The EU

Google says the EU requires a notice of cookie use (by Google) and says they have posted a notice. I don't see it. If cookies bother you, go elsewhere. If the EU bothers you, emigrate. If you live outside the EU, don't go there.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Appointing Senators

I am blaming my wife for this.  Both she and Senator Russ Feingold are from Janesville, Wisconsin.  My wife does claim, by way of exculpation, that she is older than the Senator and had left for college by the time he was in Kindergarten, but I believe she is just a young thing.

George Will, writing in The Washington Post, talks to the proposal by Senator Feingold, supported by Senator McCain, to Amend the 17th Amendment to require direct election of all Senators, even replacements, like Senator Roland Burris.  I agree with Mr Will.  This is a bad idea.

Mr Will's article can be found here.  The Statement of Senator Feingold on the Senate floor, 29 January 2009, can be found here.

Mr Will states:
The Framers established election of senators by state legislators, under which system the nation got the Great Triumvirate (Henry Clay, Daniel Webster and John Calhoun) and thrived. In 1913, progressives, believing that more, and more direct, democracy is always wonderful, got the 17th Amendment ratified.  It stipulates popular election of senators, under which system Wisconsin has elected, among others, Joe McCarthy, as well as Feingold.
I think Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy came up in the local blogosphere recently.

While I don't agree with Mr Will that we should abolish the 17th Amendment (which requires direct election of Senators), I think this point is well taken
Although liberals give lip service to "diversity," they often treat federalism as an annoying impediment to their drive for uniformity.  Feingold, who is proud that Wisconsin is one of only four states that clearly require special elections of replacement senators in all circumstances, wants to impose Wisconsin's preference on the other 46.  Yes, he acknowledges, they could each choose to pass laws like Wisconsin's, but doing this "state by state would be a long and difficult process."  Pluralism is so tediously time-consuming.
While direct election would have saved us the embarrassment of the Great and General Court deciding that while Democratic Governors were good enough to make appoints, Republican Governors were not, this proposal by Senator Feingold is a bad one.  Couldn't he have gone out on a junket, rather than submitting this even greater waste of money into the hopper for bills.

Regards  --  Cliff

1 comment:

Craig H said...

The framers' lack of confidence in the sagacity of the electorate is not necessarily the best defense for never reconsidering it. These are, after all, the same framers who calculated the electoral worth of certain human beings as being either nil, (in the case of the suffrage of women), or 3/5's (in the case of calculating the representative worth of slaves). That either position could be intrinsic to our constitution in the first place is our first indication that amendments are never to be dismissed simply because they are changing the base document. And that's the only point of Will's argument.

Feingold gets the highest of marks from me for his public and proper opposition to the "Patriot" Act (even the name of that foul piece of fascist legislation offends) whereby more of our freedoms and civil liberties have been stolen than by any other terrorist act. I'm not sure, either, that Will's characterization of Mccain-Feingold, that our free speech is improperly put under the control of the government, is properly deduced, either.


My focus remains on expedience and self-interest. After all, once a Senate seat becomes vacant, it remains against the interests of a state's population to lack that representation in the Senate for whatever time it would otherwise take to organize and execute a popular election. I would argue that it makes no sense to deny any state their right to choose the option to have the seat filled quickly by appointment.

So, in short, I'd say Will is right for all the wrong reasons, and Feingold, for all his being correct about our civil liberties and the importance of power being reserved to the people, is wrong for all the right ones.