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What is it with not electing Senators?

Did I miss a memo? Is this National Bash The 17th Amendment Week and nobody told me about it?

Zell Miller, Georgia’s maverick Democratic senator, says the nation ought to return to having senators appointed by legislatures rather than elected by voters.

Miller, who is retiring in January, was first appointed to his post in 2000 after the death of Paul Coverdell. He said Wednesday that rescinding the 17th Amendment, which declared that senators should be elected, would increase the power of state governments and reduce the influence of Washington special interests.

“The individuals are not so much at fault as the rotten and decaying foundation of what is no longer a republic,” Miller said on the Senate floor. “It is the system that stinks. And it’s only going to get worse because that perfect balance our brilliant Founding Fathers put in place in 1787 no longer exists.”

Well, now. Perhaps someone should call up Zell Miller and ask him how many of the following Bush-touted Constitutional amendments he supports: Gay marriage ban, abortion ban, flag-burning ban, victims’ rights, and (must…keep…straight…face) balanced budget. Since he’s such an expert on Constitutional feng shui, I’m sure he’ll be able to explain why support for any of those proposals is Not The Same Thing.

I think I’ve figured it out. Now that Vieth v. Jubelirir has officially given state legislatures the power to determine who everyone’s Congressperson will be, it follows that we may as well repeal the 17th Amendment and assign all representational power to those state Leges. As a bonus, we won’t have as much to worry about with black-box voting machines. It’s a win-win! Jim D sees it the same way.

Enjoy your retirement, Zell. I know I speak for many people when I say the Senate will stink a lot less without you.

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  1. sean says:

    Yeah, I know. I picked up on this yesterday. Can’t Zell just leave already?

  2. Charles M says:

    It’s simple.

    Tom (who’s really pushing this hard) can’t figure out how to gerrymander an at large race such as Senator.

    Senate races have their own dynamic and oftimes the result is to elect someone who fits the profile of the entire state, not just vocal minorities. Consider Texas and our gerrymandered legislature. Does it accurately reflect the state of Texas? Kay Bailey would be too liberal for this bunch – Democrats need not apply.

    The bottom line is we would be back to the situation ante 17th where machines drove the election of the Senate. In effect, the final nail in the n party system where n is greater than 1.