Author Topic: Blame the Shutdown on James Madison  (Read 809 times)

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Online Bigun

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Blame the Shutdown on James Madison
« on: October 05, 2013, 01:55:18 PM »

Online Bigun

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Re: Blame the Shutdown on James Madison
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2013, 01:56:08 PM »
Michael Barone is onto something here me thinks!

Offline mountaineer

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Re: Blame the Shutdown on James Madison
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2013, 08:27:42 AM »
“Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle.” - Ryan T Anderson

Online Bigun

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Re: Blame the Shutdown on James Madison
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2013, 09:41:30 AM »
This harkens to something a Republican congressman from WV has been saying in recent speeches: that the Democrats and (especially) this administration just don't "get" rural America.

They don't get much of anything 5 miles outside the beltway and worse, They don't want to!

Offline Oceander

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Re: Blame the Shutdown on James Madison
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2013, 09:59:06 AM »
Of course this is what the Founders intended.  They had an extreme suspicion of both the legislative powers - the consent of the governed could too easily slip into demagoguery and mob violence of the worst sort - and the executive power - the depredations of King Geo. III being first and foremost in their minds.  They wanted government to be accountable to the governed - hence some version of popular election - but they also did not want a tyranny of the majority against the minority - hence the restrictions on "direct taxes" being in proportion to population (by state) and the provision of two senators to every state, no matter how small or unpopulated that state might be.  They also did not want the executive to be able to overcome the popular will of the people, hence the limitations on executive power and, in particular, the restriction of the power of the purse to the House of Representatives.

All of this is what passes - or used to pass in high school civics classes - as the "checks and balances" the Founders created under the Constitution.  However, those checks and balances go beyond merely regulating the relations between the three branches of government, and also regulate the relations within the legislative branch, in particular between the Senate and the House, where the Senate was initially conceived of as an indirectly-popularly-elected check on the demagogue impulses of the directly-popularly-elected House.  In point of fact, it is quite plausible that one of the most serious injuries we ever did to the US republican form of government was amending the Constitution to require the popular election of Senators.

So, in a word, "yes," this is precisely what the Founders intended and they would be quite happy to take all of the credit - along with all of the "blame" - for it.  It is, after all, what they intended to have happen.

Online Bigun

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Re: Blame the Shutdown on James Madison
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2013, 10:33:36 AM »
... it is quite plausible that one of the most serious injuries we ever did to the US republican form of government was amending the Constitution to require the popular election of Senators.

This is absolutely true! What the 17th amendment did was fundamentally alter the framework of government the founders so carefully laid out in the Constitution.  As you accurately say, they intended for there to be a "people's house" with members directly elected by the governed and also a "state's house" with members appointed by the state's government there by laying out a system where by both the people and the states were represented. The result of the 17th amendment is that there are now two "people's houses and zero state's houses. Not good! Not good at all!
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 10:43:31 AM by Bigun »


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