beat in the 2000 special election were both superior to Zell who up until his last year or 2 voted like a moderate. <<
I'll go one step further and point out that the "RINO" who replaced Zell, Johnny Iskason, had a better overall voting record as well and a higher lifetime ACU rating. I have to wonder what side freepers are on when they vote for and applaud a RAT who puts Daschle in power but decry a GOP replacement who has gone to bat for conservative causes far more consistently.
At most, you could say Zell turned out far better than expected and Roy Barnes probably regretted the appointment and wished he had chosen another RAT. But Zell certainly wasn't a "good conservative" until the final two years of his term and his suddenly swing to the right was as unpredictable as when Kennedy appointed Byron White due to promises he made big labor and ended with a right-of-center judge instead of the liberal they expected.
Zell Miller's Senate career was pretty much a strange fluke due to Zell's political whore-monger nature. One "abolish the 17th amendment" adovcate actually told me we would NEVER have Senators voting for amnesty if state governments got to make the appointment instead of voters. Am I to believe that Lisa Murkowski, Roland Burris, Michael Bennett, Ted Kaufman, and Bob Menendez were expected to be "anti-amnesty" Senators when their state officials put them in the U.S. Senate? Bizarre stuff.
There’s nothing wrong with the premise or argument in theory, the problem is with what happens with the reality when it is implemented. The high-mindedness would simply not materialize and was largely gone by the time of the 17th.
Yes Isakson, not nearly the disappointment some freepers expected. I’m pretty sure I remember a few who after Isakson won the primary stated that they’d rather keep Miller instead. (Fail).
And he was gung ho for Maxie Pad Cleland. But at least to the best of my reelection he didn’t join in the rat echo chamber attacking the GOP for daring to question the liberal voting record of the “hero” Cleland.
Per wikipedia he did support Perdue in 2006 (and Ralph Reed in his losing primary). And Chamblis in 2008. But he’s been invisible nationaly since he left office. I thought he was supposed to appear on Fox News regularly, didn’t happen AFAIK.
Another thing, he ran for Lieutenant Governor on a platform of abolishing the office and ended up staying for 4 terms (and was thus the longest serving LT Governor in state history). Lame. And an indicator that just being in power was his # 1 priority for the vast majority of his career.
Excuse me? I didn't call you any name. I said I think the opinion that the 17th should be repealed is "insanity". That's what I think. I don't see the other side of many issues.
You asked me to name a conservative mindset Senator, I did. You did not ask that he be current.
You didn't name one at all cause Miller only fit that bill at tail end of his career. Anyway it's very unlikely that any future RAT Senator or Senatorial nominee will be an actual conservative. I don't know if what you mean by a "conservative mindset" is different from actually being a conservative.
compare him to today's Democratic senators and one could easily argue he is more conservative than the current lot.
He had the most conservative voting record for a Senate rat in some time. But that's not saying much. Which brings back to may original reason for engaging you in conversation. You should care whether Senators are democrats or not because democrats are scum and their party as an organization is only slightly less disgusting than NAMBLA.
Back to my original point, I don't fancy myself as smarter than our founding fathers, so I believe we should repeal the 17th to get back to the original intent of the constitution.
I've heard that argument many times. Which is odd since it's so easily refuted. They in their wisdom wrote a constitution that could be amended. Which it has been many times. The state legislatures themselves ratified the 17th amendment which was passed because of widespread corruption in the Senatorial selection process.
If you wanna repeal the 17th merely because it differs from the original constitution does that mean you wanna repeal every amendment for the same reason? Do you wanna repeal the 12th amendment and to go back to when the electoral college vote for President and VP were not separate? This caused problems in 1796 and 1800. Problems the founders didn't foresee (cause they were human beings not God). Lucky thing they were smart men who wrote a Constitution than can be amended.
Being against the 17th is one thing but I don't see why 1 of your reasons is that it changed the original constitution given that every amendment did the same thing.
I leave you with this, if you think the voting of senators by state legislators is anachronistic, how do you feel about the electoral college?
My feelings on the EC are mixed. Purely as a matter of principle I'd just as soon have a national popular vote though any huge regional disparities could produce problems. Any popular vote election held after reconstruction until the Mid 20th Century would have been illegitimate because the Southern rats wouldn't allow most Black voters (who were then GOP) to vote.
It very importantly prevents the specter of a nationwide recount (which would have happened in 2000). So long as the rat party commits massive nationwide voter fraud I think we need the EC. Basically that means forever since leftist election thieves aren't going anywhere.
I'd be really pissed off though if something happened like
Palin 50% 268
Obama 49% 270 Win
This almost happened in 2004 when Bush's narrow margin in Ohio was the only thing that kept Kerry out of the White House despite Bush getting like 3 million more votes overall. That was an exception, in previous close elections the EC has usually benefited Republicans. Like in 2000, although I believe between given voter fraud and vote suppression (by calling Florida for Gore) that Bush was likely the legitimate popular vote winner.
Of course I'd also be dismayed if it were abolished and this
Palin 49% 270
Obama 50% 268 Win
So to sum it up I'm for the EC for practical reasons.
Thanks Tolerance Sucks Rocks.
I probably have an unpopular and radical opinion of the whole thing.
My opinion is that we live under an entirely different form of government
than what was designed and agreed upon during our rebellion from England.
In 1781, “The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union” was ratified by all of the states. Under “The Articles”, the states retained sovereignty over all governmental functions not specifically relinquished to the central government. Article 13 of “The Articles” stated that the union was “perpetual” and that any alteration must be agreed upon to in a Congress of the United States...”.
In 1787, twelve of the thirteen states (all but Rhode Island) sent delegates to a constitutional convention with the stated intention of amending “The Articles”. That convention decided that instead of amending “The Articles”, they would instead replace it with an entirely new Constitution.
In 1788, the government created by “The Articles of Confederation” in 1781, was completely replaced by a new government, created by “The United States Constitution”.
I perceive that what we currently revere as our “constitution” is an illegal document.
But even so, the government created by “The Constitution of 1788” effectively ended on December 20th, 1860, when South Carolina (followed by twelve other states) broke from that agreement.
What we live under now is a far cry from what the founding father’s envisioned.
Zywicki shows that pure market forces of brokering legislation to lobbyists led to a system that ensured the longevity of Senators on the premise that promises to trade votes for legislation were more valuable if the Senator could guarantee seniority, otherwise their promises had little value.
The 17th amendment was a plan by the incumbancy to sustain the seniority of Senators so that their promises to trade votes for legislation had a market value due to the fact that they could be trusted to remain in the Senate for a long enough time to make good on their promises.
But did you look at the states that swept in majorities vs. those where races were up this year ? Let’s take a look...
AL... Richard Shelby-R (Yes, but only because the GOP just won for the first time in 140 years)
AK... Lisa Murkowski-RINO (Probably, but only through collusion of the RINO/Democrat majority coalition)
AR... John Boozman-R (No, Democrats still have a majority)
CA... Barbara Boxer-D (Yes, Democrats have a majority)
CO... Michael Bennet-D (Yes, Dems have a numerical majority adding both bodies despite the GOP capture of the CO House)
DE... Chris Coons-D (Yes, Dems have a majority)
FL... Marco Rubio-R (Yes, GOP has majority, but he might’ve not been the party nominee)
GA... Johnny Isakson-R (Yes, GOP has majority)
HI... Daniel Inouye-D (Yes, Dems have majority)
ID... Mike Crapo-R (Yes, GOP has majority)
IL... Mark Kirk-RINO/Combiner (No, Dem has majority, but I wouldn’t cry over it — he’ll switch parties before long)
IN... Dan Coats-R (Yes, GOP has majority)
IA... Chuck Grassley-R (Up in the air, haven’t seen final legislative totals, and without GOP gains of one body, he’d have lost)
KS... Jerry Moran-R (Yes, GOP has majority)
KY... Rand Paul-R (No, Dems have numerical majority, GOP only has narrow majority in Senate)
MD... Barbara Mikulski-D (Yes, Dems have majority)
MO... Roy Blunt-R (Yes, GOP has majority)
NV... Harry Reid-D (Yes, Dems have majority)
NH... Kelly Ayotte-R (Yes, GOP just won back majority)
NY... Gillebrand & Schumer-D (Yes, Dems have numerical majority)
NC... Richard Burr-R (Yes, but only because GOP just won control of legislature for first time since 1890s)
ND... John Hoeven-R (Yes, GOP has majority)
OH... Rob Portman-R (Yes, GOP has majority)
OK... Tom Coburn-R (Yes, GOP has majority)
OR... Ron Wyden-D (Near-tied body, probably would’ve won)
PA... Pat Toomey-R (Yes, GOP has majority)
SC... Jim DeMint-R (Yes, GOP has majority)
UT... Mike Lee-R (Lee wouldn’t have likely won in a legislative contest even with a GOP majority, so RINO Bennett probably would’ve been sent back)
VT... Patrick Leahy-D (Yes, Dems have majority)
WA... Patty Murray-D (Yes, Dems have overall majority)
WV... Joe Manchin-D (Yes, Dems have majority)
WI... Ron Johnson-R (Yes, GOP just won majority)
So looking at all that, many of those Dem incumbent key races we had a shot at, we would’ve lost had the legislature elected them, and Boozman, Kirk, Paul and possibly Grassley would’ve lost (and Lee & Rubio might never have won the nominations). Hence, despite all the gains nationwide, we’d have had FOUR fewer seats going into January (and 2 more RINOs in place of Conservatives). My argument for opposing repeal of the 17th is still proven out.
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