Our Undemocratic Constitution, In Two Minutes

Ezra Klein did two minutes on MSNBC last night that I found fascinating, if dismaying. He will show you just how the United States Senate “has become one of the least democratic legislatures in the entire world” :

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  1. ansonburlingame

     /  March 12, 2013

    What a stupid video and how stupid is the man that posts it that finds it “fascinating”.

    Obviously the commentator and the blogger indicate a need to change the Constitution to make the Senate more representative of all the people in America.

    I won’t even try to demand YOUR remedy for this particular CONSTITUTIONAL problem.



  2. writer89

     /  March 12, 2013

    I’ll be happy to volunteer a remedy, and it doesn’t involve making the Senate into another House of Representatives by changing representation so it’s based on population. But how about bring the Senate into the 21st century by doing the following: Give every state at least one Senator. States with over 8 milliion in population but less than 12 million would get 2. States with 18 million or more would get 3. This way every state, no matter how small, would get a voice in the Senate, but not all out of proportion to their population. In case you’re scrambling to find out, this would leave Virginia, New Jersey, North Carolina, Michigan, George, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois with 2; Florida, New York, Texas and California with get 3 each; all the rest would have one., including DC, by the way. And blue states somewhat outnumber red states in the bottom group! California and New York are balanced out by Florida and Texas. That would leave only about 2/3 of the number of senators as we have now. Probably good news, but we could always jigger the formula to get closer to 100. Say, 6 million and 12 million, though I haven’t done the math.


  3. writer89

     /  March 12, 2013

    I was in a hurry to do the above, and had a couple of typos. The numbers should be 8 million and 18 million. If we changed it to 5 million and 8 million, we could get to 85 senators. Also it should say, “How about bringing the Senate”.


  4. middlechildwoman

     /  March 12, 2013

    I love Ezra Klein – he is second only to Saint Rachel. I have yet to meet a person on the Righteous Right with the intelligence, the willingness to do the research, let alone the compassion that I see in these two young people.


  5. I’m more than hesitant to call Duane stupid, but I think I’d be hard to sell on throwing out the senate represent states, not just a number of people. Clearly the consitution envisions something other than pure democracy, and abhors pure majority rule. The Senate is a part of that vision. In anycase, I can’t see it happening. I haven’t watched video, but I likely will when I get home.


    • writer89

       /  March 12, 2013

      The Constitution was written by people who never envisioned the Senate representing 50 states with such huge and wildly divergent populations. The idea that 20 states with a population equal to one state could outnumber it in representation by 20-2 would no doubt have had them re-thinking the proportions involved. Just as, for example, we have junked that business about black people being 3/5 of a person, or women not voting, or the VP being from another party, or alcohol being illegal, or… well, you get the idea. Things change.


  6. ansonburlingame

     /  March 14, 2013


    Duane is not stupid as a matter of course. But his choice for a pithy “quick hitter” was, well stupid in my view.

    My God, we have enough problems in America today to choke a horse. But he choses to post a blog that at least implies that the Senate, formed as required in the constituion is undemocratic and uses so young twerp to so state the case!!! Talk about sounding like Fox News, “from the other side”!! This one takes that cake for sure.

    Let’s see. Recently Wheeler suggested a constitutional amendment to define terrorism, as I recall. Now we need one, or at least should consider one to rearrange how we put Senators, how many Senators and from which states, in office. Are you kidding me!!!

    But if Duane wants to engage in arguments for Constitutional Amendments, well I have MY list of suggestions as well. I would start with Article One Section Eight and redefine exactly what the responsibilities of the federal government should be today, as opposed to such responsibilities in 1787!!

    I would hope we can get back to more pertinent topics now after this little flail at……?



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