The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Go For The Trifecta

Posted on | July 30, 2011 | 11 Comments

by Smitty

Volokh has links to a debate on the repeal of the 17th Amendment. Let me take a broad, general swipe at lawyers and say that they often stand too close to the problem. If you consider the 16th & 17th Amendments, plus the Federal Reserve act in isolation, you can come up with one set of arguments. That’s the mathematical combination of three things, one at a time.

Now, if you blow away all three of these federal zombies in one one shotgun chorus (great name for a band there), then you can undo the 1913 Progressive triumph of Woodrow [censored] Wilson. He may have emoted well about the need for Progress, and the imperfections of the Founding Fathers, but his ideas have proven ruinous.

Let’s get some conservative candidates in 2012 who will ‘do the deed’ for the centennial of Wilson’s dubious achievement. What would be the effects? Well, if DC is no longer the Pockets of Infinite Federal Reserve Depth, then we could have, you know, forthright spending. States can pick up the tab for the social programs for their citizens that they feel like funding. Granted, this may not be so much as under the current vote buying scheme.

Having the states control their senators in a regime where the federal government isn’t a cornucopia would shift the balance of power away from DC. When a change of party in the governor’s mansion means that the same old tools will not be sent back to DC if their stint is up, the incumbency rate may well plummet to reasonable levels, retaining statesmen* of actual value, and affording the Reids more time to suck elsewhere.

Finally, having the income tax removed would let states be a blast shield for their citizens from federal financial overreach. The virtue of the 10th Amendment, currently hovering down around that of a slut in Toronto, could begin to recover.

What’s not to like? Well the crappy half of the economic distribution of these United States are going to look really, really crappy. They already kind of are, but stripping off the redistributionist veneer is going to front load the crappiness.

Then there is the huge, older demographic that is going to find out just how big a ripoff all this Progressive nonsense has been. Legitimate problem. I say, delegate it to the states. Not that that is going to lower the overall suction of the situation. Nothing will. The magic wand no worky-worky, sahib. Give it up.

However, consider this: our problems, in general, are the result of the substitution of Progress for liberty. I submit that any courses of action that don’t favor liberty over all else are just variations on the theme of suck.

Full circle, then: let’s consider repeal of the 17th Amendment, but also consider the broader systemic implications. Otherwise, we’re merely fannying about. Isn’t a century of fannying about a sufficiently worked example of suck?

* In the sense of ‘humans’, for the sexists out there.


11 Responses to “Go For The Trifecta”

  1. Mike
    July 30th, 2011 @ 11:40 pm

     Well, repealing the 17th Amendment would effectively put term limits on US Senators since most states have term limits on their Governors. If they can’t do for their constituents in twelve years, they sure as hell couldn’t do it in 24 years or 30 years.

  2. Adjoran
    July 31st, 2011 @ 12:28 am

    Get some sleep.  You are having hallucinations and delusions.

  3. MrPaulRevere
    July 31st, 2011 @ 12:57 am

    “States can pick up the tab for the social programs for their citizens that they feel like funding.” 100% correct Smitty, all social spending should be done at the state level. The closer the government is to verdict of the citizens the better. It requires citizens to actually pay attention to whats going on and decreases hostility toward those who perform the neccesary functions of the civil society.

  4. Jack Okie
    July 31st, 2011 @ 1:12 am

    Smitty, you’ve nailed it.  Maybe the Paulistas, the Fair Tax folks and those for the repeal of the 17th can make common cause.  Doing away with all three progressive monstrosities might be easier than trying to erase each one separately.

  5. ThePaganTemple
    July 31st, 2011 @ 1:14 am

    I used to be all gung ho about repealing the 17th Amendment, but then I learned a very hard truth. If we’d had the 17th repealed before the 2010 election, we would have had SIXTY SIX DEMOCRAT SENATORS! That’s just for the two years between 2008 and 2010. I don’t want to think what it would have been like during the Kennedy, Johnson, Carter etc, years. To say nothing of what it would have been like during Reagan’s terms. I don’t know but I have a feeling he wouldn’t have got shit accomplished, if we had even lasted that long.

    One thing about it, we’d probably have a wall at the Mexican border, not to keep Mexicans out, but to keep us in.

    Sixty six Democrat Senators is the stuff of which nightmares are made. And let’s face it, the reason the 17th was adopted was because Senators were bought and paid for by special interest friends of governors and state legislatures, probably in some cases city bosses. It wasn’t exactly a rosy situation.

  6. Jorge Emilio Emrys Landivar
    July 31st, 2011 @ 1:44 am

    Really what we need is to repeal the Pendleton civil service reform act.  So politicians can bribe their voters cheaply, instead of it being insanely expensive for all of us when they do it.

  7. thelibertarianpatriot
    July 31st, 2011 @ 2:15 am

    Great post Smitty. Linked at

  8. Deetz
    July 31st, 2011 @ 5:19 am

    A must read post about the #16thA, #17thA & Fed via @Smitty_One_Each over at @rsmccain’s jernt. #tcot #teaparty #tlot #gop

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