A common theme among those in the "tea party" movement is that ordinary citizens ought to participate more in the business of government. Yet some tea party activists — and likeminded politicians and commentators — are espousing a return to the election of U.S. senators by state legislatures rather than the people. That would require repealing the 17th Amendment, which was ratified in 1913.
The "Repeal the 17th" campaign is rooted in a nostalgia for an era in which state governments exercised as much influence as the federal government — or more. As one advocate of repeal puts it: "If senators were again selected by state legislatures, the longevity of Senate careers would be tethered to their vigilant defense of their state's interest — rather than to the interest of Washington forces of influence."
Or to the interests of individual voters, of course. For states' rights is only one theme in the Repeal the 17th movement; the other is skepticism about popular democracy. Restoring the original political order to which many tea partyers seem to be drawn would require the repeal of more amendments than one.The last paragraph...
The Constitution is worthy of veneration, but many of its most admirable features didn't originate in the era of the three-cornered hats sported by some tea party activists. That includes the rights of the voters to choose — and remove — their senators.
Read the whole article here.
Comment: I find it interesting that our supposed quixotic repeal effort is continuing to get so much press. But I also find it interesting that there was no mention of the repeal of the 16th Amendment in the article.
We will not be able to reduce taxes and spending until we understand that removing the power to tax and spend has to be addressed at the same time, if not before. When the repeal of the 16th and 17th Amendments are understood to be indivisible, then we'll move forward with the real work to restore the 9th and 10th Amendments.