If the Senators of 1796 had displayed the infantile behavior shown Friday by the Democrats of yesterday’s Senate, the 1796 Senate would have been a lonely, quiet place for awhile, while half that chamber awaited the arrival of new replacements.
Recall that the original Constitution, the one the Founders wished us to have, had Senators appointed by their State Legislatures. The message here was simple: “You represent your state; vote in your state’s best interests or we’ll replace you, got it?” Today’s Senators represent only themselves and their reelection interests—period. They certainly can’t represent millions upon millions of citizens, can they? California’s two Senators represent 39.5 million separate opinions? OK, so perhaps Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris have worked a deal and agreed to each represent 19.75 million Californians—so what? This is what you get when you let democracy run wild, when you let the people elect their Senators: you get Senators who represent their party—in this case the Democrat Party, but it could just as easily be the Republicans—and neither their state’s citizens nor their state government.
The Democrat Party said there must be a government shutdown so they would have yet another asinine thing to blame on Trump. And so now there’s a government shutdown. Screw the millions of California residents who draw a federal paycheck, screw the CHIP program; our precious “Dreamers” are more important than you all. You are expendable, you will become our political football. The folks in Sacramento can twist and shout all they want, they are powerless, just as they’ve been powerless for the last 105 years. And they will be powerless for the next 105 years unless and until the 17th Amendment is repealed. Oh, they may get a few crumbs thrown their way when the political powers in Washington and Sacramento align, for a few short years, and then it will be back to sucking up to the federal teat, paying more in taxes than they get back in benefits, watching more and more legislation pass through the Senate that they wish would they could just kill.
The Framers of the Constitution had a balance in mind: the People would have their voice in the House; the States their voice in the Senate. Even-Steven, OK?
Gone. Gone forever. Gone forever, because the 17th will likely never be repealed. The Senate will not allow the Congress to recommend it; and Conservatives terrified of “something bad happening” to a Constitution already shot full of holes by SCOTUS are prepared to fight to the death against the only remaining remedy: an Article V Convention.
So get used to shutdowns and similar temper tantrums; this may have not been what the states wanted in 1913—but this is what they got.