The Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution was one of the biggest amendment mistakes ever made by a Congress. It undermines the balance of power between the states and the federal government.
The Constitution was written to have the United States Senate made up of senators who were appointed by the state legislatures. The Seventeenth Amendment changed that so that the people vote for the senators directly.
As the federal government took more and more power, having the states appoint a senator was always a check against that power. The states were able to have an influence on how the senators voted on things, enabling the states to have direct and indirect representation in the federal government.
Back in the day, when the Constitution was written, only James Wilson was an advocate of popularly electing the Senate. His proposal was defeated 10-1.
But in 1913, the 17th Amendment and the direct election of senators became law.
This happened because some were dissatisfied with what they thought was a corrupt system. It also happened in a Progressive Era of democratic political reform which included expanded governmental power.
If we were still governed by the original intent of how the Framers of the Constitution wanted the senators chosen, we’d currently have 60 Republican senators as there are 29 republican controlled states (two are split with a democrat). The democrats would only have 40 senators.
We wouldn’t have to be concerned about Rinos like Murkowski, Collins and Romney torpedoing our Supreme Court Justice confirmations or anything else we wanted to get done.
And I really doubt that our state legislators would have appointed any of those yahoos to begin with.
A few weeks ago, Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, called for a repeal of the 17th amendment.
He wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about how to make the Senate great again which also included imposing 12-year term limits.
He wrote, “What would the Founding Fathers think of America if they came back to life? Their eyes would surely bug out first at our technology and wealth. But I suspect they’d also be stunned by the deformed structure of our government. The Congress they envisioned is all but dead. The Senate in particular is supposed to be the place where Americans hammer out our biggest challenges with debate. That hasn’t happened for decades – and the rot is bipartisan.”
He continued to discuss the problem with having senators elected directly. He said, “Different states bring different solutions to the table that ought to be reflected in the Senate’s national debate. The old saying used to be that all politics is local, but today – thanks to the internet, 24/7 cable news and a cottage industry dedicated to political addiction – politics is polarized and national. That would change if state legislatures had direct control over who serves in the Senate.”
Another good thing about getting rid of the 17th amendment would be that it would take away the enormous amount of money poured into the Senate races from special interests and out of state donors, who don’t represent the states’s interests. They spend millions to sway the opinions of the voters.
The group Demand Justice will be spending $10 million in Iowa and other states to stop Ginsburg’s seat from being filled by the Senate Republican majority which includes Joni Ernst who is running for a second term in the Senate.
Millions of dollars are being pumped into Iowa in the Senate race by liberal groups trying to unseat Ernst. The Des Moines Register reported that outside groups bought $155 million worth of advertising for the race between Ernst and democratic challenger, Theresa Greenfied, in the second most expensive Senate race in the United States. democrats are spending $90.8 million of that.
Those numbers are only surpassed by the money spent in the North Carolina Senate race where democrats are spending $120 million and Republicans $80 million.
So who’s getting rich these Senate races?
The MEDIA. The media who lies to us and pushes the democratic party platform.
This wouldn’t be happening if not for the 17th Amendment.
And we wouldn’t be stuck with depending on Mitt Romney to save the republic.