TEAbillies love the Constitution! Love, love, love, love, LOOOOOVE IT. In fact, they love it so much, that they just want to do away with bits and pieces to make it more perfect. To that end, David Dewhurst and Sen. Dan Patrick want to get rid of that pesky Seventeenth Amendment…You know, the one that allows us to vote on Senators?
America has been doing it wrong, you see. While we thought we were electing the people we wanted to do the job, Dewhurst and Patrick contend that we should just let state legislatures decide who to represent us in the Senate again. Before 1913, each state legislature would elect the two state senators, cutting individual voters out of the process entirely.
The pair of Teanuts and their supporters assert that the Founding Fathers must have had a good reason for allowing state legislatures to elect senators rather than the people. Frankly, they probably did, but the system mutated into one in which corruption ran rampant.
The process of state legislatures electing Senators before the Seventeenth Amendment was in place led to many problems. At times, some of the Senate seats could be vacant for months or even years, though only about 2% of the races ended in a complete deadlock. Most issues were resolved in joint assemblies. However, those deadlocks could be devastating.
Claims are made by supporters of a Seventeenth Amendment repeal that the move would help get money out of politics and reduce unethical behavior. Both claims, however, are untrue.
Part of the reason the Seventeenth Amendment was passed was to get rid of the “millionaire’s club” that the process of having state legislatures pick Senators produced. Monied interests ruled, and money still rules today. But the claim that such a move would do anything to fix that is ludicrous.
Corruption, if it seems possible, would become even more prevalent. Currently, the Senate is the only branch of the government in which gerrymandering, the process of redrawing district lines for political advantage, is not prevalent. In fact, many districts across the country are drawn in such a way that they are completely uncompetitive — hence why Democrats received more votes in the House of Representatives than did Republicans in 2012, yet a disproportionate number of Republicans took the seats.
Without the Seventeenth Amendment, the power of the people to elect representatives would be greatly curtailed, and the probability that those chosen by state legislatures would represent monied interests within the state would greatly increase.
This video should tell you why local legislatures deciding on Senators can be disastrous :
Purporting that many members of the Senate “don’t have a feeling for what the states need,” Dewhurst and Patrick innocently say they want to return to what our founding fathers envisioned: a system that worked for a while, but was twisted into a maelstrom of underhandedness in which wealthy white men were all but guaranteed to be in control.
Leave it to the Tea Party to argue that the Senate is not corrupt enough!
h/t: Opposing Views