Hey…the weather is pretty much what I’ve been saying for the last couple of posts. Nothing has changed. Isolated afternoon or evening t’storms possible on Saturday but they should stay south of the viewing area provided the front behaves itself and slips far enough south. There is nothing at this time that suggests otherwise. I’ve got some sort of hay fever or head cold or something and I don’t feel like repeating myself. I’ll update…maybe with maps…later.
On This Date In History: On this date in 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified giving Americans the right to vote for their Senators. Most people don’t know that the founders did not allow for the direct election of senators. Instead, the 2 senators from each state were elected by their respective state legislatures. I had read some time ago that part of the reason was that the founders really didn’t trust the people, whom were largely uneducated. The Constitution’s original form only allows for House members to be directly elected and they only stayed in office for two years. Remember, the president is also ultimately elected by the electoral college.
Well, another school of thought, and less cynical, is that the founders wanted the senate to be made up of individuals who represented their states. The state government would tell the Senators how to vote on specific issues. The people had their direct role in the Federal government through their representatives and the states’ interests were to be represented by the Senators.
By 1826, a movement was afoot to amend the Constitution. Throughout the 19th century there were times when state legislatures couldn’t make a decision regarding their senators and so, in several cases, senator’s seats remained empty for up to 4 years. There were also charges of corruption and such. As the Progressive’s gained momentum in the early 20th century, so did the momentum for some of their causes. The result was the income tax, prohibition, women’s right to vote and direct election of senators. The last one seems pretty benign. The photo above reflects the long effort. It was partly put over the top by the efforts of William Randolph Hearst through his influential newspapers and Cosmopolitan magazine. Bet you didn’t know that Cosmo wasn’t always the chic thing it is today…or whatever it is…it’s not the same.
Anway, today there is a movement to have the 17th Amendment repealed. The suggestion is that, since the direct election of senators, the federal government has grown, states have lost some of their sovereignty or at least ceded some power to the feds and that corruption has increased since senators are influenced by national special interest groups instead of the needs of the state.
I say…repeal. Put it back the way it was. It would increase the importance of state elections and make Senate be more responsive to their state’s needs and reign in the power of individuals.
Here’s an interesting article from 2004 by