Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An interesting discussion on the 17th Amendment

My friend and fellow blogger, Roland Hansen, is having an interesting discussion on the 17th Amendment on his blog.

I've made my position on this issue known on this blog and in a comment on his, but a recent poster presents a position I've not heard before. 'Dave' says the founders did not trust the people which is why we originally had senators appointed by state legislatures and why we currently have an electoral college.

If you have thoughts on this, I encourage you to join the discussion on Roland's blog.


Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...


What I thought I said was that, 17th amendment seems to NOT be the source of the perceived problem and should be left alone for now.

Now, if the next seated group of legislators don't seem inclined to follow the wishes of the people (which is their job), then maybe some changes need to be made, but I don't think that rescinding the 17th amendment is the way to go.

That said, both you and Tim have valid concerns that deserve further study and consideration.

I'll have to think on this a bit more in light of both of your comments.

The question then is, would repeal of the 17th shift the senator's loyalties back to their respective states and curtail the taxing issues that seem to so easily get laid upon the taxpayers.

Yes, some more thought indeed....

(Isn't that what the Tea Party is supposed to be all about anyway; principles, less/lower taxes, less/lower spending, etc.?)

Tim Higgins said...


I've heard Dale's argument before, that the Founding Fathers were in some way prejudice against certain groups rather than suspect of government. It's a straw man argument that does not take into account the state of information technology, the ability of the populace to read and write, and the commonly held beliefs (however misguided they might have been) of the time.

The method of senatorial appointment and the electoral college were in fact designed to prevent not just the tyranny of government, but that of the majority; a fickle group whose favor is often carried by whim.

As you have argued, there was also fear that the federal government would gather too much of the power to itself, and placing the loyalties of Senators to their respective legislatures was to act as a check to this.

The time has indeed come, as the federal government asserts its supremacy in all ways and in all things for reconsideration of teh 17th Amendment.

1389 said...

I agree with repealing the 17th Amendment. It's key to the whole concept of federalism. It's a check on the federal government becoming a tyranny.

This is off-topic, but I think you need to know about it: BlogRolling is shutting down on November 1, 2010. More here: LINK

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