Letter:  U.S. Senate

Randy Petty on the dysfunctional structure of the U.S. Senate.

Randy Petty on the dysfunctional structure of the U.S. Senate.

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• Topics: USA & World,

A sound byte that won't die.

The sound byte is: "The U.S. Senate represents states, not people." 

So much could be said. Who elects Senators and who do they visit and talk to when they go home? People. What if a state has 3 people, or none? Do the Senators represent corn stalks and gopher holes?

The problem with two Senators per state regardless of population ( well, one of the problems ) is that it not only makes sure California doesn't dictate to Wyoming, it makes sure that smaller state senators can dictate to the whole country. Senate actions are largely national.

From Federalist Paper #22 ( Alexander Hamilton) “Sophistry may reply, that sovereigns are equal, and that a majority of the votes of the States will be a majority of confederated America. But this kind of logical legerdemain will never counteract the plain suggestions of justice and common-sense. It may happen that this majority of States is a small minority of the people of America; and two thirds of the people of America could not long be persuaded, upon the credit of artificial distinctions and syllogistic subtleties, to submit their interests to the management and disposal of one third. The larger States would after a while revolt from the idea of receiving the law from the smaller.” Hamilton Flays the Filibuster (and Slams the Senate)

Heather Cox Richardson (effect of the filibuster): "Since the Republican Senate seats skew heavily toward rural areas, in this case, it is possible for 41 Republican senators, who represent just 21% of the population, to stop voting rights legislation backed by 70% of Americans."

Randy Petty, Bellingham

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