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April 30, 2004

Comments

"Sleep: it's an amazing notion. I applaud whoever came up with it."

I hold no truck with it, myself.

OT, but I asked Edward in e-mail, yesterday afternoon, to pass the following along to Katherine, since I don't have an e-mail address for her.

Not having heard back, and not having an e-mail address for you, I communicate here (hey, if you posted e-mail addresses, I wouldn't have to).

See this and this.

I'd welcome any comments you might have on various stuff on my blog, incidentally, and I e-mailed you guys an early warning on this horrible story, but no response from anyone here. It's not too late.

On topic, I'm not rabidly opposed to the option of returning to legislatures electing the Senator, but I'm concerned about the fact that state legislatures tend, as a rule, to be notoriously corrupt and easy to bribe. This doesn't strike me as likely to be superior to the drawbacks of a state-wide campaign.

Get more sleep.

When you wake back up, realize that this is the worst idea of all time.

It's the House that's problematic - gerrymandering and whatnot.

This is just a clever ploy to continue the dismantling of the New Deal and the Great Society.

Coming from New York, I'd rather not see our state legislatures have to power to do anything; it's safer that way.

Moe, this is the first time I've seen you argue, even implicitly, that you aren't a bit weird.

Atrios thinks you're weird. Not only repeal the direct election of Senators, I want the second high vote-getter to be vice-president. Except...well, never mind. Meaning, for instance, Al Gore. And powerfully in charge of the Senate.

The Original Intent was not to create a place-holder and general flunky, but a very powerful counterbalance to majoritarianism.

Since we do not live in a democracy but rather in a republic being un-democratic is no particular vice.

However, while we're reforming we should recall that in 1790 each Congressman represented 38,000 constituents. By 2000 each Congressman represented 680,000 constituents.

Since we do not live in a democracy but rather in a republic being un-democratic is no particular vice.

So would you say that there's nothing wrong with Uzbekistan not being democratic, since it's a dictatorship not a democracy? Whether or not the US currently is a democracy has no bearing on whether it ought to be a democracy.

I don't want to live in a democracy.

A democracy is dictatorship by the mob.

I want to live in a place where minority rights are guaranteed, and cannot be changed by democratic vote. I want to live in a place where judges can rule on Constitutional questions. I want to live in a place where there are separation of powers between branches of government. I want to live in a place ruled by Constitutional law that cannot be overturned by simple democratic majority vote.

Your mileage may vary. You have more faith than I do in the passions of mobs.

I don't want to live in a democracy.

A democracy is dictatorship by the mob.

Oh, yes. Where there is direct democracy, there is Thinking As A Collective, which is dangerous.

James (formerly Casey of Borg)

Gary: I agree that some anti-majoritarian measures are necessary. But I think we would also agree that some degree of majoritarianism is good as well. Democracy is not an all-or-nothing proposition. The question is whether direct election of Senators is too democratic, or whether Moe's proposal would be not democratic enough.

"But I think we would also agree that some degree of majoritarianism is good as well."

I'd answer "absolutely," save for the ironic value.

"Democracy is not an all-or-nothing proposition."

Again.

"The question is whether direct election of Senators is too democratic, or whether Moe's proposal would be not democratic enough."

Yes. The US lasted for most of its life under Jefferson and Hamilton, who we here call "Moe's." proposal. It's quite possible we weren't "democratic enough." Things get better, things get worse.

We live in a democratic republic, and that's the way I like it. Structural changes within that are allowable and debatable. But it's not automatic that everything that is "more democratic" is a virtue.

Far from it.

Eliminating the Supreme Court would make us vastly "more democratic."

I don't favor it.

It's rather an important, and underrated and under-referred-to point.

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