Sunday, April 25, 2010

17th Amendment Attacks States Rights Too? More Right-Wing Hypocrisy

I was on Big Government when I noticed this comment to a post made:
This progressive/socialist have been trying to change this country for over 100 years, in slow and incremental steps. Instilling the Hegalian/Marxist dialectic arguments as the basis for scholarship in the late 19th Century, Progressive era reforms, (17th Amendment clearly taking away state sovereignty and instituting a ever increasing centralized national govt.), new deal takeovers, Johnson's great society, compassionate conservatism, and now fully acknowledged change to socialism. The founders warned of the dangers of being a democracy, which is why they set up the country that is a Republic and were implicit in their message that the Constitution was a concrete document, not a squishy breathing constitution.
I thought this comment, written by KristineFromNYC, was ridiculous, because it seems to be all over the place, and what surprised me the most, if you couldn't tell from the title of this article, is that Kristine seems to believe the 17th Amendment is an attack against states rights and its sole purpose was the centralization of the federal government.  This claim is interesting, because it is not based in reality, which leads to my little ramble (sorry, but I am in a hurry because a lightning storm approaches and I need to turn off my computer).

Just consider the 17th Amendment:
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.
Apparently, changing the constitution to allow the direct election of representatives, instead of allowing the state legislatures choose who will represent the people.  I assume the reason why Kristine believes it is an attack against the states is because the states no longer get to choose their representatives, but when you consider that the residents of the states get to choose their representatives, the control still lies within the boundaries of the state, and I don't see how the federal government plays a role in this decision, unless Kristine is implying that the majority of people are federalists, and therefore they will elect people interesting in consolidating power in the federal government, but then, I still don't see how this amendment makes a tremendous impact, because those very same people involved in the electoral process were still involved in the original system. The only difference is that the middle man, who was also elected by the people, has been removed. This would seem to fall in line with the theory of limited government, because by having the state legislature selecting state representatives, the role of government is actually expanded and is one more degree separated from the people who are governed.

Just consider the appointment process of Roland Burress if you would like to see why the appointment process is flawed, and why I would think that particular provision should be changed, requiring a special election to be carried out by the people. The 17th Amendment still allows appointments to be made in the case of a vacancy, so if conservatives are really concerned about the assault on states' rights, all they would have to do is win an election by the people and then immediately step down so that an appointment can be made.

I also love the notion that "compassionate conservatism" is a "progressive/socialist" concept, considering that President Bush had campaigned on that - would that make Bush a socialist?

Here is a quote by a founding father, Thomas Jefferson, that I think applies to this right-wing assault against this nation:
"Every nation is liable to be under whatever bubble, design, or delusion may puff up in moments when off their guard." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:381
While I am sure teabaggers can use this quote to prove their point as well, I think it is not representative of this administration, but of the Tea Party movement and modern conservatism.

Here is another quote by Jefferson:
"We are to guard against ourselves; not against ourselves as we are, but as we may be; for who can imagine what we may become under circumstances not now imaginable?" --Thomas Jefferson to Jedidiah Morse, 1822. ME 15:360
This again can probably be used by either argument, but again, I think it is applicable to the Tea Party movement.  We must defend ourselves from the Tea Party, which is attempting to turn America into some theocratic republic.  Where are the proposals from Republican members of congress to repeal these amendments?  Instead, conservative legislators are attacking health care reform, financial reform, and immigration reform, and call for Americans to utilize the 17th Amendment to make a change.  Essentially, conservatives have been hypocrites and have made countless ignorant attacks against this great nation, not to benefit America, but to advance their own agenda.

Not all conservatives are bad, but it seems that conservative representatives have come under the influence of the ignorant, and manipulated, masses.

Imagine a repeal of the 17th Amendment.  Then right-wingers will be mad when traditionally liberal, and populous, states are able to appoint a majority of the legislators, who would most likely be liberal.  Then I would be certain that they would argue that the repeal of the 17th Amendment was a progressive invention to increase the centralization of the federal government...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts and experiences in relation to this post. Remember to be respectful in your posting. Comments that that are deemed inappropriate will be deleted.