Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Senators and what they're for

Apparently one of the bigger reasons Sen. John Thune was able to defeat Tom Daschle was a promise that his buddy-buddyness with GWB would save Ellsworth AFB (South Dakota's 2nd largest employer) from the BRAC chopping block. When Ellsworth ended up on the "to close" list anyway, according to National Review Online,
An angry Thune has reversed course and said he’ll vote against John Bolton’s nomination as U.N. ambassador.
Here we see a perfect and clear example of the damage done to the structure of the republic by the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1933, which forced all states to select their senators by public statewide election rather than being selected by the state legislature. No longer are senators representatives of those separate entities known as "states" to the national government; no longer do state legislatures issue detailed directions on how those senators are to represent their state at the national level including specific voting instructions. Now what they are are direct representatives of all the people in the state to the national government (but wait, don't we already have that in the House?), and subject to the whims of what those specific people want at the expense of national concerns. Instead of the state of South Dakota joining its voice with other states as to the nation's best interests regarding a U.N. ambassador, we have a direct representative of the people playing politics at the national level to secure benefits at the state level. Unless I'm mistaken, that's what's known as rent-seeking, and there's no situation I'm aware of when rent-seeking is a good thing.


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