Mother Jones: Say, You Know That They Senate Is Un-Democratic, Right?

Senior Reporter for Mother Jones, Tim Murphy, proves once again that our education system is completely failing to teach people how the US federal republic system actually works

Monster: The Completely Useless and Undemocratic US Senate

In the early hours of January 6, in that impossibly brief window between the Georgia special elections and the Capitol insurrection, a meme started to circulate about what this new Democratic reign in Washington would be like:

It was a joke, but only sort of. With no margin for error, Manchin, the caucus’ most conservative member, would command outsized influence on the party’s agenda. Morgantown might not be getting 23rd-century skyscrapers or jetpacks—I’m not even sure the 23rd century will be all that pleasant—but when it came to spending, he could name his price. His predecessor, Robert Byrd, was obsessed with securing funding for pet projects. (There is a Wikipedia page titled “List of places named after Robert Byrd.”) What would Joe Manchin like to buy with his blank check?

Obviously, you can see that Murphy, like most of the Progressives (nice Fascists) is upset with Manchin for daring to refuse to be a part of the insanity, where Democrats have basically a one vote majority because VP Kamala Harris is the deciding vote when there’s a tie.

It’s easy to fall into a trap when complaining about these things, though, of confusing the Senate you have with the Senate you want. In last year’s edition of Heroes and Monsters, my colleague Nathalie Baptiste called the Senate a “dysfunctional mess,” for reasons that are rooted in the nature of the Senate itself. That Manchin, a political unicorn from a small and heavily Republican state, could be the ultimate arbiter of what Democrats get out of their likely fleeting governing trifecta in Washington, isn’t especially fair, but it is a pretty good representation of what the modern Senate really is—inherently undemocratic and unrepresentative of the nation as a whole, collectively obsessed with an unearned sense of its own worth and necessity, and devoted to an arbitrary and arcane set of rules and parliamentary procedures as if they arrived by special dispatch from Mt. Sinai.

I’m sure I really don’t need to explain why this is just so utterly wrong, but, gotta write something, eh? Our federal republic system was brilliant: those elected to the House of Representatives would directly represent the citizens of their districts, while those in the U.S. Senate would be appointed by their state general assemblies, meaning they represent their state government, and would be doing the will of their general assemblies, which meant people would have to pay heavy attention to the people they elect to state government and what is going on. Which is what the Framers wanted. We should not need to pay much attention to the doings of the federal government. The state government is much closer to The People, and the federal govt was restricted in the power they were allowed.

Each state, no matter the size/population, would have the exact same power as every other state. That’s the point. No state would be more powerful than any other, and couldn’t run roughshod over others. There wouldn’t be hardcore adherence to a political party in most cases. Now, Senators and Representative are more beholden to their parties than to their states and constituents. The 17th Amendment, of course, ended Senators representing their states, and made them beholden to monied special interests, including those from outside their state. I’ll stop, because you know this, and it could turn into a massive diatribe.

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6 Responses to “Mother Jones: Say, You Know That They Senate Is Un-Democratic, Right?”

  1. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    The Senate was designed to be undemocratic. Duh.

    A Senator from Wyoming represents about 300,000 residents. A Senator from California represents about about 20,000,000. That gives a Wyoming Senator over 60 times the influence of a California Senator.

    The four Senators from CA and NY representing some 60 million Americans can be overridden by the 6 Senators representing WY, AK and ND (2 million Americans).

    The Senate was designed to be undemocratic. The Senate is the counterbalance to the democratic House of Representatives preventing, in theory, the populous states dominating the sparsely populated states.

    The Senate filibuster rule makes the system even less democratic.

    In general, the system works as intended.

    • Est1950 says:

      So you would argue that four or five states should represent the wishes of All the people of the nation?

      Do not forget that of the states you listed NY, CA those states include millions and millions of conservatives. As Texas has millions of liberals as well. WY, AK, and ND have liberals.

      This is why the United States chose a representative form of government and not a democracy. This is why there are three co-equal branches of government to supposedly prevent government overreach. Within the legislative branch, there are two branches.

      The House of Representatives was created to represent the actual people’s wills within each state. That is why the House of Reps is so partisan. The Senate was created to be a deliberative body.

      One thing that is always missed in the representative form of the US government is that Senators are selected by the INDIVIDUAL STATES to represent THAT STATES will. We do not or should not elect people to go to Washington DC to represent Nancy Pelosi’s will or Chuck Shurmer’s will or Mitch McConnell’s will.

      This is why and how our government is breaking down into Clans and tribes rather than a collection of diverse states all working toward one goal. With tribalism run amuck there is now a myriad of goals, agendas, and schemes and in order to make sure those get accomplished very rich, powerful, and very deep state paid operatives make sure these elected representatives(I scoff at this word) will vote how they are told and not how the people of your state want you to vote.

      The people of West Virginia do not want BBB. The people of Arizona most likely did not want Obama Care to be abandoned so McCain, as much as I despised the war-mongering fool, voted to kill it. Should he have said yes too, and ended ObamaCare? I think he voted to punish Trump, but as he claimed, to vote the way Arizona would want him to vote.

      Your arguments are spurious excuses and without merit, unless of course, you wish to be rid of the burden of the constitution that rules this nation to make your false claims accurate.

  2. Hairy says:

    Much easier and cheaper for “monied interests” to buy senators from small states
    That is where it is usually the elites can control senators
    Now smaller poorer states can rob richer blue states of federal dollars
    Would it be considered fair four each state to get equal money from DC ?

    • Est1950 says:

      Would it be considered fair four each state to get equal money from DC ?

      I am not sure what you are arguing here but if you’re saying each state should receive equal amounts of money that would be egregious to people with large populations.

      Let me give you an example. This just came to my attention the other day when my daughter traveled to Denver and was forced to divert to Cheyenne, Wyoming. When arriving in Cheyenne, they have an Airport that exists to support the national guard and F.E Warren AFB. The terminal was empty. There were no passengers or planes waiting to take off. The state has to bribe United to fly two or three flights per day in and out of Cheyenne, Wyoming which is the state capitol.

      Now having said that, is it fair for people living this type of lifestyle to vote to be put in high rises? To vote to be told they cannot have a farm truck burning diesel fuel to give you meat, corn, or whatever they grow in a state that is rural and agricultural?

      NO, Hairy it makes no sense, and certainly, the state of Wyoming is not going to support BBB and rich people are not going to have to PAY anyone from Wyoming to support Conservative legislation. So your argument is also as spurious as is Elwoods on Manchin.

      You really should try learning about fly-over country or Texas and the conservative areas of big states. I remember seeing Donald J. Trump signs all over PA in 2016 and our internal polling was showing Trump had a strong chance of winning that state.

      You really should leave the big cities and go out into the countryside and have dinner. I did it all the time living on the East coast. I did it while covering wars around the globe. I do it in Ecuador now. I have found over my long years that the people geographically are vastly different with differing ideas on what they need and want in their own country. So that made me want to know what everyone thinks in my own country both the USA and Ecuador. To do any less engrains ignorance into one’s soul that cannot be undone until the damage is irreversible.

  3. Dana says:

    The left weren’t all that upset when Senators representing small states like Delaware could filibuster legislation supported by the 45th President of the United States, or that Delaware’s two Democratic Senators, representing 994,735, have as many votes as the two sensible Senators representing the 29.5 million Texans.

    • Elwood P. Dowd says:

      The argument was whether or not the Senate was undemocratic.

      Of course it is, by design.

      It works as intended. Which is to give the residents of less populated states protection and a say in national policies.

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