August 25, 2004


Alan Keyes's Daffy Idea to Repeal the 17th Amendment (Lewis Gould, HNN)

Alan Keyes, the Republican senatorial candidate in Illinois, has now joined Senator Zell Miller of Georgia and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in calling for repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution, the one that provides for the direct election of United States senators. Senator Miller, who has introduced his own amendment to repeal the Seventeenth, contends that the direct election of senators “was the death of the careful balance between state and federal governments.” Once the Senate was the province of members “who thoughtfully make up their own minds, as they did during the Senate’s greatest era of Clay, Webster, and Calhoun.” Now senators, in Miller’s view, “are mere cat’s paws for the special interests.” Miller favors returning the right to elect senators to the state legislatures who had that job until the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified in 1913. Keyes agrees since it seems likely that the Illinois electorate is not going to prove receptive to his bid for that state’s open Senate seat. Before this flawed idea gets any traction, it would be well to recall the historical circumstances that led to the adoption of the direct election amendment in the first place.

Why did Americans in the Progressive Era endorse this change in the nation’s fundamental law?

Articles about Mr. Obama are a function of his race, about Mr. Keyes a function of his ideas. Would you rather be the token or the provocateur?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 25, 2004 9:13 AM

The token is the one who gets the cushy job-for life come 03 January 2005. The provocateur gets what?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 25, 2004 10:11 AM

Radio shows, book deals, speakers fees...

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2004 10:29 AM

I notice Obama now has a 1 - for what did he get the 1 for?

Posted by: AWW at August 25, 2004 10:37 AM

Suggested Ryan Campaign theme song:

"Love, look at the twelve of us...strangers, in many ways..."

The author of this piece goes on to see the problem through reformist McCaniac eyes, completely missing the Federalist point restoring states to their proper standing. Not to mention the fact that no reform cures a lack of personal integrity.

Article XXIII should be repealed as well. It's merely a permanent gift of 3 electoral votes to the Donks.

btw, does the "1" point for Obama refer to his lone vote (55 to 1) to maintain early-release for rapists, or to the media tongue-bath accompanying his speech?

Posted by: Noel at August 25, 2004 10:54 AM

Thank ju.

Posted by: Noel at August 25, 2004 10:58 AM

Obama is not a token. He won a primary election in a tough field and was not expected to win. To the IL voters, this was never about race, but the best candidate. Of course, the national media is obsessed with someone who fits the profile of a new darling, but those are observers, not participants. Keyes is the token.

Do any of Keyes' ideas seem like they're going to catch on? Against direct elections of Senators? In favor of race reparations?

Other than a colorful segment on Obama's future profile on BIOGRAPHY, Keyes will have no effect. Everyone knows it, and I think OJ does too. So this will be my last comment on this topic. See you in November.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at August 25, 2004 11:24 AM


Why was he chosen to give the Democratic keynote?

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2004 11:31 AM

He won the primary because the front runner (Hull) imploded on a divorce scandal. This story has gotten lost with the "rising star" meme.

Posted by: Rick T. at August 25, 2004 1:37 PM

"Radio shows, book deals, speakers fees..."

He already had those. If he runs somewhere, anywhere, a fourth time, then he's no longer a provocateur, he's a senatorial Harold Stassen. Or Lyndon LaRouche.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 25, 2004 3:45 PM


Or William Jennings Bryan, no less great an American for being a quadrennial loser. At least he's in the ring.

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