It is hard not to appreciate the wisdom and the insight of the Founding Fathers on the running and construction of the Republic that is the United States of America. Though it may be argued that some areas of the Constitution are too vague, it has been the groundwork for the most successful form of Gov’t in modern history.
We have seen alterations to the Constitution, some merely to clarify what was originally in place, but others that are a huge departure from the Founders original intent. The two most noteworthy of those, IMHO, are the 16th and 17th Amendments.
The 16th Amendment falls on it’s face both daily and yearly. Daily because it turns an about face on the Founders belief that any individual income tax is in itself bound to be unfair. This is the reason why it took a Constitutional Amendment to garnish the wages of working Americans. Yearly it falls on it’s face by imposing a punitive tax that is unfair due to it’s progressive nature. I am personally astounded that this progressive tax rate is not or has yet to be challenged on the basis of the 14th Amendment, citing the unequal treatment of individuals under the law.
I have long been of a mind that the only way to get REAL tax reform in this Country is to abolish the automatic withholding clause and have ALL Americans pay their taxes on the specified date. I believe that this should hold true for ALL Federal withholdings, Social Security and Medicare. Having each individual pay their "due" to the Federal Gov’t all at one time is the best and only way I can see to wake up America to the unjust amount of taxes they are required to pay.
But it is the 17th Amendment that has shown it’s ugly head twice in the soon to be displaced current Administration.
The first would obviously be the Impeachment of President Clinton. Faced with evidence, overwhelming evidence, that the President of the United States committed perjury, a felony in all 50 States, the Senate choose to read the polls and the liberal press and opted to ignore the law and the Constitution of the United States and not remove the felon from office. This is a clear example of what happens when a Senator is held accountable to the voters of the State.
As the original Constitution was drawn, Senators were appointed by the Governors and Elected Officials of the State they were to represent. The reason for this was to preserve the States representation to the Federal Gov’t and to provide a "cooler head" to the whim of the knee jerk populous. For knee jerk response there was the House, the senate was supposed to be able to worry less about the "people" than it was their duty to State.
Fearing that they would not be re-elected, they choose to ignore law and in most cases followed the polls that successfully spun the Impeachment as "just about sex".
A close and evenly divided election to be sure. With Joe Lieberman missing his chance to become VP and being egotistical enough to run both as VP and as Senator has tied the Senate at 50-50.
This means that the GOP does have actual control of the Senate as VP Chaney has the tie breaking vote. One would think that this puts the GOP in a great position, controlling all 3 branches of Gov’t. Buzzzzzz, wrong!
What does Senator Give a Lott do? Changes his name to Gives it ALL and makes the choice to name Democrats to an equal number of Chair positions. Now why would he do such a thing? After all for almost 50 years the GOP has been looked down upon and snubbed as far as leadership positions go. For the time that the Democrats controlled the Senate there were almost no chance that a Republican would take a Chair position.
Did the GOP rail against such a system? You bet they did. Did it do any good? Heck no. The Democrats laugh their collective butts off at us.
So why does Lott give away what the GOP has fought so hard to gain? Because the new spin is that this is the "FAIR" thing to do. Democrats cry and whine because they have half the seats they should have say in things that matter and Chair important positions. Obviously BOTH Parties have forgotten the history of the past 50 years. The new spin says that if "we" don’t share the power we are mean. If we don’t share the power, says the media and the polls, we are partisan. Clue time America. Politics are partisan.
Where was the media when the GOP complained that power was to be shared? Where was the polls when the GOP was shut out? Oh yea, that wasn’t "unfair". After all it was only the GOP locked out, not the Democrats.
The long and short of it is that Give it ALL, is more concerned about winning re-election, as are his fellows, than they are about being leaders. What has been done here for the sake of re-election.
Thus lay the flaw of the 17th Amendment. Before it would have been tough to get things through having to get "moderate" Democrats to agree and to herd RINO’s. What Lott has done makes it almost impossible. No amount of checks and balances can overcome a bunch of Democrats who will be determined to show that President Bush cannot work together with them. Democrats can’t and won’t work with him because the media will support them when they cry and whine. And because all the members of the Senate have to worry about what the voter thinks, instead of what is best for their State and the Country, they have to compromise on their core beliefs.
As I said in the beginning, the Founders were blessed with wisdom beyond what they could possibly foresee. Or as my Grandfather use to say "What a fine day. Now watch someone come along and screw it up." The Senate has become a smaller House, subject to all the same pressures that the Founders sought to relieve them from.
Sadder are we all for the short sightedness of those who drafted the 17th Amendment.