Skip to comments.Georgia Legislators Propose Ending Direct Election of Senators—Why Not Just Get Rid of the Senate?
Posted on 02/17/2013 10:14:16 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
It is a matter of public record that the United States Senate is a terrible place where serious policy issues are ignored; routine votes are occasionally delayed over concerns about non-existent terrorist groups; and proverbial cans are proverbially kicked down the proverbial road of sadness, gridlock, and despair.
What's less clear is why the Senate is such a congress of louts. Is it the endless pressure to raise money? The never-ending campaign? The fact that Americans hold lots of substantive disagreements on important things and are themselvesit's been saidsomewhat dysfunctional?
Actually, according to Georgia state Rep. Buzz Brockaway, the biggest problem with the Senate is that it's democratically elected. Brockaway, a Republican, has introduced a bill in the state legislature to repeal the 17th Amendment, which provides for the direct election of senators, and instead restore the responsibility of choosing members to state legislatures (as was the process until 1913).
The bill, HR 273, laments that "the Seventeenth Amendment has resulted in a large federal government with power and control that cannot be checked by the states," and suggests that "the original purpose of the United States Senate was to protect the sovereignty of the states from the federal government and to give each individual state government representation in the federal legislative branch of government."
If the bill passed, Georgia would be the first state to endorse repealing the 17th Amendment, but the idea has gained traction among conservatives over the last few decades. Texas Gov. Rick Perry supports it; so do GOP Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona. (Republican Indiana Sen. candidate Richard Mourdock endorsed the idea during his campaign last year, before, in an ironic twist, losing the popular vote.) As Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald noted in 2012, conservatives blame the 17th Amendment for trampling over the rights of states by changing the constituency to which senators are accountable.
Of course, introducing a bill is the easy part. Getting voters to agree to give up their right to vote will probably be a tough sell.
“Buzz Brockaway” who couldnt trust someone with a name like that?
I like it.
I think we should allow state legislatures to choose at least one of the two Senators from each state
I don’t get this and I’m not sure I like it—someone convince me otherwise.
“Getting voters to agree to give up their right to vote will probably be a tough sell.”
Do we even HAVE a “vote” anymore?-—
Just who is going to be in a position to “affect” this? Someone we “voted” for?
The Senate is probably the most unAmerican institution in the country.
I agree. Senators originally were to champion their State’s interests from being encroached upon by the Federal Government.
Once direct elections were enacted, we’ve seen a massive power grab by Washington, and the Senate has lost its connection to the constituent states.
Yes. But have you considered that those state legislatures would pick someone to the left of the voters every time. No one to the right of Dianne Feinstein would ever be in the Senate again.
“No one to the right of Dianne Feinstein would ever be in the Senate again.”
Perhaps that problem could be solved by requiring the first Senate seat to be appointed by the state assembly majority leader and the second seat appointed by the state assembly minority leader?
Is this guy on drugs or what? Nobody is losing their right to vote.
If anything repealing the 17th would make the votes of voters much more influential, as well as being more meaningful, to the people seeking office in their own States!
That’s why we need to clean out the legisl00tures and the Republican party before actually repealing the 17th. Nothing like a crony Senate.
The math adds up from your suggestion. Majority of states under control of whatever party controls the Senate.
The house members (who originally were the ‘everyday man’ legislators), were elected. The idea being they would serve 2-4 years and go home. But the senate was appointed by (the powers that be)....really could the appointment be worse than the elected.......????
Once “appointed” (by who?), how difficult to have them removed?
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