As the old WWII pilots used to say, "when you are taking the most flack is when you know your over the target." We are making headway and they are worried.
The best argument against repeal can be seen any day of the week in any state capital — just take a close look at how state legislatures work. Special interests and well-heeled lobbyists call the shots, and state legislators are notorious for not seeing the bigger picture. In 2007, when New York's legislature had to choose a new state comptroller, after the incumbent was forced to resign, they made clear they would only select a fellow legislator. The legislature's unwillingness to seriously consider an outsider suggests just how undemocratic legislative selection would likely be.
As flawed as elections seem today — and as influenced as they are by special interests — legislative selection would be far worse. If repeal of the 17th Amendment would hand the Senate over to the moneyed interests and insiders, then why does anyone support it? Quite possibly for that very reason, special interests have been on a fierce campaign to increase the already outsized role they play in politics and government.
Read the rest here.
Comment: The unfortunate problem with Mr. Cohen’s (and TIME’s) position is that it lacks understanding concerning the creation of Congress and the Senate, and the structure of federalism and bicameralism the Senate served to protect. The author fails to address any of the issues that have affected the core framework of our whole governmental system being federalism. Mr. Cohen’s only concern is that “the little people,” you and I, will have the ability to vote for someone totally unresponsive to our wants as well as the states, which the Senate was created to represent.
Mr. Cohen’s main argument is that our states would be overrun by special interest if we repealed the 17th Amendment. So rather than having 100 men and women centrally located in Washington DC and away from their respective states, these same special interest groups would have much easier access if they now had to go through the 50 state legislative bodies. That’s very weak and it doesn’t add up. The founders, particularly Madison, understood that power in this country had to be diffused in order to weaken special interest, the potential tyranny of the majority and any one branch of our governments, which is what US Senate did prior to 1913.
But as one of the “little people” Mr. Cohen is so concerned with, while he sits comfortably in New Haven teaching law at Yale University, I have to wonder how we are going to pay off the interest on the $17 trillion debt this country has amassed in large part to the transference of “the little people’s” money that largely goes straight to special interest? I also wonder if Mr. Cohen could explain how we are going to restrain the exponential growth of the national government? If we aren’t going to restore the mechanism created by the founders then how do we do it?
But I think I can answer that question; Mr. Cohen welcomes even more unconstitutional growth of the national government, further dissolving of what little federalism remains in the United States, more spending on special interest legislation, and as we have seen with the ugly head of the police state rearing itself through the latest episode by “Das” Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Transportation Security Administration (TSA), more tyranny. This has to be the answer because anything other than restoring limited government and federalism to this country means more tyranny; tyranny against us “little people.”