Ben Sasse Calls For Abolishing The 17th Amendment

This is a push I hope he makes hard, and convinces enough states to do, since elected senators would see their national power diminish along with all that fun campaign cash, hob-knobbing with celebs, and all the perks

Ben Sasse Calls For Repealing The 17th Amendment

Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse called for the repeal of the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution in an op-ed published Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal.

Proposed in 1912 and ratified by 36 state legislatures on April 8, 1913, the amendment required U.S. senators to be elected by popular votes in each state. Prior to its enactment, Article I of the Constitution mandated that each state legislature vote to send two senators to Washington.

Sasse’s op-ed, titled, “Make the Senate Great Again,” suggested several Senate reforms “aimed at promoting debate, not ending it.”

“What would the Founding Fathers think of America if they came back to life?” Sasse began. “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.”

In arguing for the abolition of the 17th Amendment, Sasse pointed to the polarization and nationalization of politics, suggesting that returning control to state legislatures would be a way of implementing local control.

“Ratified in 1912, it replaced the appointment of senators by state legislatures with direct election,” he wrote. “Different states bring different solutions to the table, and 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.”

Unfortunately, the piece is behind the WSJ’s paywall, so, we cannot read it in full. Much like the Electoral College, which I discussed earlier this morning, the Senate was designed to give States their own voice to the federal government, like ambassadors. Who can vote. Who do the will of the General Assemblies for each state, rather than for a national party or outside special interests. It would mean people would pay attention to their state governments, who appoint the Senators. Who would vote to uphold the point of the 10th Amendment, rather than continuously give more and more power to the federal government, with almost no way to check it.

We are a conglomeration of states. Nations. The cares of North Carolina can, at points, be vastly different from Oregon, right? And visa versa? That’s one of the reasons we have a Senate. The Upper Chamber. Representatives represent the citizens (at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work, right? Not picking on her, just info I saw recently, but, 80% of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 2018 campaign donations came from outside her district. How does that represent the district? Who’s she beholden to? Same with a lot of reps), Senators represent their states. Beholden to the GA’s.

Rather than yammer on, here’s one great article on the 17th and why it should be repealed, including

The original U.S. Constitution gave state governments a strong voice in the national government by requiring them to select U.S. Senators – to serve much like ambassadors today at the United Nations – and thus created the U.S. Congress to be a political (not judicial) venue for the competition between state government interests and national government interests. The Senate provided the state governments the necessary ability to restrict the natural inclination of the national government to expand its power. It is no coincidence that the national government began its exponential growth following the passage of the 17th Amendment, just as soon as there was no longer a competing interest that could stop it. The framers concluded that the judiciary was not the appropriate arbiter (as the courts currently imagine themselves) of the line between state and national interests, in part because the courts have a self-interest favoring a strong national government (the courts being created by Congress), and in part because the framers understood that different generations may draw that separation in different ways.

And this one

Apparently, the only thing worse than peasants with pitchforks is peasants with pocket Constitutions.

But there’s nothing silly or retrograde in deploring the effects of an amendment that has done untold damage to federalism and limited government.

“Let the state legislatures appoint the Senate,” Virginia’s George Mason urged at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, lest a newly empowered federal government “swallow up the state legislatures.” The motion carried unanimously after Mason’s remarks.

There is way, way more in both, worth the read. Democrats should remember that unchecked power of the federal government every time it does something they do not like. And they complain enough about special interests, right?

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8 Responses to “Ben Sasse Calls For Abolishing The 17th Amendment”

  1. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    Today, that would give us 64 GOP Senators and 36 Dems. No wonder Republicans and trumpists like the idea!

    • formwiz says:

      Too bad Rs and Conservatives have been pushing for this even when it was against their interests.

      If you want to know what’s good for the country, listen to Jeffery and do the opposite.

      • Elwood P. Dowd says:

        Porter’s Fluffer, Edward, sucks.

        If you want to know what’s good for America, do the opposite of what Porter and his puffer, Edward, type.

  2. taminator013 says:

    I’d prefer that they abolish the 15th and 19th………

  3. pouncer says:

    So on this journey of a thousand miles, what is the first step? Some senator introduces legislature calling for a constitutional amendment?

    A senator “calls for” something he has power to initiate? Who is he calling, to?

  4. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    So Senator Sasse, considered a RINO by trumpists, wants to “give” more power to the states by preventing the citizens of states from electing their own representatives. That sounds like the opposite of giving citizens more input, doesn’t it?

    How does moving the selection of Senators to smoke-filled rooms where insiders can pick other insiders? But then, GOPher elites have never trusted citizens or voters.

    Senator Sasse, being a good GOPher, sees the national demographic shifts that disfavor the GOP, and feels the need to strike while the iron is hot – where the consolidated minorities at the state level can take control at the national level. How can a minority rule a majority – by either rigging the system or a police state.

  5. Professor Hale says:

    As long as we are opening up the hood and re-creating our government, let’s just abolish the Senate. America doesn’t really need a “house of lords”. I fail to see returning to a system that failed is a virtue. I’m pretty tired of career politicians proposing outlandish ideas that they know will never pass, mostly because they don’t intend to ever pass them.

    Other ideas:
    1. Each representative shall serve only a single term, then go home. I am exceedingly tired of politicians of both parties posturing as if they are uniquely qualified to rule over a country of 330 million people (including 20 million citizens of other countries who live here illegally).
    2. Devolve the population of DC back to Maryland. Only the President and VP shall be residents of the federal enclave of DC. Federal enclave will be cut back to include the capital building, a few federal office buildings, the Supreme court, the white house, and the Mall.
    3. (I shouldn’t even have to say this), only citizens of the USA shall be counted for purposes of representation. It’s fine to count everyone else for other purposes.
    4. Define citizen as “born to at least one parent who is a citizen or naturalized by law”, like the rest of the world does. (yes, that would include all the former slaves from 1865 and their descendants).
    5. Change the first amendment to make it acceptable to exclude Islam and Scientologists from “freedom of religion”.
    6. The states shall elect representatives “at large”, thus ending forever “safe districts”, “gerrymandering” as well as truly representing everyone with a representative of their choice instead of just the guy who won your district.
    7. Using the power of the internet, establish a system of instant recalls for politicians who are off the reservation.
    8. No office holder shall cast any votes or pass any laws after they lose an election. No lame duck sessions. People who have been voted out are not “representing the people” any longer. If you lose an election, your power ends. In fact, just to make it fair, suspend their voting power 48 hours before the election.

    • Professor Hale says:

      And while we are just dreaming… every law shall have a sunset provision. An expiration date. No more binding future generations to laws they were not around to pass. All presidential executive orders expire with his term of office.

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