The Corner

Re: Au Revoir, Les Enfants

Michael, I’m sorry but I can’t agree with your characterization of the United States Senate, nor with your characterization of Senators Richard Lugar and Orrin Hatch.  Neither can be fairly accused of “collaboration” with the Obama administration.  (Is a kindhearted eulogy for Ted Kennedy really the evidence you want to cite for the “trouble” Orrin Hatch causes now? You will never hear me defending Ted Kennedy, but is gracious recognition of the basic decency of people you disagree with really the same as “virulent bipartisanship?” I just can’t believe that).

I agree with you that something vital was lost with the 17th Amendment, namely the key role that state legislatures were meant to play within the constitutional scheme of federalism. The direct election of senators fell victim to the rising tide of nationalism across the political spectrum. (Remember the “New Nationalism” of our hero Teddy Roosevelt?) But the fact is that the direct election of senators never worked well, because state legislatures routinely deadlocked or took a long time to make appointments. As a result, a significant fraction of the Senate was routinely vacant, and the residents of those states correspondingly disenfranchised from representation in that House. If you have an idea on how to fix that, we’re all ears.  

I agree with you on the need to stand steadfast on principles, particularly those of limited government and individual liberty at the heart of our Constitution. I agree that Republicans who don’t stand up for those principles need to go. And I agree that senators who 

Their primary allegiance is not to the voters back “home” but to their cloakroom colleagues (hence the “bipartisanship” fetish that is particularly virulent in the Senate) on Capitol Hill, and to the Beltway parasites who feed off them.  

Mario Loyola — Mr. Loyola, a former foreign-policy adviser at the Pentagon and in the U.S. Senate, is a visiting fellow at the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

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