Founding Fathers would be horrified at today’s Senate

Wow.

Last night, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina sent a message to his fellow senators, informing them that between now and Election Day, he intended to block votes on any legislation that he did not personally approve beforehand.

And under the arcane, archaic and anarchic “rules” of the Senate, one solo senator actually has the power to do so. Those rules are artifacts of a collegial Senate that disappeared long ago and is never returning, especially if DeMint and others have their way.

For months now, DeMint has made it pretty clear that he intends to challenge Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for de facto if not official control over the Republican Senate caucus come January. This current power play is just another step in that effort.

McConnell, you see, is much too accommodating for DeMint and others like him. In the four years that McConnell has served as Republican leader, they have turned to the filibuster to block Senate votes a mere 257 times, which is hardly nine times more than the total from 1919 to 1960.

And with more than 100 vacancies on the federal judiciary, a vacancy level that is making it difficult to conduct court business, the Senate has confirmed “fewer judges … during President Obama’s first 20 months in office than during any administration since Richard Nixon’s,” which further proves that McConnell is an Obama lackey.

And just to be clear: Filibusters, holds and other devices used to block votes in the Senate are not constitutional provisions. To the contrary, the Founding Fathers who drafted the Constitution distrusted requirements for a legislative supermajority, and limited their use to only a handful of very specific cases and well-defined cases, such as passage of treaties, impeachment and removal of a member.

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

“To give a minority a negative upon the majority (which is always the case where more than a majority is requisite to a decision), is, in its tendency, to subject the sense of the greater number to that of the lesser,” Alexander Hamilton warned in Federalist No. 22, explaining why he and other drafters rejected its use in most cases.

In Federalist No. 75, Hamilton wrote that “all provisions which require more than the majority of any body to its resolutions, have a direct tendency to embarrass the operations of the government, and an indirect one to subject the sense of the majority to that of the minority… And the history of every political establishment in which this principle has prevailed, is a history of impotence, perplexity, and disorder.”

In Federalist No. 58, the “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison, himself takes up the cudgel against requirements for more than a majority to conduct business.

James Madison

James Madison

“In all cases where justice or the general good might require new laws to be passed, or active measures to be pursued, the fundamental principle of free government would be reversed,” he warned. “It would be no longer the majority that would rule: the power would be transferred to the minority. Were the defensive privilege limited to particular cases, an interested minority might take advantage of it to screen themselves from equitable sacrifices to the general weal, or, in particular emergencies, to extort unreasonable indulgences.”

Smart guy, that Jamie. He would no doubt react in horror to what DeMint and others are attempting to do to his creation, particularly since they claim to be acting in defense of the very Constitution that they trod upon.

568 comments Add your comment

TL

September 28th, 2010
12:44 pm

Be afraid, be very afraid…

MS

September 28th, 2010
12:45 pm

DeMint is demented.

Normal

September 28th, 2010
12:49 pm

I think “The Founding fathers”, had they known, would have never left Britain…I could see Sarah Palin as a Royal Wench, though… ;)

jewcowboy

September 28th, 2010
12:50 pm

Nice portraits Jay..they class the place up.

Brett

September 28th, 2010
12:52 pm

DeMint and millions of low-born, ill-bred Repugs like him, is a victory for ignorant people everywehere. Masters of deceit & betrayal. Picking at the skeletal remains of post-BushDrunk Murcuh. They all wallow in the same filthy level. A fact that reverberates from sea to shining sea. Scum de terra.

jewcowboy

September 28th, 2010
12:52 pm

“It would be no longer the majority that would rule: the power would be transferred to the minority. Were the defensive privilege limited to particular cases, an interested minority might take advantage of it to screen themselves from equitable sacrifices to the general weal, or, in particular emergencies, to extort unreasonable indulgences.”

Naw…that would never happen….

jewcowboy

September 28th, 2010
12:53 pm

Brett,

“DeMint and millions of low-born, ill-bred Repugs like him, is a victory for ignorant people everywehere.”

Low born…perhaps still born would be more apt of a description.

The Boner's Tan Line

September 28th, 2010
1:00 pm

The Boner has a bone to pick.

The Boner wants to know why it is that this Carl Paladino(R), who’s running for Governor of New York, is not catching any flack. Hell, that’s all poor Boner ever gets.

Carl took his mistress, Suzanne Brady, and their love child, Sarah, on an Italian vacation last year, leaving his wife, Cathy, at home, and not one word have you heard uttered about it.

But just let the Boner’s three women beat the sh*t out of him, and it’s all over the news and everywhere else!

How about them “family values”?!

Real Scooter

September 28th, 2010
1:05 pm

Well,I have a dumb question to ask.(as usual)

What’s wrong with wanting to block votes on something that you do not approve of?

Anyone ,please and thank you!

ty webb

September 28th, 2010
1:06 pm

Geez, Jay, why stop at the senate? Wouldn’t they be horrified by obamacare, the department of education, TARP, bailouts, The Iraq War, etc etc. What part of the Federal government would they be happy about?

carlosgvv

September 28th, 2010
1:08 pm

This shows that certain Republican senators care only about themselves and their personal power and could not possibly care less about the people they are supposed to represent. If the founding fathers could see this this I’m sure they would say this is not the America they ever wanted to see happen.

Normal

September 28th, 2010
1:09 pm

Real Scooter

September 28th, 2010
1:05 pm

I don’t know the real reason, Scooter, but to me, it’s personal agenda versus what’s good for the people of this country.

Jay

September 28th, 2010
1:10 pm

Well Ty, if you can find statements from the Fathers condemning those actions in words as explicit and clear as those I’ve cited here regarding supermajorities, feel free to do so and educate us all further.

RW-(the original)

September 28th, 2010
1:11 pm

Actually I think the founders would be more horrified by the size and scope of the federal government. They were also pretty clear in Article I Section 5 that the Senate was allowed to establish the rules for its proceedings.

The judge backlog is pretty funny stuff too. I believe the Republicans tried to fix that problem a few years ago, but were subjected to endless diatribes about how the filibuster was what held this great country together and how the Senate was the saucer that cooled the hot drink. Quite entertaining it was and now we know it was also BS.

md

September 28th, 2010
1:13 pm

“The right to extend a debate is never more important than when one party controls both Congress and the White House. The filibuster serves as a check, on power, preserve our limited government.”

Harry Reid 2005

“You know, the Founders designed this system, as frustrating it is, to make sure that there’s a broad consensus before the country moves forward”

Barack Obama 2005

“I remember what it was like the first several years that I was in the minority,” he said. “You couldn’t attach an amendment. You could not get a thing done. If you were in the minority, you might as well not have even showed up. And then there was redistricting, and a few years later, the Democrats are in charge, and now the Republicans cannot get a thing done. And the Democrats don’t have to pay them any attention whatsoever.

“And what I worry about would be you essentially have still two chambers — the House and the Senate — but you have simply majoritarian absolute power on either side, and that’s just not what the founders intended,”

Barack Obama

So what’s new now???? It is the misfits doing what the misfits do – ALL of them.

Real Scooter

September 28th, 2010
1:16 pm

Normal

September 28th, 2010
1:09 pm

I guess I missed something Normal. What is his personel agenda?

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:16 pm

ty,

As far as “Obamacare” (which I find to be a really stupid phrase) – I think they would have approved of it considering they used the whole “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” phrase thingy in the Declaration of Independence — actually I think they would have preferred the single payer system, but that’s just my analysis.

Granny Godzilla

September 28th, 2010
1:17 pm

I think the talk of reforming the rules of the Senate needs to have the volume turned up to HIGH.

Mr. DeMint’s standing filibuster stunt may just be the impetus we need
to start out the next Senate session with some spankin’ new rules.

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:17 pm

And dang, I step out for a while and the blog gets fun downstairs!!!

md

September 28th, 2010
1:18 pm

I believe Jay has what they call “selective amnesia” – one gets it when one is a side chooser……

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:18 pm

“Nice portraits Jay..they class the place up.”

And I second that.

popeye

September 28th, 2010
1:19 pm

Real Scooter … Why would Jim Demint object to suponea power for the commission investigating the BP distaster that has affected most of the gulf coast? Who ia he in the tank with/for? The objection makes no sense at all.

Jay

September 28th, 2010
1:19 pm

To md and RW: A power designed to be used rarely and IS used rarely is a very different creature than a power that is designed to be used rarely but is deployed as part of regular business. It’s the difference between once in a while and all the time.

There is no comparison between how often those powers have been used in the past and how often they are being used now, and DeMint’s move to shut down the Senate singlehandedly is proof of that.

DW

September 28th, 2010
1:19 pm

Tan Line,

I thought you made up the Paladino stuff but turns out it’s true. Who woulda thunk it?

http://gothamist.com/2010/09/26/paladinos_wife.php

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:21 pm

Even if it is from Wikipedia, I like it:

The first and second article of the Virginia Declaration of Rights adopted unanimously by the Virginia Convention of Delegates on June 12, 1776 and written by George Mason, is:

That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Benjamin Franklin was in agreement with Thomas Jefferson in downplaying protection of “property” as a goal of government, replacing the idea with “happiness”. It is noted that Franklin found property to be a “creature of society” and thus, he believed that it should be taxed as a way to finance civil society.[7] The United States Declaration of Independence, which was primarily drafted by Jefferson, was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The text of the second section of the Declaration of Independence reads:

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

So suck it wingnuts…..the founding fathers wanted us to be happy and getting sick and not being able to afford a doctor makes you rather unhappy I’d say.

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:24 pm

And positive thoughts going towards Cleveland and Jimmy Carter……..NOW! Get well Mr. President.

He’s a very good Sunday School teacher by the way.

Jefferson

September 28th, 2010
1:25 pm

The GOP duckheads will try to shut down the gov’t again, they are not Americans, just spoiled puppets.

md

September 28th, 2010
1:25 pm

“There is no comparison between how often those powers have been used in the past and how often they are being used now”

And would you be condemning it if your “side” was the one doing it??

The process that was used to cram the hc bill through certainly would have been frowned upon by the founding fathers as well – where’s the outrage with that??

I’m guessing it all depends on what team one is rooting for.

RW-(the original)

September 28th, 2010
1:26 pm

Jay B,

Then change the rules of the Senate. All I said was that there’s no consistency in the argument from the left and that also is what I read into md’s comments.

ty webb

September 28th, 2010
1:27 pm

“So suck it wingnuts…..the founding fathers wanted us to be happy and getting sick and not being able to afford a doctor makes you rather unhappy I’d say.”

ah yes, winning the lottery would make us happy, therefore the founding fathers believed the federal government should give everyone lottery tickets. Wow, that was easy.

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:27 pm

jewcowboy,

If you are around, how bout this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYK7bEo1Z4M

Jay

September 28th, 2010
1:28 pm

Actually, md, the process in the health care bill would NOT have been frowned upon by the Founders. By using the reconciliation process, the Democrats did exactly what Madison and Hamilton advocated — they ensured that a majority vote was taken.

If you believe otherwise, please explain.

Dave

September 28th, 2010
1:28 pm

I think that the Founding Father would be horrified at the 17th amendment…. unfortunately, there’s probably not too many people on here who know what the 17th amendment is or it’s ramifications for states’ representation in Congress…

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:28 pm

ty,

No, because that is just silly — but it’s hard to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness when you’re dead or disabled because you can’t afford a doctor. Hell, lottery ticket is just a buck.

md

September 28th, 2010
1:29 pm

“and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”

Wonder why they didn’t use words such as “be given”, “guaranteed”, “will have” instead of “pursuing”.

Seems they used that word for a reason………

RW-(the original)

September 28th, 2010
1:29 pm

ty,

I think under the rules according to Bosch the feds would not just have to give us free lottery tickets they would also have to give us free winning ones.

I think they have to give us ponies too.

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:31 pm

RW,

No, I explained that (lottery tickets). But I do like ponies — but if we all got a free pony, we wouldn’t have to have lawnmowers and that would put alot of people out of work that work in the lawnmower industry, so no, if I were in charge….no ponies.

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:33 pm

md,

Because we all have the right to pursue it, but when it becomes completely unobtainable for most of the populace, then there is no longer any means for the pursuit.

RW-(the original)

September 28th, 2010
1:33 pm

Bosch,

They wouldn’t be out of work, they’d just have to become lawn scoopers and scooper builders.

ty webb

September 28th, 2010
1:33 pm

Jay,
so are we now to take you as a strict constitutionalist? Or is the constitution a “living, breathing” document?

TL

September 28th, 2010
1:33 pm

Bosch wins! Every time!

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:34 pm

RW,

And leave me along, I’m trying to send positive energy to Cleveland and your making it shockingly difficult.

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:34 pm

RW,

Make that leave me alone – not along.

jm

September 28th, 2010
1:35 pm

Jay!! 1:10 –

Jefferson – ““The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

Jefferson – “When we consider that this Government is charged with the external and mutual relations only of these States; that the States themselves have principal care of our persons, our property, and our reputation, constituting the great field of human concerns, we may well doubt whether our organization is not too complicated, too expensive; whether offices and officers have not been multiplied unnecessarily and sometimes injuriously to the service they were meant to promote.”

How about that for starters?

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:35 pm

RW,

But couldn’t the same thing be said about all the poor folks who’d lose their jobs in the insurance industry if we went to the single payer system? Couldn’t they just adapt to another industry like working for nursing homes or something? I mean all the other industries who’ve had to adapt in the past decade (recording industry, etc.) have had to and it worked out okay.

Real Scooter

September 28th, 2010
1:35 pm

popeye

September 28th, 2010
1:19 pm

Dang popeye,I can’t even answer my own question but I will try to answer your’s. Just to guess here,I would say BP has paid him off. And that makes sense if he is crooked. (not sure though)

RW-(the original)

September 28th, 2010
1:36 pm

Bosch,

It could be a cover story. Jimmy might be stopping by to see if Betty White is still up there in Cleveland, but just in case that’s not it I’ll send along my thoughts and prayers as well.

RW-(the original)

September 28th, 2010
1:37 pm

Bosch,

Who makes the plight of the insurance company workers the reason for not wanting socialized medicine?

jewcowboy

September 28th, 2010
1:37 pm

Bosch @ 1.27,

Good one! That may have done the trick.

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:38 pm

RW,

@ 1:36 –

I’m sure his family will appreciate that. That’s one thing I’ve always liked about you — even if you hate someone politically – you aren’t so low as to wish someone dead or sick.

jm

September 28th, 2010
1:38 pm

md – your 1:18 was unfortunately dead on accurate

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:39 pm

RW @ 1:37 –

I don’t know I just made that up. :-)

Jay

September 28th, 2010
1:39 pm

Ty, I think that’s a false distinction in the first place.

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
1:39 pm

jewcowboy —

The Clash and their catchy tunes……they stick with you.

Jay

September 28th, 2010
1:40 pm

jm, I think those are valid cautions from the man from Monticello. I agree with them.

md

September 28th, 2010
1:40 pm

Well Jay, the process was altered when the 2 bills didn’t follow the intended process. I doubt seriously the ff’s would approve of finding loopholes to pass an amendment to a bill to change it vs sending the changed bill back to both chambers for a vote.

It was underhanded and NOT what was intended. And we both know why it was done, because an amended bill did not have the votes to pass, and the dems knew it……

jm

September 28th, 2010
1:40 pm

For the record, I don’t support abuse of minority power. But Jay has the facts all messed up on this one. The Founding Fathers wouldn’t have been pleased about the abuse of power, but they would be absolutely horrified by the extent and growth of government.

Jaaaaaaaaaaaaay. I await your response to the 1:35 Jefferson quotes.

jm

September 28th, 2010
1:41 pm

Jay 1:40 – you get “moderate of the day” award.

jm

September 28th, 2010
1:42 pm

(not that I’m the arbiter) just trying to give credit where credit is due

Jay

September 28th, 2010
1:43 pm

md, the amended bill DID have the votes to pass and indeed WAS passed by a majority in both chambers, just as the Constitution required and the Founders envisioned.

Paulo977

September 28th, 2010
1:43 pm

Bosch re: Founding Fathers and single payer sytem …I agree…how else will we really progress towards a society that is consistent with that ” phrase thingy” ?

Dave

September 28th, 2010
1:43 pm

I say repeal the 17th amendment…..

ty webb

September 28th, 2010
1:45 pm

Jay,
Okay, I’ll just take it as things you agree with are okay to upset our founding fathers(I like to imagine them spinning in their graves), and things you don’t agree with…well… spin away there Jefferson.

jm

September 28th, 2010
1:45 pm

Dave – compromise. 1 elected by the voters, 1 chosen by the Governor?

joe matarotz

September 28th, 2010
1:50 pm

Jay@1:10pm Brilliant riposte! When confronted with a question you don’t like, reply ad ridiculum. Just say that you approve of those things and you don’t care what the founding fathers think.

mm

September 28th, 2010
1:50 pm

OK, so now the scum GOP has blocked subpoena power for the oil spill commission.

And minutes ago, the scum GOP blocked a vote on a bill to end tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas (it would also give a tax break for companies bringing jobs home).

Yes it’s clear that the GOP is anti-American and so are the fools that vote for them.

How do you defend these votes, wingnuts? Please don’t knock each other down trying answer first.

retiredds

September 28th, 2010
1:51 pm

Jay and others, there are several issues here:

1. The FF’s were educated men, something that is lacking today. The level of intelligence of today’s politicians is many, many, many notches below that of Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson, et. al.
2. Many of the FF’s put their personal wealth on the line for the republic. Today, the politicians don’t want to pay any more in taxes because they feel privileged. They have built in raises without even having to publicly vote for them. Think of the benefits of being a Congressman or Senator today. If you asked them to pledge their personal wealth for the republic you would more than likely just get a blank stare.
3. The FF’s used debate as the main tool of argument. When the dust settled compromise was very much a piece of the resolution (how do you think the Constitution came into being? It didn’t just materialize out of thin air). Today compromise is considered treason by the uneducated politicos in office and the more radical liberals and conservatives who claim they speak for Americans. Today “my” principle, a la DeMint’s statement, is the rule and you better adhere to it.

Mr. DeMint represents what is wrong with today’s politicians. They are elected because they subscribe to a particular ideology or agenda regardless of the needs of the country as a whole. So what do you get? What we have, a broken and sad political system that benefits the few over the welfare of the many (think wealthy political contributors, special interest groups, PAC’s and their high paid executives, the politicians themselves with their perks and benefits, the mysterious corporate donors, etc.)

Well, have a nice day everyone. I hope your politician is doing everything in his or her power to meet your needs.

ty webb

September 28th, 2010
1:52 pm

jay,
I really jumbled my 1:45. Sorry. my point was that this just sounds likes selective outrage from you.

Dave

September 28th, 2010
1:53 pm

jm – no, I think that the senators should be selected by the state legislatures as it was done before the 17th amendment. If the senators didn’t have to pander to the general voters like the member of the House have to do, then maybe we wouldn’t see all these antics in the Senate… and maybe a lot of these bills that require all these unfunded mandates to the states wouldn’t pass or would be toned down since the senators would have to answer to the legislature and governor of the state they represent.

jm

September 28th, 2010
1:53 pm

More quotes:

Washington – “”Government is not reason, nor eloquence. It is force. And like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearsome master.”

“Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth. ”

“The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon. ”

Madison –

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. ”

“Each generation should be made to bear the burden of its own wars, instead of carrying them on, at the expense of other generations. ”

“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. ”

Jefferson – “Those are governed best who are governed least.”

Quoting (or claiming the support of) the founding fathers is a dangerous business. They wouldn’t be happy….

md

September 28th, 2010
1:56 pm

“md, the amended bill DID have the votes to pass and indeed WAS passed by a majority in both chambers, just as the Constitution required and the Founders envisioned.”

OK Jay, whatever you want to believe. But, when Bosch’s Senate goddess Ms. Snowe, who’s vote got it out of committee, feels betrayed, that tells me the process failed………

jm

September 28th, 2010
1:56 pm

Dave 1:53 – I understand and agree with your second point. I know that’s why you suggested (or that, at least is a very good reason, I don’t think the first reason necessarily would pan out).

But since there are 2 senators for every state, and a lot of people wouldn’t be fired up about the idea, I’m simply suggesting a partial compromise. At least half the senate would directly represent states’ interests.

The people and gov’t need to learn rational compromise. How bout it Dave? 1 and 1?

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

September 28th, 2010
1:56 pm

Well, I might of knowed a librul like Bookman would take out after the godly Sen. DeMint. He’s about the only one in the Senate I like. Because he’s a redneck like the rest of us. You can tell, Just take a look at his picture. He ain’t got hardly any forehead. There’s hair and a little bit of space below it and then you get right to the eyebrows.

Have a good p.m. everybody.

mm

September 28th, 2010
1:57 pm

Here’s a nugget of information for you righties. GWB added over 800,000 jobs in the federal government when he created the Department of Homeland Security. Smaller government my @ss!

The GOP is nothing but a bunch of slogans, soundbites, and bumper stickers.

jm

September 28th, 2010
2:00 pm

mm – Glad to hear you’ve joined the conservatives.

md

September 28th, 2010
2:00 pm

“And minutes ago, the scum GOP blocked a vote on a bill to end tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas”

And some folks never learn.

And what pray tell would prevent them from moving all together if we start manipulating the tax structure??

May want to do a bit of research on the bills passed in NY and MD to tax the rich. It might open your eyes to reality vs fairy tale land……

TM

September 28th, 2010
2:02 pm

Jay
If they were so against this 2/3 or super majority, why did they make it so hard to amend the contstitution should a simple majority vote by the people be okay. Why did they say we need 2/3 to over ride the president veto of a bill that the majority voted for. I guess it only bad some of the time.

jm

September 28th, 2010
2:02 pm

mm – you’re an idiot. GWB only added less than 100,000 employees over his 8 years. see table and link

2001 4 2,640 1,428 64 4,132
2002 2,630 1,456 66 4,152
2003 2,666 1,478 65 4,210
2004 2,650 1,473 64 4,187
2005 2,636 1,436 65 4,138
2006 2,637 1,432 63 4,133
2007 2,636 1,427 63 4,127
2008 2,692 1,450 64 4,206

http://www.opm.gov/feddata/HistoricalTables/TotalGovernmentSince1962.asp

Go get your facts right.

Wahoo

September 28th, 2010
2:03 pm

I’m glad to see Jay referring to the Federalist – I hope he actually reads it as well. I enjoy it so much that I’ve carried a copy with me for a few months to read and re-read during down-time. If only more would do so…we all would be better off and have a greater understanding of why our government is structured the way that it is.

I do think that the Framers would be upset with the limitations that the minority is placing on the minority as it relates to action in the Senate.

That being said, I think the Framers would have far greater issues with the size, scope and power of today’s Federal government.

And I too, would support repeal of the 17th amendment. IMO, senate elections nowadays have become miniature national elections, with special interest from outside the states having an undue influence on senate election results. Election of senators by state legislators would also make senators more beholden to the interests of their particular states (and the states in general), and I think it would be a good move to balance the scales of power between the federal and the states.

jm

September 28th, 2010
2:05 pm

mm – furthermore, your 800,000 homeland security people are only 200,000. AND, it was a consolidation of pre-existing departments.

mm – go back to amateur hour commentary. go watch some Simpsons episodes perhaps.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Homeland_Security

md

September 28th, 2010
2:06 pm

“Well, the state comptroller’s office now has final tax return data for 2008, the first year that the higher tax rates applied. The number of millionaire tax returns fell sharply to 5,529 from 7,898 in 2007, a 30% tumble. The taxes paid by rich filers fell by 22%, and instead of their payments increasing by $106 million, they fell by some $257 million.”

It doesn’t work – people do have a choice, and the rich aren’t rich because they give their money away. “Spread the wealth” is the disease, not the cure.

jm

September 28th, 2010
2:06 pm

Wahoo – second your statement.

think you meant “is placing on the majority”, not “is placing on the minority”

Jefferson

September 28th, 2010
2:06 pm

I thought the Jews were the only minority that should have rights.

Wahoo

September 28th, 2010
2:07 pm

jm,

You might enjoy these as well.

“Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written
Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction.”
–Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Nicholas, 1803.

“On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the
time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit
manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning
may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform
to the probable one in which it was passed.” –Thomas Jefferson
to William Johnson, 1823

Referring to the Constitution: “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.” James Madison

Dave

September 28th, 2010
2:07 pm

jm – Nah, I think that the people have plenty of representation in the form of the House of Representatives. I’d rather have 1 house representing the people (proportionately by population) and 1 house evenly representing the states…. and have those 2 houses “duking it out” instead of just half the senate “duking it out”

Wahoo

September 28th, 2010
2:08 pm

You are correct, jm

jm

September 28th, 2010
2:09 pm

Jay – I wish the Democrats were willing to trade (accept) some faith in the ability of everyone from the middle class up to take care of themselves entirely in return for Republicans creating a strong and good safety net for the least fortunate.

Shrink and focus the activities of the government on the poorest among us only.

Jefferson

September 28th, 2010
2:09 pm

md, 2008 loss of income was due to the sorry shape of the economy the GOP drove the country into and the stock market dive.

Gordon

September 28th, 2010
2:10 pm

Good grief, Jay. In 6 months the same thing will be happening in reverse and you will be applauding those senators who are standing up to the Republican majority. You put on your Constitution hat when it suits your needs.

Are they following the rules or not? The answer is yes. The Democrats have had a majority for 4 years and haven’t lifted a finger to change the rules.

David

September 28th, 2010
2:11 pm

All in a day’s work for Senator Demented.

Gordon

September 28th, 2010
2:12 pm

I wonder how James and Alexander would react to the idea of the federal government forcing citizens to buy a particular good or service?

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel

September 28th, 2010
2:13 pm

Obamacare = Obamanure

RW-(the original)

September 28th, 2010
2:13 pm

Hence, it clearly appears, that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy, in controlling the effects of faction, is enjoyed by a large over a small republic, — is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it. Does the advantage consist in the substitution of representatives whose enlightened views and virtuous sentiments render them superior to local prejudices and schemes of injustice? It will not be denied that the representation of the Union will be most likely to possess these requisite endowments. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties, against the event of any one party being able to outnumber and oppress the rest? In an equal degree does the increased variety of parties comprised within the Union, increase this security. Does it, in fine, consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here, again, the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage Jaames Madison from Federalist 10.

Bosch

September 28th, 2010
2:15 pm

Hey! Luckovich is gonna let us blog again tomorrow! Sorry, Jay, I just got carried away a bit. It’s kind of nostalgic for some of us.

AJC Czar, Jay you're FIRED

September 28th, 2010
2:16 pm

jay, you put words into the mouth of founding fathers. They wanted SMALL GOVERNMENT!
Something you leftist will NEVER EVER admit.
the founding fathers had principles and promoted citizens providing for and taking care of
themselves.
Welfare state, the goal of you and obama sheep everywhere is not something to be promoted by anyone that believes in or follows the principles of our founding fathers.
DeMint and others that hopefully do want to decrease this federal monstrosity we now have, should do all that they can to derail the leftist like you and your fellow demorats.
I look forward to the day that they shut down the federal government again. The madness stops
soon!

Dave

September 28th, 2010
2:16 pm

I’d be willing to say that I doubt the healthcare bill would have seen the light of day in the senate if there was no 17th amendment…especially with the numerous states sueing the gov’t and trying to get out of the mandates places on the states. Since the senators no longer seem to represent the states, filing lawsuits against the federal gov’t seem to be the states’ only recourse against things like this… and the whole immigration debacle…

Jay

September 28th, 2010
2:17 pm

Exactly, TM, exactly. It is only bad some of the time.

And as you note, they explicitly listed the times when it wasn’t bad.

And to Gordon:

Again, it is a matter of degree. Filibusters, holds, etc., were never intended to be used with the frequency we see today. Twenty, even ten years ago, no senator would have dared to try the trick that DeMint is now pulling, insisting that he will block the other 99 senators from voting on bills that do not have his own personal approval.

If you do not recognize that as something new and dangerous, even though technically it is within the rules as they have long existed, then I cannot help you.

jm

September 28th, 2010
2:18 pm

The history of the 17th amendment is interesting (assuming Wikipedia is at all accurate)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventeenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Seems, having the Governor choose the senator would solve some of the old problems. To prevent corruption, I personally would only want one of them Governor, the other elected directly.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel

September 28th, 2010
2:18 pm

Gordon
September 28th, 2010
2:12 pm

Harumph, harumph!!

Dave

September 28th, 2010
2:19 pm

…and the 10th amendment would actually mean something again….