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Down and Out? Try Federalism
National Review ^ | May 7, 2019 | Kevin D. Williamson

Posted on 05/08/2019 8:31:05 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Trump got you down? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez giving you the willies? Try federalism — now with 70 percent less authoritarianism.

To the uninitiated, conservatives sometimes sound — to put it plainly — bonkers. Your lefty friends are going on and on about free health care and making Jeff Bezos pay off their student loans, and conservatives are talking about . . . the 17th Amendment.

Conservatives do hate the 17th Amendment. That’s the one that instituted the direct election of senators, which basically turned the upper house into a puffed-up House of Representatives with a bit less accountability. Conservatives of a certain stripe will take every opportunity to remind you that our Constitution not does establish a democracy — a term many of the Founding Fathers abhorred — but a republic with some democratic processes. That isn’t hair-splitting; it’s a different thing.

Before the 17th Amendment, state legislatures had the ability to choose their U.S. senators as they saw fit. Some of them established popular elections within the state, others kept the decision entirely within the legislature. This created some fairly predictable problems that will be entirely familiar to those who know 19th-century history (bribery, graft, party-machine politics, etc.), which of course are not problems with this or that political policy but problems with all politics conducted by human beings. The important upside was that the states directly controlled one-half of the most powerful branch of the federal government.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 10thamendment; 17thamendment; congress; electoralcollege; federalism; localism; presidency; states

1 posted on 05/08/2019 8:31:06 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: 100American; 3D-JOY; abner; Abundy; AGreatPer; Albion Wilde; AliVeritas; alisasny; ...


2 posted on 05/08/2019 8:32:02 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Modern feminism: ALL MEN BAD!!!)
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To: 14themunny; 21stCenturion; 300magnum; A Strict Constructionist; abigail2; AdvisorB; Aggie Mama; ...

Federalist/Anti-Federalist ping.

3 posted on 05/08/2019 8:36:45 PM PDT by Publius ("Who is John Galt?" by Billthedrill & Publius available at Amazon.)
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To: Publius

Thanks for the ping

4 posted on 05/08/2019 8:39:57 PM PDT by StoneWall Brigade (Live Free or Die)
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To: 1010RD; AllAmericanGirl44; Amagi; aragorn; Arthur McGowan; Arthur Wildfire! March; arthurus; ...
This is not a genuine Article V COS article, but it brings up issues that Congress will never address via the amendatory process because it would cause power to devolve back to the states.

As such, I think it deserves a COS ping.

5 posted on 05/08/2019 8:41:16 PM PDT by Publius ("Who is John Galt?" by Billthedrill & Publius available at Amazon.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Yer talkin' my language.

The horrid 17A is responsible for, as the author states, punting lawmaking from Congress to the Executive. Here, outside of the legislative process, various true-believers can formulate environmental, health, education, energy, etc. policy without fear of pushback from the people. Recall the Dept of Energy radicals pulling out their hair when PDJT instituted reforms.

Thanks to the 17A, and just as awful is a social justice judiciary that long ago quietly repealed the 9th and 10th Amendments. Had we not elected PDJT, and Hillary appointed a couple of justices, I can say with certainty that Scotus would soon find the right to vote for illegal aliens under the 14A. Equal protection doncha' know?

Republics are fragile constructs, and our republic is falling apart due, in large part, to the 17A.

6 posted on 05/09/2019 2:29:49 AM PDT by Jacquerie (
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To: Jacquerie

Oops. Correction. Not the Energy Dept. The EPA. Same difference.

7 posted on 05/09/2019 2:31:36 AM PDT by Jacquerie (
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To: Publius

Good job.

8 posted on 05/09/2019 3:54:45 AM PDT by Nuc 1.1 (Nuc 1 Liberals aren't Patriots. Remember 1789!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks; Publius; Jacquerie; StoneWall Brigade
"...Over the years, the presidency has taken on quasi-monarchical trappings as Congress — which is supposed to be supreme under our system..."

I wanted to stop reading right there. Congress is co-equal to other branches, not "supreme". It is the triad of Executive, Legislative, and Judicial that provides (or at least used to) the robustness of this form of government.

That ignorance is astonishing.

I fully support returning a greater degree of power to the State legislatures. But the fact of the matter is that the President, as the leader of the Executive branch, IS responsible to tens of millions of people who voted for him...AND...he is ALSO responsible to the tens of millions of people who DID NOT vote for him.

Members of the House ARE beholden to those in their states who voted for them. But a House member elected from the state of Maryland is NOT accountable to a citizen from Idaho or Massachusetts.

And conservatives are right to dislike the 17th Amendment. That amendment is at the very least partially responsible for the diminishment of State influence and power.

9 posted on 05/09/2019 4:15:02 AM PDT by rlmorel (Leftists: Can't control their emotions. Can't control their actions. Deny them control of anything.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Trump got you down?

Not only no, but hell no you POS.

10 posted on 05/09/2019 6:53:26 AM PDT by Robert DeLong
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Has anybody studied why Amendment XVII was ratified?

It is a big process. Something happened that resulted in a swell of public opinion against the Senate, something so big that a radical change was believed to be warranted.

As much as I detest our current design, I doubt that returning to a state-appointed membership in the Senate would make any difference today. I live in California, you see.

If we want to change our course, we have to win the minds of the people first, as was done back in 1913. That fight is now.

11 posted on 05/10/2019 4:36:51 AM PDT by Loud Mime (Liberalism: intolerance masquerading as tolerance)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Devolution now.

12 posted on 05/10/2019 4:19:59 PM PDT by TBP (Progressives lack compassion and tolerance. Their self-aggrandizement is all that matters.)
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