Tea Party Nonsense?

I see on the Idaho GOP webpage that they want to:

thats the one that lets you elect your senators rather than a state legislation electing one.  REALLY?  I mean some one please intelligently discuss why this is even an issue.  AND this is coming from the tea party?  the party who wants less government no wants more government control?

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12 Responses to Tea Party Nonsense?

  1. LOUDelf says:

    I there’s a gap here. What Tea Partiers, and frankly most Americans want is the government to cut down on waste and spending, while butting out of people’s business. This is different than how a senator is elected.

    Prior to the 17th Amendment, senators were chosen by state legislators. This is in line with the US’ form of government: A constitutional republic — whereby representatives are chosen to make governmental decisions.

    I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive (downsizing federal government, and repealing the 17th).

  2. austin_watcher says:

    Fair enough if the goal is solely concentrated with federal government.

    But why take power away from the people and put into the state government. Are state governments fundamentally less corrupt? Are state governments just so much better? Its like China reversed. In China if anything goes bad its the “states” fault and not the national government. In America its usually the exact opposite. But how much of this is image and how much is reality? More importantly why would you want to take away voting power away from people? I didn’t see any reasoning behind this?

    This is why im so dumbfounded. This stance seems so unrelated to what the GOP and/or tea party are campaigning for. why the 17th? why not the 26th? or the 12th? It just seems so random… maybe you can help me out to understand this.

  3. LOUDelf says:

    A republic is a little different than a democracy in that they elect people at the local level to represent them at the higher levels. It’s still the will of the people, just that the trust is put in people locally that can be accountable and answerable in person. Personally, I like to be able to look someone in the eyes that I elected (or didn’t) and question them on why they’ve been irresponsible.

    America is not comparable to China. We delineate between statewide, and national problems. Sometimes the national problem filters down. Also you have to remember that China was set up as one country. We became a country as a union of several states.

  4. LOUDelf says:

    Sorry, missed your last paragraph. The 26th amendment was about voting age, and I have yet to see that the Tea Party has had any issue with age. The 12th was put in place because electors had to vote twice, and the conditions for the second vote got complicated at times. This simplified the process.

  5. austin_watcher says:

    Thanks for the civil feedback! Seriously.
    Firstly, I have to disagree with your definition of republic. Your definition is that of a representative democracy. It might sound like semantics but it’s an important distinction in my book.
    A republic is any form of government where:
    1) The people have some form of control
    2) The head of state is not a monarch
    a) representative democracy is a subset of republic government
    b) in American vernacular, republic = representative democracy for some ppl
    I have to disagree with the use of part b) and not just because it’s not the definition of a republic. Many countries like modern China (PRC), USSR, Cuba, N. Korea, are republics and not just by name. Therefore b) can cause confusion for some people. Also, a democracy can be both direct & representative. You seem to equate direct democracy with democracy and representative democracy with republic. I do not think this is proper (although it would save time & space). I don’t think I have said anything that can’t be verified by a dictionary/encyclopedia.
    Secondly, I was not comparing government structure of PRC with USA. I was merely pointing out an interesting media/cultural observation on which the public tends to scapegoat when policies go bad. The PRC gov’t tends to blame local officials when their policies go bad. In the US, state gov’ts (I’m in Texas so maybe its different elsewhere) tend to always blame the federal gov’t. In any case, PRC is a unitary state on paper. Like many large unitary states, it operates like a federal state such as USA since it’s more practical. In my book, it’s still comparable. Maybe not as comparable as US and Canada but still comparable in many aspects. I’m also assuming by “set up as one country,” you mean PRC, not the few thousand years of history. I would disagree slightly but that’s starting to get off topic.
    EITHER WAY, I think its not really answering my question at hand. Why is the 17th amendment now an issue? It just seems randomly thrown in there. I didn’t realize it was a big deal. Why wouldn’t we want to elect our officials directly?

  6. austin_watcher says:

    Again maybe its nothing to do with the tea party or parties. Title just kinda popped in my head. Just in general why is the 17th an issue?

  7. LOUDelf says:

    Actually, according to Merriam-Webster, a republic is: a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law. Not semantics.

    “Many countries like modern China (PRC), USSR, Cuba, N. Korea, are republics and not just by name.” — Actually they are not. An election takes place when there are mulitple options. In those countries, there is only one allowable option. Just like in Iraq where Saddam used to carry 99+% of the vote, it was not a republic.

    You pose a new question: “Why is the 17th amendment now an issue?” I think many have felt it was an issue, but never pushed it because government had not gotten so overgrown. The Tea Party, and the GOP that is wooing them, see the 17th amendment as yet another example of waste. Prior to, the person was just selected. Now the states (taxpayers) have to spend millions on elections (sometimes special ones — see MA) while being bombarded by the two main parties’ often completely false advertisements, which are often subsidized by more public funds. Again, I can see why they would have a problem with it.

  8. austin_watcher says:

    Below is the FULL definition from Merriam-Webster, which is what i outlined in my definition of a republic. I acknowledged BOTH defintions.
    1a) & 1b). In my opinion 1b) is only used in American vernacular, thats all and is a vague definition.

    Actually PRC = People’s REPUBLIC of China. USSR = Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Cuba = Republic of Cuba, N. Korea = Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Granted these are just names. However, a) none of these countries are ruled by a monarch. b) all these gov’ts had some power given to the ppl. You can still have a totalitarian gov’t and republic; they are not mutually exclusive. Whether each one actually governs in the matter defined in their respective charters is a case-by-case situation.
    In any case, ppl in those countries do have choices. perhaps not in the head of state but in local officials. yes in the countries mentioned above, they usually can only be from one party but they do have choices in local elections. Whether those choices matter is a different story. Even in a country like the U.K., the head of state is not directly elected. In other countries that we in America defined as democracy also outlawed other political parties. e.g. pre-2000 Republic of China (Taiwan)
    Main Entry: re·pub·lic
    Pronunciation: \ri-ˈpə-blik\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: French république, from Middle French republique, from Latin respublica, from res thing, wealth + publica, feminine of publicus public — more at real, public
    Date: 1604
    1 a (1) : a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government b (1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government c : a usually specified republican government of a political unit
    2 : a body of persons freely engaged in a specified activity
    3 : a constituent political and territorial unit of the former nations of Czechoslovakia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or Yugoslavia

  9. austin_watcher says:

    well i didn’t pose a new quesiton really, the 17th amendment was the original question. I am well aware of the situation prior and after the 17th amendment. I don’t understand why we would choose to take election power away from ppl in the name of reducing waste. since the elections are going to happen anyways, i dont see how adding another race to the ballot is really going to cost more money? I mean I’m all for improving efficiency but not as the end-all be-all reasoning. If we wanted an efficient gov’t we would just have a dictatorship (or anarchy). i mean is electing our senators really that inefficient and costly? I don’t see how electing senators from the state house/senate is really efficient either. There would still have to be some vetting process, committee hearings, general elections, etc. etc.

  10. LOUDelf says:

    Aside from the public campaign financing the senators receive (can be millions of dollars), take a prime example: The special elections (and their primaries) cost a lot of money directly (over $6million in MA alone), as well as indirectly to the taxpayers. If the 17th amendment were passed, this alone would save millions per senator per state, special election or not.

    The Tea Parties (there are so many of them) all seem to beating the same drum in most areas, one being the massive wasted spending by our government. This is one area where reverting to a more simple system couple save billions of dollars immediately, and if the senator does not perform, the people could look directly to their local reps for answers.

  11. austin_watcher says:

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    I don’t think a special election is a prime example as it doesn’t happen that often. And $6 million for a state with over 6 million people
    is not that much. If that’s the cost to vote for senators directly rather than going through state hierarchy, thats a small price to pay. I’d rather pay the price rather than have to deal with each states own bueracracy and state legislation which can be just as convoluted as federal or more so and can vary quite a bit from state to state. This is all assuming you are correct which I am without proof. However, it would be nice to see a comparison of price. I mean its not like there would be fewer elections if we don’t elect senators.

    With that said, i wouldn’t pick repealing the 17th amendment unless the costs were magnitudes above what you were saying. We’ll just have to agree to disagree. If anything, this is what the gov’t should be spending their money on, making sure that our legislative branch is accountable to the ppl as directly as feasible.

  12. Pingback: President & Jobs, 17th amendment, Austin Transportation « The Austin Watcher

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