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Can Dems use Tea Party against GOP on 17th amendment?

Here's something to keep an eye on: The Tea Party push to repeal the 17th amendment is becoming an issue in some of the hardest fought House races.

Vulnerable Dem incumbents are now beginning to air ads hammering GOP opponents who have come out in support of repealing the direct popular election of U.S. Senators, something that has been pushed by some of the more extreme Tea Party members.

Here, for instance, is a new ad that Rep. Suzanne Kosmas of Florida, an extremely vulnerable Dem, is airing against her opponent, law enforcement officer Sandy Adams, bashing her for supporting repeal:

And here's a spot from another vulnerable Dem from Florida, Allen Boyd, bashing opponent Steve Southerland over repeal:

The larger question here is this: Can Dems rescue their most vulnerable incumbents, and limit their losses, by capitalizing on the rise of the Tea Party, which has produced GOP candidates who are so far to the right that they'd ordinarily be disqualified?

Or is the environment so bad for Dems right now that not even advocating for repeal of the 17th amendment is enough to get voters to see such challengers as unacceptably extreme alternatives?

Look for lots more like this.

By Greg Sargent  |  September 8, 2010; 10:46 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers  
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Next: Peter Orszag clarifies "rift" with Obama admin over Bush tax cuts

Comments

This is the gift the Dems have been given. In an election year that ought to see them suffer heavy losses -- and they may do -- they are up against many candidates who are very far outside the mainstream (to be kind) and/or (to be less kind) completely stupid and crazy.

Each race is going to be different and the Dems are going to have to be individually skillful at running against the tea party candidates. This is why the "generic matchup" numbers are nearly as important as news anchors with time to fill would have us believe.

Also, too, gotv. Again.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 8, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

How did I miss this? Repeal the 17th Amendment? Oy.
Thats up there with Obtuse's flouridation fetish.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 8, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

get serious

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | September 8, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Not only do I agree with this line of attack, I also wonder what took so long for them to bring it up. Used correctly it could spur a lot of people to get out and vote "beforethey lose their right to". Start talking about ppl having something taken from them and thats how you rile them up.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | September 8, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

why do many on the right say adhere to the Constitution, but yet they want to repeal parts of it?

Posted by: jeeze56 | September 8, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure that Greg isn't misrepresenting the argument about the 17th amendment.

As I understand it, the argument isn't against direct popular elections, the argument is that it empowers state legislators to supercede elections and appoint Senators:

"With a half-dozen senators not democratically elected by the people of their state, (Colorado, New York, Florida, Illinois, Texas and West Virginia), it is fair and appropriate to scrutinize how they stumbled into their appointments... Rarely has the argument for an appointment been so compelling that it should supercede democracy. Would anyone other than self-serving, Machiavellian politicians miss this increasingly ugly practice?

"The Constitution requires vacated House and Senate seats to be filled by special elections but empowers state legislators to allow a governor to make an interim appointment to the Senate. It’s doubtful the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, which allows for such appointments, was meant to use such appointments as “placeholders” to advantage specific candidates or boost an unearned incumbency for the next election. Clearly, the Constitution is being abused, and the abuse warrants close examination."

http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/cheri-jacobus/106849-repeal-17th-amendment

Posted by: sbj3 | September 8, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

You know, that repeal argument fits right in with what we *know* about conservative philosophy on allowing the "rabble" to vote. http://crooksandliars.com/2007/06/07/paul-weyrich-goo-goo-syndrome

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 8, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

One more thing, there are no good or easy talking points on this issue. Really, there aren't. At least not for the people who want repeal. I mean I would LOVE to hear them how to explain to a room of independent voters why they should support repealing the amendment that actually makes their individual votes count in the election of Senators.

That would be pay per view worthy comedy.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | September 8, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

sgwhite, good to see you. Where you been hiding?

And I agree: get these people some media attention on their ideas. Run against their positions. Ask them how they'll govern. Ask them what they believe about governing.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 8, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@jeez: "why do many on the right say adhere to the Constitution, but yet they want to repeal parts of it?"

Well, repealing amendments, especially those post-bill-of-rights amendments, is technically returning to a "purer" form of the original constitution.

That being said, there's not going to be any repeal of the 17th amendment.

The argument is that avoiding the direct election of senators would somehow restore limited government. Making senators less accountable would return us to limited government? Somehow? Really?

It's not about appointment without election, either. The argument is that having senators appointed by state legislatures instead of direct popular election helps the states check the unrestrained growth of the Federal government:

"The original U.S. Constitution gave state governments a strong voice in the national government by requiring them to select U.S. Senators - to serve much like ambassadors today at the United Nations - and thus created the U.S. Congress to be a political (not judicial) venue for the competition between state government interests and national government interests. The Senate provided the state governments the necessary ability to restrict the natural inclination of the national government to expand its power. It is no coincidence that the national government began its exponential growth following the passage of the 17th Amendment, just as soon as there was no longer a competing interest that could stop it. The framers concluded that the judiciary was not the appropriate arbiter (as the courts currently imagine themselves) of the line between state and national interests, in part because the courts have a self-interest favoring a strong national government (the courts being created by Congress)"

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 8, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Supporting 17th which allows for a voter in a small state to have 10x the power in electing a Senator over another voter in a state with 10x the population is incredibly UNDEMOCRATIC.

It turns the idea of voter equality on it's head.

You can't "fix" the senate by directly electing Senators because the Constitution was written with the assumption that Senators were NOT directly elected. The mechanics in Article V and other sections conflict with the 17th, Which is WHY there is no proportional representation.

Article V which cannot be amended or changed without a rewrite of the constitution mandates "Equal Suffrage"

'and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."

If "State" does NOT mean "State Government" and it means "people of the state" then Article V's "Equal suffrage" is violated on terms of individual voter inequality created between voters in different population sized states due to direct election.

If "State" DOES mean "State Government" then Article V is violated because you can't have "Equal Suffrage" without "Suffrage" since they are not represented by State legislature selection in the Senate.

Posted by: Dug0915 | September 8, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

OK, first we have to develop a working definition of "mainstream". this will also help pin down exactly where candidates are when Mr Sargent believes that they are "so far to the right that they'd ordinarily be disqualified"

As an example of one end of this political spectrum, let's examine the way liberals treated Lieberman. Was he too far to the right to be worthy of nomination, much less election? How about Jim Webb?

So, let's see a working definition of that. It would make for interesting reading.

next, I don't think that now would be a particularly smart time for the American left to whine about allowing the rabble to vote.
the news just today isn't good as the Democrats political opponents hammer away at a quote from Ms Fernandes of the DoJ, who apparently is not interested in enforcing Section 8 of the national voter registration act.

Who votes in America's elections is an important topic of conversation. I'm sure we can all agree that at least one criteria a prospective voter must meet is, well, being alive.

so the smoke screen about being "too far the right" will be pierced by simple truth: the Democrats are hell-bent to rig the elections and keep themselves in power. Their liberal camp followers seem completely OK with that just so the long march to socialism continues.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 8, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Kevin: "The argument is that having senators appointed by state legislatures instead of direct popular election helps the states check the unrestrained growth of the Federal government..."

Am I missing something here? The states still vote for their own senator. Having the legislature do it, which is a vote at one remove from the people, makes no sense. Unless there is some political calculation that one party who favors this is stronger at the state party level or something.

I'm not following. Once a senator is seated, he/she is going to do what federal elected officials do; being accountable to the state legis instead of the people is a very marginal difference.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 8, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Really is a matter of developing good ads
to accurately portray the extreme nature of
these tea party candidates. And, then,
having the funding to get the ads out there in the right markets for long enough to make an impression.
Problem is a lot of people really don't do a lot of thinking. Too many vote on impulses of anger and fear and these irrational votes frequently wind up against the self interest of the voters who make them.
Familiar old story. The dems know this problem is out there. They have money. Up to them to figure out the ads and deploy them where most needed.

Posted by: canaldoc | September 8, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

skip, that's the stupidest comment I've read in ages. Tired and without proof or logic. Go back to RedState or somewhere people are dumb enough to buy what you're selling/regurgitating.

And dug, aren't you just arguing for getting rid of the Senate altogether? I'm starting to think that sounds pretty good....but at least reform it.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 8, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

So Palin's twisted hybrid of intolerant evangelicals, Glenn Beck Mormons and Donohue Catholics combined with an old white-supremacist Southern political party want to cherry-pick the Constitution to include the Second Amendment (of course) but trample on or repeal the First, Fourth, Fifth, Fourteenth and now the Seventeenth as well.

They want to cherry-pick the Bill of Rights and other Amendments like they cherry-pick their Scriptures for their dictatorial, racist theocracy.

Posted by: areyousaying | September 8, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@sbj: "With a half-dozen senators not democratically elected by the people of their state, (Colorado, New York, Florida, Illinois, Texas and West Virginia),"

Huh????? Unless something's changed this morning, aren't Cornyn and Hutchison still the Senators from Tx? Neither were appointed - they were both elected. WTH is this person talking about? Anyone?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 8, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I particularly like the head-snapping, whiplashing flip-flopping of the the candidates when pressed on the issue. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/05/tea-party-call-to-repeal-the-17th-amendment-causing-problems-for-gop-candidates.php
I love candidates who decide constitutional issues by checking a box on a form. Hey, at least they disavowed it...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 8, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

imo, the purpose of the 17th amendment - to prevent a plutocracy from taking over:

"...The Senatorial selection system eventually became fraught with problems, with consecutive state legislatures sending different Senators to Congress, forcing the Senate to work out who was the qualified candidate, or with the selection system being corrupted by bribery and corruption. ..."
http://www.usconstitution.net/constamnotes.html#Am17

"...The purposes of the 17th Amendment was to remedy a problem. The Senate had become a plutocracy and was exploiting the people. It was a "House of Lords." It legalized plunder on behalf of the upper class of society through the protective tariff. What may have been a good design on the part of the framers had become perverted by the love of money. The 17th Amendment was the Peoples' attempt to bring fairness back into the running of government. ..."
http://www.vivienkellems.org/Philip_Hart_Part_1.html

Posted by: jeeze56 | September 8, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

shrod-

you are correct re: Hutch and Cornyn.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 8, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@ChickInDenton: "You know, that repeal argument fits right in with what we *know* about conservative philosophy on allowing the 'rabble' to vote. "

Who are the Tea Partiers if not rabble? And isn't the uninformed rabble voting the supposed problem for Democrats in the upcoming election?

from the link: "the more voters there are---the less of a chance the wingers have in any election."

This isn't born out by election returns. Many high turnout elections have favored conservatives and right-wingers, and many low-turnout elections have favored Democrats and liberals.

from the link, according Weyrich: "As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

Because those remaining are the politically engaged and well-informed and motivated, civic-minded voters, whom Weyrich assumes will naturally vote for more conservative candidates rather than the feel-good bromides of liberals, if I'm not mistaken. I'm pretty sure the argument is not that lower turn-out benefits conservatives just because its low, and that somehow magically helps the right.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 8, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@BGinCHI: "Run against their positions"

No, no, no! Run against how the GOP has been protecting rich fat cats for 30 years and all they want to do is steal from the poor and give to the rich. Run on how you put the car in (D) if you want to move forward, but you put it in (R) if you want to go backward. Those are the winners! Don't run against the actual positions of Republicans or on actual policy. That's crazy talk!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 8, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@BG: "I'm not following. Once a senator is seated, he/she is going to do what federal elected officials do; being accountable to the state legis instead of the people is a very marginal difference."

I agree. I'm just trying to articulate the position as best I can, as I understand it, not defend it. I think it's a pointless exercise.

Besides, engagement in the civic process is fun, and the most important folks, and most prominent folks, a citizen votes for after the president is his or her senators. I see no rational reason to take that away.

I think it's a very poorly considered argument, and will not win too many folks outside of the John Birch society over.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 8, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

The Tea party rank & file seem working class, so of course i9n the end they will vote for obama.
The monied leadership of the Tea party are Rich Fat Cats who have been soaking everybody for 35 years. They had everything their way. When everybody else suffered, they prospered.
Now they want even more. They want to destroy what remenants of democracy is left, the rich tyrants.
let them all move to Saudi Arabia and China. We can rebuild America w/o bankers and financiers, and have a prosperous country for everybody and not just a few fat cats.

As Noam Chomsky points out, the working people in this country have real grievances, and its time we got Mad!
Destroy Wall Street! They have dominated us to our destruction for too long! The privately owned Commercial Banks of the federal reserve is their means of holding -power over us. Federalise all the Banks of the federal reserve, no more private controll by the rich of our economy, which they use to keep themselves entrenched and the rest of us their exploited tools.

Posted by: johnbarrxx | September 8, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@BGinCHI:

That's what SHOULD of been done instead of the 17th. Having the 17th AND still having the Senate results in inequality between voters of large and small states.

I suspect the pushers of the 17th (A major backer was William Randalph Herst..aka Citizen Kane and Mr. Yellow journalism) knew exactly what they were doing. It was a complete disservice to change how Senators were chosen without a real discussion about the role of the Senate in regards to Federalism and what/who it's supposed to represent as opposed to the House.

The problem is, the mechanics of the Constitution were written with the idea of State legislatures appointing Senators. Article V is one of 2 or 3 places in the Constitution that CANNOT be amended or changed without a constitutional convention tasked with re-writing the whole darn thing. The Supreme court said in Sprague vs U.S. (even though the case was about how prohibition was passed) that Article V is not open to interpretation and is clear.

"The United States asserts that article 5 is clear in statement and in meaning, contains no ambiguity, and calls for no resort to rules of construction. A mere reading demonstrates that this is true."

If the country WANTS to have a direct simple republic without Federalism, States, the Senate and Electoral College then we should have that discussion and make the change...so long as we KNOW WHY Madison, Mason, Pinkerton, etc made it that way and we can honestly say their fears are unfounded.

The 17th created the worst of both worlds, neither true democratic vote with inequality between voters of different population sized states in the Senate, nor representation of State government interests.

It's a crappy amendment and it's probably in violation of Article V if any state that did not ratify it had the courage to ask the Supreme Court to look at at it.

Posted by: Dug0915 | September 8, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Could it get any worse for Democrats department:

Andy Griffith's popularity poll numbers have fallen off pretty drastically since he shilled Obama and came out as a flaming leftist.

ANDY GRIFFITH!!

Oh My!

Posted by: battleground51 | September 8, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Only an absolute imbecile thinks that any congress is ever going to vote for repeal of the 17th Amendment. The tea baggers would have more luck repealing the 13th, which is far more in line with their actual agenda.....

And if tea baggers actually get such a proposal into the hopper in the US congress and it gets further than a committee referal, how many states would ever consider this? Any candidate proposing this kind of stupidity is either completely ignorant of how our Consititution works, or they think you and I are. In either case it should automatically disqualify them from getting your vote.

Posted by: John1263 | September 8, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Funny, using Tea party affiliations to try to undermine support of Republicans but no one should have ever questioned our current Presidents affiliations with known terrorists such as Bill "Guilty as Hell" Ayers and anti-American bigots Rev. "Ameri-KKK-A" Wright. The WaPo... Off Plum as usual...

Posted by: ArnBjorn | September 8, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Every race is different, but where the GOPer has taken such extreme positions as repealing the 17th Amendment this is a good tactic (although I liked the 2nd ad better than the first). The key for Dems will be to craft a mix of local issues of local concern and a few national issues, plus some scare ads about what a GOP takeover will mean for Social Security. That's every bit as fair as the kind of stuff the GOP runs (death panels, Obama is a socialist Muslim etc), and is actually fact-based if you examine what people like Paul Ryan say. And the GOP lack of leadership on the economy. We can't tax-cut our way to prosperity no matter how many times the GOPers clap loudly. Moat people understand that.

Posted by: Mimikatz | September 8, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Kind of funny that Democrats object to our constitution "living and breathing." That is what the "ammend and repeal" provisions allow for.


Unlike Democratic notions that a "living and breathing" constitution merely means that we just reinterpret parts of it we don't like and say it has a "different" meaning today than the day it was framed.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | September 8, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

The 17th amendment was put in place because it was proved through the 19th century that it was far too easy to simply purchase state legislatures, who were then appointed purchased senators. Of course, now that the activist conservative SCOTUS is legislating from the bench that corporations are in fact people, they can cut out the middleman and purchase their republicon senators directly without the markups and bother of buying state by state...

So far, republicons want to repeal universal health care, remove citizenship rights for natural born citizens as defined in the 14th amendment, repeal the 17th amendment, end Social Security and Medicare and Medicaide, and give more tax cuts to the very rich.

And people are supporting them why exactly? Because they are promising to crash the economy again on top of all that?

Posted by: John1263 | September 8, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Of course whenever anyone interjects "NOAM CHOMSKY" into any piece of discourse, that person exposes himself a flaming liberal and alien to 95% of Americans.

It's the same sort of trap Obama has fallen into. Obama reeks of snobbish elitism and ultra-liberal disdain for mainstream Americans.

Even many lifelong Democrats cannot abide that. They either do not vote or they vote Republican in protest.

A trap within a snare for all those San Fransisco/Chicago/New York liberals who own the Democrat party.

Posted by: battleground51 | September 8, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I am beginning to think there is something fishy about Daley not running - it is beginning to feel like Daley is pulling a Brett Favre.


I just don't get how Rahm Emanuel didn't have a heads-up - or Axelrod - that is just not credible.


These guys know each other - they can pick up the phone and talk - That indicates to me that they are making a conscious decision NOT to work together.


One thought that came to my mind was Obama knew - but didn't tell Rahm.


That threory: - that Obama is getting Daley to have Rahm THINK there is an opening - like Obama is baiting Rahm. The reason could be the recent tension in the White House and the leaks which appear aimed at making Rahm look good. Rahm seems to have the attitude that he could leave at any time. So, did Obama arrange to dangle something in front of Rahm - the equivalent of Obama say - "OK Leave" Obviously I am not sure but there is something in this story that doesn't add up - Rahm was convinced over the summer that Daley WAS running for re-election.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 8, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out, Peter Orszag clarifies so called "rift" with administration over Bush tax cuts:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/peter_orszag_clarifies_rift_wi.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 8, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Many people blame the Iraq war on terrorism for being the chief cause of the downfall of President George Bush. I don't think so!

The Iraq war did it's part but Bush's loss of the confidence of America's conservatives doomed him and his party.

McCain was even worse. McCain is an old RINO and part and parcel of the McCain/Kennedy/Bush, mass amnesty for outlaw "immigrants" fraud of 2007.

The question is not why Republicans lost in 2008 but how in the world could they have ever won???

Their leaders were frauds and traitors.

Posted by: battleground51 | September 8, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Germany has the States more involved in the Upper Chamber of its national legislature -


For some reason, after the 17th Amendment was passed - Americans in Germany recommended that provision after World War II.


Just a side note.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 8, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Kevin-

Good points. Weyrich would make a good TeaBagger! That speech of his is more proof of the hard-Right turn the GOP has made since 1980 (really since '64). Can you imagine a similar speech today with YouTube where a prominent Conservative says the same thing: "I don't want everybody to vote". Jeebus, this is a *prime* reason why the GOP is will always be hamstrung by their nutty Right wing. I have no sympathy for it.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 8, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure that Greg isn't misrepresenting the argument about the 17th amendment.

Posted by: sbj3

_________________________________________

Of course he is misrepresenting the argument about the 17th Amendment. When's the last time Greg Sargent DIDN'T misrepresent something about conservatives or the Tea Party.

It's practically all he does, amid musings about why saying "It's Bush's fault" isn't working anymore for Democrats.

But hey, that's fine. Democrats can keep talking about this issue all they want.

They don't get that it's all, 100% about Democrats spending too much and stifling job growth (except for temporary government jobs, of course).

Keep missing the point all the way to the minority.

Meanwhile, have fun in your echo chamber.

Posted by: etpietro | September 8, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

BGinCHI

There aren't that many Republicans who are "far outside the mainstream" - many a few are more conservative but they are not "far outside the mainstream."

You know who is "outside the mainstream?"


OBAMA IS OUTSIDE THE MAINSTREAM


Obama's 33 Czars are outside the mainstream


Your comment CAN NOT be taken seriously.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 8, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Mark my WORDS.

the GOP Set themselves up to FAIL..

The Dem's will win more Seats then they lose.

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | September 8, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Could you explain how candidates "far to the right" are "disqualified" from running?

If they're citizens, have the right to vote, and are old enough, they're qualified legally to stand for office.

I suggest you be more careful with your language or someone might think you're, I don't know, a partisan hack ...

Posted by: bbqispork | September 8, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse


As a lifelong Democrat I know all too well about our inherent ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

But...

The Tea Baggers are a gift that keeps on giving. They represent the loony wing of the GOP (I hope), so therefore you are, in theory, running against a tiny niche base of voters.

The task for Dems is to get the vote out. Like last time.

Tea Baggers are also secessionists, want to repeal the 14th and a host of other brilliant "ideas." Dems: Get. The. Vote. Out.

Let's make the Koch Bros. cry in their oatmeal.


Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | September 8, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Generally speaking, the more the Republican party can be portrayed or exposed (take your pick) as being firmly in the grip of it's most radical elements, the better it is for Democrats. People are a long way from desperate enough to want to try out radical solutions I think. What we want as a nation is some reassurance that there's a sane person driving the boat who can guide the country through this rough patch without plunging us into another abyss.

If Republicans fail to present themselves as a sane and viable alternative then people are less likely to be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt, as grumpy as they may be with Democrats. It's therefore probably in Democrats' interest to help Republicans fail in that presentation any way they can. So this is actually the first I've heard of the 17th amendment thing but my first reaction is that the problem with some of the stuff the radical right is running around advocating these days, is that you almost sound as crazy as they are just for repeating it. Yikes.

Posted by: CalD | September 8, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

ha! wasnt it just yesterday that greg sargent and liberals were trying to demotivate the "conservative base" by telling them that proposed constitutional amendments are not a real issue because they never go anywhere??

now...they're making it the centerpiece of their strategy to save the house? Obama and the dems look more and more like John McCain in the closing days of the '08 campaign - erratic, flailing and delusional.

Posted by: dummypants | September 8, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama's a socialist. nuff said on the radical front.

Posted by: dummypants | September 8, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Despite raining all over the Tea Party parade, the message of fiscal responsibility, at its core, comes from another place, the land of Perot. A whole lot of people, who aren't into the John Birch Society or crackpot consitutional avenues fit this profile. Trust me, none of them are voting Democratic in this election.

Posted by: Gooddogs | September 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are radical Taliban wanna-bes.

Posted by: jakemehoffer | September 8, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Kind of funny that Democrats object to our constitution "living and breathing." That is what the "ammend and repeal" provisions allow for.

Unlike Democratic notions that a "living and breathing" constitution merely means that we just reinterpret parts of it we don't like and say it has a "different" meaning today than the day it was framed.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat
_______________
What an idiotic post. It DOES mean soemthing differant thatn when created; women can vote, we don;t have slaves, African Americans can vote, we have completely differat types of commerse, communication, etc. It was INTENDED to be aable to be ammended modestly as the country grows and changes. |

Posted by: cadam72 | September 8, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

then there is this:
================
skip, that's the stupidest comment I've read in ages. Tired and without proof or logic. Go back to RedState or somewhere people are dumb enough to buy what you're selling/regurgitating.

And dug, aren't you just arguing for getting rid of the Senate altogether? I'm starting to think that sounds pretty good....but at least reform it.

========

Here's a simple translation: Let's not actually explain ourselves. And certainly let's not talk about the politicization of the DoJ.

Oh no. Only Bush, that evil genius of a moron, would politicize the DoJ. Right BG?

What nonsense. If you don't have an answer, why not just say so? You've already provided ample proof that your a blowhard, no further evidence is necessary.

And I note that others have asked Mr Sargent the same question: what exactly is too far right to be acceptable? I threw out some examples. But let's see a definition.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 8, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Senators are just rubber stamps for wars for no good reason since our country is run on a need to know basis and the President doesn't even get to know anything so he can have plausable deniability... why not have a senatorial lottery and the one that has the most tickets bought can get the job and the money can be used to fund the wars... presidential race too... then campaign funds can run the country...

Posted by: Wildthing1 | September 8, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

All, please come to my new piece on the coming war among Dems:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/the_coming_war_among_dems.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 8, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

It simply amazes me how many people are opposed to a repeal of the 17th Amendment, but can not voice a reason why they are opposed besides, "undemocratic" or "crazy". Those are not reasons, those are summary opinions. How about some reasons in favor of the 17th - some evidence that it succeeded in doing what it intended to do, or maybe how it improved the framework of the constitution? Can't come up with any? http://www.restorefederalism.org

Posted by: EmpFab | September 9, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

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