DeMint’s Candidates Back Repeal of Direct Election of Senators
October 6, 2010 2 Comments
Jim DeMint’s candidate for US Senate from Utah, Mike Lee, takes a “biblical constructionist” interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. The language is similar to “strict constructionism” but goes much further. For example Lee is on record supporting the repeal of the 17th Amendment.
More than that, Mike Lee believes, as does DeMint, that the U.S. Constitution is a divinely ordained document, which naturally endorses the political opinions of Lee and DeMint.
“In my faith, the LDS faith, we do feel the Constitution has divine origins,” said Lee, who has made his adherence to the document the centerpiece of his campaign.
This is a consistent opinion among DeMint’s candidates and DeMint has made similar statements himself [http://player.vimeo.com/video/7251184].
Yesterday his protege Joe Miller endorsed repealing the 17th Amendment in front of a town hall meeting in Fairbanks. Miller, of course, is DeMint’s choice for Senator from Alaska. His Senate Conservative Committee takes credit for $217,000 in donations to Miller, to date.
Miller’s assertion that you ought not be allowed to chose your own Senators, comes only a few days after DeMint’s claim that gays and non-virginal single women should not be allowed to teach. What is consistent in these opinions that people should not be the judge of their own affairs, but submit to the moral judgement of a Patriarch like Jim DeMint.
Miller backs repeal of amendment for Senate elections
by Dermot Cole, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Oct 5, 2010
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller told a Fairbanks audience Monday that he would back an amendment to repeal the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitition.
That’s the 1913 amendment that shifted the job of selecting U.S. senators from each state legislature and required a popular vote in each state.
The issue has garnered support from some Tea Party candidates across the country.
The idea, apparently, is that if senators are selected by legislators, they would be less susceptible to special interests and more supportive of states’ rights.
A Wall Street Journal law blog summarizes the argument this way: “Nowadays, Senate candidates have to raise so much money to run that they become beholden to special interests. But state legislators aren’t as compromised and would choose senators who truly put their state’s needs first.”
Given our experience in Alaska with the corruption scandal, I don’t know how anyone can argue that the Alaska Legislature is in a better position to select senators than the voters of Alaska. We will probably never know all of what went on in Suite 604 of the Baranof Hotel, but our public institutions tolerated the antics of Bill Allen et al. and looked the other way.
Matt Bai of the New York Times wrote in June that, “Putting Senate seats in the hands of lawmakers would not empower states so much as it would resurrect the old-fashioned American political machine – a condition voters in the Internet age would tolerate for about 10 minutes.”
Support for repealing the amendment comes from authors like Thomas DiLorenzo who says that if Americans want a “free society,” they should give up the right to vote for senators.
A Sept. 27 Wall Street Journal blog posting notes that the repeal of the amendment has become an issue in several states.
- hat tip to The UK Guardian’s Mid Term Election Blog.