Senate Doesn’t Need Reid to Shame it.

While the Senate fights over procedural issues, and the press frets that Reid has shamed the world’s greatest deliberative body, perhaps someone should remind both the press and the Senate that they have more than procedural matters to be ashamed of.

While the ship of state is awash in debt, and the people are buried under both an avalanche of public and private debt, the Senate has continued to heap even more debt upon our heads.

Perhaps instead of worrying whether or not Reid, or the Senate have shamed themselves, someone should point out just how far removed the “world’s greatest deliberative body” has become, not just from anything resembling deliberation, but also anything resembling representing  the states where their constituents reside.

The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution lead to the direct election of Senators. Previously state legislatures had decided how Senators were chosen. Although Senators might not always do the bidding of their respective legislatures, there was a greater likelihood that they would be held accountable for their actions.

It is hard to imagine that the vast impositions of the federal (or should we call it national) government on the states could have ever occurred had the 17th Amendment never been ratified.

Who do Senators represent today? Who are they accountable to? While the civics books (if they even exist today) might claim that Senators are accountable to the people and that we can always turn them out of office, is it really that simple? Will the average citizen take the time and effort to closely monitor how their Senator votes? Perhaps they will. You can argue that they should, but the reality is that Senate procedure is arcane and many people simply won’t take the time and effort to follow it.

Perhaps, had the 17th Amendment not been ratified, the balance of power between the states and federal government might be more balanced. Federal mandates, grants-in-aid, etc. represent deliberate efforts on the part of the federal government to bribe and coerce us with our own money. They are an exercise in raw power and manipulation. In a world without the 17th Amendment, I’d like to see a member of a state house or senate come back to their constituents at election time and explain exactly why the state allows itself to be walked over time and time again by the federal government.

The Senate doesn’t need Harry Reid to shame it. It has been a shameful and largely unaccountable body since the 17th Amendment cut any real ties and accountability between Senators and the people of their states as embodied in the state legislatures.

About Terry Kinder
Enjoys business, politics, economics and aggravating the government. Oh, and I have ADHD - did you say something?

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