I'm going to write about the broader issue of the 17th Amendment in much greater detail sometime soon, but thought it important to mention a couple of things now given that it's the subject of a Colorado campaign commercial.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has run an ad that, if it were not run by Democrats, should be considered shockingly dishonest. Given the source, however, it's par for the course.
Specifically, the ad says that Ken Buck has a "radical" idea, letting state legislatures elect our senators rather than having them chosen by a direct vote of the people. The ad is dishonest for a couple of very different reasons.
First, the idea of indirect election of senators, i.e. their being selected by state legislatures, is only radical if you think our constitution is radical. That is how senators were chosen in this nation until the 17th Amendment to the constitution was passed and adopted in 1913. Indeed, this nation has had many more years of senators chosen by legislatures than of senators chosen by citizens.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, Ken Buck almost immediately and publicly and repeatedly restated his position, which he then restated again to me in a brief phone interview yesterday.
Buck recognizes that the 17th Amendment changed the balance of power toward the federal government and away from the states but thinks that most of the impact is felt through the way government spends money, uses unfunded mandates, and threatens states with the withholding of federal money.
Buck believes that a balanced budget amendment as well as other pushback against the federal government holding states hostage would accomplish much of the same result as repeal of the 17th Amendment. Buck also argued against repeal of the 17th Amendment because people are now used to electing senators and because he "has more faith in citizens than in elected officials."
The DSCC knows that Buck does NOT support repeal of the 17th Amendment, but they're running the ad anyway. I think the ad is ineffectual and I'm glad the Dems are wasting their money. Any time the Dems talk about the constitution, they remind people that Dems don't understand or care about it.
I wish Ken Buck had stayed with his original statement against the 17th Amendment, but the facts are that the Democrat ad against Mr. Buck is wrong in every possible way.
I maintain my prediction made the day after the primary that Buck will beat appointed Senator Michael "Who?" Bennet by a wider margin than the roughly 8% by which Bennet beat Andrew Romanoff.
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