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View Diary: CO-Sen: Ken Buck isn't the craziest would-be Constitution editor (128 comments)

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  •  Wait. Why is repealing the 17th crazy? (0+ / 0-)

    I see good, sound, systemic reasons to return the power to appoint Senators back to the state legislatures. Think about it for a bit.

    If the States need federal support to maintain funding levels (as they do now), where does this funding usually get stuck? In the Senate.

    Which offices require the most campaign money? In order: President, Governor, Senator. Is there something wrong with reducing the influence of big money campaign contributors?

    When the Feds impose an unfunded mandate on the States (a la No Child Left Behind or the Drug War), what Federal body has an interest in defending State coffers? It used to be the Senate, but now they're directly elected.

    I understand the argument for direct democracy, and I understand that the Progressives argued for the 17th Amendment as a solution to the corruption of the process at the state level. I'm not sure that the experiment has been more than half successful, and it may have actually been quite harmful.

    I'm all for calling Teabaggers out on being anti-Constitution, and have no illusions that we agree on the issues (we don't even agree on epistemology!), but that's one issue I'd like to see given a little more consideration.

    --- Perma-ban or bust. - opendna

    by opendna on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 03:28:18 PM PDT

    •  Another brain-dead libertarian (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, David Fetter, tekno2600

      Why do you think they passed the 17th Amendment. State.
      The rich had enough money to buy every state legislator in the country to protected their trusts in the 19th century.

      You think it can't happen now?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      •  Another illiterate "lefty". (0+ / 0-)

        What's the matter? Was my comment so long that you didn't read all the way to the ninth sentence?

        The rich had enough money to buy every state legislator in the country to protected their trusts in the 19th century.

        You think it can't happen now?

        Apparently you think they no longer have that much month and that it hasn't already happened.

        That kind of innocence is always refreshing to encounter.

        --- Perma-ban or bust. - opendna

        by opendna on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 03:57:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then what is your point? (0+ / 0-)

          If you are saying that the rich would just buy out the legislatures, then why would any of the stuff you mentioned in the original post get done?  You are arguing enemy of the people is naive to expect the rich can't buy elections now, but your supposition is that they will unfailing work like you expect if we repeal the 17th, which is magnitudes more naive (oh, hell, it is so stupid you need to go get a MRI to see if any of your brain matter is in your skull).  History showed quite strikingly that the idea of a legislature-elected Senate giving a plug nickel about anything but pleasing their lords and masters to be complete horse shit - the 17th was used to fix a retardly obvious problem.  Remember that the Senate and most of the state legislatures had to pass the Amendment; so the very people benefiting from the set-up were the ones that killed it - when the crooks think the situation is so bad that they need to legislate away their money-train, the situation is pretty epically bad.  enemy of the people can point to stark historical fact as to why your idea is bad; you can only point to stark-raving hysterical froth ("If we only let the top 1% directly appoint Senators, puppies and rainbows will fall across the land, because Daddy can't help but think of the welfare of the lessers, tee-hee") to attempt to obfuscate the fact that we have the current system because the old one sucked so hard even the Senators appointed under it saw the system as too corrupt - that is the equivalent of robbers putting money into a bank because they are embarrassed at their haul.

          •  Despite your comment, I'll take you seriously. (0+ / 0-)

            Before I get into it: Your insults, incidentally, are fucking pathetic. You should work on that.

            If you are saying that the rich would just buy out the legislatures, then why would any of the stuff you mentioned in the original post get done?  

            The more money it takes to run a campaign, the stronger the influence of monied interests at that level of power. Compared to state-wide offices, it is much easier for a local legislator to be challenged with a small campaign chest and a lot of volunteers. I've seen state senators elected with a $10,000 campaign chest in California, but you won't see a Senator win for less than a few million.

            Why would appointed Senators get things done for the states? Because if they didn't, they'd get replaced ASAP. At this moment in history, where government provides essential services, almost everything that needs getting done - and most of the important stuff already getting done - happens at the state level. From education and health care, infrastructure, job creation and environmental protection... all that happens at the state level. Do you think state legislators like going to their voters and tell them that they've slashed education and services? Hell no. They'd rather the feds cough up some money for those federal mandates.

            No matter how corrupt they might be, state legislatures still have an interest in protecting their own power by bribing the voter. If you're a progressive, you believe in the government provision of services. Given a choice between geographically remote elected Senators, who only have to answer to voters and campaign contributors, and appointed Senators, who have to answer to state legislators who are very personally exposed to their constituents, the former seems more likely to cause deadlock and "Starve the Beast".

            You are arguing enemy of the people is naive to expect the rich can't buy elections now, but your supposition is that they will unfailing work like you expect if we repeal the 17th, which is magnitudes more naive (oh, hell, it is so stupid you need to go get a MRI to see if any of your brain matter is in your skull).

            I don't expect that it would end corruption. I figure it would spread it, dilute it. It might empower local power brokers and political machines over national ones, but I'm not sure that's the worst thing possible right now. At present, local monopsonies are suffering while global oligopolies block efforts to help communities. Which one would you rather own your officials? The one who has an investment in your community, or the global that exists in The Cloud.

            History showed quite strikingly that the idea of a legislature-elected Senate giving a plug nickel about anything but pleasing their lords and masters to be complete horse shit - the 17th was used to fix a retardly obvious problem.  Remember that the Senate and most of the state legislatures had to pass the Amendment; so the very people benefiting from the set-up were the ones that killed it - when the crooks think the situation is so bad that they need to legislate away their money-train, the situation is pretty epically bad.

             

            Here's another reading for you: the direct election of Senators simplified the management required to corrupt the national legislature. Instead of having to control 50%+1 in a state legislature, you could fund your senator of choice directly. Local lords and interests would have to compete for influence with national powers. The local union boss used to be the big man because he could deliver votes locally, now it's the corporation's BOG that can deliver the contributions.

            No doubt about it: the 17th Amendement was supposed to solve a pressing problem. The question is: did it work, and did it cause other problems that are worse?

            Just because it was the solution to a problem, doesn't mean it's worked. Consider: Around the same time California amended it's constitution to allow direct legislation and amendments. Never mind the perenial efforts of corporations to bankroll propositions for their own special interests, the people of California voted themselves a constitutional tax cut which is now literally bankrupting the state. Still, no matter how bad the situation, there is no chance that Prop 13 will get repealed.

            enemy of the people can point to stark historical fact as to why your idea is bad; you can only point to stark-raving hysterical froth ("If we only let the top 1% directly appoint Senators, puppies and rainbows will fall across the land, because Daddy can't help but think of the welfare of the lessers, tee-hee") to attempt to obfuscate the fact that we have the current system because the old one sucked so hard even the Senators appointed under it saw the system as too corrupt - that is the equivalent of robbers putting money into a bank because they are embarrassed at their haul.

            Actually, I've got historical facts to back up the suggestion that the 17th Amendment failed: In 1912, the US Senate was able to pass a constitutional Amendment to abandon the privilege which had sent them all to Washington. In the 1990s and 2000s, the US Senate is barely able to pass a budget. If you want a do-something Congress, the contrast might suggest the former was preferable.

            --- Perma-ban or bust. - opendna

            by opendna on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 05:06:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Direct democracy 'may be actually quite harmful' (0+ / 0-)

          Go back to Redstate, tea-bat.

          •  Go back to Wichita, three-legged badger. (0+ / 0-)

            Ad hominems work better when they have at lest some tangential relationship to reality.

            Poser.

            --- Perma-ban or bust. - opendna

            by opendna on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 04:25:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Oh fine. You want to trade flames? (0+ / 0-)

            If your whole contribution to American democracy is (as you claim in another diary) "hanging out on DailyKos" and calling everyone a libertarian, then you make a smaller contribution to the nation than the average homeless junkie. Their presence, at least, is a daily reminder of need to address poverty.

            You make no one smile, make no one think, you change no minds and you can't seem to find a single informed contribution to make to even the most trivial topics. I note that you appear to hold your own opinion in such high regard that all others are below contempt. It's not evident from your behavior that such a high opinion is justified, so I chalk it up to self-preservation. If you had the same assessment as the rest of us, you'd waste your mind on crack cocaine and call it an improvement.

            You have the attention span of a fruit fly.

            See? I put that on a separate line because I know you find paragraphs very challenging.

            --- Perma-ban or bust. - opendna

            by opendna on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:10:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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