Sunday, May 16, 2010

Freedom-Loving Tea Party denies your vote?

LET ME SEE if I have this right: The Tea Partiers , who chant and shout for their freedom, are heavily into a movement to deny all of us the freedom to vote for our U.S. senators, thus reviving the way it used to be in the earliest days of the Republic. They want to repeal the 17th Amendment and have state legislatures choose the senators instead. That, they contend, would guarantee states the right to protect their interests against the national government.

Even if it's a dumb idea, which it is, they have already trapped some Republicans into accepting it. (Some of them accept anything that isn't President Obama's idea!) But before they excite another Tea Party rally with the mere mention of the scheme, shouldn't they first remind their audiences that repealing an amendment to the Constitution, even if successful, probably wouldn't occur until the next Ice Age. It would take a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress, which would then submit it to the state legislatures, where it would need three-fourths of them to approve it for survival.

Undeterred by the maddening logistics, the TP movers and shakers are now having politicians sign a petition to support the repeal. (Repeal is quite in vogue today, with guys like Mike DeWine, the Republican candidate for Ohio attorney general, pledging that his first order of business as the AG would be to sue to repeal the health care reform law. The party's gubernatorial candidate, John Kasich, merely wants to repeal the state income tax.)

Still, crazy ideas also can produce uneasy moments for political wannabes who don't read the fine print in their haste to play nice to right-wingers. For example, there's this Republican candidate down in the Ohio's 15th congressional district, where the seat is occupied by U.S. Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, a Democrat. Steve Stivers, Kilroy's opponent, has decided to rescind his endorsement of repealing the 17th Amendment because...

Well, this is what he told the Columbus Dispatch: He didn't know what he had endorsed. "I made a mistake. I answered that question wrong. It was not intentional."

I can excuse his grammar. But his foolish decision to rush in where angels fear to tread has earned him another Grumpy Abe Linguistic Lunacy (GALL) award. There are so many deserving folks these days that I am forced to order a new batch.

(While we're on the subject of voting these days, a Democratic activist tells me that some Tea Partiers have said to her that they won't register to vote because they don't want to be eligible to be called for jury duty. Honest.)


fargo said...

Hell ....we won't even allow the County Executive to appoint the County Engineer. If this is the great idea the Tea Baggers have in the words of my former president..."Bring it on"....the fact that we actually have Republican politicians signing onto this idea is either laughable or frightening...or perhaps both.

PJJinOregon said...

I can understand the appeal of a repeal of the 17th. Before it was passed, moneyed interests merely had to bribe a state legislature to get "their" senator in D.C. It's simply a more cost effective way to rig an election, and these days we're all interested in lowering costs, right?