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  •  What's Sad... (4.00) that when Chuck Grassley was elected to the Senate, he was widely (and correctly, IMO) seen as the dumbest man in that body. Now he's not even close.  For instance, he could run intellectual laps around my two Senators, Inhofe and Coburn.

    "This war is an ex-parrot." - The Editors

    by GreenSooner on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 08:35:59 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  How about Conrad Burns? (none)
      Conrad Burns isn't exactly a member of Mensa either!
    •  So...completely off-topic... (none)
      but, I'm just wondering: when can we revoke the statehood of Oklahoma and other gradually de-populating territories (which, IIRC though this part of my US history is weak, had some difficulty making the population requirements in the first place)?  Inhofe is particularly bad and Coburn is just a joke (the crying over partisanship crap).

      Really, those small (population) states are increasingly like small island-countries: easily dominated and controlled by a very few wealthy folks.  They're kind of like corrupt burroughs or wards where the party machines could sell their seats.  Both of your Senators are "owned" by coporate lobbyists, IMHO, and their wacky policy proscriptions (the ones not controlled/written by corporate lobbyists) are aimed for the fringe right, who wield disproportionate power in your state, since your population is badly skewed.  Coburn is just the guy for a major expose - I want someone to find evidence that he's impregnating teenage girls.  

      •  I Think You're Confusing Oklahoma... (none)
        ...with states like the Dakotas and Wyoming.

        Oklahoma is currently something like the 28th most populous state, and the U.S. census bureau predicts that it will still be the 28th most populous state in 2025. This is hardly a depopulated state.  Although our population is growing more slowly than the national rate, it is still very much growing.

        Nor are only small states controlled by monied elites. Indeed, the biggest states often offer less possibility for "retail" politics, thus putting a premium on being able to do big TV ad buys, which is all about money.

        This is not to say that actually small states aren't overrepresented.

        The Senate is, of course, an inherently undemocratic institution. But it's hardwired into the Constitution (it essentially cannot be changed without all fifty states agreeing to do so).

        However, truly small states (i.e. those with a single Congressperson) are currently also overrepresented in the House. This is relatively easy to change. Congress just needs to expand itself, and make the average district the size of the smallest state (which is currently Wyoming).

        "This war is an ex-parrot." - The Editors

        by GreenSooner on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 02:44:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right (none)
          Although I'm surprised...what in the heck is there?  Oil?  I assumed OK was one of those places that folks streamed into during the last of the land rushes and had begun draining.  Yes, I am speaking more of the Dakotas, etc.

          The question of retail politics is complicated, but the disproportionate representation of social and economic reactionaries from welfare states (Trent Lott is representative of this) seems to be a feature of the smaller, poorer states.  I may be wrong.

          Boy, after I saw the crossword puzzle bit with Coburn, geez...yeah, he's taking this very seriously...

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